This week's new manga releases to bookstores is short, but there isn't a bad one in the bunch.

This is the week Sailor Moon fans have been waiting for, as vol. 2 of Sailor Moon and vol. 2 of Codename Sailor V hit bookstore shelves. Kodansha also has another book with a very different feel due out this week: Vol. 8 of Ninja Girls, which is one of those stories that is ably summed up by the title—it's about a boy who is sort of a loser until a beautiful ninja girl tells him he is really the heir to the throne, and she and her legions of beautiful ninja girl warriors vow to help him regain his birthright. So basically, Kodansha is all about the girl soldiers this week, although Ninja Girls will probably appeal to a much different set of readers than Sailor Moon.

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Viz Media announced some ambitious plans at New York Comic-Con last month: They are taking Shonen Jump from a monthly print magazine to a digital weekly—and once they do, they will be running each chapter of Naruto and five other manga just two weeks after it appears in Japan.

That means they have some catching up to do: Volume 58 of Naruto was just released in Japan last week, meaning there is a five-volume gap between the American and the Japanese releases. In order to close the gap in time, Viz is publishing the next few volumes digitally way ahead of their print release dates on both the Vizmanga.com website and their iPad/iPod app. Volume 54 is available now, and volume 55 will be out on November 21. Dead-tree enthusiasts will have to wait for January and March, respectively, for the two volumes. Read More...

Arina Tanemura, creator of Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, Full Moon O Sagashite, The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross, and a host of other shoujo manga, is ending her exclusive agreement with the Japanese manga magazine Ribon, which has been publishing most of her work up to now. Tanemura said she will continue to work on her current series, Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura, which runs in Ribon, until it is finished.

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As the holidays draw near, it's a busy time for manga lovers. Here at MTV Geek, we recently went over the week's new releases, previewed an entire chapter of CLAMP's new manga, Gate 7, and interviewed Fairy Tail creator Hiro Mashima. Here's a roundup of news from other places.

Manga Publishing

At Publishers Weekly, Danica Davidson takes a look at the popularity of manga art books, such as the Vampire Knight book we reviewed a few weeks ago.

If you're interested in what goes on behind the scenes in manga publishing, here is a bit of historical perspective. Two longtime manga editors spill the beans in Anime News Network's ANNCast podcasts: Jake Tarbox, the original editor of CMX Manga, and former Tokyopop exec Mike Kiley. Read More...

Most of this week's new manga has a familiar feeling to it—either it's reissues of classic tales or something new from a veteran creator. Think of it as the manga equivalent of comfort food, just the thing for an autumn day.

Vertical kicks off November with a classic: Osamu Tezuka's Princess Knight, the original gender-bender adventure manga about a princess who must masquerade as a prince in order to inherit her kingdom. The story was originally published in Japan in the 1950s, although there are several versions, and Kodansha published a bilingual English/Japanese edition, but this is the first English edition that is just for manga fans. Also new from Vertical this week is vol. 10 of Twin Spica, the story of a girl's adventures during astronaut training. Read More...

Hiro Mashima's visit to New York Comic Con brought Fairy Tail fans out in droves, and the room where he gave his panel (and sketched Natsu for one lucky attendee) was filled to overflowing. But we were able to snatch a few quiet moments with him to talk about his inspiration and his work ethic. Our colleague from Anime News Network, Crystal Hodgkins, was there as well, and I let her go first.

Crystal: Our company interviewed you three years ago. Since then, Fairy Tail has been made into an anime. What do you think of the anime adaptation?

Hiro Mashima: I have been having fun, I have just been having a great time just going along with the ride. I wanted to tell you then, but I couldn’t.

Crystal: What is your favorite part about having your manga turned into an anime?

Hiro Mashima: Just watching Natsu and Happy move around. There’s a limit to the effects that I can draw, the depiction of magic in manga so in anime it’s so much fun. I realize how much fun my characters are when I see them move around. Read More...

 Gate 7, the newest CLAMP manga to make its way into English, is a very typical CLAMP story with beautiful art and a slightly mysterious storyline about a high school student, Chikahito, who visits old Kyoto and steps into a parallel world where supernatural warriors fight serpents and other monsters—and then go home to eat noodles and poke fun at one another.

Gate 7 was published last week, and the folks at Dark Horse were kind enough to give MTV Geek readers a look at the entire first chapter. Enjoy!

Gate 7 Vol. 1, Chapter One

Related Posts:
Manga News: Seven Seas Picks Up "Young Miss Holmes" ("Christie High Tension")
Seven Seas Licenses Alice in the Country of Clover

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A young girl who solves mysteries? Where have we heard that one before? If the setup for Kaoru Shintani’s Young Miss Holmes sounds familiar, well, give it a chance: It's a manga adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, with the stories retold from the point of view of his niece Crystal "Christie" Margaret Hope. Seven Seas announced yesterday that they have licensed Young Miss Holmes, which goes under the title Christie: High Tension in Japan. Read More...

Tokyo Mew Mew Omnibus Vol. 1

This is the big week for Viz manga, and my pick of the week is at the top of the alphabet: vol. 3 of Ai Ore, a gender-bender story about hard rock and romance, featuring a girl who is the "prince" of her all-girl school and a boy who is the "princess" of his school—and wants to join her band. Vol. 5 of the tough-girl comedy Oresama Teacher is another good pick, and if you go for the classics, this is the week to wrap up Death Note with vol. 6 of Death Note Black Edition, their two-in-one omnibus edition. For shonen fans, there's vol. 19 of Claymore, vol. 21 of D.Gray-Man, and the December issue of Shonen Jump—one of the last to appear in print before they shift to digital format.

Ai Ore Vol. 3

eaders who buy their manga in comics shops will see some new Kodansha titles on the shelves—these went out to bookstores last week, including vol. 1 of the Tokyo Mew Mew omnibus. This new edition of an older series (first published by Tokyopop) is a great magical-girl manga along the lines of Sailor Moon, but with animals instead of minerals: Through some sort of manga-style mixup, the DNA of normal girls is combined with the DNA of extinct animals, and the girls take on some of the animals' characteristics when they transform to battle aliens. It's a good, fun read, kind of silly but with lots of action. Also new to comics stores is vol. 1 of the Love Hina omnibus, collecting Ken Akamatsu's classic harem comedy. Read More...

Over 300 people crowded into the room to see Makoto Shinkai speak at New York Anime Fest -- but MTV Geek readers get a special audience, because we were able to sit down and chat with him right after the panel.

Shinkai is the director of the critically acclaimed anime Voices of a Distant Star, 5 Centimeters per Second, and most recently, Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below, which had its U.S. premiere at NYAF. He was looking forward to visiting Central Park and the Empire State Building on his New York trip, but he took a few minutes to talk to us.

MTV Geek: You were a graphic designer before you started making anime. Did that influence you in any way, either in the way you approach the work, the way you do your work, or the content of the work itself?

Makoto Shinkai: When I was working at the game company, I wasn’t just doing graphic design, I was doing the entire product management, so I would do the graphic design, I would create the advertisements, even the catch copies. I would figure out what kind of packaging and design of the packaging, so I was basically doing total product management at that time. I approach anime work in a similar way: I am thinking about all aspects and how to deliver them to the end user.

MTV Geek: Do you think your unusual background puts you at an advantage or a disadvantage?

Makoto Shinkai: I would like to believe there are a lot of merits I derive from my background, but I feel a little bit of a complex in that I didn't have the traditional background as an anime director. I feel inferior sometimes. But then like today, when I see all those fans getting excited and showing love and appreciation for my work, I feels that it is OK that I didn’t not take the traditional career path as other anime directors and creators have.

MTV Geek: It's one thing to make an anime, another to get people to watch it. I know your first anime, She and Her Cat, won the grand prize at the 2000 DoGA CG Animation contest.. How did you get it to viewers before that?

Makoto Shinkai: I put a promotional video up on the internet and I made a bunch of CDs—at the time it wasn't DVDs, I burned it on a bunch of CDs—and I sold them at Comiket. I sold around 5,000 of them, which is a big number. And then you could order them by mail on my website.

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Just in time for Halloween, Oni Press has announced that it will be bringing back Ted Naifeh’s Courtney Crumrin—in color!

“It’s our 15-year anniversary, and we want to do a combination of old and new things,” said Oni’s marketing director Cory Casoni, introducing the new Courtney Crumrin books at the Oni Press panel at New York Comic Con. The series will in April with a new edition of Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things, and Naifeh will be doing new Courtney Crumrin monthly comics beginning in the spring.

Courtney Crumrin is a girl with magical powers who lives and travels with her mysterious Uncle Aloysius. “I like to call her Harry Potter with gumption, because she is willing to feed her enemies to trolls,” said Casoni. “The beauty of Courtney is that she doesn’t always do well at the things she does, and she uses magic inappropriately until she learns the ropes.” Read More...

Alice In The Country Of Clover Will Be Coming Soon From Seven Seas

The folks from Seven Seas didn't make it to New York Comic Con this year, but they managed to grab a bit of the spotlight by sending out a press release about their latest new license, Alice in the Country of Clover, a followup to Quin Rose's Alice in the Country of Hearts.

Their timing couldn't have been better. Alice in the Country of Hearts was originally licensed by Tokyopop, and when that company closed its U.S. publishing arm, readers were left with five volumes of the six-volume series. At NYCC, Yen Press announced that they had licensed Alice in the Country of Hearts and would publish it in three omnibus volumes, each containing two of the original volumes, thus giving Alice fans their much-desired closure.

This was a shrewd move on Yen's part, as the first three volumes of Alice all made the New York Times manga bestseller list—the first volume for a total of ten weeks. Alice has a following. Read More...

The American trailer for Studio Ghibli's The Secret World Of Arrietty has just been released!

The Secret World of Arrietty (Kari-gurashi no Arietti) is the new movie from Studio Ghibli (home of Spirited Away and Ponyo), and while it was released in Japan last year, American fans will have to wait until February to see it. Here's something to hold us over, though: Disney, which is releasing the film in the U.S., has just put out the American dub of the trailer.

 

Written by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa, Arrietty is based on British author Mary Norton's books The Borrowers but is set in modern-day Tokyo. As in the original, tiny people live beneath the floors of an ordinary house and create their own world by "borrowing" everyday objects, which provides opportunities for all sorts of dollhouse-type cuteness. The Borrowers are supposed to stay out of sight, but Arrietty is spotted by Sho, a sickly young boy, and the two become friends. Of course the grownups interfere and bring an element of danger to the story; humans and Borrowers can only coexist, it seems, if the humans are unaware of their tiny counterparts.

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"Wine manga" Drops of God Vol. 1 is the buzzed-about manga of the week!

The last week of the month tends to be a slow time for manga releases, and this week is no exception. There aren't a lot of new books popping up online or in bookstores, but the good news is that those options are all pretty solid.

Vertical wins the interesting-manga award this week with the release of vol. 1 of Drops of God, the manga that does for wine what Oishinbo did for food. It even has a similar premise: A handsome guy with daddy issues has to prove he's the best at his father's trade. The main character in this story, Shizuku, rebelled against his wine-critic father by becoming (gasp!) a beer salesman. Then his father dies, and the will specifies that Shizuku can only inherit his father's valuable wine collection if he proves his merit as a wine taster by correctly identifying 12 different wines. And there's another, equally handsome young man vying for the same prize. If that's not your cup of tea, check out Vertical's other offering for this week, vol. 7 of Chi's Sweet Home, the latest set of stories about the adorable cat Chi.

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Womanthology Co-Editor Bonnie Burton: "We all love comics, whether we are men or women."

If you can't find the comics you want, make your own: that was the message that came through loud and clear at the Womanthology panel at New York Comic Con last week!

Womanthology is a comics phenomenon, having raised over $100,000 with their Kickstarter drive, and about 200 people came to the panel (after waiting in a line that doubled over itself five times) to hear what they were doing right.

The panel was moderated by Laura Morley and featured Womathology editors Renae de Liz, Bonnie Burton, Mariah Huehner, Nicole Falk, and Suzannah Rowntree. The project paired more experienced writers and artists with others who were new to the field to create a variety of comics stories.

The Womanthology panel. Left to right: Bonnie Burton, Mariah Huehner, Nicole Falk, Suzannah Rowntree, Renae de Liz. Not shown: Laura Morley.

“I take Joss Whedon’s approach: We all love comics, whether we are men or women, and we want to see stronger women characters,” said Burton. “There is a market for the superhero feminine character who keeps her costume up by defying gravity with the Force—maybe she made a deal with the devil to keep her tube top up, I don’t know—but there are characters who rely on their brains rather than cup size… You're going to see a lot more diversity, and that is what is missing in comics that have women characters. We want to see all the things they bring to the table.”

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