Kodansha Comics Announces Forthcoming Manga Releases

Kodansha Comics announced during the company’s Anime Boston 2014 panel that it will be releasing Hiromu Arakawa’s manga adaptation of the fantasy novel series, The Heroic Legend of Arslan. The company will release the series in print and digitally beginning in August 2014.

The story is described as:

As an unnaturally heavy mist descends on the battlefield, King Andragoras and his most valued officers confer among the bodies of dead and dying soldiers. When Daryoon, a young but highly skilled officer, voices his reluctance to send men into battle under these conditions, the king, unstable and enraged, banishes him.

Now, Daryoon’s new mission is to insure the safety of the King’s only son, Prince Arislan. Daryoon and Prince Arislan set off on a quest of their own, but they can’t succeed alone. They must convince both the Lord Narsus and his companion, the archer Elam, to join them in their quest to somehow help the soldiers win the war.

Now a group of only six they must somehow overcome an enemy of 300,000 soldiers. These unlikely soldiers have fate on their side, so anything can happen.

The company also announced it will be re-releasing the Mushishi manga series in digital-only format later in 2014.

Source: ANN

The Second Season of the Mushishi Anime Is Coming in April 2014

The premiere airing of the Mushishi anime special announced that a second season of the Mushishi television anime series has been green-lit and will premiere on Japanese television in April 2014.

The new season is being produced by Artland, and is being directed by Hiroshi Nagahama. Yoshihiko Umakoshi is designing the characters, and Toshio Masuda is composing the music. Yuto Nakano and Mika Doi are also reprising their roles as Ginko and the narrating voice.

FUNimation Entertainment released the first season of the Mushishi in North America.

Source: ANN

Manga Review: Mushishi Volume One

Mushishi Volume One is rated “OT Ages 16+.”

Mushishi Volume One
Written by: Yuki Urushibara
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: January 30, 2007

This manga series features mushi, and they are creatures that display supernatural powers and have an ethereal nature. Most humans are incapable of perceiving the mushi; however, there are a few who possess an ability to see and interact with them. The manga follows a man named Ginko, and he is a mushishi. He has the ability to not only see the mushi, but he can also usually figure out ways to help people who have mushi disturbing them in some way. During this manga volume, Ginko encounters a man whose drawings come to life if he draws with his left hand, a young boy who has soft horns coming out of his head and is always hearing noises, a man who is having prophetic dreams, a girl who has an illness that has made her lose her eyesight, and a young woman who is traveling with a moving swamp.

I really enjoyed Urushibara’s art style. The character designs have a unique feel to them. My favorite character design has to be for Ginko. He looks like he’s personable, but with the hair that covers one of his eyes, he also exudes a “mysterious” feel as well. The art has a “clean” feel that’s easy on the eyes, and it’s also rather easy to follow which panels you should be looking at as you’re reading the volume.

I also enjoyed the storytelling in this manga, especially the way the character of Ginko explains what’s going on without “talking down” to the audience. There are also unexpected twists that appear in some of the stories. In addition, each of the stories presented in this manga make good use of its limited space to develop the characters that Ginko helps so the reader feels invested in their stories.

By the time I finished reading the first volume of this manga, I was interested in reading more. If I can ever track down other volumes of this manga through the library, I will have to check them out and read them.