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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

PR: VIZ Media Develops Original Graphic Novels for Mattel's MAX STEEL

MAX STEEL © 2012
Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
You know what? Four for you, Mattel. Considering the focus of these books, if these graphic novels attract more young boys to reading, then rock on. Plus, it might actually turn out all right! I do enjoy a good Disney original property (hello, Gravity Falls!).


VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES 2013 LAUNCH OF
MAX STEEL™ ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVELS BASED ON NEW KIDS ANIMATED SUPERHERO SERIES

Teenager “Max” Teams With Alien Sidekick “Steel” To Protect Earth From Evil Villains—All While Finishing His Homework!


San Francisco, CA, January 29, 2013 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, has announced its newest forthcoming original graphic novel series with the launch of MAX STEEL. Scheduled to debut in the Fall of 2013, MAX STEEL will be published under the VIZ Kids imprint, is rated ‘A’ for All Ages, and will carry an MSRP of $7.99 U.S. / $9.99 CAN.

Developed by Mattel, MAX STEEL is a global boy’s entertainment franchise spanning toys, publishing and consumer products. In addition, a new MAX STEEL CGI animated series co-produced with FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) will premiere in the U.S. on the Disney XD channel on March 25, 2013.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Manga Review: Sakuran

Sakuran
Author: Moyoco Anno 
Vertical Inc.
308 pages

In Sakuran, Moyoco Anno lifts the veil on life in the Edo period pleasure quarter, Yoshiwara. The story follows Kiyoha, sold into a brothel as a child and forced to work as a maid and her rise to prominence as one of the top-ranking courtesans in Yoshiwara. The allure of the “flower and willow world“ as it was called by artists in the day is underscored by the very real tragedy, heartbreak and difficult lives led by those seemingly glamorous courtesans. Will Kiyoha’s fox-like wiles give her a chance to break free of her gilded cage? Or will her fighting spirit ruin her chances of ever escaping the brothel? (Source: Vertical Inc.)
Content warning: The manga Sakuran is centered around Edo-era sex workers. It contains graphic descriptions of life in the pleasure quarter, including scenes of sex and violence. Recommended for readers in the M/18+ age range of manga.
I have this faint memory of reading the first volume of Flowers & Bees by Moyoco Anno a couple of years ago. It did not make much of an impression, not because it was bad but probably because I only had the one volume and I tend to forget about a series if I don't read more of it. Sakuran therefore became my official introduction to the work of Moyoco Anno and it has me asking: where are the rest of her work in English? Because this woman, clearly, has skills in art and storytelling and deserves to be widely read. No wonder she's the focus of the latest Manga Moveable Feast.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fujoshi O'Clock (1/25/13)


What time is it? It's . . . Fujoshi O'Clock, the biweekly feature at Nagareboshi Review, when I bring to you the latest fujoshi-related news and reviews and various shiny BL-flavored things. Why? Because rotten girls need love too!

This week on Fujoshi O'Clock:

  • Ogiue Maniax posts File #63 in the Fujoshi Files with Chi-chan from Tonari no 801-Chan; little is known about her beyond the fact that she's a BL fanatic. Love the blue thing next to her.
  • Manga Bookshelf posts their round-up of JManga news this week, including a good number of BL titles. The Ningen title looks especially adorable.
  • Boys' Luv.com shares their latest Swag Bag post after a few months, and there is some BL representation in the form of Fantagraphics' release of Heart of Thomas.
  • Apparently, there is now an LGBT-friendly anime convention in Miami. It's called Animate! Miami and it took place last week at the Miami Airport Convention Center. Even better: they are already gearing up for next year, scheduled for January 17-19.

Reviews:

  • Connie at Slightly Biased Manga reviewed volume one of DON'T BLAME ME by Yugi Yamada. She really likes Yugi Yamada's work! Good thing there is a lot of them available in English.
  • Boys' Luv.com reviewed SKY LINK by Shiro Yamada. To say they did not enjoy it would be a bit of an understatement.
  • Naru at Organization Anti-Social Geniuses reviewed ALL THE TIME by Ikue Ishiba, a Digital Manga Guild release. It might be one of those BL manga that appeals to non-yaoi readers, judging by the review.
  • Melinda and Michelle at Manga Bookshelf reviewed THE HEART OF THOMAS by Moto Hagio. Short version: it's a classic title and go pick it up right now!
  •  ふう子 at Hazukashii Kedo reviewed SUKI, KAMO by Hakutou Noriko as well as KIMI NI UTSURU HOSHI by Kojima Lalako. Some of the sample images are NSFW! I really adore Lalako's artwork, it's quite lovely.

Am I missing your blog? Got some awesome fujoshi-related news and reviews you think deserve a shout-out? Poke me with a link and a bit of description over at my Twitter: @theseventhl. I'm always on the look out for more BL love!

Utterly Bizarre Japanese Music Video Of The Day

J-Pop megastar Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's goal in life is to make rocking songs with quite strange music videos and hypnotize helpless pop fans with her choreographed dances and uber-gyaru fashion choices. This is the only reason I can think of for the existence of such PVs as PONPONPON, CANDY CANDY, Tsukema Tsukeru . . . and this one, FASHION MONSTER.

Fashion Monster is a mish-mash of Harujuku street fashion, gothic aesthetic, and a Tim Burton-like drug trip. Don't be distracted by the oddball video, though (although do notice all the amazing detail put into the video!). The song itself is solid as hell. I love the beat and Kyary's vocals are at their strongest. It's up there with PONPONPON as one of KPP's best tracks yet.


If anyone knows where to buy the FASHION MONSTER single for folks in the United States, let us know in the comments! It doesn't seem to have reached US Amazon or iTunes, sadface.

Monday, January 21, 2013

PR: Weekly Shonen Jump E-Publication Now Available Same Day As Japan

NARUTO © 1999
by Masashi Kishimoto/SHUEISHA Inc.

VIZ MEDIA BEGINS 2013 WITH THE ALL-NEW WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP DIGITAL MANGA MAGAZINE

The Bold Digital Transition Of North America’s Most Popular Weekly Manga Anthology Now Releases Manga Chapters The Same Day As Japan

San Francisco, CA, January 21, 2013 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga, graphic novels and anime in North America, ushers in 2013 with the dawn of a whole new era of manga with today’s first issue of the new WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP digital manga magazine. The weekly serial anthology features the synchronized latest chapters of various manga debuting on the same day as the Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump magazine counterpart, including flagship series NARUTO, BLEACH, ONE PIECE and more.

Formerly known as WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA, the next phase in the evolution of VIZ Media’s popular digital manga magazine will now simply be known as WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP. The publication features a brand new look and logo, along with a completely redesigned website at ShonenJump.com.

To learn about the new WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP, please watch the anthem video at http://youtu.be/d-mjfJ4fptk.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Manga Review: Flutter


Flutter
Author: Momoko Tenzen
Digital Manga Publishing
200 pages
Asada is hypnotized by a handsome co-worker he sees on the street nearly every day. So when the two men are paired up for a high-pressure project, he can’t believe his good luck! But what will happen when Asada’s defenses are shaken by their immediate, undeniable connection? Flutter beats with the racing pulses of brand-new lovers! When success at work leads to an after-hours confession, an exciting relationship sparks to life. But is the flash of intimacy the beginning of a fiery blaze…or just a passing flicker? (Source: DMP)
I adore workplace BL manga. It's just one of those sub-genres that ends up being an insta-read for me when I see it. Now, they are not all great - but if they wrote half as good as Momoko Tenzen, they would be. I'm a great fan of her title The Paradise On The Hill and I'm incredibly pleased to see that Flutter is equally great. Her handle on co-worker relationships and romantic dynamics is something for fans of atypical BL to truly love.

Friday, January 18, 2013

New poll!

What kind of posts do you want more of?

Feel free to elaborate on your answer in the comment section.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

PR: New Manga Licenses From Project-H

Digital Manga Publishing' hentai imprint, Project-H, has recently announced via Twitter and Facebook a goodly amount of new manga licenses - eleven of them, to be precise. The manga-ka represented include Rumi Matsunami, Nikusoukyu, and Shinobu. Naturally, the covers and titles of these books are NSFW. You can find the details and some of the covers below, behind the 'read more' jump.

As of now, all eleven titles are print-only. DMP is currently working on getting digital rights for these titles; I'm sure a lot of people would rather be reading these on their iPad/Kindle while on the bus than be holding the actual book, yeah?

For more information on the Project-H imprint and future/recent releases, you can visit them online at http://www.projecth.xxx. Note the domain name; try not to visit it at school or at work! They are also on Twitter!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

AMV Of The Week: Let The Beat Drop

This week's AMV is the last one on this blog. It's been a blast running this feature but with the shift in focus, it's time to say goodbye and thanks for all the clips. I hope this last AMV is epic enough to make a splash, non? Fun game: see if you can name all of the anime sampled before the credits role! I surely couldn't.

AMV: Beat Drop
Author: RebaAMV
Music: Simon Curtis' "Beat Drop"
Warnings: Flashing lights, lots of fast edited clips, color strobe effects, moments of violence and fanservice. Slightly NSFW lyrics.



Friday, January 11, 2013

Signal Boost: Moyoco Anno Manga Moveable Feast

Sugar Sugar Rune (シュガシュガルーン)
The Manga Moveable Feasts just keep on coming, don't they? Although, I have to admit I haven't had time to participate in any of them since the Osamu Tezuka one. But still!

The latest one is being hosted by the Experiments In Manga blog (by the way, you should follow it!) and they are hosting the January 2013 MMF, dedicated to Moyoco Anno. The best part is that they are calling for participants!

From the blog post:
January 2013's Manga Moveable Feast will be held from January 20 through January 26. This month's Feast will feature mangaka Moyoco Anno and her work (Flowers & Bees, Happy Mania, Sakuran, Sugar Sugar Rune, etc.).
More details can be found at the Experiments In Manga blog. Twitter folks, keep an eye on the hashtag #AnnoMMF, where this month's Feast will be discussed. And keep an eye out on this very blog for my own participating post(s)!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fujoshi O'Clock (1/9/13)


What time is it? It's . . . Fujoshi O'Clock, the biweekly feature at Nagareboshi Review, when I bring to you the latest fujoshi-related news and reviews and various shiny BL-flavored things. Why? Because rotten girls need love too!

This week on Fujoshi O'Clock:


Reviews:

Am I missing your blog? Got some awesome fujoshi-related news and reviews you think deserve a shout-out? Poke me with a link and a bit of description over at my Twitter: @theseventhl. I'm always on the look out for more BL love!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Manga Review: D.Gray-Man GN 23


D.Gray-man volume 23
Author: Katsura Hoshino
Viz Media
200 pages
Major spoiler warning: Review contains spoilers for the D.Gray-man series so far. Read on with caution!
Allen has been revealed to be the embodiment of one of a special class of demons known as the Noah, but some of his friends don’t want to believe he’d really go over to their side. Finding Allen and getting him to clear up the matter, however, proves to be a difficult and extremely dangerous proposition! (Source: Viz.com)
When people say how much they love the D.Gray-man manga, it's because of volumes like this one. Not those volumes where it's a lot of confusing interpersonal relationship drama and the plot drags across the floor like a wet sack of cement, definitely not because of those. The 23rd volume of Hoshino's series is the kind of volume DGM fans wait for eagerly: there's a great deal of plot stuff, lots of favorite characters rear their heads, and there are at least a handful of twists in the story to keep things interesting.
Where has this D.Gray-Man been hiding all this time? Oh, right, behind the most recent story line between Alma and Kanda. Which was great, don't get me wrong, but now we've returned to the main and arguably most pressing issue: the issue of Allen Walker. And with that, DGM can return to chugging along and being its quirky and sometimes confusing but always entertaining self.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sayonara, 2012: A Year In Manga

Where did the year go to? It's already five days into 2013, which means it's time enough to do a review of last year for manga. A lot of crazy things happened in the manga industry in 2012 - Tokyopop returned, digital manga saw a revival that actually made it financial feasible with sites like JManga and Shonen Jump Alpha, the death of Borders, et cetera - and you can read a much better summary of the year at the OASG blog.

Personally, it was a great year for manga, especially since I was able to actually buy manga regularly with my own money! Which is always great, since goodness knows the industry needs more monetary support. In a year of great manga, I've highlighted a few (a few?!) of my favorites of 2012.

Favorite series ending: A toss-up between Full Metal Alchemist and Ouran High School Host Club, both two great series that I was sad to see go, albeit two series that have very little in common. I can only hope that Ouran gets a Brotherhood-esque treatment in which the actual manga ending gets animated.

Favorite currently running series: Library Wars. I love it! For a manga about people who work in a library, it's exciting and romantic and one of the best titles currently coming out of Viz's Shojo Beat imprint. Plus, Iku is just one of those heroines you can't help but root for no matter what she's doing. Love her, too!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Manga News: Nijigahara Holograph To Be Published In English

Hat tip to Comic Book Resources for the fantastic news: Fantagraphics is to publish Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano in English. Asano is best known by English reading audiences as the manga-ka behind Solanin and What A Wonderful World, both titles published by Viz under the Signature imprint.

From the above article:
Fantagraphics Books has announced it will publish another Asano manga, Nijigahara Holograph, but it’s not a slice-of-life manga; it’s a horror story. Matt Thorn, who has translated the other Fantagraphics manga titles, including Moto Hagio’s A Drunken Dream and Other Stories and Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son, will translate this one as well. The story is complete in a single, 200-page hardcover volume, which will retail for $26.99.
Personally, I absolutely love this manga and will definitely be picking up my own copy of Nijigahara Holograph when it comes out. I guess it's too early to ask for a release date, right? Still, Fantagraphics continues to amaze me with the quality of titles it keeps picking up. And it's a hard cover release, too, which I love. Go them!

Note: Nijigahara Holograph is a mature title and recommended for readers who are comfortable with M/18+ rated material.