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.
This is a refined and expanded version of an editorial I originally wrote for Japanator. The original can be found here.
It seems one of the biggest problems in the ongoing moe debate is the lack of any concrete definition for the term “moe.” This has lead to all sorts of argument among otaku; some believe the term can be applied to any female character the viewer considers cute, while others argue it should be strictly limited to its original Japanese definition. Personally, I think the truth lies in between these two extremes. After all, language is defined by its usage, not by the opinions of a few crazed fanboys or some dusty old dictionary. Therefore, based on my own observations and research, I have created the Four Laws of Moe. I believe these laws lay out, in clear and concise detail, the exact parameters of moe and what traits a character must exhibit in order to be considered as such. Of course, these laws are merely a reflection of my own opinion; feel free to improve upon them, argue against them or even construct your own alternative theory. Whatever the case, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
I-It's not that I like you or anything, MangaHelpers! Geez!
In recent weeks there have been numerous articles all over the interweb explaining the coming demise of manga aggregator websites. All the big hitters in manga publishing have formed a “multi-national manga anti-piracy coalition“, aiming to stem the flow of un-authorised content distribution through popular websites such as MangaHelpers, One Manga, Mangafox etc. These websites became popular with readers because of how easily they could tap into the scanlations available online, display them all together on one webpage, and as a bonus the owners could charge some ad revenue as well. Now, MangaHelpers is the latest of websites to take the cue and jump ship after threats from the anti piracy coalition to threaten offending websites with legal action. More after the jump.
Okay, so we do not yet have a trailer for the up and coming film, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. Instead we have a newly released poster with some character sketches of the main characters in and around the SOS Brigade. Located in the margins, some lucky sod scanned the whole thing in high enough resolution for our viewing pleasure. See the sketches after the jump.
Yup, February 6 2010 has been named as the day that the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya film will be released in Japanese cinemas. February is shaping up to be an awesome month, not only because it contains my birthday, but if this movie turns out to be awesome as well, it could be a perfect early b’day present. Then again, a small part of me is afraid the movie is going to flop, with possible budget constraints or any other problems Kadokawa seem so good at digging up. NO! Bad Chris! Have faith in the production company that brought Haruhi to the small screen! Don’t continue to think Endless Eight killed the magic that is Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu!
The year is 1942. The Red Army valiantly battles the Nazi German invaders for Mother Russia’s future. However, a secret occult order within the SS, known as the Ahnenerbe, is resurrecting zombies from the Order of the Sacred Cross (a.k.a. the Crusaders). With these new Crusader zombies, as well as the prince of darkness Baron Nadya on their side, Nazi victory seems inevitable. The only hope… Russian Military Intelligence’s 6th Division, who is enlisting the aid of Soviet teenagers with superpowers to fight this otherworldly threat.
Dragon Ball Kai has been all the rage lately, with the show consistently holding the #5 spot in the Japanese TV animation rankings, right behind One Piece and several spots ahead of Naruto Shippuden (which ranks at #9). With this success, companies are racing to get a variety of tie-in products on store shelves, hoping to capitalize on the craze. Out of all these products, however, one stands out due to it’s sheer uselessness and, by extension, awesomeness. I am talking, of course, about the Dragonball Kai Mini Frypan.
No no no! Not that Pan!
That’s more like it.
I’ll let Project Haruhi’s in-house pitchman, Ghost Billy Mays, tell you why these frypans are so awesome.
Picture this: You’re a sumo wrestler, in the throes of a mighty Mega Mac Attack. You hunger for the succulent taste of a McDonald’s hamburger… but all the seats and booths at your local restaurant are too small to support your excessive girth. What do you do?
Well, if you live in Ryogoku, Tokyo, you’re in luck. The local McDonald’s has just installed special sumo seats for its plus-sized clients. Now Japan’s most powerful and respected athletes can have a burger with the rest of us.