Upcoming 12/12/2007

The theme of this week’s comic shop arrivals seems to be “new volumes of appealing series,” and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Dark Horse delivers the fifth volume of Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki’s The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. I didn’t think the fourth volume was quite up to standard, to be honest. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as solid a combination of gruesome mystery and strangely heartwarming comedy. I did appreciate the guest appearance by Reiji Akiba from Yamazaki’s other series, Mail, and I hope he returns.

I find Kaoru Mori’s Emma (CMX) extremely soothing. It’s so gentle and precise, and it’s really easy on the eyes. The sixth volume arrives tomorrow. (By the way, does the knowledge that this series was originally published in a seinen magazine influence your reading experience in any way? Or that Yotsuba&! Or Azumanga Daioh had similar origins? I was flipping through the latest Comics Journal at the shop last week, and most of the review of Translucent seemed largely devoted to that conundrum.)

Until the arrival of Ai Morinaga’s My Heavenly Hockey Club (Del Rey), Kiyoko Arai’s Beauty Pop (Viz) was the clear leader in the ridiculous shôjo category. It’s still awfully good, even if it’s moved into second place. The sixth volume arrives Wednesday. I also really enjoyed the preview chapter of Kiyo Fujiwara’s mafia princess comedy Wild Ones that ran in a recent issue of Shojo Beat, so I’ll have to move that up in my “to read” pile.

Among the other new series making their debut, Seven Seas offers a new take on Speed Racer, written by Dwayne Alexander Smith and drawn by Elmer Damaso, whose work seems to bear some resemblance to that of Mike Allred. That’s kind of a cool way to go with the material.

6 Responses to Upcoming 12/12/2007

  1. huff says:

    What did TCJ review have to say about the subject? I don’t really see how its all that relevant: Emma doesn’t really seem like something that would be published in a women’s magazine. And if you look past their artwork Yotsuba and Azumanga are clearly written with older readers in mind (though they obviously don’t ignore the youngsters). The only time the target audience would really effect my reading/viewing of a property is with something like Lucky Star, or any other piece of moe for that matter. Maybe I’m just closed-minded but knowing that it’s intended for 30-year-old Japanese geeks is just creepy as hell.

  2. davidpwelsh says:

    It was something along the lines of “look at Dark Horse marketing this as shojo when it was really for dirty-minded salarymen who had a thing for schoolgirls.” It may well have been, but I’ve never really seen anything in the text or art that indicate its origins or make it something a shojo audience couldn’t enjoy.

    But I was rolling my eyes a lot, so I might have missed the point.

  3. John Jakala says:

    Ooo, new volumes of two of my favorite manga series! Yay!

    I agree that vol. 4 of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service was the weakest so far. As you say, nothing horrible but it just didn’t have the same appeal of earlier volumes.

    I’m still surprised that Emma is considered seinen, but perhaps that explains why I enjoy it so much while I’ve yet to find a shojo series that really clicks with me. (I have high hopes for Honey & Clover based on everyone’s praise!)

    And it doesn’t really matter to me how a work was originally targeted. I find myself enjoying all kinds of material outside my official demographic, from toddler board books to works by Fumi Yoshinaga.

  4. Chloe says:

    And here I was planning on picking up 4 & 5 of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service…is it bad enough that I should invest my dollars elsewhere? [read: in that copy of Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators I’ve been eyeing?]

  5. davidpwelsh says:

    Oh, I don’t think the fourth volume is bad; it’s just not as engrossing as the previous three. Much less character-driven. And Japan is so splendid in so many ways that I’d recommend it over just about anything. I mean, if you’ve got a copy handy, lord, buy it.

  6. huff says:

    John: You shouldn’t be disappointed by Honey & Clover, though the anime adaptation is really the superior version. Comparisons to Nana are sure to come up, though I think that’s a bit unfair since H&C takes a much more tone-down, almost slice-of-life approach to the subject matter of “Crazy kids in love.” Really universal when it comes to appeal, and like I mentioned the anime is actually better than the source material for a change.

    And I’m with David: Japan is amazing amazing stuff that needs to be read by everyone.

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