Yup, you read that right. Starting 21 May 2008, Elex Media manga prices will increase by 15 percent—from a previous IDR 12,000 to IDR 13,800 per manga. Retail prices of older, long-running series will be tomerarenai-adjusted come 1st June. This means Elex manga will now cost more than Level Comics'—previously the priciest of the Gramedia imprints—that is, until Level decides to follow the Elex example.
Meanwhile, based on the three thousand price adjustment on HanaLaLa 26/2008, the magazine that serializes Hakusensha's Hana to Yume and LaLa shōjo titles in Indonesian and which also streets next Wednesday, I'm expecting the other Elex mangazines: Nakayoshi 56/2008 (Kodansha); Shonen Magz 47/2008 (Kodansha); and Shonen Star 41/2008 (Shogakukan) to be similarly re-priced from IDR 22,000 to IDR 25,000 per issue.
If you know your currencies, you might be wondering why I'm whining here. Thirteen thousand eight hundred Indonesian rupiah converts to only about USD 1.49—a far, far cry from how much either a Chuang Yi Singapore manga (at around USD 6.22, close to four-fold its Indonesian counterpart) or a nearly 600 percent more, VIZ Media published one like Ouran High School Host Club (USD 8.99)—or even one Japanese tankōbon (almost four dollars) would retail for. Differences in per capita income aside, 15 percent is still 15 percent (or in the case of the HanaLaLa price increase, under 14 percent); in practical, acquisitive, falling purchasing power terms, that's still one less manga for every 10 I used to be able to buy.
Ah, well. I think my formerly groaning bookshelves are now rejoicing. Small mercy.
Elex Media 21 May 2008 manga releases
The increased prices make these release lists even more useful now, seeing as I have to be more selective of the titles I buy. For sure from the 21 May batch, I will get HanaLaLa 26/2008 (can't live without Arakure and PenKaku), the first volume of Jungle Boy, the Tsuki no Shippo 3 you see on the left (I thought we were only going to get volume two this month; turns out I was wrong), and the final installment of Saitoh Misaki-sensei's Ultra Panic. At least two titles are going to be sacrificed but I'm not telling which ones (you probably don't care anyway or could probably guess ¹).
And speaking of Jungle Boy, as noted in the May 2008 Elex master list, this IS the J-Boy series by Under the Sun manga-ka Nakamura Rie-sensei. Here again is my translation (partial) of the Elex Book Review synopsis:
Accompanying his father on an expedition to Africa, Sunao Tokugawa is ill-prepared for life beyond the African continent. But one day, his father disappears and Sunao is forced to return to Japan and live with his mother, a famous actress. Unable to fit in with students at a regular school, Sunao is transferred to a boarding school, one that just happens to be inhabited byunique creatures.
The Indonesian synopsis continues here; the manga release list is (finally) below.
- NEW SERIES Bon Bon Bizarre 1 of 2 by Shirasawa Marimo, Toyama Shuko
- Firefighter Daigo (Megumi no Daigo) 18 of 20 by Soda Masahito
- NEW SERIES Jungle Boy 1 of 8 by Nakamura Rie
- Kunimitsu (Kunimitsu no Matsuri) 15 of 27 by Ando Yuma & Asaki Masashi
- Law of Ueki Plus, The (Ueki no Housoku Plus) 3 of 5 by Fukuchi Tsubasa
- Leave It To Alice (Alice ni omakase!) 8 of 10 by Arai Kiyoko
- MAR volume 4 of 15 by Anzai Nobuyuki
- Ranma ½ 27 of 38 by Takahashi Rumiko
- Tail of the Moon (Tsuki no Shippo) 3 of 15 by Ueda Rinko
- Touch 4 of 26 by Adachi Mitsuru
- Ultra Panic 4 of 4 by Saitoh Misaki
- Unrequited Venus (Venus wa Kataomoi) 12 of 12 by Nakaji Yuki
- Whistle! 22 of 24 by Higuchi Daisuke
- Wild Tales: Asuna's Love Poem by Yuguchi Seiko
- NEW SERIES Yume Yume Yu Yu 1 of 3 by Hanamori Pink
manga, shoujo, shounen, Elex Media, Alice ni omakase, Bon Bon Bizarre, Jungle Boy, Law of Ueki Plus, Kunimitsu no Matsuri, Marchen Awakens Romance, Megumi no Daigo, Ranma, Tsuki no Shippo, Ultra Panic, Venus wa Kataomoi, Whistle!, Yume Yume You You
Level Comics 20 May 2008 manga releases
~niki DBA 花木蘭03 (huamulan03) via Elex Media, who now understands why the May 2008 Elex Media manga premieres (of relatively short series) and standalones comprise close to 10 percent of the total releases for the month (it's probably Elex's way of being considerate to the pocket ^^)