SEAN: JManga is not taking the holidays off this week, and next week promises even more new content. Let’s see what we’ve got.
I had written before about manga JManga could pick up, and suspected they already had Teekyu, which had an anime air this fall. Sure enough, they announced it at NYCC, and here it is. It’s from the increasingly omnipresent Earth Star Entertainment, and seems to be a cute tennis comedy.
MICHELLE: I like sports manga, but I’m wary of the moe factor.
MJ: I only *sort* of like sports manga, so I’m probably feeling even more wary than Michelle.
SEAN: Kemonogumi is also an Earth Star title, and I know absolutely nothing about it except it’s by ESE, who also does the Wanna Be Strongest In The World! wrestling manga on JManga’s site. Given that title’s over the top fanservice, and the fact that the cover to Kemonogumi features what seems to be a poodle with large breasts next to a bunny girl, I suspect I am not the audience for this series.
MICHELLE: … Wow.
MJ: Um. Yeah.
SEAN: Gokujyo Drops is the smutty yuri title of this week, a manga from Ichijinsha’s Yuri Hime that was actually released initially as a cellphone manga. It seems to be in that genre of yuri that thinks that sexual harassment is incredibly erotic. That’s not me, so I think I’ll move on.
MICHELLE: So far, this list isn’t looking too promising.
MJ: I was okay with “smutty yuri” until it got to the part about sexual harassment. That’s disappointing.
SEAN: I met the creator of Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru at New York Comic Con, and he was very nice and easy to talk to. I need to catch up to his low-key but funny maid cafe manga, which has reached Vol. 9. It’s not belly laughs, but it does put a smile on your face.
MJ: I really should read this. It doesn’t really look like my kind of thing, but I heard great things all-around about the mangaka from those who met him at NYCC, and I’ll admit that goes a long way.
SEAN: Peacemaker Kurogane is at Vol. 3. That’s not the final volume, so I assume that peace is not made.
SEAN: Lastly, and for me the big release this week, we have Vol. 1 of Sweet Blue Flowers (Aoi Hana), a slice-of-life yuri series from the creator of Wandering Son. This is still running in Ohta Shuppan’s Manga Erotics F (Shimura is also still doing Wandering Son for Enterbrain’s Comic Beam – she’s incredibly prolific), and is simply one of the best manga titles out there, yuri or otherwise. I absolutely cannot wait for this!
Saved the best for last.
MICHELLE: You certainly did! I am really, really excited for Sweet Blue Flowers! (It feels weird to type that after calling the series Aoi Hana for so long.) I actually bought the first six volumes in Japanese just so I could look at them, so I am thrilled to actually have the chance to read the series.
Even after a largely disappointing list, JManga redeems themselves in the end with this one!
MJ: Yes! I was so excited when JManga announced this license, and I hadn’t realized it was due out so soon! This really does turn the entire list around.
SEAN: What intrigues you this week?
Foxy Lady Ayame saysNovember 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm
Do you know the speed of the releases between volumes in Aoi Hana?
Sean Gaffney saysNovember 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm
I’ve no idea. Usually with the popular titles it’s either monthly or every two months.
JRB saysNovember 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm
That Kemonogumi cover… yikes. 0_o
Although I do know that there is definitely a market for that out there on the interwebs. If it makes JManga money so they can bring us more good stuff, hey, whatever…
Michelle Smith saysNovember 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm
Yeah, that’s pretty much how I feel about it, too. :)
lys saysNovember 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm
I am a giant, unrepentant SoreMachi fan. I’m also the letterer for this series, to be upfront about my biases. But I just have to say… when I was first offered the title I had zero interest (I saw maids and some rather dumb fanservice in the first chapter), and it’s now become one of my dear favourites. The maids aren’t really the point or the focus, and the fanservice vanished almost entirely after a couple chapters. But more than that, I think Masakazu Ishiguro writes with a lot of sincerity and heart, and that totally won me over. Humour is always an important aspect for me, and this series’ humour works really well for me—I find myself in spasms of laughter at least once a volume. It’s got a great cast, covering families, friends, really a whole small community of all ages, and the characters feel like real people, the sort I’d like to be friends with… I could go on and on about this series, but I’ll stop and just say I really hope y’all get a chance to read (and hopefully enjoy) it!!
When I heard Ishiguro-sensei was coming to NYCC, I would have bought a plane ticket to NY right then and there, except I already had plans to be in Japan over that weekend. *sob* I’m glad everyone lucky enough to meet him had such a good experience, though!! Maybe he’ll make another visit to the US some day…