Shueisha News

Shueisha is a anime/manga company
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On November 21, 2013, the NEW YORK TIMES, one of the best selling newspapers in the U.S., hosted an ad for the blockbuster selling manga series, ONE PIECE. This full page ad can be found on Page A15.

This was apparently partially to celebrate ONE PIECE selling over 300 Million copies of Eiichiro Oda's creation. 130 Million of these having been sold since 2009. In every sense of the word, nothing in manga or comics sells quite like this series.

To give a little perspective. Last year, Shueisha published four collected volumes of ONE PIECE and those sold over 23 Million units. It's closest competitor KUROKO NO BASUKE's five volumes of the same year sold just over 8 Million copies. That doesn't even calculate in back issue sales.

-Kristoffer Remmell ( FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.- Follow for news updates: @ FoxxFireArt

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The man who brought us Son Goku has a new story about an alien here to defend the planet.

Jaco the Galactic Patrolman
Jaco the Galactic Patrolman

Akira Toriyama is considered a legend among manga creators. He's the man who brought us Son Goku, Vegeta, and Piccolo. It was his DRAGON BALL series that inspired many of the biggest manga writers and artists of the modern era. If it hadn't been for him, we'd likely have never had characters such as Naruto Uzumaki or Monkey D. Luffy. Toriyama has been mainly out of the game since DRAGON BALL closed back in 1995. He's occasionally published some one-shots, but nothing coming near a regular serialized story. That seems that it may be about to change this July.

In the same week that Shueisha's WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP magazine celebrates 45 years in publication, WSJ will be publishing Toriyama's latest series, JACO THE GALACTIC PATROLMAN (銀河パトロール ジャコ, Ginga Patorōru Jako). The only plot details we know so far is that the story revolves around a powerful alien police officer that is stranded on Earth.

It's unknown just how long this series will be lasting. Not ever manga series is a 50+ volume epic. Some can be remarkably shorter. I've done some reaching out to some people "in the know", and the only thing they've been able to tell me is that this is not a one-shot.

Chapter one of JACO THE GALACTIC PATROLMAN will be publishing in WSJ on July 15, 2013. What's really exciting is that this will also be published in the official digital edition that's released to the U.S. audience, which is on same day release with Japan. Adding to all the fun is the news that this week Japan's WSJ also expanded its same day digital publication to the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Much of the world is going to get to enjoy this latest manga series about an alien defending the planet.

If you want to join in on this new adventure, be sure to look into downloading the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP App for your iOS or other devices.I'm reading on the VIZ Media app for my Kindle Fire. The U.S. has a year's subscription to the weekly series for $25.99, and a monthly subscription for all the other regions (UK £1.99 / IRL 2,69€ / AU $2.99 AUD / NZ $4.19 NZD). Single issue sales are also available.

-Kristoffer Remmell ( FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.- Follow for news updates: @ FoxxFireArt

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First Date: Cross Manage

Shonen isn't just a boys club. The girls know how to play, too.

Cross Manage
Cross Manage
Meet the Fujioka High Lacrosse Team
Meet the Fujioka High Lacrosse Team

The First Date was a concept once used to on Anime Vice to discuss a brand new series. I originally thought it was sort of a silly name, but I finally understood it when I wrote an introduction on Anime Vice for the TRIAGE X series. It just seemed to fit. Like a first date, you're feeling each other out and getting to know the other person. I originally purchased my subscription to the digital English edition of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP to follow series such as ONE PIECE. Along with this series came several others. One that has caught me completely by surprised is CROSS MANAGE created by KAITO.

I'd never so much as heard of it before, but it's really won a place in my heart.

" Talented but aimless Sakurai just can't find a place to belong. After trying - and failing at - one extracurricular activity after another, his life changes thanks to a chance encounter with lacrosse fanatic Toyoguchi, who thinks Sakurai has just what it takes to propel her girls' lacrosse team to victory! "

- VIZ Media

Skill doesn't need to come from super powers. It can be earned.
Skill doesn't need to come from super powers. It can be earned.

Most people seem to think shonen manga is little more than a boy's power trip fantasy, ala DRAGON BALL Z. However. last year SHONEN JUMP , the highest selling shonen magazine, released information that their readership is 50% male and 50% female. That seems to have effected the sort of series they publish. In fact, CROSS MANAGE only began in Japan back in September of 2012, and I came in at chapter fifteen. The cast is primarily all girls since the story is about a girl's lacrosse team. This isn't a romantic-comedy or filled with fan service. This is straight up a sports drama with some honestly funny comedy mixed in.

Basically, Sakurai was a young soccer prodigy who got injured, and even with surgery would never be back to the way he was. He gave up on the sport that he loved and seemed to lack a direction in his life. One day, he spotted Misora practicing lacrosse under a bridge and found himself offering her a tip that helped her improve. Since then, she was intent on getting Sakurai to be the manager/coach of the team she founded for school. Long story short, he kind of gets tricked into the job and discovers he enjoys it.

Choran Academy's Team is not to be underestimated.
Choran Academy's Team is not to be underestimated.

The girls of the Fujioka Lacrosse Team aren't what you'd call your average athletes. They're an assortment of all kinds, but what they have in common is a love of the sport and playing with their friends. They each bring some unique talent to the team. Misora is incredibly agile and full of energy, Nachi has strength and endurance, Junko is level headed and excels at making snap decisions, and Yurika is great at reading people's movements like a book. They're hardly the best, but Misora has the goal of winning the high school lacrosse tournament and defeat the Choran Girls' Lacrosse Team, who have held the title for the past ten years.

Misora wants to show winning and enjoying yourself are equally important.
Misora wants to show winning and enjoying yourself are equally important.

This is an inspired goal, but not hardly seems plausible. Currently, Choran has Namine Chihara on the team. She's the most skilled player in the nation and even earned a spot on Japan's national team. She has never lost a single game she's played in. The girls of Fujioka are really aiming for the top.

CROSS MANAGE has quickly become a favorite to read each week for me. It can be really entertaining to watch the friendship of the characters as they interact on and off the field. One of the best things about the series is that you don't need to know anything about lacrosse. The way the series is structured, the author slowly spoon feeds the audience the positions, rules, and tactics as they're needed. I sometimes wonder if these manga authors who make these sports series are already fans of the game, or do they just do an insane amount of research before beginning.

I really believe female comic readers who are tired of how women are treated in comics would find this refreshing. It's not about their dating life, and ever girl doesn't have the looks of a super model. It's about their bond as a team and supporting one another to try and do something big. Also, the only spiked heels you'll find in this series are on the cleats. A sports series about a girl's lacrosse team is something you'd never see get so much as a chance in a Western comic series.

Unfortunately, the only way you can currently read this series legally outside of Japan is on the subscription to WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP. A $26.00 subscription gets you a year of this weekly series translated into English. You can find more details and even read a free sample of this and many other at www.shonenjump.com. CROSS MANAGE is currently among the series that are being published same day digital with Japan.

If you're curious, you can still learn about the cast. I've been building up the cast in the wiki database on both Comic Vine and Anime Vice. You can't even find this level of information on Wikipedia. I hope you've enjoyed this first date with a brand new manga series that is well worth your attention.

-Kristoffer Remmell ( FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.- Follow for news updates: @ FoxxFireArt

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See if you can find what VIZ is trying to hide in this summer's releases of BLEACH.

While I was updating many of the manga covers in the BLEACH series to the U.S. editions. I noticed a little touch in all the VIZ Media releases. There are two particular volumes where these two manga have an oh-so convenient placement of the title card that wasn't there in the original Japanese versions. Take a look at the images before and see if you can find the change.

BLEACH Vol. 42 JPN to US Comparison
BLEACH Vol. 42 JPN to US Comparison
BLEACH Vol. 46 JPN to US Comparison
BLEACH Vol. 46 JPN to US Comparison

As you can see, VIZ moved the BLEACH title to slightly cover the rather prominent breast for both Tier Halibel and Rangiku Matsumoto on BLEACH Vol. 42 and Vol. 46. It's just sort of a silly edit. As if we aren't going to suddenly notice they are there. I guess there is more of a case of Matsumoto's version. If they put it at the top, it would have covered her face. It's not really a big deal as long as the art inside isn't changed. I just thought it was kind of funny.

While we're on the topic, I'd love to ask why they don't keep the volume names on the covers. They do the same thing to NARUTO and ONE PIECE.

-Kristoffer Remmell ( FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.- Follow for news updates: @ AnimeVicers/ @ FoxxFireArt

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