I might be a bit late, but I still want to tell you what manga I’m most looking forward to in 2010. There’s a lot of manga being translated in English these days and these are my top picks.
#5 51 Ways to Save Her by Usamaru Furuya (CMX Manga- September 2010)
Two former classmates, a gothic lolita and a college student, are reunited. And then an 8.1 earthquake hits Japan! I do love my post-apocalyptic stories. And Tokyopop finished Dragon Head a couple years ago so this is long past due. ———————————————————————
#4 Bakuman by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata (Shonen Jump- August 2010)
From the creators of Death Note, Bakuman is the story of two junior high students who team up to become the most successful manga-ka duo in Japan. The from the creators of Death Note tagline didn’t impress me, but after reading a few chapters online, I can see this going to great places. Bakuman was supposed to run in Shonen Jump USA this year, but it hasn’t been announced if it will only be a preview or full blown serialization.
#3 I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow by Shunju Aono (Viz Signature- May 2010)
40-year-old Shizuo Oguro is tired of his corporate career. So he decides to quit to pursue his lifelong interest: becoming a manga artist. I’ll Give It My All… is Shizuo’s story of the ups and downs of his quest at manga success. This was one of the first series I sampled over at Sig Ikki and I instantly fell in love with it. ————————————————————
#2 AX Volume 1: A Collection of Alternative Manga (Top Shelf- July 2010)
Just as the title implies, AX is a collection of short alternative manga stories. Originally slated for a December 2009 release, AX was pushed back to summer 2010. Volume 1 will contain shorts from Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Akino Kondoh, Kazuichi Hanawa, and Shinichi Abe. —————————————————————————————————————————————————
#1 Peepo Choo by Felipe Smith (Vertical- July 2010)
It’s not often that an American comics artist is flown out to Japan to work on a monthly manga in Morning 2 for Kodansha. Peepo Choo is the story of two individuals. Milton is a hardcore otaku from Chicago, obsessed with the anime Peepo Choo. Reiko is a teenage model in Japan who wants a career overseas. Tokyopop published Smith’s first series MBQ from 2005-2007. I’m a huge fan of that series and cannot wait to read this one.
More manga I’m looking forward to
All My Darling Daughters by Fumi Yoshinaga (Viz Signature- January 2010) This is a short story collection revolving around a 30-year-old salary woman and her friends. Fumi Yoshinaga is most known for her yaoi series in America, but now Viz is dipping into her josei (shojo for big girls) manga. Viz Signature is currently publishing her Ooku series.
Black Blizzard by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly- April 2010) If you read Tatsumi’s 900 page autobiography A Drifting Life, you will know that Black Blizzard is Tatsumi’s very first graphic novel. This is one of the first published gekiga (“dramatic pictures”) manga.
Bokurano: Ours by Moiro Kitoh (Viz Signature- February 2010) On a summer day, 15 kids enter an ominous cave and are invited to play a game in which they pilot a giant robot and fight alien invaders. Little do they know they are playing for their lives and the sake of their planet. I watched the anime for this a couple years ago and loved it. Of course there are plenty of sick twists throughout the series (this is from the same author of Narutaru after all).
Deadman Wonderland by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou (Tokyopop- February 2010) After being convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, Ganta Igarashi is taken to a privately owned prison where the inmates fight in a modern day gladiatorial coliseum. The first thing I thought when I saw the cover was– “that guy on the cover sure looks a lot like Renton Thurston from Eureka Seven.” As it turns it out, this manga is from the same artist as the Eureka Seven manga. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this one so I’ll give it a free pass.
Hanako and the Terror of Allegory by Sakae Esuno (Tokyopop- March 2010) Urban legends are supposed to be just that, legends. But when people believe these legends, they appear before their eyes! Daisuke Asou is a folklore detective who deals with these cases. This is from the same author as Future Diary so I expect great things from this.
Ristorante Paradiso by Natsume Ono (Viz Signature- March 2010) This is the story of a little restaurant in Rome. A romance begins between Nicoletta, an apprentice, and Claudio, the headwaiter. Viz Signature is Ono happy this year, releasing not only this but not simple, House of Five Leaves, and Gente. It’s nice to see Viz Signature try to bring this manga-ka into the limelight.
Saturn Apartments by Hisae Iwaoka (Viz Signature- May 2010) and the rest of the Viz Signature line After humankind abandoned Earth to preserve it, humans inhabit a ring 35-kilometers in the sky. However, this ring is highly stratified, with the rich inhabiting the highest sections of the ring. Mitsu is a window washer that observes the inhabitants of the ring. I began reading this series in Ikki, but stopped after I decided to buy this manga in print. To be honest, I haven’t been following Ikki at all lately since I plan to or am already purchasing everything on there.
Toriko by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro (Viz Shonen Jump- June 2010) Gourmet hunter Toriko searches the world for the tastiest foods imaginable. With a bottomless stomach, Toriko battles the deadliest animals with his bare hands to supply the world’s foremost restaurants. In the process, he is also looking for the perfect ingredients for his full-course meal. Shonen Jump USA is currently hosting a 3-month preview of Toriko and I’m loving it so far. It’s like One Piece meets Fist of the North Star.
That’s it for now. There’s still a lot of 2010 manga that has not been announced yet. As you can see, nothing on this list has a publication date past September. I’m sure it must be a surprise to you that I’m actually updating this blog. I have the next 2 weeks off from work and I want to make it count. Therefore I am setting a goal for 5 reviews in the next 2 weeks.