With the holidays just around the corner, we at MTV Geek want to help you out with your shopping lists! Here's our Official Manga Gift Guide!
"Sailor Moon" Box Set
The re-release of "Sailor Moon" was the big news of 2011, and each volume that has come out this year has topped the best-seller list. For those who have been waiting in the wings, this box set, released just yesterday, includes the first six volumes plus an exclusive set of stickers.
"Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" Box Set
Here's the object of desire on every manga fan's wish list this year: Viz's new two-volume box set of Hayao Miyazake's "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind." The set combines the original seven volumes into two oversize volumes and includes color pages and a bonus poster. (There's more here.)
"Heart of Thomas"
Just in time for the holidays, Fantagraphics is publishing Moto Hagio's "Heart of Thomas," one of the first boys-love manga and a masterpiece in its own right. Translated by manga scholar (and friend of Moto Hagio) Matt Thorn, this manga is complete in one single, oversized volume.
Mari Yamazaki's "Thermae Romae" is a story about an architect in ancient Rome who designs baths—public and private—but is losing his mojo until he is mysteriously sucked forward in time to modern-day Japan. He is puzzled by what he sees there, but he is also intrigued, and when he returns to his own time he tries to replicate the technology and ideas of modern times. Drawn in a more realistic style than most manga, this series provides a fascinating glimpse of modern-day Japanese bathrooms, and it's funny too. Yen Press has chosen to publish it in a deluxe, oversize hardcover format with a nice clear dust jacket; each of Yen's volumes comprises two of the original Japanese series.
A subscription to "Shonen Jump Alpha"
"Shonen Jump Alpha" is a digital weekly that brings fresh content from Japan's weekly Shonen Jump, including chapters of "Naruto," "Bleach," and "One Piece" as well as some more recent debuts. The publishers have announced that in the near future, "Shonen Jump Alpha" will be publishing new material the same day it comes out in Japan, making this a must-have for the hard-core shonen manga reader.
"Yurei Attack!: The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide"
"Yurei Attack!" is a handy guide to the ghosts that pop up most often in Japanese manga and literature. By the authors of "Yokai Attack!" and "Ninja Attack!," it is a handy companion volume for fans of Japanese ghost stories.
"Paradise Kiss" takes the world of fashion as its setting, and the details will be fascinating to any "Project Runway" fan, but what it's really about is questioning your place in the world and figuring out who you want to be. Oh, and also, turbulent romance. Really, then, this is a book for pretty much everybody.
As the manga category matures, publishers have been bringing back older series in omnibus form, binding up two or three volumes in a single, thick volume. This provides a satisfyingly long read and allows the newcomer to get fully involved in a story with a minimum of hassle. Some suggestions: For action fans, "Trigun Maximum"; for shoujo fans, "Skip Beat" or "Kitchen Princess"; and for CLAMP fans, "X," "Cardcaptor Sakura," or "Angelic Layer." And for those who love classic manga, Viz has just launched an omnibus edition of "Neon Genesis Evangelion."
"Anything and Something"
Kaoru Mori, the creator of "Emma" and "A Bride's Story," explores a variety of new characters in the short stories collected in "Anything and Something," due out from Yen Press next month.
Here's another collection of short stories that will have a lot of appeal not only to fans of Natsume Ono ("House of Five Leaves," "not simple") but also to indy-comics fans. In "Danza," as in her other books, Ono presents slice-of-life stories in a loose, linear style that is both elegant and easy to read.