English-translated manga magazine Gen is not just another English version of Shonen Jump or Shojo Beat. First of all, the magazine's first issue is free for download and has a limited print run. Secondly, rather than translate already-existing Japanese manga magazines for Western consumption, Gen chooses to feature original manga by underground Japanese artists made specifically for Americans.
While Gen isn't exactly an OELM or an original English-language manga magazine, as the manga is made by Japanese artists whose work is then translated into English, it's certainly a step toward seeing more manga created directly for Americans, rather than the current widespread practice of waiting for an English publisher to pick out a "suitable" manga to translate for readers.
The first issue of Gen consists of four stories across 140 pages printed in black and white. The four stories are called "Wolf", "VS Aliens", "Kamen", and "Souls".
Hello again, my faithful audience! I know I’ve been scarce over the past month and I have no excuse for those who’ve come to know and love my articles (or at least those who spend 5 mins glossing over them before moving on the more popular editors). But I am back with a vengeance! For…I am… the MANGA HERMIT! Let us begin!
Puzzlers, Thrillers, Whodunit’s – all staples of the brilliant literary genre known as mysteries. We’ve all seen or read one mystery, whether it was an anime series like Monster, live action TV shows like CSI, or written works like Sherlock Holmes. Arguably, the most well know detective in any anime/manga circuit is Detective Conan. A long running series in its own right, having 72 tankobon volumes and 626 animated episodes, you would have some difficulty in finding someone that hasn’t heard of Detective Conan - at least in passing. But there are other young boys and young men who do their part for the betterment of society. They use their talents to solve that which is unsolvable, waltzing into crime scenes as if they were made just for them. It is time for the spotlight to be shown on their talents!
Attention Manga Lovers: There is no further need to turn to dubious sources for manga because it takes too long for your favorite series to be licensed or translated in the North American region.
The Japanese Digital Comic Association has finally launched JManga.com, their brand new portal to Japanese manga in North Amercia. JManga.com is a site dedicated to providing manga for sale by chapter and volume, through a monthly point subscription system. JManga offers free previews, available for all to read, as well as information regarding manga published in North America. They also have special content featuring manga culture and manga artist interviews in an effort to bridge the gap between manga fans, authors and publishers.
The DCA announced JManga at their 2011 San Diego Comic Con panel. JManga.com at the moment is only catered towards the North American market but has promised to expand to other countries as well. Rejoice North American Manga lovers! JManga.com is focusing on sales of digital downloads solving the problem of issues not being released to countries faster or solving the problem of trying to find the official licensed manga. JManga is a step forward in combating piracy and illegal scantalations as well as bringing manga artists and the manga industry closer to the consumer.
JManga has launched with several hundred titles including: NARUTO, Kekkaishi, Crayon Shinchan, Devil King, Cigarette Kisses, Dragon Girl, Tujiurauri, Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, Young-kun, ADEKAN, Manga Science to name a few. The site updates its manga selection constantly, adding new titles every Tuesday. At SDCC JManga stated that by 2013 they plan to have over ten thousand titles availible on their site.
To find out more about JManga visit http://www.JManga.com/
Several weeks ago, yours truly spent the better part of three weeks (and about $300) attending two awesome film festivals – The New York Asian Film Festival and Japan Cuts. Both films showcased some of the best from the Far East - a treasure trove of films that brought out the critic in you. Whenever I attend events like this, I try not to look up too much information so I can approach the event with a clear mind and be genuinely surprised. Needless to say, the level of surprise went from “thoroughly appreciative” to “…what just happened in the last hour and a half?” One such film was A Liar and a Broken Girl, a movie adaptation of the manga Usotsuki Mi-kun to Kowareta Ma-chan Totteoki no Uso. The point of all this, you ask?
Duh. I searched, then read, and am now critiquing said manga. (Like I was going to promote a film, people.)
Usotsuki Mi-kun to Kowareta Ma-chan Totteoki no Uso, translated as Lying Mii-kun and Broken Maa-chan: Precious Lies, is written by Iruma Hiruma and drawn by Satou Atsunori. The series is only five issues long, but all it takes is one issue to get you hooked. As I describe it, this is either a novel take of the livelihood of two traumatized teenagers, coping in their own “wrong” way…
I’m not a lucky person, readers. Being a hermit doesn’t mean I get blessed with good fortune or things of such nature. Personally, I think lady luck has it in for me. Every once in a while, she does send a bit of fortune my way. For example, several weeks ago at a friend’s barbeque, I learned how to play Mahjong. Given a generous handicap for the first few rounds, (if you count the numbers 1-9 translated from Chinese to English on a picnic napkin a “handicap”) I managed to secure a six-game winning streak to the shock of everyone there. Probably because I wasn’t Asian, but still winning. Go figure. While musing about my recent bout of luck, I thought back to another game of mahjong. A simple mahjong game where the plays were high, the bets were higher, and the stakes were astronomical. A simple mahjong game that gave birth to a legend.
Tokyo. 1959. A grimy, nondescript mahjong parlor. A man tries to bet his debts away to the reigning yakuza in the area. However he finds his chances of victory washing away, like the grime off the windows of the parlor on that stormy night. Just as the noose of defeat tightens around the man’s neck, the game is interrupted by a youth –soaked to the bone. Seeing a chance to break the momentum, the man covers for the boy and allows him to stay. The short reprieve does little to help the man’s poor standing and poor hand. He has a chance to turn it around, but does he risk it, or play it safe?
For the lot of you who thought that this was going to be some gratuitous lolicon story review, get your minds out of the gutter. Here at leetNEET, we have standards, moral standards, which are held up to the strictest levels. Our Maso Mondays articles are just a bizarre anomaly. To that end, the manga being presented today reflect those standards. Today’s manga will show such values such as individual growth, family ties, the bonds of friendship, etc… Today, is about the tale of one man’s responsibility to his… loli!?
Goddammit, not another Chris Hansen meeting.
Otaku no Musume-san, translated as “The Otaku’s Daughter”, is a slice-of-life story written by the largely unknown “Sutahiro”. It is a story that depicts the radical change an otaku undergoes when reality decides to drop in, unannounced. Kouta Morisaki is your traditional 26 year old otaku, living his introverted days at the apartment complex Higansou. A collector of scantily-clad anime figurines, an illustrious history as a long-standing veteran of Comiket, works as a manga artist to support himself and his addiction - Kouta is an otaku through and through. All of that changes when nine year old Kanau Yukimura arrives on his doorstep, claiming to be his daughter from his high school ex-girlfriend Nozomi Yukimura, who’s on the run from debt collectors.
Music is a powerful thing, ne? Whether you’re head banging to the latest heavy metal sound, mosh-pitting with the newest grunge rock, belting out the blues at karaoke amateur hour or singing in the shower to the newest Justin Bieber song, one cannot deny that music is an inherent part of our lives. Hell, during the writing of this article I had my YouTube favorite’s list on repeat. Music is like water – we all need it, but some just throw themselves into it. Musicians, singers, conductors, DJ’s – all those people are the ones who “throw themselves into the water” as I’ve so eloquently phrased it. Which brings us to this issue's subject: Nodame Cantabile!
It’s 7pm down in Ginza, Tokyo. A young man walks among the numerous bars and stores, his eyes filled with wonder and self-consciousness. Seeing wealthy businessmen and their high-end dates strolling about reminds him of the dinky ensemble he is wearing and the only money he has in his back pocket – 4000 yen. Ashamed, he finds the nearest stairwell and ducks into the first door he sees.
It’s 10pm down in Ginza, Tokyo. A hostess has just quit her job after having one too many “touchy-feely” customers attempt to get her drunk. The loss of another job reminds her of the gigantic debt that she has to pay to the yakuza. But, for one night, she wants to find a place to lash out… or to at least find some peace. She finds the darkest stairwell within eyesight and brazenly walks through the thick wooden door.
It’s 1am down in Ginza, Tokyo. An intern gets dragged along with his overbearing boss on one of his bar hopping trips. Along the way, the boss criticizes the intern for his lack of skills, ability and social graces. It doesn’t help that the boss is wildly drunk. After falling down some steps, the boss waves off his intern’s forced concern for his well-being and pulls him through the wooden door at the bottom of the stairwell.
What do these three seemingly random people have in common? Read on to find out.