The launch of Yen Press’ online magazine Yen Plus went unnoticed by most otaku, mainly because the titles it included were exclusively Korean manhwa instead of manga. However, this month’s issue remedies that by adding two very well-known manga titles to the roster; the ever-popular slice-of-life series K-ON! and Kiyohiko Azuma’s beloved Yotsuba&!. But are these two manga really worth the subscription price?
Well, I decided to check out this month’s issue for myself. After hassling with the Yen Plus online reader’s annoying lag for a bit, I jumped straight to the first chapter of K-ON!. I must say, I find the manga to be much better than the anime, if only because they ditched the psuedo-character development and focused purely on the personality-driven gags, especially those involving Yui. The 4-koma manga essentially distills the plot, cutting out all the fluff and making for a much more lighthearted and enjoyable experience. As for Yotsuba&!, it remains one of the best manga of this decade. If you’ve never heard of it, this excellent article explains exactly why it’s so awesome. Frankly, I think the inclusion of Yotsuba&! chapters alone makes this magazine well worth the price of subscription.
At only $2.99 a month, subscribing to Yen Plus is a good way for even the poorest manga enthusiasts to support the series and artists they love. With two great new titles, I definitely think it’s worth your time and money. One Manga may be gone, but the phenomenon of online manga has a bright future.
Last week’s episode of K-ON!! had a rather solemn tone, making viewers teary-eyed as the HTT girls finished their final festival together. With this in mind, the next episode could have had any tone imaginable. It could have kept the serious, dramatic feel of the school festival, or shifted back to the lighthearted but ultimately pointless moe fluff that made this show so infamous.
Sad to say, they decided to go with the latter. It reminds me of a previous annoying filler episode a few weeks back. However, this episode was far more entertaining than that disaster, with the jokes being good and the interactions spot on. Of course, since I’m an evil hater critic who loathes all things good and pure, I still had some problems with it. My main complaint is that the episode doesn’t bring anything new or interesting to the table… just more predictable moeblobbery that fails to surprise anyone. With only five episodes remaining, can they really afford to be wasting time with this kind of filler?
There were so many good entries last week that it was hard to pick a winner. In the end, I decided to cop out and call a tie between Starlogic and Milktea, who both wrote hilarious captions. Congratulations!
This weeks manga page comes from an infamous Haruhi doujin, in which Haruhi FINALLY gets what’s coming for her years of antisocial behavior. But what are the events leading up to Kyon’s knockout punch? That’s for you to decide, dear readers! Using the numbers provided in the manga excerpt above, write your own funny, perverted or just plain silly dialogue to fit the scene, and post it in the comments below. Naturally, please keep it PG-13 and Safe For Work. The winner will be announced one week from today, just like last time. Good luck!
We’ve got a new co-host this week! We call him Glen, but you might better know him as Nagato, a long-lost friend and one of the original founding members of Project Haruhi. With him by our side, we start off by discussing Oxford’s hilarious and misdirected attempts to understand anime culture. After that, Chris gets all nostalgic about his very first manga, Love Hina. Finally, we move on to this week’s anime reviews.
WARNING! If you are the kind of fan who blindly worships any anime he enjoys, you might want to go elsewhere. We don’t hesitate to criticize these shows in the snarkiest fashion possible, which means a certain degree of intelligent and critical thought is required to fully appreciate our reviews. If you’re going to accuse us of being haters or trolls merely because we didn’t like one of your favorite shows, just don’t bother. I’m sure a site like Sankaku Complex or 4chan would be more amicable to your tastes.
Finally! This is the K-ON!! episode fans have been waiting for! With the last two episodes being possibly my favorites of the entire season thus far, I had rather high expectations for this one. Could it maintain the great character-based comedy that made the last two so enjoyable?
I heard this episode actually moved some people to tears, and it’s easy to see why. It was one of the best and most heartfelt episodes of the second season. However, its sluggish pacing kept it from being perfect. In particular, Yui’s long “thank you” monologue just drags on for what felt like hours. Despite this, the jokes were humorous, the music was excellent and the camaraderie between the girls was as entertaining as ever. Overall, a solid episode with a few minor flaws.
After K-ON!! 17’s disappointment, I wasn’t holding out much hope for the next few episodes. I was expecting more mindless filler and pointless moeblob antics. Boy, was I in for a surprise. The episode 18 and 19 two-parter totally blew me away. I’d dare say these are my favorite episodes of the entire second season. It was an amazing feeling seeing this return to glory for the HTT girls, especially after the crap we’ve been fed the past few weeks. The jokes are great, the character interactions are spot-on and, for once, the show actually had a overarching plot. Oh, and the girls FINALLY practice too! Who knew K-ON!! could redeem itself so quickly?
Now that I’m back from my vacation, I can finally inject some much-needed silliness (and bromance) into the podcast with Sengoku Basara 2. There’s no news for this week, so you might notice that all that pent up discussion energy causes us to GET SERIOUS about…well…every show we talk about. So if you decide to listen, I hope you like arguments about world-building theory. Otherwise, you’ll need LOTS OF LUCK to make it through.
Here I was hoping Aya was on the road to normalizing her career, but that notion seems to be in my dreams. In reality, her career is becoming a large looming uncontrollable nightmare. Her recent revelations about her love life have caused quite a stir among her fans, creating lots of unnecessary and ultimately harmful drama. How Aya is coping with this is something we’d all like to know.
According to a recent article from ANN, the K-ON! merchandising juggernaut has made 1.8 billion yen in the last three months. That’s approximately $20 million USD, and that doesn’t even include the video sales and licensing rights for the anime or CDs. It’s not on par with merchandising juggernauts like Star Wars or Gundam, but it’s still pretty impressive.
But out of all this merchandise, there are a few products that are rather… bizarre. Let’s take a look at those odd and ridiculous accessories that really make people scratch their heads and beg the question,”What were they thinking?”
Could the K-ON! manga be coming to an end? This story just went live on ANN.
A footnote on the bottom of kakifly’s K-ON! manga in the September issue of Houbunsha’s Manga Time Kirara magazine lists the next installment as the final one. The September issue officially ships on Monday.
Now, don’t start panicking just yet. This only means that K-ON! will no longer be serialized in Manga Time Kiara. It’s entirely possible that kakifly could continue the manga in another serial magazine. On the other hand, this could mean that the next chapter will indeed be the final one, and the series will end with the girl’s graduation from high school. This theory is further supported by the K-ON!! anime, which will finish airing in late September. Perhaps the manga and anime will end simultaneously, like Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
Personally, I think it’s about time for K-ON! to take its last bow. It’s been a fun ride, but the show has become somewhat creatively bankrupt and repetitive as of late. But don’t despair, moe fans! Kyoto Animation’s next project, Nichijou, is already in the works.