manga bookshelf

Let’s Get Visual: Speechless

Once again, it’s time for Let’s Get Visual, a monthly art-focused exercise with Michelle Smith, hosted at her blog, Soliloquy in Blue. This month, we respond to a request for discussion of nonverbal storytelling. My choice for the exercise is a scene from the fourth volume of Fumi Yoshinaga’s Antique Bakery. Though the scene does […]

March Story debuts 10/19

As someone who pays quite a lot of attention to Korean manhwa artists, it’s a bit embarrassing for me to admit that one of the things that tends to pass by my radar completely is Korean artists with work being serialized in Japan. One such artist (or two, actually) has a work debuting here in […]

BLU comes to eManga

Fans of boys’ love manga will be excited to know that twelve titles from BLU Manga, TOKYOPOP’s BL line, are now available at, Digital Manga Publishing’s online portal. According to a press release sent out today by eManga, the titles will be available for $5.99 apiece, significantly cheaper than the $14.99 price of BLU […]

News from Kodansha USA

For those of us who have been wondering what’s going on with Del Rey Manga, this press release just sent from Kodansha USA provides some answers at long last. The upshot seems to be that Kodansha USA will be publishing titles on their own (with distribution and sales support from Random House) beginning in December, […]

Let’s Get Visual: Action Edition

Every day I’m reminded as I browse the manga blogosphere just how much I have to learn about reading and criticizing manga. So, last month, Michelle Smith and I launched a new feature, Let’s Get Visual, where we let our weaknesses show with a view towards growing as critics. In comments to last month’s column, […]

TOKYOPOP & comiXology launch digital Hetalia

Announced today, manga publisher TOKYOPOP and digital comics publisher comiXology have teamed up to present the first simultaneous print/digital release the industry has yet seen (check out Comics Worth Reading for a little clarification on that claim). The title chosen for this collaboration is Hetalia Axis Powers, a popular Japanese webcomic by Hidekaz Himaruya that […]

Vertical Licenses Velveteen & Mandara

Thanks to live-tweeting from @safetygirl0, we’ve got news from Vertical’s recent panel at Anime Weekend Atlanta. Karen reports that Vertical has licensed Jiro Matsumoto’s Velveteen & Mandara (Becchin to Mandara), complete in one volume, originally serialized in Manga Erotics F. “Zombies and high school girls” was the description supplied by Marketing Manager Ed Chavez at […]

Viz debuts House of Five Leaves

I’ve been hearing about House of Five Leaves ever since it debuted on Viz’s SigIKKI website over a year ago. Still, it was only just a few weeks back when, deprived of sufficient access to my own books, that I finally took the time to check it out online. Here are a few quotes from […]

Twilight & the Plight of the Female Fan

A couple of months ago, Noah Berlatsky from The Hooded Utilitarian e-mailed to ask if I’d like to write a guest post for the blog. While I was, of course, thrilled to be asked, I admit I was surprised. Not only do the Utilitarians tend toward academic criticism (something I don’t have the chops for […]

NANA Project, Vols. 13 & 14!

Once again it’s time for the NANA Project! This time around, join Danielle Leigh, Michelle Smith, and me as we discuss volumes thirteen and fourteen of the series. To quote Danielle, “This week we talk about three ‘controversial’ couples that take center stage in volumes 13 and 14 of NANA. Join us as Michelle puts on her detective’s cap, Melinda redeems “bad girl” Yuri, and Danielle gets fed up with whiny rock stars.” On a personal note, I get to rant about Takumi some more, so it’s a satisfying session at the roundtable for me. I could complain about that guy all day long. There’s also a great deal of opinion tossed around by all on the subjects of Yuri, Miu, and Ren & Reira’s ill-conceived… everything.

New summer series from Viz Media

With just a fraction of the summer left to enjoy, Viz Media reminds us of what we could be reading over the next month or so! Of special interest to us here at Manga Bookshelf is the debut of Bakuman, the latest from one of our favorite artists, Takeshi Obata, and his Death Note collaborator, Tsugumi Ohba.

Here’s a recent press release with all the summer news from Viz!

San Francisco, CA, July 29, 2010 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has provided details regarding the launch of brand new manga series set for release this summer. The series will tantalize the most discriminating manga tastes and features romantic dramas, fantasy driven action, the trials of aspiring manga creators, and a tasty slice of life story set in a romantic bistro in Rome.

Fumi Yoshinaga Week Wrap-up

It’s been a wonderful week here at Manga Bookshelf. As we wrap up our week-long look at Fumi Yoshinaga,

I’d like to extend another round of thanks to Michelle Smith, Danielle Leigh, Eva Volin, Robin Brenner, and David Welsh for joining me in celebrating one of our favorite mangaka.

After kicking things off with my favorite series, Flower of Life, I though it appropriate to end things yesterday on a similarly beloved note with Antique Bakery. There are few short series I have loved as much as either of these, and it’s a great pleasure to talk about them here, in the company of both long-time Yoshinaga fans and potential new ones.

Fumi Yoshinaga Week Begins!

Today marks the first in a week-long celebration of mangaka Fumi Yoshinaga here at Manga Bookshelf! Each day will feature a new bit of celebration in the form of reviews, essays, roundtables, and whatever else may happen to occur.

Several other bloggers will be making special appearances here throughout the week, and yet others have expressed a desire to spread the joy to their own blogs, so I’ll be linking to those as well. If you’re a blogger with something you’d like me to link to this week, please drop me a line!

NANA Project # 6, Vols. 11 & 12!

Here’s a quick evening link to the newest installment of The NANA Project, a bi-monthly roundtable on the series with Danielle Leigh, Michelle Smith, and me. This month, we discuss volumes 11 and 12, particularly focusing on the ways Nana and Hachi’s roles in the story have changed. Here’s a quote from me early on: “… I feel like we’re being taught a lesson about the nature of love, though I’m not entirely sure I like it. Hachi’s relationship is really a sham on so many levels, yet it offers her a kind of security she’s never quite had (even at home with her parents) … Meanwhile, Nana’s urgent love for/with Ren should make them both feel more secure (certainly that’s what everyone’s banking on), but instead it just feels dangerous, suffocating, and a little bit unreal.”

SDCC, Otaku tour & more!

The stream of San Diego Comic-Con press releases has begun (with more to come over the next week). So far, my inbox has mainly had word from Viz Media, who are mostly touting anime and game-related items, but there are a couple bits of manga news in the mix.

First of all, they’ve got Stan Lee lined up to sign copies of volume two of Ultimo, his co-creation with Hiroyuki Takai, on Saturday the 24th, 2pm at the Viz booth. I had difficulty getting into the series’ first volume, but I’ve got the second in line for a look soon. Mr. Lee will also appear on Viz’s Shonen Jump panel earlier that day.