manga Podcasts

How to save Christmas

It’s just a few days before Christmas and you think you’ve got it all under control. Food shopping is done, presents are all bought and wrapped.

Or at least so you thought. Turns out you forgot someone. A work colleague. An aunty you just found out is coming to visit. The wife. The inconsiderate bastards have turned up with a present for you, and you’ve got nothing to give them in return. Plus they’re diabetic tea-totalers, so the usual chocolate and/or booze option is out of the window. In other words: you’re screwed.

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manga Tezuka Tezuka Month thailand

Tezuka Month: A Day Magazine – Astro Boy special

An extra special treat for Tezuka Month – when I was in Thailand in January I was lucky enough to stumble across this edition of art and design mag A Day with a huge section dedicated to Astro Boy. Presumably timed to coincide with the release of the recent movie over there – nothing that special in itself, until you start to flick through it and realise that it’s clearly a publication that prides itself in it’s imagery, design and layouts.

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manga reviews Taiyo Matsumoto

GoGo Monster – Taiyo Matsumoto (2010): Review

Six year-old Yuki Tachibana sees and hears things his classmates never do; the bizarre forms and whispering voices of the strange, supernatural creatures that secretly inhabit his elementary school. Despite the fact that this dubious gift has made him an outcast from his fellow students he seems quietly accepting of his place – that is until he finds the always-empty seat next to him occupied by transfer student Makoto Suzuki, whose attempts to befriend him coincide with the arrival of the ‘others’ – a second group of spirits vying for control of the cold, decaying school building.

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manga reviews Tezuka

Black Jack Volumes 7-9 – Osamu Tezuka (2009-10): Review

Ironically, the titular anti-hero takes a bit of a back seat in my favourite Black Jack story to date. Instead it is left to a company president and a construction worker to make the hard moral decisions in High and Low, taken from the first of these three latest Black Jack collections. Set during a recession, and highlighting the disparity in status – but also the common human bond – between corporate fatcats and the working class it can’t help but touch a nerve in today’s economic climate. A stunning example of Osamu Tezuka’s continued relevance, it’s tempting to call it a stand-out story, but in honesty that would be doing the other tales here a disservice.

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art manga Naoki Urasawa Pluto reviews Tezuka

Pluto Volumes 1 & 2 – Naoki Urasawa (2009): Review

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Someone is killing robots. Not just any robots either; apparently someone is hunting down and killing the world’s most powerful and famous robots. And this is a problem for Inspector Gesicht of Europol, not just because he’s been put in charge of tracking down the killer, but because the list of victims so far suggests he might be a target himself.

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20th Century Boys art manga Naoki Urasawa reviews

20th Century Boys Volumes 1 & 2 – Naoki Urasawa (2009): Review

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One name has dominated manga over the last few years – in the west at least – Naoki Urasawa. Probably best known for his dark mystery series (and it’s subsequent anime spin-off) Monster and Pluto, his recent re-telling of a story arc from Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy, the series that has most recently grabbed not only the attention and awards but also spawned a trilogy of live action movies is the sci-fi and comedy tinged mystery 20th Century Boys. Despite the ferocious buzz around the comic across manga-fandom, I’m slightly embarrassed to say that it was only this month I finally managed to sit down and check it out, courtesy of Viz Media dropping me copies of the first two books to review.

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art books manga reviews Tezuka

Black Jack Volume 5 – Osamu Tezuka (2009): Review

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Even if you’ve never read a single page of manga before, the chances are you’re familiar with Osamu Tezuka – and if the name isn’t familiar, then it’s likely that his most famous creation Astro Boy, is. Even though she’s never, to my knowledge, read a page of the manga herself, my girlfriend’s most prized purchases during last year’s Tokyo shopping exhibitions where the t-shirts featuring the iconic robo-Pinocchio she picked up in Harajuku. But Tezuka – often referred to as the ‘God of Manga’ and the ‘Father of Anime’ – had an impact beyond his cute character designs and children’s adventure stories, with even Astro Boy at times exploring the darker sides and moral ambiguities of human nature, and perhaps his strongest vehicle for this being the character Black Jack.

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books manga reviews

The Manga Guide to… (2008 – 2009): Review

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I’ve been wanting to check out the bestselling Manga Guide series since I first saw images of them when they were published in Japan, so I was thrilled this week when I received the first four English translations, courtesy of their US publisher No Starch Press. I’ve already got a large and random collection of teach-yourself, ‘Dummies guide’ style manuals covering everything from web development to postmodernist theory, so combining that format with manga artwork was obviously going going to snare my interest. The question was though, where the books serious study aids or just another Japanophile curiosity?

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art ghibli Links > Anime & Manga manga Miyazaki news

Miyazaki to draw Porco Rosso sequel?

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Images courtesy of the brilliant Ghibli Blog.

You may remember that earlier in the year I reported that animation god Hayao Miyazaki was drawing an aviation based manga Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises) for Japanese magazine Model Graphix. Well, it seems he’s been enjoying returning to his mangaka roots, and is now considering penning a sequel to his classic film Porco Rosso for the magazine. He prototyped the movie in manga form for the mag back in 1990 in the form of Hikōtei Jidai, the French translation of which being the source of these fantastic images. Anime News Network has the lowdown:

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