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Digital Manga Publishing Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

Manga in Minutes: Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist, Vol. 3

Welcome to this weeks Manga in Minutes! It’s back to the single review format, as I take a look at Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist, Vol. 3, but first, some news from this past week.

On to the review!

Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist, Vol. 3Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist, Vol. 3
Story by Hideyuki Kikuchi, Art by Shin Yong-Gwan
DMP, 200 pp
Rating: 16 +

Akamushi begins to investigate a family haunted by a demonic face that appears upon its members periodically. For payment, he claims the family’s daughter as his bride. That’s not where it gets weird though, towards the end Akamushi’s determination to protect his future bride sees him… battling bullies in high school. Hideyuki Kikuchi and Shin Yong-Gwan’s weird and wild horror series continues, with Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist, Vol. 3!
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Manga in Minutes: Takasugi-San’s Obento, Vol. 1

Anime Boston By The NumbersWelcome to the latest Manga in Minutes column! Before we just into the news and review I have a small programming note. This weekend I’ll be attending and covering Anime Boston, which means next Wednesday the usual news/review will be pre-empted for a con report instead. Speaking of Anime Boston, here’s a little info graphic showing the conventions growth over the past decade, along with a little information regarding their attendee demographics.

It’s been a slow news week, manga wise, so only two items this week.

On to this week’s review!

Takasugi-San's Obento, Vol. 1Takasugi-San’s Obento, Vol. 1
Created by Nozomi Yanahara
DMP, 194 pp
Rating: Young Adults (13+)

Nozomi Yanahara’s Takasugi-San’s Obenton, Vol. 1 the tale of an unemployed graduate student, Harumi. Unfortunately for Harumi, things are about to become even more difficult! After the death of his aunt Miya, Harumi finds himself as the sole guardian of Miya’s 12 year old daughter, Kururi. Now, as Harumi struggles to become a fully functional member of society, he now also finds himself attempting to raise and connect with the taciturn and introverted Kururi!
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Manga in Minutes: Brave 10, Vol. 1

Welcome to another Manga in Minutes! We’re kicking off this weeks column with some more licensing announcements, and a few releases dates as well.

Definitely a busy and exciting month for manga news! And without further ado, this week’s Manga in Minutes review…

Brave 10, Vol. 1Brave 10, Vol. 1
Created by Kairi Shimotsuki
DMP/Emanga, 194 pp
Rating: Young Adults (16+)

With her temple burned to the ground and being pursued by the mysterious attackers, young shrine maiden Isanami chances across the down on his luck ninja, Saizo Kirigakure. Tossed together by fate, the duo soon find themselves caught up in the machinations of the warlords of the period as they vie for control of the mysterious power Isanami wields. With little choice they end up seeking the aid of the legendary warlord, Yukimura Sanada! All this, ninja battles, a giant snake and more in Kairi Shimotsuki’s Brave 10, Vol. 1!
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Manga in Minutes: Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist, Vols. 1 + 2

Welcome to another Manga in Minutes! Before jumping into the weekly review, here are a few manga related news items from the past week that caught my attention.

Taimashin, Vol. 1Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist, Vols. 1 + 2
Story by Hideyuki Kikuchi, Art by Shin Yong-Gwan
DMP
Rating: 16 +

From Hideyuki Kikuchi, the mind behind Demon City Shinjuku and Vampire Hunter D comes Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist. Megumi is your typical office lady and she leads a fairly non-descript life, until one unfortunate night she finds herself the prey of an enigmatic, leather clad, inhuman, whip wielding woman by the name of Inran and her associates. Stumbling through the dark alleys of a popular Korean shopping distract, Megumi chances across the one person who can save her. Akamushi Fujiwara, the Red Spider Exorcist!
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Manga in Minutes: Erementar Gerade: Flag of the Bluesky, Vol. 1

Erementar Gerade: Flag of the Bluesky, Vol. 1Erementar Gerade: Flag of the Bluesky, Vols. 1
By Mayumi Azuma
DMP/Emanga, 184pp
Rating: Teen (13 +)

Mayumi Azuma returns to the world of Erementar Gerade in Erementar Gerade: Flag of the Bluesky, Vol. 1. Following an attack on the desert Kingdom of Fuajarl by Edel Garden, Princess Achea and a small group of survivors seek to reclaim the Kingdom from its usurpers and avenge her father’s death! Unbeknownst to Achea and her comrades however, Edel Garden’s forces are set to return to find what they were looking for in their initial attack upon her kingdom, her father’s Edel Raid, Jeen, who also happens to be one of the Seven Glittering Jewels, one of the most powerful Edel Raid’s in existence!
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Say It With Manga – Fumi Yoshinaga Edition

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Sorry for the absence, the holidays are a difficult time of year for me at work, and I also had to contend with switching jobs this year.  But I now have my free time back, and I’m going to be trying new things with this column.  Admittedly, one of the other problems I was having was that I was running out of topics.

This week, I’m going to be looking at the work of Fumi Yoshinaga.  Yoshinaga is one of the few artists who does work aimed at adult women who is still being translated in the current English language manga market.  Part of the reason is her popularity, I think, as she has many English-language fans already.  But her appeal lies in the stories she writes, where she has a knack for capturing the mundane in entertaining ways.  Her early work, in both Japanese and English, was mostly boy’s love one-shots and short series (which, for the uninitiated, are romance stories with gay male characters aimed at women).  Even these, her earliest works, still had their touching, quiet moments.  Yoshinaga is great at writing sympathetic characters, which makes her sometimes mundane subject matter that much better.  Her art is also spare most of the time, but she does great character facial expressions, and the detail in Ooku and her food art is quite impressive.

Here’s the Essential Fumi Yoshinaga, along with some summaries of her other work.  Also worth mentioning is the fact that her other current long-running series, What Did You Eat Yesterday, will be released by Vertical starting in March.  The story of a gay couple and the dinners they share should prove to be a delightful slice-of-life story, despite what sounds like an unexciting premise.

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Manga in Minutes: Triton of the Sea, Vol. 2

Triton of the Sea, Vol. 2Triton of the Sea, Vol. 2
Created by Osamu Tezuka
DMP, 436pp
Rating: Teen (13 +)

Osamu Tezuka’s tale of watery adventure and vengeance comes to its conclusion with Triton of the Sea, Vol. 2! Poseidon’s children have all fallen at the hands of Triton and the final showdown between the two rivals shall commence… or will it? Twists and turns send Triton’s tale into some rather unexpected directions in the final volume of the series.
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Manga in Minutes: Triton of the Sea, Vol. 1

Triton of the Sea, Vol. 1Triton of the Sea, Vol. 1
Created by Osamu Tezuka
DMP, 484pp
Rating: Teen (13 +)

Digital Manga continues to build on their Osamu Tezukua line with Triton of the Sea, Vol. 1! Found abandoned in a cave, young Triton is adopted by a human family and raised as one of their own. But as he grows, he discovers his origins and the legacy of his true family. As the last surviving member of the underwater Triton clan, young Triton must train and prepare himself for the inevitable showdown with his ancestral enemies and those responsible for wiping out his biological family, the Poseidon clan!
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Manga in Minutes: The Strange Tale of the Twilight Demon

The Strange Tale of the Twilight DemonThe Strange Tale of the Twilight Demon
Created by Midori Hagi
DMP/Emanga, 41pp
Rating: Young Adults (16 +)

The Strange Tale of the Twilight Demon is a very short story from creator Midori Hagi, which follows a boy named Imaru as he investigates the disappearance of a classmate and its connections to a strange urban legend. It’s my first exposure to the work of Midori Hagi and probably my last.
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Manga in Minutes: Erementar Gerade, Vols. 17 + 18

Erementar Gerade, Vol. 18Erementar Gerade, Vols. 17 + 18
By Mayumi Azuma
DMP
Rating: Teen (13 +)

After a long, hard road the conclusion to Mayumi Azuma’s Erementar Gerade is here. Cou and Rin have finally made it to Edel Garden, only to discover that it was far from the paradise it was rumored to be. Separated from the rest of their friends, Cou and Ren must do battle with some of the most powerful members of the mysterious Orga Night, while their friends… pretty much do the exact same thing. Surely all the questions will be answered in these final volumes!
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Manga in Minutes: Happy-Go-Lucky Days, Vols. 1 + 2

Happy Go Lucky Days, Vol. 1Happy-Go-Lucky Days, Vols. 1+ 2
by Takako Shimura
DMP/Emanga
Rating: Mature (18+)

Not having read anything from Takako Shimura before, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from Happy-Go-Lucky Days. What I found is a two volume anthology that’s a bit of a mixed bag. The series collects a number of short stories focusing on the relationships and sexual awakenings of a variety of different characters, ranging from a teacher who falls for his students, to coming of age tales, to ghost stories. While there’s no central plot holding the series together, most of the stories are thematically linked through their focus on relationships, and a couple of stories are even connected via familial ties.
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Say It With Manga – The Heroes Edition

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One of my absolute favorite types of manga story are the ones that use heroes. It’s hard to use that as a category, as there are many different types of hero series.  There’s the serious types that are one-man shows like UltramanKikaider Code 02 by Shotaro Ishinomori and MD Geist by Koichi Ohata, for instance (these are called tokusatsu, which is technically an umbrella term, but it’s close enough).  Sometimes the series try to be as much like an American superhero as possible, or actually are about one – Batman: Child of Dreams by Kia Asamiya, or Zetman by Masakasu Katsura (pictured above).  Sometimes they come in the form of a man and his robot – The Big O by Hitoshi Ariga, or Heroman by our own Stan Lee.  But for whatever reason, more often than not they are comedies that poke fun at the inherent ridiculousness of people in special outfits beating up outrageous monsters or other people in costumes.  It’s really hard to make bad jokes about that, so these series are usually awesome.  Unfortunately, they never do well in English, and not very many have been translated.  Here are a few worth checking out, though.

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Manga in Minutes: Erementar Gerade, Vols. 15 + 16

Erementar Gerade, Vol. 16Erementar Gerade, Vols. 15 + 16
By Mayumi Azuma
DMP
Rating: Teen (13 +)

Cou and Ren finally arrive in Edel Garden, but what unfortunate secrets does the mysterious land hold, and what does it mean for the duo? With only four volumes remaining, Mayumi Azuma’s Erementary Gerade heads towards it conclusion with flashbacks to Ren’s past, unexpected reunions and more.
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Manga in Minutes: Erementar Gerade, Vol. 14

(Quick note before we get to the review! I recently recorded an episode of The Speakeasy podcast with The Reverse Thieves, about American comics for Manga fans. The episode is now up, so I thought I’d engage in shameless plugging. You can check it out here! – Ken)

Erementar Gerade, Vol. 14Erementar Gerade, Vol. 14
By Mayumi Azuma
DMP, 174pp
Rating: Teen (13 +)

Mayumi Azuma’s Erementar Gerade enters into it’s end game as Cou and Company crash just outside of their final destination, Edel Garden! Alas things are never easy for them, and they soon find themselves caught up in a battle with the mysterious sniper who’s been following them around, and the forces of Orga Night!
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Say It With Manga – Monarchy in Manga Edition

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It’s fair to say that I use these topics to tie three unrelated series together for no real reason.  I enjoy this format, because it gives me a chance to take the good with the bad, and to force myself to dredge up series I may have read eight years ago and completely forgotten.  This topic is particularly arbitrary, and is broad enough to use again.  But for now, here’s a look at three real people depicted fictitiously in manga. Unfortunately, I have no American Presidents for you (I was initially going for a more general bio-manga theme).  I couldn’t think of any series where a real President was a primary character.  Golgo 13 and Adolf, which I’ve already talked about, have Presidents in bit parts.  There is Eagle, about a fictitious Japanese-American President running against fictitious Al Gore, but I haven’t read it, and it would feel unfair to summarize such an ambitious work in one paragraph with no personal knowledge.  But here’s three I have read, one from ancient Japan and two from late 19th century Europe.

 

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