I'm not even close to kidding when I say that one of the most exciting things about life in 2014 is that we're experiencing an amazing renaissance of Sailor Moon. Not only has the manga been reissued in its entirety from Kodansha, and not only is the classic series being released uncut with two episodes every Monday on Hulu, but Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, a new series based on Naoko Takeuchi's original series, made its worldwide premiere last weekend.
This is, for someone who loves Sailor Moon as much as I do, a pretty big deal, and Crystal's first episode lived up to the hype by being an absolutely gorgeous new version of Usagi's first outing as Sailor Moon. The thing is, Crystal was designed to be a far more strict adaptation of the source material, and while it definitely succeeds on that front, that's also its biggest problem.
We're only a few weeks away from the debut of a brand-new Sailor Moon Crystal animated series, and folks, I could not be more excited. I love Sailor Moon, ever since I saw the original anime during its run on Cartoon Network when I was a kid, and I've been looking forward to the debut of Crystal from the moment it was announced. In fact, in order to prepare for the debut, I've even gone back and started reading through the manga.
The thing is, while I've read a lot of Sailor Moon, there's one piece of the franchise that I've never been all that familair with: Naoko Takeuchi's Codename: Sailor V, which I only picked up recently. And it is fantastic, if only for the story where Sailor Venus beats the living crap out of some MRA gamer dork at the local arcade.
If you weren't aware that Edge of Tomorrow -- the new Tom Cruise movie that opened in American cinemas last weekend -- was based on a Japanese illustrated novel (or "light novel"), it'd be pretty understandable. For one thing, the title is different. The 2004 book by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and illustrator Yoshitoshi ABe was called All You Need Is Kill. For another, the book -- as Japanese science fiction often does -- featured Japanese teenagers in the midst of a gruesome war for Earth's fate, rather than a caucasian actor in his early 50s.
Publishers of the original work, Viz Media is making a big effort to make sure you know the truth. The publisher is releasing a new manga adaptation of the novel for digital download June 17. The new version comes courtesy of Takeshi Obata, who you may know as the creator of the super-popular Death Note and Bakuman series.
Good news for people who like keeping their digital comics in one easily accessible location: Today, Comixology announced that its going to be distributing digital comics from Viz Media, the publisher of a truly massive library of manga titles. Viz manga will now be available through the Comixology site, meaning that the comics can be downloaded to the popular (if controversially scaled back) Comixology app for Android and iOS devices, joining... well, pretty much every publisher on the block and keeping Comixology as a central destination for folks who want to buy digital comics.
The announcement is accompanied by the release of over 500 volumes of manga on Comixology today, including ComicsAlliance favorites like One Piece and One Punch Man, as well as a somewhat obscure title called Dragon Ball.
My college dorm room was a dizzying collage of prints, posters, and postcards — but nothing drew as much attention as the Camilla d’Errico pieces I had pinned up over my bed. People would peer at them, asking who drew these strange portraits of girls entwined with pythons, wearing huge, complicated helmets, and melting into candy-colored puddles. Every time, I’d wish that I had something discrete to point them towards, something that gathered the style and themes of d’Errico’s work into a coherent package.
Enter Tanpopo. Originally self-published, d’Errico’s passion project tells the story of the titular Tanpopo, a brilliant, yet emotionless girl, and Kuro, the devil who persuades her into a journey of self-discovery. The text is taken entirely from the work of such luminaries as Goethe, Coleridge, and Pu Sungling: in the first volume, excerpts from Faust explore Tanpopo and Kuro’s meeting, while text from Rime of the Ancient Mariner chart the former’s growing distrust of the latter. Tanpopo’s 170-page second volume, on sale now from BOOM! Studios, uses Shakespeare, Poe, and the 1001 Arabian Nights to similar effect.
To explore this unique work more deeply, ComicsAlliance spoke with d’Errico about pop surrealism, teenage girls, and more.
With his first two English language releases, What A Wonderful World and Solanin (both published by Viz), Inio Asano had gained a reputation for creating thoughtful slice-of-life stories that earned him the reputation as being the voice of a generation. March saw the debut of the Fantagraphics' edition of Nijigahara Holograph, a book that's as difficult to read as it is stunning to look at. Ostensibly about the repeated sacrifices of a young woman to save the world from apocalypse, the introduction of alternating timelines (with no clear delineation) and mature elements elevates it beyond exploitation, even as it forces the reader into uncomfortable territory that's reminiscent of the work of David Lynch.
Even back before anime and manga exploded (or E X P L O D Ed, as the case may be) and became as widely available as they are today, Masaume Shirow's Ghost In The Shell and Mamoru Oshii's anime adaptation were considered to be true high points of the cyberpunk genre. It's one of the most well known franchises in the entirety of anime, producing multiple adaptations and influencing films like The Matrix.
Obviously, it's going to have a pretty dedicated fanbase, and now, a group of artists and filmmakers have gotten together to produce a live-action fan-film adaptation of the original Ghost In The Shell anime's title sequence, reproducing it shot-for-shot. Check out a video of the process behind the recreation below!
As much as we all love Ash and his Japanese source character Satoshi, there's a certain charm about Pokémon's generic playable trainer, Red. After all, even though he stars in a number of manga including Pokémon Adventures and the recent Pokémon Origins anime, Red is meant to represent you, the player. Take that and shape it in the 3.75" tall Nendoroid chibi style and you've got an action figure that may be among the very best (like no toy ever was).
Though Kodansha will remain the publisher of Naoko Takeuchi's Sailor Moon manga, Viz Media announced last Friday that they've licensed effectively all of its anime adaptation, including the never-before-released-in-America Sailor Moon Sailor Stars seriesand the franchise's upcoming anime reboot, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal. Episodes will be available to watch on Viz's Neon Alley streaming service and Hulu beginning today, with additional content added every Monday. It's true; scouts honor.
It's tough to say whether the much-talked about, sometimes-maligned live-action adaptation of Akira, the latest iteration of which would have "localized" the movie to an unrecognizable pulp, will ever see the light of day, but a group of fans may have already bested anything Hollywood could have accomplished anyway.
The three-minute-plus trailer created by The Akira Project looks and feels like a genuine adaptation of the Katsuhiro Otomo manga and the highly regarded anime film. A few shots are downright identical. And, guess what? The actors in it are of Asian descent. (You may even recognize the actor who plays Kaneda, Osric Chau, from a recurring role on Supernatural.) Check it out!
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