manga bookshelf

Do you know the way to San Diego?

If you’re headed to San Diego Comic-Con this week, make MTV Geek your first stop. I’ve compiled a list of all the major manga events, as well as a list of the manga publishers that will be exhibiting on the show floor. Planning to attend on Saturday? Be sure to check out The Best and […]

Off the Shelf: Princess Knight

MICHELLE: As we occasionally do when the Manga Moveable Feast rolls around, Melinda and I have opted to dedicate this week’s Off the Shelf column to the topic at hand, which this month is the works of Osamu Tezuka. Specifically for our case, we’re going to be talking about Princess Knight, Tezuka’s shoujo manga about […]

Osamu Tezuka’s Lost World

Reading Osamu Tezuka’s Lost World (1948) reminded me a formative graduate school experience. I was researching George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (1935), when I stumbled across a blistering review of a composition I’d never heard: Blue Monday (1922), a one-act “jazz opera” that Gershwin composed for Paul Whiteman’s Scandals of 1922. After attending its premiere, […]

MMF: An Introduction to Osamu Tezuka

February 9, 2012 marked the twenty-third anniversary of Osamu Tezuka’s death. His career in the manga industry spanned five decades, from the early days of the akahon market to the industry’s zenith, when comics accounted for nearly 40% of all books sold in Japan. Over the course of his life, Tezuka produced more than 150,000 […]

The Best Manga of 2011: The Manga Critic’s Picks

The usual gambit for introducing a year-end list is to remark on the abundance of good titles, acknowledge the difficulty in choosing just ten (or five, or three), and comment on the overall state of the industry. And while I certainly debated what to include on my list, I’ll be honest: 2011 yielded fewer contenders […]

Show Us Your Stuff: CJ’s Awesomely Organized Manga Shrine

I have a confession to make: I’m a compulsive organizer. I’ve carefully arranged my CDs by genre, composer, and opus number; I’ve divided my library into fiction and non-fiction, separating the musicology books from the historical tomes; I’ve even alphabetized my spice rack. (No, I’m not taking any medication. Why do you ask?) So when […]

My Viz 25

Viz is celebrating will celebrate its 25th anniversary this summer, which is quite an accomplishment. Given how many English-language manga publishers have fallen away over time, you have to give Viz credit for sticking around, no matter how well resourced they may be. They’ve always struck me as grown-ups and professionals, which certainly helps. Beyond […]

Off the Shelf: Ayako

Welcome to another edition of Off the Shelf with Melinda & Michelle! I’m joined, as always, by Soliloquy in Blue‘s Michelle Smith. This week, Michelle and I take a break from our regular format to focus on a single title, Osamu Tezuka’s Ayako, published in English by Vertical, Inc. MELINDA: So, Michelle, read anything incredibly […]

7 Short Series Worth Adding to Your Manga Bookshelf

I like getting lost in a long, twisty story as much as the next person, but I often lose interest in a manga around the five- or ten-volume mark. As a service to other people afflicted with Manga ADHD, therefore, I’ve compiled a list of seven shorter series that enjoy pride of place on my […]

Black Jack, Vols. 12-13

In the mold of Kate and David’s recent co-review of Salvatore, Kate takes the lead along with David and Melinda, in a collaborative look at Tezuka’s Black Jack. Black Jack, Vols. 12-13 | By Osamu Tezuka | Published by Vertical, Inc. | Buy at Amazon KATE: One of the things that strikes me most about […]

Tezuka: A Bibliography for English Speakers

For the English-language reader interested in learning more about Osamu Tezuka, there’s a growing body of scholarship exploring his life and work. Frederik L. Schodt, who was a personal friend of Tezuka’s, has done more than just about anyone to introduce Tezuka’s manga to Western audiences, writing in an accessible style that eschews academic formality […]

Manga Artifacts: Princess Knight

What Osamu Tezuka’s New Treasure Island (1946) was to shonen, his Princess Knight (1953-56) was to shojo. Both were long-form adventure stories that employed the kind of camera angles, reaction shots, and action sequences that suggested a movie, rather than an illustrated novel or a comic strip. Neither could be said to be the “first” […]


Ayako is an odd beast. Structurally, it resembles a Russian realist novel, using a once-powerful family of landowners to embody the political and economic upheaval caused by America’s seven-year occupation of Japan (1945-52). Temperamentally, however, Ayako feels more like a John Frankenheimer movie, with subplots involving a Communist organizer, an assassin who stashes orders in […]

Black Jack, Vols. 1-2

Black Jack practices a different kind of medicine than the earnest physicians on Grey’s Anatomy or ER, taking cases that push the boundary between science and science fiction. In the first two volumes of Black Jack alone, the good doctor tests his surgical mettle by: Performing a brain transplant Separating conjoined twins Operating on a […]

The Best Manga of 2010: The Manga Critic’s Picks

For all the upheaval within the manga industry — the demise of CMX, Del Rey, and Go! Comi, the layoffs at VIZ — 2010 proved an exceptionally good year for storytelling. True, titles like Black Butler, Naruto, and Nabari no Ou dominated sales charts, but publishers made a concerted effort to woo grown-ups with vintage […]