Asahi Shimbun has a cover story titled "Manga-fied," which looks at how Japanese manga is attracting a "growing legion of French people" to Japan:

Thanks to Japanese pop culture, people overseas have a readily accessible window into Japan and its traditions. [...] For French people in particular, this window has created an appeal that is proving hard to resist.

In "Coping through comics: Manga sheds light on autism," The Daily Yomiuri talks to Keiko Tobe, mangaka of Hikari to Tomoni (With the Light), winner of the Excellence Prize for manga at the 2004 Japan Media Arts Festival.

Also, Forbes takes a look at the Romanian manga scene in "Romanian Rhapsody."

Via: MangaBlog

From Tiamat's Anime and Manga Reviews comes an article titled "The Manga Gray Market," which looks at gray market manga in the U.K.:

In the UK over 90% of available manga is bought through the gray market, whether it's bought from your local book store or from, what your buying is a gray market item.

Source: MangaBlog

AN reports that the winners of the 7th Annual Japanese Otaku Awards have been announced:

  • Grand Prix: Video-sharing sites (like Nico Nico Douga)
  • Hidekuni Shida Award: The Idolm@ster
  • Dorii Osaki Award: Blade Runner 25th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition
  • Naoki Ishiguro Award: Seto no Hanayome
  • Hisashi Maeda Award: School Days
  • Harayasa Toukaimura Award: Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone
  • Masumi Kurata Award: Kamen Rider Den-O
  • Shunichi Karasawa Award: The UFO debate in the Japanese Parliament
  • Housai Tsuruoka Award: Regular Kyaku no Kobayashi-kun
  • Animedia Award: Yasai no Yousei - N.Y. Salad

Also otaku-related, Danny Choo has a report of police hunting otaku in Akihabara.

Adult manga publisher Icarus Publishing has released its 2007 year-end report:

Gross sales in 2007 increased 17.41% over 2006, which amounts to a money sack approximately twice the size of an ordinary money sack. 38.24% of our gross sales came from Diamond. As the graph indicates, profits are soaring at Icarus.

ChinaNews is reporting that "special interest" manga are becoming increasingly popular in Taiwan, a place formerly dominated by shounen and shoujo manga. Not only are these "special interest" manga being used as teaching material, they're also creating a new market of adult manga readers:

According to World Journal, manga like Kami no Shizuku (a manga about wine) and Nodame Cantabile (a manga about music) were highly praised by the press, and became so popular that was they were constantly out of stock.

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From the Yaoi Press blog comes the "2007 Wrap-up," which looks at the state of Yaoi Press in 2007, as well as plans for 2008:

Our greatest success was Dark Prince vol. 1, which had the highest preorders and lowest initial returns of any title to date.

Our greatest failure was the comic books. Without book store sales the comic book line was unsustainable.

Plus an Ohayocon 2008 preview, Wii workouts, reviews & more in episode 57.

GRIMES, IA, January 4, 2008 - Anime producer and mega-online anime retailer Right Stuf, Inc. is pleased to welcome Chris Beveridge - the founder and webmaster of Anime On DVD (, - to episode 57 of ANIME TODAY.

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The Daily Yomiuri comes an article titled "THROUGH OTAKU EYES / Don't hop to conclusions about manga's scroll 'origins'," which takes a brief look at the early history of Japanese manga:

In 1924, Yuzankaku Press published Nippon Manga-shi by illustrator and manga creator Seiki Hosokibara (1885-1958). In the book, Hosokibara "discovered" that another national treasure scroll, titled "Shigisan Engi Emaki," was the actual "origin" of manga.

Via: ANN

The Labor Party reports that Free Agent Nation author Dan Pink, who has lived in Japan for a period of time, will be writing a 160-page manga about career advice titled The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: the Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need. The book will be released on April 1st, 2008.

Source: theOtaku