Archive for the ‘Manga’ Category


The Speakeasy #071: Thunderbolt—Detective Conan, Steelheart, Gundam Thunderbolt, Monstress

November 23, 2015
Drink #071: Thunderbolt
Detective Conan, Steelheart, Gundam Thunderbolt, Monstress

Ongoing Investigations: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, Genesis of Aquarion by Satelight, Aquarion Evol Volumes 4 & 5 by Aogiri and Shoji Kawamori, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin, Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda.

Topics: Detective Conan 20th Anniversary Project, Gundam Thunderbolt, Netflix Producing Anime, Dragon Half Added to Crunchyroll Catalog.


And now your helpful bartenders at The Speakeasy present your drink:


  • 0.75 oz. Gin
  • 0.75 oz. Apricot brandy
  • 2 tsp. Grenadine
  • 0.25 oz. Lemon juice

Fill a shaker half full with ice cubes. Pour all ingredients into shaker and shake well. Strain drink into a Cocktail glass and serve.


The Universe Where Tokyopop is Still King

November 18, 2015

I took my first overseas vacation this summer to Hungary, Austria, and Germany. It was a mind expanding experience. I saw amazing cities, ate delicious food, and broadened my understanding of Europe, the world, and myself. It was pretty much all you could ask out of my first international trip. Nowhere I went felt utterly alien or insanely different from my experiences in the United States. A mixture of globalism, cultural exchange, and communication have made it that you can go to any major city in the world and get by fairly well without any major inconvenience. (A smart phone is a godsend in such a situation.) That said only the most jaded or ethnocentric travelers could not notice that there are a mixture of major and minor differences between various cities in the same state let alone cities in different countries and on different continents. Finding and appreciating those differences is one of the subtle but rewarding parts of travel.

Now I being me decided that I would do three things in every country I visited.

I would:

  1. Eat a donut from a shop I could not visit in the US. No German Dunkin’ Donuts for this guy.
  2. Buy paprika chips for Kate. (Side Note: If you want to get on Kate’s good side one of the keys to that is the gift of paprika chips.)
  3. Visit a comic book store.

If you curious about the results of the first two I can tell you about that outside of this post. This is a Reverse Thieves article not something for the Junk Food Gourmet. But the third goal was as eye-opening as any other part of my journey. I think I learned quite a bit the manga market quite by accident.

DISCLAIMER: I was in Hungary, Austria, and Germany for a little over a week and no more than that. If anyone who has actually lived in any of those countries recently wishes to weigh in I would greatly appreciate it. I fully admit that any conclusions I come to in this post could be either incorrect because I have a very small sample size. I am hardly touting myself as an international manga expert. My name is not Ed Chavez. Consider this post more of a hypothesis I wish to put forward to be peer-reviewed than an absolute proclamation of the truth.

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Platinum Beginning

November 9, 2015

hisui_icon_4040 Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata is one of the few series that broke through that glass ceiling to become a mainstream success. It never got to the level of Sailor Moon or Dragonball Z but it was a title that would regularly appear in magazine articles, became the object of TV controversy, the subject of parody, and regularly appear on the list best-selling manga in the US. It even got the standard rumors about there being Death Note TV series and movies being made in Hollywood. It was series that had an unstoppable momentum that even got it a new live action TV series in Japan and is still discussed today.

With a mega success like that the natural question is what would the duo as a follow-up. It turns out that their next work was Bakuman. It was a very meta manga about a pair of friends trying to make it in the manga industry. It was undoubtedly a success but it was not the juggernaut that Death Note was. Bakuman got an anime, a drama, and sold well but while it is a show that has name recognition on anitwitter it has no where the same cache of its predecessor at an anime convention among the average attendee.

Once again Ohba and Obata are working together on Platinum End. It is a good deal closer to the supernatural mixture of supernatural suspense and horror that made Death Note a success as opposed to the relatively more realistic comedy of Bakuman. The question on everyone’s lips is how does this compare to their last two hits.

narutaki_icon_4040 Shonen Jump has been bringing out a lot of new material lately. It is exciting to see this team back together to do something more with the supernatural which gives Takeshi Obata’s art time to shine and let’s Tsugumi Ohba play with no-limits in the story.

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Manga of the Month: Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha

November 3, 2015

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha
by Morohe Yoshida

hisui_icon_4040 If you want to set yourself up as a soothsayer for the manga industry there is one simple rule that will make you look like you can read the stars with perfect accuracy: Look what happened to the anime industry 5 years before and then just predict the same will happen with the manga industry. You will be the Nostradamus of manga. In that respect we are finally moving into aperiod with the simulpubs of manga as well as a far more robust marketplace for digital manga. While the demand for physical manga has not become the complete niche collectors market that the anime sphere has become there is a growing demand and preference for a digital option. That means new companies popping up to meet that demand.

The thing is all these new services need titles to hook potential costumers into trying their services. A title to draw in readers when they could be buying physical books, using other manga services, or just spending their time and money elsewhere. If you remember the launch of Crunchyroll manga you will remember they came out swinging with titles like Fairy Tail and Attack on Titan. Viz has all its best-selling Jump manga. But beyond that you need a good base of good series that are not a big marquee titles but are enough of a draw that hopefully people will look into them when they are done with books that drew them in. At least that seems to be standard formula.

It seems that Book Walker has gone done a different path. Instead of having one or two killer series and backing them up with a handful of other series they seem to have gone with a wide breadth of solid mid-tier manga. They have a lot of series with have anime and good reputations but nothing that is guaranteed to sell like Naruto or Sword Art Online. It is not that these titles can’t get that popular it is just that they are much more likely just to do well as opposed to selling like gangbusters. But that also means there are some titles in their lineup that are extremely good but for one reason or another that have been passed over by the transitional physical manga publishers.

One of those series is definitely Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha. We wrote about the anime in 2014 but the anime was only part of the story. But now that you can get all of the series in English I felt like it was worth talking about the manga again.

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