Upcoming 4/21/2010

This is one of those weeks where all of the ComicList heavy lifting is done by Viz Signature, whose offerings include two titles that would make any Wednesday an exciting one all by themselves.

It seems like it’s been ages since we got a volume of Fumi Yoshinaga’s Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, but the wait is over. (Well, the wait is over for those of who you aren’t subject to that weird one-week delay that Diamond sometimes inflicts on Viz fans in the northeastern United States.) Ôoku recently won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award “for science fiction and fantasy that expands our understanding of gender.”

I simply do not understand why more people aren’t reading and raving about Takehiko Inoue’s glorious drama about wheelchair basketball players, Real. It’s beautifully drawn and brilliantly written, and while I know that’s never a guarantor of commercial success, it would be nice if this title got some of the level of buzz it richly deserves. The eighth volume is due Wednesday. And if you want to double your Inoue pleasure, you can pick up the seventh VizBig collection of Vagabond. I’m so behind on that one. Oh, god, I’m part of the problem, aren’t I?

I love it when I can be lazy and pull a “What she said,” and I do that a lot with Kate (The Manga Critic) Dacey. I share her sentiments about Seimu Yoshizaki’s Kingyo Used Books, which debuts this week but has been running on Viz’s SigIKKI site since its launch. Take it away, Ms. Dacey:

“The series’ episodic structure cuts both ways, see-sawing between being a fun exercise in formula — which manga will feature prominently in this story? who will be drawn into the store? — and a frustratingly obvious collection of beats culminating in a character’s decision to make a change in her life.”

What looks good to you?

7 Responses to Upcoming 4/21/2010

  1. judi(togainunochi) says:

    They all look great. I am reading Ooku, so I am overjoyed to have another volume. Everything I read tells me to start reading Real. I love Kingyo because I love books, the physical form. I used to work in a library,and a book store so call me a “sucker”. :D

    • David Welsh says:

      I’m not a librarian, but I wish I’d had the good sense to become one. Did you hear about that upcoming Shojo Beat title about the warrior librarians who fight censorship, or something? It sounds like it sprang out of my brain!

  2. [...] — Real and Vagabond — and one by Fumi Yoshinaga — Ooku: The Inner Chambers. As David Welsh notes in his weekly waiting-on-Wednesday column, Real may be the best manga you’re not reading: I simply do not understand why more people [...]

  3. Thanks for the link, David — thought I’d return the favor with my own new-this-week column.

    I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed by Kingyo. I felt a little bit like the neighborhood puppy-kicker for giving it a so-so review, but it just didn’t move me. I’ll probably continue to collect it, if only for the insight it affords into manga that will probably never be licensed in English.

    • davidpwelsh says:

      Thanks, Kate!

      I don’t think you were at all unfair to Kingyo. And I think it’s a good thing that everything on the SigIKKI site isn’t created equal, at least in my eyes. I think it shows a breadth of content, and while I initially wanted to love everything equally (because it’s free and off the beaten path), I eventually accepted that, as in any anthology, there’s going to be stuff that just doesn’t work for me. And there’s going to be stuff (like House of Five Leaves and Saturn Apartments and I’ll Give it My All… Tomorrow that I’m going to love.

      And then there will be stuff like Afterschool Charisma, where my heart will tell my brain to shut up and just roll with it.

      Oh, Clone Freud… what does this mean?

  4. [...] that time of the week again, and Kate Dacey, Gia Manry, and David Welsh take a look at this week’s new releases. Kate also looks at the Free Comic Book Day offerings [...]

  5. Ahavah says:

    Ooku, Got it off Amazon, devoured it in one sitting and am wondering where the story will go next. Volumes 2&3 really made the series pop out in my head; volume 1 didn’t impress me as much…so I’m not looking forward to “going back” to the timeline Yoshinaga started the story at. Does that make any sense?

    Talking about stuff that makes no sense, Absolute Charisma actually made me think “I like Hitler”…followed quickly by “Manga clone Hitler”. How could anyone possibly like the real…he killed 3/4 of my extended family just for being Jewish! (I’m a child and grandchild of Holocaust survivors).

    But I like and sympathisize with Afterschool Charisma’s (fictional, cloned) version of Hitler, a gentle boy who no one wants to befriend. I’m also charmed by Freud, who’s consistantly hysterical and brilliant. It may not be the best or most intellegent thing on sigIkki’s site, but as you said, sometimes your heart has to tell your brain to shut off and roll with it for a fun ride!

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