12.31.2009

PLUTO 6, Psychic Detective Yakumo 2 of 2, NG Life 5 (m&c! 6 January 2010 manga)

Also, The Gordian Knot 2 by Sakato Riku & Nose Naoki and My Secret Life 3 by Midori Yukako

Tweaked to add deets on Gorudiosu no Musubime (that's The Gordian Knot to you) and a preview of m&c!'s 13 January manga schedule

Psychic Detective Yakumo 2 (m&c!)

Shinrei Tantei Yakumo - Akai Hitomi wa Shitteiru
© Miyako Ritsu & Kaminaga Manabu/Hakusensha
Published in Indonesia as Psychic Detective Yakumo by PT Gramedia/m&c!

It's that time of the month. For the latest Pluto manga to street, that is. (What were you thinking? I was talking about m&c!'s promise to release Urasawa Naoki's Astro Boy The Greatest Robot On Earth reworking regularly ^^.) And in volume 6, the Swiss robot Mont Blanc is added to the mounting pile of victims, even as a prominent robots rights activist is assassinated.

The seemingly unrelated murders appear to issue from the same abysmal wellspring, what with the perp crowning both victims with horns. As Interpol detective and one of the seven great robots, Gesicht, delves deeper into the mystery that somehow involves the shadowy figures of Pluto, Sahad, Goji, and Abullah, he just might end up, prematurely, the next victim. [Adapted from Amazon's description of Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka volume 6 (VIZ Media edition)]

Meanwhile, another detective, a psychic one this time, comes face to face with a corpseless, voice-less apparition—the most poignant yet—in the reader-recommended (hi, Jasmine-san!) Psychic Detective Yakumo. Even with his red left eye, Yakumo can only discern the dregs left: wistful, neverending regret, powerful enough to drive anyone insane. Incomprehensible sadness, rage, and unbearable pain drift past Yakumo... and vanish.

The summaries for NG Life 5, The Gordian Knot 2, My Secret Life 3 are after the manga list.

New titles

All shoujo: First Love (Kienai, Omoi) by Yoshioka Lilico (or Ririko), Sayap Yang Tak Bisa Terbang (Wings that cannot fly, originally Tatoe Konohana ga Sakanakutemo) by YASUKO, and Rainbow Jewel (Nanairo Jewel), a new series from Kanaki Shiori.

Betsufure-serialized First Love from popular manga-ka Yoshioka Lilico explores a love overshadowed by long-standing friendship, one of the most venerable tropes in the romance biz. A popular boy at school confesses to our heroine (unnamed as the m&c! blurb was written in the first person). Blinded by the shoujo sparkles and bubbles probably, she accepts. It is only when her friend and classmate who shares library duty with her goes out with a girl that she realizes who it is she really loves. Will she have to give up? Is there no way for friendship to turn into love? (A loud OF COURSE NOT! is the only answer accepted here.)

The Cherry-serialized Sayap Yang Tak Bisa Terbang anthology from YASUKO contains the stories Cosmos, Yukichi Biyori, and Sayap Yang Tak Bisa Terbang. I'm assuming this next blurb is for the title story:

All Kohashi Kayo has ever wanted was to become a prima ballerina, but fate in the guise of an accident has put paid to that dream. Kayo's despair turns to tentative hope when she meets someone who wipes away her tears and accepts her, broken wings and all.

Having never read Kanaki Shiori's Rainbow Miracle, I can't confirm whether the debuting Rainbow Jewel is related to the earlier shoujo series. If you've finished Nanairo Miracle, read this blurb and tell me if this newbie is the sequel. Onegai.

Tamaki Nanako is a regular elementary school kid. Regular, that is, if all grade schoolers had hair clip-dwelling fairies as companions. Ever since the fairy Ruu came to live with Nanako, Nanako has gained more confidence, enough that she decides to enter showbiz and do something about getting close to her crush, Aoi.

m&c! manga (2010.01.06)

Release links are hide/unhide. Click for more details and cover scans.

  1. [New] First Love (Kienai, Omoi) by Yoshioka Lilico
  2. First Love by Yoshioka Lilico (m&c!)

    Kienai, Omoi.キエナイ、オモイ。
    by Yoshioka Lilico
    Kodansha Betsufure, shoujo
    This volume first published in Japan 2007.02

  3. The Gordian Knot (Gorudiosu no Musubime) 2 of 4 by Sakato Riku & Nose Naoki
  4. The Gordian Knot 2 (m&c!)

    Gorudiosu no Musubimeゴルディオスの結び目
    by Sakato Riku & Nose Naoki
    Akita Shoten Shounen Champion Comics, shounen
    Volume 2 first published in Japan 2006.09

  5. My Secret Life (Ookami Nanka Kowakunai!) 3 of 6 by Midori Yukako
  6. My Secret Life 3 (m&c!)

    Ookami Nanka Kowakunai! by Midori Yukako
    狼なんかこわくない!
    Akita Shoten Princess Comics, shoujo
    Volume 3 first published in Japan 1999.07

  7. NG Life 5 of 9 by Kusanagi Mizuho
  8. NG Life 5 (m&c!)

    NG LifeNGライフ 」 by Kusanagi Mizuho
    AKA No Good Life
    Hakusensha Hana to Yume, shoujo
    Volume 5 first published in Japan 2008.06
    NG Life published in English by TOKYOPOP (volume 4 street date: 2010.02.02)

  9. Pluto 6 of 8 by Urasawa Naoki & Tezuka Osamu
  10. Pluto 6 (m&c!)

    PlutoPLUTO
    by Urasawa Naoki & Tezuka Osamu
    Shogakukan Big Comic Original, seinen
    Volume 6 first published in Japan 2008.07
    English Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka published by VIZ Media (volume 7 street date: 2010.01.19)

  11. Psychic Detective Yakumo (Shinrei Tantei Yakumo - Akai Hitomi wa Shitteiru) 2 of 2 by Miyako Ritsu & Kaminaga Manabu [Finale]
  12. Psychic Detective Yakumo 2 (m&c!)

    Shinrei Tantei Yakumo - Akai Hitomi wa Shitteiru
    心霊探偵 八雲~赤い瞳は知っている~
    by Miyako Ritsu & Kaminaga Manabu
    Hakusensha Hana to Yume Comics Special (serialized in Bessatsu Hana to Yume), shoujo
    Volume 2 first published in Japan 2008.03

    Manga spin-off of the Shinrei Tantei Yakumo novel by Kaminaga Manabu, illustrated by Katou Akatsuki (published by Bungeisha)

  13. [New] Rainbow Jewel (Nanairo Jewel) 1 of 3+ by Kanaki Shiori
  14. Rainbow Jewel 1 by Kanaki Shiori (m&c!)

    Nanairo Jewelなないろジュエル
    by Kanaki Shiori
    Shogakukan Tentoumushi Special), shoujo
    Volume 1 first published in Japan 2007.06

  15. [New] Sayap Yang Tak Bisa Terbang (Tatoe Konohana ga Sakanakutemo) by YASUKO
  16. Sayap Yang Tak Bisa Terbang by YASUKO (m&c!)

    Tatoe Konohana ga Sakanakutemo
    たとえこの花が咲かなくても 」 by YASUKO
    Shogakukan Betsucomi), shoujo
    This volume first published in Japan 2007.03
    Serialized in Indonesia in Cherry

    Contains: Cosmos · Yukichi Biyori · Sayap Yang Tak Bisa Terbang

NOTE
(1) Source: m&c! (release schedule, artwork)
(2) All comics above priced at IDR 15,000 each, except Psychic Detective Yakumo 2 (SRP: IDR 18,500)
(3) Links like this are Amazon.com (or other online merchants) search and/or product links (commercial), in case you're interested in another language version.

Synopses continued...

The Gordian Knot 2
by Sakato Riku & Nose Naoki

In this round of Intelligence Challenge, Bando Yuki takes on a Russian roulette master and a coin prestidigitator able to make heads or tails come up at will. Can Yuki turn the odds to his favor and emerge victorious?

My Secret Life 3
Ookami Nanka Kowakunai!狼なんかこわくない! 」 by Midori Yukako

Constantly being helped out of scrapes has made Maki fall for Ryota. The oblivious Ryota, however, still has to buy a clue to ken Maki's feelings. Maki decides to be proactive and make Ryota aware once and for all, but before she can do so, another guy shows up! And a very grabby one at that!

NG Life 5
NGライフ 」 by Kusanagi Mizuho

Serizawa's feelings for best bud in former Pompeiian life Kei-chan thoroughly befuddles the now high school girl. But she has no time to think about her complicated love (or not) life as the school prepares to restage the Beloved Pompeii drama she wrote.

~niki DBA huamulan03 (花木蘭03) who wishes everyone a Happy New Year! *lights fireworks*

UP NEXT

m&c! 13 January 2010 manga: Alive 18 · Shinobi Life 7 · My Sweet Kaicho 7 · My Heavenly Hockey Club 13 · Bleach 16 · The Prince of Tennis 40 · The Executives of Houou Academy by Kawamaru Shin · Gunslinger Girl 9 · Panther and Wolf by Nakazato Yuji/Katayama Makoto · Miku's Pure Voice 1-2 by Igarashi Kaoru · Time Between Dog and Wolf 3 of 3

disclaimer

Cover images and source summaries used here for reference are © their respective intellectual rights holders. No infringement intended.

other manga available (6 January 2010 street date)

  • Elex Media: Eyeshield 21 v33 · Tokkyu!! 7 · I Hate You More Than Anyone 3 · Shonen Magz 67 · Touch 23 · GodHand Teru 19 · SL: Bengal by Bayu Indie · Apollon on the Slope 1 by Kodama Yuki
  • Level Comics: xxxHOLiC 6 · Psychometrist Eiji 10 · Master Of Sea 12 · Lucky Luke - Belle Starr

other invaluable resources

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xxxHOLiC 6, Psychometrist Eiji 10, Master Of Sea 12, Lucky Luke - Belle Starr (Level Comics 6 January 2010 manga)

None of the 11 debuting manga/manhwa/manhua (yes, you read that right and yes, this is Level we're talking about) slated for January make it into the first of Level's 2010 releases, but this seemingly skimpy list is still BIG on fan faves.

×××HOLiC 6

xxxHOLiC © CLAMP/Kodansha (serialized in Young Magazine)
Published in Indonesia by Elex Media/Level Comics

The Most Wanted of the bunch is (obviously) xxxHOLiC volume 6 in which time-space witch Yuko tells Watanuki to mind the store, cautioning him to be careful. So of course in Yuko's absence, a female client comes in and befriends Watanuki. Not long after, she and Watanuki are meeting frequently and Watanuki's health dive-bombs. Could this mysterious illness have been caused by the mysterious woman?

Meanwhile, in Master Of Sea volume 12, just as Rintaro and the other team members are about to raise the construction ship that sank off Kajima beach, they receive orders to back off and get out of the way of missiles from North Korea bearing down on them. Rintaro refuses to heed the cease order and proceeds with the mission. Can they recover the ship before the North Koreans launch another attack?

The blurb for Psychometrer Eiji 10 seems to have slipped into a crack, but the summary for Lucky Luke - Belle Starr follows the list.

Level Comics manga (2010.01.06)

Release links are hide/unhide. Click for more details and cover scans.

  1. Master Of Sea (Waga Na wa Umishi Master Of Sea) 12 of 15 by Takemura Yuji and Komori Yoichi
  2. Psychometrist Eiji (Psychometrer Eiji) 10 of 25 by Ando Yuma, Asaki Masashi
  3. サイコメトラーEIJI 10

    Psychometrer EijiサイコメトラーEIJI
    by Ando Yuma and Asaki Masashi
    Kodansha Shuukan Shounen Magazine, shounen
    Volume 10 first published in Japan 1998.03
    Psychometrer Eiji published in simplified Chinese by Chuang Yi

  4. xxxHOLiC 6 of 16+ by CLAMP
  5. ×××HOLiC 6

    xxxHOLiC×××HOLiC 」 by CLAMP
    Kodansha Young Magazine, seinen
    Volume 6 first published in Japan 2005.05
    xxxHOLiC published in English by Del Rey (volume 14 released 2009.10.27)

    Related: Soel to Larg: Mokona=Modoki no Bouken (Novel; side story) · Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (side story) · xxxHoLic: ANOTHERHOLiC Landolt-Ring Aerosol by NisiOisiN (Novel; side story)

Level Comics European comics (2010.01.06)

  1. Lucky Luke - Belle Starr by Morris and Xavier Fauche

NOTE
(1) Sources: Elex Media STO 6 January 2010 (release schedule) and Komikologi (synopses, except where noted)
(2) All comics above priced at IDR 17,000 each, except Lucky Luke - Belle Starr (SRP: IDR 27,000)
(3) Links like this are Amazon.com (or other online merchants) search and/or product links (commercial), in case you're interested in another language version.

Synopses continued...

Lucky Luke - Belle Starr
by Morris and Xavier Fauche (Lucky Productions, 1995)

Fort Smith is bandit heaven, and Belle Starr, the boss of them, keeps the troublemakers (including the Dalton brothers) roaming about freely by constantly coughing up bail money. To return law and order to the town, Lucky Luke joins Belle Starr's gang of malcontents. Can Luke bust them all before he himself is busted?

~niki DBA huamulan03 (花木蘭03)

UP NEXT: More 6 January 2010 manga

m&c!: NG Life 5 · PLUTO 6 · Psychic Detective Yakumo 2 of 2 · My Secret Life 3 · The Gordian Knot 2 · Sayap Yang Tak Bisa Terbang by YASUKO · Rainbow Jewel 1 by Kanaki Shiori

disclaimer

Cover images and source summaries used here for reference are © their respective intellectual rights holders. No infringement intended.

disclaimer

Cover images and source summaries used here for reference are © their respective intellectual rights holders. No infringement intended.

other manga available (6 January 2010 street date)

  • Elex Media: Eyeshield 21 v33 · Tokkyu!! 7 · I Hate You More Than Anyone 3 · Shonen Magz 67 · Touch 23 · GodHand Teru 19 · SL: Bengal by Bayu Indie · Apollon on the Slope 1 by Kodama Yuki

related monthly schedules

Level Comics January 2010 manga, manhwa, and manhua
Debuting Priest by Hyung MinWoo · E'dash by Ashita Morimi · Great Edo City Report by Takahashi Shu · The Swan Robe by Kodama Yuki · The Drops of God by Tadashi Agi · Exit by Fujita Takami · Fist Of The Blue Sky by Hara Tetsuo · Onsen Paradise by Kikuchi Shota · Ravages of Time by Chen Mou · Revolution No. 3 by Kaneshiro Kazuki · Akihabara @ Deep by Ishida Ira

DEC-09 | NOV-09

other invaluable resources

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12.29.2009

Eyeshield 21 v33, Tokkyu 7, I Hate You More Than Anyone 3 (Elex 6 January 2010 manga)

Also, Shonen Magz 67, Touch 23, and GodHand Teru 19.

Tweaked because yes, Nik, there IS a blurb for Eyeshield volume 33...

アイシールド21 33

Eyeshield 21 © Inagaki Riichiro and Murata Yusuke/Shueisha
Published in Indonesia by PT Elex Media Komputindo

No manga releases on the 30th of December, but Eyeshield 21 volume 33, The Devil's Mistake, emerges as the #1 DO WANT! in the very first Elex release sked of 2010. That's all I can say about it — that and that the Devil Bats are still smack in the middle of Christmas Bowl, pitting Sena and Monta and the Chris Cross running play against the destructive Teikoku.

Even more testosterone-y (sounds delicious *smirk*) shounen action, bloodier, too, I would think, attends the second volume of Crows: Insanely strong Boya Harumichi downs the Bando gang after its members bludgeon and bloody Yasuda. The Suzuran High rumor mill explodes with news of Boya's victory, egging fellow crow and school legend Rindaman to take on and actually knock out Boya. Unwilling to accept teh agony of defeat, Boya issues his own challenge.

Summaries for Tokkyu!! 7 and Touch 23 hide behind the fake cut.

New titles

We have Bengal, the newest standalone from local komikus Bayu Indie (Drive My Car). Original Indonesian synopsis below.

Sejak kuliahnya terhenti, Pa'i kembali bertemu teman baiknya di SMA, Indra, yang telah menjadi anggota geng jalanan. Indra menawarkan begitu banyak kemudahan hidup dengan melakukan tindak kejahatan. Tanpa sadar Pa'i pun keranjingan mengikutinya. Tapi, di tengah jalan Pa'i baru mengetahui Indra melakukan semua itu karena memiliki hutang judi yang gila-gilaan.

In translation: Quitting college, Pa'i reunites with high school buddy Indra who has since joined a gang. Indra takes Pa'i for a spin down easy street and before long, Pa'i becomes an adrenalin junkie and joins in the "fun." Only later does Pa'i learn the reason behind Indra's wild spree: he has racked up a ginormous gambling debt. (Elex left out the logical and it's only a matter of time before the mafia hunts him down continuation, so lemme voice it (as I am wont to do). Lemme also point out Pa'i's What price, friendship? dilemma that underpins.)

The other debut is Apollon on the Slope, Sakamichi no Apollo originally. Serialized in Flowers, the josei drama by Kodama Yuki is set in Kyushu in the 1960s. Kaoru transfers in the summer of '66 and similar to previous uprootings brought on by his father's job, doesn't expect to like his new school. But unlike earlier moves, this one lets a hot-blooded guy into Kaoru's life, changing it... for the better?

Endings

Elex insists (dunno if it ever retracted) that I Hate You More Than Anyone 3 by Hidaka Banri is the final Sugimoto x Kazuha volume and that the succeeding ones are just side stories. So, placing here the third Sekai de Ichiban Daikirai, in which Sugimoto tries to help out an erring Akiyoshi sib Chizura, to the possible implosion of his romantic relationship with Kazuha. [With some assistance from CMX's description of this volume]

Mangazine: Shonen Magz 67/2010

Shonen Magz 67 - Kindaichi Special Case front cover

Kindaichi Special Case
© Amagi Seimaru
& Sato Fumiya/Kodansha

A snow storm that just won't abate entraps murderer and prospective victim both in a house. (And of course, the phone is as dead as the perp's earlier victims.) Find out how Kindaichi manages to unmask the killer (who goes around as a snow ghost while on a murdering binge) in the Closed Circle-troped Kindaichi Special Case how/whodunit in Issue 67 of Shonen Magz.

Other Kodansha shounen (and seinen) titles in serialization: BECK by Harold Sakuishi · Fairy Tail by Mashima Hiro · Ghost Doctor (Youkai no Oisha-san) by Satou Yuuki · Kungfu Boy Legends (Tekken Chinmi Legends) by Maekawa Takeshi · Sanzoku Ou by Sawada Hirofumi · School Rumble by Kobayashi Jin · Tokkyu!! by Komori Yoichi, Kubo Mitsurou · Tribal 12 by Osada Yu-Ko · Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE by CLAMP · Vinland Saga by Yukimura Makoto

Elex Media manga (2010.01.06)

Release links are hide/unhide. Click for more details and cover scans.

  1. [Premiere] Apollon on the Slope (Sakamichi no Apollo) 1 of 4+ by Kodama Yuki
  2. 坂道のアポロン 1

    Sakamichi no Apollo坂道のアポロン
    by Kodama Yuki
    Shogakukan Flower Comics, josei
    Volume 1 first published in Japan 2008.04

  3. [New] Bengal by Bayu Indie - SL
  4. SL: Bengal

    Bengal by Bayu Indie
    Elex Media (Serial Lokal or makita)
    This volume first published in Indonesia 2010.01

  5. Crows 2 of 26 by Takahashi Hiroshi
  6. クローズ 2

    Crowsクローズ 」 by Takahashi Hiroshi
    Akita Shoten Monthly Shounen Champion, shounen
    Volume 2 first published in Japan 1991.05
    Related series: Worst (sequel) · Crows Zero (spin-off) · Crows: Busou Sensen Reimeihen (side story)

  7. Doraemon Pika-Pika 16 by Fujiko F. Fujio
  8. Eyeshield 21 v33 of 37 by Inagaki Riichiro and Murata Yusuke
  9. アイシールド21 33

    Eyeshield 21アイシールド21
    by Inagaki Riichiro and Murata Yusuke
    Shueisha Weekly Shonen Jump, shounen
    Volume 33 first published in Japan 2009.01
    Eyeshield 21 published in English by VIZ Media (volume 29 released 2009.12.01)

    Contains chapters:
    287. Caesar's Charge (帝王のチャージ Teiō no Charge)
    288. Chris Cross
    289. Aerial Battles are Starting Contests (空中戦はにらめっこ Kūchū Sen wa Niramekko)
    290. Darrell Royal's Letter (ダレル·ロイヤルの手紙 Darrell Royal no Tegami)
    291. The Last Huddle (最後のハドル Saigo no Huddle)
    292. Card NO.21
    293. x8
    294. The Ball Still Lives (ボールは生きている Ball wa Iki Te Iru)
    295. The Devil's Mistake (悪魔のミス Akuma no Misu)

  10. Godhand Teru 19 of 49+ by Yamamoto Kazuki
  11. ゴッドハンド輝 19

    GodHand Teruゴッドハンド輝
    by Yamamoto Kazuki
    Kodansha Shuukan Shounen Magazine, shounen
    Volume 19 first published in Japan 2004.08

    A live-action adaptation starring Hiraoka Yuta (Endo Shoji in the NANA live-action movie and Yano Haruka in Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru) as Teru aired on Tokyo Broadcasting System from 11 April to 16 May 2009.

  12. I Hate You More Than Anyone (Sekai de Ichiban Daikirai) 3 of 3 by Hidaka Banri
  13. 世界でいちばん大嫌い 3

    Sekai de Ichiban Daikirai世界でいちばん大嫌い 」 by Hidaka Banri
    AKA Akiyoshi Family Series 5
    Hakusensha Hana to Yume, shoujo
    Volume 3 first published in Japan 1998.12
    English I Hate You More Than Anyone published by by CMX (volume 8 released 2009.11.03)

    The rest of the series: 365-nichi no Koibito (Series #1; one volume, released in Indonesia as Pacar 365 Hari) · Owaranai Koi no Tame ni (Series #2; one volume; released in Indonesia as For Endless Love) · Ari no Mama no Kimi de Ite (Series #3; one volume, released in Indonesia as Stay the Same) · Uta wo Kikasete (Series #4; one volume; released in Indonesia as Let Me Hear the Lyric)

  14. Tokkyu!! 7 of 20 by Komori Yoichi & Kubo Mitsuro
  15. トッキュー!! 7

    Tokkyu!!トッキュー!!
    by Komori Yoichi & Kubo Mitsuro
    Kodansha Shuukan Shounen Magazine, shounen
    Volume 7 first published in Japan 2005.06
    Serialized in Shonen Magz

  16. Touch 23 of 26 by Adachi Mitsuru
  17. Touchタッチ 」 by Adachi Mitsuru
    Shogakukan Shonen Sunday, shounen
    Volume 23 first published in Japan 1986.07

NOTE
(1) Sources: Elex Media STO 6 January 2010 (release schedule) and Komikologi (synopses, except where noted)
(2) All manga above priced at IDR 15,000 each, except Doraemon Pika-Pika (SRP: IDR 13,500)
(3) Links like this are Amazon.com (or other online merchants) search and/or product links (commercial), in case you're interested in another language version.

Synopses continued...

Tokkyu!! 7トッキュー!! 」 by Komori Yoichi & Kubo Mitsuro

A woman appears in Tokkyu!! and at first glance, she reminds Hyogo of someone. Who is this mysterious woman and what agenda does she have?

(I just lurve how you can hear hidden everytime you use the word agenda.)

Touch 23タッチ 」 by Adachi Mitsuru

Team Sumi overtakes Team Meisei 2-1, despite the latter scoring first. With Tatsuya playing like there's something seriously wrong, hopes for a Meisei win dim. But a sarcastic suggestion from coach Kashiwabara reenergizes Tatsuya, just in time for the last inning.

~niki DBA huamulan03 (花木蘭03)

UP NEXT: More 6 January 2010 manga

Level Comics: xxxHOLiC 6 · Psychometrist Eiji 10 · Master Of Sea 12 · Lucky Luke - Belle Starr

m&c!: NG Life 5 · PLUTO 6 · Psychic Detective Yakumo 2 of 2 · My Secret Life 3 · The Gordian Knot 2 · Sayap Yang Tak Bisa Terbang by YASUKO · Rainbow Jewel 1 by Kanaki Shiori

disclaimer

Cover images and source summaries used here for reference are © their respective intellectual rights holders. No infringement intended.

related monthly schedules

Elex January 2010 manga
Premiering Penguin Revolution by Tsukuba Sakura, With My Brothers by Tokeino Hari, AAA by Fukushima Haruka, Apollon on the Slope by Kodama Yuki, Tale of Poor Sisters by Kazuto Izumi, New Little Ghost Q-taro by Fujiko F. Fujio

December 2009

other invaluable resources

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Tweaked: 2010.01.01

12.27.2009

Level Comics Bestselling Manga of 2009: Sunako rules!

Level Comics 2009 Bestsellers: #1 - Perfect Girl Evolution (banner)

Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge © Hayakawa Tomoko/Kodansha
Published in Indonesia as Perfect Girl Evolution by Elex Media/Level Comics

Sunako of Perfect Girl Evolution staged a coup d'etat and ousted AirGear's Ikki from his top spot on the Level manga bestsellers list. Sunako and the fair bishounen of PGE reigned supreme across three trimesters this year, leaving Team Kogarasumaru's founder duking it out with and losing any shot for a second or third place to boxer Ippo (Fight!! Ippo) and mage Negi (Magister Negi Magi).

AirGear really had its work cut out for it during 2009. In the first trimester, it didn't even make the Top 10, having had to contend with (aside from the top three) eight other manga, two of which were chart newbies Love Affair and Tokyo Juliet, both shoujo titles. In the second trime, AirGear dropped two more notches (once more losing to (among others) another shoujo newcomer, Little Devil Café) to bag a rank 14. It only managed to redeem itself in the third trimester by finishing fourth.

Level Comics 2009 bestselling manga

# Trimester I II III
1 Perfect Girl Evolution Perfect Girl Evolution Perfect Girl Evolution
2 Fight!! Ippo Fight!! Ippo Fight!! Ippo
3 Love Affair Magister Negi Magi Magister Negi Magi
4 For You in Full Blossom Rainbow AirGear
5 Magister Negi Magi Vagabond Rainbow
6 Vagabond For You in Full Blossom Vagabond
7 Rainbow Love Affair For You in Full Blossom
8 Team Medical Dragon Love & Collage Love & Collage
9 Love & Collage Team Medical Dragon 21st Century Boys
10 Yugo The Negotiator Little Devil Café Love Affair
11 Tokyo Juliet Yugo The Negotiator Team Medical Dragon
12 AirGear The Black Swindler Little Devil Café
13 Hotaru's Light Tokyo Juliet xxxHOLiC
14 LIFE AirGear Yugo The Negotiator
15 If You Were Here Red Eyes The Black Swindler
16 X If You Were Here Death's Notice
17 Over Rev Blade of the Immortal Red Eyes
18 Arms Feverish Girl Homunculus
19 Descendants of Darkness Hotaru's Light A Hint of Purple
20 Nurse Aoi LIFE Tokyo Juliet

Based on total quantity sold and net sales; standalones excluded
Source: Highly Acclaimed Manga of Elex; figures from Elex Media Research and Development; updated 23 November 2009

Top 20 2008 bestseller titles that do not appear in the above 2009 list:
20th Century Boys, Babysitter Gin, Dandelion, Haruka 17, Hellsing, My Favorite Bike, Shin Angyo Onshi, Trafficker, and Train Man (Densha Otoko - Net Hatsu, Kakueki Teisha no Love Story) by Hara Hidenori.

Another shot at an analysis by huamulan03: Release frequency accounts for nothing. Much.

AirGear could, of course, resort to the defense that only one new volume released during the period surveyed (volume 7, which came out in September; see Note) to explain its dismal showing, but as I've already noted the previous year, the frequency with which a series releases new volumes doesn't effect its ranking. No, top of mind or always being in your face don't cut it. Were that the case, Hajime no Ippo should have captured the #1 spot with its 10x release during the period under discussion (see below):

Table 2: Rankings, changes in succeeding periods, comparison with original TI position, and new volumes released

Manga TI TII C/ TI TIII C/ TI Releases 1 Total 1
Perfect Girl Evolution 1 1 UNC 1 UNC V18-19 2
Fight!! Ippo 2 2 UNC 2 UNC V61-70 10
Love Affair 3 7 10 V2-3 2
For You in Full Blossom 4 6 7 V21-23/23 3
Magister Negi Magi 5 3 3 V18-19 2
Vagabond 6 5 6 UNC V25-29 5
Rainbow 7 4 5 V10-13 4
Team Medical Dragon 8 9 11 V6-9 4
Love & Collage 9 8 8 V5-7 3
Yugo The Negotiator 10 11 14 V16-18 3
Tokyo Juliet 11 13 20 V2-8 7
AirGear 12 14 4 V7 1
Hotaru's Light 13 19 N/A V7 1
LIFE 14 20 N/A V13-16 4
If You Were Here 15 16 N/A V18/8 1
X 16 N/A V18 1
Over Rev 17 N/A V4-8 5
Arms 18 N/A V12-14 3
Descendants of Darkness 19 N/A V4-7 4
Nurse Aoi 20 N/A V9 1
Little Devil Café 10 N/A 12 C/TII ↓ V1-4/4 4
The Black Swindler 12 N/A 15 C/TII ↓ V6 1
Red Eyes 15 N/A 17 C/TII ↓ V9-11 3
Blade of Immortal 17 N/A N/A V4 1
Feverish Girl 18 N/A N/A V3-7 5
21st Century Boys 9 N/A V1 1
xxxHOLiC 13 N/A V4 1
Death's Notice 16 N/A V1 1
Homunculus 18 N/A V9 1
A Hint of Purple 19 N/A V1 1

N.B. 1 Total number of new releases may be more if the fourth trimester of 2008 were also taken into consideration.

It's supposed to be seinen, but...

AirGear's woes aside, this Level bestseller list again proves that in any trimester, seinen—the genre that comprises most of Level's manga—wouldn't be among the top three, despite fan faves Vagabond and Rainbow. Yamanade is shoujo, while Hajime no Ippo and Negima are shounen.

Table 3: Bestsellers according to genre (demographics) across three trimesters

Rank Trimester I Trimester II Trimester III
1 Shoujo Shoujo Shoujo
2 Shounen Shounen Shounen
3 Shoujo Shounen Shounen
4 Shoujo Seinen Shounen
5 Shounen Seinen Seinen
6 Seinen Shoujo Seinen
7 Seinen Shoujo Shoujo
8 Seinen Shounen Shounen
9 Shounen Seinen Seinen
10 Seinen Shoujo Shoujo
11 Shoujo Seinen Seinen
12 Shounen Seinen Shoujo
13 Josei Shoujo Seinen
14 Shoujo Shounen Seinen
15 Josei Shounen Seinen
16 Shoujo Josei Seinen
17 Seinen Seinen Shounen
18 Shounen Shoujo Seinen
19 Shoujo Josei Shoujo
20 Seinen Shoujo Shoujo

Based on the above mapping, overall, shounen manga held a steady 25% share of the top 20 in three trimesters of 2009; shoujo garnered 35% during the first two trimes and dropped to under a third during the third. Seinen only flexed its muscle in the third by nabbing a 45% share. I attribute this increase to the addition of 21st Century Boys (which debuted at #9) and Death's Notice or Ikigami (which debuted at #16), and the return of xxxHOLiC and Homunculus to the Top 20 in the third trimester, thus swelling the seinen ranks.

So, based on shounen performance here (and in the 2009 Elex charts), the safest strategy for a manga publisher is to publish shounen titles.

Table 3.1: 2009 share by genre (demographics) and changes with shares from same period last year

Genre TI share (%) TII share (%) TIII share (%)
Shoujo 35 ↑ 35 ↑ 30 ↑
Shounen 25 UNC 25 ↓ 25 UNC
Seinen 30 ↓ 30 ↓ 45 ↓
Josei 10 UNC 10 ↑ — ↓

Level, however, is apparently not that risk-averse, as borne out by the increased shoujo composition, the general diversity of the 2009 Top 20 titles, and its incursion into European comics (ROMIC) starting from August 2009. To reiterate what a Level editor told me when I asked why Level had gone into Lucky Luke, Michel Vaillant, and Smurfs comics, See an opportunity, we catch it ^_^ But despite its experiments, I don't see Level slashing the number of seinen titles it puts out any time soon, as that genre is likely the basis of the imprint's existence.

huamulan03's predictions for 2010

That we're likely to see more new seinen manga is a given (considering the planned for 2009 K2, Restore Garage 251, The Drops of God (Kami no Shizuku), Fist of Northern Sky (Hokuto no Ken?), and Ghost Mama haven't premiered yet), but whether any of these would duplicate or better the feat of Urasawa Naoki's 21st Century Boys in 2009 remains to be seen. Also in terms of what will be released in 2010, I anticipate more new shoujo titles — relatively short ones, since at least two shoujo series—For You in Full Blossom and Little Devil Café—finished during this timeframe and something needs to fill the vacuum they leave behind. But that gap-filling wouldn't constitute European comics, I don't think; the number of ROMIC per month would probably stay at six new releases, max, and I doubt that they would make it into the Top 20. (Although considering the popularity of the Smurfs, I could be wrong.)

Despite all indications from this period, I also predict AirGear regaining its previous glory as the series "matures," giving Hajime no Ippo and Negima a tougher time hanging on to their 2009 positions. (In my own little way, however, I will contribute to Perfect Girl Evolution remaining on top by continuing to GET!)

I also expect a stronger showing from Ikigami in 2010 and the addition of Psychometrist Eiji somewhere in the Top 20.

~niki DBA huamulan03 (花木蘭03) who now wants to tweak the Elex list

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