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Book Spotlight: Everyday Scenes From A Parallel World
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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Everyday Scenes From a Parallel World Header

Beautiful Scenes From a Fantasy World
Background Illustrations and Scenes from Anime and Manga Works
Paperback
Edited by PIE International
Publisher: PIE International; Bilingual edition
Release date: February 1, 2018

Everyday Scenes from a Parallel World: Background Illustrations and Scenes from Anime and Manga Works from PIE International is a collection of art that displays ordinary life in extraordinary beauty. Works from 39 artists capture the eye and heart. It is no wonder that manga and anime are so popular all over the world.

More below.

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Manga Review: Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind review

Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind
Story and Illustrations by Hayao Miyazaki
Translation by David Lewis & Toren Smith
Lettering & Retouch by Tom Orzechowski
Viz Media
Release Date: November 6, 2012 (Hardcover, Box Set)

Tackling a review of the manga version of Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind is an ambitious undertaking for any writer, but especially this one, given my love of Hayao Miyazaki‘s entire catalogue, especially his lesser-known efforts as a mangaka. The manga’s storyline is a lot more complex than that presented in the feature-length film version. The characters are deeper and Miyazaki is allowed to give full rein to the themes that are a constant in all of his films.

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Anime Review: Student Council’s Discretion (Seitokai no Ichizon)
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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student-councils-discretion

Student Council’s Discretion (Seitokai no Ichizon)
Series directed by: Takuya Sato (1st series), Ken’ichi Imaizumi (2nd series)
Written by: Aoi Sekina, Jukki Hanada, Reiko Yoshida
Cast: Mariko Honda, Takashi Kondo, Misuzu Togashi, Yuka Saitou, Yuki Horinaka, Ai Shimizu, Haruka Tomatsu, Kazutomi Yamamoto, Mami Kosuge, Mamiko Noto, Ryoko Shintani, Takahiro Sakurai
Production: Kadokawa Pictures
Broadcast: Currently Streaming on Crunchyroll

Based on a light novel series written by Aoi Sekina, Student Council’s Discretion, or Seitokai no Ichizon, is a funny romp through the idiosyncrasies of anime and manga fandom, as well as the foibles of its own sometimes deeply flawed characters.

A prestigious private school named Hekiyou Academy is the setting for this self-effacing high school comedy, where members of the Student Council are elected by means of popularity contests. Kurimu Sakurano is the current President of the Student Council, along with Chizuru Akaba, the Council’s Secretary, Vice-President Minatsu Shiina, and her sister and Council Treasurer, Mafuyu Shiina. Rounding out this stellar cast is one male member, however: Ken Sugisaki, who acquired the coveted Student Council “Blue Chip” seat for Vice-President by being the top academic scorer on campus.

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Viz Media Releases Deluxe Edition Of ‘Uzumaki’
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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Uzumaki Deluxe Edition banner

Getting a little tired of zombies and walkers? Maybe you want something different to supplement your need for scream? Viz Media may well have the answer to your dark desires.

Just in time for Halloween, the San Francisco-based company has released Junji Ito’s masterpiece of dark horror, Uzumaki, in a Deluxe Edition. The three-in-one volume hardcover edition, which contains 12 pages of new full-color interior artwork, is now available under the Viz Signature imprint.

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Comic Review: Tokyo Babylon, Book One
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Zenestex   |  
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Tokyo Babylon, Book OneTokyo Babylon, Book One
Written by CLAMP
Art by CLAMP
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Cover Price: $19.99

For the uninitiated, CLAMP is a wildly successful, all-female group of manga creators from Japan. They’ve produced hits such as Cardcaptor Sakura, Angelic Layer, Chobits, and Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE. Tokyo Babylon is one of CLAMP’s earliest titles that ran from 1990 to 1993. Just a warning to parents up front: this comic deals with occult themes and includes a possible adult-teenager homosexual relationship. If that kind of stuff gets your tighties in a bunch, then you may want to snatch this manga away from young, impressionable eyes. Relax, this isn’t a porn book; it’s not yaoi. In fact, the homosexuality part is only talked about. Mostly jokingly. I think.

Tokyo Babylon follows the story of Subaru, a 16-year-old who moonlights as something of a ghostbuster. He’s what’s known as an onmyoji, a Japanese occult-sorcerer type, who investigates a variety of supernatural mysteries. His family, the Sumeragi, have protected Japan from evil spirits since ancient times. The other two main characters in this story are Subaru’s twin sister, Hokuto, and their friend Seishiro the veterinarian.

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Comic Review: Weekly ‘Shonen Jump’ Digital Manga Magazine
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RoughJustice   |  
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Shonen Jump
World Trigger By Daisuke Ashihara
Toriko By Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro
Dragon Ball By Akira Toriyama
One Piece By Eiichiro Oda
Naruto By Masashi Kishimoto
Cross Manage By KAITO
Nisekoi By Naoshi Komi
One Punch Man By Yusuke Murata
Viz Manga
Release Date: February 11, 2013
Cover Price: 99¢

Okay, I have to be honest. When I was assigned to start reviewing Shonen Jump, I had much catching up to do. One Piece is on chapter 698 and Naruto is deep into its 600s as well, not to mention, there is a ton of manga in here that I am wildly unfamiliar with. That being said, I have taken up the arduous task of catching up on these manga, full-time job and personal hygiene be damned.

I am still working on getting my knowledge of current storylines completely up-to-date. So, bear with me if I forget to mention that someone is the brother of the widow who was once a demon but is now a soccer player, or something like that.

Now, without further ado, let’s dive into the recent Shonen Jump (confetti falls from the ceiling, somewhere in the distance a dragon roars).

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Batman and ‘Smallville’ Lead DC’s Charge Into Digital
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Hunter Camp   |  
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Batman by Ben Templesmith

DC Comics announced today that the comic book publishing company would be expanding its digital comics initiative with brand new weekly comics with Smallville Season 11, Batman, and a manga-inspired Ame Come line leading the charge.

Alright DC Comics, you’ve got my attention. This news story comes alongside a nice feature with writer Bryan Q. Miller on USA Today as he discusses preview pages and the previously announced Smallville Season 11 weekly digital comics series that follows the events of the popular TV show, which finally hits the digital platform today. Next month, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti will begin a new weekly digital comic based on Manga style that focuses on Wonder Woman and other female superheroes which takes the Ame Comi name from DC’s popular statue line. Where this gets really interesting to me, however, is with the announcement of the weekly Batman comics.

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Comic Review: Gate 7, Vol. 1
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Culturesmash   |  
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Gate 7, Vol. 1
Story and Art by CLAMP
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: October 5, 2011
Cover Price: $10.99

Manga titles are not typically on my reading list, but I am an old school anime fan and open minded to new comics, so this release from Dark Horse seemed to be a good bet. Gate 7 is the opening act of a new story from the creators of the wildly popular Cardcapture Sakura and it’s been brought to the States by Dark Horse. Sounds good so far…

In this fantastical story a high school boy investigates the beautiful temples of Kyoto. He has long been fascinated with these temples and in this opening act he finds even more than he ever could have hoped for. He stumbles on two men and a woman using magical powers to do battle with monsters. They have many special abilities, but are shocked when their power to make people forget doesn’t work on this odd young man.

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Geek Discussion: Do YOU Want To See Keanu Reeves Play Kaneda In An ‘Akira’ Movie?
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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A live-action American adaptation of the popular Japanese manga and animated feature film, Akira, has been on the way for a while now with Albert Hughes (of the Hughes Brothers) attached to direct.

Many rumors have swirled around the proposed film, but nothing quite solid has ever manifested yet. And that seems to be just fine with Akira fans everywhere, who have made it pretty clear that they don’t think a live-action adaptation would work and they don’t want to see it happen. Of course that’s just what they say now, and if a really well-done movie is made with the proper cast and an intriguing trailer is released, those very same fans would likely be singing a different tune.

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TokyoPop Closes North American Publishing Division
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Henchman21   |  @   |  
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A few years ago, you couldn’t go into a bookstore without running into an aisle of kids in the manga section, and odds are, they were reading a series published by TokyoPop. Unfortunately, the last few years have not been kind to the company, and TokyoPop has announced this week that they are closing their North American publishing division as of May 31, 2011. They will maintain their film and television operations, as well as their European offices. The news was first reported on The Beat and the Anime News Network and then TokyoPop CEO and founder Stu Levy also confirmed the move on the company’s webpage.

TokyoPop was one of the major publishers of manga boom of the early and mid 2000s. Over its lifetime, the company has released hundreds of volumes of manga, video game and anime soundtracks, magazines, and DVDs. Even more surprising is the timing of the move, as it comes just before the release of the first film produced by TokyoPop, Priest. Priest is based on a Korean Manhwa by Min-Woo Hyung, and was released in the U.S. by TokyoPop, and is reaching the big screen on May 13th, and stars Paul Bettany. Apparently, even the potential money the movie could have made would not have been able to change this decision.

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