Manga Giveaway: Have Some Hetalia Winner

And the winner of the Have Some Hetalia manga giveaway is…Venus_Angel9!

As the winner, Venus_Angel9 will be receiving a brand new copy of the second volume of Hidekaz Himaru’s Hetalia: Axis Powers manga from Tokyopop. The contest this month was similar to the January’s Gantz Giveaway, except instead of talking about live-action adaptations of manga, I had people tell me a little about anime adaptations that they love or hate. I’ll include a brief listing here, but be sure to check out the Have Some Hetalia comments for additional information.

Manga with great anime adaptations:
Big Windup! by Asa Higuchi
Death Note written by Tsugumi Ohba, illustrated by Takeshi Obata
Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
Full Metal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
Hetalia: Axis Powers by Hidekaz Himaru
Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi
K-On! by Kakifly
Love★Com by Aya Nakahara
Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori
Princess Princess by Mikiyo Tsuda
Ranma 1/2 by Rumiko Takahashi

Manga even better than the anime:
Kekkaishi by Yellow Tanabe
Skip Beat by Yoshiki Nakamura
One Piece by Eiichiro Oda

Manga with anime potential:
Afterschool Charisma by Kumiko Suekane
Arisa by Natsumi Ando
Basara by Yumi Tamura
Faster than a Kiss by Meca Tanaka
Happy Ice Cream by Mika Kawamura
MPD-Psycho written by Eiji Otsuka, illustrated by Shou Tajima
Until Death Do Us Part written by Hiroshi Takashige, illustrated by DOUBLE-S
Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma

Manga Giveaway: Have Some Hetalia

I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but I ended up with two copies of Hetalia: Axis Powers, Volume 2 by Hidekaz Himaru. So, for my manga giveaway this month, one lucky person will get to take advantage of my blunder! As always, the contest is open world-wide.

There are many, many anime that started out as manga. Sometimes the adaptations are great, sometimes they’re terrible, and sometimes they end up being a side story or something entirely different from the original. When it comes to Hetalia, the anime is a very close adaptation of the original series. Although I enjoy both versions, I tend to prefer the anime slightly more in this case. I don’t know, maybe it’s the great voice actors. Either way, I find both the anime and manga to be ridiculous fun.

So, you may be wondering, how can you win a copy of Hetalia: Axis Powers, Volume 2?

1) In the comments section below, tell me about an anime adaptation of a manga that you love (or hate).
2) Tell me about a manga that you would love (or hate) to see made into an anime.
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).

One person can earn up to three entries for this giveaway. You have one week enter the contest. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on March 2, 2011. Good luck!

VERY IMPORTANT: Include some way that I can contact you. This can be an e-mail address, 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: Have Some Hetalia Winner

My Week in Manga: February 7-February 13, 2011

My News and Reviews

All right! I posted two in-depth reviews last week. Granted, they were for novels and not manga, but the books are still worth checking out. The first review is for Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness by Nahoko Uehashi. It’s the second book in her ten volume Guardian fantasy series. Only the first two volumes are available in English, but I adore them both. The second review is for Project Itoh’s multiple award winning science fiction novel Harmony; particularly recommended for fans of utopia and dystopia fiction.

The February 2011 Manga Moveable Feast, featuring Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen, began yesterday. In addition to the quick takes below of the entire manga series and the two Barefoot Gen anime films, I will also be posting a couple of reviews this week. Sam Kusek at A Life in Panels is hosting the event.

Quick Takes

Barefoot Gen, Volumes 1-10 by Keiji Nakazawa. I finally got around to reading the entire series since Barefoot Gen was selected for February 2011’s Manga Moveable Feast. Barefoot Gen isn’t an easy read due to its subject matter, but that is also what makes it such an important read. Despite all of the terrible things that happen, Barefoot Gen is ultimately an optimistic and inspiring series and carries a heartening anti-war message. Some of the characters come across as much more articulate, capable, and mature than one would expect from people their age, but this can be fairly easily ignored for the sake of the story. Barefoot Gen is a powerful semi-autobiographical work.

Hetalia: Axis Powers, Volumes 1-2 by Hidekaz Himaruya. Hetalia started as a webcomic and quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. Perhaps because of its start online, the image quality varies, especially in the first volume. The manga improves in writing as the series progresses; I frequently found myself laughing out loud. The humor often but not always relies on stereotypes, but I didn’t find it to be offensive. I even learned a thing or to about world history. Much of the manga is presented as yonkoma, but that format is not used exclusively. Ultimately, I think I prefer the anime adaptation of Hetalia, but I still really enjoyed the manga and will be picking up more of the volumes as they are published.

Immortal Rain, Volumes 1-2 by Kaori Ozaki. This is a series I probably wouldn’t have come across except that was featured in Jason Thompson’s House of 1,000 Manga column. I was inspired to pick it up, and I’m so very glad I did; three chapters in and I knew I wanted to invest in the entire series. Immortal Rain (known as Meteor Methuselah in Japan) has wonderful art and fantastic, complex, characters. And the ladies kick ass. Rain, the titular immortal, is still mostly a mystery at this point in the story. The plot, too, is in its beginning stages and there are more questions than answers, but I’m really looking forward to seeing where it goes. The frequently melancholy mood is balanced nicely with plenty of action sequences.

J-Boy by Biblos by Various. According to Digital Manga, J-Boy was the first yaoi anthology to be released in the United States. It collects nineteen short one-shots, spin-offs, and side-stories by sixteen contributors, totaling over 340 pages of manga. Most of the stories are simply okay, but there are a few gems hidden in the volume. One favorite was the absolutely ridiculous story “Neko Samurai – Ocean of Barrier” by Kyushu Danji. The stories are pretty varied, some are goofy while others are more heartfelt. However, some plots were too complicated to be effectively captured in short form. There’s very little sex in the book, and many stories don’t even to get to the point of kissing.

Barefoot Gen: The Movies 1 & 2 produced by Keiji Nakazawa. Barefoot Gen has been the subject of several adaptations, including two anime films released in the 1980s. The first, directed by Mori Masaki, is probably the most well known—particularly for it’s depiction of the dropping of the bomb. The second, directed by Toshio Hirata, takes place three years after the first. It deviates somewhat from the manga in its details, but it’s heart is unquestionably the same. While I think everyone should read the manga, I think the anime is definitely worth watching as well and it may even be more accessible overall.

Late Bloomer directed by Go Shibata. I first learned about this film because it features music by World’s End Girlfriend. Late Bloomer is probably best described as an arthouse horror film. It follows Sumida, whose cerebral palsy forces him to lead a very lonely life. Eventually his anger and frustration drives him to commit a series of murders. The cinematography is very interesting and movie is filmed in a grainy black and white. The music meshes with the film incredibly well and is integral to many shots. I can’t really say I enjoyed Late Bloomer, it’s an unusual film and definitely not for everyone, but I am glad that I took time to watch it.

My Week in Manga: September 20-September 26, 2010

My News and Reviews

The biggest thing going on right now for me is my very first manga giveaway, the Crazy Karate Contest. I’ll be drawing the winner this Wednesday, so get your entries in. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t have more entrants, but I do realize that my manga blog is rather new and it’s a little awkward to be giving away the eleventh volume of a series. I plan on doing a giveaway every month, so be on the lookout.

This past week I posted a review of Osamu Dazai’s novel The Setting Sun. I also posted the first in my Discovering Manga series where I’ll be discussing where I learn about and discover manga. This time I look at Jason Thompson’s project 365 Days of Manga, which I have mentioned previously. Finally, I want to mention a review that I posted over on Experiments in ReadingGender Outlaws: The Next Generation. In addition to being an absolutely wonderful collection of short nonfiction, poetry, and comics focusing on transgender and queer issues, I wanted to mention it here because of Japanese-Canadian Kenji Tokawa’s fantastic essay “Why You Don’t Have To Choose A White Boy Name To Be A Man In This World.”

Quick Takes

Astral Project, Volumes 1-4 written by Garon Tsuchiya (as marginal) and illustrated by Shyuji Takeya. This is kind of an odd, psychological manga, but a very good one, too. There’s a lot going on in it and I’m not sure that I caught everything on my first read through, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. I really liked the main protagonist, Masahiko. Although his love for his sister and his grief over her death is obvious, they are not the only things that define him as a person—he’s got plenty to work out in his own life. I’ll definitely be giving this series a re-read.

Cinderalla by Junko Mizuno. I have never seen anything like Mizuno’s art before, and I love it—brightly colored, psychedelic, and creepy-cute, it’s really quite stunning. The story is a strange but highly amusing retelling of Cinderella, complete with zombies, yakitori, and pop idols. I couldn’t tell you why Cinderalla has a tendency to do housework bare-breasted, but oh well. I believe that Cinderalla is Mizuno’s first full-length work made available in English and I’ll be looking into picking up her others as well.

Future Lovers, Volumes 1-2 by Saika Kunieda. I really enjoyed the realism present in this series and in Kento and Akira’s relationship. Some people might find it tedious since not much happens and the two have the same arguments over and over, but I found it to be endearing and authentic. Akira’s constant bickering with Kento’s grandfather is hilarious. I also loved that Kento blushes just as much as Akira. I liked Kento’s character design but Akira sometimes just looked really odd to me. The two are definitely great in bed together, though.

Loud Snow written by Tina Anderson and illustrated by Amelie Belcher. Loud Snow was my first foray into GloBL manga. I don’t remember who told me to buy it, but thank you. Anituk and Abalu are really cute together and the story is very sweet. It can be a little goofy at times, but also serious when needed. I think the artwork looks better in the digital versions I’ve seen—something to do with how the shading is printed, I think—but overall I liked the art and Anituk pulls some great faces and reactions. His brother makes a great side character, too.

Hetalia: Axis Powers, Season 1 I’m pretty sure I find this series much funnier than I actually should, but I really can’t help it. I will admit that it’s a little uneven—some episodes I hardly crack a smile at but other episodes make me cry because I’m laughing so hard. Hetalia definitely has the potential to be incredibly offensive, but I personally wasn’t bothered by it. I don’t mind the blatant use of cultural and national stereotypes in this case probably because nobody is safe. It’s a bizarre and silly series, and not everyone is going to be able to stand it, but it makes me grin.