Looking for manga that’s just a little bit edgier, more artistically innovative, thought-provoking or just plain old more “grown-up?” U.S. manga publishers have heard you and this summer, they’ve got a great array of graphic novels that’s just for you.
From the sea-faring suspense of Children of the Sea and the cosmic sci-fi headtrips of Jyu-Oh-Sei to the hardboiled action of Dogs and the rock n’ roll raunchiness of Detroit Metal City, there’s no reason to whine that there’s no manga to read this summer. Dig in and see what’s new!
Ruka is a tomboy-ish teen who meets two strange boys who live at the aquarium where her father works. How strange? Umi and Sora share an unusual affinity for the ocean because they were raised by dugongs, a type of large sea mammal.
As fish begin disappearing from aquariums all over the world, and strange deep sea fish begin beaching themselves, Ruka finds herself fascinated with Umi and Sora, and starts to wonder why she too can hear the same call of the sea that they do.
Author and Artist: Jiro Taniguchi
Publisher: Fanfare - Ponent Mon
Release Date: June 30, 2009
Visit Fanfare - Ponent Mon's A Distant Neighborhood webpage
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Middle-aged salaryman Hiroshi Nakahara accidentally takes a train ride back to his old hometown to visit his mother’s grave. Then for reasons he can’t explain, Hiroshi is transported back in time, and discovers that he’s an 8th grader again, but with all of his adult memories intact.
Can he, or should he try to change the decisions he made before? But more importantly, can he find his way back to the present day, or is he stuck in the past?
Swallowing the Earth was created in 1968, around the same time as Dororo, and is described as one of Tezuka's first ventures into grown-up stories for adult readers. This dark tale features Zephyrus, an icy female seductress who is out to punish men for crimes against women.
From the creator of smart, sensual and wry stories like Antique Bakery and Flower of Life, comes a historical manga set in the era of samurai with a twist: What if most of the men were wiped out by a plague, and what if the shogun was a woman? The result is Ooku: The Inner Chambers, a historical fantasy series about a once-male dominated society turned inside-out, and a female Tokugawa-era shogun who keeps a harem of handsome male consorts for her pleasure.
Kazuhiko is a black ops agent who is called on an unusual mission: he must escort Sue, an innocent waif who has lived in isolation for years, to an unknown destination. But there’s a dark reason for Sue’s life of captivity, and Kazuhiko discovers that his mission is more dangerous than it looks.
This deluxe omnibus edition collects all three volumes of the original edition as well as numerous luminously lovely color illustrations. Clover is back, and better than ever.
Before the bullets start flying in Dogs Volume 1, meet the scarred assassins who'll be doing much of the shooting: Meet Mihal, an retired hitman who's haunted by his past. Next, meet manic Badou, an "information broker" who always in the middle of the action, and on the receiving end of some very bad luck. Meet Naoto, a scarred swordswoman who burns to get revenge for her slain family. And lastly, meet Heine, a fearless gunman with a strange metal collar on his neck and even stranger secrets in his past.
Since he was a little boy, Yoshihiro Tatsumi has been in love with manga, especially creating manga. From his early days as a school boy cartoonist who becomes overwhelmed with giddiness upon meeting Osamu Tezuka to his trail-blazing days as a leading artist in the gekiga, or “dramatic pictures” movement, Tatsumi had a front row seat to manga’s evolution. A gripping, can't-put-it-down autobiography that manga and comics fans will be talking about for months.
Author and Artist: Kiminori Wakasugi
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 9, 2009
Read a review of Detroit Metal City Volume 1
Visit VIZ Media's Detroit Metal City webpage
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Soichiro Negishi is a sensitive farm boy who moved to Tokyo to be a pop singer. So how did he end up as Krauser II, the lead singer of a death metal band? As his two lives collide, Negishi becomes a manga anti-hero who endures hilarious highs and lows on his highway to heavy metal hell.
Now that all three volumes are out, it's a great time to catch up with Jyu-Oh-Sei, Natsumi Itsuki's mind-bending sci-fi epic about a pair of well-to do twin boys who are sent to a frightening prison planet filled with man-eating plants and even fiercer tribesmen and women.
Young Thor discovers that his life of middle-class comfort has been replaced by a 'survival of the fittest' existence, where he must fight to become the Beast King, the one person who is allowed to leave this dangerous prison planet.
10. Faust Volume 2
The second collection of this innovative light novel / short story / manga anthology is out, and it's packed with compelling content created by some of Japan's most popular novelists and illustrators, including modern horror novelist Otsuichi (ZOO, GOTH), Death Note manga artist Takeshi Obata, and much more.
Author: Yumemakura Baku
Artist: Jiro Taniguchi
Publisher: Fanfare - Ponent Mon
Release Date: July 23, 2009
Visit Fanfare - Ponent Mon's Summit of the Gods webpage
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In 1993, in a small Nepalese store, Makoto Fukamachi, photographer for a Japanese expedition to conquer Mt. Everest, stumbles across an old camera – a Vest Pocket Autographic Kodak Special. Could it be famed mountaineer George Mallory’s camera? And if it is, does it hold the secret of whether Mallory and Irvine made it to the summit?
Author: Tetsu Kariya
Artist: Akira Hanasaki
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Dates: Ramen and Gyoza: May 19, 2009; Fish, Sushi and Sashimi: July 14, 2009
Visit VIZ Media's Oishinbo Ala Carte webpage
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Dueling father and son gourmets Yuizan Kaibara and Shiro Yamaoka face off once more, challenging each other's cooking skills and peerless palates as they trade insults (and culinary tips and tidbits) about some of Japan's most popular dishes: ramen, gyoza, sushi and sashimi.