Category Archives: Manga

ToshoCON

In Japanese the word for ‘Library’ is Toshokan.

In the UK over the past few years interest in manga and anime has grown (and grown and grown). The number of events and conventions around the country, including Kitacon, the MCM Expos in London and the Midlands, Auchinawa, EirtaKon and Fuyucon. This list is not exhaustive but just to illustrate that there are Conventions occurring all over the UK and now is the perfect time for Libraries to start thinking about staging an event or series of events.

Due to the fact that we are dispersed across the country it will be next to impossible to gather us all in one or two locations my idea is for as many libraries as possible to run events over several days and hopefully link up over the internet with videocasting of events and online chats. This can raise the profile of Libraries as places that run events that appeal to young people (and not so young people judging by the wide range of ages I have seen at other conventions).

All ideas welcome via e-mail or comments

Manga Jiman 2009 Competition

manga jiman
The Embassy of Japan is once again launching another major manga-writing competition, MANGA JIMAN 2009, with fantastic prizes. This year the competition is open to anyone fourteen (14)* years of age or over.

The amazing First Prize is two (2) return air tickets to Japan, courtesy of All Nippon Airways!**
The Second Prize is a fabulous TOSHIBA laptop computer.
Third Prize is a superb RICOH digital camera.
Runners-up will receive and a selection of manga publications, available in the UK from various UK manga publishers and Japan Centre gift vouchers amongst others prizes.
The winners’ works will also be displayed in a special MANGA JIMAN EXHIBITION at the Embassy of Japan.
Manga Jiman 2009 Mascot: Sorano-chan
This competition is open to all UK residents. All creations should be original and between six (6) to eight (8) A4-sized pages in length and although entrants are free to choose their own theme, restrictions do apply, and importantly the manga should in some way make reference to the ‘sun’. The closing date for the competition is Friday, 25 September 2009.

You can now view examples of the winning entries from previous years on our Myebook page

How to enter:
The full MANGA JIMAN COMPETITION 2009 RULES & REGULATIONS can be found here. (PDF file)

All entries must be accompanied by an official entry form which can be downloaded here. (Word file)

Please contact manga@jpembassy.org.uk with any queries about the competition.

*Entrants must be fourteen (14) by the time of the competition prizes are awarded (January 2010).
**Terms and conditions apply.

Vermonia: Quest for the Silver Tiger by Studio YOYO

At the centre of the universe, at the beginning and end of all creation, sits the planet of Vermonia, ruled by Queen Fransinella. All worlds including the fragile Blue Star, orbit around her, following pathways of the net between galaxies, wherein the Turtle Realm also lies.

Queen Frasinella’s reign of harmony is ending in civil war due to the betrayal of the commander of her army, General Uro. Hungry for personal power, he seeks the Queen’s sacred Bolirium, fighting his own twin brother, the Lord Boros to obtain it.

As the final battle rages and Lord Boros suffers defeat at the hands of his brother, Queen Frasinella gathers her four most trusted ministers. She uses her magic to transform them, then bids them to flee in order to safeguard the wisdom of her world and to work for its rebirth.

As her final sovereign act, Queen Frasinella summons from deep within her the four Veras of her Spirit; these four will be reborn on a distant planet as four warriors who will one day restore her reign of harmony

So begins Vermonia: Quest for the Silver Tiger a new manga title by Studio YoYo, published in the UK by Walker Books. It is the first in a series, for all ages and illustrated in the shonen style. Nevertheless Vermonia will have a broad appeal amongst girls as well as boys.

The heroes of this tale are four friends (Mel, Doug, Kim and Naomi), who after falling out at their skating hangout each have an identical dream about a boy being strangled by snakes and pleading for help. The next day Mel is kidnapped by Gazso an agent of the evil General Uro. The group leave earth with the aid of the magical Satorin, a Squelp (the obligatory cute manga mascot), and waste no time in trying to track Mel down to free her, and also, they learn, the planet of Vermonia.

I was thrilled (and surprised) to receive a copy of this book in the post. I had been shown some early proofs of Vermonia when I visited Walker Books late last year. From a purely aesthetic point of view the book is beautiful, published in the traditional Japanese style to be read from right to left, Walker Books has also followed the Japanese habit of giving it a dust jacket and a semi-rigid cover. The contents do not disappoint either, the artwork by artist Saki Uchida who was discovered by Akihuro Miyata, the editor and publisher who nurtured the talent of the extraordinary Haruki Murakami, is stunning. The story is gripping and provides a perfect set up to the future volumes that will follow. The only downside is that the book ends on a cliff-hanger and I want to know what happens next but volume two is still a few months away.

Manga Genres

Bishojo: Japanese for ‘beautiful girl’, blanket term that can be used to describe any anime that features pretty girl characters, e.g. Magic Knight Rayearth.

Bishonen: Japanese for ‘beautiful boy’ blanket term that can be used to describe any anime that features “pretty” and elegant boys and men, e.g. Fushigi Yukgi.

Ecchi: Derived from the pronunciation of the letter ‘H’. Japanese for ‘indecent sexuality’. Contains mild sexual humor, e.g. Love Hina.

Hentai: Japanese for ‘abnormal’ or ‘perverted’, and used by Western Audiences to refer to pornographic anime or erotica. However, in Japan the term used to refer to the same material is typically Poruno or Ero.

Josei: Japanese for ‘young woman’, this is anime or manga that is aimed at young women, and is one of the rarest forms.

Kodomo: Japanese for ‘child’, this is anime or manga that is aimed at young children, e.g. Doraemon.

Mecha: Anime or manga featuring giant robots, e.g. Mobile Suit Gundam.

Moé: Anime or manga featuring characters that are extremely perky or cute, for example Little Snow Fairy Sugar.

Progressive: “Art films” or extremely stylized anime, e.g. Voices of a Distant Star.

Seinen: Anime or manga similar to Shonen, but targeted at teenage or young male adults, e.g. Oh My Goddess!

Sentai/Super Sentai: Literally “fighting team” in Japanese, refers to any show that involves a superhero team, e.g. Cyborg 009.

Shojo: Japanese for ‘young lady’ or ‘little girl’, refers to anime or manga targeted at girls, e.g. Fruits Basket.

Maho shojo: Subgenre of Shoujo known for ‘Magical Girl’ stories, e.g. Sailor Moon.

Shojo-ai: Japanese for ‘girl-love’, refers to anime or manga that focus on love and romance between female characters, e.g. Revolutionary Girl Utena.

Shonen: Japanese for ‘boys’, refers to anime or manga targeted at boys, e.g. Dragon Ball Z.

Shonen-ai: Japanese for ‘boy-love’, refers to anime or manga that focus on love and romance between male characters. This term is being phased out in Japan due to references to pedophilia, and is being replaced by the term “Boys Love”

Books about Manga

<p>Add a little extra buzz to your manga collection with some books about the genre to complement the actual manga you provide!  Here are some suggestions!</p>

<p><b>The Art of Drawing Manga</b> by Ben Krefta (Foulsham, 2003)</p>

<p>This attractive large format book looks great on display shelves.  It also gives easy to follow step-by-step instructions that can get pretty much anyone drawing great manga style pictures!</p>

<p><b>Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics</b> by Paul Gravett (Laurence King, 2004)

This in-depth exploration of manga is great for devout otaku who want to learn more, but the lavish artwork throughout makes this an attractive prospect for the manga-curious too.</p>

<p><b>The Anime Companion (volumes 1 and 2)</b> by Gilles Poitras (Stone Bridge, 1999/2005)</p>

<p>Part of what appeals to many manga readers and anime viewers is how uniquely Japanese the images and stories are.  These books help otaku decipher the cultural references that are predominant in most series and give everyone else a unique insight into why anime and manga appeal so much to so many!</p>

<p><b>Digital Manga Tecniques</b> by Hayden Scott-Baron (A&C Black)</p>

<p><b>Draw Manga</b> by Sweatdrop Studios (new holland)</p>

<p><b>Drawing Manga</b> by Selina Dean (harper collins)</p>

Dimensional Manga

Dimensional Manga is a publishing company registered under the company name Fifth Dimension Limited. It specialises in producing manga (comic format) graphic novels. Its main titles include Demon Prince: Children of Gaia scheduled release February 2008. Titles to follow in the future include Origins: Energy Pattern Disruption, Discoveries: Fifth Dimensional LayerShift, Ghost Battle: Imprisoned by Progression, Incomplete: Detached, Hero Complex, Winning Tactics F.C and Monsters& Samurais.

Dimensional Manga believes in providing fans with a top quality experience through stunning storylines captured in amazing manga graphic novels. Dimensional Manga’s ultimate aim is to push the barriers within the comic books arena and introduce never before seen concepts and content encapsulated in a perfect balance of action, comedy and excitement guaranteed to amaze.

Dimensional Manga was founded by Dil. He had been intrigued by the comic format especially manga for over 10 years and was captivated by this art form since. This art style inspired him to begin writing his own stories and creating original character designs. In 2006 Dimensional Manga was established. The aim of this was to promote manga and the comic format in the west and to release an original unique story that would entertain the masses. To do this Dimensional Manga needed to contract professional comic artists from all over the world inlcuding Canada, Malaysia, Philipines and UK. Manga and the comic format is a unique way to express ideas. Dil prefers this medium over conventional books/novels because of the combination of visuals and written text. As a result Dil was inspired by the comic format resulting in his decision to adopt this this style for his stories.

Dil is responsible for writing the story, the script, co-ordinating the story board and instructing the artists on how to create each frame. The goal was to ‘create’, not borrow, change or visually alter established concepts, but to make a fresh start. His ultimate aim is to show that there are always new possibilities still available, no matter what achievements have been accomplished. And his hope is that this message will inspire others to do the same.