Thursday, November 06, 2003

Manga resources... 

Judging from the responses to one of my previous posts, a lot of people would like more info. on where to find manga reviews and other information. Here's a list of the main stuff I know about. I have tried to focus mostly on information that applies to US readers, as well as websites that are still being updated.


MangaBits - A relatively new site which has news, reviews and articles. They also have a list of release dates for upcoming titles. Most reviews show front cover, back cover, and an interior page as well as a pretty long review. If you're familiar with AnimeonDVD, this site is set up a lot like that one is. It seems like there are several reviewers and plans to have people able to submit alternate reviews. Stuff has been updated as recently as yesterday, so it seems alive and well. It also lists age recommendations right on the review listing, which is a plus.

Tankobon Tower - This column done by Allen Divers of ANN, giving short reviews of various manga as they are released. There is nothing for October yet, so I hope this is still active. BTW, Tankobon is the Japanese word for digest-sized manga releases.

Graphic Novel Comparison Chart - This is AnimeonDVD's listing of Japanese, Korean, and HK manga releases, telling you how many volumes were in the original release along with how many are planned in the US versions. It also lists the origin country, original publisher, the US publisher, and which direction the US version reads in. You can also sort by US publisher, direction, and origin country. I'd say this is the most definitive list of what US manga/manhwa/manhua is out or licensed.

MangaManiacs - This is a very nice review site with long reviews that have a cover shot and one interior shot. Has several reviewers and occationally a title will have more than one review. I'd say this is the most US manga reviews in one place so far. It seems like the last review was in august, though, so I hope it isn't dead.

ListerX - This is a new web-based service to keep track of your manga (as well as anime/artbooks/soundtracks) and be able to link to your collection for others to see. It already has quite a lot of titles listed and works pretty well. It is also helpful to just use the search feature even if you aren't a member, as it shows all the covers, isbns, and release dates for a given series. It also lists some foreign imports of titles. My current list is here (still missing a couple of titles).

AnimeonDVD Forums - There are a lot of sites out there with manga forums, but in my opinion, the two on this site are the best. Several representatives from manga companies post on a regular basis, several members live in Japan and can give reviews and background on titles, several members work at places like Waldenbooks and can talk about what releases they've actually gotten in, and there's quite a few ladies that post on a regular basis. Even some (mostly) level-headed dialogue on topis. ;) Also the only place with a forum devoted just to asking for recommendations.

Usenet Manga Glossary (HTML + TXT) - These provide some very helpful information on terms like manga-ka, seinen, yaoi, etc. Both versions seem to have some encoding issues for the Japanese portions (or else my fonts are messed up), but the english text is fine, and the html version has a couple of pictures in it. If you find yourself confused by some terms that manga fans are throwing around, this will probably help.

Ultimate Manga Guide - This is a very big listing of manga titles, authors, and anthologies, focusing on the Japan side. I'd say this is most useful if you want to look up what other titles an author has done that hasn't made it to the US yet, or how many volumes/price a title was in Japan.

Amazon - Don't forget that Amazon lets people post reviews to anything. It is a bit hit-or-miss for manga, but frequently earlier volumes will have several reviews from people. It can also give you a decent idea of what manga is currently still in print.


Manga! Manga! - By Frederik L. Schodt, this was the first real book about manga in the US. It is a bit out-dated now, but it gives a lot of good introductary information (as well as history) and some decent-sized exerpts from several manga at the end. Very recommended.

Dreamland Japan - Also from Schodt, this picks up where the last book left off. It has a lot of good industry information for the 90s, as well a profiling many manga anthologies and authors. There is a ton of good information in this book despite being a couple of years old now. Necessary reading for any serious fan of manga.

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