To the surprise of absolutely no one, the upcoming issue of Manga Time Kirara will announce two new K-ON! spinoff manga, both of which will premiere next month. As far as we know, these two manga share the K-ON! title, but cover different subject matter . The first, which begins on April 9th in Manga Time Kirara, will focus on the continuing adventures of Ritsu, Mio, Yui and Mugi as they go to college. The second, which begins on April 28th in sister magazine Manga Time Kirara Carat, will follow the light music club at Sakuragaoka Girls’ High School, now manned by Azusa, Ui and Jun.
And thus, the inevitable slow decline of the K-ON! franchise begins. They won’t stop milking this cow until its dry, utterly dehydrated and comatose.
I’ve seen it happen dozens (if not hundreds) of times before. At first, K-ON! was a fun but vapid slice-of-life series, an enjoyable diversion that kept us amused with short skirts and pop music. Sadly, as the manga stretched on and the anime plowed through its second season, creative bankruptcy began to set in. The jokes got stale. The plots became repetitious. Even the much-vaunted music lost its luster. K-ON! was winding down, and everybody knew it.
In this robot-tastic episode of Bakacast, me and my team of podcasters-in-disguise bring back the news segment to praise Ken Akamatsu’s new online manga initiative and express our concerns for its viability. Then we move our convoy on to the reviews, where the good shows are suddenly bad, the bad shows are suddenly really good, and Squid Girl continues to be the most consistently fun show of the season.
Oh, yeah, and I guess there are some Twitter questions where I admit to writing Final Fantasy fanfiction, Jon accidentally encourages me to imagine myself as part of an incestuous relationship between video game characters, and we unanimously decide that Evangeline A.K. McDowell is awesome.
I’ve made it clear before that I like it when artists try mixing two cultural styles to create something new and interesting. Though that’s partly because I love artistic experimentation, there’s a practical reason, too. I’ve noticed there are certain things America is better at than Japan, and vice versa; and both countries have pursued ideas the other hasn’t. In this three-part series, I’ll analyze what I think are each country’s artistic advantages: why they’re good and what the other country can learn from them.
For this inaugural entry, my focus is on comic books. To make my comparisons easier to parse, “comics” will refer to American comic books and “manga” will refer to Japanese comic books.
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 entries were pretty good, and choosing a winner was not easy. However, Starlogic managed to impress us once again, followed by Taiga for a close second. Congratulations to both of you; here’s your prize!
This week’s page is from The Legend of Koizumi. The Fuhrer has come down from the moon and is about to unleash his latent Master Race abilities. What could former Prime Minister Koizumi and his assistant have said to rile him up so fiercely? That’s where our readers come in! Fill in the blanks using the numbers provided. As always, keep comments PG-13 and safe for work. The winner will be announced next week, so take your time and come up with something good!
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!
Nine years after finishing Love Hina, Ken Akamatsu has decided to publish a small one-shot of the romantic comedy manga in the next issue of Weekly Shonen Magazine. The one-shot will include six colour pages featuring Keitarō and Naru, however any details beyond that are sparse. This will also coincide with the 300th chapter of Negima!, another of Ken’s works.
If you are anything like me, then you too are now reveling in acute feelings of nostalgia. Savour them, and try not to feel old. Although Love Hina started back in 1998, I was first given it to read in 2005 whilst undergoing my first year of university. Up until then, I was completely ignorant and skeptical of manga in general, not to mention anime. To say that Love Hina turned my world upside down would be an understatement, as from that point on I was 100% addicted. So that’s where it all began for me, and as such the manga occupies a very special place in my memories.
But enough with the history lesson! What is your opinion of Love Hina? Have you too got a soft spot for it? Or have you moved on completely in your life and couldn’t care less?
Since quite a few of our posts have revolved around SERIOUS BUSINESS lately, I think it’s high time for something lighthearted and fun. Therefore, I’m announcing our first ever manga caption contest! The concept is pretty simple; 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. Since there’s no real prize (other than our everlasting respect and gratitude), anybody can enter as many times as they like. The winning entry will be posted one week from today.
If this contest goes well, I might make it a weekly feature. Feedback is welcome, as always. SO ARE YOU HAVING FUN YET, PUNKS?
Yen Press, the US publishing company that holds the rights to titles such as Yotsuba&, K-ON! and Highschool of the Dead, has launched the online version of their monthly anthology magazine Yen Plus this week, replacing their now-defunct print edition. To celebrate this event, the August issue of the magazine is free, while any ongoing subscriptions will be $2.99 per month. The fact that this move occurs in the same week as the death of One Manga is perhaps only a coincidence, however with other publishing houses like Square Enix also putting content online, we may be seeing the beginning of a major shift in manga content distribution. What’s your opinion: are you along for the ride?
Well, it has finally happened. One Manga, one of the biggest scanlation hoarding websites on the internet today, is closing up shop at the end of this week due to ‘publishers recently changing their stance on scanlations’. It was only a matter of time before the popular website submitted to pressure from the multi-national manga anti-piracy coalition, which aims to reduce the huge amount of manga piracy on the internet. Indeed, the scalp of One Manga will be a big victory for the coalition as, according to ANN, One Manga was ranked #935 on Google’s 1000 most visited websites on the ‘net. This is quite a staggering thought; to think that a website that relies on such blatant piracy could rise to become one of Google’s top 1000. No wonder it had to go.
Do you visit One Manga frequently? I know I did, yet as I said in my previous article, and I say again now: lets pull our fingers out and start supporting the industry we love. Consider the death of One Manga the final wake up call.