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Satoshi Kon's "Tropic of the Sea" is a classic type of story that pits the traditional ways against the forces of modernization. It's set in a small fishing village where the keepers of the local shrine tend to a very special object: A mermaid egg. According to local tradition, every 60 years, they must return the egg to the sea, and the mermaid will send them a new one to take care of. In return, she protects the town. When a developer arrives with big plans, the traditional ways are threatened—and anyway, 60 years is a long time to keep the faith. The story focuses on three generations of shrine priests, and it has some surprising twists.

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As fascinating as this manga is in its own right, it's also a milestone in modern anime and manga history. Kon, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2010 at the age of 46, is best known as the director of the critically acclaimed and award-winning "Paprika," as well as "Millennium Actress" and "Tokyo Godfathers." He started his career as a manga artist, though, and he was the assistant to "Akira" creator Katsuhiro Otomo for a time. "Tropic of the Sea" is his first full-length work.

Originally titled "Kaikisen," "Tropic of the Sea" is a beautiful manga that is drawn in an open, deceptively simple style that's easy for non-manga readers to follow. The story is more than an environmental fable; despite the fact that it is only one volume long, the characters have surprising depth and the story itself goes beyond the usual heroes-vs.-villains tropes. Check out our exclusive 23-page preview, below, to see for yourself.

Read the full preview by clicking below!

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THIS IS ONE OF MTV GEEK'S MOST ANTICIPATED MANGA OF THE FALL!

"Voice Over: Seiyuu Academy," which launches in November, is a shoujo manga with all the elements that make shoujo manga great: A plucky heroine, supportive friends, love interests—and an interesting setting, in this case a school where students are training to be voice actors for anime. The creator is Maki Minami, whose name will be familiar to shoujo fans from her earlier manga "S.A." We talked to editor Pancha Diaz about what we can expect from this new series.

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CHECK OUT ALL OF MTV'S FALL PREVIEWS HERE!

THIS IS ONE OF MTV GEEK'S MOST ANTICIPATED MANGA OF THE FALL!

The 12-volume "Sailor Moon" series is complete, but that's not quite the end of the story. Kodansha Comics has two volumes of Sailor Moon short stories for us—volume 1 just came out—and we have a special sneak preview for you here at MTV Geek.

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...AND BE SURE TO CHECK OUT OUR MOST ANTICIPATED COMIC BOOKS OF THE FALL HERE!

This fall brings some real treats for manga readers: A new book of Sailor Moon short stories, a one-shot manga by "Paprika" director Satoshi Kon, an action-packed historical manga set in Viking times, and even a murder mystery. Plus even more "Attack on Titan"! This is a great time to be a manga reader, or to start the habit if you haven't already, because there is such a broad range of stories available. Here are our picks for fall:

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This fall, Viz is debuting something a little different—"Sweet Rein," a Christmas-themed shoujo manga by Sakura Tsukuba, who is also the creator of "Penguin Revolution" and "Land of the Blindfolded," both published by DC's now defunct manga imprint CMX.

Since we don't speak Japanese, we talked to Viz editor Nancy Thistlethwaite about Christmas in Japan and what we can expect from "Sweet Rein."

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CHECK OUT ALL OF MTV'S FALL PREVIEWS HERE!

THIS IS ONE OF MTV GEEK'S MOST ANTICIPATED MANGA OF THE FALL!

Over the summer, the first copies of Manga: Introduction, Challenges, and Best Practices, a handbook for librarians, teachers, parents, and anyone who just wants to know about manga, started leaking out. Published by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, it is edited by Melinda Beasi, the proprietor of the website Manga Bookshelf, with help from legendary manga editor Carl Horn. The essays are written by well known manga bloggers and critics, including Erica Friedman, Ed Chavez, Shaenon Garrity, Robin Brenner, and Kate Dacey. It's published by Dark Horse and partially supported by a grant from Neil Gaiman's Gaiman Foundation. So many strands of comics gathered together in a single book! The book debuted at the American Library Association Summer Meeting in June and Anime Expo in July; so far, the CBLDF has only been selling it at conventions, and the next opportunity will be New York Comic Con next month. However, the book will be available in comics shops beginning in December.

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THIS IS ONE OF MTV GEEK'S MOST ANTICIPATED MANGA OF THE FALL!

"Attack on Titan" pits a determined band of teenagers against people-eating giants, but it's much, much more than a battle manga. While there's plenty of giant-killing (and people-eating) action, the story also has a lot of depth, with intrigues, grudges, a great ensemble cast, a bit of mystery, and an enemy that seems to be evolving before everyone's eyes. The sixth volume of the manga comes out this week, and it's as good a time as any to jump aboard. Despite the sometimes awkward artwork, this series has been growing in popularity ever since the anime started coming out in English last spring. Here's what you need to know if you want to jump in with volume 6. (Warning: Spoilers ahead!)

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Otakon 2013

All eyes in the anime and manga world were turned on Baltimore this past weekend, as almost 35,000 people swarmed to the Baltimore Convention Center for Otakon. Here's a roundup of the weekend's news:

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All eyes are on San Diego Comic-Con this week as creators and fans from all over the world converge on the San Diego Convention Center for Comic-Con. Here's a look at what to expect, as well as a glance at this week's new manga releases.

Yen Press is giving away "Doubt" masks at their booth.

Yen Press is giving away "Doubt" masks at their booth

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Let's kick it off with the big news this week: "Dragon Ball" creator Akira Toriyama has a new series, and it will be running in "Shonen Jump" the same week it comes out in Japan.

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"Jaco the Galactic Patrolman" is one of three new manga that will launch in the Japanese "Shonen Jump" on July 13 to celebrate the magazine's 45th anniversary. North American readers won't have to wait too long to read it, as it will debut in the July 15 issue of American "Shonen Jump." That issue will also bring more 45th-anniversary goodness: "Naruto" and "One Piece" will have color pages, and the entire chapter of "One-Punch Man" will be in color as well.

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This week's new releases include the final volume of the beautiful and haunting "Children of the Sea" and, in complete contrast, a new omnibus volume of the shoujo-est shoujo manga ever, "Kitchen Princess." Plus: A peek at the new Steve Jobs manga (in Japanese) and a look at why scanlations are disappearing in China.

Let's kick it off with Kickstarter:

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It's a slow week in terms of numbers, but a good week if you're looking for something fresh, with two new series debuting from Kodansha and two one-shots, one by Osamu Tezuka and one from the Alice series.

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Kodansha Fights the Power: Kodansha Comics kicks off two very different new series this week. "No. 6" is about a teenage boy living in a dystopian future society—no, wait! Don't run away! The premise may be familiar, even hackneyed, but the story has quite a bit of life to it. Like a lot of manga heroes, Shion is a fairly bland guy who does what's expected of him, except that sometimes he doesn't. On his 12th birthday, he opens up his window during a raging thunderstorm, leans out, and yells. This startles the escaped criminal who is hiding in his garden. The intruder, who calls himself Rat, is wounded, and Shion takes him in and stitches up his wounds. Rat disappears, and when the authorities find out about it, Shion loses his placement in an elite school. What's interesting about Shion is that while he goes along with his society, he doesn't really buy into it, even before Rat comes along to shake his foundations. Rat re-emerges when Shion is 16, amidst a series of odd murders, and the two team up and go underground. Good characters, an imaginative story, and clear art lift this book above the standard escapees-in-a-dystopia genre.

The second new series is "Sankarea," the story of a teenage boy who is obsessed with zombies; he tries to resurrect his pet cat, but through a series of events he ends up with a zombie girlfriend as well. Not quite my cup of tea, I'll admit, but if you like zombies it's worth a look. Read More...

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This is a huge week for new manga, with a new volume of "Attack on Titan," an omnibus collection of the classic "Dragonball," and the return of "Kingdom Hearts." And in the digital realm, "Astro Boy Magazine" comes to your computer with a collection of classic Osamu Tezuka stories: Read More...

It's the last week of the month, and that means it's time for a blizzard of new releases from Yen Press, with one new volume from Kodansha.

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Let's kick off the week with yet another volume set in the Haruhiverse: "The Misfortune of Kyon & Koizumi." If you have ever read "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya," or watched the anime you already know Kyon; he's the nice-guy narrator who is generally on the receiving end of Haruhi's demands. Itsuke Koizumi is a bit more complicated. Even if you're new to Haruhi, this one-shot spin-off is an easy read, just a collection of short comics and drawings about the guys of the SOS Brigade.

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Yesterday was a big day for the folks at Viz: Their weekly digital magazine, Shonen Jump Alpha, changed its name to Weekly Shonen Jump, the same as its Japanese counterpart, and started running manga chapters the same day they come out in Japan. We talked to Andy Nakatani, the editor in chief of the American Weekly Shonen Jump, about making that transition and the changes that started this week.

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