Yen+, March Issue Review

March’s Yen+ features the return of Maximum Ride, complete with several colored pages and a wonderful interview with Narae Lee, the illustrator.

The interview was definitely interesting. It provided a good insight into how manga- and manhwa-ka are born. Though Narae Lee’s story is far from typical, it’s inspiring none-the-less. She’s a very talented artist, especially for being so young, and I don’t think I’m alone in expecting some really great work from her in the future. I think it was interesting for many to realize that though the story is American, the artist lives in Korea. Speaking of the story, it would have been nice to see an interview with James Patterson, to see how the story was formed, and not just art and character design.

Many of us Yen+ readers were frustrated that rather than picking up with Maximum Ride where January’s issue left off, a chapter was actually skipped. To be honest, it doesn’t sound like Narae Lee took a month off to me, but rather that Yen Press wanted to force us to pick up volume one of Maximum Ride to read that last chapter. I don’t know this for a fact, but several other readers share this opinion with me. However, Yen Press did give a little present with a few full color pages to open up the chapter. I wonder if these will also appear in the second volume of the manga? We won’t find out for a while.

Another full color surprise was the fanart section. There’s a really great picture of Jack Frost that I think fans of the comic will really enjoy. I’m a little disappointed in some of the selections the Yen Press crew makes, as I’m certain they must get some really great pieces that get left out. In the future, I really hope that keep up with the colored fanart section.

This issue also featured a new little blurb called “Otaku Pimp,” which is apparently written by a friend of the editor’s. Hmm… At any rate, I was far from impressed. It was really a waste of paper in my eyes. It was merely the ramblings of some guy who likes Japan, wants to be a pimp, and think’s he’s pretty awesome. You could find that guy in just about any comic book store. Maybe the section will get better, but if it continues to be exactly what it was in this issue, I’ll simply be skipping over it in the future.

The preview of Goong is getting a little old. It appears for its third installment in this issue, which seems a bit ridiculous. I love that Yen Press decided to implement previews, and I plan on buying Legend due to its preview a few issues back, but it’d be nice to see more variety. Perhaps much of my ill-will towards it lies in my not liking Goong (the art irks me and the story doesn’t do much to make up for it to me), but even if this were something I liked, I would be getting tired of it. I wish that if YP were going to practically serialize volume one of something, they could at least stick in another preview in the third issue. On top of this, instead of previewing something new next month, it looks like we won’t be getting a preview at all.

Chapter Spotlights
Pig Bride
was interesting. We got to see a side of Doe-Doe that we haven’t seen much of. I’ve been looking forward to see more of that harshness, more of who she really is.

Time and Again is seeming pretty interesting so far. Like a lot of the stuff that’s come over from Korea so far,  it has a nice historic, traditional basis. The characters seem to have quite the backgrounds from this month’s chapter. Can’t wait to see more of that!

In Nabari no Ou, we’re being shown more about how the secret world works, which I definitely love. I like the way in which they’re presenting that, rather than having explained it all from the beginning. It gives us a chance to really feel like we’re in Miharu’s shoes. I imagine we have quite a lot to expect from this one, since it’s been in serialization for about four and a half years in Japan now.

I think my favorite chapter from this month was Soul Eater. A lot of plot development is going on (something I didn’t really expect to see here), but the flavor of comedy is still totally there. I’m anxious to see where this goes.

All in all this was a pretty good issue with some great chapters. However, there was room for improvement (like not skipping a chapter of something!).


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