Tuesday, July 21, 2009


All of this is old news that already made the rounds on the interwebs, but I wanted to compile all the news fit to print in one spot. Big news first, then free stuff after that!

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.

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.

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".

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.

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

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?

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!):

Children of the Sea vol.1

Children of the Sea vol.2

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.


David Welsh said...

No apologies necessary, and thanks for the link!

Ryan S said...

@David: Thank you for doing the legwork! :)

Chris said...

If Bokurano is anything like the TV show it'll be awesome.

Ryan S said...

Dudes, 1/2 the series are now available to read! JUST POSTED LINKS

NANA said...

Seconding Chris. While I'm pretty excited about a WHOLE LOT of these series, Bokurano is a lot better than their summary suggests. It's pretty dark and very poignant.

Ryan S said...

@NANA: Thanks for the advice, reading chapter 1 of the series tonight on the IKKI site :)

Anonymous said...

I've never watched through much of the anime adaptation of Bokurano before so I can't really put any input on how different it is. *I sorta groaned at the 'tattoo' part though haha*

The anime was apparently notorious because the director admitted to disliking the original manga series for being dark and cruel...and even got permission from the original author to change things around...

Mohiro Kitou who created Bokurano also did Narutaru which is called Shadow Star here. That one was licensed by Dark Horse but I heard it was heavily edited and at a certain point they stopped publishing or announcing any new volumes... probably because they initially *did they even read through the entire thing before they license it I don't know!!* thought it was some sort of action-y shoujo title.

Tencz said...

Natsume Ono is "she", not "he" :)

Ryan S said...

@smashingtofu: Thanks for all the details-- it was all news to me, so I appreciate the background info. This is helpful as I dig into the new IKKI titles... time to do my research :)

@Tencz: Doh! Duly noted and updated

JE said...

Wow. Viz is putting out some serious shit. Their books are slowly overwhelming my monthly purchases right now. What more if these are coming out?

Unknown said...

Lol, Afterschool Charisma sounds a lot like cancelled cartoon "Clone High." Will the clones be smoking raisins at all in this manga? Cuz I'm totally in! :op

Pedro Camargo said...

I'm glad VIZ is trying to release some more experimental titles. I was very disappointed when "PULP" ended, and this seems like an attempt to print some slightly more alternative(?) manga. I've read parts of "Bokurano" and "Dorohedoro", so I know at least those two could be interesting. "I'll give it my all...tomorrow" sounds like something I should read as a wake up call if anything else. Thanks for the update!!

Ryan S said...

@JE: Luckily, they are all online for free... s oyou can wait until the budget allows it :)

@LadyDorian: haha, what did you think of the actual chapter? I thought it was sorta retarded and laughable, not sure how serious to take it. The more serious it takes itself will be inversely proportional to how much I'm going to enjoy it I can already tell :)

@Pedro: Nice to see you again! Oh yeah, good call. Well the JP editor of IKKI has said in interviews that they started IKKI in response to PULP actually-- PULP directly influenced and inspired the type of comics published in IKKI, so it was more of a two-way street (you can even see the same font used in both logos). The ratio of stuff I was immediately into vs. not so much was higher with PULP than with IKKI so far, but I'm stoked about the direction.

There are a few more titles not yet serialized that you can see in the IKKI video. Shit, I should go back and watch it and write those down.