Manga Giveaway: Juné Manga Giveaway Winner

FlutterAnd the winner of the Juné Manga Giveaway is…Muteee!

As the winner, Muteee will be receiving a copy of Flutter by Momoko Tenzen as published by Juné, one of Digital Manga’s boys’ love and yaoi imprints. Because it was June and the wordplay amused me, I decided to hold a Juné giveaway, asking those who were participating to tell me a little about their favorite Juné manga (if they had one). After ten years of publishing and over four hundred volumes of manga and novels, there are quite a few Juné titles to choose from. Because I enjoy making lists, I’ve gathered everyone’s responses (and added a few additional favorites of my own) below. Check out the giveaway comments if you want all the details, though!

Some favorite Juné manga:
Café Latte Rhapsody by Toko Kawai
Caramel by Puku Okuyama
Cut by Toko Kawai
Deadlock written by Saki Aida, illustrated by Yuu Takashina
Dear Myself by Eiki Eiki
Don’t Say Anymore, Darling by Fumi Yoshinaga
Hero Heel by Makoto Tateno
Gorgeous Carat Galaxy by You Higuri
I Give to You by Maki Ebishi
In the Walnut by Toko Kawai
Invisible Boy by Hotaru Odagiri
Kiss Blue by Keiko Kinoshita
Little Butterfly by Hinako Takanaga
Loveholic by Toko Kawai
Ludwig II by You Higuri
Maiden Rose by Fusanosuke Inariya
Men of Tattoos by Yuiji Aniya
The Moon and the Sandals by Fumi Yoshinaga
Mr. Mini Mart by Junko
Necratoholic by Maguro Wasabi
No Touching at All by Kou Yoneda
Only Serious about You by Kai Asou
Only the Ring Finger Knows written by Satoru Kannagi and illustrated by Hotaru Odagiri
Our Everlasting by Toko Kawai
Rin! written by Satoru Kannagi and illustrated by Yukine Honami
Same Cell Organism by Sumomo Yumeka
Seven Days written by Venio Tachibana and illustrated by Rihito Takarai
Solfege by Fumi Yoshinaga
Thirsty for Love written by Satosumi Takaguchi and illustrated by Yukine Honami
Time Lag written by Shinobu Gotoh, illustrated by Hotaru Odagiri
The Tyrant Falls in Love by Hinako Takanaga
Yellow by Makoto Tateno

Thank you to everyone who shared their favorites with me. There are a few manga on the above list that I actually haven’t yet read that I’ll need to track down now. Hope to see you all again for the next giveaway!

Manga Giveaway: Juné Manga Giveaway (Flutter)

The end of June is almost here, which means it’s time for Experiments in Manga’s monthly manga giveaway. And, because it’s June, I thought that I would hold a Juné manga giveaway. (I can’t help it, the wordplay amuses me.) This month (almost) everyone has an opportunity to enter for a chance to win a copy of Momoko Tenzen’s boys’ love one-shot Flutter! The giveaway is open worldwide, but if boys’ love and yaoi is illegal in your country, please don’t participate. (Sorry!) You must also be at least eighteen years of age for this particular giveaway.


Last year I received a request to do a Juné manga giveaway. I actually do take requests, for giveaways as well as for reviews, though it might take some time for me to be able to follow through. Still, a Juné manga giveaway was something that I was pretty sure I could make happen. Juné is one of Digital Manga’s boys’ love imprints, taking its name from Japan’s earliest boys’ love magazine June. It’s also one of Digital Manga’s largest imprints with currently over four hundred manga and novels in its catalog. Juné’s first title, Satoru Kannagi and Hotaru Odagiri’s Only the Ring Finger Knows, was released in August 2004, which means the imprint will be celebrating its tenth anniversary very soon. With so many Juné manga to choose from, and with so many that I’ve immensely enjoyed, I had a difficult time picking just one to give away. After putting some thought into it, I finally settled on one of the imprint’s newer one-shot manga that I’ve read recently: Momoko Tenzen’s Flutter. It’s an enjoyable volume with endearing characters and a slowly, quietly developed, slightly awkward romance between two grown men. Plus, one of them happens to be legitimately, and openly, gay. This isn’t particularly common in many of the boys’ love manga that have been translated, so it always makes me happy to see.

So, you may be wondering, how can you win a copy of Flutter?

1) In the comments below, tell me a little about your favorite Juné manga, if you have one. (And if you don’t, simply mention that.)
2) If you’re on Twitter, you can earn a bonus entry by tweeting about the contest. Make sure to include a link to this post and @PhoenixTerran (that’s me).

It’s as easy as that! For this giveaway, each person can earn up to two entries and has one week to submit comments. Entries may also be submitted via e-mail to phoenixterran(at)gmail(dot)com if you prefer or if you encounter problems trying to leave comments. (I will then post the entry in your name.) The giveaway winner will be randomly selected and announced on July 2, 2014. Good luck, and happy June!

VERY IMPORTANT: Include some way that I can contact you. This can be an e-mail address, 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: Juné Manga Giveaway Winner

My Week in Manga: March 17-March 23, 2014

My News and Reviews

Experiments in Manga featured two manga reviews as well as something a little different last week. First up, I took a look at Saki Nakagawa’s Attack on Titan: Junior High, Omnibus 1. It’s a rather absurd and ridiculous series, but I was amused. The manga does require some familiarity with both Attack on Titan and Attack on Titan fandom to fully appreciate it, though. Not too long ago, I read Jeffrey Angles’ Writing the Love of Boys which introduced me to the work of Kaita Murayama. Not much about Murayama has been written in English, and only two of his short stories have ever been translated, but I was interested in learning more about him and his work. The result was a Spotlight on Kaita Murayama. (I’m actually very happy with how the post turned out!) Finally, as the actual March Madness begins, I posted the penultimate review in my own Manga March Madness—Real, Volume 4 by Takehiko Inoue, which delves more deeply into Togawa’s past. Real is a fantastic series, and one of my favorite manga.

And now for a few things found online! Vertical’s tumblr often has something interesting to read. Last week’s response to a question about licensing old Tokyopop titles was particularly informative. I enjoy House of 1000 Manga, but the most recent column focuses on Usamaru Furuya and his work, which I’m always happy to read more about. Sequart has a great interview with Kumar Sivasubramanian, the translator of some of my very favorite manga. Gay Manga posted an excellent article about the censorship of a billboard designed by artist Poko Murata promoting HIV awareness which also addresses some of the history of gay artwork in Japan. And in other censorship news, it looks like the manga series Barefoot Gen, after running into some trouble last year, may end up being banned again in parts of Japan.

Quick Takes

Brody's Ghost, Book 4Brody’s Ghost, Book 4 by Mark Crilley. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read any of Brody’s Ghost, but I do enjoy the series. Each installment is frustratingly thin though (each is less than a hundred pages) and only one book is released per year. Once the story is finished, I’d love to see Brody’s Ghost collected into a single omnibus. I think the series would benefit from being read in larger chunks or all at once. Which is not to say the individual books aren’t enjoyable. Each one has a great mix of action, story, and character development. I enjoy Crilley’s artwork, too. I also enjoy the bonus content that Crilley includes, outlining some of his design choices and storytelling decisions. In this particular volume of Brody’s Ghost, Brody is doing everything that he can to track down the Penny Murderer, including impersonating a detective. His ex-girlfriend, who he still cares about, may very well be the next victim and he is desperate to prevent that from happening. Things are even more complicated now that he has discovered that Talia—the ghost who pressured him into the investigation—has been lying to him.

FlutterFlutter by Momoko Tenzen. I appreciate it when a boys’ love manga includes a character who is actually openly gay, so that aspect of Flutter particularly appealed to me. Mizuki is that man—a respected and skilled project leader at his company. He presents himself as someone who is extremely well put together, but that public face is deliberately crafted to hide his weaknesses and insecurities. Asada is one of Mizuki’s coworkers. He finds himself inexplicably drawn to Mizuki. After the two of them are assigned to the same project they get to know each other, first as friends and then as something possibly more as Mizuki begins to drop his guard around Asada. Flutter is a slowly paced and relatively quiet manga, which is somewhat surprising as Mizuki’s backstory is fairly melodramatic. However, that melodrama is completely lacking from Mizuki and Asada’s somewhat awkward relationship; I enjoyed watching it develop. Asada’s personality is very kind and candid and his inability to hide what he is thinking and feeling is adorable. This open honesty is just what Mizuki needs, whether he realizes it or not.

Missions of Love, Volume 1Missions of Love, Volumes 1-4 by Ema Toyama. I’ll admit it, I’m addicted to Missions of Love. I actually began reading the series with the fifth and sixth volumes, but I enjoyed them enough that I wanted to go back and read it from the beginning to learn how the whole mess between Yukina, Shigure, Akira, and Mami came to be. Missions of Love isn’t the most believable series and some of it is admittedly silly, but I don’t think I would enjoy the manga as much as I do if Toyama took a more serious or realistic approach. The story itself might be somewhat ridiculous, but the complicated relationships and emotions are real enough. Ultimately, that’s what appeals to me about Missions of Love—the intensity of the characters’ feelings paired with a plot that can be over-the-top. In the beginning, Yukina and Shigure don’t even like each other which is what allows them to resort to blackmail and manipulation. But as the series progresses, they come to care for and rely on each other in a way that is incredibly twisted. All of the relationships in Missions of Love are like that. I can’t help but want to watch the emotional chaos and turmoil unfold.

The Mysterious Underground MenThe Mysterious Underground Men by Osamu Tezuka. The Mysterious Underground Men is the second volume in Ryan Holmberg’s Ten-Cent Manga series which explores classic manga influenced by classic American comics and cartoons. Tezuka, often called the grandmaster of contemporary manga and anime, has had many of his works released in English. Granted, only a small fraction of his total output has been translated. As much as I appreciate Tezuka’s manga and his importance as a creator, I’m actually much more interested in the work of other classic mangaka who are less likely to be licensed. Initially, I wasn’t even planning on reading The Mysterious Underground Men. But because I was so impressed by the first volume of Ten-Cent Manga, I decided to give it a try after all. I’m glad that I did, not so much for the manga itself (which I did enjoy), but more for the supplementary material—Tezuka’s afterword, in which he describes The Mysterious Underground Men as his first story manga, and Holmberg’s essay which puts the manga into historical context, specifically noting its Western pop culture influences.

Time of EveTime of Eve directed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura. It’s not a secret that I have a fondness for stories about androids, so it probably shouldn’t be too surprising that I liked Time of Eve, a six episode anime series that was first released online. The series revolves around an unusual cafe, the titular Time of Eve, where humans and androids can interact while ignoring the laws that normally separate them. The cafe has only one rule, that there is to be no discrimination between the two groups. Rikuo discovers the cafe while looking into the unexpected behavior of “Sammy,” his household’s android. Along with his close friend Masaki, Rikuo’s assumptions about androids and how humans treat them are challenged as he gets to know the other customers at the cafe. Time of Eve doesn’t break any new ground when it comes to androids and makes good use of Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. I’ve read and watched so much android fiction that nothing about the series surprised me (including what were supposed to be dramatic reveals), but I still found the anime to be immensely enjoyable.

My Week in Manga: January 10-January 16, 2011

My News and Reviews

This week is the Manga Moveable Feast for Karakuri Odette, hosted by Anna at Manga Report. I’ll have in-depth review of the first volume up on Wednesday and a related silly something to post on Friday. Technically, today’s post features a quick take of the first five volumes. That means every post this week will have at least a little something to do with Karakuri Odette and the Manga Moveable Feast, so go me! I happen to really like androids and had never read Karakuri Odette before, so I’m particularly interested in seeing what people have to say.

In not-so breaking news, I won a ticket to the Gantz World Premiere event taking place on January 20th! In honor of this, my giveaway for the month will be a brand new copy of the first volume of the Gantz manga. The contest will open next Wednesday, the 26th, and run for a week, so be on the look out.

As for last week, I posted some tips on effectively finding and buying manga at Borders—Finding Manga: Borders. I love Borders and really hope they’re able to pull through their troubles. I’m doing my part by buying lots of stuff from them, manga and otherwise. I also posted a review of a financial thriller that takes place in Tokyo, At the Sharpe End, which was sent to me by the author Hugh Ashton.

Quick Takes

Beyond My Touch by Tomo Maeda. I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed Beyond My Touch. The volume collects three stories, all with a sort of melancholy feel to them. The titular story was probably my favorite. A young man is haunted by the ghost of a recently deceased classmate and discovers just how alone he was before. Maeda could have gone for the tragically sad ending, but instead goes for a more bittersweet one. What could have simply been silly and goofy was actually rather touching. I wasn’t quite as fond of the second two, shorter stories (“Cool Lips” and “Recipe”), although I did enjoy them as well. It’s a cute collection.

Crying Freeman, Volumes 1-5 written by Kazuo Koike and illustrated by Ryoichi Ikegami. Yo Hinamura is the world’s greatest assassin and as the appointed heir to the criminal syndicated known as the 108 Dragons, there are plenty of people after his and his loved ones’ lives. For some inexplicable reason, all fights apparently must be conducted either nearly or completely in the nude. But Ikegami’s bodies are gorgeous and his fight scenes beautiful, so I must say I’m not going to complain too much (at least about that). The large tattoos that cover many of the characters are stunning and intricate I don’t envy Ikegami having to illustrate them panel after panel.

Deadman Wonderland, Volume 1 written by Jinsei Kataoka and illustrated by Kazuma Kondou. I haven’t heard much about Deadman Wonderland and don’t remember why I picked it up, but I’m glad that I did—this was another manga that I was surprised by how much I liked it. Ganta is a survivor of the Great Tokyo Earthquake which sank 70% of the city. Ten years later, he’s the only suspect in the massacre of his middle school class and is sentenced to Deadman Wonderland, a privately owned detention facility cum violently bizarre theme park. I have no idea what is really going on at this point (granted, neither does Ganta), but I want to know!

Karakuri Odette, Volumes 1-5 by Julietta Suzuki. Perhaps surprisingly, Odette is actually not my favorite character in Karakuri Odette. That honor probably goes to either Professor Yoshizawa or Chris and I liked the story best when at least one of them was around. Although, Asao is pretty great, too. I found that I enjoyed the heavier science fiction aspects of the series than I did the school life aspects, but overall the series is quite charming. My biggest complaint about Karakuri Odette is that characters seem to be introduced only to disappear (and sometimes reappear) with very little justification. Still, I like the series and look forward to the final volume.

Seven by Momoko Tenzen. Separated after the orphanage they were institutionalized in burned down, Mitsuha has been unsuccessfully searching for his younger brother for years when he meets a young man with an eerily similar background and name. Meanwhile, his brother has his own reasons for not reaching out to find his older brother. The most interesting aspects of the manga, the mysterious backgrounds of several of the characters, are actually only hinted at and mostly left up to the imagination. The dialogue can be a bit difficult to follow at times and it’s not always clear who is speaking. Overall though, I did like the general atmosphere of the manga.

Hula Girls directed by Lee Sang-il. Based on a true story and winner of quite a few film awards, Hula Girls is heartfelt and inspiring. I first learned about the film because ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro (who I am a huge fan of) was responsible for most of the music and soundtrack. A small mining town in rural Japan is slowly dying as the world turns away from coal to embrace oil. The company initiates a plan to build a Hawaiian themed spa in an attempt to keep at least some of the workers employed. They face adversity, and most of the town is against the retreat, but the coal miners’ daughters pour their hearts and souls into the project.

Planetes: Complete Collection,  directed by Gorō Taniguchi. Many of the things and moments that I loved from the manga were absent from the anime, but the animated series has its own charms. The two start out very similar, but the ending of the anime is quite different and more thoroughly explores aspects of the Planetes universe that the manga only touches on. The manga and the anime complement each other nicely and are different enough that it’s hard to say which I prefer. If I had to choose, I would probably say the anime, but I really liked them both. Planetes is great, believable, near future science fiction with plenty realism and a lot of heart.

My Week in Manga: September 13-September 19, 2010

My News and Reviews

I am so incredibly excited—Experiments in Manga got a brief mention in Katherine Dacey’s Friday Procrastination Aides, 9/17/10 over on The Manga Critic.

There aren’t any in-depth reviews from this past week, but I am running my first ever contest/giveaway. Head over to Manga Giveaways: Crazy Karate Contest for a chance to win a free copy of Ranma 1/2, Volume 11: Creative Cures. I also posted my second Library Love installment, and another should be coming very soon.

Only two additions to the resource page this week. The first, Genji Press, is run by Serdar Yegulalp who was recently hired as the anime guide for Anime. He reviews books, manga, movies, and anime at his site among other interesting things. The second resource that has been added is Comics Village, the home of Manga Village.

Quick Takes

Don’t Say Any More, Darling by Fumi Yoshinaga. This is the first short story collection of Yoshinaga’s that I’ve read. The five stories include “Don’t Say Any More, Darling,” “My Eternal Sweetheart,” “Fairyland,” “One May Day,” and “Pianist.” The first and last stories were by far my favorite (as a bonus, both were music related) although the others certainly held my interest as well. Three of the stories are distinctly yaoi, one is definitely not, and the other may have overtones depending on how you read it. It’s a rather odd collection and like most story collections some are stronger than others, but I enjoyed most of it.

Hikkatsu!: Strike a Blow to Vivify, Volumes 2-3 by Yu Yagami. I enjoyed the first volume of Hikkatsu and so decided to pick up the rest of the series. The second volume feels mostly like filler to me, a way to spend the time until we can get back to the “real” plot in the third volume. Not that there’s really much of a plot. Shota has perfected his repair blow and but also learns its limitations. This is a rather silly manga series but I found it to be amusing. It’s short and sweet and I think it ended up being just the right length at three volumes.

How to Control a Sidecar by Makoto Tateno. How to Control a Sidecar is the sort-of sequel to Tateno’s How to Capture a Martini. This time, the focus is on straight and oblivious but brilliant bartender Kousaka, who didn’t even realize he was working at a gay bar for quite a while. It was only a matter of time before someone started hitting on him and he’s caught the eye of the not quite couple of Fumi and Kanashiro who used to share a boyfriend. I was happy to see Tateno deal with rape in a realistic way for the first half of the book, although unfortunately she doesn’t carry it through to the end. I’ll admit, I was also a little disappointed there weren’t any threesomes involved—the story’s premise was just asking for it.

Iron Wok Jan!, Volumes 1-4 by Shinji Saijyo. I love manga, I love food, and so yes, I love manga about food. Jan Akiyama has undergone the fiercest training since a young age, his grandfather molding him to become the best chef in Japan of Chinese cuisine. After his grandfather’s death he’s hired at the Gobancho restaurant. Jan is a cocky, arrogant bastard and doesn’t really get along with anyone. Everyone is extremely serious about their cooking and Jan’s competitive nature brings out the best and worst in people. Who would think cooking could be this intense?

Suggestive Eyes by Momoko Tenzen. This one-shot yaoi manga actually features two main couples—graduate student Megumu and his younger classmate Kina, and two of their professors, Shibata and Kikugawa. Kina reminds Megumu of his ex and after a night of drunkenness, the two end up sleeping together. Kina’s feelings are authentic, but Megumu doesn’t love him in return and wants to call off the affair. But Megumu’s feelings for Kina end up being more complicated than he expected. Elsewere on campus, Shibata and Kikugawa have been together for fifteen years; it’s nice to see an established and successful couple.