Since mahou shoujo is a whole subgenre of anime and manga I thought I had better tell you about our super collection of manga and anime that we have in our libraries! Did you even know we had them in the collection? I’ve chosen a few “magical girl” themed anime and manga for you all to check out that you may or may not be familiar with already.
(In case you didn’t know, manga are comics you read and anime are cartoons you watch.)
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (manga)
If you grew up in the 90s like me, you’d probably be pretty familiar with Sailor Moon. Usagi Tsukino (Serena) is a regular girl, until she discovers she is sailor senshi Sailor Moon. Together with the other sailor scouts, handsome Tuxedo Mask and two mystical beings that appear to be sentient stuffed cats, Sailor Moon must stop the evil Queen Beryl from taking over the world.
Cardcaptor Sakura (manga)
This is one of my absolute favourites! Ten year old Sakura accidentally releases a magical set of cards called the Clow Cards, and is enlisted by the guardian of the cards to capture them again. Each card has a special ability and some cards require some serious puzzle-solving to capture. It is written and illustrated by popular manga group Clamp, and it has absolutely beautiful illustrations throughout.
This story takes place in the distant future on the planet Earl, colonized by immigrants from Earth centuries ago. Certain girls and women aspire to be Meister Otomes – bodyguards, attendants and warriors that serve the royalty of various kingdoms. Arika Yumemiya has come to Windbloom Kingdom in search of her mother, a former Otome. Arika enrols at Garderobe Academy to train to be an Otome herself, but she must beware those who desire to use the old technologies of the Otome for destructive powers.
Alice 19th (manga)
Alice Seno is a 15-year-old girl, constantly living in the shadow of her seemingly perfect older sister Mayura. One day Alice rescues a white rabbit from the road, but it is no ordinary rabbit. It reveals its true form and informs Alice she is destined to be a Lotis Master – someone who uses the power of words and communication to enter the Inner Heart of others. Alice soon discovers this is a powerful ability which must be used carefully when she accidentally makes her older sister disappear. Using the power of the Lotis Runes, Alice must get Mayura back.
Full Moon o Sagashite (manga)
Twelve-year-old Mitsuki Koyama loves singing and dreams of becoming a pop star. Unfortunately, a malignant tumor in her throat prevents her from pursuing her passion. However, her life turns around when two surprisingly fun-loving harbingers of death appear to grant Mitsuki a temporary reprieve from her illness and give her singing career a magical push start. (library catalogue)
It’s no secret that I love graphic novels, which is why I’m so excited about ComicFest, an event that the library is running from the 2nd-3rd of May. We’ve got some great events lined up: a panel on Friday night with some of the best cartoonists in New Zealand, plus more events on the Saturday. You can find out more on the event page, but here are just some of the events running:
A panel on Friday Night featuring Ant Sang, who wrote and drew the awesome comic Shaolin Burning and worked on Bro’ Town. There’s also Robyn Kenealy who’s a brilliant webcomic artist and creator of Steve Rogers’ American Captain, which chronicles Steve Rogers’ attempts to work out his place in the twenty-first century. Grant Buist, another one of our awesome panelists, has been working in comics for almost twenty years. He’s currently working on a graphic novel and draws Jitterati for Fishhead Magazine. His website is well worth a look, since he’s done a heap of great reviews of our graphic novel collection. This is definitely the panel you want to attend if you want to know what it’s like working in comics today.
There are also some wicked workshops: Ant Sang is running “Comics 101” from 4:30-6:30 for those aspiring artists among you, and then there’s another workshop run on the Saturday by Gavin Mouldey, a Wellington-based animator and illustrator. He’s done all the gorgeous promotional art for all our advertising, and owns the dittybox shop and gallery in Island Bay.
There’s a costume competition all day Saturday with a special category for teens and great prizes for you to win, generously provided by Unity Books and and White Cloud Worlds. A fair few of the library staff will be in costume too, so try and work out who we’re being!
Finally, last but certainly not least, we are giving away FREE, yes, FREE comics from when we open. We have limited stock, so get in early! This is because the library is participating in Free Comic Book Day, a day where all over the world stores and librariess give away a selection of comics and graphic novels. We decided to use this as an opportunity to promote a great (and steadily growing) part of our collection and bring together some of the best comic artists working in New Zealand today. You can find the main Facebook event here, and interviews with our featured panelists and artists on our main blog.
Some manga series you might enjoy, if you haven’t already discovered them!
Sakura Hime, by Arina Tanemura. Sakura is a princess, engaged to Prince Oura since birth. Since she’s not keen on marrying the prince, Sakura runs away, accidentally looking at the full moon in the process (the one thing she must never do).
Kitchen princess, by Natsumi Ando. Najika is a talented cook, who follows the trail of a mystery boy who touched her heart as a child to the exclusive Seika Academy. Everyone at the Seika Academy is special in some way, except Najika according to the girls there. However, two brothers, Sora and Daichi, know her cooking is magical. (Also, who’s the mystery boy?)
Cardcaptor Sakura, by CLAMP. This was awarded the Seiun Award for best manga in 2001, and was also made into a TV series. The series begins with Sakura releasing the magical Clow Cards, a set of cards with their own personalitythat can assume different forms when activated. Oops. Sakura is told she must now find all the missing cards, battle their magical forms and re-seal them.
Kobato, also by CLAMP. Kobato, mysteriously, has a quest to heal broken hearts by trapping feelings in a bottle, in order to make her way to a mystery place. It sounds daunting, but she does have the help of a grumpy dog called Ioyogi-san, so that’s okay then. CLAMP’s website is here (great for practising your Japanese).
Here’s a list of other manga series we’ve got in the library.
Hey, recently we left a box out in Central for people to recommend to us some new manga titles. They are very popular! We received LOTS of suggestions and if you were one of the people who filled in one of the forms (thanks heaps!) you will be pleased to learn that we have purchased some of the suggested titles. These are some of the new titles that you can already reserve (the links go only to the first volume, so to reserve the others do a title search);
Fairy Tale (vols 1-5) – Teenage wizards! Dragons! One of the best shōnen manga in Japan – as decided by Japan!
Pandora Hearts (vols 1-5) – Published by Square Enix, the studio behind the Final Fantasy series in all its forms. Publishers Weekly say, ‘A sharp eye can find many literary references in this exciting fantasy manga. Oz, the main character, is turning 15 and is all set to be part of a ceremony, only to be dragged into a hellish place called the Abyss, for reasons he doesn’t know. Previously, he was a rambunctious rich boy who didn’t treat his servants well, but the Abyss is supposed to only take the worst of the worst. In this dark and disturbing world he meets a girl named Alice, whom he may or may not be able to trust, but who might be the only way out.’
Blue Exorcist (vol 1-3) – ‘Raised by Father Fujimoto, a famous exorcist, Rin Okumura never knew his real father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto forces Rin to face a terrible truth – the blood of the demon lord Satan runs in Rin’s veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself.’ – Catalogue summary.
So that’s a few we’re getting! In addition to more volumes of Bakugan, Dragon Ball Z, and Black Butler. Quite a few people wanted us to get that last one, but we already have the first four volumes! Unfortunately it is often out. But we’re getting more for you.
What is Zuda Comics? That’s a great question. The short answer is that it’s an all-new line of Web Comics. The longer answer is that Zuda Comics are whatever you make of them.
Zuda Comics is the webcomics division of DC. You can design your own comic for entry into their monthly competition, vote for your favourite entry, or simply enjoy the ones already online.
While we’re on the subject, you can find the DC comics website here, and don’t forget to check out our collection of them in your library branch.
Not so long ago we asked which magazines should get added to the Young Adult (YA) magazine collection. Not too many people responded, but that’s okay! We’re not too disappointed! As a consequence we have added Entertainment Weekly to the YA collection – it means you can issue it for free on a YA card. (If you reserve it through the catalogue be sure to reserve the YA copy.)
We are also adding Shonen Jump. It’s not yet in the system but there is a website. Good news for manga fans, is it not. Okay, cool.
We’ve a new manga series in the YA collection. It is titled Case Closed, by Gosho Aoyama. Jimmy Kudo is a hyper-skilled high school detective who is transformed into first-grader by a’ strange chemical’. He adopts a new name – Conan Edogawa – and continues to solve crime while hunting for whoever’s responsible for his transformation.
We have 29 volumes, so the hunt may take awhile. The animated series is big in Japan and Germany, according to Wikipedia, but I don’t think we’re getting it.
(All our other manga series are listed on this page.)
There’s not a lot of new material this week, so I’ll bundle it all up into one post. First up; new books!
Fruits Basket #21, by Natsuki Takaya (181 pages) – The Sohma family are each possessed by an animal from the Chinese zodiac, and if they’re hugged by the opposite gender (or get stressed out) they turn into that animal. Fruits Basket is one of the best-selling shōjo manga in the world; ‘shōjo manga’ is manga marketed towards teenage girls.
Kekkaishi #14 (and #15), by Yellow Tanabe (162 pages) – Kekkaishi are demon-hunters who use magic to create barriers in creative and interesting ways. This is shōnen manga, which is manga marketed for boys between 8 and 18.
The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine, by April Lurie (211 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Dylan’s life is in shambles; his mother may have run off, his father is never home, his older brother hangs out with his loser band, and he – Dylan – has just been caught shoplifting underwear. Also, his best friend is shooting a documentary about him and she (unfortunately) wants to remain his friend.
Finnikin of the Rock, by Melina Marchette (398 pages) – This is the latest from the author of Looking for Alibrandi, (a very popular book still, fifteen years after its publication). Finnikin of the Rock is a character-driven fantasy novel. ‘A long time ago, in the spring before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamt he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere.‘ How’s that for a first sentence?
Jane Eyre (M rated) – A retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel from the BBC.
Appleseed : Ex Machina (M rated) – This is the sequel to the pretty-good-but-not-as-good-as-the-manga-I-thought film we also have in the YA DVDs. Reviews suggest that the CGI is fantastic, although the story lets the film down. I shall watch it this weekend (and compare it to Final Fantasy : Advent Children, the best CGI film ever).
Now That’s I Call Music 28 – Various. There are three things in life that we can’t get away from; death, taxes, and Now That’s What I Call Music compilations. This CD has eighteen tracks.
Funhouse – Pink. This is Pink’s fifth album. She may be touring NZ next year.
… may be French for ‘new books’ (it may not be; it’s been a while). And here – voila! – they are.
The Case of the Diamond Shadow, by Sophie Masson (186 pages) – Adventurous sleuths, Daisy and George, find themselves hot on the tail of a daring jewel thief, all the while living lives of glamour in 1930s London.
Ostrich Boys, by Keith Gray (352 pages) – Three boys take – well, steal, really – their late friend’s ashes after his depressing and dispiriting funeral, and travel 261 miles to a tiny hamlet in Scotland called Ross (which was also his first name).
The Trap, by Sarah Wray (232 pages) – A scary whodunnit about fifteen-year-old Luke, who is offered a job at a summer camp for kids. A camp where (it is rumoured) three teens disappeared a few years earlier. After Luke discovers cryptic notes and one of his friends is attacked, he realises that he has been suckered into a deadly trap. A reviewer on Amazon was ‘too scared to continue reading it late at night’.
Brisingr, by Christopher Paolini (763 pages) – You will probably have heard of this, the third in the Inheritance Cycle series of books that began with Eragon. Apparently it’s better than the first two books, which is good news for fans. But will there be a movie?
The Summoning :Darkest Powers Vol. 1, by Kelley Armstrong (390 pages) – Chloe Saunders can see ghosts, and soon she is so bothered by them she breaks down and winds up in a home for disturbed kids. Once there she quickly realises that not all is at it seems …
Oddest of All, by Bruce Colville (235 pages) – This is a collection of nine odd (and spooky) short stories.
Mistik Lake, by Martha Brooks (207 pages) – From the catalogue synopsis: “After Odella’s mother leaves her, her sisters, and their father in Manitoba and moves to Iceland with another man, she then dies there, and the family finally learns some of the many secrets that have haunted them for two generations.” I feel drawn to recommend this book, as Iceland is my favourite country! (And also it’s favourably reviewed.)
Manga For The Beginner, by Christopher Hart (192 pages) – Books on how to draw manga are popular in the library. This book has many clear instructions and loads of examples for the budding manga artist.
We have several new manga series in the library. Angelic Layer is a five-volume series by CLAMP (the group of female manga artists who were responsible for Cardcaptor Sakura). This manga is about a futuristic sport where competitors match tiny robots – or angels – against one another.
We also stock the first fifteen volumes of the bestselling manga Fullmetal Alchemist, by Hiromu Arakawa. Edward and Alphonse Elric are talented alchemists. An attempt to bring their mother back costs Alphonse his body and Edward some limbs. They seek the fabled Philosopher’s Stone to make them whole again – even though their new prosthetics are really very cool.
These are very popular!