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Books

Shintaro Kago's 'Dementia 21' Showcases Surrealist Manga

As much as I admire Shintaro Kago's oddness as a writer, his artistic pen is even sharper (but not without problems) as evident in Dementia 21.

Recent
Books

Tsuge's 'The Man Without Talent' Is a Perfect Manga Parable on Capitalism's Failed Dreams

In The Man Without Talent, Tadao Tsuge captures the element of fantasy reflected in the childish utopianism of free market capitalism and the committed entrepreneurs who are its happy-go-lucky evangelists.

Television

The Catharsis of the Void in Anime Horror, 'Vampire Princess Miyu'

Within the 26 hard-to-find episodes of Vampire Princess Miyu, there are murders, suicide, and even murder-suicides. There really is something for everyone. So why did it fail?

Books

Michael Cho's 'Shoplifter' Showcases What He Does Best

Existential loneliness and small comforts are perfectly conveyed in three simple colors in Michael Cho's graphic novel, Shoplifter.

Books

Tadao Tsuge's 'Slum Wolf' Provides a Dramatic Look at the Persistence of the Disaffected

After the devastating effects of American bombings of Japan during World War II, how do people rebuild themselves and their society? Tadao Tsuge explores these difficulties in Slum Wolf.

Reviews

'Red Colored Elegy' Is a Most Un-manga Manga Classic

Seiichi Hayashi renders struggles through sometimes obscure, but always evocative imagery in Red Colored Elegy.

Television

'Erased' Is Not Your Everyday Manga Time Travel Series

Erased's time travel and superb child actors remind us of the importance of living in the present.

Television

Superb Acting and Decadent Desserts in Netflix's Delectable Manga Adaptation, 'Kantaro'


For quirky live-action manga, it doesn't get much sweeter than Kantaro: The Sweet-Toothed Salaryman.

Books

Jiro Taniguchi's 'Furari' Will Enchant You

The maximalist minimalism of Jiro Taniguchi's work is on full display in this gentle, rewarding work.

Politics

Remembering (and Reliving) the Bombing of Hiroshima with Keiji Nakazawa's 'Barefoot Gen'

The seminal manga of Hiroshima's atomic bombing and aftermath, Keiji Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen, remains an essential reminder of the horrors of war and atomic bombs.

Books

The Muscle Behind 'Manga in America'

The domestication of manga means imposing one’s own identity on the product.

Reviews

Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2

Shallow, boring, pointless, and forgettable. Also, there's punching.

Books

Shigeru Mizuki's Stories of Yokai: 'Nonnonba'

Gege is passionate about art. Drawing and telling stories brings Gege closer to the spirit world.

Books

Japan's Obsessive Collective: 'Otaku Spaces'

This is a trip inside the worlds of 20 otaku, Japan's most dedicated collectors of cultural artifacts who are as enthusiastic for their stuff as avid sports fans are for their teams.

Reviews

The Undiluted Promise of Comics as Vanguard for 21st Century Media

Sometimes, rarely, a work is so good (so well-conceived, so well-executed) that it simply breaks our traditional expectations of comics literature. And this breaking allows us to glimpse the true, rare promise of what the industry can achieve. Davids Lapham and Aja's Wolverine: Debt of Death is this work.

Reviews

A Manga Superstar Gets Serious with This Tragic Tale: 'Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths'

This blistering anti-war story by a Japanese WWII vet is a rarity for the Western reader: an example of Japanese military dissent circa World War II.

Books

'Hagakure': A Manga Guide to Bushido

Sean Michael Wilson and Chie Kutsuwada team up to present a manga-style introduction to Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hagakure: The Code of the Samurai

Reviews

'Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential': They're Sparkly, Sexy and Can Really Kick Ass!

Why are images of schoolgirls so predominant in Japanese popular culture? Brian Ashcraft and Shoko Ueda offer their take on the subject in Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential.

Books

'Manga and Philosophy': More Connections Than You Might Think

The latest volume in Open Court's Popular Culture and Philosophy series casts a philosophical eye on the world of manga.

Comics

Masters of Horror Manga: Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino

Perhaps more so than any other artists, Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino defined the genre of horror comics in Japan, an influence that extends to the West, and also to the world of J-horror films.

Comics

Masters of Horror Manga: Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino

Where Kazuo Umezu is somewhat more traditional, Hideshi Hino strives to find beauty or at least to nuture a sort of awestruck fascination with horrific images and narrative elements.

Books

Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater by Eric P. Nash

Nash offers a study of kamishibai's influence on modern manga, and how Japanese comics differ from American ones (as well as answering a common question: "What's with the wide eyes?").

Comics

Manga and Minimalism: The Shared Visions of Yoshihiro Tatsumi and Raymond Carver

One is an acknowledged master of the modern short story, and the other is an influential figure in the world of alternative Japanese comics.

Comics

From Gekiga to Good Raymond

They lived on opposite sides of the planet, at roughly the same time, and never met. In their lifetimes (one is now dead) each became an acknowledged and influential master in his chosen form of storytelling, and even though their media, social contexts and biographies were worlds apart, the early work of each artist bears striking similarities: they shared a melancholy, darkly humorous, and peculiarly bleak vision of character, story, and life.

Books

A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi

The scope, detail and physical detail of the book is a massive leap forward from the four-panel gag strips with which Hiroshi began his career.

Jeremy Estes
Books

The Graphic Report: Summer Edition

And so, on to looking at what's worth reading, graphic novel-speaking, before fall comes calling.

Comics

Gakuen Alice Volume 1

As good an introduction to the darkly loony world of manga as you'll find.

Katie Haegele
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