From the preview images of Takama-ga-hara shown at Comic-Con, you'd think this was just another high school punch-'em-up action series, ala Tenjo Tenge. And based on first impressions of this introductory chapter, it is -- but imagine Tenjo Tenge thrown in a blender with Bakuman, with a hearty dash of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo slapstick humor, and you'll have some idea of what's in store.In Japanese mythology, "Takama-ga-hara" literally means "the field of high heaven," and refers to the land where the gods dwell. But in this first chapter of Takama-ga-hara, the action unfolds in the ordinary world, where the five Yamada brothers train endlessly to be the strongest of the strong. Well, except one: middle child / high schooler Yamato Yamada.
While his brothers practice their sparring skills, Yamato wants to strike out in a field that's possibly more ruthless and competitive: the world of manga. But when Yamato unexpectedly taps into near god-like superpowers, his quest to get his comics published in Weekly Shonen Jump gets just a little... complicated.
Takama-ga-hara made its debut in the Japanese edition of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in early July, so North American readers are getting this spanking new shonen manga series only weeks after Japanese fans.
In his letter introducing his creation to American fans, Kawai had this to say:
"This story is about ancient Japanese gods known as Yaoyorozunokami and the modern humans who fight with the powers and abilities of these gods."
"In the story, these abilities are called kamiwaza. My goal is to draw battles between those who have awakened to the powers of the gods in a fresh way that's never been seen before. what kind of kamiwaza will show up next? I hope you look forward to that as you read the story each week. Please join me in the arena of the gods!"
This week's issue of Shonen Jump Alpha also includes the latest chapters of One Piece, Bleach, Naruto, Toriko, and Barrage, plus cosplay photos from Comic-Con 2012.
What, you haven't subscribed to Shonen Jump Alpha? There's no better time than now, as more and more great series are being added to this weekly, digital-only shonen manga magazine from VIZ Media. Shonen Jump Alpha is available to read via the VIZManga.com website, and through iOS devices like the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. And now, if you own an Android phone, you have yet another way to read SJA, as they've recently added a brand new Android app to their array of apps. Sign up for a subscription today, and you'll also get the next exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh card in the mail: Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max.
If you've had a chance to read Takama-ga-hara, what did you think? Add your comments below!
Image credits: ©2012 Jyuzo Kawai / SHUEISHA INC.