でびるち / Devil-chi

Online publication

Described as a love comedy in its official summary, Devil-chi is one of the few where it’s actually funny and with actual love elements. It’s similar to Seto no Hanayome, where the male main character is in love with a non human girl, but instead of going for comedy it goes for more serious themes and feelings. Like with most manga with “angels” and “devils” they’re more like aliens than religious related, with their own world and cultural differences. As such, after a few chapters it starts focusing on societal themes like poverty, racism, bullying etc. Unlike the usual where the main character ends up getting a harem of girls, here each character has a lot of focus on them and their feelings, which aren’t necessarily love. With currently 82 chapters out, the manga quickly goes out of the rabucome mold and doesn’t really fit in anywhere. You’ve got some slice of life chapters, some shoujo like love stories and misunderstandings(while never making you angry at the characters) and  shounen like fights. The strong selling point is definitely the characters, which will all make you feel empathy for them with their backstory and problems.

Currently weekly published on Ganma!. There’s no furigana for the kanji but it’s fairly easy to read. I recommend reading on your smartphone as the reader sadly doesn’t have a zoom function. Ganma! leave all the chapters online even when volumes releases, which is great. Instead of making you pay to read older chapters, you can pay to read the newest chapter earlier, which I think is pretty clever. Too bad we’ll never see the site’s sales numbers because I bet this works better than other paywall forms. If I get in a manga company or something one day and they want to start a online reader I’d definitely suggest this system.

明日(あけび)ちゃんのセーラー服/Akebi chan no Seera Fuku

Online prepublication on Tonari no Young Jump

The art is extremely good and very enjoyable if you enjoy clothing. Small details like creases and folds are extremely detailed. There a few amounts of random sexual fanservice, which makes you realize it’s a manga hugely into school uniform fetishism. This can be creepy considering the schoolgirl molestation problems. If you like that, or if you don’t like that but can get past it, it’s a very fun manga about a girl called Akebi who has a uniform different from everyone else in her school and tries to make friends. It’s also written in an uncommon way, not caring about the reader and just unfolding Akebi’s life. During her first day of school, she meets all of her classmates, and that’s when you meet them all as well and expected to remember their names, using the classroom seats distribution sheet. There’s no introduction for each character, though there’s some chapters slightly more focused on a classmate, to make it easier to remember them. There’s no furigana for the kanji, but it’s very easy to read, and there’s a lot of pages without text.
Volume 2 comes out 19 October 2017, so at that date they’ll remove chapters 8-13 or so from the online publication, so you should try reading them before then.
Would buy digitally if I had the money.
Would love translating if I could work at a French manga editing company.

ReLIFE

relife tfw kids these days duno about mds anymore relife ch 46

(I think I heard once MDs got removed from circulation pretty fast so I guess it’s true japanese high schoolers these days don’t even know about them. This sure felt weird reading this though. and funny. I didn’t expect MDs of all things in a manga. This brings back memories.)

Are you reading ReLIFE yet, it’s really great. Basically GTO but Onizuka is a high school student, without the occasional fighting and more shoujo. It starts as an hilarious comedy and then it gets even more hilarious and has pretty interesting insights too. The main character keeps comparing work life and school life in Japan, but never falls into “glorious nippon high school is the best moment of your life” territory either. Stuff like always being compared to others, bullying, female discrimination at work, how Japan pretty much worships work and how you have no value if you can’t find a job etc. It’s really interesting and deals with these subjects without too much drama or too much seriousness. Also it’s written by a woman and you can tell because of how well she displays the characters emotions and stuff. A lot of things like female discrimination are probably things she experienced herself. I just hope she never experienced some when working on ReLIFE and meeting staff from Comico or editors, this would be too sad and ironic.

It’s not super hard to follow too, so if you can’t wait and get addicted you can read it directly in Japanese. It’s published every Fridays. Just finished reading today’s chapter as I’m typing this and really looking forward to next week. It’s super popular in Japan and it’s getting justifiably quite popular on the English speaking side now too. I myself only found out about it two weeks ago or so. They also just announced an anime for 2016. Will probably be a short.

Haru no Houtai Shoujo

haru no houtai shoujo ch 14 cover color

They released some color illustrations of the manga on the publishing site.

When Break Blade switched to online publication on Comic Meteor website around 3 years ago, I checked out most manga they publish and I saw Haru no Houtai Shoujo.  I thought it would be axed back in 2013, because after November 2013 there was no new chapter, until april 2014. Maybe the author was sick or something. Around that same time, Break Blade had no updates for a very long while too, and Break Blade chapters releases have been scarce that way until the end of 2014. It taught me that online published manga can have really weird publications schedules. At least on Comic Meteor. I’m not a specialist.

While I’m on the subject, I especially dislike Comic Meteor’s holder Holp Shuppan. 3 years ago, when they bought up Flex Comix which used to publish Break Blade, they stopped every international publications. Because of that, Break Blade stopped being published in France and everywhere else but Japan, and volume 10 is the last one that was released here, since 2012. The french publisher even already translated volume 11 before that decision was made, and they were unable to publish it anyway. This also means all the great manga on Comic Meteor like Don’t become an Otaku Shinozaki, or the new Crest of the Stars manga remake, won’t be published here either.

Anyway, Haru no Houtai Shoujo was a really good manga. I wish it was longer though. That could have just been the end of an arc and continuing on something else. There’s also how it got published for more than two years, but in the end we only got 1 year and a half worth of chapters, because of the hiatus I wrote about above. I’m pretty butthurt Seo Kouji is rehashing Suzuka for a third time, while good manga like this ends fast. Hopefully the author’s next manga will be just as good too.

Comments on Batoto or Bakaupdates are saying it got axed, but I haven’t seen any actual evidence, and the ending wasn’t rushed, so I don’t think it is the case. If someone knows the truth I’d appreciate it if you’d let me know. Then again I don’t know how you can find evidence of that.

New Game!

new game ch5

One of the reasons I read manga is to see things like that I’d never do IRL. Also, insert racist joke here about how white people can’t be social unless they drink alcohol.
You should read New Game! You should also totally read the author’s other manga that’s about slice of life cute girls in full color 100% imaginary France. Because France never was like this.

Reading manga in Japanese is so much better

artist 松竜 ranma shampoo post

Source

Saying it like this seems stupidly obvious but I think it’s the kind of thing you only realize once you actually experience it. I’m reading JA – Joshi ni Yoru Agriculture in the subway these days and having a blast. It’s also easier to imagine the characters speaking in Japanese with the seiyuu voice you think will fit best. I guess the fact that JA is an excellent manga also comes into play. It has the same artist as Zettai Joousei by the way, which is another manga I loved, one of the few stories with a “become my slave!” tsundere that isn’t extremely annoying. Sadly it got axed pretty fast.

Hyouge Mono & Thermae Romae

sailor moon chibi moon artist TCB

Completely unrelated picture by TCB.

Thermae Romae’s fifth volume will be released on the 22th of January. I read Thermae Romae for a while now and I have to say it’s great, it’s well done both on the historical side and comedy. You can tell the author, Yamazaki Mari did some research. There’s even photos of ruins of ancient bathouses in Greece at the end of chapters. Thermae Romae has been released in France for around 8 months now. It was even advertised in a popular newspaper with the line “Mangas aren’t only violence and big eyes”. Though a poor choice of words, it was still nice to see some love for it.
There’s also a live action film with Abe Hiroshi as the main character, my favorite Japanese actor (and the only one I know the name of) and I hope I get to see it someday. There was also an anime adaptation of it, though I haven’t seen it. it’s a shame that it’s a short episode format thing because a more conventional adaptation would have been great to make it more famous.

I also watch Hyouge Mono, however I do not read the manga. I still haven’t finished watching all of Hyouge Mono even though it’s been a while it aired, as it is subbed very slowly. The dialogue can get very complicated sometimes, unlike in Pretty Rhythm, plus I also lack the required knowledge of Japanese History so I cannot watch it raw. I often think about the two together, Thermae Romae & Hyouge Mono because not only they both have great historical settings, both stories have pretty much the same type of humor: the characters’ reaction to the situations they’re confronted to. Notably their facial expressions which are hilarious. I can understand that old Japanese men drinking tea and Ancient Greece men bathing doesn’t appeal to everyone but it’s a shame that those stories are dismissed because of that.