Big news from Vertical Comics: the publisher just announced that it will be issuing a new edition of The Voices of a Distant Star, a single-volume adaptation of Makoto Shinkai’s 2002 OVA. First released by Tokyopop in 2006, Voices focuses on a pair of lovers who are separated by distance — in this case, vast distance, as the heroine is on a mission to defend Earth from aliens. The story unfolds primarily through the couple’s messages, which take longer and longer to reach their respective destinations. If it sounds like a downer, it is, but the poignancy of the characters’ situation and the beauty of Mizu Sahara’s illustrations make the pain worthwhile.
Vertical also revealed plans to publish Hikari Nakamura’s Arakawa Under the Bridge, Tomofumi Ogasawara’s Gundam Wing: The Glory of Losers, and Keiichi Arawi’s Helvetica Standard, a companion series to Nichijou (My Ordinary Life).
In other news…
Napping Princess: The Story of the Unknown Me, which debuted last week in Japan, is getting the simul-pub treatment from Yen Press; look for new chapters on a weekly basis. The manga is an adaptation of the film Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari, which arrives in Japanese theaters later this month. [Anime News Network]
Milton Griepp interviews VIZ Media’s Kevin Hamric about the state of the manga market. [ICv2]
Erica Friedman provides an updated list of yuri manga “worth spending your money on in 2017.” [Okazu]
Brace yourself: Shuzo Oshimi (Flowers of Evil, Happiness) is now at work on Chi no Wadachi (Furrow of Blood), a new series for Big Comic Superior. The story focuses on the relationship between a middle school student his mother. [Crunchyroll]
Wondering what to read in March? Brigid Alverson has you covered with a run-down of the month’s most noteworthy new manga releases. [B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog]
Renay Williams posts the second installment of the Everlasting One Piece Readalong, focusing on volumes four to six of Eiichiro Oda’s blockbuster series. [B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog]
Kris Kosaka makes the case that Takehiko Inoue’s Slam Dunk is the greatest sports manga of all time. [The Japan Times]
This week’s must-read review: Johanna Draper Carlson’s thoughtful appraisal of Usagi Yojimbo. “Stan Sakai’s samurai rabbit has been a part of comics for over 30 years, longer than a number of readers have been alive,” she observes. “It’s easy to take it for granted as a result, but every time I read an issue, I’m impressed by the clarity of the stories, the insight into the characters, and the accomplishment of the artistic storytelling.” [Comics Worth Reading]
Is Hayao Miyazaki working on a new feature-length movie? [Otaku USA]
Film critic Maggie Lee praises In This Corner of the World, an adaptation of Fumiyo Kono’s 2007 manga about a woman living through the hardships of World War II Japan. If Kono’s name sounds familiar, that’s because she wrote the critically acclaimed Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms. [Variety]