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There's a bewildering array of new manga out this week, from classics like "Lone Wolf and Cub" (a new edition) and Osamu Tezuka's "Twin Knights" to a new "Alice" manga and the last volume of "Bakuman." If you're worried about damage to your wallet, consider going digital: Viz just announced their annual summer sale, with all their digital manga on their own service and the Nook marked down until September 5.

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Tezuka

Yesterday was a busy day at Anime Expo, with three manga and four anime panels, and some big news about the Godfather of Manga, Osamu Tezuka.

Digital's Tezuka Grab: The big news for manga readers came at the Digital Manga panel: Digital has signed a deal with Tezuka Productions to publish all of Osamu Tezuka's manga digitally worldwide. That includes new licenses and digital editions of manga that have already been published in print by other publishers. Digital has published several Tezuka manga, including "Unico," "Barbara," and "Atomcat" in print editions funded by Kickstarter campaigns, and they held out the possibility that if the Tezuka digital editions do well they could go to print as well. (The image of Tezuka and his characters is from the Japanese art magazine "Geijutsu Shincho"; I found it here.) In other Digital news, Yaoi-Con will take place in San Francisco in autumn 2014, and the eManga website is now accepting submissions from individual artists for digital publication on the site.

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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...

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The Eisner Award nominations are always a good reading list, especially if you're looking for something a little bit different. The manga that get nominated each year tend to be more literary than popular, especially in the traditional manga category, Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia. The Eisner judges have yet to nominate "Naruto" or "Sailor Moon" for the award; as a judge myself last year, I advocated for The Story of Saiunkoku to be included in the Young Adult category, but there were so many other good teen books that it didn't make the final cut. Read More...

We're starting the New Year off with a bang, with a stack of new and classic manga for every taste: Fantagraphics' deluxe edition of Moto Hagio's "Heart of Thomas," the second volume of Osamu Tezuka's "Message to Adolf," the first volume of Naoki Urasawa's "21st Century Boys" (the followup to his award-winning "20th Century Boys"), and a stack of solid shoujo and shonen titles. Let's read!

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If we'd had a category for best re-release or collection among our Best of 2012 lists, Tezkua's WWII-era thriller "Message to Adolf" would likely be at the top. Not only is this first installment of the cross-crossing stories of two boys living in Japan named Adolf and a determined reporter out to avenge his brother's death an excellent read, but yet again, Vertical has reproduced one of the master manga-ka's work in a handsomely bound hardcover.

The story, which starts in 1936 and follows Japan and German's path to war, with Tezuka setting his murder mystery against the backdrop of the rise of his country's nationalistic fervor in time with the rumbling's of German's war machine and persecution of the Jewish people. Like his "Ayako," it's a story of murder and obsession as well as a cultural critique, although a broader look at its given period than the latter work.

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Entertainment One, the studio that produces "The Walking Dead" for AMC has picked up the television series rights to Osamu Tezuka's classic medical mystery manga, "Black Jack."

I can already hear the pitch: "Dr. House with fetal monsters."

More details after the jump.
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Osamu Tezuka may be considered the “god of manga,” but not all of his titles have been translated into English. Unico, his children’s manga about a baby unicorn, is one of the titles that has never been in English . . . until now.

Digital Manga Publishing wanted to publish Unico, but because of the cost of printing (which would be especially high since Unico is a rare manga that’s in all-color) it turned to Kickstarter to see if it could raise $20,500. It succeeded in days, and now Unico is slated to be released — in single volume form — early next year. Read More...

What's the latest news from the Japanese newsstands? We have word of a couple of series that are coming to an end, plus Black Jack will return with a different format, and Shonen Jump has two new series on deck.

Is the end in sight for Tite Kubo's long-running series Bleach? A teaser ad in Shonen Jump announced a new story arc and suggested that this could be the last arc in the series. Crunchyroll picked up on some cynical commentary from the Japanese message board 2chan, where people aren't really buying that the story will end (sure, it's the last arc, but that arc could be infinitely long); perhaps that's just wishful thinking, though. Read More...

The manga wave hit France about the same time it arrived in the U.S., and manga has been well represented in recent years at the biggest comics event of the year there, the Festival International de la Bande Dessinee in Angoulême. This year is no exception, with a healthy handful of manga among the 58 nominees for four different awards: Best Comic (Sélection Officielle), Best Heritage Comic (Sélection Patrimoine), Best Youth Comic (Sélection Jeunesse), and Best Crime Comic (Sélection Polar). Some of the manga are already available in English, but others aren't, and that suggests an opportunity for readers who might find French an easier language to learn than Japanese; the French editions are available via online booksellers, although the prices are a bit high.

Here's a look at the manga that were nominated in the four different categories; click the link for a short preview of each one (en Francais, bien sur!)

Best Comic (Sélection Officielle)

Saint Young Men (Les Vacances de Jesus et Bouddha), by Hikaru Nakamura

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Manga is tricky to give as a gift. If the person you're buying for already reads manga, they probably already own every book they want, while those who don't read it regularly have trouble getting past the stylized look and the right-to-left orientation. Fortunately, publishers are offering lots of extras this year, as well as a wide range of stories that appeal to many different types of readers.

So we will start this year's gift guide with manga you could give to almost anyone, and we will wind up with some gifts for the manga fan who has everything.

For the Disney fan…
Princess Knight, by Osamu Tezuka (2 volumes)

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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...

Moyoco Anno's Sakuran will be released by Vertical

Vertical, Inc., announced three new additions to its growing list of interesting, often literary, manga at New York Comic Con this past weekend: Osamu Tezuka's Message to Adolf, Moyoco Anno's Sakuran, and a manga adaptation of Makoto Shinkai's anime 5 Centimeters Per Second.

Message to Adolf (Adolf ni Tsugu) was previously published by Viz under the title Adolf: A Tale of the Twentieth Century. The story is a murder mystery set in 1936, the year of the Berlin Olympics, that involves three young men named Adolf, one of whom is the infamous Adolf Hitler. Read More...

It's been a busy week here at MTV Geek: I looked at this week's new manga, including the next-to-last volume of Fullmetal Alchemist, reviewed the first volume of Yasuhiro Nightow's new series Blood Blockade Battlefront, and looked ahead to New York Anime Fest, and Charles Webb reviewed Osamu Tezuka's The Book of Human Insects.

The latest issue of the online magazine Gen Manga is up, at a price of $2.99, and issues 1-3 are free. Otaku USA interviews Gen editor Robert McGuire about the magazine and the type of manga it runs, and Alex Hoffman takes a comprehensive look at it at Manga Widget.

For the second time in a month, every manga on the New York Times manga best-seller list was from Viz.

Read and Discuss:

It was just disrespectful to CMX and to the manga fans who loved CMX to treat the company in such a manner. If DC had bothered to let CMX know long enough ahead of time, then the new licenses could been pulled before the fans found out and got their hopes up. Instead, it was so sudden that I have to wonder if the CMX employees found out their jobs were getting wiped in a manner similar to how I found out about Tokyopop ceasing its North American publishing operations. (I found out from news sources, not from the company itself.) That was a deeply hurtful experience for me, just to give you some emotional context.

Daniella Orihuela-Gruber on publishers that make her angry. Read More...

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