manga bookshelf

Fruits Basket, Vols. 21-23

As I recounted in this week’s Off the Shelf column, I have been a fan of Fruits Basket for nearly a decade now. I followed the end of the series in Japanese, and because I knew how it ended, I was able to postpone reading the final English volumes and delay the sad moment when […]

Ghostface, Vol. 1

“What doesn’t kill you will try again later” — so goes the tag line for Min-Woo Hyung’s Ghostface, a sci-fi thriller in which a female assassin is sent to recover a top-secret drug from a gang of thieves. If only the story was as snappy as the jacket copy! Alas, Ghostface is the kind of […]

A Pair of TOKYOPOP Stragglers

Just when it seemed like none of those May TOKYOPOP titles was going to materialize, Diamond Distributors revealed that it still had a few surprises up its figurative sleeve. Stragglers, originally scheduled for an early May release, began to trickle into comic shops. I managed to acquire several, including two books—volume eight of Happy Cafe […]

Let’s Get Visual: Wild Adapter

MICHELLE: Hey, Melinda, did you know there was a Wild Adapter MMF going on? MELINDA: I’ve heard rumors to that effect. Terrific series, Wild Adapter. Whoever is hosting it must have great taste! MICHELLE: I’m relieved you think so, because in honor of the Feast, we’re devoting this month’s Let’s Get Visual column to that […]

Review Redux: Gosick, Vol. 1

American publishers have been trying to market light novels to manga fans for close to a decade, with mixed results. Though Dark Horse’s Vampire Hunter D books have sold more than 300,000 units, few other companies can claim similar success with light novels. TOKYOPOP, for example, launched its Pop Fiction imprint in 2006 with several […]

My 10 Favorite TOKYOPOP Titles

Like many other readers who first discovered manga in the mid-2000s, TOKYOPOP played a major role in introducing me to to the medium. Tokyo Babylon was the first TOKYOPOP title I ever read, followed soon after by Legal Drug, The Legend of Chun-Hyang, and — God help me — Model, a manhwa about a Korean […]

TOKYOPOP Is Shutting Down

It’s with a heavy heart that I direct you to this piece at The Beat, which reports that TOKYOPOP is shutting down at the end of May. I have a feeling the worst of the sadness is yet to come, as I start to fully process which beloved series will be left in limbo. Rather […]

TOKYOPOP shuts down US publishing

Having just entitled a post “WTF Friday,” it was tempting to name this “The REAL WTF Friday.” And as I find I have little stomach for reporting this news, I’ll do it as simply as possible. Reported by Heidi McDonald at The Beat this afternoon: End of an era: Tokyopop shutting down US publishing division […]

Butterfly, Vol. 1

Reading Butterfly won’t change your life, make you a better person, or cause subtle but significant changes to South American weather patterns, but it may just restore your faith in Tokyopop’s ability to suss out smart, entertaining series that quietly subvert genre conventions. The genre in question is what I call “seeing dead people,” in […]

3 Things Thursday: TOKYOPOP

It’s been a rough week in the blogosphere for TOKYOPOP, whose latest round of layoffs has inspired quite a bit of talk about the company’s less positive history, including this frank commentary from Brigid Alverson at Robot 6 and this ongoing round-up from Johanna Draper Carlson at Manga Worth Reading. My own history as a […]

The Best Manga You’re Not Reading: Qwan

I have a bad habit of falling in love with commercially doomed series. Satsuma Gishiden, for one: Dark Horse published the first three volumes of this manly-man samurai manga, only to put the series on ice in 2007. Duck Prince, for another: Ai Morinaga’s awesomely weird comedy also bit the dust three volumes into its […]

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 […]

Eensy Weensy Monster 1 by Masami Tsuda: B

From the back cover: Nanoha Satsuki, an average, plain-Jane high school student, comfortably spends her time in the shadow of her two beautiful, popular friends. But new guy Hazuki Tokiwa, with his snobbish, arrogant demeanor, has a way of getting under Nanoha’s skin, and releasing her inner monster! Is this the beginning of an ugly […]

Let’s Get Visual: Tricks of the Trade

MICHELLE: It’s time for another installment of Let’s Get Visual, a monthly feature in which Manga Bookshelf’s Melinda Beasi and I work to expand our artistic horizons! This month’s column is inspired by a recent TOKYOPOP release, How to Draw Shojo Manga. Instead of simply offering tips on drawing faces, poses, or cute little animals, […]

LIVES, Vol. 1

Everything you need to know about LIVES is summed up by the following category tags: “big breasts,” “meteor,” “stranded,” “strategically torn clothing,” and “survival.” (Kudos to the Baka-Updates moderator who felt the need to give “strategically torn clothing” its due as a category. But what, no “hungry predators”?) Plot-wise, LIVES resembles Battle Royale, Gantz, and […]