July, 2007

topIt has been a little over a year since Brigid Alversion's Manga4Kids/MangaBlog became Backstage's first featured site. Since then there have been some big changes within the online community, and many old blogs are no longer around. However, Brigid's MangaBlog is still going strong, and Brigid now finds herself more involved with the community than ever, writing articles for sites like Comixpedia, PWCW and Digital Strips.

On March 4th, MangaBlog celebrated its 2nd anniversary. Backstage caught up with Brigid and asked her a few questions about the state of MangaBlog for the past year.

Read the full interview at MangaBlog Anniversary Feature: Interview with MangaBlog's Brigid Alverson.

Japanese anime studio Production I.G. has issued a press release announcing that it will acquire manga publisher Mag Garden on December 1st, 2007 through a stock swap.

Production I.G., which currently owns close to 15% of Mag Garden shares, plans to acquire the remainder with one Mag Garden share being exchanged for 0.5 shares of Production I.G. As a result Mag Garden will be delisted from Tokyo Stocks Exchange's "Mothers" Market.

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topThe 2007 Hong Kong Comics Festival will take place this year in Hong Kong between 7/27 - 7/31 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The 5-day convention is a made up of two separate events, the 9th Hong Kong Ani-Com and the 4th Hong Kong Game Fair.

Events planned for the Hong Kong Ani-Com include manga and anime exhibitions, presentations from manga artists, cosplay contest, a anime/manga/toys/etc. "Mega Store," as well as a Gundam model competition/exhibition sponsored by Bandai, Media Works and the Dengeki Hobby magazine.

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Yen Press has launched a "temporary site" at:


Source: MangaBlog

According to the Japan Media Arts Plaza's official website, this year's Japan Media Arts Festival will take place in Shanghai, China in order to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan relations.

According to the announcement, this year's festival, taking place from 8/19 - 8/26 in Shanghai Sculpture Space, will be different from the past. The event will showcase winning works from past festivals in order to present to Chinese fans "The joyous culture created by Japan."

Go here for a list of manga that will appear at the festival.

According to AMN's (via animeOnline) Media Blasters Panel Report, Media Blasters has licensed several new manga, as well as new titles under its Kitty Media imprint:

Media Blasters:

  • Aiken Volumes 7-12
  • Roses of the Rhine
  • I Want to be Naughty
  • Return to Scandalous Seiryo University 2

Kitty Media:

  • Fuyu no semi
  • Okane ga Nai (No Money)
  • Gakuen nana Fushigi (from the character designer of Bible Black)
  • Haru wo Daiteteta

In the latest issue of PWCW, Ed Chavez interviews Simon Jones from Icarus Publishing. In the interview the two discuss the how the manga market has evolved over the years, as well as the difficulties in publishing erotic manga effectively.

Other interesting topics from PWCW include a look at NETCOMICS, Yaoi Press and Japanese manga, and Viz's release of the DVD The Taste of Tea.

Amazon.co.jp as released its '07 First Half Books Ranking. Below is a list of the manga and light novels that made it into the top 20 as well as their ranks:

Nodame Cantabile Volume 14 also ranked #1 in Amazon.co.jp's 2006 Top 10 Manga Ranking.

Below are the top 10 Manga and top 10 Light Novel rankings:

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Two new series will start in the upcoming issues of Weekly Shonen Jump:

  • Issue 32 (7/9)
    - Belmondo Le VisiteuR by Shoumei Ishioka
  • Issue 33 (7/14)
    - SKET DANCE by Kenta Shinohara

Also, Yoshio Sawai's Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo ended in Weekly Jump issue 31, which went on sale 7/2.

According to Ultimatum, Aoba Shuppan's hamster manga magazine Hamster ceased publication after its August issue was released on 6/23.

ANN reports that Tokyopop has licensed the sci-fi/shoujo manga Jyu Oh Sei by Natsumi Itsuki.

From MangaCast comes the news that Dark Horse is on the verge of dropping Endo Hiroki's EDEN.

From Yaoi Suki comes a huge list of new BL licenses announced during Anime Expo from 801 Media and June Manga.

animeOnline reports that eigoManga will release a manga adaptation of Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn sometime in the summer of 2008.

topArcher is a popular character from Type-Moon's visual novel Fate/stay night. In the game, he is the Servant (someone who fights for his or her master) of Rin Tosaka, one of the series' main female casts. Archer is a skilled fighter at projectile weapons, and has a Reality Marble (think of a special sorcery that creates an alternate reality) called "Unlimited Blade Works." To activate "Unlimited Blade Works," Archer first needs to complete a special chant.

Due to Archer's popularity, many variations of his chant can be found around the web made by fans.

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topThe official site of the previously reported Jump Square has finally been launched at jumpsq.shueisha.co.jp/ (the page was previously unavailable).

Also, according to the official site and this magazine scan, works by the following author will appear in the new "Supreme Quality Manga Magazine" that will replace Monthly Shonen Jump:

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My Work is Animation! by Atsuko Ishida, one of the finalists in the 9th Japan Media Arts Festival, will end in the September issue (7/30) of Young King OURs.

Also, a new manga titled Faireal Garden by Minene Sakurano will start in the September issue (7/30) of Comic Blade.

Source: Ultimatum Chat

AoD reports (via ANN) that Dark Horse has made numerous license announcements at Anime Expo:

  • Bride of the Water God by Mi-kyung Yoon
  • Ghost Talkers Daydream by Sankichi Meguro
  • The Color of Rage (Colored) by Kazuo Koike and Seisaku Kano
  • A Wind Named Amnesia by Hideyuki Kikuchi(previously reported but not officially announced)
  • Blood+ by Asuka Katsura
  • Blood+ Adagio by Kumiko Suekane
  • Blood+ Yakou Joushi by Hirotaka Kisaragi
  • Blood+ (Novel)
  • Blood+ Russian Rose (Novel)
  • Gantz by Hiroya Oku

From MangaCast comes news on CMX at this year's AX. CMX confirmed the title Presents from the Queen of Horror by Inuki Kanako, and announced a new policy for treating M rated manga: oversized (A5), shrink-wrapped and sold at $12.95.

Also confirmed was the manga Shirley by Mori Kaoru.

At Anime Expo 2007 DrMaster announced two new licenses:

  • Phantoms by Yasushi Suzuki
  • Metro Survive by Yuki Fujisawa

Also confirmed was that Yasushi Suzuki's Purgatory Kabuki will be added to their lineup.

topIn an age were Japanese manga reign supreme, another form of comics is also gaining momentum in around the world - Hong Kong kung fu comics. On June 29th, the winner of the first Internation Manga Award was announced to be the 43-year-old Hong Kong artist Lee Chi Ching. Another Hong Kong artist, Kai, was one of the three runner-ups.

In 2008, an animated movie based on the popular Hong Kong comic Storm Riders by Ma Wing Shing will be released. The movie, Storm Rider - Clash of the Evils, is said to be the first animated movie created in the style of Hong Kong kung fu comics.

While the Hong Kong comics market seems to be doing better than ever, the truth is that the market has been declining for the past 10 years or so, and many people are questioning the direction the Hong Kong comics market is heading.

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ANN reports that Otaku USA's Editor-in-Chief Patrick Macias will be joining ANN's executive editor Zac Bertschy to host the "Art of Reviewing Anime," which will take place tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.