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Tag: manga

Gaming Anime

The response to the Sports Anime post was so enthusiastic that I am back again to highlight some gaming anime titles! My apologies to fans of the “stuck in a video game world” trope, you will have to wait your turn. These main characters are all into tabletop games! (If you must have a video game anime recommendation, I wrote about Summer Wars last year in my Anime Titles for Book Lovers to watch this Summer post.  

What we have this month is  a series about a haunted strategy board game, a dramatic show about a group of teens who trying to form a competitive memory card team, a slice of life comedy starring a mischievous student who distracts his classmate, and a series focused on trading card game battles.

Gaming is another broad sub-genre. While I attempted to select a range of games and themes, if you feel like I missed a show that this list cannot survive without, feel free to bring it up in the comments!

Hikaru no Go

Hikaru no GoHundreds of years ago Sai Fujiwara flung himself into a river when he was dismissed from his position as the emperor’s Go instructor. Since his death, he has haunted a Go board hoping to someday achieve his dream of playing one “Divine Move.” Hikaru Shindo, the sixth grade boy he is currently haunting, doesn’t seem to mind his spectral hitchhiker. Will the two be able to work together to make Sai Fujiwara’s dream come true?

Hikaru no Go is the least spooky ghost story in the world, mostly because the show is so focused on the gameplay of Go and the interpersonal relationships of the players. While the 23 volume manga series is still available in the United States, the DVDs of the show are out of print. But do not despair!  both the subtitled and dubbed versions of all 75 episodes the show are available to stream (with commercials) on Viz’s website and Hulu. If you run an anime club or a convention you can contact Viz directly on their website using this form to ask for permission to screen the show to your group.

About the Game: Go

A two player strategy board game that you can pick up and play for little to no cost. The goal of Go is to capture the opposing player’s pieces by surrounding them. Learn more at the American Go Association’s website.

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Anime for Book Lovers: More in the Manga

Just like any book-to-movie, or comic book-to-movie, adaptation the manga version of an anime will often have tons material that didn’t make it to the screen. Some anime act like an alternate dimension, missing characters and straying wildly from the original plot, others will start off in the same place as the books, and then end up in a radically different spot. Occasionally, when you are very lucky, a manga series will keep going past the last episode of a series. This means that you get all new story lines and character arcs, and is a beautiful thing if you have become attached to the characters (I am looking at YOU Kimi Ni Todoke). The three titles explored below are extremely popular shows that fall in to the last category. Enjoy!

Ouran High School Host ClubOuran High School Host Club


  • Manga by Bisco Hatori (18 Volumes) Completed
  • Anime (Season One- 26 Episodes) Completed

Ouran Academy is a private school where students from super rich families kill time by participating in a series of fabulous and extravagant club activities. Allegedly they also attend classes, but little of that shows up on screen. Scholarship student Haruhi breaks one club’s expensive vase while looking for a quiet place to study. Now Haruhi must work for the Host Club to pay back the cost of the item… but what exactly do they do?

Costume changes and shenanigans, romantic and otherwise, abound in this classic comedy anime. It only ran for a single season back in 2012, but the twenty six episodes have lived in anime fans’ hearts forevermore.  The differences between the anime vs. the manga start off fairly mild, with extra scenes sprinkled throughout the first few volumes, but the end of the manga run has tons of new material on all your favorite characters. More Tamaki, more Haruhi, and a whole alternate ending! 

Kimi ni Todoke

Kimi ni Todoke – From Me To You 

(Slice of Life/Romance)

  • Manga by Karuho Shiina (25 Volumes) Ongoing
  • Anime (Season One- 25 Episodes, Season Two- 12 Episodes) Completed

Sawako Kuronuma’s big goal is to finally make friends this school year. This will be tough because in addition to being super awkward she looks just like the ghost from “The Ring!” It is hard to make friends when everyone thinks you can curse them. Then the effortlessly popular and handsome Shota Kazehaya starts paying attention to her. Is he interested in something more? Things start to look up on the friend front after her class’s assigned seating is reshuffled. Will she be able to make friends with the blunt Chizuru Yoshida and the sophisticated Ayane Yano? 

The writing for this High School series is delicate and nuanced. The work is full of funny moments, and Sawako’s new friendships are given as much weight and time as the romantic plot lines. She is a delightful protagonist and getting to see her grow and fall in love is a real treat.  There are two seasons of this series and the anime included almost all of the stories from the Manga up through volume 11. The best part? The manga is still being published! (Volume 25 has a US publication date in Sept 2016)

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Teen Perspective: Digitally Remastered – Comic books for gamers!

If something exists, chances are that somebody is already trying to profit from it. Popular book series starring a teenage girl in a dystopian future? Hollywood is already writin’ up the script! Another Disney movie about a princess? Somebody is already planning a musical!

Video game characters like Super Mario and Pac-Man have become just as popular as the likes of Mickey and Bugs Bunny, so when something is THAT popular, you know that they’re going to go beyond just video games, right? We’re not just talking action figures and posters, but full movies! I can see it now: the greatest actors all over the country, being called together to act out some of time’s most beloved video game stories, with fantastic… um……yeah.

The majority of video game movies fail to stay true to their source material. Forget ’em for now.

So, what other kind of media has proven to be faithful to gaming? Comics! The comic format is very nice for expressing a serious tone, while also allowing for a more relaxed and comedy-based narrative. Practically every big video game franchise from Japan has a Manga series adaptation, and many other American games have gotten the panel-by-panel treatment as well.

For today’s article, I’ll be looking at a few comic books, all of which are based on some of my favorite games to play!comic books for gamers

The first is Mega Man, which is  published by Archie Comics, written by Ian Flynn, with art by Patrick Spaziante. This is the most recent of the 3 comic franchises, as it is the only one that debuted during the 21st Century. The story follows Dr. Thomas Light and Dr. Albert Wily, as they start work on service robots called ‘Robot Masters’. Angered by Light’s fame over his own, Wily corrupts the Robot Masters into becoming war machines. Doctor Light converts one of his own housekeeping robots, ‘Rock’, into a fighting robot in order to stop Wily’s reprogrammed Robot Masters.

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Librarians Love: Non-Graphic Novel Readalikes for Manga/Anime

YALSA-bk is a listserv with lively discussions among librarians, educators, and beyond about all things YA lit. Sometimes one listserv member will ask for help finding books around a certain theme or readalikes for a particular title. This post is a compilation of responses for one such request.

by flickr user camknows
by flickr user camknows

The original request
This one has me at a loss — we have a teenage boy who loves manga and anime, but isn’t allowed to read graphic novels (don’t even get me started.) I’m looking for regular book readalikes that might appeal to him. Help?!

When someone else asked what kinds of anime and manga the patron liked, the original poster responded:

I got the information second-hand, so I’m not sure — he wanted to check out our D.Gray-man, Fullmetal Alchemist, etc. but wasn’t allowed.

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The Next Big Thing In Manga

YALSA’s upcoming YA Literature Symposium will explore the future of young adult literature. The symposium begins on November 2nd, but we wanted to get a head start here at The Hub, so we’re devoting October to 31 Days of the Next Big Thing. Each day of the month, we’ll bring you forecasts about where YA literature is headed and thoughts on how you can spot trends and predict the future yourself.

I’m a HUGE fan of manga and graphic novels. I picked up my very first manga about 3 years ago — the first volume of Fruits Basket — and I was instantly hooked. Within weeks of reading Fruits Basket I visited my local book store to purchase armfuls of manga (because there weren’t any available at my local libraries); I subscribed to both Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat magazines; I started watching anime companions to my favorite series; and I began the search for online forums that would keep me “in the know” about all things related to manga (two favorites still remain and And I happily devoured my manga, delighting in every new series I discovered — especially enjoying those moments when I could open someone else’s eyes to the format. Then, things started to change in the publishing world…

Otaku USA Magazine

Even as libraries started to build momentum in adding some “core” manga to their collections (Fruits Basket, Naruto, Death Note, and so on), major publishing firms responsible for English translated versions of many popular series started to close up shop (e.g., Tokyopop) … which meant that I was left hanging on many series I was very much addicted to reading. (The series were ongoing in Japan, but the English translations had ceased to exist.) And following the trend of many printed magazines, Shojo Beat and others stopped doing print runs of their publications. I know I have seen many listserv discussions of people asking where they can find magazines about manga and anime (with pretty much Otaku USA being the only major magazine still available in print form). So where does that leave fans like myself, who want to support the mangaka who create the works I love (and avoid visiting fan-driven and not-quite-legal scanlation sites online)? It may seem grim, but all is not lost.


Osamu Tezuka, God of Manga

Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989) is the focal point of the social, economic, and stylistic origins of anime and manga as we know them today. He produced nearly 150,000 pages of comics spread across 700 books and pioneered Japanese animation through his own studio. I recently gave a lecture about his life and works at the anime convention NashiCon in Columbia, South Carolina, and would like to share some important takeaways from his biography.

He made art all the time.

Tezuka was raised by a cinephile father and a theater-loving mother. He was regularly exposed to films, photography, and stage shows, especially the all-female Takarazuka Theater. He and his younger siblings would draw all the time to amuse each other, with several scribbled characters surviving into Tezuka’s adult works as inside jokes. At school Tezuka was bullied for his shrimpy build and wavy hair, which only drove him further into his art.

Tezuka’s parents supplied him with a fresh sketchpad every day to fill however he pleased. Tezuka would explore his neighborhood and catalog different bugs he found. He drew whenever he was sick in bed. His effort paid off when he was published as a newspaper cartoonist at the age of 17 with his humorous four-panel comic called Diary of Ma-Chan.

He thrived under pressure and rose to challenges.

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More Manga: I Am Here! & Dengeki Daisy

My reading resolution for 2012 is to read more manga. How is that going, you ask? Great. Inspired by a list of Must Have: Manga for Teens from No Flying, No Tights, as well as the near constant stream of recommendations from my anime club, I have been adding more manga series to my library’s collection and reading new titles as they come in. I recently discovered two shojo titles that go together. (By “shojo” I mean manga written primarily for young women). Both involve romance, mystery, and the Internet. If you like one of these, you will probably like both.

I Am Here! by Ema Toyama was recommended to me by of one of my anime club regulars a couple of weeks ago. The initial thing that made me so excited about it: it’s short. Only two volumes! They’re fat omnibus volumes, but this is still helpful in terms of shelf space, speed of finishing them, and, of course, my obsession with endings. Hikago Sumino is a painfully shy middle school student who keeps a blog.  Her only social connections are her blog’s two followers: Black Rabbit, who is sweet and encouraging, and Mega Pig, who is tough and encouraging. These two are a source of strength and inspiration as Sumino tries to become more outgoing with her classmates. In addition to her blog friends, Sumino tends to a sunflower growing near her school. She feels a kinship with the plant; both of them are growing slowly, reaching for the sun.

Conflict begins when Sumino is noticed by a popular boy who says he wants to be close to her. She is determined to become more social before they can date. This means tackling the mean girls who torment her and listening to her heart as she tries to determine if his attention is rooted in pity. She also soon discovers that one of her online friends is right under her nose. Black Rabbit has always been so sweet to her, and he’s been in her class all along. Which boy will she choose?

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Teens Talk about Why They Like Manga

Ever wonder what teens see in those little books?  Well, here’s your answer:

Thanks and credit go to the Bay Area teens who were interviewed and the following members of BAYA (Bay Area Young Adult Librarians) for putting together this great video: Jack Baur of Berkeley Public Library, Jessica Lee of Willard Middle School, Amanda Jacobs-Foust and Carla Avitabile of Marin County Free Library, Chris Selig of San Leandro Library, and Anna Koval of Casa Grande High School in Petaluma!