New Manga Releases for the Week of March 3, 2015

Here are the new manga releases for the week of March 3, 2015. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Claymore GN 26
D.Gray-man Omnibus GN 6
Dragon Ball Omnibus GN 8
Kamisama Kiss GN 17
Kiss of the Rose Princess GN 3
LBX GN 4: The Super LBX
Monster Musume GN 6
Naruto GN 69
New Lone Wolf & Cub GN 4
Nisekoi: False Love GN 8
Oresama Teacher GN 18
Pokemon Adventures GN 27
Pokemon Adventures Black and White GN 6
Pokemon XY GN 2
The Sacred Blacksmith GN 7
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign GN 4
Skip Beat! Omnibus GN 10
xxxHOLiC Omnibus GN 5
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s GN 7

ICv2 Lists North American Market’s Top Manga of Fall/Holiday 2014

ICv2, a retailer focused hobby game and comics/graphic novel markets news site associated with distributor Diamond, has published its list of top 10 manga properties for 2014’s Q4 fall and holidays season. This list was compiled based on interviews with retailers, distributors, and manufacturers.

1. Attack on Titan (Kodansha Comics)
2. Naruto (VIZ Media)
3. Sailor Moon (Kodansha Comics)
4. Pokémon (VIZ Media)
5. Black Butler (Yen Press)
6. Death Note (VIZ Media)
7. Fairy Tail (Kodansha Comics)
8. Soul Eater (Yen Press)
9. Fullmetal Alchemist (VIZ Media)
10. Maximum Ride (Yen Press)

Source: ICv2

19th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Nominees Announced

The Asahi Shimbun paper has announced the nine nominees for the 19th Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize. The award commemorates contributions of the manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka by recognizing the manga that best follow his tradition.

The nominees are:

  • Aisawa Riku by Yoiko Hoshi
  • Aoi Hono by Kazuhiko Shimamoto
  • Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui
  • Silver Spoon by Hiromu Arakawa
  • A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Ooima
  • Goshiki no Fune (Five-color Boat) by Yasumi Tsuhara
  • Chaser by Jokura Koji
  • Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
  • Heisei Uro Oboe Zoshi by Hajime Toda

This year’s nominating committee included novelist Atsuko Asano, manga creator Machiko Satonaka, university professor Shohei Chujo, manga editor Haruyuki Nakano, columnist Bourbon Kobayashi, manga commentator Shinbo Nobunaga, manga creator and researcher Taro Minamoto, and manga researcher Tomoko Yamada. The committee selected from among the works that were published from January to December of 2014.

The winners will be decided on March 25, 2015 and will be announced in Asahi Shimbun in early April 2015.

Source: ANN

Naruto Volume 68 Is the Fifth Best Selling Graphic Novel in the United States for January 2015

Three manga titles appeared on Nielsen BookScan’s Top 20 Graphic Novel chart for January 2015:

  • Naruto Volume 68 by Masashi Kishimoto (#5)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama (#8)
  • All You Need Is Kill (2-in-1 Edition) by Takeshi Obata (#18)

The BookScan rankings represent sales at Barnes & Noble and other book chains, independent bookshops and online purchases; however, it does not include sales at comic book stores, Amazon, and some other venues.

Source: ICv2

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: January 11-17, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of January 11-17, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Finder Volume 7 by Ayano Yamane
2. One Piece Volume 73 by Eiichiro Oda
3. Attack on Titan: No Regrets Volume 2 by Gun Snark, Hikaru Suruga and Hajime Isayama
4. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
5. Unofficial Hatsune Mix by KEI
6. The Seven Deadly Sins Volume 6 by Nakaba Suzuki
7. Kingdom Hearts II Volume 3 by Shiro Amano
8. Nisekoi: False Love Volume 7 by Naoshi Komi
9. Assassination Classroom Volume 1 by Yusei Matsui
10. Naruto Volume 68 by Masashi Kishimoto

Source: The New York Times

Manga Review: “Naruto” Volume 27

Naruto Volume 27 is a manga by Masashi Kishimoto, and it was released in North America by VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2007. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read of the manga and from what I’ve seen of the anime series, I would agree with this rating.

The main character of the series is Naruto Uzumaki; he’s the number one hyperactive knuckleheaded ninja in the Hidden Leaf Village. Naruto’s dream is to become the leader of his village one day and to be acknowledged by others. When Naruto was a baby, a fox demon was sealed inside of him; because of this, the adults in the village have shunned Naruto out of fear of the fox demon. He started proving himself a little during the Chunin Exam, and has started receiving training from Jiraiya, one of the three Legendary Sannin. At this point, Naruto, along with Shikamaru, Choji, Neji, Kiba, and Akamaru, are trying to get Naruto’s teammate Sasuke back from Orochimaru. Unfortunately, they fail in their mission.

Volume 27 spends the first three chapters wrapping up the Sasuke Retrieval Arc. Naruto tries to reassure Sakura that he will bring Sasuke back someday because he never goes back on his word. After hearing this, Sakura realizes that primarily what she’s done up until now was cry for help. She decides she wants to become more than that and asks Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage, to take her on as an apprentice. Tsunade agrees, and we see Sakura begin her training. This is a very important developmental milestone for Sakura; while she’s declared a couple of times that she wants to become stronger, she only did token gestures to make to it seem like she was doing something. Taking the step to become Tsunade’s apprentice is a big one for her and she’s truly showing that she’s ready to do what it takes to become more than just the girl constantly crying and asking Naruto for help.

When Jiraiya comes to visit Naruto, he tries to dissuade Naruto from going after Sasuke. But Naruto makes it clear that Sasuke is his friend and that he’s not giving up on him. In the end, Jiraiya decides to take Naruto on a training journey so Naruto can become stronger in order to take on the Akatsuki and maybe to even try to save Sasuke. The third chapter of the volume ends with Naruto and Jiraiya heading out on their journey as the other ninjas Naruto’s age return to their training and normal lives in the village. Getting to see how the others are doing makes for a nice epilogue for the first part of the Naruto manga series, since the second part begins in Volume 28.

The remainder of the volume features Kakashi Chronicles ~Boys’ Life on the Battlefield~. This story is set when Kakashi was much younger, right at the time he was promoted to Jonin. We get to know the other two members of his team, Rin and Obito. Kakashi is a very different person at this point, and we learn through an explanation from Kakashi’s master why Kakashi is acting the way he is. This story not only provides some background on Kakashi, but it also explains how he got an eye with Sharingan. I had actually already seen this story in the Naruto Shippuden anime, but it moved me just as much reading it in the manga now as it did when I first saw it in the anime. I loved seeing how Obito was ultimately the one to open Kakashi’s eyes and make him realize that the way he’d been acting wasn’t entirely right; it’s also thanks to Obito why Kakashi is the way we know him now in the series. There’s a very touching scene near the end of the story with Kakashi and his teammates right near the end of it.

Probably the strangest thing for me when reading Kakashi Chronicles is getting used to seeing Kakashi as a much younger character because there are enough differences between this younger Kakashi and the Kakashi that we see in the regular series. The others really don’t bother me, since most of them haven’t appeared in the manga before now. When it came to the art in Kakashi Chronicles, there was one page that really caught my eye: it’s a full body picture of Obito on page 144. It’s very striking to look at, and it really stands out in comparison to the panels on the page next to it.

Even though I already know what’s going to happen from watching the anime series, I’ve enjoyed reading these events in their original manga form just as much as I did when I first saw them in the anime. It’s really impressed me to see just how closely the anime and manga look and feel at times..

If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous 26 volumes of the Naruto manga series, then I believe that you’ll enjoy reading Volume 27. The conclusion of the first part of the Naruto manga, as well as Kakashi Chronicles, makes this volume a great read.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Naruto Volume 27 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: January 4-10, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of January 4-10, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Sword Art Online: Fairy Dance Volume 2 by Reki Kawahara and Tsubasa Haduki
2. Master Keaton Volume 1 by Naoki Urasawa, Hokusei Katsushika and Takashi Nagasaki
3. Kingdom Hearts II Volume 3 by Shiro Amano
4. Deadman Wonderland Volume 6 by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou
5. Unofficial Hatsune Mix by KEI
6. Fairy Tail Volume 45 by Hiro Mashima
7. Naruto Volume 68 by Masashi Kishimoto
8. Attack on Titan: No Regrets Volume 2 by Gun Snark, Hikaru Suruga and Hajime Isayama
9. He’s My Only Vampire Volume 1 by Aya Shouoto
10. Noragami Volume 1 by Adachitoka