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Archive for the ‘Manga Mondays’ Category

Akazukin Chacha, which ran in the shoujo manga magazine Ribbon for almost 8 years (October 1992 to August 2000) and as an anime for a year and a half (January 1994 to June 1995), is coming back as a one-shot revival.

Chacha and the gang are getting back together.

The one-shot, by original manga artist Ayahana Min, will run in the April issue of the shoujo magazine Cookie, which goes on sale March 26.

“Media Mix” is an entertainment industry buzzword for having a property – in this case, let’s say THE IDOLM@STER – span various different types of media in its quest to conquer the universe. So it starts off in its original form (for Im@s, a game) then branches out to other forms (anime, manga, radio shows, live performances, whatever else you can think of).

Idolm@ster 2 - Sleeping Beauty

Chihaya wants you to buy her manga, "Idolmaster 2 - Sleeping Beauty".

The strategy is to increase awareness and to get more overall sales by having a bunch of products available for people to buy. It works, too, because although not everyone can afford $60-80 for a game or a Blu-Ray disk, it’s much easier on the budget to buy a manga magazine or a light novel for $4-5.

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The cover for the first manga volume of the popular anime series “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” was released recently, and it features a quote, in English, from perhaps an unusual cultural source: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Magical girls and MLK.

The quote is: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Seems appropriate, doesn’t it?

The first manga volume will hit stores in Japan on February 12. No word as yet on an official English license for either the manga or the anime. (There are also two other manga series running, “Kazumi Magica” and “Oriko Magica”, which feature side stories in the same universe.)

gee gee gee gee baby baby baby...

Image from Akiba-OS.

It’s been a long, long time since I did a Manga Monday, largely because my manga budget has dwindled significantly in a world of 83 yen to the dollar. But the newly released Good Game from Tomokichi has piqued my interest in a big way, taking the “zero to hero” sports story and applying it to e-sports. It’s the story of an unemployed slacker who is recruited to become a professional gamer because of his natural talent. In other words, it’s exactly like every other (non-baseball) sports manga ever.

I really want to see how this series treats RTS and FPS games, since those genres are usually weak in Japan. Maybe this will do for major league gaming what Hikaru no Go did for go and Slam Dunk did for basketball?

Yeah, right. But it follows a simple formula that appeals to me: nerdy topic + cute girl = Dom’s money. I’ll let you know if this series is any good once it arrives.

Initial impressions are favorable.

G T O! G T O!

He's back!

Last weekend, I stopped by the local Kinokuniya book store and noticed the new GTO manga by Fujisawa Tooru: GTO Shonan 14 Days. I remember hearing about its existence last year, but this was the first time I’d seen it in collected form. I snatched it up immediately, because I was a huge fan of the first Great Teacher Onizuka manga a decade ago.

Great Teacher Onizuka holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. It was the first book I ever read in Japanese, it was the first Japanese drama I ever watched, and it broke the mold for every other school drama in existence. The stories lost some steam after 14 volumes, but Onizuka’s force of personality kept the whole thing together with his wonderful mix of crude humor, slapstick, and shockingly empathic moments hidden under the rough exterior.

In the years since GTO ended, Fujisawa Tooru hasn’t quite been able to recapture that magic. Does a return to his signature character mean that he’s trying to cash in on previous successes, or is it actually worth reading? Thoughts after the jump.

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Wakabaaaaaaa T_TIf you’ve read any of my writings for an extended period of time, you know that I’m a huge fan of baseball. So it should be no surprise that Viz’s weekend announcement of its upcoming release of Adachi Mitsuru’s Cross Game manga caused me to leap in the air and hoot in joy. I cut my teeth on his classic baseball drama Touch when I was just getting into the hobby, and have been hooked on his youth/sports dramas ever since. Cross Game is one of his strongest efforts yet, with the strongest supporting cast of all his stories and as deep of an emotional current as ever.

Full review after the jump – spoilers ahead! (Review spoiler: I really, really like Cross Game and you should read it)

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This is a manga about punching. If you don't want punching, go somewhere else.With Trigun experiencing a revival with the upcoming movie, I was originally going to talk about Trigun Maximum in this space. Then, I realized that Trigun is over a decade old and many of you have already read it. On top of that, my copy of Yasuhiro Nightow’s latest manga, Kekkai Sensen (roughly, “Blood World Battlefront”) came in the mail, and I spent some time checking out his new work.

It’s an interesting little modern fantasy manga, but I don’t know how much of my interest comes from the fact that Nightow is behind it and how much of it comes out of the actual quality of the art and story. After all, Nightow himself said that the manga exists because he wanted to make “a manga where people shout out the names of their attacks,” and there’ no more generic manga type than the fighting fantasy.

More after the jump!

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