1) Long list of upcoming series released
Here is the full rundown from the Viz press release (with my 1 sentence take):
(Many thanks/apologies to Precocious Curmudgeon for the book covers!)
CHILDREN OF THE SEA By Daisuke Igarashi
When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does. Ruka’s dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans’ fish. Volume 1 now also available in print!
MY 1 SENTENCE TAKE: Lovely, haunting and (let's be honest) a little boring- Children of the Sea is a solid BUY from me.
BOKURANO: OURS By Mohiro Kitoh
One summer, fifteen kids innocently wander into a nearby seaside cave. There they meet a strange man who invites them to play an exciting new video game. This game, he explains, pits one lone giant robot against a horde of alien invaders. To play the game, all they have to do is sign a simple contract. The game stops being fun when the kids find out the true purpose of their pact.
MY 1 SENTENCE TAKE: I don't understand this summary.
DOROHEDORO By Q Hayashida
In a city so dismal it’s known only as “the Hole,” a clan of sorcerers have been plucking people off the streets to use as guinea pigs for atrocious “experiments” in the black arts. In a dark alley, Nikaido found Caiman, a man with a reptile head and a bad case of amnesia. To undo the spell, they’re hunting and killing the sorcerers of the Hole, hoping that eventually they’ll kill the right one. But when En, the head sorcerer, gets word of a lizard-man slaughtering his people, he sends a crew of "cleaners" into the Hole, igniting a war between two worlds.
MY 1 SENTENCE TAKE: Yessssss! Let the good times roll, is what I'm saying.
SATURN APARTMENTS By Hisae Iwaoka
Far in the future, humankind has evacuated the Earth in order to preserve it. Humans now reside in a gigantic structure that forms a ring around the Earth, thirty-five kilometers up in the sky. The society of the ring is highly stratified: the higher the floor, the greater the status. Mitsu, the lowly son of a window washer, has just graduated junior high. When his father disappears and is assumed dead, Mitsu must take on his father’s occupation. As he struggles with the transition to working life, Mitsu’s job treats him to an outsider’s view into the various living-room dioramas of the Saturn Apartments.
MY 1 SENTENCE TAKE: Could be awesome or could be silly. A manga version of Dash Shaw's "Satellite CMYK".
I’LL GIVE IT MY ALL… TOMORROW By Shunju Aono
This is the story of a forty-year-old salary man who quits his job to pursue his dream of becoming a manga artist—and the family that has to put up with him. While not terribly unhappy, Shizuo Oguro can’t fight the feeling that something in his life just isn’t right, so he walks away from his stable (yet boring) day job to embark on a journey of self-discovery. Unfortunately for his family, this journey also involves playing video games all day while his teenage daughter and elderly father support him. Will Shizuo succeed in creating a true manga masterpiece or will he be just another drop-out living a life of slack?
MY 1 SENTENCE TAKE: Very excited about this one, from a recommendation from Vertical's Ed Chavez.
AFTERSCHOOL CHARISMA By Kumiko Suekane
St. Kleio Academy is a very exclusive school: all of the students are clones of famous historical figures such as Beethoven, Queen Elizabeth I, Napoleon, Mozart, and Freud. All of them, that is, except for Shiro Kamiya. As Shiro struggles to adapt to this unusual campus, St. Kleio’s first graduate, a clone of John F. Kennedy, is killed. Are the clones doomed to repeat the fate of their genetic progenitors, or can they create their own destinies? And how does a normal boy like Shiro fit in?
MY 1 SENTENCE TAKE: I'm sorry, what did I just read here-- clone of JFK is assasinated??! Is there a Hirohito clone that gets kicked in the nuts too?
KINGYO USED BOOKS By Seimu Yoshizaki
A businessman discovers how his childhood memories can brighten his day. An art student finds inspiration. An archer hits a surprising bull’s eye. A housewife rediscovers romance. A teenager discovers his true self in the pages of a manga magazine. Welcome to Kingyo Used Books, a place where people find their dreams in manga…
MY 1 SENTENCE TAKE: I heard this light fantasy tale is retardedly fun, but that cover makes me a bit dubious
HOUSE OF FIVE LEAVES By Natsume Ono
Masterless samurai Akitsu Masanosuke is a skilled and loyal swordsman, but his naïve, diffident nature has time and again caused him to be let go by the lord whom he has worked for. Hungry and desperate, he becomes a bodyguard for Yaichi, the charismatic leader of a gang called "Five Leaves." Although disturbed by the gang’s sinister activities, Masa begins to suspect that Yaichi’s motivations are not what they seem. And despite his misgivings, the deeper he’s drawn into the world of the Five Leaves, the more he finds himself fascinated by these devious, mysterious outlaws.
MY 1 SENTENCE TAKE: Ono's crazy visual style is a welcome addition- now I just wanna know if she can tell good stories?
TOKYO FLOW CHART By Eiji Miruno
Have you ever wished that somebody else would just DO SOMETHING about the chaos in your life? Then this is the perfect manga for a slacker like you! Tokyo Flow Chart is (probably) the world’s first four-frame comic strip in flow chart format. It breaks down the complexities of life and aids in the mastery of brain skills such as flow-chart-manga comprehension or mental bullet-dodging. As Confusious say: “let your brain flow with the chart!”
MY 1 SENTENCE TAKE: I am confused, but more non-moe 4koma is always encouraged!
2) First physical volume is out, Children of the Sea, Volume 1
That's right, the first book of SIGIKKI's premier title has come out in physical form. The volume is thick and nice to hold in your hands. Of course, for folks looking to sample that thing online first, you can read the entire volume on the IKKI site (along with the first chapter of Volume 2!):
- chapter1 ---- (05-21-2009)
- chapter2 ---- (05-28-2009)
- chapter3 ---- (06-04-2009
- chapter4 ---- (06-11-2009)
- chapter5 ---- (06-18-2009)
- chapter6 ---- (06-25-2009)
- chapter7 ---- (07-01-2009)
- chapter8 ---- (07-09-2009)
- chapter9 ---- (07-16-2009 New!)
3) Mini-sites for other Urasawa series
Last but not least, I just saw that Viz put together mini-sites for two of the best series being released (okay let's be honest-- best series in English ever?). Take a gander at the little promo sites (with animated trailers) for Pluto and 20th Century Boys.