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Japan

… and Next Come The Kaiju

The description goes like this… “WWII. The Pacific. A mythic adventure unfolds as three American soldiers — a disgraced ex-cop, a mobster trying to escape his past, and an intelligence officer with mysterious motives — investigate a top-secret Japanese superweapon: A deadly force of trained dinosaurs!” It’s called Operation Dragon, and it comes to us from writers Bill Groshelle and Brendan Cahill, with illustrations by artists Germán Peralta and Kristian Rossi. This new graphic novel is available in hardcover, later this month from Dark Horse.

image c. 2021 Dark Horse Press

Pokemon Paintings

Spreading the word: The artist known as Barasaurus (David Alcántara Rubio) has a new Kickstarter campaign running for his book 151, a collection of Painted Pokemon Portraits (whew!). “151 is an unofficial Pokémon artbook re-visiting the 1st Gen, with redesigns inspired by folklore, video games, the Internet, and pop culture.” The Kickstarter for this hardcover collection is on ’till the end of June.

image c. 2021 by Barasaurus

So Deadly and So Cute

Don’t look now, but Stan Sakai’s world has gone pear-shaped — almost literally! It’s time for Chibi-Usagi: Attack of the Heebie Chibis, a new full-color graphic novel premiering this month from IDW. “Stan Sakai’s beloved rabbit samurai has won countless fans over his 35 year history, thanks to a clever blend of thrilling action, heartwarming characters, and realistic portrayal of Japanese culture. Chibi-Usagi brings these fun and thoughtful stories to middle-grade readers as a original graphic novel packed with adorable art and captivating energy. While fishing for freshwater eels, Chibi-Usagi, Tomoe, and Gen rescue a Dogu, a clay creature from Japan’s prehistory. The Dogu’s village has been enslaved by the Salamander King and his Heebie-Chibi minions and are forced to work in their mines. Chibi-Usagi and his friends must rescue the Dogu people and eliminate the threat of the Salamander King forever in this feature-length story of adventure, humor, and slippery eels.” It’s written by creator Stan Sakai, of course, with art and more writing by Julie Fujii Sakai. In trade paperback.

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

Pretty Far From Hawaii…

Okay, here’s something that snuck up on on us: Stitch and the Samurai, a new Disney spinoff manga written and illustrated by Hiroto Wada. “While fleeing the Galactic Federation, Stitch’s spaceship malfunctions and he makes an emergency landing… not in Hawaii, but in sengoku-era Japan! Discovered by the brutal warlord Lord Yamato and his clan, Stitch’s incomparable cuteness is no match for the battle-weary samurai, who decides to bring the ‘blue tanuki’ home with him. Will Stitch’s love of chaos turn into a formidable advantage for the samurai’s influence? Or will his cute and fluffy form disarm the noble lord’s stern façade?” In other words, is the noble lord a stupid-head? Find out now at TokyoPop.

image c. 2021 TokyoPop

Snugglers of Many Species

One of the more celebrated (if difficult to find) anime series in recent years as been Interspecies Reviewers — a high fantasy intended for a decidedly adult audience! Well now we’ve discovered that Yen Press has released an artistic tribute manga for the series, Interspecies Reviewers Comic Anthology: Darkness. “Haven’t had enough succu-girls? In this collection of art and short comics, talented Japanese artists such as Okayado (Monster Musume: Everyday Life with Monster Girls), Ganmarei (Monster Wrestling: Interspecies Combat Girls), and coolkyousinnja (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid) come together for a loving tribute to the monster brothel adventurers of Interspecies Reviewers! Whether it’s new species or old favorites, this anthology has enough hot and steamy action to satisfy any fan!” Well there you go. If you’re old enough to order it you can find all this and more over at Amazon.

image c. 2021 Yen Press

The Ones Who DON’T Rock Out… as much

One of the things that makes the award-winning anime series Aggretsuko quite fascinating is all the interesting side characters our red-panda hero finds herself surrounded by. Wouldn’t you like to know more about them, too?  Well, Oni Press agrees! Aggretsuko — Meet Her Friends is a new full-color comic miniseries written by Cat Farris, with art by Lisa DuBois and Leonardo Ito. “Dive further into the world of Aggretsuko, the hit Netflix show, with these character-focused stories! Up first, meet the enigmatic YOGA TEACHER… Over drinks, Retsuko and her coworkers ponder his mysterious past.” Available now from Oni Press.

image c. 2021 Oni Press

Attraction Is Magic?

Now and then you’re just going to stumble across a title that grabs your attention… something like Unicorns Aren’t Horny, a new black & white manga series by Semi Ikuta. “A hilarious inter-species comedy about a modern virgin and her roommate: A virgin-loving unicorn. Emuko is a twenty-something virgin – in fact, she’s never even had a boyfriend. Her roommate, a unicorn named Uni, adores her purity, but sometimes Emuko yearns for the romance she’s been missing. And does Uni love Emuko a little too much?” Okay, color us intrigued… Look for it now from Seven Seas Entertainment.

image c. 2020 Seven Seas Entertainment

Samurai Rabbit in Space?

In the about-damn-time department, word is spreading fast that Stan Sakai’s iconic furry comic Usagi Yojimbo is being adapted into a new animated TV series for Netflix of all places… but, with a twist. Here’s how Comics Beat put it: “Variety reports that Netflix and Gaumont Animation are teaming to create a CGI animated series based on the character. The series will be executive produced by Sakai, titled Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, along with a handful of others including Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Entertainment and James Wan. According to Variety, the series won’t be a straight adaptation of Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo series, but will use the comics as lore for a series set in the far future. The story will follow Rabbit Samurai Yuichi, a descendant of Miyamoto Usagi, and ‘a ragtag team of misfit heroes’ who accompany him on his quest to live up to his ancestor’s legacy.” Stay tooned for more news about a release date.

image c. 2020 by Stan Sakai

There Are Worse Ways To Go…

Let’s face it: Furry fans are going to notice a manga with a title like Reborn As A Polar Bear (aka The Legend of How I Became a Forest Guardian). Check out this description: “After devoted mountain climber Kumakichi Kumada falls into a ravine, he wakes up in the middle of a forest in another world… as a polar bear! Now this tough Ursus maritimus is looking after six werewolf sisters on the run from the humans tyrannizing their clan. Keeping his wits about him and using his knowledge from his past life, the next ‘mountain’ for him to climb will be making a comfortable life in the forest for everyone!” It’s written in by Chihiro Mishima, and illustrated in black & white (with some color pages) by Houki Kusano and Kururi. Take a look over at Yen Press.

image c. 2020 Yen Press