A manga junkie's recommendations on titles Company B can't or won't license.
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Missing Parts of 20th Century Boys
2008.06.20. (Fri) | Edit |
I ordered the remaining volumes of 20th Century Boys... but book distributor T didn't send me everything I ordered.

I got 14, 15, 19, 21, 23, 24.
I'm missing 5 volumes!

Now I have to go to Book Off to buy the missing parts.

Hmm, this blog is supposed to be about manga I like that Company B won't license... not what I'm currently reading.

I got the latest issue of Kaze Hikaru (currently being released by Company V), but I like to hold off reading that series... because Okita Souji is eventually going to die! I know my Japanese history. And I feel like it's getting closer and closer... so I like to make other people (= my sister) read it before I read it.

Maybe I'll write about young women manga Real Clothes over the weekend. It's already on volume 4, but I'll start w/ my review of vol 1.

2008/06/20 03:36 | Manga Ordering | Comment (4) | Trackback (0) | Top▲
No More Direct Manga for Now
2008.06.18. (Wed) | Edit |
Long time no write.

Lately I haven't been reading a lot of manga.

Well, the only thing I've been reading regularly is 20th Century Boys. And to keep it as exciting as possible, I've been ordering one volume at a time. The books arrive every other week, and I'm on volume 13.

But couple of weeks ago, I had to order the rest of the volumes. So vol 14 - 24.

Because our direct ordering thru a Japanese distributor is going to stop after June. It's a long, complicated story that I don't want to get into... so let's keep it as 大人の事情. There never seems to be a good translation for that.

So I have to go back to buying manga from Kinokuniya again. Or BookOff, if it's an older series.

Maybe I should go work for a place that'll send me to Japan every month.

2008/06/18 00:29 | Manga Ordering | Comment (0) | Trackback (0) | Top▲
Cat Street vol 8
2008.05.04. (Sun) | Edit |
I realized I haven't written a review for Cat Street vol 7, but I just got vol 8 & thought I should write about it before I forget to. Plus I'd have to locate vol 7 somewhere.

For those who don't know, Cat Street ends in vol 8.
I think YokoKamio had enough of writing a long series, plus she already started a new series in Jump Squared called "Matsuri Special."

While I still don't agree with the sudden 3-year jump in the story in vol 6, seeing how Cat Street ended, I understand why the author needed to do that. It could have transitioned better, but I don't have any suggestions as to how, so I'll shut up now.

Cat Street has an okay ending. It's too bad that the second half of the series isn't a "I can cry every time I read it" like the first 4 volumes. Hm, I should write about Kimi ni Kagayaku (君に輝く), which is a really old shoujo manga... I can read that every time & cry for hours (it's a happy ending!).

But Cat Street vol 8 ends happy.
I liked the one line about "the legendary four"... it's like F4. Oh, a bit different. But thought it was funny, although I'm sure it wasn't intended that way.

Oh, and there's a short story about Momiji at the end. It's cute, although I would stay away from a guy who wears a cape. And blue contacts.

Cat Street
Author: Yoko Kamio
Volumes: 8 (end)
Publisher: Shueisha

Anyhoo, enjoy the synopsis!


2008/05/04 02:18 | Shoujo Manga | Comment (9) | Trackback (0) | Top▲
3-gatsu no Lion vol 1
2008.03.16. (Sun) | Edit |
I ordered 3-gatu no Lion (3月のライオン) because it's by Chika Umino, the manga artist of Hachi-Kuro. It's running in Young Animal (say Berserk, Ai Yori Aoshi, and Detroit Metro City), so I wasn't sure what kind of story to expect.

The story is about a 17-year old boy named Rei who's a shougi (Japanese chess) pro. He lives by himself and is befriended by three sisters Akari (19-ish), Hinata (13-ish) & Momo (5-ish). Rei carries a lot of baggage--his parents and younger sister died in a car accident when he was in elementary school; his adoptive(?) father had two kids who were also training to be shougi pro's, only to have Rei beat them both--so it's kinda like taking Hagu's character and concentrating on the dark side of a life of a genius.

Unlike Hika-Go, 3-gatu no Lion doesn't teach you the basics of shougi. But it does toss out enough terminology that any adult otaku might want to pick up a Shougi for Dummies book to find out what they mean. Well, I guess that's the difference of running a manga in Shounen Jump and Young Animal. In seinen manga, you can rely on the reader to go outside the manga to learn the background stuff. I'm currently fighting all urges to go look up shougi information on Wiki.

As for the characters, Rei (kanji for "zero") is a introvert, shy and gloomy boy. Wears glasses, really thin, moppy hair. Nothing moe about him, and he looks like a younger version of Mayama with black hair. Well, my co-worker C did complain that all of her male characters look the same.

Akari is your typical older sister type, like Kasumi from Ranma 1/2. Nice & caring, long hair, great cook, big boobs. Hina is a cute younger sister type with twin tails. And Momo is an energetic baby sister, like Mei from Totoro.

I think we're all supposed to like Rei's self-proclaimed rival Nikaidou, a chubby & self-absorbed shougi pro. Akari and Momo are especially fond of him, which I can relate to.

3-gatsu no Lion
Author: Chika Umino
Volumes: 1 (on going)
Publisher: Hakusensha

Despite Hikaru no Go and Honey and Clover being licensed, this one is a hard title for publishers to pick up. Plus with all the little side text all over the pages, it's a tough one to do text insertion!

Nnn. I wonder if I'd have time to do a synopsis? I really should work on my taxes this weekend.

2008/03/16 12:19 | Seinen Manga | Comment (1) | Trackback (0) | Top▲
Ooku vol 1
2008.01.20. (Sun) | Edit |
I've been wanting to write about this series for a while, but every time I start, I only get part way & something comes up that I can't continue (usually work). This blog system doesn't save drafts (I think). I guess I should copy & paste onto Notepad.

I haven't read much of Fumi Yoshinaga's manga. I think her BL manga features too manyやさ男 and they generally don't look happy (at least on covers). But Ooku(大奥) was highly recommended on the "Kono Manga ga Sugoi" (この漫画がすごい) book, so I decided to pick up the two volumes that were out.

Oh my gosh, it's so good!

The story takes place in Edo Period Japan, when a mysterious disease wipes out a big chunk of the male population & only 1 in 4 boys survive into adulthood. Because of that, all families, including the shogunate, follow a female blood line.

So the story starts out with a young man named Yuunoshin who goes to work at the ooku, a special section of the shogun castle where women are forbidden to enter & all of the men work for the shogun.

1/3 into the first volume, the 8th shogun Yoshimune (the main character of the first volume) finally appears. She's very manly (?) and her relationship with Yuunoshin, albeit a short one, and how she deals with it is awesome!

Fumi Yoshinaga mentions in her interview that she plans Ooku to be 10 volumes, and she's drawing one volume worth each year. Gah! Another manga I have to patiently wait for.

But I highly recommend this one.
It might be a bit hard for a US company to pick up this one, since it's going to take a long time to finish in Japan. So you might want to pick up the Japanese version & make do with online synopses for now.

Author: Fumi Yoshinaga
Volumes: 3 (on going)
Publisher: Hakusensha

Even though this manga sounds like a woman's fantasy of a male-harlem, it's more than that, and should be enjoyable by men as well. In fact, my boss K really liked the manga. It weaves in historical events, so those who are into Japanese history might enjoy this.

If this were to be picked up, it should be handled by a US publisher with a 10 year plan. With the current state of the anime & manga industry, it's very likely many companies will not survive that long (at least as they are now), so I do hope that Hakusensha doesn't license this title on a whim.

(01.20.08 synopsis slowly being worked on)

2008/01/20 22:11 | Young Woman Manga | Comment (2) | Trackback (0) | Top▲