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Manga

Watch, Out!

In the about-time department, perhaps, IDW have published a new Yo-Kai Watch full-color comic book series this spring. According to them: “The hit anime, manga and toy sensation from Japan comes to North American comics! Join Nate and his Yo-Kai, Whisper, as they battle against ill-intentioned Yo-Kai causing terrible trouble in their hometown!” Previously, Viz Media licensed the original Yo-Kai Watch manga by Noriyuki Konishi for release in North America. This new comic, however, is completely home grown: Eric M. Esquivel (Bravest Warriors) is the writer, with art by Tina Franscisco (Strawberry Shortcake) and Dono Sanchez Almara (Turbo Defiant). It’s available now. And, of course, the Yo-Kai Watch anime series is running on Disney XD, if you didn’t know. (Our thanks to Anime News Network for help with this article).

image c. 2017 IDW Publishing

 

And Speaking of Wolves…

We got this direct from Anime News Network. Seven Seas Entertainment have licensed Spica Aoki’s fantasy manga series Beasts of Abigaile for distribution in North America. Here’s what the publishers say: “Beasts of Abigaile follows a young woman’s fantastical adventures in the mythical country of Ruberia—and all the trials, tribulations, and attractive half-beast people that come with it! In this exciting new series loosely inspired by the classic fable of Little Red Riding Hood, readers will embark on a beautifully-illustrated journey of magical adventure and romance. Tsukishiro Nina has just arrived in the beautiful country of Ruberia, and its charming denizens and lush scenery are like a fairy tale come true. That is until she’s beset by a mysterious young man with a steely gaze and furry wolf ears—who promptly bites her! Nina finds herself turning into one of these beasts of legend, and whisked away to the prison of Abigaile where all their kind are sent. Nina must keep her wits about her if she’s to learn the secrets of this magical world where everyone either makes her blood boil or her young heart race!” Look for it to be released in black & white this June.

image c. 2017 Seven Seas Entertainment

Oh He’s Such A Deer

Yen Press have released a new black & white manga out called Reindeer Boy, written and illustrated by Cassandra Jean. According to the publishers: “The new boy is town is cute and friendly. The only problem is… he has antlers? Quincy has the same dream every year on Christmas Eve: Of finding a little boy holding a special gift for her under the tree – and every Christmas morning, she’s awoken to find a gift wrapped in tinfoil with her name on it… When school resumes after the winter break, Quincy’s class discovers they have an unusual new transfer student named Cupid. Ridiculously cute and friendly, the new boy has everyone both enamored and confused. Those antlers can’t be real…can they?? With Cupid having seemingly set his sights on Quincy, it seems she’ll be having a memorable year indeed!” [See you again after Further Confusion!]

image c. 2017 Yen Press

Wolf vs. Monsters. Bet on the Wolf.

The on-line comic Hunters of Salamanstra spent years on Keenspot building up a following. Now Keenspot has seen fit to finally bring out a black & white comic book version. “In the Kingdom of Salamanstra, monsters are real, and hunting them is the world’s greatest thrill. One famous hunter, The White Wolf, is not afraid to risk her life for a cause she believes in. Adrien wants to help her fight, but he has a promise to keep. A promise that could ensure the survival of The White Wolf’s fight, should she fail.” Look for issue #0 of this manga-style comic by John Joseco to arrive soon, followed by regular issues starting up in June.

image c. 2016 Keenspot Entertainment

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We… are the Crystal Pokemon…

The mighty machine that is Pokemon carries on — and no, we don’t mean Pokemon Go either. Pokemon Adventures: Ruby & Sapphire is the latest black & white manga to hit North America; coming to us thanks to Viz Media. “Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald face a new crisis of epic proportions: a giant meteor hurtling toward the planet! Don’t miss these awesome new adventures inspired by the best-selling Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire video games and picking up where the Pokémon Adventures Ruby and Sapphire saga left off!” Illustrated by Satoshi Yamamoto and written by Hedenori Kusaka, this new digest-sized manga is available now. Anime News Network has this and a whole lot more brand-new Pokemon stuff as well.

image c. 2016 Viz Media

image c. 2016 Viz Media

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A Girl and her Bear in the Country

Here’s one from Japan we almost missed. Kuma Miko: Girl Meets Bear is a black & white manga series by Masume Yoshimoto, originally published by Media Factory. Now One Peace Books are bringing the collected first series to North America in digest form. It’s the story of a young teenage girl named Machi who lives in a remote mountain village. She’s a Miko (a shinto shrine maiden) and she has never left her idyllic native home.  But now she’s thinking about moving to the big city to attend high school. That doesn’t sit well with her best friend: Natsu Kumai, a talking bear. A tie-in anime series of Kuma Miko premiered in Japan this year; maybe we’ll get to see that our way soon too!

image c. 2016 Media Factory

image c. 2016 Media Factory

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The Alien’s New Ohana

You may recall that there was an anime series in Japan that was based off of Disney’s Lilo & Stitch movies and TV series. In it, Stitch has left Hawaii and moved to an island off Okinawa in Japan. There, he meets (and moves in with) a young girl named Yuna who is skillful in karate. (Where Lilo is in all of this is a spoiler that we will not give away.) Also notable is the fact that Angel, the pink alien “counterpart” to Stitch, made frequent visits to the Japanese series as well. So now, Tokyo Pop have adapted Stitch! into a new digest-sized black & white manga series written and illustrated by Yumi Tsukirino. Take a look over at Amazon to find out more and order your copy.

image c. 2016 Tokyo Pop

image c. 2016 Tokyo Pop

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More Rabbits With Attitude

There’s a temptation to say “Only in manga, folks…” Check this out: “Kokuryuu Kaguya was only a little boy when he witnessed his father murdered by demons. He spent years trying to convince people about what he witnessed, but was dismissed as a traumatized child with an over-active imagination. Now a teenager, Kaguya still remembers what happened. One day, Kaguya is struck by a mysterious light and meets a young woman named Mao—a skillful warrior wearing bunny ears—who rescues him from a demons’ attack, then demands to know what planet he’s from! Kaguya finds himself inducted into a secret organization of other-worldly individuals whose goal is to defend Earth from monstrous invaders. Reborn as a Battle Rabbit, strange powers awaken within Kaguya which allow him to fight these creatures and seek vengeance for his father’s death.” Battle Rabbits is written by Yuki Amemiya and illustrated in black & white by Ichihara Yukino. Now it’s been released as a trade paperback in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment.

image c. 2016 Seven Seas

image c. 2016 Seven Seas

Kitten? Stray No More!

Konami Kanata is well-known for her full-color manga series Fuku Fuku, dramatizing the adventures of her adopted stray kitten of the same name. Now Vertical Comics have brought together several adventures in a new graphic novel, Fuku Fuku: Kitten Tales. “From the author of the New York Times manga best seller Chi’s Sweet Home comes a delightful series of vignettes in the life of a kitten and her doting owner. To a young kitten, even the most mundane things appear fresh and exciting (and sometimes unpleasant or scary). Join FukuFuku on her journey and rediscover the world from a tiny cat’s point of view.” Visit the Vertical web site to see a preview.

image c. 2016 Vertical Comics

image c. 2016 Vertical Comics