Wednesday, November 3, 2010

License Request Day: Another look at the Japanese charts

Back in June I went over the Japanese manga charts, noting the bestsellers and whether the unknown titles could be licensed over here or not. It's five months later, so let's do it again.

This is an excellent week to look at Taiyosha's list, as I believe the entire top 10 is not out over here. To break it down:

1) Volume 11 of Arakawa Under the Bridge. This is a Square Enix title that runs in the seinen magazine Young Gangan, home of Bamboo Blade. It also has an anime in Japan (also unlicensed), with a second season coming soon. Sounds like a perfect pickup for Yen, except: it's over 10 volumes, and it's a bizarre comedy about weirdos. Which only sells if they fight each other in shonen comics. :)

2) Volume 46 of Glass Mask. This runs in Hakusensha's Bessatsu Hana to Yume, and I've talked before about its unlicensability, which is mainly due to its length and old-fashioned art style. This does not mean I would not LOVE IT here. It's one of the few series which if Viz licensed it online might tempt me into an iPad.

3) Volume 2 of Amagami - Precious Diary. Okay, if this *were* licensed, it'd have to be Tokyopop. It's a Hakusensha title, but this one from Young Animal, their seinen magazine for young horny guys. It's based on a datesim. And it's from the authoir of the Kimikiss manga, which TP has also licensed. It would do very well with the Kimikiss/Samurai Harem/"Look, boobs!" crowd.

4) Volume 10 of Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu. This is a Shogakukan title, and runs in the Shoujo Comic magazine. As with most titles in that magazine, it amps up the sex appeal. It's about a girl who's good at cutting hair, but otherwise is about as far from Beauty Pop as you can get. If Butterflies, Flowers does well for Viz, this may be a title they could pick up.

5) Volume 10 of Sora no Otoshimono. See my entry for Amagami, only it's 5 times as long and runs in Kadokawa's Shonen Ace. Again, if Tokyopop wants boobs manga, this could work for them.

6) Volume 4 of Kinou Nani Tabeta? Other bloggers have begged for this already, so I'll just note it runs in Kodansha's Weekly Morning magazine, and therefore Kodansha USA or Vertical seem the most likely. As for sellability, it's a Yoshinaga title starring gay men and food. It sells itself.

7) Volume 17 of Giant Killing. Speaking of Kodansha, this also runs in Weekly Morning. It also has an anime. However, it's over 10 volumes, and is a sports manga. Kodansha USA seems the only likely place for it.

8) Volume 24 of Iryuu - Team Medical Dragon. If I was a millionaire, and could toss money at Viz and tell them to license one lost cause, this might be it. It runs in Shogakukan's Big Comic Superior, which I believe is one of the few major manga magazines to have no North American licenses at all. (Spirits, Original, and BC itself all have something.) It's about ferreting out the corruption of the medical profession, and is pure awesome. It's also over 20 volumes of gripping seinen medical drama. Unless Viz gets a good offer, don't expect it soon.

9) The first volume of Kanpachi. This runs in Ichijinsha's Comic REX, a boy's magazine that also hosts its predecessor, Kannagi. The Kannagi author is on hiatus, so this is a superdeformed version to tide us over. Kannagi's been licensed by Bandai, and if it does well, I can't see why this wouldn't come over here as well.

10) Volume 9 of
Suki desu Suzuki-kun!!. Another Shoujo Comic series from Shogakukan, this one seems a bit less titillating than Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu, and might do well for Viz along the lines of their Sand Chronicles and We Were There licenses.

So what do people think? Any other thoughts on these manga? (No posting links to scan sites, I want them licensed, not scanlated.)


  1. If I had to pick only one, I'd be in trouble. I've made my feelings on the Yoshinaga title perfectly clear too often, and it should be obvious that I like both classic and mopey shoujo, so I'll fix my gaze on Iryuu, which sounds fricking amazing.

  2. Iryuu sounds great - it's just as unlicensable as one that's fascinated me lately, MURAKAMI Motoka's Jin. It's about a surgeon in modern Japan who somehow ends up in the Edo period. I'm waiting for the first volume to come in from Belguim (it's licensed in French). It's 18 volumes (ongoing in Super Jump), and set in olden times.

    Iryuu is available in French, too. ^__^ They're up to vol. 13. I know it's such a different market there but I'm jealous.

    Kinou Nani Tabeta? would be an instant buy for me as well.

  3. I'm glad to see Glass Mask get a mention. I keep searching AnimeNewsNetwork every day in the faint hope that it'll get licensed. Sadly, with the demise of CMX (and the company that published Bride of Deimos), there seems to be less and less chance of this ever getting released over here. Not to mention the new scanlation community that was going to continue where the last one left off has gone cold.

    The only way that we could ever get a proper release of the Shojo classic would be if it was released with omnibus collections of multiple volumes. I feel the same way with Grappler Baki, a fighting Manga that's gone on for too long.

    The only widespread knowledge of the series was when the updated Anime was released last year. I don't know about other people, but I prefer the older old-school version better, despite it being cancelled after the Helen Keller storyline.

    I second your opinion of Arakawa under the bridge. I saw a few episodes of the animated version and wasn't that impressed or interested to keep watching. It's a bunch of weird poor people in bizarre costumes and not much else. Maybe it gets better later on, but I wouldn't know.

    Team Medical Dragon seems like an obvious choice for Vertical once they complete their Black Jack run. While reading the first couple volumes, I felt like I was reading a Manga version of House. That should be a good sales pitch right there.

    I have to confess ignorance about the other titles, so I can't give my opinion about any of them, sorry.

  4. I liked the anime version of Giant Killing, Crunchyroll was simulcasting it last summer. I think it's still legally available on the site. But I'm fond of football (soccer) anyway. It was nice watching a sports anime about a game I actually understood.

    After the anime ended I broke down and went looking for scanlations, only the first three volumes have been done. I liked what I read. I'd buy it if I could do so in a language I understood. I doubt that'll happen any time soon.

  5. I would love to see Glass Mask get liscnsed but I probablly have a better chance of seeing my beloved Bitter Virgin get liscnsed before that happans but I dont really think "old school art style" would be a sticking point a bigger problem would be it's lingth and the inconsistent publushing schedule but still one can hope