topNihon Manga Gakuin (Japan Manga Institute) interviewed manga artist Nariko Enomoto in December 2006. Nariko Enomoto's hit title Sentiment no Kisetsu, an eight volume series that was serialized in Shogakukan's Big Comic Spirits, tackles social issues from the views of women. The manga was later adapted into a TV drama. Enomoto is filled with the passion of creating manga in various fields, as she has also created various yaoi manga.

Date of Birth: November 5th, 1967

Blood Type: B

Favorite Things: I became interested in soccer after this year's World Cup, I watch the soccer games from overseas on Cable TV.

Favorite Manga or Mangaka: Yoshihiro Togashi (Yu Yu Hakusho, Hunter X Hunter). I'm looking forward to his comeback.

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imgTakehiko Inoue's Slam Dunk is one of the most popular manga in the world. In 2004 Shueisha announced that it has sold over 100 million copies of Slam Dunk, which shows that the series is still being enjoyed by fans around the world 10 years after it ended in Weekly Shonen Jump.

A month ago Takehiko Inoue established a new scholarship called Slam Dunk Scholarship. In response to the news, Shueisha interviewed Inoue, who talks about the purpose of the scholarship as well as his passion with basketball in Japan.

Original Slam Dunk Scholarship report from November:

A new scholarship from Inoue Takehiko, called Slam Dunk Scholarship, was established for aspiring Japanese students planning on attending South Kent School in Connecticut "to learn English, play basketball ball, and try to get into an NCAA team." The scholarship is open to people attending 2nd-year highschool as of this October 06, loves b-ball, is born after April 2nd '89, and has parental consent. Application forms will be availalbe in January 2007.

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imgSpiral - Suiri no Kizuna, also known as Spiral - Bonds of Reasoning, is a popular detective manga by Kyou Shirodaira (writer) and Eita Mizuno (art) that was published in Square Enix's Monthly Shounen Gangan (the manga ended its run in September 2005), and later adapted into a 25 episode anime series, which aired on TV every Tuesday.

The hero in Spiral is Ayumu Narumi, a genius detective high school boy who uses his powers of reasoning to solve—with ease—problems that seem unbelievably difficult. In the story this hero goes around trying to find his long-lost brother by solving riddles that his brother has left behind... but wait a minute, there seem to be many deductions and actions in this manga that will never happen in the real world. Tsuredure Thoughts has written an article on the science found in Spiral, below is a translation of the article, so un-suspend your suspended disbelief as we tease out the make-believe science that is shown in Spiral - Bonds of Reasoning.

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imgYu Yu Journal's recent article on sexually explicit content in shoujo manga received a large number of replies from its readers. As a result, the site has published a follow-up article.

According to the article, many readers said the publishers need to be regulated; however, there were some who expressed that adult should also be more concerned about this problem.

A mother of three from Toyama city, who believes that a moral committee for children's magazine is needed, said:

"Children need to know more about the bright side of love, sex and human. We should be more concerned about passing on the right information to children so they grow up to be healthy adults.

Sex education is still not doing its job in some schools and families."

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imgRecently a conversation was held by Kyoto Seika University's newly established manga department between manga artist Naoki Urasawa, creator of popular series such as Yawara!, Monster, and 20th Century Boys, and Takashi Nagasaki, a manga producer who once worked with Urasawa. The topic of the conversation was centered on the difficulties in creating a positive relationship between manga artists and their editors. Below is a translation of the report from Kobe Shimbun regarding the conversation.

The Relationship between a Manga Artist and an Editor is Collaboration

Naoki Urasawa is talented enough to be able to draw two manga at the same time, one for a weekly magazine (20th Century Boys in Big Comic Spirits) and the other a bi-weekly magazine (Pluto in Big Comic Original). However, Urasawa attributes his success to hard work:

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img2006 marks the 25th anniversary of Kodansha's seinen magazine Weekly Morning. To celebrate, Kodansha has announced the "Weekly Morning's 25th Anniversary Campaign."

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imgDragon Ball Z, despite its age, is still very popular with children today, who are still enjoying the card games, anime re-runs, and various other DBZ products. "While both Goku and Vegeta (main characters from DBZ) are great warriors, how do they fare as fathers?" Excite Bit asks.

First let us take a look at how each character's family feel about this, Goku is up first:

"All they ever talk about are battles." Goku's wife Chi-Chi complains in volume 2 of the manga. "Goku, how can you take care of Gohan (Goku's son) without working? You haven't made a single cent since the day we married."

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imgJapanese blog Umeboshi Chaduke points out a recent proposal submitted by a certain child protection society, which aims to prevent "evil practices against children." The file submitted proposed plans to deal with products that contain depiction of sexual activities involving children (Lolicon) in Japan.

Yutaka Takehana, the Metropolitan Police Life Safety Director, has given his full support for the implementation of this policy. However, it remains to be seen whether the proposed policies will actually be implemented as part of the child pornography law in Japan.

Below is a brief description of the report (PDF):

1. Current Condition:

  • To manage and reinforce existing child protection laws as much as possible.

2. To promote efforts of independent publishers and content providers:

  • Publishers, stores, bulletin board managers, content providers, etc.:

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imgIkaros Shobo, known for its many moe-related books such as Moe at Tank School, recently released a new book called Introduction to the Magic of Shogi, a book that teaches its readers how to play shogi through seven cute characters. Although the book is scheduled to go on sale on November 6th, many copies appeared in stores on November 1st.

According to Akiba Blog, a note on the cover of the book:

The amazing content of this book is something that cannot be found in traditional shogi books. Seven beauties transform themselves into shogi pieces to teach you the difficult rules of shogi, how to use each piece effectively, and secret techniques to winning shogi games. You will be able to learn shogi by trying to find out more about the girl you like.

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imgToday, otaku culture like manga and cosplay are very popular in the West, and Japanese fans are interested in learning more about what the Western otaku scene. Mainichi Shimbun's anime/manga/game news site Mantan Web recently posted an interview Austell Callwood (34), who was visiting Japan in July to promote his new manga Cove Pirate Mercenary. Austell Callwood runs his own anime & manga shop in Springfield, Virginia, and is one of the founders of TenBu Productions.

Q: Please introduce yourself, what do you do?

A: I import Japanese anime and manga to the U.S, and publish my own manga. "TenBu" is a production project to create theme songs and cosplay of my manga. I'm an artist, at the same time I'm a businessman.

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