The Case Study of Vanitas Manga to Take a One Issue Break

The official Twitter account for Square Enix’s Gangan Joker magazine has announced that a new chapter of Jun Mochizuki’s The Case Study of Vanitas (Vanitas no Carte) manga will not appear in the magazine’s November 2021 issue on October 22, 2021. The Twitter account did not give a reason for the break.

Mochizuki launched The Case Study of Vanitas in Square Enix’s Gangan Joker magazine in December 2015. Yen Press has been publishing the manga simultaneously in English since its debut.

Source: ANN

Anime and Manga Blog Posts That Caught My Eye This Week (October 15, 2021)

From this week’s list, you can tell that the Fall 2021 anime season has gotten underway and that anibloggers have been sharing their initial thoughts on the season’s new offerings.

I recently started following two new blogs, and they’ve already made a strong showing onto this week’s list. 🙂

Here are the anime and manga blog posts that grabbed my attention this week:

Pokemon Journeys: The Series Manga Ends

The November 2021 issue of Shogakukan’s Coro Coro Comics magazine published the final chapter of Machito Gomi’s Pokemon Journeys: The Series (Pocket Monsters: Satoshi to Gō no Monogatari) manga on October 15, 2021. The manga adapts the Pokemon Journeys: The Series anime.

The manga is described as:

Ash is back in awesome adventures that take place across multiple regions of the best-selling Pokemon video games.

When Ash and Pikachu hitch a ride aboard the Legendary Pokemon Lugia, they discover another kid is also on board. Meet Goh, who wants to catch every Pokemon ever—including Mew.

Can Ash and Goh make their lofty dreams come true?

Gomi launched Pokemon Journeys: The Series in Coro Coro Comics in December 2019. VIZ Media has licensed the manga and will release the first volume on November 9, 2021.

Source: ANN

ABLAZE Publishing Spotlights Notable January 2022 Graphic Novel and Comic Titles

ABLAZE previews a pair of notable manhwa and manga-inspired graphic novel titles set for release in Q1 of 2022 as it highlights The Breaker Omnibus Volume 2 and an impressive Space Pirate Captain Harlock hardcover edition.

The buzz about the acclaimed manhwa series, The Breaker, continues to grow and ABLAZE will delight readers in January 2022 with its Volume 2 omnibus of the epic martial arts action series. The hefty new edition features 368 pages of intense, thrilling story and art. The complete series run of Leiji Matsumoto and Jerome Alquie’s Space Pirate Captain Harlock is also highlighted with solicitations in January 2022 ahead of its hardcover release in February 2022.

Additional releases of a trio of continuing comic book series published by ABLAZE set for print and digital release in January 2022 include Animal Castle Issue 2 (January 12, 2022), Guillem March’s Laura Issue 3 (January 19, 2021), and He Who Fights With Monsters Issue 5 (January 26, 2022).

THE BREAKER OMNIBUS Volume 2 by Jeon Geuk-jin & Park Jin-Hwan
MSRP: $19.99
Release Date: January 22, 2022

In The Breaker Volume 2 omnibus edition, Chun-woo has gone missing, following his intense and deadly fight with the dreaded Gijoo. Meanwhile, Si-woon has been confronted with his inner demons ever since Si-Ho Lee administered a remedy that generates so much Qi that the high school student may well explode from within. Future invincible warrior… or time bomb?

The Breaker is a bestselling hit in South Korea and has been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish and more… and now ABLAZE is happy to bring this amazing manhwa title to English readers worldwide.

SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK by Jerome Alquié & Leiji Matsumoto
MSRP: $24.99
Release Date: February 23, 2022

The definitive hardcover edition containing all six issues of the critically acclaimed space adventure by the legendary Leiji Matsumoto and artist Jérôme Alquié.

Set within the timeline of the original series, this brand-new Captain Harlock adventure marks the beginning of an original new story arc. Planet Earth is threatened by an upcoming invasion by the Mazon and despite being banished as a pirate, Captain Harlock won’t give up trying to save the world. This time, the source of danger comes directly from Earth, not outer space. A team of scientists discovers a Mazon mausoleum where they find information about terrifying genetic manipulations and a destructive power capable of either providing the Mazon with immortality or putting an end to their civilization. The unprecedented cold spell hitting Earth might only be a taste of what this new enemy has in store. Will Captain Harlock and his crew manage to solve this mystery and save the Earth from yet another menace?

The hardcover edition features behind the scenes sketches, designs, artwork, and photos on the creation of the story, and contains a complete cover gallery.

New January 2022 Issues for Continuing ABLAZE Titles:

ANIMAL CASTLE Issue 2 by Xavier Dorison & Felix Delep
MSRP: $3.99
Release Date: January 12, 2022

On the Farm all animals were equal. In the Castle some are more equal than others.

After witnessing the deaths of animals that she knew as friends for seemingly nothing, Miss B. becomes a conflicted cat. Things are further complicated when questions are raised about the state of the farm, bringing down severe retaliation by President Silvio’s hounds. Miss B. must ask herself what’s worse: doing something that could cost a life or do nothing at all? For fans of the bestselling Stray Dogs and the Eisner Award winning Beasts of Burden comes an animal fable at once familiar and surprising. You may think you know the story but set aside your assumptions, this animal uprising is unlike any you have read.

GUILLEM MARCH’S LAURA Issue 3 by Guillem March
MSRP: $3.99
Release Date: January 19, 2022

Before Batman, the hit Joker series, and Karmen, there was the heartfelt story of Laura, the book that led Guillem March to the mainstream comics world. The story of Irene explores the nature of inspiration and creating art outside of one’s comfort zone, thanks to some advice from a role model and a cameo by Guillem himself. In Muse, an artist’s search for a model puts how a young woman is perceived by her male roommates into perspective.

HE WHO FIGHTS WITH MONSTERS Issue 5 by Francesco Artibani & Werther Dell’Edera
MSRP: $3.99
Release Date: January 26, 2022

In the aftermath of an unthinkable act, Radek and the golem decide to work with the Resistance, only to find themselves falling into a deadly trap. Will they make it out alive and save as many people as possible, or will this be the end of hope in the city?

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:

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

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:

Tokyopop Licenses the Alice in Bishounen-Land Manga

The Fandom Post is reporting that Tokyopop has licensed the Alice in Bishounen-Land manga, and that the company is scheduled to release the first volume on February 8, 2022. The second volume is scheduled to be released on April 12, 2022.

The property comes from Yushi Kawata and Yukito and is known originally as Shinkyou Alice to bishounen to bishounen to bishounen to bishounen to bishounen ~Otome Game Royale~. The series began in 2019 and wrapped up with two complete volumes in Japan.

The story of Alice in Bishounen-Land is described as:

Alice Kagami inadvertently gets herself trapped in the world of the otome game “Koiiro ♡ School Stars” alongside her best friend, Tatsumi, who’s a huge fan of the game. The only way to escape is to train the idols of the school to become top stars. However, the five candidates that appear are a half-dog, a ghost, fairy-sized (8 inches tall), a giant (59 feet tall), and a 41 year old teacher who looks like a child.

Useless game, only generating shallow, handsome guys with weird quirks. How on earth is she supposed to win with this motley crew of pretty boys? And all the while her best friend doesn’t want her to win and end her dream of living surrounded by gorgeous boys. What’s Alice to do?

Source: The Fandom Post