SEAN: It’s the dreaded 5th week of the month, but there’s more to find here than usual, with a couple of really tasty manga treats, particularly if you like old-school manga.
Dark Horse has the 28th volume of Gantz. I’m not certain if they’re still all wearing shiny leather catsuits. I have to assume they are. Sadly, this series is still not Hen or HEN, two series (yes, they are separate, though connected) by the same author that I would rather see licensed over here.
MICHELLE: Do they involve chickens? (Please say yes.)
SEAN: Nope. Hen involves a straight high school boy falling in love with another boy, and trying to convince himself that his love is a girl who’s just trapped in a boy’s body. HEN is essentially the same, only the lead is a girl falling for another girl (this version got an anime). They’re both more interesting than they sound. (Hen means ‘strange’ in Japanese.)
MJ: Is it awful that I’m more excited about this Hen/HEN discussion than I am about the actual items on this week’s list?
MICHELLE: So am I. Gender-complicated romance trumps shounen fighting sagas.
MICHELLE: Even if there are no chickens.
MJ: Even then.
SEAN: I also note that both Hen and HEN ran in Young Jump (which explains much of the fanservice scattered throughout both titles). So they’re not just seinen gay manga, but MANLY seinen gay manga. :) (They also take place in the same ‘universe’, and intertwine slightly.)
I found out about HEN from Erica, who has the series in Japanese.
MJ: I feel somehow that this week’s featured image should be Hen. Or HEN. One of the two. :D No?
SEAN: Sadly, it would require Viz to license the series (or sublicense it to Dark Horse, but honestly Gantz is more their style), which I doubt will happen unless the market changes a lot more than it has to date. This is late 80s-mid 90s stuff, let’s remember. :)
MJ: Oh, well. *sniff*
SEAN: Kodansha Comics has a new Fairy Tail, also a Vol. 28. Still speeding up, though if you have a digital option, you can get up to Vol. 33 now, I believe. I believe that fights are still happening.
MICHELLE: That is a good bet.
SEAN: Picturebox debut their new line of ’10-cent manga’, which seems to pick up various influential old-school titles, Yes, Tezuka is coming in the fall, but first we have Shigeru Sugiura, who was almost as influential but is criminally underrepresented outside Japan. His Last of the Mohicans came out in 1953, though I believe this hardcover release is from his 1970s redraw/touch-up of that. This is not a straight-up adaptation, though. Surreal is the word of the day. Highly anticipated.
MICHELLE: Huh. Interesting.
MJ: I’m definitely interested in this, though with the slightest concern over my ability to fully appreciate it. But I have high hopes!
ANNA: This sounds off the beaten path and very interesting. I’m always glad when something unconventional gets released, and old-school manga is something that we’ve not seen as much of over here as I would like.
SEAN: And in case you really wanted Tezuka, Vertical has the sequel to Princess Knight, Twin Knights. This came out in 1958, 5 years before the Princess Knight we saw over here, which was a redone version of the original Princess Knight from 1954, of which this is a direct sequel. If that made sense to you, congratulations, you are a Tezuka fanboy. This should be light, frothy adventure fun.
MICHELLE: Maybe it will be missing the elements of Princess Knight that kinda made me mad.
MJ: I’m hoping so. A lot.
ANNA: Looking forward to this!
SEAN: Lastly, Yen releases another in their series of Kingdom Hearts releases, this one an omnibus repackaging of Kingdom Hearts II. This is a full-on shonen adventure, which ran in Square Enix’s main magazine, Gangan. The only odd thing about it is Donald Duck and Goofy’s presence, really. Otherwise this could be Fairy Tail or Soul Eater.
MICHELLE: I regret to say that I could not possibly care less about Kingdom Hearts.
MJ: I probably could, but not a lot less.
SEAN: Are these titles too old-school for you? Or not old enough? Or do you want HEN as well? (No, it’s still not licensed – that image above is from the French release.)
wandering-dreamer saysJuly 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm
Ack, apparently Hen and HEN are 13 and 8 volumes long which pretty much nixes any chance of getting both of in the US, booo that did sound more interesting.
AshLynx saysJuly 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm
Yeeaaah, I rented Kingdom Hearts from the library. For a somewhat early PS2 game, pretty fun (though it did the sin of not using the right analog stick for the camera). KH2 rather shattered my dreams by just being way too easy to beat and introducing story elements which seem to be there solely for the purpose of making as many spinoffs as possible. I think there’s more spinoffs than numbered games by far. I’m kinda done with KH series, the manga was just so severely abridged, it sucked the fun I had in the first game right out, I really wouldn’t even recommend it to fans. And to non-fans, it’s just a bunch of Disney character mess. I’ve seen good manga adaptations of games, that’s what I assume Suikoden III is (I didn’t play the game, but at 11 volumes, it had plenty of time to tell its story. And people who did play the game seemed to like the manga possibly more because it picked the best of the three storylines and went with it). Though the KH manga did have cute art, if that’s all you want, it’s a great manga then. But shoving levels that take at least 90 minutes into 24 pages (including a boss fight) does not work.
Not 100% sure on Mohicans, but I am overall excited for the new Picturebox line and seeing how I must own all the Tezuka, I’ll be buying The Mysterious Underground Men in due time. Anyone know if DMP’s Tezuka binge, means no one else can do physical print from now on but them? I get they seem to have the digital rights covered all over, but I’m still unclear if they now have all the Tezuka, I’d miss seeing new lines like this not get half filled with Tezuka
lys saysJuly 26, 2013 at 9:40 am
Ahhh!!! I have to defend Kingdom Hearts!! But I’m probably not the best person to do it, because I haven’t even played the games (I intend to change that soon…) and all I know is the manga. (then again, maybe that’s a good thing when talking to others in the same boat?) But. The first manga series (Yen Press’s Final Mix release) is pretty abridged, yes, and a bit confusing (it also had a different magazine/publisher than the sequels/spinoffs). But the following series (Chain of Memories) is better paced and more cohesive, and KHII (this month’s release and next month’s) is soooooo great! It’s at 6+ volumes, so definitely being given more time to tell the story. I’m not a video gamer at all, so until now this series was totally off my radar, but now that I’ve started reading it, I find myself really wanting to know more about the story and characters. And I was surprised at how well the Disney and non-Disney elements mesh. And, finally, the manga’s artist has an awesome sense of humour (by which I mean one that matches my own), and draws the best comical face expressions… it’s really a lot of fun, so in my opinion it shouldn’t be written off as “just a Disney franchise/game adaptation cash-in.”
Ahem. Thanks for reading :)
AshLynx saysJuly 26, 2013 at 1:20 pm
I did forget about the comedy faces, those are quite good actually.
Well if the library gets in the other manga, I’ll see if a change in magazine improves it. 6+ vols for KHII does sound more promising. I still think the manga for the first KH game was pretty weak overall though. It cut out just so much of the story and the worlds that it just reminded me of a pale shadow of the game, I hate it when things do that. It did at least have more soul than most anime to manga adaptations, I was just remembering the horror of Martian Successor Nadesico’s manga where it went through the motions of the awesome anime without any of the heart and soul *shudder* Still, I just don’t see the point in making a super short manga that you know can never hope to cover the original’s story, it just seems futile to me.
chloes_fork saysJuly 31, 2013 at 8:57 am
When I saw the cover image of “Hen” on the article link from Manga Bookshelf’s front page, I had a moment of crazy hope that the series had been licensed in the US and I had somehow missed the announcement. Sadly, it was not to be. I love “Gantz,” and hence Hiroya Oku, and I even like the much-maligned anime adaptation of “Hen,” released over here as “Strange Love.” Sadly, I would have to agree it’s unlikely we’ll ever see the manga in English.