I do have a giant wishlist of titles that I would love to see licensed in general, but in honor of the Shojo Beat MMF, I thought I would make a slightly shorter list of titles that I would love to see Viz license for Shojo Beat and explain why I want them so much.
MOMO by Mayu Sakai
I would love to see at least one Mayu Sakai title licensed in the future and of all the ones I’ve seen snippets of, MOMO has been the one that seemed most interesting to me. I mean really, adorable small alien who is going to destroy the world and her new human friend who is out to stop her? Awesome. And gorgeous.
St. Dragon Girl Miracle by Natsumi Matsumoto
I’m assuming that at this point, this probably isn’t happening, as it has been quite some time now since the original St. Dragon Girl ended here in the States, but I would still love to see the sequel and read about Momoka and Ryuga’s daughter’s adventures.
Il Cappuccino and/or Cherish by Wataru Yoshizumi
I really enjoyed both Marmalade Boy and Ultra Maniac and would really like to see how Yoshizumi handles titles intended for an older audience. Plus both of these titles are singular volumes, which would make them a little easier to try than a longer series.
Switch Girl by Natsumi Aida
This series probably won’t be licensed any time soon as it’s getting to be lengthier, which publishers seem to be shying away from lately, but the premise of this series seems like it has the potential to be both humorous and heartwarming if played correctly. And every single cover art I’ve seen has been hilarious.
anything by Ayumi Komura
None of these are likely to be licensed now, as it’s been some time since the end of Mixed Vegetables and there has been no news of any new Komura from Viz, but all of her titles look either adorable, hilarious, or some combination of the two. There is also the major plus of all but Usotsuki Lily being only one or two volumes (UsoLily is currently at 8 and ongoing).
HOME by Rinko Ueda
This is a two volumes series from UeRin that was recently put up on JComi legally for free, which makes me a little less bitter that this seemingly adorable series has yet to be licensed. I still would love to see a legal version in English, and since Viz has Stepping on Roses and Tail of the Moon and its prequel, who better? I mean, really, there’s a samurai and European people of the cover of volume 1 and a guy with an eyepatch on the cover of volume 2! An eyepatch!
more titles from Yuki Yoshihara
There are a number of shorter titles from Yuki Yoshihara that I would love to see licensed (and I think twitter would agree, based on the poll about more mature titles), Itadakimasu, Venus ni Arazu, and Ningyo Ouji
Appare Jipangu by Yuu Watase
I’m honestly surprised not more Watase has been licensed. I know it’s hard to license everything from every author, but Watase seems like one that appeals to multiple demographics. From what the internet says Appare Jipgangu is silly, short, and fun, all of which I love.
Ni no Hime no Monogatari and Joou no Hana by Kaneyoshi Izumi
These two are listed together because as far as I can tell, Joou no Hana is a sequel to Ni no Hime no Monogatari. Both of these have gorgeous covers and I pretty much adored Seiho Boys’ High School by Izumi.
anything by Akane Ogura
I really think both of these series could fit under a number of publishers, but I would especially love to see them from Viz, as I’m definitely partial to Shojo Beat. Ogura’s art is downright gorgeous and her storytelling is superior to a lot of things that I’ve read.
Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne by Arina Tanemura
Honestly, I just love Arinacchi and would love to see the one title that wasn’t licensed by Viz rescued. Plus Shueisha did a kanzenban edition not too long about, which put the series in 6 volumes over 7 with pretty new covers.
Demon Sacred by Natsumi Itsuki
This was one of the few series that I was actually following at Tokyopop’s demise (and definitely one of my favorites of the few I was following) and I would love to see it completed and think it would fit in nicely at Shojo Beat.
Fushigi Yugi Genbu Kaiden volume 10
by: Yuu Watase
Published by: Viz Media [Shojo Beat imprint]
from the publisher: Takiko has returned to the Universe of the Four Gods! As the Celestial Warriors search for the scroll of the Four Gods, Takiko uncovers the truth about the prophecy that turned Uruki and his father into bitter enemies. But while they begin a new chapter in their adventures, Takiko struggles to conceal a terrible secret about herself from the Celestial Warriors…
my ramblings: I intended to do a whole lot more for the Shojo Beat Manga Moveable Feast, but a number of real life things got in the way. But I’m finally back with an actual review! And what better than the most recent volume of Fushigi Yugi Genbu Kaiden?
Yuu Watase has always been one of my favorite artists, mostly stemming from the fact that, other than Sailor Moon, Alice 19th was my first manga, and was definitely the first series that I finished and bought all of. I bought and read all of the Fushigi Yugi VIZBIG volumes when Viz republished them under the Shojo Beat imprint and then finally caught up on Genbu Kaiden at the urging of other fans who basically all said that it was superior.
I certainly don’t disagree that it’s superior to the original, mostly in that Takiko is awesome. She does have her flaws, but she has so much more backbone than Miaka that I feel like it would be hard not to like her. The beginning of volume 10 showcases Takiko’s backbone nicely. Takiko turns down Uruki, saying “When the priestess summons the sacred beast…and her wish has been granted…she’s sacrificed, isn’t she? I came back knowing that! Thank you, Uruki…for trying to save my life. But I’ve seen people…freeze and starve to death. People are dying of war and disease. We can’t let anymore innocent souls perish! I will fulfill my responsibility!” I pretty much know for a fact that I don’t have that much backbone, and I certainly respect Takiko for going ahead with what she thinks is right, even though it might end her life.
Actually, almost all of the women in the series are awesome. There is a nice little spoiler revealed about Filka in this volume, which makes me think even better of her. And Inami is incredible as well.
As usual when I try to review something that I really, really like, I just ended up rereading most of the book and loosing my train of thought (though of course most of this was just me rambling along as usual anyway). The end of the volume gives away something that could very well change what I was expecting the end of the story to be. In hindsight, I was not terribly surprised, but it was something that was a core belief to many in the story.
While the series is still running in Japan, I don’t see how it could go on for a whole lot longer, especially since we partially know the ending of the story from Fushigi Yugi and the interaction we get there with a few of the characters from Genbu Kaiden. I am however, dying to know how the series will play out and am very much looking forward to volume 11 from Viz in March!
ARISA volume 7
by: Natsumi Ando
Published by: Kodansha Comics
from the publisher: K = The King?! While pretending to be Arisa, Tsubasa has promised to meet with the person known only as “K” — someone who may or may not hold the secret to the King’s identity. Will Tsubasa wander into a trap or will she come one step closer to unmasking the King?
my ramblings: Yo! I’m back again, after only a 2 month hiatus this time. :] I’m almost done with this semester and only have a few more things left to do before I graduate (yay! Spring Term when I only have 1 class for 4 weeks and it’s an art history class with the best professor ever~)! I should probably be freaking out more about my lack of a real job (still only have a part time job at the theatre), but whatever. Right now, I just can’t wait to be done with school for the foreseeable future!!
Anyway, on to the manga!
Even though I haven’t actually read volumes 5-6 of ARISA (though I do finally have both of them now, they’re just in 2 different places), when I got volume 7 in the mail on Tuesday, I managed to read it all the way through. For me, this really says something about how intriguing this story is, because I don’t do that. I have literally never just picked up a random volume in a series and and read it without having read all the previous volumes. Sure, I’ve bought random volumes when they’re cheap and then filled in the gaps and read through, but this is a definite first for me.
I suppose this does say something about how fairly simplistic the story is, seeing as I could easily understand without having read the previous 2 volumes, but I’m not holding that against it, since it does draw me in so thoroughly.
I don’t particularly remember any glaring typos or editorial errors, but I could be wrong, since I read it a few days ago. If I find any when I reread, I will edit this post and mention them.
The art is fairly typical shojo, but thoroughly enjoyable. I especially like the way Ando handles the scenes with Kudo-kun, who she manages to make extremely creepy. Just flipping through, I did notice a rather large lack of background scenes…there are a fair amount of times when screentones are used as backgrounds, but actual settings are often left out. I didn’t really notice that when I was reading though, so I suppose I can’t hold it against Ando.
Another random thing that I noticed was that the author note (that I think is usually from an inside flap of the tankoban) is gone here. I pulled out my copy of volume 5 (since I don’t have 6 here at school), and it is definitely there. It might seem petty, but I like reading the random things the author’s say, so I was pretty bummed that it was left out here (unless of course it didn’t exist in the Japanese edition, which is possible…I don’t have a way of comparing the two).
Relatedly, Ando says in her note from volume 5 “I really like the white school uniform on the cover. The others were all black, so this was refreshing! I was happy that it continued on the back cover so you can see the whole thing!” Of course, in the English release, it does not continue onto the back cover… I was so happy when I realized that Viz was continuing the images with their release of Sakura Hime, so it especially annoys me here, because it can obviously be done, Kodansha just chose not to for some reason.
I absolutely suggest this series! It’s completely intriguing and at the same time has it’s adorable points~
Soulless volume 1
Story by: Gail Carriger
Art by: Rem
Published by: Yen Press
from the publisher: The life of a spinster in Victorian London isn’t an easy one on the best of days, but such a life becomes infinitely more complicated when said spinster is “soulless” — a preternatural bridging the gap between the natural and supernatural worlds. Miss Alexia Tarabotti has this unique distinction, and when she is assailed at a formal gathering by a rove vampire, an encounter that results in the death of the half-starved creature, her circumstances become exponentially more complicated indeed! Now caught up in an intrigue with life or death stakes, Alexia must rely on all her talents to outmatch the forces conspiring against her, but it may be the man who has caught her eye — Lord Conall Maccon — and their budding flirtation that truly drives her to her wit’s end!
my ramblings: Uh…hey guys! ^^ Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while…things have just been crazy and blogging wasn’t my main priority. This semester has been a little less hectic than others, so maybe I’ll hunker down and actually review some more things. psh, I’m not even sure I believe myself at this point Anyway…on to my first review in literally months!
I must admit that I haven’t read the original novels for this series (it’s simply a matter of time, it’s just that I have so many books I try to buy every month, haha), so I didn’t know much about what I was getting into other than seeing Rem’s gorgeous art, knowing that there was steampunk (which is obviously awesome), and a few pages worth of preview from Yen and the preview of the original novel on Amazon. That being said, this adaptation is EXCELLENT.
Soulless is fun and witty and there were very few things that I found wrong with the book. I love that it’s a little bit oversized from a normal manga volume (which I believe is the norm for OEL volumes from Yen) and that it has the color pages that I know are common to Yen~ There were no glaring typos that I noticed and everything flowed well (though I think that this has a lot to do with the fact that the series already exists in novel form and has thus been worked with).
Alexia is a lovely protagonist. She is capable and has a fabulous sense of humor, and one of the first things she does in the volume is leave a party for the sanctuary of a library and some treacle tart. While the men in her life (namely the werewolf Lord Maccon and her gay best friend [and vampire] Lord Akeldama) help her with the things she encounters, Alexia isn’t the type to take things sitting down and actively works to solve the problems in London on her own.
The closest Japanese manga that I can relate the series to is Stepping on Roses by Rinko Ueda, only for the almost romance novel-esque portions of the volume near the end and for the almost lack of lead up to the obvious romance between Alexia and Lord Conall Maccon. This was one of the few problems I had with the volume; in the adaptation at least it seemed like there was no build-up to the romance, they are at each other’s throats and then all of a sudden seemingly in love. I will have to read the original novel to see if the same issue exists, but at this point it’s something I can only criticize the adaptation of.
Rem’s art just gorgeous and fits the semi-steampunk feeling of the novel. I say “semi” because it was somewhat lacking in that department for me. The cover obviously features Alexia wearing a small top hat with brass goggles and a mechanical bat wing, but within the volume itself the only real steampunk aspect was in the first few pages when Professor Lyall is wearing his “glassicals” (which was a part of the preview I read of the original novel and decidedly less funny in the adaptation, but still humorous). There were other places in which small contraptions appear, but they didn’t strike me as being steampunk, only as being of the time period. Again, this might be a lack of transfer from the original, but I’m not sure.
Overall, I loved this volume and would definitely suggest it!
by: Mitsuki Oda
Published by: Aurora – LuvLuv imprint
from the publisher: Can happiness be found in the delicate balance between passion and love? Twins Shun and Shu have had no luck in love. However, a chance encounter reunites former lovers Shu and Naomichi after their breakup of three years ago. While the two had a budding relationship in the past, things fell apart and they went their separate ways. Now, fate brings them back together once again. Could it be that a relationship like the one they shared in the past is what they have been looking for all along? Can they both find the meaning of real love?
my ramblings: I have incredibly mixed feelings about this volume. At times it really just felt like porn for women (that explicit content label isn’t just for show kiddies!), but at other times I kind of enjoyed it… The two extras in the volume, Baby and Love Star, are far and above the main “series” Real Love, which just fell flat for me. The two extras were tied and I really wish it had been the main focus of the volume. For one, there was less sex, which was not really what I wanted (though not totally unexpected from other reviews), and the characters were actually likeable and much more realistic.
If I didn’t know better, I would swear that the art was Ai Yazawa’s. It’s a dead ringer for her art, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.
LuvLuv seems to have done an alright job with the adaptation, it flowed well for the most part. The image editing wasn’t great however, as often there was still Japanese left in text bubbles (though with translations), and I don’t mean just sfx, I mean actual speech left and then translations smushed in as an afterthought. I vaguely remember hearing about Aurora/LuvLuv when they were still in business, but really, they suffered from a lack of publicity and, based solely on this title, some not-so-great licenses, so it’s not surprise that they’re gone.
I would tentatively suggest this to those old enough to deal with the material, but only for the second two stories, certainly not for the first three chapters (hence the tentatively). For anyone curious, it looks like it’s still in print from most online retailers (including Amazon and Barnes and Noble); considering how long it’s been out of print, that’s probably saying something.
I Am Here! volume 2
by: Ema Toyama
Published by: Kodansha Comics
from the publisher: After the sudden disappearance of Black Rabbit from her blog, a series of surprises continues to shake up Hikage’s world. What if someone you met online turned out to be someone you knew in real life? In this volume, Hikage, Hinata, and Teru overcome jealousy and betrayal, and together learn valuable lessons about friendship, love, and forgiveness.
my ramblings: This is like a watered-down version of Kimi ni Todoke. I don’t dislike I Am Here!, but I certainly prefer the former. That’s really all I can think of to say about the story, except that if you’re looking for a definite ending to the love triangle, search for another series (you get a pretty good idea, but nothing definite). Well, that and that the side story at the end of the volume about Mega Pig is absolutely adorable and possibly more interesting than the rest of the volume.
Kodansha published this 5-volume series in 2 omnibus volumes, the first containing volumes 1 and 2 of the original release and the second containing volumes 3-5. One of my biggest complaints about omnibus volumes is usually about the binding, and I have a bit of a strange complaint about this particular one; It’s almost too tight. The binding was definitely better than in the first volume (which was definitely on the loose side), but it was almost so tight that it made it a bit hard to read some of the pages where there were text bubbles close to binding.
I noticed one small typo (a case of “the” should have been “then”), but it was a drastic improvement over what I’d come to expect from Del Rey. Things are certainly looking up for Kodansha Comics!
I’m sure these will be announced in the coming days at SDCC, but they’re already up on simonandschuster.biz, so I thought I’d share the fun and excitement. The following are new licenses and as they haven’t been announced they could be incorrect, but I’m not sure that a series has even been leaked and then not announced/released.
A Devil and Her Love Song, by: Miyoshi Tomori
-volume 1 February 2012
-volume 2 April 2012
I’m personally pretty excited about this series (Akuma to Love Song in Japanese)! It’s been on my wishlist for a while now, because the art is gorgeous and I’ve read lots of lovely things about it. (Also, this one seems pretty definite, as the first volume already has English cover art released.)
The Earl and The Fairy, story by: Mizue Tani, manga by: Ayuko
-volume 1 March 2012
Known as Hakushaku to Yosei in Japan, this one is a kind of interesting pick-up for me, as it’s got a pretty strange release schedule in Japan. The manga is based on a light novel of the same name, which also has an anime adaptation (which I remember as not having very good reviews).
The Navidad Incident: The Downfall of Matías Guili, by: Natsuki Ikezawa
I’m guessing this will be part of the Haikasoru line, as it appears to be a novel. According to the author’s site, the novel has won an award and is already translated into German. I’m sure it will be an awesome addition to the already amazing Haikasoru lineup.
Bleach MASKED: Official Character Book 2, by: Tite Kubo
Feel free to correct me if this has already been announced, I don’t really keep up with most shonen announcements. I’m sure this will please the Bleach fans though!
Also of interest are 3-in-1 editions of Hana-Kimi and Skip Beat!, and the (I believe) previously announced Voltron books. There is also a book titled, The Future is Japanese: Stories From and About the Land of the Rising Sun with no listed author for May 2012.