US Manga Recap I [Week of January 1, 2013]

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More manga information than you would ever care to know!

As I mentioned in my intro post, you could consider me a connoisseur of manga information. I take much pride in the gathering and categorizing of daily manga updates. It requires a lot of dedication, free-time, and being able to repeat the tasks day-in and day-out. All this information is posted on any various medium: Retailer websites, Publisher websites, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, etc… so in a means to consolidate all that information, I’m creating the ‘US Manga Recap‘.

There are a lot of sites, accounts and people out there that dedicate themselves to specific fields with anime/manga news, and for me, I like to consider myself a “Jack-of-all-Trades” sort of fan. Plainly speaking, I mainly focus on US/NA-related manga news; that is to say, I follow the niche of American manga licensing, solicitations, updates and general news pertaining to that area. That leaves a lot of ground to be covered, though all of these things are often found in similar locations — so when you find out one thing, you’re likely to find another. Enough of this whimsical speak, though.

What I hope to convey in each subsequent post (this will be a weekly series, by the way) are upcoming releases, new manga solicitations that come up, any new covers that have been released, and of course any general news from publishers, artists or regarding the industry itself. This is will the basic guideline for what I jot down here, and moreso what you can expect to see. If there is anything specific you’d like me to talk about, update or what have you, feel free to leave a comment on the page or send me a tweet. With that out of the way, let’s get started.

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Upcoming Releases for the Week of January 8, 2013

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Licensing News

Nijigahara Holograph temp cover - Fantagraphics
What better way to kick off 2013 than a manga license announcement? Last week, Robot 6 (of the Comic Book Sources group) announced that Fantagraphics had acquired Asano Inio’s Nijigahara Holograph psychological/drama manga. VIZ Media had previously released two of Asano’s other works here in the US, Solanin (2008) and What a Wonderful World! (2009). I’m a pretty big fan of Asano, and I’d been hoping to see more of his work published here. While it certainly isn’t Oyasumi Punpun, I haven’t given up hope just yet. No exact release date is known yet, but I assume we’ll be seeing this one-volume title appear sometime in Fall/Winter 2013.

 

Always good to know that we’ll be seeing some new titles in the not-too-distant future. Yen Press has a number of new titles coming out this year, starting with BTOOOM! in February.

This was actually a bit of information that I stumbled across by accident. While looking around for new manga solicitations, I saw that the Highschool of the Dead, omnibus 2 (Full Color Edition) had been pushed back until October (when it was originally due out in July). A few other things happened, and I got a nice response back from Yen Press via their twitter (see above). Turns out there is this illustration book that was released last year from Satou Shouji, and that some of the illustrations were used in the first High School of the Dead omnibus. Upon inquiring about whether the illustration book itself, or more illustrations would be used, Yen Press will be including the rest of the illustration book (Highschool of the Dead x Triage x Lightning Pop) in the second omnibus!

Not to be left out, UDON Entertainment had new licenses for two artbooks: Summer Wars: Material Book and Takehito Harada Art Works 1. UDON has made some considerable headway in the past year, picking up a string of artbook/illustration book licenses in 2012, and even releasing Haibara Yaku’s Sengoku Basara: Samurai Legends manga.

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Manga Solicitations

Solicitations are probably my favorite and least favorite thing. This love-hate relationship stems from the amount of time that I put in each and every day, searching over Amazon (US, UK and Japan separately), Random House, Hachette Book Group, Edelweiss and digging through every facet of publisher websites. Suffice to say, solicitation-hunting is an unfathomable time sinkhole. Though there is also much joy in the searching, because when you find a new volume, or even a new series, you feel invigorated by it. Anyway, it’s a lot of sitting down and opening of multiple tabs for hours at a time. That’s my methodology, at least.

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Manga Cover Updates

Sankarea volume 1 ENG-JP

I’d like to start off with a cover that caused a bit of a stir just the other day. That series being, recently-licensed Sankarea (Hattori Mitsuru / Kodansha Comics). Illustration changes for covers aren’t necessarily an uncommon thing, and can occur for multiple reasons (mainly when the author and/or publisher requests that different art be used for the localization). However, it never ceases to be a point of conversation for manga fans, especially when they’re drastically different. Personally, I think the cover that Kodansha Comics chose to go with is pretty ugly, and I’d much rather have the sublime face of Rea plastered on the cover. It’s almost a bit reminiscent of The Walking Dead comic series, though not something I care much for seeing on a manga about a zombie-girl rom-com. I’m more of a fan of what French manga-publisher, Pika, did with it. Interestingly enough, Kodansha Comics was willing to elaborate on their change of heart:

And for those curious, yes the original cover will still be used (just as a page inside the volume itself).

4Fairy Tail volume 26 - 2723

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Manga News

And here we are, to the last section of this week’s Manga Recap: general manga news and ramblings. This is mainly going to be a bunch of tweets from publishers or any industry/series-specific news that crosses my eyes. This is going to be pretty selective, since I could go on forever about every, single update that I come across (please don’t make me do that).

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Starting off with some good-ol’ Vertical news. The first volume of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin will have the official print-number locked in place by Friday (January 11), and Vertical wants to make sure every last prospective fan gets a pre-order in so they can ensure there will be enough Gundam to go around for those that want it. Vertical has certainly been pushing this title and stressing of how limited a run this series will be, so when the manga finally comes out and you don’t have a copy because you decided to wait…well, that’ll be no one’s fault but your own. Seriously guys, pre-order it if you want it.

 

Kodansha Comics first released Bloody Monday (Ryuumon Ryou / Megumi Kouji) since August 2011, and has released 8 volumes of the 11 total (with volume 9 out later this month). “Things could be better“, is likely one of the things that could be said of its sales. Upon inquiry via Twitter if fans could expect to see any of its subsequent sequels, KC responded in telling fans to “spread the word” on the first installment. Basically, go get your friends and family to buy the manga in droves. Shame, since I’ve really been enjoying this simple, yet engaging thriller/mystery manga.

Vinland Saga is making landfall later this year, and I’m sure this person isn’t the only one interested in seeing a license rescue of Yukimura Makoto’s Planetes manga. Some may know that the series was originally released by Tokyopop way back in 2003; obviously the manga has been OOP (out of print) for some time now. Hopefully sales bode well for Vinland Saga, and should hold true if fan-hype and reaction is anything to go by, so we can perhaps see Kodansha Comics releasing this hard-lined science-fiction manga in the not-too-distant future.

On the last bit of news, long-time manga aggregator and news site, Manga-News, closed their Twitter account. Seems that their Japanese overseers that divine them with news and information weren’t too happy about some of the content being posted on the account. Now, I’m not sure if that’s entirely accurate or even the full-story. I’ll leave that to an actual news site to figure out. Thankfully our French manga bros were quick to create a new account: @crazyjapannews, so go ahead and give them a follow if you want to keep up with manga news coming out of Japan (helpful if you either know a bit of French, or can make-due with online translators).

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Well, that about wraps everything up for this week. As I said before, any comments or feedback is greatly appreciated and I’m open to suggestions either for this column or new ideas in general. If there are any errors or issues you see here, I’m also happy to correct and/or see to them immediately. Hope you enjoy reading, and see you again next week!

 

[Dark Horse | Fantagraphics | Kodansha Comics | Seven Seas] [UDON Entertainment | Vertical, Inc. | Yen Press | VIZ Media]

Manga Editor- Obsessive manga collector, avid anime fan and spending way too much time on Twitter. Your friendly, neighborhood weeabro.

  • http://www.all-fiction.net/ princeleon

    So much manga it hurts the pockets. I want pretty much everything presented here but I don’t have the space to hold them all lol.

    • Conner

      Haha, I hear you. Spending at least $100/month now on manga releases, and I figured that I purchased somewhere around 300 or so volumes of manga in 2012. Essentially, I have one shelf currently and no other room to store manga. The vast majority of my collection is now in storage, lol.

  • icantfeelmyarms

    With Sankarea, they’re picking the wrong crowd to market to. I was just discussing this. It’s a romance/drama/comedy/shounen series, yet it’s almost as if they’re trying to market it to guro-fans. I own the Japanese manga series, and the covers are adorable, and actually fit the volume and the cuteness of the series… There were maybe like, three or four major “violent” scenes so far, yet they’re taking the most shocking of them all and using it as the cover? Foolish… Haganai’s American releases look awesome, and I’m currently collecting those. Of course I’m going to have to collect Sankarea because it’s one of my personal favorites, but it’s not going to look pretty on the shelf. I’ll just keep my originals out in the open and hide the American release in the corner.

    (That said, I’m still waiting for a To LOVE-ru manga release in America…)