Princess Jellyfish named one of “50 Best Books for Teens” by NY Public Library

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UPDATE (November 28): Princess of 2016! More kudos from the worlds of officialdom for Akiko Higashimura's rollicking saga of fangirls taking on Tokyo! 

Princess Jellyfish has been named one of 2016's "50 BEST BOOKS FOR TEENS" by the New York Public Library. Explaining the pick, Chantelle Uzan, an NYPL librarian, called Princess Jellyfish a “great introduction to manga, and wonderful for reluctant readers!” Her colleague Katrina Ortega added, “The characters are so unique and not characters that are commonly found in YA reading; even so, their fears and doubts and passions are all relatable, no matter your age.” Here's our official press release.

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Earlier this month, Princess Jellyfish had also been named as one of Amazon's Best Comics and Graphic Novels of 2016. Only 20 books made the list, out of all graphic novels published this past year, and Princess Jellyfish was one of only two manga (the other being Shigeru Mizuki's The Birth of Kitaro). 

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Here's our exclusive interview with Akiko Higashimura, which ran on this site in June.

And If you haven't checked it out already, here's all of Chapter 1 to get you started!

Kodansha Comics Gift Guide Part 1: For Your Favorite Geek Girl

The Kodansha Comics Gift Guide

Are you looking for the perfect gift for your manga loving friends and family? It can be hard to choose in a sea of series, but this year we’ve got you covered with curated selections for everyone on your list!

Part I: For Your Favorite Geek Girl

Girls and women who are passionate about their hobbies have been an integral part of the manga fandom for decades, and we’re proud to publish series that aren’t just for them, but about them too! Here are four series to show the geeky ladies (Or guys! Or nonbinary friends and family!) in your life that you appreciate them quirks and all.

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Princess Jellyfish (Ages 16+)

What’s it about: The shy and jellyfish-obsessed Tsukimi Kurashita lives in Tokyo with an eccentric group of fellow otaku, but a chance meeting with a beautiful and fashionable woman shakes up her comfortable life! This odd encounter is only the beginning of a new and unexpected path for Tsukimi and her friends.

Why is it good? If there’s ever been a series that’s an anthem and celebration for geek girls, it’s Princess Jellyfish. This was our most highly-demanded title on social media before publishing, and it’s easy to see why! From shy but creative Tsukimi to the bold and brash Kuranosuke, there’s a character for everyone here. The lives of the girls of Amamizu-kan are portrayed with sympathy and laugh out loud humor, all with a strong message of self-empowerment and embracing your passions. See why Anime News Network called it “One of the most honest, and funniest, stories about not quite fitting in!”

Princess Jellyfish volumes 1-3 are available from Kodansha Comics!

 

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Complex Age – Ages 16+

What’s it about: Twenty-six-year-old office temp – and secret cosplayer – Nagisa Kataura must figure out how to balance her all-consuming passion for her hobby with the increasing pressures of the adult world.

Why is it good? Cosplay is a fast-growing and inclusive activity in fandom, but it’s hard to find fiction that dives deep into the subculture. Complex Age is an intimate look at the insecurities and triumphs that come with cosplay, and Nagis’a struggle to balance her adult responsibilities with her hobby is a problem that will resonate with many young adult readers. Yui Sakuma spares no detail in her portrayal of the ins and outs of cosplay – there’s even a glossary of terms! This is the perfect book to give to the cosplayer or cosplay-curious person in your life.

Complex Age volumes 1-2 are available from Kodansha Comics, with volume 3 coming in December!

 

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Kiss Him, Not Me – Ages 13+

What’s it about: Kae Serinuma is what you might call a fujoshi – a girl who can’t get enough of manga and anime that’s all about beautiful boys getting friendly with each other! Her life on the sidelines ends when she undergoes a dramatic transformation, but how will she handle the attention of the guys she’s been watching from afar?

Why is it good? If that description makes no sense to you, fear not. If you have a hardcore otaku friend who’s all about pairing boys X boys, this is just the thing for them – even if you don’t get it! BL (that’s boy’s love!) author JUNKO’s first mainstream manga series is a hilarious sendup of fujoshi culture and tropes and has become a cult favorite and even a hit anime. It’s hard to resist Kae and gang’s over the top adventures – and we bet the fujoshi on your gift list won’t be able to!

Kiss Him, Not Me volumes 1-7 are available from Kodansha Comics, and check out the anime streaming on Crunchyroll!

 

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Genshiken Second Season – Ages 16+

What it’s about: The followup to otaku life classic Genshiken follows a (mostly female!) motley crew of cosplayers, doujinshi artists, and anime fanatics and they get through college life and look towards the future.

Why is it good? Fans of the original Genshiken series know that it’s unrivaled in its realistic portrayal of otaku life, but Genshiken Second Season turns its focus more specifically on the day to day struggles and concerns of otaku girls. This is definitely a series that female manga and anime lovers can see themselves in, and with its college life setting, it’s a treat for older teens and young adults!

Genshiken Second Season volumes 1-9 are available from Kodansha Comics!
 

 

Now you have what you need to impress the lovable geeks in your life this holiday season. If you haven’t found what you’re looking for, stay tuned next week for the Kodansha Comics staff picks so you can gift like a manga editor!
 



Kodansha Comics Gift Guide will update every Friday until the end of holiday season!

Vote Vertical: digital editions on sale up to 25% through 11/22

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click on the above image to go to comiXology's sale page

We're making a host of Vertical Comics titles available for first time digitally: the list (below, with Chapter 1 previews at the links) includes Ryo Hanada's best-selling vampires-among-us epic Devils' LineMAYBE's Civil War-monster-fantasy To the Abandoned Sacred Beastsand Riichi Ueshiba's drool-inducing romantic comedy Mysterious Girlfriend X

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The best part? We decided to put 'em all up for sale, including the rest of our Vertical digital editions. Volumes are marked up to 25% off at all digital bookstorescomiXology, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, and nook. Sale runs November 8-22! (Read Chapter 1s at the links.)

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VIDEO: Genevieve Valentine & Jeanine Shaefer – Writer and Editor of Attack on Titan Anthology

Genevieve Valentine is the author of novels Mechanique, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, Persona, and Icon. Her essay and reviews have appeared at The New York Times, The AV Club, and The Atlantic. She’s written Catwoman and Batman and Robin Eternal for DC Comics and Xena: Warrior Princess for Dynamite. She has worked on “An Illustrated Guide to the Glorious Walles Cities” in the Attack on Titan Anthology.
More about Genevieve Valentine: genevievevalentine.com

Jeanine Shaefer is a freelance comics editor and project manager for The Attack on Titan Anthology.

 

 

 

Attack on Titan Anthology opens up the world of manga, with Attack on Titan providing a creative playground for comic-book writers and artists from around the world. Every one of these creators has offered their own unique take on original Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama's dark vision.

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With the Attack on Titan Anthology Creator Profiles—a new video series on Kodansha Comics YouTube Channel—we introduce some of the talents behind this project. 

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Stay tuned right here for more Attack on Titan Anthology Creator Profiles—coming soon!

VIDEO: Tomer Hanuka- Artist of “Memory Maze” in Attack on Titan Anthology

NY Times best selling artist Tomer Hanuka has been illustrating for magazines, film studios, ad agencies and book publishers. He illustrated covers for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Newsweek and many others. Hanuka won multiple industry awards, including Gold medals from The Society of Illustrators and The Society of Publication Designers. A monograph of his work titled Overkill was published in 2012. The Divine, a Hugo nominated graphic novel he co-created was published in 2015, made The New York Times best seller list and won the International Manga Award.
More about Tomer Hanuka: www.thanuka.com

 

Attack on Titan Anthology opens up the world of manga, with Attack on Titan providing a creative playground for comic-book writers and artists from around the world. Every one of these creators has offered their own unique take on original Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama's dark vision.

https://kodansha.us/2016/10/17/attack-on-titan-anthology/

With the Attack on Titan Anthology Creator Profiles—a new video series on Kodansha Comics YouTube Channel—we introduce some of the talents behind this project. 

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Stay tuned right here for more Attack on Titan Anthology Creator Profiles—coming soon!

 

Creator Interview: Hitoshi Iwaaki on Parasyte

Interview by Misaki C. Kido

Parasyte is one of the most acclaimed manga in history—among readers and even other manga creators. It’s even been called the perfect manga. Really? Is it the creep factor of grotesque creatures that resemble but ultimately distort and derange human beings? Or maybe it has to do with timeless themes about mankind and survival, told in just eight, tightly narrated volumes. We had a chance to talk with the creator of Parasyte, Hitoshi Iwaaki, about just how he managed to do all of this.

About Hitoshi Iwaaki

Hitoshi Iwaaki was born in Tokyo, Japan. He began his career as an assistant for Kazuo Kamimura in 1984. The following year his original one-shot Gomi no Umi (The Sea of Trash) won the Chiba Tetsuya Award. It later ran in Morning magazine (published by Kodansha), marking his publication debut as a manga artist. Iwaaki’s best known work, Parasyte, ran in Afternoon magazine (also published by Kodansha) from 1988 to 1995. Currently, Iwaaki is working on two historical manga: Historie in Afternoon, and Reiri in Bessatsu Shonen Champion (published from Akita Shoten.)

Iwaaki is the recipient of several awards for his work, including the Kodansha Manga Award for Parasyte in1993, the grand prize for the Japan Media Arts Festival for Historie in 2010, and the grand prize for the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize for Historie in 2012.

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Parasyte volumes 1 through 8 are available from Kodansha Comics.

Kodansha Comics (KC): What were you like when you were a kid?
Hitoshi Iwaaki (HI): I used to be a pretty quiet kid. I was already into doodling from an early age.

KC: Did you have any favorite stories when you were a kid? What influenced your work the most?
HI: I used to be into a special-effects live-action show called Ultra Q. It was probably one of the first TV shows that made me realize that not every story ends with a happy ending, even if it’s a kids’ show. Regarding influences on my work, it’s hard to pick what influenced me the most. A lot stories have moved me, but they’re across all genres, and it’s hard to compare.

KC: Why did you become a manga artist?
HI: When I was in high school, I started reading a lot of manga by Osamu Tezuka. After a while, I found myself wanting to draw my own manga.

KC: How did you think of the story for Parasyte?
HI: I used to watching a lot of documentaries about the food chains in nature as a kid. I remember wanting to write about the “egotism of the human race over this planet,” but I didn’t want to look down on humans. I just wanted to tell the story from an ordinary person’s point of view. I think that was the inspiration behind Parasyte.

KC: Do you think you have any resemblance to the main character, Shinichi?
HI: I don’t think I have any resemblance to Shinichi. But some people tell me the way I talk about things remind them of Migi.

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Shinichi Izumi is an ordinary high school student who gets infected by a parasite on his right hand, named Migi (meaning “right” in Japanese). Together they have to learn how two different species can coexist.

KC: Do you remember how you came up with the character Migi? What would you do if Migi took over your right hand?
HI: I don’t remember exactly how I came up with it. But in Japan, there are a lot of monsters in traditional folk tales that are just a hand with eyeballs or, like, a talking tumor. I think one of Tezuka’s stories was about a prosthetic hand that talks. I think those kind of things gave me inspiration. I don’t think it’s my original idea.

If Migi took over my right hand, I would totally hate it. Maybe it’d be slightly better if it was my left hand, since I’m not left-handed.

KC: How did you come up with the design and setting of the parasites? Was it difficult to think about conversations between human and non-human characters?
HI: In my original setting, I imagined the parasites to be creatures that tend to avoid inefficiency. Migi, for instance, is just an eye and mouth for the most of the part. Basically I wanted it to be a rationally efficient, simple form.

The way these parasites think may seem quite opposite of how people think in human society. But I think even though it’s exaggerated, it’s still based on human ways of thinking. It’s kind of like a conversation between a person with common sense and one without. It was actually kind of fun to think about.

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KC: It’s been twenty years since you completed Parasyte. Are there themes in it that are more relevant now than before?
HI: I thought “environmental protection” was the most important theme in the story. But maybe “dealing with the unknown, or someone who you have a hard time connecting to” may be the more important message today.

KC: Parasyte went on to become an anime and a live-action movie just recently. How do you feel about these new adaptations of your work? Did you discover anything?
HI: Manga is usually made by very few people. But anime and movies take a hundred times more people to make. So in their work are a hundred times more passions and feelings too. It felt like a small apartment became a whole town.

KC: What are you currently working on?
HI: I’m working on two historical-period manga. One is about an ancient time in another country. The other one is about the time of civil war in Japan. For the second one, I only work on the story, while another manga artist does the art.

Iwaaki’s current work, Historie, is serialized in Kodansha’s Afternoon magazine. He also writes the story for Reiri, illustrated by Daisuke Muroi, published by Akita Shoten.

KC: How do you keep up motivation for work? Do you have any tips?
HI: If my brain’s not working too well, I lay down and take a nap for fifteen minutes. It makes a huge difference.

KC: What’s your favorite thing in the world? What’s your biggest fear?
HI: Favorite thing: Feeling of happiness. Biggest fear: Being in a situation I wish I could get out ASAP.

KC: Do you have any comments to the fans reading this interview?
HI: I’m always thinking about just readers in Japan. So when an English reader reads my work, it might feel funny, or sometimes the nuance might not carry through. But don’t worry about those things too much. As you continue reading the manga, I hope you’ll get to discover new excitement. That would make me really happy.

KC: Thank you!

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Right now, all digital volumes of Parasyte are on sale on all platforms as a part of the Kodansha Comics Halloween Sale (ends November 8)!

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JUST RELEASED: Neo Parasyte f, an anthology tribute to Parasyte collecting one-shot manga by shojo manga artists including Asumiko Nakamura (Utsubora), Kaori Yuki (The Earl Cain saga), Yuri Narushima (Planet Ladder) and many more.
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