Pirate booty

April 16, 2010

Over at Robot 6, Kevin Melrose notes that Eiichiro Oda’s splendid One Piece (Viz) has finally sailed into the waters of The New York Times Graphic Book Best Sellers list. I don’t really have anything to add, but I wanted to link to the story because it makes me happy.

Perpetual anticipation

April 16, 2010

If there’s a single story in all of manga journalism that qualifies most as unproductive drudgery, it’s trying to dig up something about Kodansha USA. So kudos to Gia (Anime Vice) Manry for actually speaking to a human being, the initiative’s general manager. It’s been ages since we’ve had a scrap of anything new to use as fodder for speculation.

As you may recall, right before the official announcement of the effort (or “effort”), Kodansha withdrew all of its properties from Tokyopop. Before that, they ended their first-look agreement with Del Rey. The Random House imprint has still been licensing new Kodansha titles, but, as Lori (Manga Xanadu) Henderson notes, their hearts don’t really seem to be in it lately.

Vertical has two Kodansha properties coming up. The first volume of Kanata Komani’s Chi’s Sweet Home is due June 29, and the first volume of Felipe Smith’s Peepo Choo is due July 13. (Chi’s is serialized in Kodansha’s Morning, and Peepo runs in Morning 2.) Dark Horse is in the process of releasing handsome new collections of some of Kodansha’s CLAMP properties. And the creators of that much-covered wine manga seem to think an announcement of English-language publication is imminent. But aside from these, all’s relatively quiet on the Kodansha front.

So I thought I’d take the opportunity to look back at some of my most-desired Kodansha properties.

The Manga Moveable Feast on Sexy Voice and Robo has made me even hungrier for more comics by Iou Kuroda, so Japan Tengu Party Illustrated certainly makes the cut.

On the classic front, an English version of Shigeru Mizuki’s GeGeGe no Kitaro would be more than welcome.

I may not have a burning desire to know more about the history and practices of Vikings, but I do desperately want to read more manga by Makoto (Planetes) Yukimura, and that means I want Vinland Saga.

I love it when awesome women creators create comics for seinen magazines, and it’s unlikely to get more awesome than Moyocco Anno’s Hataraki Man.

Unless of course we bring Fumi Yoshinaga into the conversation, specifically referencing her What Did You Eat Yesterday? Given Yoshinaga’s demonstrable fondness for food-obsessed gay men, I am certain we would totally be best friends. Or she’d file a restraining order against me.

It should be evident by now that I’m a huge fan of quirky, slice-of-life titles, so Hitoshi Ashinano’s Yokohama Kaidashi Kikô is high on my wish list.

What’s on your Kodansha wish list? Would it be a new edition of Naoki Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon? Do you hunger for something more contemporary, like Hitoshi (Parasyte) Iwaaki’s Histoire, Fuyumi (E.S.) Soryo’s Cesare, or Natsume (House of Five Leaves) Ono’s Coppers? Don’t let the apparent futility deter you. Share your hopes.