Anime Expo Announces Utako Yukihiro as Guest

Anime Expo has announced that Utako Yukihiro will be a guest at their upcoming convention.

Yukihiro is the artist of the Devils and Realist manga. She is also the artist for the Uta no Prince-sama manga, and drew the original character designs for the B-PROJECT franchise. Yukihiro also provided the original character designs for the BONJOUR Sweet Love Patisserie anime.

Anime Expo will be taking place July 4-7, 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.

Source: ANN

VIZ Media and Shueisha Add the Double Taisei Shogi Manga in English

VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump website and Shueisha’s MANGA Plus site have both added Kentarō Fukuda’s Double Taisei (Futari no Taisei) manga in English. The manga has also launched in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. Double Taisei is the second of four new manga launching in four consecutive issues of Weekly Shonen Jump.

Kentarō Fukuda previously published the two-volume Devilyman manga in Weekly Shonen Jump in 2015.

Source: ANN

Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Two

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Two collects the fourth, fifth, and sixth volumes of the manga that chronicle the story of the Dragon Ball Z portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume Two
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 19, 2008

This volume continues where the first volume left off, which was during the battle between Goku and Vegeta. In fact, the entirety of the fourth volume of the Dragon Ball Z portion of the story is focused on this battle, which makes up 177 pages of this release. We then see what happens in the aftermath of this battle, and the decision to go to Planet Namek to acquire the Namekian Dragon Balls.

The story then shifts to Bulma, Kuririn, and Gohan going to Planet Namek. Unfortunately, getting the Namekian Dragon Balls isn’t easy, because both Vegeta and new villain Freeza both want the Dragon Balls for themselves so they can wish for immortality. But Freeza isn’t alone… he has powerful henchmen by his side. Goku also decides to set out for Planet Namek after he recovers and using his time in the spaceship to train so he can become even stronger.

For readers who have watched the anime, they already know how long of an arc there is going into the Planet Namek portion of the story. Yes, the anime did add in some filler, but the portion of this arc that appears in this volume isn’t bogged down by filler in the anime. When an anime viewer reaches the end of this volume and realize how much there still is to go for this portion of the story, they know it’s going to have to cover at least one more of the VIZBig omnibus volumes.

Obviously, the Vegeta and Goku fight at the beginning of this volume is one of the highlights. Near the end of the volume, a battle between Vegeta and Zarbon (one of Freeza’s henchmen) gets underway but doesn’t quite finish. Outside of these two big battles, there are some action sequences, but they’re nowhere near as intense as the two battles that bookend the volume. Probably the closest to these two would be the attack that Freeza and his henchmen launch on a Namekian village in order to obtain its Dragon Ball.

I would recommend the manga to readers who are only familiar with the story from the Dragon Ball Z anime, because it allows them to see just how much the anime was stretched out by “filler” and slowing the pacing down. While watching Dragon Ball Z Kai can also help with this, I think it’s better to go to the original source material and see how the author intended the story to be told.

Square Enix to Launch an English Manga Imprint in Fall 2019

Penguin Random House Publisher Services has announced that it has reached a multi-year sales and distribution agreement with Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.’s American subsidiary Square Enix, Inc. to launch a line of English-language manga, novels, and art books. The line is slated to launch worldwide in Fall 2019.

Square Enix previously licensed manga such as Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, and Black Butler to United States publishers. However, the new agreement marks the first time that Square Enix will directly publish books in English under its own name.

The imprint will debut with the FINAL FANTASY XV: The Dawn of the Future novel, which shipped in Japan on April 25, 2019. Other launch titles for the imprint will include the Hi Score Girl, A Man and His Cat (Oji-sama to Neko), and Soul Eater manga.

Source: ANN

Manga Review: Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume One

Dragon Ball Z VIZBig Volume One collects the first three volumes of the manga that chronicle the story of the Dragon Ball Z portion of the franchise.

Dragon Ball Z VIZBIG Volume One
Written by: Akira Toriyama
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 3, 2008

This volume begins with the arrival of an alien named Raditz, and he’s looking for his brother, Kakarrot. He tracks down his brother, who turns out to be Goku, at Roshi’s place. Also introduced early on in this volume is Gohan, Goku’s young son. Yes, it turns out Goku had a tail in the first series because he wasn’t an Earthling… he’s from a race known as the Saiyans. When Goku refuses to go with Raditz, his older brother defeats him and kidnaps Gohan.

For those who are familiar with the Dragon Ball Z franchise know that this is the beginning of this portion of this franchise. The story continues in this volume with the death of Goku, Gohan displaying that he has latent powers that he’s unaware of, and Piccolo training Gohan. Goku may be dead, but he’s training in the afterworld with Kaio-sama. Goku, Gohan, and the other Z-Fighters are preparing for the arrival of two other Saiyans who will come in one year.

This three-in-one also gets to the arrival of Vegeta and Nappa, the two Saiyans, and the various fights they have with the Z-Fighters. We even see Goku return from the afterworld to start battling the Saiyans. This omnibus volume ends in the middle of Goku’s battle with Vegeta.

Since I saw the anime well before I ever began reading the manga, I was pleasantly surprised by how much quicker the story progresses in this omnibus edition. It really made it clear just how much filler was included, as well as how much some of the scenes were stretched out, in the anime adaptation of this first arc of Dragon Ball Z. As I recall from seeing the early episodes of Dragon Ball Z Kai, the remake anime follows the manga much more closely, so has a similar pacing to what you see when you read these first three volumes of the series.

The manga telling of this story, especially when you look at this omnibus volume, has a good mixture of character building, dialogue, and action that keeps the reader wanting to read more in order to find out what happens next. Even though I was already familiar with the story from watching the anime, I still found myself engrossed while reading this first omnibus edition of Dragon Ball Z. And the deaths of certain characters hit me just as hard as they did when I first saw this story when watching the anime for the first time a little over a decade ago. Oh, and I can’t neglect to mention just how cute and little Gohan was in this early arc of the series.

This omnibus release is worth it for fans of Dragon Ball Z that want to own the manga but don’t want to spend the time or money to chase down the original individual volumes of the series.

My Hero Academia Is The #2 Selling Graphic Novel in the United States for April 2019

13 manga titles appeared on NPD BookScan’s Top 20 selling graphic novels list for April 2019:

  • My Hero Academia Volume 18 by Kohei Horikoshi (#2)
  • Smashed: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito (#3)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kohei Horikoshi (#4)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kohei Horikoshi (#7)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 17 by Kohei Horikoshi (#8)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kohei Horikoshi (#9)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 27 by Hajime Isayama (#10)
  • Tokyo Ghoul:re Volume 10 by Sui Ishida (#11)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 4 by Kohei Horikoshi (#13)
  • My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Volume 4 by Hideyuki Furuhashi (#14)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 16 by Kohei Horikoshi (#15)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 5 by Koheu Horikoshi (#17)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 15 by Kohei Horikoshi (#18)

Source: The Fandom Post

VIZ Media Welcomes Bisco Hatori to Anime Expo 2019

The creator of Shojo Beat manga such as Ouran High School Host Club, Millennium Snow, and her current series, Behind the Scenes!!, will have a dedicated panel and participate in an autograph session and other special fan events that are scheduled to take place during Anime Expo. Times, dates, and additional details on Bisco Hatori’s first professional appearance in North America will be announced soon.

“Bisco Hatori’s manga series have captivated readers worldwide,” says Nancy Thistlethwaite, Senior Editor. “Ouran High School Host Club, one of Shojo Beat’s debut series and an enduring favorite, introduced a generation of new fans to shojo manga! Come join us in welcoming Bisco Hatori in her first North American appearance.”

Anime Expo is North America’s largest dedicated anime/manga fan convention and takes place July 4–7, 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. Tickets and full details are available at anime-expo.org. VIZ Media will be located on the main convention floor in Booth #2206.

Bisco Hatori made her manga debut with Isshun kan no Romance (A Moment of Romance) in LaLa DX magazine. Her breakout hit Ouran High School Host Club became an international best seller and was adapted into a popular anime series. Hatori’s other works include the paranormal romance Millennium Snow as well as her latest series, the comedic Behind the Scenes!!, which are available in English from VIZ Media.