My Hero Academia Is #1 on the NPD BookScan Adult Graphic Novels List for September 2021

Manga volumes occupied 19 spots on NPD BookScan’s Top 20 adult graphic novels list for September 2021:

  • My Hero Academia Volume 29 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#1)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#2)
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 1 by Koyoharu Gotouge (#3)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 28 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#4)
  • Berserk Deluxe Hardcover Volume 8 by Kentarou Miura (#5)
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 23 by Koyoharu Gotouge (#6)
  • Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun Volume 1 by Aidairo (#8)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#9)
  • Dragon Ball Super Volume 14 by Toyotarō and Akira Toriyama (#10)
  • Chainsaw Man Volume 2 by Tatsuki Fujimoto (#11)
  • Sensor Hardcover by Junji Ito (#12)
  • Given Volume 6 by Natsuki Kizu (#13)
  • Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 11 by Gege Akutami (#14)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama (#15)
  • Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 1 by Gege Akutami (#16)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#17)
  • Chainsaw Man Volume 6 by Tatsuki Fujimoto (#18)
  • Tomie Complete Deluxe Edition by Junji Ito (#19)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Volume 9 by Akira Himekawa (#20)

Source: ANN

Manga Review: Ranma 1/2 Omnibus Volume 15

Ranma 1/2 Omnibus Volume 15 is a new release for the Ranma 1/2 franchise, which includes the 29th and 30th volumes of the series. These omnibus editions are the first “unflipped” release of Ranma 1/2 in North America. These editions have also been “remastered,” with sharper images and a “spiffed up” translation.

Ranma 1/2 Omnibus Volume 15
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: July 12, 2016

The volume numbers for this release are for the Japanese manga, not the original VIZ Media manga release for Ranma 1/2. The chapters that appear in this volume correspond with all of Volume 27 and all of Volume 28 of VIZ Media’s release of Ranma 1/2.

The first two chapters tell the story of Kuno acquiring the egg of the phoenix, which is supposed to help master the Phoenix Sword, also known as the “magical sword of terror.” The shopkeeper who sells it to him says that whatever he does, he should not put it on his head. Unfortunately, Ranma puts the egg on Kuno’s head. The egg hatches, and the first thing the baby phoenix sees is Ranma. And with this imprinting, the phoenix keeps attacking Ranma as either boy-type or girl-type. The humor in this story comes from how Ranma tries to defeat the phoenix in order to get it off of Kuno’s head. This is an amusing story, and it’s one that was adapted as a short film for the Ranma 1/2 anime. In some respects, seeing the story in motion in the anime makes it even more amusing. It’s one of the more memorable stories in this volume to me, but I think that’s because I know it from the anime.

The next five chapters introduce two new characters, Link and Pink, a set of twins from China. One is a poisonous plant wielder, the other is a medicinal plant wielder. When Shampoo was young, Pink used her as a guinea pig for her poisonous plants. When Link came along and healed her, Shampoo thought it was the same person and punched her. The twins have come to Japan to get their revenge on Shampoo. The newspaper in Shampoo’s amazon village recently published an article about Shampoo and Ranma getting married, so they have also come to attack Ranma as well. Things get so crazy that Cologne enlists Akane’s help by giving her items to help counteract Pink’s poisonous mandrakes. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Ranma 1/2 story without hijinks and misunderstandings. Honestly, this isn’t among my favorite stories from the series. I found Pink and Link’s way of talking (always saying “please” at the end of each sentence) rather annoying and having to read this over and over for five chapters became tedious. And I found the storyline itself to be more unbelievable than usual. Yes, Ranma 1/2 includes plenty of fantastical stories, but at least I could find many of them to be at least somewhat believable. But with this one, I’m having a much harder time utilizing my willing suspension of disbelief.

This is followed by a one chapter story about the Tendo dojo being asked to bring a demon under control. Just as they’re about to place a new seal on the box, Happosai comes along and snatches the new seal and uses it as a tissue. The demon escapes and starts possessing anyone nearby and making them act evil. The only way to make it leave is to punch the person. After possessing a couple of characters, it ends up possessing Kasumi… and nobody wants to punch her. It’s hilarious how Kasumi turns “evil.” This was one of the stories that was animated for the Ranma 1/2 OVAs, and it’s one of the OVAs that I really enjoy. While the manga telling is good, I think the animated version makes it even better.

The next three chapters tell a story that focuses on Nabiki. She is sent a letter of challenge, with the meeting place being a fancy restaurant. She sends girl-type Ranma to answer, but she and Akane accompany Ranma to see what happens. It turns out the “challenge” is a date with Kinnosuke Kasha-o, a seventh generation of the Kasha-o dojo. He appears to be rich, so Nabiki pops out and sends girl-type Ranma away. It turns out that the Kasha-o school makes it so people are forced to spend money on them, while the Kasha-o spend nothing. On their date, Nabiki keeps shifting costs to Akane and Ranma, who continue to accompany her, because Kinnosuke has supposedly forgotten his wallet. But so much money is spent that the repo men come to the Tendo house to collect the unpaid money. Nabiki is determined to suck Kinnosuke dry, while Kinnosuke is dissatisfied because he couldn’t make Nabiki spend any of her own money. The next time they meet, Nabiki issues a wager: the first to spend even ten yen pays for all of this date as well as the charges from the previous one. The rest of the story sees the two of them trying to get the other to spend ten yen. I loved the ending of this story, especially after how ridiculous things get leading up to the conclusion. This is one of those stories that I wish had been animated for the Ranma 1/2 anime. It’s such a perfect story for Nabiki, who hardly had stories focusing on her to begin with, and I think the animators would have had a lot of fun animating this one.

The next three chapters have a story that focuses on Ryoga. He defeats a large pig that has been rampaging and attacking young men. The pig belongs to a girl named Akari Unryu, who says he’s the winner and hands him a note. Akari’s family has raised champion sumo wrestling pigs, and her father will not allow her to consider any man until he has defeated the large pig. Ryoga is torn, since he has his feelings for Akane, but he’s also flattered that another girl is noticing him. But when she starts complimenting him and comparing him with pigs, he becomes offended. She doesn’t know his secret, and also she loves pigs, so to her, these were compliments. When Akari believes that Ryoga hates pigs, she trains herself to hate pigs. Meanwhile, Ranma gets a love incense from Cologne and uses it on Ryoga… with the trigger word being “pig.” Of course, you can probably imagine that the trigger word being “pig” isn’t as safe as Ranma thinks it is. This story is full of the misunderstandings and hijinks associated with Ranma 1/2, but it also provides a little bit of character development for Ryoga. Honestly, I think Akari and Ryoga would actually make a good couple, and the way the story ends, that possibility isn’t entirely ruled out. This is another story in this volume that I wish could have been adapted for the anime.

This is followed by a one chapter story, where Cologne has Ranma ask Genma to try an experimental herb for hair growth. After initially rejecting the idea, Genma tries it… and grows a towering head of hair. The tonic is stimulated by anger and turns the hair into spikes But when he starts laughing, all the hair falls out. This isn’t necessarily a bad story, but it feels kind of weak coming right after Ryoga’s storyline.

The next two chapters see the return of Miss Hinako, Ranma and Akane’s homeroom teacher. She isn’t one of my favorite characters in the series, and I tend to not like her stories as much. In this one, she wants to remain a grown-up, and she finds a way while at a festival. She scoops up two fighting fish and puts then in a round fishbowl, which she takes with her wherever she goes. The round opening, combined with the fish’s battle aura, allow Miss Hinako to remain a grown-up. Ranma wants to find out how she’s maintaining the adult look and strength and breaks into her apartment. Oh, Ranma. Why are you breaking and entering? Meanwhile, Akane finds Miss Hinako’s missing wallet and goes to the apartment to return it to her. And guess what? More misunderstandings and hijinks. While I enjoy the misunderstandings and hijinks in many of the stories in the series, there are just some characters and their stories that annoy me. Miss Hinako is one of those characters. To be honest, I’m glad only one of her stories was adapted for the anime OVAs.

This is followed by another one chapter story, and this one features Kuno. He carves his name and the pig-tailed girl’s name into a cherry tree… and the tree possesses him. The story focuses on Kuno trying to get girl-type Ranma to free him from the tree. This wasn’t a bad story, but I’m glad it didn’t last any longer than it did. It’s one of those stories that needs to be on the short side.

The next three chapters see Ranma catching a cold from Happosai, and the fever keeps him so warm that he’s not changing into a girl when splashed with cold water. At the same time, Ranma’s mother drops by looking for Ranko. But as the cold transfers between people, its effectiveness wanes for Ranma. He so wants to face his mother as his male self, but he keeps getting thwarted in his attempts. To be honest, this is my favorite story in this volume. I’m glad to see Ranma’s mother makes more appearances in the manga, and I keep rooting for Ranma to be able to see his mother as his male version. I know that it’s not going to happen, because Takahashi would want to keep this conflict going for as long as possible, but there’s still a part of me that really wishes for Ranma and his mother to truly reunite.

The final chapter in the volume runs for one chapter, and it’s about a cursed spatula. Once you see that a spatula is in the title, you know that it’s a story that’s going to include Ukyo. As I’ve been reading through these volumes, it’s really hitting me that Ukyo isn’t quite as important to the overall series as she seemed to be when she was first introduced. There’s definitely more stories featuring Shampoo than there are featuring Ukyo. Anyway, Ukyo gets a call from a friend who is an okonomiyaki chef, and she has a cursed spatula. Ranma grabs it, and it gets stuck on his hand. It’s thought he has to make a perfect okonomiyaki to get it to come off. Hijinks galore, of course, and then there’s a twist at the end. This wasn’t one of the better stories to feature Ukyo. Oh well.

Even with some of the weaker stories included in this volume, there were still enough storylines that I enjoyed that it made reading Ranma 1/2 Omnibus Volume 15 worth it. There were a couple of stories here that I wish would have been adapted for the anime in some way, because I think they would have been enjoyable to see come to life in an animated format.

I feel that this remastered volume of the Ranma 1/2 manga is worth picking up and adding to your manga library, even if you already own a copy of the series. This release of Ranma 1/2 is a much needed upgrade from VIZ Media’s original release of the series.

Additional posts about Ranma 1/2:

Disney to Stream the Tatami Time Machine Blues, Black Rock Shooter Dawn Fall, and Summer Time Rendering Anime Globally

The Walt Disney Company announced during its “APAC Content Showcase” that it will stream the Tatami Time Machine Blues, Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall, and Summer Time Rendering anime worldwide. The company’s Disney+ service will exclusively stream these anime in Japan, but Disney did not specify which venue or venues will offer these titles outside of Japan.

Disney+ launched in November 2019, and it is now available in North and South America, most of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and other countries and territories. It will launch in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan next in November 2021, followed by more European countries, Israel, South Africa, and Turkey in Summer 2022. Disney noted that the new titles’ streaming is “subject to local availability.”

Source: ANN

Tatami Time Machine Blues Anime to Premiere in 2022

The staff for the television anime of Tomihiko Morimi’s Tatami Time Machine Blues (Yojō-Han Time Machine Blues) novel has announced the anime’s main cast and release details.

Most of the cast members are returning for the sequel anime to The Tatami Galaxy, including Shintarō Asanuma as the protagonist “I” (Watashi), Maaya Sakamoto as Akashi, Hiroyuki Yoshino as Ozu, Junichi Suwabe as Jōgasaki, and Yuko Kaida as Hanuki. Kazuya Nakai will voice Higuchi, replacing the character’s original voice actor, the late Keiji Fujiwara.

The staff also announced that the anime will exclusively stream on the Disney+ service in Japan in 2022, and that the anime will then have a theatrical compilation film version after streaming. The Disney+ version will also have an original episode that will not be shown in theaters.

Shingo Natsume is directing the anime at Science SARU, and Makoto Ueda returns as scriptwriter from The Tatami Galaxy. Yūsuke Nakamura also returns as character designer.

In Tatami Time Machine Blues, The Tatami Galaxy protagonist’s trouble-making friend Ozu gets the student apartments’ only air conditioner remote control wet, breaking it on a certain midsummer day. The students wonder what to do about the situation for the remainder of the summer and make a plan with Akashi. An unstylish male student from 25 years in the future arrives in a time machine. The protagonist travels back in time to try to retrieve the remote control before it is broken.

Source: ANN

YouTube Movies Adds Both of the Tiger & Bunny Anime Films for Free Streaming

The Fandom Post is reporting that YouTube Movies both the Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning and Tiger & Bunny: The Rising anime films for free streaming. The English dubs are available for both of the films.

Tiger & Bunny is described as:

Sternbild City is home to people called “Next,” who use their special abilities to protect the people as superheroes. These heroes solve cases and save lives so they can wear sponsor logos or acquire “hero points.” Their activities are documented on the popular program “Hero TV,” which picks the “King of Heroes” in a yearly ranking. The veteran hero Wild Tiger has always preferred to work alone, but now he’s been assigned the rookie Barnaby Brooks Jr., who has a different perspective on being a superhero.

Source: The Fandom Post

YouTube Movies Adds the Infini-T Force Movie – Farewell, Friend Anime Film for Free Streaming

The Fandom Post is reporting that YouTube Movies has added the Infini-T Force Movie – Farewell, Friend for free streaming.

The story of Infini-T Force Movie – Farewell, Friend is described as:

The ultimate spacetime travelers are back and facing down an unthinkable danger. In an eerily parallel Shibuya, Gatchaman stares down his own death and encounters his former mentor, Dr. Nambu. Luckily he has some backup from the legendary Joe the Condor.

Source: The Fandom Post

Seven Seas Entertainment Licenses the COLORLESS Manga

Seven Seas Entertainment has announced that it has acquired the license for the COLORLESS science fiction manga series by Kent, a stylish noir-punk thriller set in a world stripped of its color and humanity. This visually striking manga series is presented in two-tone printing that contrasts a gritty, monochromatic world with sudden electric splashes of neon color.

A cosmic disaster changed the Earth forever, stripping away every last drop of color from the world. Mankind also changed: the familiar human face is almost forgotten in a world now populated wholly by mutants. Against the backdrop of a moody urban landscape, a lone wolf investigator named Avidia relies on both his wits and extraordinary gun to hunt down the world’s last hidden scraps of color. He soon crosses paths with a very special girl–one who just might hold the key to bringing back what the world has lost.

Seven Seas will publish the COLORLESS manga series for the first time in North America in print and on digital platforms in single volume editions. Volume 1 will be released in May 2022 for $14.99 USA / $18.99 CAN.

Source: Seven Seas Entertainment

Seven Seas Entertainment Licenses the His Majesty the Demon King’s Housekeeper Manga

Seven Seas Entertainment has announced that it has acquired the license for the His Majesty the Demon King’s Housekeeper manga series by Saiko Wadori and Mika Kajiyama, a lighthearted shojo tale about a high school girl who uses her passion for cleanliness to fix up a fantasy world.

Sakura loves when everything is neat, clean, and in its place. She’s on the school Beautification Committee and spends every spare moment mopping or dusting to keep things tidy and perfect. When Sakura is transported to a fantasy world, she’s immediately flabbergasted by how dirty everything is. The land is under a curse which prohibits cleaning magic, and the residents have really let things go. Even the demon king’s castle is a complete mess. Sakura isn’t going to stand for it. She’ll put this kingdom in order, even if it means working directly with the intimidatingly attractive demon king himself.

Seven Seas will publish the His Majesty the Demon King’s Housekeeper manga series for the first time in North America in print and on digital platforms in single volume editions. Volume 1 will be released in May 2022 for $13.99 USA / $17.99 CAN.

Source: Seven Seas Entertainment

Retired Voice Actress Pamela Lauer to Return for the New English Dub of the Dirty Pair Anime

Right Stuf and Nozomi Entertainment’s Kickstarter page for an English-dubbed Blu-ray Disc release for the 1985 Dirty Pair television anime has announced that Pamela Lauer will return as the voice of Kei in the new dub. Lauer voiced Kei in the English dub of the original Dirty Pair original video anime (OVA). She is currently retired. Jessica Calvello will also return as Yuri for the new dub.

Right Stuf and Nozomi Entertainment launched the Kickstarter campaign earlier in October 2021. The Kickstarter reached its goal to raise US$275,000, and as of this writing, has raised $372,416. The campaign will run until October 31, 2021.

The Kickstarter will fund an English-dubbed HD release for the main television anime, but also offers the Blu-ray Disc release of the entire franchise as a reward for specific pledge tiers. The project’s Kickstarter page states that Right Stuf and Nozomi Entertainment will utilize 75% of the funds collected for dubbing, production expenses, and acquiring rights clearances. The project will utilize 15% of the funds for the production of the materials, media, and packaging; and utilize 10% of funds for overhead, working capital, fees to run the project on the platform, royalties, and staff costs.

Source: ANN

Manga Review: No. 5 Volume Two

No. 5 Volume Two is an omnibus edition that includes two volumes in one. This release marks the first time that this part of the story was released in print in North America.

No. 5 Volume Two
Written by: Taiyo Matsumoto
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 19, 2021

I don’t know if it’s because it’s been a few months since I read the first volume of No. 5, but I felt completely lost as I started reading this volume. The first part of the first chapter appears to be a flashback of some kind, although it comes across as kind of… odd. Then, we see this man named Viktor talking with his men, and we learn something kind of… odd and disgusting that No. 1 did at his inaugural parade. Right at fist, this detail about No. 1 just seems to come out of nowhere and have no real importance, but we get to see a flashback to that moment in a later chapter. After this disgusting detail is revealed, No. 4 (who is actually a set of twins) uses their power to take on Viktor from a distance.

Meanwhile, No. 5, along with Matryoshka, approach No. 4, who decide to give him No. 5 a “souvenir” by having him see some strange visions. The visions are supposed to help reveal some details about the story and the characters, but they’re so odd that it takes a couple of read-throughs of this sequence before the reader starts grasping what these visions mean. After the visions, Viktor kills No. 4 and injures No. 5… and then takes Matryoshka with him. Like I said earlier, I was having a hard time following the story up to this point, but I think I got the gist of what happened.

Maybe I’m not remembering something from the first volume of No. 5, but I’m just not understanding Viktor’s motivations for what he does. To be honest, I can’t remember if Viktor had even been introduced in the first volume. I recognized most of the other important characters in this volume, but I had no recollection of Viktor. As I said earlier, though, it’s been a few months since I read the first volume, so I may have simply forgotten about this character.

After Viktor defeats No. 4, we get two chapters that take a look back at events that took place prior to the series. One chapter is set 15 years prior to this story, and the other takes place 10 years before the start of the series. I think these two chapters were the ones I understood the best, because they provided backstory that helps the reader better understand what’s taking place in the series. To be honest, I think this series might have been a little stronger if the story had started out with these flashback chapters but embellished them a little to include some of the information the reader would have needed to understand the world of the series. The flashback presented in these two chapters are especially important to help the reader understand the character of No. 1.

The final chapter returns to the present time, where No. 5 is being taken care of by a girl and her uncle. We also see how Viktor is treating Matryoshka. The volume ends with a news report about the movements of No. 1, who has been having a hard time accepting this situation. I suspect that No. 1 is going to be an even more important character in the next volume of No. 5.

Even though I have now read two volumes of No. 5, I still think I’m not entirely getting this series. By the end of this volume, I felt almost as lost as I did at the end of the first volume. I don’t feel quite as lost thanks to the two flashback chapters, but I still felt lost. This manga series is not an easy one to truly follow and understand, at least for me. After reading the first two volumes, I think this series is going to appeal more to a “niche” audience than to a mainstream one. Readers who are fans of Taiyo Matsumoto’s work might also find a little more appreciation in No. 5 than I do.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

Additional posts about No. 5: