Manga Giveaway: Yukarism Giveaway Winner

Yukarism, Volume 1And the winner of the Yukarism manga giveaway is… Haley!

As the winner, Haley will be receiving the first volume of Chika Shiomi’s manga series Yukarism as published by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat. Because Yukarism has a plot that prominently features reincarnation, I was curious to know what other reincarnation stories people have enjoyed and so asked participants in the giveaway to tell me. Check out the giveaway comments for everyone’s responses, and check out below for a list of reincarnation manga!

Some of the manga licensed in English featuring reincarnation:
07-Ghost by Yuki Amemiya
9th Sleep by Makoto Tateno
Angel Sanctuary by Kaori Yuki
Apollo’s Song by Osamu Tezuka
Aquarion Evol written by Shoji Kawamori, illustrated by Aogiri
The Betrayal Knows My Name by Odagiri Hotaru
A Bloody Kiss Tonight by Makoto Tateno
Bride of Deimos written by Etsuko Ikeda, illustrated by Yuho Ashibe
Ceres: Celestial Legend by Yuu Watase
Enchanter by Izumi Kawachi
Gate 7 by CLAMP
Genju no Seiza by Matsuri Akino
Himeyuka & Rozione’s Story by Sumomo Yumeka
Immortal Rain by Kaori Ozaki
InuYasha by Rumiko Takahashi
Kamunagara: Rebirth Of The Demonslayer by Hajime Yamamura
Kannazuki No Miko: Destiny of Shrine Maiden by Kaishaku
Mouryou Kiden: Legend of the Nymph by Tamayo Akiyama
Night of the Beasts by Chika Shiomi
NG Life by Mizuho Kusanagi
Ninth Life Love by Lalako Kojima
Oyayubihime Infinity by Toru Fujieda
Phantom Thief Jeanne by Arina Tanemura
Phoenix by Osamu Tezuka
Please Save My Earth by Saki Hiwatari
Pieces of a Spiral by Kaimu Tachibana
Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi
Seimaden by You Higuri
Sengoku Nights written by Kei Kusunoki, illustrated by Kaoru Ohashi
Sherlock Bones written by Yuma Ando, illustrated by Yuki Sato.
Tower of the Future by Saki Hiwatari
Tale of a White Knight by Tooko Miyagi
Tuxedo Gin by Tokihiko Matsuura
Yukarism by Chika Shiomi
Vampire Game by Judal

I know for a fact that the above list is incomplete and that there are more reincarnation manga out there, but it’s probably a decent place to start for anyone looking for a reincarnation story to read. Thank you to everyone who shared your favorites with me; I hope you’ll join in for the next giveaway, too!

Manga Giveaway: Yukarism Giveaway

While February seemed to last forever, March felt like it sped by pretty quickly—it’s already time for the next manga giveaway at Experiments in Manga! (Part of the reason it seems to have arrived so soon is that this is one of the earliest days possible for a giveaway to start in any given month.) February’s giveaway focused on immortals, characters whose bodies don’t die, which got me to thinking about a slightly different version of immortality, reincarnation. And so for this month’s giveaway, you’ll all have a chance to win Chika Shiomi’s Yukarism, Volume 1, published in English by Viz Media. As always, the giveaway is open worldwide!

Yukarism, Volume 1

Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, it makes for some very interesting storytelling. In a way, it’s a sort of immortality—a person’s soul or very self is born and reborn over and over again. Generally, that person does not initially realize they are a reincarnation, but as they become aware of their past lives and memories their current lives and relationships are significantly impacted. Saki Hiwatari’s Please Save My Earth, Kaori Yuki’s Angel Sanctuary, and Chika Shiomi’s Yukarism are a few of the manga series exploring some of the implications of reincarnation that immediately come to my mind. (Interestingly enough, they all happen to be shoujo manga, too!)

So, you may be wondering, how can you win a copy of Yukarism, Volume 1?

1) In the comments below, tell me a little about your favorite manga dealing with reincarnation. (If you haven’t read a reincarnation story, 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).

And there you go! With one week to submit comments, each person participating in the giveaway can earn up to two entries. If needed or preferred, comments can also be emailed directly to phoenixterran(at)gmail(dot)com and I will then post them here in your name. The winner of the giveaway will be randomly selected and announced on April 1, 2015.

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: Yukarism Giveaway Winner

My Week in Manga: December 8-December 14, 2014

My News and Reviews

Two reviews were posted at Experiments in Manga last week. The first was of Frederik L. Schodt’s classic survey of manga originally written in 1983 but slightly revised in 1986 and with a new introduction added in 1997, Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics. It may be a few decades old, but it’s still a fantastic work that is well worth reading. Last week I also reviewed Hikaru Suruga’s Attack on Titan: No Regrets, Volume 2, the final volume of Attack on Titan‘s short, shoujo spinoff which focuses on Levi and Erwin’s backstories. I wasn’t quite as fond of the second volume as I was of the first, but I did enjoy the series. It’s definitely a must-read for fans of Erwin and/or Levi and I appreciated how it expanded the setting of Attack on Titan.

Elsewhere online, Kodansha Comics announced the license of Naoshi Arakawa’s Your Lie in April. An Indiegogo campaign was launched to create a stop-motion film adaptation of Moyoco Anno’s The Diary of Ochibi manga. Vertical linked to an older article about Prophecy and how French Manga Fans Inspire the Work of Tsutsui Tetsuya. (The first volume of Prophecy was recently released in English and it’s fantastic.) And last but not least, Muse Hack posted an interview with Mikhail Koulikov of the Anime and Manga Studies Blog. I’ve been following Koulikov’s Anime and Manga Studies ever since I’ve discovered it. The blog is a great resource for anyone interested in the academic pursuit and scholarly study of Japanese pop culture.

Quick Takes

Fairy Tail, Volume 43Fairy Tail, Volume 43 by Hiro Mashima. There was very little Gray in the forty-third volume of Fairly Tail which made me a little sad, especially after the buildup in his character and story over the last few volumes. But with a series like Fairy Tail, which has a fairly large cast of characters who regularly play an important role in its plot, time needs to be spent with those other characters as well. Fairy Tail always seems to have one or two moments of fanservice that, at least for me, detract from the story being told. The clothing and armor choices for the female characters in particular tend towards stereotypical fantasy design—showing more flesh than would be appropriate for battle—but at least the women in Fairy Tail generally have well-developed personalities and are very capable characters in their own right. Often, they’re even stronger than the men. And to be fair, there’s male nudity as well as female nudity in Fairy Tail, though as might be expected from a shounen manga, generally not to the same extent. Fairy Tail is now well into the beginning of the Tartaros arc of the series in which the members of the Fairy Tail guild must face off with a dark guild of demons which is trying to eliminate the entire Magic Council.

Kiss All the Boys, Volume 1Kiss All the Boys, Volumes 1-3 by Shiuko Kano. For the most part I enjoyed Kiss All the Boys more than Kano’s earlier series Yakuza in Love, but ultimately I felt a bit cheated by its conclusion. While in some ways I’m glad that most everything ends happily for the characters, I’m not convinced that that’s really how things would have played out and some of the eventual pairings are troubling. But while Kiss All the Boys may not be the most believable series, at least the convoluted relationships are for the most part interesting even when they are appalling. The series hinges on Tetsuo, a straight thirty-something hentai artist with a fifteen-year-old son born from his youthful indiscretions. At least he’s supposed to be straight. Conveniently for the manga, he soon finds himself entangled in relationships with several other men—his next door neighbor, his best friend and editor, and even the boy his gay son has a crush on. Tetsuo is an asshole, but at least he knows he’s an asshole. He does make some effort to rise above his nature but unfortunately never quite manages to succeed. For the most part Kiss All the Boys is intended to be a comedy and shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but I couldn’t help but worry for the youngsters left with terrible adult role models.

Yukarism, Volume 1Yukarism, Volume 1 by Chika Shiomi. I haven’t previously read any of Shiomi’s manga, but I was looking forward to Yukarism because of its promise of interesting gender dynamics, reincarnation, and historical romance. Although Yukari Kobayakawa is only seventeen, he has already made a name for himself as an author of novels set in the Edo period. He never has to do any research though since he subconsciously draws inspiration from his past life as a courtesan in the era’s pleasure district. Except for that particular twist, at this point Yukari actually isn’t a very interesting character. He’s very reserved, self-absorbed, impassive, and completely unfazed when he begins to slip back and forth between his past life and his current one. Many of the people surrounding Yukari in present-day Japan are reincarnations of people he knew in the pleasure district although they don’t all seem to be aware of that fact. There’s definitely some potential for romance in Yukarism, but after only one volume that doesn’t appear to be the series’ main concern yet. Instead, the mystery surrounding the deaths of Yukari and the others in the past seems to take precedence, although the connections between all of the characters in all of their incarnations is an important element as well. I’ll be curious to see how the series continues to develop.

DevilPartTimerThe Devil Is a Part-Timer! directed by Naoto Hosoda. I’ve been meaning to watch The Devil Is a Part-Timer! for quite some time now, but I was recently reminded of that intention when Yen Press licensed both the light novel series by Satoshi Wagahara on which the anime is based as well as at least one of its manga adaptations. While the anime is entertaining, the ridiculous premise is more hilarious in theory than in execution—The Devil Is a Part-Timer! is actually played fairly straight. But it’s still a fun and consistently amusing series. I particularly got a kick out of Satan diligently working in the fast food industry as a way to take over the world (he takes his job very seriously) and the portrayal of Lucifer as a hikikomori with an online-shopping addiction. For the most part, The Devil Is a Part-Timer! nicely balances its comedy with its drama. Although it has a conclusion, the ending of the series lacks finality and some of the characters introduced were never really put to good use, as though additional seasons were initially planned for but never manifested. (At least I haven’t heard anything about a second season.) Overall, The Devil Is a Part-Timer! is funny series and a nice change of pace from all of the anime centered around high school or middle school students. I might just give the original novels a try when they’re released in English.