Hey guys. I’m having a mono relapse right now, and I can’t really concentrate at the moment. If anyone wants to write a review or two in my place while I’m sick, let me know, alright?


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Tokyopop Releases: March

FLCL, Vol. 3 | Yoji Enokida
Fruits Basket, Vol. 22 | Natsuki Takaya
Luuna, Vol. 1 | Didier Crisse (New Series!)
Me & My Brothers, Vol. 7 | Hari Tokeino
NG Life, Vol. 1 | Mizuho Kusanagi (New Series!)
Peacemaker Kurakane, Vol. 1 | Nanae Chrono (New Series)

Star Trek: Ultimate Edition | Bettina Kurkoski
Warcraft: Legends, Vol. 3 | Carlos Olivares

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A Little Stormy on the Seven Seas

A short post for today. It may not sound like much, but it may affect some of your manga purchases if you shop only at physical stores rather than online.

Seven Seas Manga (publishers of Afro Samurai, Hayate X Blade, Inukami!, etc.) is having a few relationship issues with one of their distributors, Diamond. Diamond has recently instituted new shipping minimums, which Seven Seas simply can’t always meet. Diamond will still ship some of the high-profile titles through May, but besides that, Seven Seas will be gradually cutting their ties with them. They have other distributors and retailers, so hopefully there won’t be too huge of an impact.

I personally support Seven Seas’ decision to cut ties. Having worked closely with my boss when I worked in a local retail shop, I’ve seen how these things can affect companies. If we ordered from a distributor and not directly from the company, we would sometimes have to wait until a great product had been out for a few months so that we could place  a big order. Shipping minimums affect both the company making the product and the small retail stores buying the product. I understand that in this economy, sacrifices must be made, but it’s really a shame to see this happening.

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Arina Tanemura

(Sorry this is going up a little later than intended! I had a few medical issues to attend to, but all is well now! Enjoy!)

It would be a shock to find a shojo manga collection that didn’t contain a single work by the illustrious Arina Tanemura. Full Moon is no doubt one of the most popular shojo manga to hit shelves since Sailor Moon. Her stories are heart-warming, and looking through her works is evidence that there is true art to be found in manga. Since the recent US release of Time Stranger Kyoko by Viz Media, all six of her first works have been received in the US with open arms. With any luck, it won’t be long before we see Absolute Awakening Angel: Mistress Fortune hit our shores. Though I’d be willing to bet that it may be a while (yay for scanlations!). At any rate, her resounding success in the US should speak well for her talent.

One of my favorite things about reading Tanemura-san’s works is her notes. There are a ton of side-panel notes, comments on each chapter, etc. in all of her tankoban. I almost always enjoy reading what she has to say, even when her comments have nothing to do with the book! She really gives the reader a lot of insight into how the characters and their stories came to be.

What draws many into Tanemura-san’s manga was the art. One glance at pretty much any given cover will simply suck you into her beautiful world. When I read anything of hers, I can’t help but think wonder just how she sees the world around her. In some of her earlier stuff, there was a bit too much of an emphasis on decoration, but it never took away from the story (though I’ve caught myself more than once pausing in my reading to observe all of the details).

An issue I find between many of her works is similar character design. You might not notice if you read one series of hers, wait a month, and read another, but many of her leading female characters look a lot alike. Take Mitsuki and Kyoko, for example:

In addition to physical design, many of these lead female characters share personalities. Headstrong, wanting to help others, a little clumsy, in love with someone unreachable, etc. These characteristics do make for a loveable character  who is easy to connect with, but if you’re reading two series by Tanemura-san at once, it’s easy to get a little confused.

All in all, the works of Arina Tanemura are breathtaking in both art and story. Many are destined to become classics, and I look forward to reading more and more of her manga. Look for volume nine of The Gentlemen’s Alliance† hitting stores next month from Viz Media!

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CMX Manga Releases: March

Apothecarius Argentum, Vol. 7 | Tomomi Yamashita
Emma, Vol. 8 | Kaoru Mori
Go West! Vol. 2 | Yu Yagami
March on Earth, Vol. 1 | Mikase Yagashi
Orphina, Vol. 5 | Kitsune Tennouji
Penguin Revolution, Vol. 5 | Tsukuba Sakura
Tears of a Lamb, Vol. 5 | Banri Hidaka

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Misc. Manga Releases: March

Aurora Publishing
Queen of Ragtonia, Vol. 1 | Chika Shiomi (New Series!)

Dark Horse Comics
Berserk, Vol. 28 | Kentaro Miura
Blood+, Vol. 4 | Ryo Ikehata, Chizu Hashii
MPD-Psycho, Vol. 8 | Eiji Otsuka, Shoju Tajima

Go! Comi
07-Ghost, Vol. 2 | Yuki Akemiya, Yukino Ichihara
A-I Revolution, Vol. 5 | Yuu Asami (Last Volume!)
Ultimate Venus, Vol. 4 | Takako Shigematsu

Seven Seas
Inukami, Vol. 2 | Mamizu Arisawa, Mari Matsuzawa

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Logo/Possible Shirt Design

Hey, guys! I have a cute design that I’d like to use for the blog’s logo, as well as a possible future shirt design. I like the design and how it looks in general, but the lines aren’t nearly smooth enough, and there area  few details I don’t trust myeslf with.I think this would be a fairly easy project for anyone that knows what they’re doing in PhotoShop, but I’m pretty inept.

If you’re interested, shoot me an e-mail (eleat dot yo at gmail dot com) and I’ll send you the current PhotoShop file. Or, you can just do a whole new one based on this and send it to me! Thanks, guys!

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