Manga Giveaway: Superhero Duo Winner

Batmanga, Volume 1Ultraman, Volume 1And the winner of the Superhero Duo manga giveaway is… Cody Kemp!

As the winner, Cody will be receiving a copy of Batmanga, Volume 1 by Jiro Kuwata as well as a copy of Ultraman, Volume 1 by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi, two superhero manga that were released relatively recently in English. I don’t really consider myself to be a huge fan of the superhero genre, but when I do finally get around to reading manga featuring superheros of one ilk or another, I generally do enjoy them. So, for this giveaway, I asked that participants tell me a little about some of their favorite superhero manga. For everyone’s detailed responses, be sure to check out the Superhero Duo giveaway comments. (The lesson learned from the responses? If you’re not already reading One-Punch Man, you should be!)

Some of the superhero manga available in English:
Apocalypse Zero by Takayuki Yamaguchi
Batmanga by Jiro Kuwata
Big Hero 6 by Haruki Ueno
Dead End by Shohei Manabe
Duklyon: Clamp School Defenders by CLAMP
Hero Heel by Makoto Tateno
Hero’s Are Extinct by Ryoji Hido
Heroman written by Stan Lee, illustrated by Tamon Ohta
Junk: Record of the Last Hero by Kia Asamiya
Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer by Satoshi Mizukami
My Hero Academia by Kōhei Horikoshi
No. 5 by Taiyō Matsumoto
One-Punch Man written by One, illustrated by Yusuke Murata
Ratman by Sekihiko Inui
Tiger & Bunny by Mizuki Sakakibara
Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning by Tsutomu Ono
Tiger & Bunny: Comic Anthology edited by Asuka Henshubu
Tokyo ESP by Hajime Segawa
Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy by Yudetamago
Ultraman by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi

Depending on your definition of “superhero,” the above list could be much longer (or much shorter, for that matter) but it’s probably not a bad place to start for someone interested in reading super-heroic manga. Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway and took the time to share your favorite superhero manga with me. Until next time!

Manga Giveaway: Superhero Duo (Batmanga and Ultraman)

The end of the month once more draws near which means it’s once more time for a manga giveaway at Experiments in Manga! For this month’s giveaway you all have the chance to win not one, but two manga of the superheroic nature, a mix of the old and the new as well as the East and the West: Batmanga, Volume 1 by Jiro Kuwata from DC Comics and Ultraman, Volume 1 by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi from Viz Media. And, as always, the giveaway is open worldwide, too!

Batmanga, Volume 1Ultraman, Volume 1

It’s a little strange: I would never really go out of my way to describe myself as a fan of superhero comics, nor is it a genre that I specifically seek out. And yet, when I do end up reading about superheroes, I often find that I enjoy myself. Over the last few years, manga featuring superheros seem to have become increasingly common in English, whether it’s a classic like Jiro Kuwata’s Batmanga inspired by American comics or a modern take on a well-established Japanese franchise like Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi’s Ultraman. Some superhero manga are fairly serious, but there have been quite a few with a comedic bent of late as well, such as One-Punch Man by One and Yusuke Murata and My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi. And I have to admit, I’ve enjoyed them all.

So, you may be wondering, how can you win a duo of superhero manga?

1) In the comments below, tell me a little about one of your favorite manga featuring superheroes and why you like it. (If you don’t have a favorite, or haven’t read any superhero manga, 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 have it! Everyone participating in the giveaway can earn up to two entries and has one week to submit comments. If preferred or needed, entries can also be emailed to me directly at phoenixterran(at)gmail(dot)com. Those comments will then be posted here in your name. The winner of the giveaway will be randomly selected and announced on May 4, 2016. Good 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: Superhero Duo Winner

My Week in Manga: September 21-September 27, 2015

My News and Reviews

Apparently, considering the two in-depth reviews that I posted, Experiments in Manga was all about dynastic struggles and warfare last week. Ken Liu is an author that I’ve started to follow since reading one of his short stories in The Future is Japanese. His debut novel, Grace of Kings, was released this year and I absolutely loved it. It’s the first book in The Dandelion Dynasty, a fantasy epic which is inspired by and reimagines Chinese history and legends, such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms (which I really need to get around to finishing). I also reviewed Aya Kanno’s Requiem of the Rose King, Volume 2. So far, I’m really liking the series which takes its inspiration from William Shakespeare’s plays dealing with the Wars of the Roses. I think the second volume of Requiem of the Rose King improves on the first and is generally a little easier to follow as well. I continue to love the manga’s dark atmosphere and theatrical nature. Fortunately, the wait won’t be quite as long for the release of the next volume.

Quick Takes

Gangsta, Volume 4Gangsta, Volumes 4-6 by Kohske. I intentionally saved up a few volumes of Gangsta to read all at once, but somehow during that time I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the series. I love the diverse cast of characters, the gritty setting, and the action and intrigue of the story. In addition to an escalation in the conflicts between “normals” and Twilights, these particular volumes of Gangsta include significant plot developments as well as more character development. For one, Alex’s memories are slowly returning, revealing small fragments of her past which should have major implications as the series progresses. Her younger brother even enters the scene. While Gangsta can be an extremely violent, brutal, and cruel manga, Kohske remembers to include quieter and more lighthearted moments to provide a contrast to the series’ intensity. Granted, they also serve to emphasize the manga’s tragic turns. Kohske isn’t afraid of killing off characters, either. With all of the battles going on between exceptionally skilled and powerful fighters, it’s probably not too surprising that there will be death, severe injury, and tremendous suffering involved.

Hard RockHard Rock by Akane Abe. Because of my interest in and love of music, I have a tendency to seek out related manga (no matter how tangential), which is how I initially came across the boys’ love one shot Hard Rock. The manga follows four young men who started a band together. However, the volume actually begins with the band’s breakup and not much time is spent on music at all. Instead, Hard Rock focuses on the former bandmates’ changing friendships and relationships. There’s an underlying tangle of crushes, angst, and unrequited love, but relatively little romance, most of the major developments occurring off panel between chapters. With the exception of one page in the epilogue manga, close physical intimacy in Hard Rock is almost nonexistent beyond an occasional kiss or even rarer groping. The young men are just as likely to punch one another as they are to hug. Thus, readers looking for steamy bedroom scenes will probably be disappointed. Personally, I actually liked and appreciated the understated romance; Abe makes it work. Although Hard Rock ended up having very little to do with music, I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

Ultraman, Volume 1Ultraman, Volume 1 by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi. I’ve watched and enjoyed a little over a dozen episodes of the live-action Ultraman series from the 1960s and so was curious about Shimizu and Tomohiro’s addition to the incredibly successful franchise. Readers who aren’t familiar with the original needn’t fear—the first chapter of the sequel has a tremendous amount of exposition crammed into it. While this does quickly establish the premise of the manga, it’s not the most effective or enjoyable introduction. However, the narrative of the following chapters quickly improves and the volume ends with a great hook. The manga takes place a generation after the end of the Ultraman television series and focuses on Shinjiro Hayata who, as the son of the original Ultraman, has inherited superhuman powers. He becomes the target of an alien attack which leads him to accept the role of the new Ultraman. However, instead of transforming into a powerful giant, Shinjiro uses an exo-suit to enhance his abilities. So far, the Ultraman manga is shaping up to be more serious and a fair amount darker than the original series.