Tag Archives: manga

Viz Media Manga on ComiXology

Viz Media Manga Now on ComiXology

Viz Media, one of the largest distributors of translated manga in the United States, has now joined up with ComiXology. Over 500 volumes of manga are now available to download today. They’re starting out with the most popular titles, like One Piece and Death Note, but more titles will surely follow as the demand for legal digital manga is fulfilled.

Most titles are selling for $6.99 a volume (meaning a collected series of individual issues). The Dragon Ball universe offers the only real variance, with some early volumes available for $4.99 and the newly colored editions going for $12.99. It’s a good deal anyway you look at it.

Go below the jump for the full list of titles available.

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Phi-Brain: Puzzle of God

An Anime for Everyone

One of the best things about the Japanese animation and comic industries is the diversification of content. Since neither form of cartoons are viewed as just children’s entertainment, the big companies put out content for all ages and interests.

Manga is the key source of this diversity of content. You really can find a manga for any subject and interest. Need to study for exams? There’s a manga on that subject. Want to read about people cooking? It’s an entire genre of manga. Card games? Monster battles? Boy on boy romance? They all exist and so much more.

Anime is a bit trickier. Continue reading

Watch: Attack on Titan Subaru Commercial

I mentioned on Thursday that anime and manga in Japan are targeted at all ages. I think this Subaru commercial makes that point pretty clear. They used the Titans from Attack on Titan and even covered the theme song from the popular anime series to sell cars.

Now that’s something you could never get away with in America: a terrifying car commercial based on comics and cartoons.

This post was part of AniMAY 2014. Read more AniMAY 2014 here.

New Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Crystal: Everything We Know So Far

My one regret with the original run of Sailor Moon in the United States is that I was never consistently home enough to really follow the show. I’d see, at most, one episode in a week and never be able to follow longer story arcs. I appreciated the quality of animation and the universe.

Now, in 2014, the much-awaited Sailor Moon Crystal re-adaptation will be simultaneously released around the world. The TL:DR on the show is that the creator of the manga, Naoko Takeuchi, had to sue the studio producing the original anime to get the rights to her series back. She did not like all the alterations to the series (including eliminating any non-heteronormative characters and relationships from the story on international release) and spent years in court to take back her creation. She won and this new series is being made to her specifications.

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AniMAY 2014

Welcome to AniMAY 2014

Ah, my new favorite time of the year. Welcome to the AniMAY 2014 celebration at Sketchy Details. Each May, we’re going to focus in on the wonderful world of Japanese animation and comics, called anime and manga, with new posts every day. I’m even going to try to fit some of the video programming into AniMAY this year.

With the increased emphasis on simultaneous streaming releases around the world and the growth of online streaming, it’s easier than ever to get into anime and manga. Those industries are predicated on providing content for every demographic, from young child to full grown adult. Japan does not view comics and animation as children’s stuff. Many anime programs debut each year and manga shops and newsstands cater to all ages.

So pull up a chair and get ready to explore films, television, and print media from Japan throughout the month.

Click through for all AniMAY 2014 posts.

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Pokemon Origins: A Bridge to the Past

Pokemon Blue
In America, the first Pokemon game was Blue or Red
It’s hard for me to believe that Pokemon has been around since 1996. The series received its US debut in 1998 and has been captivating children and adults ever since. I was even a little old for that first generation of fans in the US (September 1998 put me in 7th grade when the advertising skewed younger). Pokemon has been part of my life ever since. I played all the main games (and even some awesome side projects like Pokemon Snap! and Pokemon Pinball, the greatest handheld pinball game ever), watched the anime, and even dabbled in the TCG.

But now it’s 2014. The original fans have grown up and, surely, many have moved past this monster collection obsession. The new TV shows, games, and expanded universe (board games, toys, collectibles) bring in new young fans. It’s a testament to the strength of the series that it’s lasted this long.

Yet, these new children are entering a very different Pokemon world. Continue reading

Takashi Miike Directing As God Says Film

Kamisama no lu Tori As God SaysI’m terrified of Takashi Miike’s next film project. I’m a big fan of his style and know that if anyone can make this particular story work, it’s Miike, but it’s really disturbing.

Production on the film adaptation of the manga Kamisama no Iutoori, aka As God Says, begins next June. Japanese horror split in two very different trends after Battle Royale and Ringu became so successful one after the other. It’s not the totality of J-horror, but it is a pair of clear subgenres that began to dominate the field. On one side is the supernatural horror with pale wet ghosts destroying anything they encounter. On the other side is huge body count features often centered on young people thrown into games where people are guaranteed to die. As God Says is the latter style.

In broad strokes, a group of high school students are tossed into a bizarre game where most of them will die. A daruma doll arrives claiming he speaks for God and begins blowing up heads in the protagonist’s classroom. It’s actually a play on red light, green light, where if you’re caught moving at the wrong time, you die. The games only get more twisted and violent from there. I don’t want to say there is a wonderful fan translation of the manga online if you want to see what’s up, but it’s a little too early in the life of the series to hope for officially licensed English translations any time soon.

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AnimeNEXT 2013 7

AnimeNEXT: The Worst Convention I’ve Ever Been To: Fighting for Fun Against All Odds

What happens when you go to a convention and it seems nothing is set up to allow the attendees to have fun? You make your own fun.

AnimeNEXT 2013 had a lot of things go wrong. I’m not even talking about the torrential downpours on Friday that flooded the covered walkway between the convention center and the adjacent hotels where the panels and contests were held. You can’t control the weather. I’m talking man-made errors that put a damper on the weekend.

I was really excited to attend AnimeNEXT this year. They’re the same group that put together the wonderful MangaNEXT convention that I raved about last year. I assumed they would, once again, put the focus on the fans who pay to show up and have a good time. They didn’t.

When I arrived on Friday morning, it was chaos. The rain couldn’t be avoided but the inconsistent directions from volunteers/staff and lack of signs could have been. When one person says to get out of the building through the front door (straight into the rainy parking lot), another says to head into the convention hotel, and another says to go to the show floor immediately, you kind of freeze up. You can’t split in three to follow all the directions. It doesn’t help that there were security workers trying to get people to leave the information booth because too many people were confused about what to do.

But that’s first day registration chaos. Maybe you could write that off as a simple series of misunderstandings.

AnimeNEXT Crowd SmallI walked into the convention hotel and got all my gear ready to go to my first panel. I just needed to find where it was. I looked at the schedule and it said to go to room 2. I decided to locate all the panel rooms listed on the map so I would know where to go all weekend. 1, 2, and 3 were found without issue. 5 and 6 were a bit more problematic; there was no room 6. Room 5 was switched to 4 and Room 6 was switched to 5. All I heard when going to panels that day was confused people trying to find the mysterious Room 4 that wasn’t on the convention map. There were also unlabeled workshop rooms and the decision not to distinguish between Main Events A and Main Events B on the schedule.

Typos happen. It couldn’t be that big a deal, right?

The first panel I went to started 15 minutes late. It would have been 10 minutes late, but the convention staff decided to browbeat the panelists for showing up late for five minutes. Their excuse? The roads were starting to flood and the drive in took longer than expected. They ran a great panel on samurai stereotypes in anime and manga but they were clearly flustered for most of it.

Maybe there was something in the contract about the lesser-known panelists being penalized if they showed up late. It could just have sounded worse to the line wrapped around the corner than it actually was.

I showed up to the second panel and got my notes set up. I recognized the panelist from MangaNEXT the year before; she ran a great manga drawing workshop. Then she informed the room that her Japanese language and culture workshop had been moved to this room at this time slot and she had no idea where the panel on gender tropes in josei manga and anime was. She repeated this over and over until she started her workshop.

The staff at the door had no idea why the schedule at the door wasn’t changed or where the other panel was. They did nothing to help the panelist answer questions or restore order. The workshop itself was great and I’m now far less intimidated to learn Japanese. I did have an article planned that was going to contrast the samurai panel with the gender trope panel for a broader look at gender identity in anime and manga; that’s not happening now, obviously. I tried to find out if the other panel was cancelled or rescheduled, but no one I asked could give me a straight answer.

This is where I began to think that the people running the convention weren’t really focused on the fans at all. The panels were high quality. The guest list and main events looked impressive. The organization left a lot to be desired.

AnimeNEXT 2013 7My next big event was the Opening Ceremony. I looked up some videos from previous years and was excited to get some photos and film the event. I had a huge video planned that was going to represent fan culture at AnimeNEXT 2013 with clips from the big events, photos, and interviews with cosplayers and attendees. I knew that wasn’t going to happen before the hour-long Opening Ceremony was finished.

Press were instructed to check in with one of two staff members 10 minutes before the Main Events started. We would be seated at that time in a special press section. Two minutes before the Opening Ceremony started, the three lingering press badge holders walked in and set up. One took a seat in the front and kept his tripod really low; another crouched on the floor between the front and back half of the auditorium; I went to the back of the room where no one was sitting and set up.

I expected to have my badge checked since no one guided me to press seating and I did; I did not expect to see an aggressive security guard doing laps between the three press people in the room, talking directly into the shotgun mics on the cameras so the footage was routinely ruined. New rules were made up on the fly about who we could or could not video or photograph that could have been explained if the press policies were actually followed at the event. When I packed up and left for another panel, I heard the convention staff complaining about how the press just walked in and did whatever they wanted and how it couldn’t happen again.

That was when I knew that video shoots and main events weren’t happening for me at AnimeNEXT. If they can’t even stick to the rules we all agreed to, I wasn’t even going to try to push it. I’d do my standard con write-ups of individual panels and cosplay and write it off.

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