One Piece MMF: Appendix I

December 9, 2010

Here’s a round-up of some posts on One Piece that arrived shortly after the conclusion of the Manga Moveable Feast:

Jammer’s AniMovie Blog begins to unravel “The Threads of One Piece.”

Connie (Slightly Biased Manga) compares One Piece and Dragon Ball.

Sam (A Life in Panels) Kusek thinks Usopp looks a little jaundiced and asks you to vote for your favorite Straw Hat Lantern.

The gracious Ed (Manga Out Loud) Sizemore hosted a One Piece podcast with me, Erica (Okazu) Friedman and Sean (A Case Suitable for Treatment) Gaffney.


DeBT (Sunday Comics DeBT) marvels at the sometimes astonishing displays of violence in One Piece.

Upcoming 12/8/2010

December 7, 2010

After a shônen-heavy week, rewarding as it was, it will be nice to spare a little attention for shôjo and even josei in this week’s ComicList:

Viz debuts Julietta Suzuki’s Kamisama Kiss, about a girl who unwittingly becomes a local goddess. It happens. The series originally ran in Hakusensha’s Hana to Yume, which is a good sign, and Suzuki also created Karakuri Odette (Tokyopop), a well-liked series that will be the subject of the next Manga Moveable Feast, to be hosted at Manga Report.

On the josei front, there’s the fifth volume of Yuki Yoshihara’s smutty, ridiculous, and endearing Butterflies, Flowers (Viz). In this volume, our completely insane protagonists go furniture shopping, which will surely devolve into madness. The series originally ran in Shogakukan’s Petit Comic.

That’s not a very substantial shopping list, but other bloggers are willing and able to help you part ways with your discretionary income:

  • First up is Melinda (Manga Bookshelf) Beasi, who offers this excellent gift guide with many useful categories.
  • And if I were to write a Best of 2010 list, it would look very much like Kate (The Manga Critic) Dacey’s, except mine wouldn’t be written as well. Still, book for book, I can’t find many points of disagreement. Maybe the order of a couple of items?

  • One Piece MMF: Thanks, and farewell!

    December 6, 2010

    With more than 50 fresh blog posts generated over a seven-day period, the One Piece installment of the Manga Moveable Feast has reached its conclusion. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s contributions and how delighted I am that so many people took the time to chime in on the series with their own varied thoughts. I also appreciate all of the links to the various Manga Moveable Feast updates and articles.

    Just to have them all in one place, here’s a list of the daily link updates:

  • Day One Links
  • Day Two Links
  • Day Three Links
  • Day Four Links
  • Day Five Links
  • Day Six Links
  • Day Seven Links
  • Appendix I
  • And for posterity’s sake, here are all of the Manga Moveable Feasts so far:

  • After School Nightmare (Go! Comi), hosted by Sean (A Case Suitable for Treatment) Gaffney
  • Paradise Kiss (Tokyopop), hosted by Michelle (Soliloquy in Blue) Smith
  • The Color Trilogy (First Second), hosted by Melinda (Manga Bookshelf) Beasi
  • To Terra… (Vertical), hosted by Kate (The Manga Critic) Dacey
  • Mushishi (Del Rey), hosted by Ed (Manga Worth Reading) Sizemore
  • Emma (CMX), hosted by Matt (Rocket Bomber) Blind
  • Sexy Voice and Robo (Viz), hosted by me
  • If you still have some unexpressed thoughts on the series, I’ll be doing the occasional appendix post this week for folks whose schedules didn’t allow them to get their thoughts posted during the “official” period.

    The next Manga Moveable Feast will be hosted by Anna at Manga Report. Watch that site for details!

    Update: The topic and dates for the next Manga Moveable Feast have been announced!

    One Piece MMF: Day Seven Links

    December 5, 2010

    Johanna (Manga Worth Reading) Draper Carlson has it right: while yesterday was the last “official” day of the One Piece Manga Moveable Feast, I’m absolutely open to “appendix” round-ups if people didn’t quite get their pieces in by the wire. Now, on to the updates:

    The Cat Demon Spirits ask, “Can One Piece be taken seriously?”

    Sam (A Life in Panels) Kusek inexplicably passes on the opportunity to draw Sanji in a ridiculous lavender bikini.

    ABCBTom crafts a pitch for new readers by practicing on the ABCBTom of days gone by.

    Anna (Manga Report) considers the obstacles to entry through the prism of the first two volumes. Anna will be hosting the next Manga Moveable Feast, and she’ll release more details on that soon.

    David (4thletter!) Brothers rounds up some of his reactions to the series, born of long experience with One Piece.

    And I cobble together a gift guide featuring comics for boys that people who like One Piece might enjoy.

    MMF: The Great Shônen Manga Gift Guide for 2010

    December 4, 2010

    Daniella (All About Manga) Orihuela-Gruber is picking up the baton of the Great Manga Gift Guide, and I thought I’d take the opportunity of the One Piece Manga Moveable Feast to offer a shônen-flavored version that takes One Piece’s tone and content and creator Eiichiro Oda’s career arc into account. Now, many shônen series are great, but they’re just plain long, so it’s with some reluctance that I would suggest them as a gift when, if the gift is received well, it would require the recipient to spend a ton of money completing a series. That’s very “first hit’s free,” don’t you think? But sometimes that kind of recommendation is unavoidable, and since this list is conceived at least partly with the One Piece admirer in mind, I’m not going to be too rigid about it.

    I will be rigid about one thing: use what you know about the recipient to guide your choice of gifts. If you know they like comics, great. If you know you want them to like comics, tread carefully, and pair the comic gift with something you know they actually like. Holidays are always creepy when they’re tinged with evangelism, I think.

    It’s widely known that Oda took great inspiration from Akira Toriyama, so it seems reasonable to recommend Toriyama’s Dragon Ball, which is available in bulky, gift-worthy VizBig editions. It offers “a wry update on the Chinese ‘Monkey King’ myth, introduces us to Son Goku, a young monkey-tailed boy whose quiet life is turned upside-down when he meets Bulma, a girl determined to collect the seven ‘Dragon Balls.’ If she gathers them all, an incredibly powerful dragon will appear and grant her one wish. But the precious orbs are scattered all over the world, and to get them she needs the help of a certain super-strong boy…” Less adventure and more jokes can be found in Toriyama’s Dr. Slump (Viz). Toriyama and Oda have collaborated on a Dragon Ball/One Piece crossover called Cross Epoch.

    Oda began his career as an assistant to Nobuhiro Watsuki, who was working on Rurouni Kenshin (Viz) at the time. Viz declares, “Packed with action, romance and historical intrigue, Rurouni Kenshin is one of the most beloved and popular manga series worldwide. Set against the backdrop of the Meiji Restoration, it tells the saga of Himura Kenshin, once an assassin of ferocious power, now a humble rurouni, a wandering swordsman fighting to protect the honor of those in need.” It’s also available in VizBig format.

    Another of Watsuki’s assistants at the time was Hiroyuki (Shaman King) Takei, who’s currently at work on Ultimo (Viz) with Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee. I found the first volume of Ultimo unsatisfyingly creepy, but Erica (Okazu) Friedman liked it when she reviewed it for About.Com, finding that the series “provides a solid reading experience with characters you want to know more about, in a situation you want to see resolved well.”

    If you liked the whole “travel by water” notion and were particularly taken with the aesthetic of Water Seven, I would strongly suggest you take a look at Kozue Amano’s Aria (Tokyopop), which follows gondoliers on Mars. It’s the absolute tonal opposite of One Piece, but manga fans cannot live on crazy hyperactivity alone, and Aria and its prequel, Aqua, are really beautiful.

    If the goofy humor and occasional satirical bent of One Piece are to your liking and you’d like a slightly more mature (sometimes just coarser) take on them, I’d recommend Hideaki Sorachi’s Gin Tama (Viz). It’s about a swordsman-for-hire living in a world that’s been handed over to greedy, corrupt aliens. Like One Piece, it veers from flat-out goofy to surprisingly serious, and Sorachi does some entertaining world building.

    If you like Oda’s distinct, detail-packed artwork, give Yuji Iwahara’s Cat Paradise (Yen Press) a look. It’s your basic Hellmouth story – plucky young people must fend off demon invasion while keeping up with Algebra – with the bonus of helpful, heroic felines. It’s not Iwahara’s best work, but his pages are always easy on the eye.

    And now we start with shônen I’d recommend under any circumstances, first being Osamu Tezuka’s three-volume Dororo (Vertical). It’s disappointingly short, as Tezuka abandoned it much earlier than he had intended, but it’s creepy, funny, sad and wonderful. The lead character’s father sold his son to demons, part by part, and the kid has to kill all of the demons to get his body back. He hooks up with a young thief along the way.

    Far and away the best new shônen I read this year and one of the best sports manga I’ve ever read is Mitsuru Adachi’s Cross Game (Viz), which I reviewed here. Beyond being really good in every way, it’s a big, fat package that makes it very gift-worthy.

    What if you just like stories about pirates? Well, you can’t go wrong with Ted Naifeh’s Polly and the Pirates (Oni). A proper schoolgirl is shocked to discover that she’s got a pirate-queen legacy to live up to in this completely charming, hilarious comic.

    Chris Schweizer’s Crogan’s Vengeance (Oni) takes a more scholarly approach to how pirates actually plied their trade, but it doesn’t downplay the adventure in the process. It’s a smart romp, which I reviewed here.

    One Piece MMF: Day Six Links

    December 4, 2010

    I inexcusably missed this one yesterday, but Anna of Manga Report looks at some of Luffy’s brothers in comic-book stretchiness.

    Ogiue Maniax explores “The ‘Limits’ of One Piece,” few though they may be.

    Sam (A Life in Panels) Kusek asserts that you would like Zolo when he’s angry.

    Eeeper’s Choice enters the world of One Piece via Arlong Park and is game for a return visit.

    Jason (Playback.StL) Green sees the potential in “Romance Dawn.”

    MikeyDPirate (One Piece at a Time) wonders how best to swell the ranks of One Piece fans.

    animemiz discusses Color Walks at Anime Diet.

    You thought Water Seven was sad? Take a look at Enies Lobby, ABCBTom says.

    And I wonder why someone (Viz) hasn’t published Oa’s WANTED! Answer: there is no good reason, so get on that.

    MMF: Wanted: WANTED!

    December 3, 2010

    You’d think a manga-ka as successful as Eiichiro Oda would have more of a back catalog of works that predate his mega-hit, One Piece, but, as near as I can determine, his only other book is a collection of short stories called WANTED!, originally published by Shueisha. I’m a big fan of collections of shorter works by manga-ka who are best known for their longer-form work, so I feel fairly comfortable asking someone (Viz) to publish this retroactively introductory tome.

    The stories included and their years of publication are as follows:

  • Wanted! (1992)
  • God’s Present for the Future (1993)
  • Ikki Yakou (1993)
  • Monsters (1994)
  • Romance Dawn (Version 2, 1996)
  • “Romance Dawn” is the story that served as the template for One Piece, where young Luffy is inspired by local pirates to begin his own career of seafaring adventure.

    The title story, which Oda created at the cadaverous age of 17, apparently won some awards and came in second for an Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize, which is not even a little bit shabby.

    WANTED! has been published in German by Carlsen Verlag.