A mondo medley of both new and already high profile manga series are about to be available digitally for free by way of Japanese publisher Kadokawa. Launching on PC and mobile devices via an app on March 22, Kadokawa's new ComicWalker service will come stocked with scads of titles in Japanese, Chinese and English including Sgt. Frog, Gundam: The Origin and Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Under normal circumstance, a publisher announcing that it got the rights to a foreign series with plans for a US printing later in the year wouldn't be cause to get more than the usual amount of excited, but when the series is a classic from Naoki Urasawa that's described as a "post-Cold War thriller" about a world-traveling archaeologist/insurance investigator? I mean, that's like six different things that I'm into in one sentence, so rest assured that I am pumped about this news.
The series in question is Master Keaton, which debuted in 1988, set for release in 12 deluxe edition volumes as part of the Viz Signature line this December, and cannot get here fast enough.
One of my resolutions this year was to widen my comics reading horizons and try to get a little more into manga, and one of the titles that came most highly recommended, particularly from former ComicsAlliance writer David Brothers, was One-Punch Man. It sounded good, but I'll admit that I was a little reluctant to dive in with a title like that. I mean, I like comic books about punching a lot, so I wasn't sure that I was going to be satisfied with a comic that only promised one. If I'm only getting one punch, I need at least a couple of kicks and maybe someone throwing auto parts at another person. That's just the rules.
Fortunately, last week saw the release of a $6.99 digital collection of the first 200 pages of One-Punch Man, and when I took the risk to see what it was all about, I learned a very valuable lesson: It's not the quantity of punches that's important, it's the quality. And also the quantity of internal organs that go flying out of whoever's getting punched. That's a pretty big deal too.
Having spent enough to support a small child on Bandai's S.H. Figuarts action figure line, I was a bit relieved to see that Bluefin Tamashii Nations' Toy Fair 2014 booth was relatively relaxed in terms of never-before-seen figures. My relief didn't last too long, however, as I took in the big items from the show. Not only did we get a second, more fleshed-out look at the upcoming Injustice: Gods Among Us Batman, we also got to scope out a Shippuden-style Naruto and an articulated Michael Jackson in his Moonwalker getup.
While promoting what's surely a startlingly insightful drama about richly textured character portraits trapped on a CGI plane with Liam Neeson and a bomb or something, director Jaume Collett-Serra stopped talking about Non-Stop long enough to remark that his next project might be the on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again live-action adaptation of AKIRA. The director hopes to expand a whitewashed version of the story into a trilogy despite the fact that he doesn't actually like the characters at the heart of the most iconic Japanese comic book and animated film to ever be released in the United States, or believe that strong characters are even to be found in Japanese culture.
As horrifying as it is has become to utter the words "Dragon Ball" and "Evolution" in the same sentence since the 2009 live action film, I've got to say, Viz's new Dragon Ball Color (which begins at Dragon Ball chapter 195 a.k.a. Dragon Ball Z chapter 1) feels like the natural next step for Akira Toriyama's beloved 30-year-old manga. After reading the story of Goku in almost half a dozen different formats since Viz began localizing the manga in 1998, I was skeptical about whether reprinting the manga in color would do anything for me -- especially since the anime served to bring the story to life in living color already. Turns out, it scratches a certain kind of Saiyan itch. You can watch my full video review after the cut.
Unlike the very real Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics currently underway in Russia, "The Cosplayer Olympics" (Cosplaympics?) are a complete fabrication created entirely to service the awesomeness that is Twitter user @funyafunya0320, who recently posted images of someone snowboarding while wearing a Mobile Suit Gundam RX-78-2 costume. 10 OUT OF 10! GOLD MEDAL!
Hey! You wanna see a collection of more than 150 pieces of really cool Dragon Ball fanart? Good news, you can currently name your price for a digital collection by some of the coolest artists this side of Namek.
The Dragon Ball Zine, a beautifully produced collection of fan art from Akira Toriyama's hyper-popular manga series (and the anime adaptation) is pay-what-you-like on Gumroad right now. A print version is also available for $20.
When Akira Toriyama first introduced Goku in the pages of Dragon Ball, things were simple: He was a monkey-tailed boy from the wilderness who was raised by a martial arts master who wore a magical ball that when you combined it with six others it summoned a dragon for a wish and there was a girl who wanted them and -- fine, fine, things weren't that simple. As time went on and Dragon Ball shifted from a wild adventure comedy to a more straightforward battle manga as Dragon Ball Z, things became even less simple. Goku's evil brother Raditz showed up on a mission to kill everything on Earth and revealed that he was among the last of a race of alien warriors called Saiyans. That meant Goku's biological folks were just some dead jerks. In the manga, that was pretty much the end of the story, but the explosive popularity of the anime adaptation led to a movie about his Saiyan dad, Bardock. So who was Goku's mom? The question's lingered for nearly 25 years... until now (potential spoilers below).