The digital manga magazine "Shonen Jump Alpha" has been in the news lately after the big announcement that starting next month, they will carry new chapters of "Naruto," "Bleach," and other series the same day they come out in Japan.

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This is a slow week for new manga releases, but last week we had a bumper crop, so let's combine the two! With the holidays almost upon us, we have some nice deluxe editions—"Thermae Romae" and the Sailor Moon box set—as well as the new "Interview with the Vampire" graphic novel, a fresh volume of "Real" from Takehiko Inoue, and more!

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It's official: As of January 21, 2013, "Shonen Jump Alpha" will start releasing new chapters of all its weekly manga simultaneously with Japan.

This doesn't exactly come as a surprise, although it's nice to have the timing locked in. Back when he first announced that "Shonen Jump" was going digital, at New York Comic Con 2011, Viz executive vice president Alvin Lu said it was possible that the magazine would go to simultaneous release with Japan, adding, "We wanted to give ourselves some room for improvement. There are various factors that went into this, and if we can get this right, it leaves room to close the time gap." Read More...

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. Read More...

We have a couple of distinguished debuts this week, as Seven Seas releases the first volume of the high-school comedy "Haganai: I Don't Have Many Friends," Viz brings back the tourtured-bishounen tale "07-Ghost" and a fresh omnibus edition of "Neon Genesis Evangelion," and JManga debuts two quirky-looking new series as well as a trio of BL short stories. Plus we have fresh volumes of Mitsuru Adachi's "Cross Game," "Trigun" creator Yasuhiro Nightow's "Blood Blockade Battlefront," and "Zatch Bell" manga-ka Makoto Raiku's "Animal Land." Read on!

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Do you like honorifics or hate them? What about slang? Now you have a chance to check out some manga translations and vote for your favorites in the JManga Translation Battle, which is going on until December 2.

Since most of us who read manga don't read Japanese, it's easy to forget that there's someone in between the reader and the manga-ka: The translator, whose work is as much art as science. This is especially true for a language like Japanese, which has a lot of nuance and doesn't map directly to English.

That's why it's so interesting to see how the different translators in the JManga competition handled the same material. The finalists' page features six different translations of an excerpt from Tominori Inoue's "Coppelion" and three translations each of parts of Nana Haruta's "Chocolate Cosmos" and Akira Saso's "Shindo."

Just look at the difference in tone between these translations of a snippet of dialogue from "Coppelion." A group of schoolgirls are walking down the road in what looks like a post-apocalyptic landscape; their leader is urging them on.

And here, from three translations of "Shindo," are three different ways to insult the girl you just met:

Each manga has a different tone, a different "voice," which may be pleasing to some readers and annoying to others.

The judges for this contest include two experienced translators, William Flanagan ("A Bride's Story," "Fairy Tail") and Jonathan Tarbox ("Fist of the North Star," "Slam Dunk"), as well as blogger Deb Aoki and MIT professor Ian Condry. And you: Readers are invited to vote for their favorite translation of all three manga. One winner will be chosen for each series, and one of those three will be the grand prize winner and will get a trip to Japan next February and will be invited to a symposium at the Japan Media Arts Festival. (The two runners-up will get iPads.)

So make your preferences known! Tell JManga which translation you like best, and then stay tuned—the winners will be announced later in December.

Related Posts:
Manga: Download The Viz App, Get A Free Volume 1
This Week's New Manga: Shoujo Romance, Box Sets, and Giant Robots

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It's really that easy: Viz Media has a great digital deal going on until November 20 for first-time customers: If you download their app (for iOS or Android), they will give you volume 1 of the series of your choice for free. Digitally, of course.

Naturally, I don't qualify for this, because I have had the Viz app since the day it came out, but if you're interested in that free volume, I have some suggestions.

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It's a great week for manga readers, with two deluxe boxed sets, a new volume (finally!) of "Neon Genesis Evangelion," two new shoujo series, another new series that was created by Stan Lee, and a heap of old favorites. With the holidays coming up, we might even have some time to read these! Here's a look at what's new this week.

Viz kicks off the holiday gift-giving season with two nice box sets, their oversized, deluxe edition of "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" and a collection of the 18-volume "Ouran High School Host Club," which includes a special notebook. Read More...

Viz is giving manga and anime lovers something special to put on their holiday wish lists this year: A deluxe boxed set of Hayao Miyazaki's manga "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind." And while the $60 price tag may seem steep, it is already discounted at Amazon, and Viz is giving away one copy in a special sweepstakes.

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Laurianne Uy's Polterguys is not quite manga—it's an American graphic novel done in a manga style, a reverse harem story with some nice Japanese-style flourishes but a definitely American sensibility.

The setup is pure manga: A pleasant but nerdy girl gets an apartment in a house that turns out to be haunted—by the ghosts of five cute guys. Four are teenage hotties, while the youngest one, Simon, adds a cuddly note to the group and gives everyone someone to be protective of. The guys don't remember how they died, and they aren't sure why they all ended up in the same house, but they don't get out much, so they are happy to see their new neighbor. So happy that they clean the house, fix her pancakes, and accompany her to classes. This part reminded me a bit of dating-sim manga like "Ugly Duckling's Love Revolution," where the guys exist mainly to please the girl. (Well, we can dream, can't we?) A sinister note enters the story, however, when a bounty hunter shows up to claim his prey, and Bree risks her own life to keep the guys on this side of the Rubicon. Read More...

Moyoco Anno was one of the special guests at New York Comic Con, and MTV Geek was fortunate to get a few minutes to sit down and talk to her about her characters, her readers, and her sources of inspiration.

Only a handful of Anno's works have been published in English, but each one is a standout: The romantic comedy "Happy Mania"; "Flowers and Bees," the story of a man who goes to ridiculous lengths in his pursuit of beauty; "Sugar Sugar Rune," a children's manga about two young witches in search of magic jewels; and "Sakuran," a stunning story of life in an Edo-era brothel (and the source for the movie of the same name). Her Hataraki Man, the story of a workaholic woman, has also made waves in Japan because of its biting commentary on Japanese work life.

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JManga, the digital comics site, launched its free digital manga service JManga7 yesterday with two well regarded shoujo manga series and a wide variety of other offerings, including free samples of a number of titles that are already available on its JManga sister site.

The two new launch titles are Crazy for You, a high-school romance by Kimi ni Todoke creator Karuho Shiina, and Pride, the story of rival opera singers, by Yukari Ichijo, a veteran shoujo manga creator and winner of the Kodansha Manga Award. JManga7 offers three chapters of each for free; readers who like them can buy the first two volumes of each series on the regular JManga site, which is offering them at a discount at the moment. (Interestingly, both manga are published by Shueisha, which is one of the parent companies of Viz.)

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This is a great week for shoujo manga lovers, with a spate of new releases in Viz's Shojo Beat imprint, plus a fresh volume of Arisa from Kodansha Comics. It's a big Shonen Jump week, and the digital comics site JManga is bringing back a slew of Kodansha series, mostly shonen, that were originally published by Del Rey.

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Cosplay is one thing, but one anime fan has taken things to a whole new level. Anastasiya Shpagina has been causing a stir of mixed reactions around the web for turning herself into a “real-life anime girl.” Nothing surgical has been done to to make her look the way she does, but if she has her way that could all change very soon.

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New York Comic Con is starting to look like New York Manga Con, and the latest announcement of a visting manga-ka came last Thursday: GEN Manga, the digital manga magazine, is bringing Nagumo to NYCC.

I reviewed the first five issues of "GEN" a while back, but if you didn't happen to pick up issue 8, you might not be familiar with Nagumo. "GEN" published his short manga "Let's Eat Ramen" in that issue, and as far as I can tell, that is the only Nagumo manga available (legitimately) in English. He has had two series in Houbunsha's "Manga Time Kirara Carat," a seinen manga magazine devoted mostly to 4-koma; to give you a flavor of their style, Yen Press has published a number of their other manga, including "Sunshine Sketch," "K-ON!," and "S.S. Astro."

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