Manga Giveaway: Assassination Classroom Giveaway Winner

Assassination Classroom, Volume 1And the winner of the Assassination Classroom manga giveaway is… wandering-dreamer!

As the winner, wandering-dreamer (whose review blog Narrative Investigations I happen to really enjoy) will be receiving Assassination Classroom, Volume 1 by Yusei Matsui as published by Viz Media. Since Assassination Classroom features a rather unusual teacher, I was curious to hear about some of the other great teachers that other people have encountered while reading manga. Be sure to check out the giveaway comments for everyone’s detailed responses!

Some of the manga available in English featuring teachers:
Anything and Something by Kaoru Mori
Aqua by Kozue Amano
Aria by Kozue Amano
Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui
Blue Exorcist by Kazue Kato
Cardcaptor Sakura by CLAMP
Dr. Slump by Akira Toriyama
Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
Future Lovers by Saika Kunieda
GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka by Toru Fujisawa
GTO: 14 Days in Shonan by Toru Fujisawa
Hana-Kimi by Hisaya Nakajo
Hikaru no Go written by Yumi Hotta, illustrated by Takeshi Obata
Kobato by CLAMP
Moon and Sandals by Fumi Yoshinaga
Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
Negima! by Ken Akamatsu
Oresama Teacher by Izumi Tsubaki
The Royal Tutor by Higasa Akai
S.S. Astro: Asashio Sogo Teachers’ Room by Negi Banno
Sunshine Sketch by Ume Aoki
Ultras by est em

There are some really great teachers included in the manga listed above, but I’m sure that there are plenty more. Thank you to everybody who participated in the giveaway and shared your personal favorites with me. I hope to see you again for the next giveaway!

Manga Giveaway: Assassination Classroom Giveaway

The end of June draws near, which means the end of the first half of the year is quickly approaching, too. It also means that it’s time for another giveaway at Experiments in Manga! Most schools are now out for the summer (at least in the United States), but we mustn’t forget all of those hardworking teachers. And so, this month’s giveaway is for Yusei Matsui’s Assassination Classroom, Volume 1 as published in English by Viz Media. As always, the giveaway is open worldwide!

Assassination Classroom, Volume 1

Considering the sheer number of manga translated into English that are based in a school setting, relatively few seem to grant more than a passing acknowledgement of the teachers. Sometimes they aren’t even included in the story at all or barely make an appearance beyond the background. But occasionally teachers are actually given a prominent role. Assassination Classroom is a series that stands out for that very reason (among many other reasons). Great Teacher Onizuka, the first series that I read in which a teacher was a lead character, is another manga that immediately leaps to mind. There’s S.S. Astro: Asashio Sogo Teachers’ Room, too, but I can’t think of very many other examples off the top of my head that are available in English.

(Okay, I will admit right now that there are plenty of hentai and boys’ love manga that feature teachers, but those particular stories really weren’t the ones that I had in mind…)

So, you may be wondering, how can you win a copy of Assassination Classroom, Volume 1

1) In the comments below, tell me a little about your favorite teacher from a manga. (Never noticed a teacher in your reading? Simply mention that.)
2) If you’re on Twitter, you can earn a bonus entry by tweeting, or retweeting, about the contest. Make sure to include a link to this post and @PhoenixTerran (that’s me).

There you have it! Each person can earn up to two entries for this giveaway. You have one week to submit comments. If you have trouble with the comment form, or if you prefer, entries can also be sent to me via email at phoenixterran(at)gmail(dot)com. The comments will then be posted here in your name. The giveaway winner will be randomly selected and announced on July 1, 2015. Best of luck to you all!

VERY IMPORTANT: Include some way that I can contact you. This can be an e-mail address in the comment form, a link to your website, Twitter username, or whatever. If I can’t figure out how to get a hold of you and you win, I’ll just draw another name.

Contest winner announced–Manga Giveaway: Assassination Classroom Giveaway Winner

My Week in Manga: February 9-February 15, 2015

My News and Reviews

Last week was a two-review week here at Experiments in Manga. I read and loved Ellery Prime’s Gauntlet, the first novel to have both started and finished in Sparkler Monthly. I’m not sure the review really does the book justice—the story is difficult to write about without spoiling it—but Gauntlet is really good stuff. Ever since reading the novel, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. (Coincidentally, both Gauntlet and Jen Lee Quick’s marvelous comic Off*Beat are currently on sale!) The second review posted last week was of Setona Mizushiro’s After School Nightmare, Volume 2. So far, the series remains a disconcerting but compelling work. The manga has a lot of dark, psychological drama, which I tend to enjoy, although that can also make it a difficult read from time to time. Many of the characters simply aren’t very nice people. The review is a part of my monthly horror manga review project; next month it will be Mushishi‘s turn again.

On to other interesting reading and news from elsewhere online! The Young Adult Library Services Association has released its 2015 Great Graphic Novels for Teens. The annual list is always worth a look. The manga for 2015 include All You Need is Kill, My Little Monster, My Love Story, Seraph of the End, Summer Wars, Voice Over! Seiyu Academy, Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki (the only manga included on the top ten list), and World Trigger. Over at Organization Anti-Social Geniuses, Laura from Heart of Manga provides The 2015 Shoujo Manga Forecast, a comprehensive overview of the shoujo manga that has so far been announced for this year, listed by publisher and expected release date. And on the Vertical Tumblr there is a post Reviewing the “Best Manga of 2011” from a licensing angle which I found to be particularly fascinating. Speaking of Vertical, three new licenses!—Seraph of the End light novels, Ninja Slayer manga, and KizuMonogatari.

Quick Takes

Air Gear, Volume 32Air Gear, Volume 32 by Oh!Great. This is actually the first volume of Air Gear that I’ve ever read, and the only other manga by Oh!Great that I’ve been exposed to is the very beginning of Tenjo Tenge. From that limited experience, I expected there to be violence and a fair amount of fanservice in Air Gear, and there certainly is. Since I’m not particularly familiar with Air Gear, its plot, or its characters, unsurprisingly I was a bit lost reading the thirty-second volume. It didn’t help that Oh!Great’s use of flashbacks and flashforwards seems haphazard, making it difficult to maintain a firm grasp on the manga’s chronology, and therefore was not as effective as intended. There are only five more volumes in the series and even though I’m unaware of all of the details, it is quite obvious that there has been a tremendous buildup to reach the thirty-second. The volume concludes at least one major battle and leaves several important characters dead. Even though I wasn’t able to follow everything that was going on story-wise, I could still appreciate Oh!Great’s dynamic artwork (beginning with the stunning cover illustration) and the series’ over-the-top action. If nothing else, Oh!Great can draw.

Assassination Classroom, Volume 1Assassination Classroom, Volumes 1-2 by Yusei Matsui. The junior high students of class 3-E are the academic underachievers and juvenile delinquents whom no one else in the school wants to deal with, but they’re apparently also the only ones who have any chance of saving the world from being destroyed. The teens have less than a year to assassinate their teacher, a superpowered tentacle creature who plans on disintegrating the planet after their graduation. Although he has a few weaknesses, Koro Sensei is extremely powerful, impervious to most weapons, and able to move at Mach 20. A successful assassination will require a significant amount of creativity and teamwork. Surprisingly, even though he intends to destroy Earth, Koro Sensei is actually a great teacher who seems to genuinely care about his students, challenging them to better themselves and encouraging them not only in their studies but in their assassination attempts as well. Assassination Classroom is a strange but enjoyable series. 3-E is a class of losers and outcasts who, when given the opportunity and shown that someone actually believes in them, are able to overcome challenges even if they haven’t figured out a way to kill Koro Sensei yet.

From the New World, Volume 6From the New World, Volumes 6-7 written by Yusuke Kishi and illustrated by Toru Oikawa. The manga adaptation of From the New World frustrates me immensely. The story is fantastic, the setting intriguing, and the atmosphere incredibly dark. But overall the manga just isn’t very satisfying, suffering from tonal imbalance and uneven worldbuilding and plot development. Although there’s still some ridiculous fanservice—Saki’s breasts in particular are constantly being emphasized to the point of distraction—these volumes fortunately are mostly lacking in the explicit sex scenes found throughout the rest of the series that seem completely out-of-place and interrupt the narrative flow of the story. The final volume with its dramatic conclusion of the war between the morph rats and the humans, would have been one of the strongest in the series except for the fact that the last chapter, which serves as a lengthy epilogue, slightly fumbles what is perhaps the series’ biggest twist. Quite a few of the reveals in the final volumes likely would have been more powerful if they had been encountered earlier in the story. In the end, I still think what I really want is to read Kishi’s original novel.

Stones of PowerStones of Power by Isora Azumi. A few years ago I read and enjoyed the first quarter or so of Stones of Power when it was initially being serialized in the Gen anthology. The manga has since been collected into a single volume, including material that I believe hadn’t previously been released. Stones of Power is admittedly unpolished and its artwork fairly generic, but there are things I really like about the manga. It mixes the mundane with the supernatural in rather curious ways, especially in the beginning. Fujita is a young man with a passion for fish who ends up being hired to maintain the aquarium at a small cafe. That might not be a particularly strong hook for most readers, but I happen to really like fish and used to keep a tank of my own. It just so happens that the fish Fujita’s been put in charge of are actually dragon gods and the two siblings he works for are fox spirits. From there Stones of Power spins off into an increasingly strange and dangerous situation in which Fujita, who apparently has an unexpected affinity for the occult (or at least the dragons), is unwittingly dragged into a battle between the foxes and an ancient power that threatens the life of an innocent young girl.