In honor of the The Amazing Spider-Man, here’s another example of a “reboot”: Spider-Man J. The series originally ran in Comic Bom-Bom from 2004-05, and is available in English through Marvel Comics.
D&Q Licenses GeGeGe no Kitaro
In case you hadn’t heard, Drawn & Quarterly has licensed Shigeru Mizuki’s GeGeGe no Kitaro. Look for the first volume in 2013.
7 Essential VIZ Signature Manga
Are you an adult reader new to manga? Or a librarian who’s looking to add more graphic novels to your adult collection? Then this list is for you! The VIZ Signature imprint is one of the best resources for adults who read — or are curious about — manga. All of the Signature titles originally appeared in Japanese magazines that cater to grown-up tastes. As a result, the Signature line has broader appeal than many of VIZ’s other imprints, offering something for manga lovers who have “aged out” of Naruto as well as general interest readers who are more likely to discover a graphic novel through The New York Times than The Comics Journal.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of seven titles that best represent the VIZ Signature catalog. In choosing manga for this list, I was less concerned about identifying the “best” titles and more concerned with steering readers towards stories that resonate with their taste in movies, television, and comics. I’ve also focused on more recent series, as some of the line’s older titles — Monster, Sexy Voice and Robo, Phoenix — are out of print. Manga fans are strongly encouraged to add their recommendations in the comments section!
Call for Participation: VIZ Signature Manga Movable Feast
Every month, the manga blogging community holds an event that writer Matt Blind dubbed the “Manga Movable Feast.” It’s a week-long virtual book club in which we discuss a favorite artist, series, or genre in-depth. A new blogger “hosts” each month, determining the “menu” and ensuring that every participant’s contribution is properly noted.
This month’s feast, which will run from April 22nd through April 28th, is something of a departure. Instead of focusing on a single work or artist, we’ll be celebrating the the VIZ Signature imprint, which includes such titles as Children of the Sea, Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, Ooku: The Inner Chambers, and Vagabond. The sheer size and diversity of the Signature catalog offers bloggers a variety of options for participating. You might:
- Review the latest volume of a current series (e.g. Afterschool Charisma, Saturn Apartments)
- Revisit one of the older titles in the catalog (e.g. Cat-Eyed Boy, The Drifting Classroom, Saikano)
- Focus on the work of an artist who is well-represented in the catalog (e.g. Natsume Ono)
- Examine the publication history of a Signature title (e.g. Gyo, Maison Ikkoku)
- Write a “persuasion post,” encouraging manga fans to read an overlooked series (e.g. I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow, Sexy Voice and Robo)
- Challenge the critical consensus for a well-reviewed work (e.g. Children of the Sea, Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys) or a widely reviled one (e.g. Tenjo Tenge).
What Series Will Be Covered in this MMF?
Here’s a handy list of all the VIZ Signature manga (ongoing series are marked with an asterisk):
- Afterschool Charisma (Kumiko Suekane, 5 volumes)*
- All My Darling Daughters (Fumi Yoshinaga, 1 volume)
- Biomega (Tsutomu Niheri, 6 volumes)
- Black Lagoon (Rei Hiroe, 9 volumes)*
- Bokurano: Ours (Mohiro Kitoh, 6 volumes)*
- Cat-Eyed Boy (Kazuo Umezu, 2 volumes)
- Children of the Sea (Daisuke Igarashi, 4 volumes)*
- Detroit Metal City (Kiminori Wakasugi, 10 volumes)
- Dogs (Shirow Miwa, 6 volumes)*
- Dorohedoro (Q Hayashide, 6 volumes)*
- The Drifting Classroom (Kazuo Umezu, 11 volumes)
- Gente (Natsume Ono, 3 volumes)
- Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Ani-Manga Box Set (Mamoru Oshii, 1 volume)
- GoGo Monster (Taiyo Matsumoto)
- Golgo 13 (Takao Saito, 13 volumes)
- Gyo (Junji Ito, 2 volumes)
- House of Five Leaves (Natsume Ono, 7 volumes)*
- I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow (Shunju Aono, 4 volumes)*
- Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (Motoro Mase, 7 volumes)*
- Jormungand (Keitaro Takahashi, 9 volumes)*
- Kingyo Used Books (Seimu Yoshizaki, 4 volumes)*
- La Quinta Camera (Natsume Ono, 1 volume)
- Maison Ikkoku (Rumiko Takahashi, 15 volumes)
- March Story (Kim Hyung-min, 3 volumes)*
- Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys (Naoki Urasawa, 21 volumes)
- Naoki Urasawa’s Monster (Naoki Urasawa, 18 volumes)
- not simple (Natsume Ono, 1 volume)
- Oishinbo: A La Carte (Tetsu Kariya, 7 volumes)
- Ooku: The Inner Chambers (Fumi Yoshinaga, 6 volumes)*
- Phoenix (Osamu Tezuka, 12 volumes)
- Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka (Naoki Urasawa, 8 volumes)
- Real (Takehiko Inoue, 10 volumes)*
- Ristorante Paradiso (Natsume Ono, 1 volume)
- Saikano (Fuyumi and Shin Takahashi, 7 volumes)
- Saturn Apartments (Hisae Iwaoka, 5 volumes)*
- Sexy Voice and Robo (Iou Kuroda, 1 volume)
- solanin (Inio Asano, 1 volume)
- TEKKONKINKREET: Black & White (Taiyo Matsumoto, 1 volume)
- Tenjo Tenge (Oh!Great, 7 volumes)*
- Tesoro (Natsume Ono, 1 volume)
- Uzumaki (Junji Ito, 3 volumes)
- Vagabond (Takehiko Inoue, 31 volumes)
- What a Wonderful World! (Inio Asano, 2 volumes)
How Do I Participate?
To submit a review, essay, podcast, etc. for inclusion in the archive, please do one of the following:
- Send me an email with a link to your contribution. Please do not spam the MMFeast Google Group with your links.
- Post a link to your contribution on Twitter. Please make sure that you address it to @manga_critic and use the #mmf hashtag.
If you do not have a blog, but wish to contribute, please email me. I would be happy to post your essay here at The Manga Critic.
Older reviews and essays may be submitted for inclusion in the MMF archive, though they will not be featured in the daily link posts. Given how large the VIZ Signature catalog is, please be mindful in choosing older essays and reviews for inclusion in the archive; capsule reviews, press releases, or brief essays should be excluded. If your essay/review/podcast has been featured in one or more previous MMFs, please consider highlighting it at your own site during the MMF week, rather than resubmitting it for this month’s archive.
"In the popular imagination, the yakuza are modern-day samurai, observing a rigid code of honor, decorating their bodies with elaborate tattoos, and meting out swift punishments to anyone who encroaches on their territory. It goes without saying that yakuza stories focus on men: bosses, assassins, fathers, sons, brothers. When women appear in yakuza stories, they are usually unwitting victims of clan warfare or temptresses whose sexual allure threatens the established order; they are seldom leaders or soldiers in their own right.
"Small wonder, then, that Shoko Tendo’s Yakuza Moon: Memoirs of a Gangster’s Daughter (2007) caused a mild sensation in Japan when it was first published. Tendo gave a voice to all the women who had been relegated to the margins of yakuza stories by describing the impact of her father’s lifestyle on his wife and children. In direct, unembellished prose, she recounted sexual abuse at the hands of her father’s subordinates, cataloged her father’s drunken rages and dalliances with hostesses, and remembered the taunts and gossip that swirled around her family after her father’s incarceration.”
From my ever-growing list of manga I’d like to see licensed in English: Setona Mizushiro’s Shitsuren Chocolatier (also known as Un Chocolatier de L’amour Perdu or Heartbroken Chocolatier). Alex Hoffman of Manga Widget has posted a helpful overview of the series that makes me want to read this even more than this delicious magazine cover. (Artwork via shoujo-cafe.)