Manga Giveaway: A Variety of Vertical Comics Winner

Devils' Line, Volume 1Flying Witch, Volume 1
Mysterious Girlfriend X, Omnibus 1Nichijou: My Ordinary Life, Volume 1

And the winner of the Variety of Vertical Comics manga giveaway is… Michelle Gauthier!

As the winner, Michelle will be receiving the first volume of four manga series released by Vertical Comics: Ryo Hanada’s Devils’ Line, Chihiro Ishizuka’s Flying Witch, Riichi Ueshiba’s Mysterious Girlfriend X, and Keiichi Arawi’s Nichijou: My Ordinary Life. Since this giveaway focused on Vertical Comics, I asked participants to tell me a little about their favorite Vertical manga, too. Check out the giveaway comments for everyone’s detailed responses, and check out below for a list of some of Vertical’s manga.

Manga from Vertical Comics:
Arakawa under the Bridge by Hikaru Nakamura
Blame! by Tsutomu Nihei
Chi’s Sweet Home by Konami Kanata
Devil’s Line by Ryo Hanada
Dissolving Classroom by Junji Ito
Dream Fossil by Satoshi Kon
Flying Witch by Chihiro Ishizuka
The Flowers of Evil by Shuzo Oshimi
FukuFuku: Kitten Tales by Konami Kanata
The Garden of Words written by Makoto Shinkai, illustrated by Midori Motohashi
A Girl on the Shore by Inio Asano
The Gods Lie by Kaori Okazaki
Helvetica Standard Bold by Keiichi Arawai
Immortal Hounds by Ryo Yasohachi
Imperfect Girl written by Nisioisin, illustrated by Mitsuru Hattori
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing written by Katsuyuki Sumizawa, illustrated by Tomofumi Ogasawara
My Neighbor Seki by Takuma Morishige
Mysterious Girlfriend X by Riichi Ueshiba
Nichijou: My Ordinary Life by Keiichi Arawi
Ninja Slayer written by Yoshiaki Tabata, illustrated by Yuuki Yogo
Prophecy by Tetsuya Tsutsui
She and Her Cat written by Makoto Shinkai, illustrated by Tsubasa Yamaguchi
To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts by Maybe
Tokyo ESP by Hajime Segawa
Witchcraft Works by Ryu Mizunagi

The above list only includes the manga that have been released (or will be released very soon) under the Vertical Comics imprint which was launched in 2014, but Vertical began publishing manga well before then. (I’m fairly certain that Vertical’s first manga was Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha back in 2003, but I could be wrong.) Even before specifically devoting an imprint to manga and anime-related titles, Vertical has always had a strong catalog of titles which are well-worth reading. Thank you to everyone who shared your particular Vertical favorites with me! I hope you’ll all participate in the next giveaway, too.

Manga Giveaway: A Variety of Vertical Comics

It’s nearly the end of August which means it’s time for another giveaway at Experiments in Manga! Earlier this month I celebrated the blog’s seventh anniversary, and I’d like to continue that celebration by offering you all the chance to win not one, not two, not three, but four volumes of manga. In this particular case the first volumes of Ryo Hanada’s Devils’ Line, Chihiro Ishizuka’s Flying Witch, Riichi Ueshiba’s Mysterious Girlfriend X, and Keiichi Arawi’s Nichijou: My Ordinary Life, all of which have been published in English by Vertical Comics. As usual, the giveaway is open worldwide!

Devils' Line, Volume 1Flying Witch, Volume 1Mysterious Girlfriend X, Omnibus 1Nichijou: My Ordinary Life, Volume 1

I’ve been a big fan of Vertical releases for years, not only of its manga, but its prose works, too, both fiction and nonfiction. (Two of my younger sisters also greatly enjoy Vertical’s puzzle books, although I think it’s been a few years since the last one was published). In 2014, Vertical launched Vertical Comics, an imprint specializing in the publisher’s manga and anime-related titles. Since then, Vertical Comics has continued to expand and offer more and more manga of a wide variety–there seems to be a little bit of something for just about everyone. And I’m always happy to give just about any manga a chance when it’s released by Vertical Comics.

So, you may be wondering, how can you win a variety of Vertical Comics?

1) In the comments below, tell me a little about your favorite manga that has been released by Vertical Comics. (If you don’t have a favorite, or haven’t read any, simply mention that instead.)
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 it’s as easy as that! Giveaway participants can earn up to two entries and have one week to submit comments. If needed or if preferred, comments can also be sent to me at phoenixterran(at)gmail(dot)com and I will then post them here in your name. The giveaway winner will be randomly selected and announced on September 6, 2017. 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: A Variety of Vertical Comics Winner

My Week in Manga: July 3-July 9, 2017

My News and Reviews

Last week at Experiments in Manga I announced the winner of the Summer Spookiness manga giveaway. The post also includes some of the manga available in English that incorporate Japanese folklore, ghosts, or urban legends in some way. Otherwise, it was a rather quiet week except for the fact that on Friday evening I discovered that the room I was storing a bunch of my books in had flooded thanks to a broken radiator pipe. So, a fair amount of my Friday night and weekend was spent on recovery efforts and assessing the damage. All things considered, I came out of the whole thing pretty well. Although I did lose some material, and it was heartbreaking, I was able to save the majority of the books. (I’m really glad I took the preservation and conservation class during library school!) Fortunately, only two of the severely damaged books were truly irreplaceable. One is just about dry enough now that I can start to try pressing it back into shape and the other is currently in the freezer. They won’t necessarily be pretty, but they should still be readable when I’m through.

Anyways! On to the licensing news and announcements made during the final days of Anime Expo: Among other things, Kodansha Comics revealed the details behind the new Eternal Edition of Naoko Takeuchi’s Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, confirmed the print edition of CLAMP’s Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, and announced Yukito Kishiro’s Battle Angel Alita: Mars Chronicle. (Kodansha is also continuing its trend of calling manga digital-first with no real indication that a print edition will ever emerge.) As for Kodansha’s sister company Vertical Comics, we have City by Keiichi Arawi, Moteki by Mitsuro Kubo, Strangulation by Nisioisin, and My Boy by Hitomi Takano to look forward to. Seven Seas announced a number of manga and light novels, too: Ryo Shirakome and Takayaki’s Arifureta; Yuu Kamiya, Tsubaki Himana, and Sino’s Clockwork Planet; Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi’s Getter Robo Devolution; Akihito Tukushi’s Made in Abyss; Coolkyoushinja and Mitsuhiro Kimura’s Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid: Kanna’s Daily Life; Kina Kobayashi’s Nameless Asterism Shoutarou Tokunou’s New Game; the continuation of Ichigo Takano’s Orange; Yuyuko Takemiya and Yasu’s Toradora; and Nozomu Tamaki’s Soul Liquid Chambers. Also, Udon Entertainment plans on publishing the Daigo the Beast and Infini-T Force manga. (Still waiting for Udon’s Rose of Versaille and Sugar Sugar Rune to make an appearance, though.)

Quick Takes

Boy, I Love YouBoy, I Love You edited by Kou Chen, Emily Forster, and Eric Alexander Arroyo. I had the delightful opportunity to meet the editors and a few of the other contributors of Boy, I Love You while at TCAF, but as one of the anthology’s Kickstarter backers I was well-aware of the anthology before that and was greatly looking forward to its release. The volume brings together six comics and one illustrated prose story by seven different creators, all of which take inspiration from the more wholesome aspects of the boys’ love genre. It’s a delightful collection with an appealing range of stories, everything from slice-of-life to mecha space battles. If I had to choose a favorite (which is difficult to do because all seven contributions are honestly great) it would probably be Forster’s “Mix Plate” which incorporates themes of family and food along with the comic’s central romance. The focus of the stories in Boy, I Love You is primarily on relationships and how the characters’ navigate them and their feelings. While as a whole the anthology is fairly chaste–the physical closeness that’s shown between the men is largely limited to a few kisses and embraces–the intimacy expressed in the stories is undeniable. Boy, I Love You is a highly enjoyable and heartfelt anthology of queer stories.

Dreamin' Sun, Volume 1Dreamin’ Sun, Volume 1 by Ichigo Takano. Orange, the first of Takano’s manga to be released in English translation, left a huge and personally significant impression on me. As a result, when Dreamin’ Sun was licensed for an English-language edition, too, it immediately caught my attention. Shimana Kameko is terribly unsatisfied with her life and so, without putting much thought into it, she decides to run away from home. While playing hooky from school she meets Fujiwara Taiga in a nearby park, a man who has left home for an entirely different reason–he’s been kicked and locked out of his house for being drunk. He offers to rent Kameko a room but among other things she will have help retrieve the keys first. I unquestionably love the quirky and increasingly large cast of Dreamin’ Sun, but the story itself is somewhat lackluster at this point. I’m also finding it a little difficult to believe that Kameko’s father would so readily let his high school daughter move out of their home. However, the narrative does hint at a familial backstory that hasn’t yet been fully revealed which may go far to help explain his decision. While Dreamin’ Sun isn’t nearly as compelling as Orange, I certainly wouldn’t mind reading more of the series. The first volume was goofy and a little ridiculous, but not at all in a bad way.

Erased, Omnibus 2Erased, Omnibus 2 (equivalent to Volumes 3-4) by Kei Sanbe. While the beginning of Erased took a little while to fully click with me, by the end of the first omnibus I was thoroughly hooked on the series. After inexplicably traveling back in time to his childhood, Satoru Fujinuma is doing all that he can to try to stop a series of kidnappings and murders he knows is about to happen. Thanks to a strange ability that he calls “Revival,” he has been able to change things in his past before, but saving the lives of his classmates and friends is proving to be an extraordinary challenge. Sanbe’s artwork in Erased can be a little inconsistent and unrefined at times, but the story has become truly gripping. Not only is Satoru faced with trying to solve the deadly mysteries from earlier in his life, in the present day he’s also being skillfully framed for the murder of his mother and he must find a way to prove his innocence. The two situations are closely linked together and Satoru is understandably desperate to find answers. There are also some really touching moments in Erased as Satoru grows as a person–although he’s worried for their safety and doesn’t want to endanger anyone, he’s finally able to start accepting help from and form meaningful relationships with other people.

Mysterious Girlfriend X, Omnibus 1Mysterious Girlfriend X, Omnibus 1 (equivalent to Volumes 1-2) by Riichi Ueshiba. I had already heard a fair amount about Mysterious Girlfriend X before reading the first omnibus, but I wasn’t at all anticipating how surprisingly charming the series would be. Ueshiba’s illustrations can actually be pretty cute, too. That being said, Mysterious Girlfriend X is an incredibly weird manga and many people won’t be able to get past the drool and literal swapping of spit around which much of the story revolves. Akira Tsubaki is a fairly normal high school student but his first girlfriend, the newly transferred Mikoto Urabe, most definitely is not. If she is destined to have a close bond with someone, she is able to convey her feelings to them through her drool and she can likewise understand their feelings from their drool. She’s also phenomenally talented when it comes to using scissors, either artistically or in self-defense, and she always keeps a pair tucked away in her panties. Much about Urabe unknown, but after tasting her drool, Tsubaki can’t seem to help but fall in love with her. In general, Mysterious Girlfriend X tends to be somewhat episodic in nature although Tsubaki and Urabe’s strangely heartwarming relationship can be seen to very slowly progress over the course of the first omnibus.