Wellington City Libraries

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Category: Manga Page 1 of 2

From the Vaults I: Manga

The vast collections of the Wellington Central Library have finally found a home in the Te Pātaka Collection Distribution Centre in Johnsonville, and the extensive YA collection is now available to borrow. The process is simple — just locate the item in our online catalogue, click “Reserve Item,” enter your card number and PIN, and select which library you’d like it to be sent to.

But some things are a little more difficult now that you can’t go and browse the shelves yourself. Even if you know what you’re looking for, and even though our catalogue does a pretty good job of telling you what we have and where it is, sometimes stuff is just hard to find. So we thought we’d start a blog series — From The Vaults — highlighting some of the cool stuff you can reserve.

 'I could find all the books I need on the catalogue myself, if only there weren't so many cats in the way!'

Let’s start with manga. Manga (漫画 or マンガ or まんが) are pocket-sized comics normally originating from Japan. That’s not to say that manga can only come from Japan — many countries have their own independent industries now, from Korean manhwa (만화) and Chinese mànhuà (漫画) to manfra in France. They are usually printed in black-and-white, and read right-to-left, a feature which some say dates back to manga’s origins in 12th-century scrolls. Regardless of when it all started, manga are extremely popular today in Japan, and increasingly outside of Japan as well.

Wellington City Libraries has an extensive collection of manga series and stand-alone titles, from popular series like Naruto, Death Note, and Cardcaptor Sakura to alternative and underground works like Anomal and Iceland. As most of the books in this collection were held at Central, and are now in the closed stacks at Te Pātaka, we have produced a master list of all of the manga we hold — over 160 series and stand-alone titles, along with quick descriptions of the genres, themes, and target audiences of each manga. Sometimes, due to items being damaged or lost, you might notice that a series is incomplete. Never fear! Just get in touch with us using the Suggestion To Buy form, and we’ll move heaven and earth to locate that pesky missing volume and give you the satisfying and complete reading experience you deserve and need.

Go forth and explore! In the meantime, as it’s currently the Out On The Shelves campaign week, we thought we’d pick out some of our favourite manga featuring LGBTQ+ characters and themes.

Wandering son. Volume one / Shimura, Takako
{reps: trans*, lesbian}
Set in that period between the end of childhood and the beginning of adolescence, this gorgeous manga from arguably Japan’s greatest master of LGBTQ+ stories, Takako Shimura, Wandering Son follows friends Shuichi Nitori and Yoshino Takatsuki as they navigate school, life, and their relationships along with their growing understanding of their own gender identities. This is one of the few manga series to feature trans* characters as protagonists — and trust us when we say it’s not to be missed.

My lesbian experience with loneliness / Nagata, Kabi
{reps: lesbian}
My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness is an honest and heartfelt look at one young woman’s exploration of her sexuality, mental well-being, and growing up in our modern age. Told using expressive artwork that invokes both laughter and tears, this moving and highly entertaining single volume depicts not only the artist’s burgeoning sexuality, but many other personal aspects of her life that will resonate with readers.

My brother’s husband. Volume 1 / Tagame, Gengoroh
{reps: gay}
Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in contemporary Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki and father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji’s past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in. What follows is an unprecedented and heartbreaking look at the state of a largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it.

Pretty guardian Sailor Moon. 1 / Takeuchi, Naoko
{reps: lesbian}
Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. Anyone familiar with the history of manga and anime will have at least passing familiarity with Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon — and the same-sex relationship between Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus is legendary among fans of the series.

Overdrive cover Bloom Into You, Volume 1, Nakatani Nio (ebook)
{reps: lesbian}
Yuu has always adored shoujo manga and yearns for the day when someone might give her a love confession that would send her heart aflutter. Yet when a junior high school classmate confesses his feelings to her–she feels nothing. Disappointed and confused, Yuu enters high school, where she sees the confident and beautiful student council member Nanami. When the next person to confess to Yuu is Nanami herself, has her romantic dream finally come true?

Ouran High School Host Club. Vol. 1 / Hatori, Bisco
{reps: genderfluid/genderqueer, queer}
Ouran High School Host Club is a great shōjo manga from the early 2000s that almost single-handedly deconstructs many of society’s most carefully-constructed preconceptions about gender roles, sexuality, and gender identity. Main character Haruhi is biologically female, but presents androgynously and has no hang-ups about adopting a very fluid approach to their gender. In the original Japanese, they refer to themselves almost exclusively using gender-neutral pronouns (a feature that is sadly lost in the English translation — see a nuanced discussion of gender in OHSHC here), and their parent, Ryoji, is openly queer and presents in drag most times we meet him. Read and enjoy, friends!

Cardcaptor Sakura. Book 1 / CLAMP (Mangaka group)
{reps: lesbian, bisexual, gay, pansexual, genderqueer}
When Sakura Kinomoto finds a strange book in her father’s library, the only thing left inside is Kero-chan, the book’s cute little guardian beast, who informs Sakura that since the Clow cards escaped while he was asleep, it’s now her job to capture them. Cardcaptor Sakura is revolutionary among mainstream manga for its easy and natural portrayal of a wide range of LGBTQ+ characters, including Sakura herself (pan), her best friend Tomoyo (lesbian), and a steady, loving gay couple (Toya and Yukito). Plus there’s plenty of epic fantasy elements and a great story to boot.

We Need These eManga in Our Lives (and so do you)

We understand it’s been a dark time for many manga fans. The books you were able to borrow before our libraries closed are long finished, their covers growing thick with the dust of disappointment. Your days are growing heavy with the weight of unresolved cliffhangers. Thankfully, our eLibrary is absolutely stuffed full of manga series to keep you going until you can get your hands on printed material once again. Below are some of our faves, but be sure to check out the Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga section on OverDrive/Libby for more gold.

Overdrive cover Assassination Classroom, Volume 1, Yusei Matsui (ebook)
Volumes 1 – 5 available on OverDrive.
One of the most popular manga series currently publishing outside Japan, in Assassination Classroom we join Nagisa, Sugino, Karma, Okuda, and the other would-be assassins of Class 3E as they navigate life, death, and education under their moon-killing, pseudo-octopoid, super-organism teacher, Koro-sensei. Sound weird? Well, strap in. This is shōnen sci-fi manga at its best we’re talking about here — pretty much anything goes.

Overdrive cover Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus, Volume 1, CLAMP (ebook)
Omnibus Volumes 1 and 2 available on OverDrive.
I love Cardcaptor Sakura unreservedly, and once you read it, you will too — and not just for its super awesome anime adaptation that aired in the late ’90s. This series has everything you’re looking for in a shōjo ‘magical girl’ manga — namely, an awesomely strong and compellingly-rendered magical girl to lead the cast, vicious beasts to fight, mythological dreamscapes to explore, complex characters that grow into their roles, and of course it can all be pulled together into a largely unknown trading card game from the year 2001 that I wish I owned. Some day, some day.

Overdrive cover Haikyu!!, Volume 1, Haruichi Furudate (ebook)
Volumes 1 – 8 available on OverDrive.
Okay, I admit it. I was skeptical about Haikyu!! at first. I mean, I’m not really one for the whole sportsball thing, so a manga about one boy’s drive to become the greatest volleyball player in Japan didn’t really sound like my cup of tea. With that out of the way, if you read one thing from this list, read this. The characters are expertly-drawn, both in terms of line and in terms of personality. The whole gamut of human experience is explored and poignantly rendered: hubris, ambition, disappointment, determination, loss, commitment, betrayal, hurt, unity — but ultimately it is this series’ big-heartedness that will win you over. Do yourself a favour and read it now.

Overdrive cover One-Punch Man, Volume 1, ONE (ebook)
Volumes 1 – 5 available on OverDrive.
I still remember the first time my friend showed me the One-Punch Man webcomic. Even then, in the summer of 2010, it seemed legendary, destined for greater things. And so it was — the manga remake is full of the charm, the absurdity, the inexplicable baldness, and the manic, supercharged energy of the original webcomic, but distilled, whisked, blended, and baked into the extended manga form. It’s a superhero story like no other, and we couldn’t recommend it more highly.

Overdrive cover Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 1, Sui Ishida (ebook)
Volumes 1 – 8 available on OverDrive.
Sui Ishida’s Tokyo Ghoul may just be one of the greatest tales in contemporary fantasy. The premise is simple — in the shadow of our regular human world there dwell mysterious, powerful, and cannibalistic demi-humans known as ghouls, kept at bay by the powerful but shadowy government-controlled CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul), who will go to any length to exterminate ghouls from the face of the planet. The morals of each party? Grey. The storytelling? Immersive, dark, and intense. The characters? Deeply human and beautifully flawed, with motivations that gradually unwind as we get to know them. The result? A series you must read. Not for the faint of heart.

This is just the barest sliver of excellent manga you can find on OverDrive and Libby. If we don’t have what you’re after, you can always use the handy-dandy ‘Recommend to Library’ tool to suggest we purchase what you’re after. At the moment you can only recommend one title every 30 days, to make sure our librarians aren’t overwhelmed, so choose wisely!

Mahou shoujo Part 2

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.)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsPretty 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.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCardcaptor 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.

My-Z-HiMe (anime)

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.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAlice 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.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFull 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)

Comics Fest 2014

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.

Manga Spotlight

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.

New Manga

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.

Online DC comics

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.

New YA magazines

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.

名探偵 コナン

We’ve a new manga series in the YA collection. It is titled Case Closed, by Gosho AoyamaJimmy 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.)

New books, CDs, and DVDs

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?

New DVDs!

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).

New CDs!

Now That’s I Call Music 28Various. 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.

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