Manga Giveaway: Smuggler Giveaway Winner

SmugglerAnd the winner of the Smuggler Giveaway is…Dawn!

As the winner, Dawn will be receiving a copy of the new edition of Shohei Manabe’s Smuggler as published by One Peace Books. Because a rather violent assassin plays a very important role in Smuggler, for this giveaway I asked that entrants tell me a little about their favorite manga assassins. Check out the Smuggler Giveaway comments for all of the responses. And for your reading pleasure, I have compiled a list of some of the manga licensed in English that feature assassins.

A selection of assassin manga in English:
Assassination Classroom by Yūsei Matsui
Apothecarius Argentum by Tomomi Yamashita
Banana Fish by Akimi Yoshida
Benkei in New York written by Jinpachi Mori and illustrated by Jiro Taniguchi
Black Cat by Kentaro Yabuki
Black Lagoon by Rei Hiroe
Blade of the Immortal by Hiroaki Samura
City Hunter by Tsukasa Hojo
Code:Breaker by Akimine Kamijyo
Crying Freeman written by Kazuo Koike and illustrated by Ryoichi Ikegami
Dogs by Shirow Miwa
Gangsta by Kohske
Gungslinger Girl by Yu Aida
Golgo 13 by Takao Saito
Hotel Harbour View written by Natsuo Sekikawa and illustrated by Jiro Taniguchi
Hunter x Hunter by Yoshihiro Togashi
Immortal Rain by Kaori Ozaki
Jormungand by Keitaro Takahashi
Lady Snowblood written by Kazuo Koike and illustrated by Kazuo Kamimura
Lone Wolf & Cub written by Kazuo Koike and illustrated by Goseki Kojima
Maoh: Juvenile Remix by Megumi Osuga
No. 5 by Taiyo Matsumoto
Path of the Assassin written by Kazuo Koike and illustrated by Goseki Kojima
Project Arms written by Kyoichi Nanatsuki and illustrated by Ryoji Minagawa
Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki
Smuggler by Shohei Manabe
Strain written by Buronson and illustrated by Ryoichi Ikegami
This Night’s Everything by Akira Minazuki
Triage X by Shoji Sato
Until Death Do Us Part written by Hiroshi Takashige and illustrated by DOUBLE-S
X-Kai by Asami Tojo

Manga Giveaway: Smuggler Giveaway

For being the shortest month of the year, February seems to be lasting a long time for me. But the end is almost here, which means it’s time for another manga giveaway! This month you all (well, mostly all) will have the opportunity to win a copy of Smuggler by Shohei Manabe. Originally released in English by Tokyopop, Smuggler is now available in a new edition from One Peace Books. Because this manga is aimed at more mature audiences, entries are restricted to those of you who are eighteen years of age or older. Otherwise, as always, the giveaway is open worldwide!


Assassins, they’re everywhere you look. Well, maybe not everywhere, especially as many of them generally stay out of sight as part of their job. However, it’s not uncommon to come across an assassin or two in a manga. It tends to be a fairly manly profession, with the likes of Golgo 13 and Yo Hinamura (Crying Freeman), but there are some pretty kick-ass women working as assassins, too, such as the titular Lady Snowblood and quite a few of the women in Black Lagoon. Why am I talking about assassins? Because the dark and violent Smuggler just so happens to feature more than one extraordinarily vicious killer-for-hire, though the manga’s focus is on one of the guys who has to clean up after them (he just doesn’t realize it at first).

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

1) In the comments below, tell me a little about your favorite manga assassin.
2) For a second entry, name another manga that features an assassin that hasn’t been mentioned yet by me or by someone else.
3) 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).

And there you have it! Each person can earn up to three entries for this giveaway. As usual, you will all have a week to submit your comments. If you would prefer or have trouble leaving a comment, entries may also be submitted via e-mail to phoenixterran(at)gmail(dot)com. I will then post them in your name. The giveaway winner will be randomly selected and announced on March 5, 2014. Good luck!

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: Smuggler Giveaway Winner

My Week in Manga: December 23-December 29, 2013

My News and Reviews

Last week I posted a review of Hinoki Kino’s manga No. 6, Volume 4. The series has been getting better with each installment and things are starting to get really good. I also wrote a little bit about some of the manga, comics, and fiction releases that for me were particularly Notable in 2013. It’s not exactly a “best of” list, and it isn’t exactly a list of my favorite manga of the year, either. Basically it’s a list of interesting releases from 2013. And speaking of 2013, there’s still time to enter the last manga giveaway of the year! Check out the 4-Koma for You manga giveaway for a chance to win the omnibus edition of Kiyohiko Azuma’s yonkoma manga Azumanga Daioh.

Quick Takes

FairyTail, Volume 33Fairy Tail, Volume 33 by Hiro Mashima. It’s the second day of the Grand Magic Games and it’s still not looking good for the two Fairy Tail teams, although some of their members have surprising victories. Unfortunately, considering their prior string of defeats, it’s not enough to make much of a difference this early in the tournament. There are some great battles and moments of humor in this volume, but I still don’t find the tournament arc to be as compelling as the arcs that came before it. New characters continue to be introduced; I particularly enjoyed the addition of Bacchus, a powerful wizard from the Quatro Cerberus guild. Personality-wise, he can be a bit of a drunken jerk and isn’t always particularly likeable. What caught my interest is that his style of magic is based on Piguaquan, a legitimate Chinese martial art. Not too surprising considering his name, Bacchus combines this with Zui Quan, or “drunken fist.” Granted, it’s the fictionalized version of drunken fist that requires the practitioner to actually be intoxicated, but this is fitting and meshes well with the existing magic systems in Fairy Tail.

SmugglerSmuggler by Shohei Manabe. Originally released in English by Tokyopop, Smuggler is now available in a new edition from One Peace Books. I missed the manga the first time around, and since it also received a live-action film adaptation, I was particularly curious to read it. Kinuta is a failed actor who has accumulated a fair amount of debt. In order to pay back what he owes he has been smuggling and illegally dumping cargo outside of Tokyo. What he didn’t initially realize was that he was helping to transport and dispose of dead bodies for the yakuza. And now that he does know, Kinuta owes the mob his life as well as his money. When a job goes terribly wrong and an extraordinarily dangerous assassin escapes on his watch, Kinuta suddenly finds himself pulled even deeper into Japan’s underworld. Smuggler is a dark and violent manga, quickly paced, and unrelenting. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Smuggler held my interest, and there were some marvelously gut-wrenching scenes, but in the end I can’t say that the manga left much of a lasting impression on me.

Swan, Volume 4Swan, Volumes 4-9 by Kyoko Ariyoshi. I am still completely in love with Swan and am astounded that it has taken me this long to actually get around to reading it. The series is incredibly well done—it’s just so intense and passionate, not to mention beautifully drawn. I’m also learning a bit more about ballet and its history as I read, which I count as a bonus. There are quite a few themes being addressed in these particular volumes. One of the themes that is especially prominent deals with sacrifice and what people are willing to give up in order to pursue what the truly love. It’s not always an easy decision. As someone who was deeply involved in the performing arts (in my case music, not dance), it’s a conflict with which I can personally identify. The characters in Swan all have to struggle to find the balance between their lives as dancers and their relationships with other people. Matters of love and romance complicate things greatly, but they also serve as a source of inspiration for creative expression. Swan piles on the drama and it’s fantastic.

Wolfsmund, Volume 2Wolfsmund, Volume 2 by Mitsuhisa Kuji. While the first volume of Wolfsmund was violent and intense, the second volume is arguably even more so. In response to the rebellion gaining strength and numbers, the questioning of those trying to cross through the Wolf’s Maw at Sankt Gotthard Pass has become even more invasive and thorough. The gate’s overseer Wolfram—who is almost always shown with a terrifyingly pleasant smile on his face—seems to take particular delight in this. In order to get the information he needs, he’s more than willing to order the death or torture of a person no matter who they are. Cruelty isn’t limited to Wolfram. Even the rebellion’s heroes are capable of terrible deeds. I am a fan of dark historical manga, so Wolfsmund is right up my alley. Wolfsmund is definitely for mature readers. Considering its brutal nature (women and girls in particular suffer greatly in this volume) it’s not a series that I would recommend to just anyone. That being said, I am looking forward to the next volume.