January, 2007

Manga publisher Go! Comi has announced that it will be hosting portfolio reviews for the first time ever at their booth during New York Comic Con. The reviews will be held at booth 564 on Saturday February 24th between 10:00 AM and noon. If you are talented, ambitious, and have a portfolio, the editors at Go! Comi wants to see your work.

Does this mean Go! Comi is planning to start publishing original material? Creative Director Audry Taylor answered this important question with a cryptic smile. "Come to our panel Saturday at 2:00 PM and you'll find out."

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Dengeki Maoh has cooperated with Toranoana and Animate to create a list of the 15 top selling anime, manga and light novels of 2006. The results were published in the February issue of Dengeki Maoh.

*Animate and Toranoana are two of the largest BL/moe/otaku stores in Akihabara.

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MangaCast reports that the seinen manga Sexy Voice and Robo by Iou Kuroda will be adapted into a live drama starting April 23, and will run every week on Nippon TV. Matsuyama Kenichi will be playing the role of Robo.

In the latest issue of MediaWorks' Dengeki Maoh, an announcement was made that Persona 3, a popular RPG game from Atlus, will be adapted into a manga series. The new series will begin in the April issue of Dengeki Maoh (2/27), and the artist will be Sokabe Shuuji.

Anime News Network has announced the official launch of its Australian subdivision, AnimeNewsNetwork.com.Au.

Anime News Network Australia marks Anime News Network's first International site, focusing on providing Australian anime fans with the same anime news coverage that Anime News Network has provided North American fans since 1998.

Hideo Ogata (73), Animage's first Editor-in-Chief, passed away on January 25th due to stomach cancer. Ogata was involved in the planning of the Legend of the Galactic Heroes movies, and in 1978 founded Animage after joining Tokuma Shoten. Today Animage is one of the best-selling anime magazines in Japan.

Source: Mixi (Requires registration)

On the USA Today Booklist Top 150 (PDF) for the week ending January 7, VIZ Media's Fullmetal Alchemist volume 11 ranked #133, and Naruto volume 12 ranked #150.

Los Angeles, CA (January 25, 2007)-The "Year of the Boar" will be anything but a "bore" for TOKYOPOP's top manga franchise property, Princess Ai and the world of Ai-Land, the chart-topping melange of music, fantasy and Gothic fashion created by D.J. Milky and Courtney Love. This year, the company plans to launch an exciting slate of new Ai-Land related properties across multiple entertainment platforms including art and poetry books, novels, newspaper comic strips, music and film. Read on for more details!

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San Francisco, CA, January 25, 2007 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the release of three new manga series for the first quarter of 2007. These releases include INUBAKA: CRAZY FOR DOGS and two new romantic shôjo series, BACKSTAGE PRINCE and GENTLEMEN'S ALLIANCE+.

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topRecently Digital Femme published two articles via MangaBlog) regarding Japanese manga and discrimination against black people. In response, Japanese blog Dekadenbiyori posted its own view on the matter.

The article looks at racial expression involving black people in manga through a Japanese fan's perspective. *Note that the post on Dekadenbiyori was written by a Japanese blogger for a Japanese audience.

Discrimination in Japanese Manga

I recently picked up an image from a manga. Can anyone tell what's wrong with this image? This picture has aroused criticism from a blog in the U.S. Can anyone tell (addressed to the Japanese fans) why this picture is being criticized?

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topThe first issue of a new shojo manga magazine from Futabasha was released on 1/24.

The magazine, titled Comic Mahou no iland (Island) (COMIC魔法のiらんど), will serialize manga based on popular mobile novels (cellular phone novels).

The magazine will be released on the 24th of every month, at the price of 550 yen.

topKaworu Watashiya's manga Kodomo no Jikan is currently one of the most talked about moe/loli manga in Japan. According to an announcement in Futabasha's manga magazine Comic High! (released on 1/22), the cover wrap of the third volume of Kodomo no Jikan, to be released on 2/10, will contain a major announcement regarding the series.

While the content of the announcement is still being kept a secret by Futabasha, many speculate that the announcement will either be an anime adaption, a live-action adaption, a drama CD adaption, or a video game adaption.

Kodomo no Jikan is currently being published in the U.S. by Seven Seas under the name Nymphet. The first volume will be released in April 2007.

January 31st marks the deadline of Kodansha's 2nd Penguin Illustration Contest. All original illustrations dealing with penguin are accepted, winner of the grand prize will receive 300,000 yen.

From Icarus Blog:

Lambda Legal, in conjunction with Prism Comics and media sponsor The Advocate has launched its "Life Without Fair Courts" editorial cartoon series and "Life Without Fair Courts Contest," seeking to educate the public in a new way about the need for fair courts – and Diamond and the Comic Shop Locator Service (CSLS) are participating in the event with prizes for the contestants

Go here for the full press release.

NariNari.com has posted a list of the top selling weekly magazine in Japan in 2006, while only three manga magazines appeared on the list, Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump took the No.1 spot. Note that the sales information are based on figures from the Bunkyodo store, and does not represent the entire Japanese market.

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ANS reports that Japanese fans are accusing mangaka Rin Yoshii's manga SWITCH of copying a photograph from the November 06 issue of the fashion magazine SWEET. A comparison between the original photograph and the SWITCH manga scan can be seen here and here (the scan is from the January 07 issue of Shuisha's Cookie).

According to ANS, manga centered around alcohol, including wine, cocktails, mixed drinks and bartending practices, are seeing an increase in popularity in the South Korean market:

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According to announcements from the magazine as well as diary entries of its authors, Tsukasa Shobo's adult/bishojo manga magazine Comic Dolphin will cease publication in March.

Source: Ultimatum Talk


Yomiuri Online looks at baseball mangaka Shinji Mizushima's effort in promoting an independent pro baseball league in Japan, the Hokushinetsu Baseball Challenge League.

Source: The Beat

Tokyopop's Stu Levy and Lillian Diaz-Pryzbyl are featured on a Japanese TV show, which is currently available on the Tokyopop website via YouTube.

Source: MangaBlog

Newsarama's Chris Arrant interviews Allan Gross and Joanna Estep, creator of Tokyopop's Roadsong.

MangaCast points out some new features found on Iris Print's website, which include the new Iris blog, a new webcomic called Jigsaw Hearts, the Iris Shop, and more.

topNHK's latest "Professional: Styles of Work" series featured Naoki Urasawa, mangaka of Monster and 20th Century Boys. In the article, Urasawa talks about what professionalism means to him: "Professional is...the fact that there is a deadline, and the people who do their best until that deadline."

Humans are Complicated

Naoki Urasawa is one of today's "superstar mangaka," his works have sold over a 100 million copies. One of the reason Urasawa's manga attracts so many fans is due to his manga character's expressions. Urasawa could express deep emotions with a simple touch of his pen:

"I feel that I have done well when I draw my character's face like he is feeling the pain, or he is feeling sad, or he is worrying...the character can have all kinds of emotions."

Occasionally Urasawa even places his character in front of a mirror to inspect his own artworks.

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