US Manga Recap IV [Week of January 22, 2013]

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Burning the midnight oil to bring you the latest, hottest and irrelevant manga-news!

After that organizational disaster of last week’s entry, this one may be a bit shorter as consequence…if only due to the fact I covered more ground than normal in Week 3. Not to say there isn’t much to talk about this week, because there certainly is! I’m always burning the midnight oil to help dig up and find tiny bits of info that might otherwise be buried under the colossal pile of social media.

So the question is, did I actually find anything worth talking about? Well, see for yourself. Hopefully readers won’t be too disappointed.

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Upcoming Releases for the Week of January 29, 2013

Just one more volume of Negima! to go, and the long, rage-inducing ride will be over. Unless you’re following the omnibus releases, which will prolong your suffering just a bit longer. This is the last week of releases for January, and this is the time that you usually see Seven Seas push out their monthly catalog, of course most suppliers have shipped out these volumes in the prior weeks. Personally, got all my Seven Seas purchases the first week of January.

Hard to believe it’s nearly February already, isn’t it? February is going to kick off a lot of fun stuff (such as Knights of Sidonia, volume 1 from Vertical) and the return of much of Yen Press’ newer line-up. It’s going to be another big month of purchases for me, that’s for sure.

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Licensing News

Project-H Books licenses Takeda Hiromitsu’s Tsundero one-volume h-manga; official PR withstanding, but license has been confirmed. As stated above, numerous people had been asking them to bring this over since the beginning, so this is yet another testament that they’re “listening to the fans“. And honestly, they’re some of the most easy-going industry people on social networking, so if you have recommendations, go and let them know.

It would seem that Kodansha Comics is now following the Vertical trend, as in they now have their own thread over at the ANN forums asking for requests from fans. Currently an intern is running the thread, but they do have people from KC looking over the thread and responding at times. Some interesting tid-bits have been taken from this thread, such as a resounding “NO” on licensing Chihayarafuru, and a firm-stance on not rescuing anymore Del Rey licenses. These are pretty obvious things, but hopefully this will give some fans closure and allow them to move onto greener pastures.

While Vertical has yet to comment officially on it, a solicitation appeared on Amazon for the manga adaptation of Summer Wars.

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Manga Solicitations

Deciding to actually re-check January solicitations on Amazon paid off this week, as it yielded some interesting results.  I was surprised to see a new solicit, and by erotic comics/hentai-manga publisher Eros Comix no less! They had just barely squeezed this release in January’s schedule, and more surprising is the fact of them releasing an h-manga after all this time. Just a bit of background; Eros Comix has been around for a number of years, mainly releasing erotic comics created in the US, with a few Japanese hentai anthologies on the side. They’re not exactly not for consistency, but they’ve had a few solid titles. Their last h-manga was released back in November 2011 (A Strange Kind of Woman, volume 1 – Hatsu Inu / 初犬). It’s been a year and nearly 2 months since that point, so at the least, I’m happy to see them back. Hopefully this means we can expect a few more licenses/releases from them in 2013.

The manga adaptation of Ayatsuji Yukito’s Another novel is finally solicited for release from Yen Press on October 29, 2013. The adaptation is drawn by mangaka Kiyohara Hiro, who is no stranger to horror/suspense manga and has done numerous adaptations and series published by Kadokawa. It was also further elaborated on Yen Press’ website that the manga will be released as one 4-in-1 omnibus volume.

*Seven Seas has recently had a bout of trouble in negotiating the rights over future volumes to Angel Para Bellum. This was first brought up on their forums, and has seen some conversation across a few forums and social media lately. Most recently, I came across some new listings on Amazon.jp for volume 3 & 4, with a veritable release date of “August 2014″. To my knowledge, no public and/or official statement has been made from Seven Seas yet, so I wouldn’t take this solicitation as fact for the time being.

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Manga Cover Updates

07-Ghost 5 - 6 CE 1 - K omni 1 FMA omni 5 - IGIMAT 5 Neg omni 7 - OP omni 5

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Manga News

It’s always unfortunate to talk about, but this is also an inevitable fact of the US market – manga going out-of-print (OOP). You’ll probably hear me from time to time mention the term, generally in passing, and what it means for the everyday fan. Most casual manga fans likely aren’t bothered by/interested in manga of old or looking to pick up older titles. Still, there are those out there that are trying to find manga that they missed out on or are simply trying to reconnect with. In the most recent slate of series going OOP, Hikaru no Go (from author Hatta Yumi and Death Note artist, Obata Takeshi) from VIZ Media, will join the ranks. Recently de-listed from RightStuf, this seems to be the end of the line for this well-known manga. That’s about it for the somber news this week, so on to more uplifting and/or neutral matters at hand.

Project-H Books just recently posted an interview with Itaba Hiroshi. Project-H released the first volume of Itaba’s Hot & Steamy (湯~っくりシてね) back in December, and will be releasing two more one-shot series from him later this year: Cosplay Girlfriend (コス彼女) in November, and Hello Work in December.

Speaking of interviews and Project-H, Lissa Pattillo (@kuriousity)  posted an excellent interview with Digital Manga Publishing Vice-President of Sales & Marketing, Yoko Tanigaki. This was a fascinating read, and I’d been yearning for someone to get in touch with them and have an interview for the longest time now. When I read the response from Tanigaki of why they decided to start Project-H, all I could think of was, “Yes! Hit the freakin’ nail on the head!“. [pullquote align=”right”]When I read the response from Tanigaki of why they decided to start Project-H, all I could think of was, “Yes! Hit the freakin’ nail on the head!”[/pullquote]Basically they saw the oppurtunity to publish h-manga and capitalized on that; obviously it seems to have worked out quite well for them. The interview itself is very easy to read, not too lengthy and delivers a nice hit-for-hit response system that doesn’t meander. Definitely recommend everyone to go and read it.

 

We’ll be looking forward to that whenever it appears!

 

Anime News Network’s Executive Editor, Zac Bertschy, just held his weekly and popular ANNcast (Episode 144: Jump Around) and on it had some quests from VIZ Media join the conversation. What better time to interview Andy Nakatani (Editor-in-Chief of Weekly Shonen Jump) and WSJ editors Urian Brown and Misaki Kido.

The general tone of the podcast was pretty positive, as they talked mostly about WSJ’s new relaunch and the evolution of Shonen Jump Alpha. “Digital” was the term to hear this time, and if there was any indication of where things are headed for these guys, it’s into the ether of digital distribution (at least for WSJ). There were a lot of great bits and pieces to the conversation, as the combined personalities of these four really shone through, especially Urian Brown, whose sometimes eccentric yet oft comedic and informative input was really a pleasure to listen to. A big draw to most ANNcast are, of course, the fan-questions (even I had a few that got in).

Some keynotes and paraphrasing to follow, capping the question session:

Q: Would Gintama be brought back, either in WSJ, digital or print?
A: In order to bring it back, they’d would need to “re-introduce it“, though while never “impossible” they want to focus on bringing newer material here first. [Conner: “Never say never” is a term often repeated throughout the questions]

Q: Will WSJ titles be released as physical medium at some point, or is it a case-by-case basis?
A: Case-by-case basis. Much like simulcasting, this is all completely new and unexplored territory for the company. It’s hard to say for sure, but they are listening to fan-input and noting the importance of filling out the weekly surveys. Some series will be get print releases, some digital-only and some both.

Q: Will there be censorship? [Conner: This was an issue brought up in Deb Aoki’s interview with Andy Nakatani] A: Another case-by-case basis, but they will  do their utmost best to not censor anything (Urian Brown jokingly mentions they can’t have naked kids). Nothing in Shonen Jump Alpha was censored last year.

The overall emphasis of the question and answer session was that the mission of WSJ this year is to bring over “newer material” compared to manga that were already established. The sentiment of “new content before old content” was echoed by all guests on the podcast. Though it wasn’t as though all old content would be forgotten, as Andy Nakatani once again said “never say never“. It ended on a great note, with them thanking all the fans for their support, and a last mention of how important surveys are and that they are listening.

DBZ Color coming next issue

On the last bit of news, and somewhat related to the above, Dragonball Z will be joining the Weekly Shonen Jump lineup starting next week! Now, I’m sure this is going to be met with either: Love, hate or indifference. But I’ll have you know, it’s also going to be in full-color. The manga will be starting off right at the beginning of the Saiyan Arc (or where VIZ separated Dragonball into Dragonball Z), and will be featuring the following chapters each week after. I don’t have the best things to say about the manga, but it’s still a fun and nostalgic read, not to mention it’ll be in color. And hey, this might be a great chance to re-immerse myself in the series and get to experience it on a true week-to-week basis, which is pretty rad.

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Alright, so that wasn’t too short; it was actually fairly long, all things considered. As always, thanks for reading, and if you have any suggestions or comments please feel free to leave them here or message me on Twitter. Be sure to go out and support these great publishers and pick up some manga in the meantime. Next time we meet will be in February; see ya next time!

 

[Dark Horse | Digital Manga | 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.