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15th January 2013

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Yay, Darkness! A Rise in ‘Dark’ Shonen Manga?

Sawa Nakamura, one of the main heroines in Shuzo Oshimi's dark shonen manga, "The Flowers of Evil".

Ever grow tired of the fact that a majority of shonen titles are always about friendship, hard work, and victory? What if the world of “dark” shonen titles takes over the spotlight? In a 2012 manga retrospect at Otaku Champloo, Khursten Santos wonders what direction shonen manga seems to be heading towards to when she talks about the amazingly-written, coming-of-age shonen title, “The Flowers of Evil”. Is it changing for the darker perhaps?

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Tagged: attack on titanbessatsu shonen magazinethe flowers of evildark shonen mangadarknessmangapsychologypsychology of darknessshonen mangathe dark sidewhy we love dark fictionyoung adult literaturehajime isayamashuzo oshimi

4th December 2012

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Calling All Readers - What Makes a Conscious “Manga Diet”?

A wide variety of manga protagonists from Shonen Jump.

With all the manga titles available out in Japan and the world, one wonders how much manga do we consume that’s not really “outstanding”. While titles like Naruto, BLEACH, and One Piece rule the world, readers can get bored with them from time to time. It’s either that or all they know are the mainstream manga titles. Over-consumption of certain manga titles/genres can be pretty dangerous to a reader’s mind as it can create strong biases. 

A book called "The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption" discussed an “information obesity” epidemic that’s happening with people in America. There’s too much information out there and people let themselves consume a lot without ill regard. Not many people are able to filter out the distractions the age of the Internet provides.

So, I want to ask you readers what makes a good “manga diet” in your minds. Send me some of your lists/suggestions/ideas and I will post them up here for everyone to see! What manga titles should make the “fruits and vegetables” portion that people need to consume more of? What titles should be our “sugary” guilty pleasures? How much of the “meaty” shonen battle manga can one be allowed to read? Are there “whole grain” titles that naturally get you pumping?

Feel free to send your suggestions to tonyyao82 (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject title, "MANGA DIET". You can also comment below!

Looking forward to see a variety of diet plans filled with thoughtful stories, great characterization, and riveting protagonist/antagonist conflicts! 


Tagged: manga dietInformation Dietmangamanga genresJapanese pop cultureshonen mangaseinen mangajosei mangashoujo mangapsychology of dietingmanga consumptionconscious dietingconscious manga diet

27th November 2012

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Onepunch-Man - Why Being the Best is Boring

Onepunch-Man Volumes 1 and 2 by ONE and Yusuke Murata.

Have you ever read shonen battle manga and wonder why do battles drag on and on for ages? Have you thought about why there is so much talking during battles as well? More importantly, why are shonen heroes so intent on training hard? There’s one manga series that asks these same questions while providing a solution in the most average way possible.

Look out, world, because here comes Onepunch-Man. This extremely wacky webcomic series by ONE and Yusuke Murata (of Eyeshield 21 fame) takes a look at the absurdity of shonen battle manga. It gives us an unappealing superhero who kills everything with one punch and has no desire to help people. Onepunch-Man also greatly questions how motivated can a person be after they achieve their goals.

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Tagged: JUMP ComicsONETonari no Young JumpYoung Jump Web ComicsYusuke Muratabeing the best is boringmangamanga charactermanga psychologypsychologypsychology of motivationseinen mangaseinen manga psychologyshonen mangaone punch man

22nd November 2012

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Manga Therapy’s “Manga I’m Thankful For” Notes

Cover to ZETMAN Volume 18, by Masakazu Katsura

Yes, this is the only title. Look how pretty Masakazu Katsura’s art is! 

On all seriousness, Matt Blind of Rocket Bomber recently asked manga bloggers to give thanks to the manga industry for all their hard work. He also asked folks to highlight what manga titles we’re thankful for on Thanksgiving 2012. I decided to join in on this feast since hey, creators and publishers really do look out for their fans. With a bit of Jimmy Fallon quirkiness, here are some notable manga series (both licensed and a few unlicensed titles) that make me go, "Arigato, Soushite, ARIGATO!"

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Tagged: MMFManga Movable FeastMasakazu KatsuraMatt BlindRocket BomberThankful Manga FeastThanksgiving 2012 MMFZETMANmangamanga I'm thankful formanga industrymanga title listseinen mangashonen mangashoujo mangaJimmy Fallon Thank You Notes

31st July 2012

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The Divine Gift of Takamagahara

Takamahagara debuts on the 32nd issue of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump!

For those who have been following Shonen Jump, a new action manga by Juzo Kawai has hit the magazine (both in Japan and America) and it’s called Takamagahara. The story chronicles a young man named Yamato Yamada who suddenly awakens to superpowers that were hidden inside him. Apparently, every individual is born with a “divine gift”, but only a few people can truly unleash it. Yamato has dreams of being a mangaka despite being criticized harshly for his terrible artwork by his peers. Therefore….. 

Yamato Yamada shows off his "divine gift" to a corrupt student.

The concept of the “divine gift” is really interesting as it presents moral dilemmas on how people use their powers. The 2nd chapter showcases a high school student who uses his divine gift to hurt others. I can see why Shueisha is insistent on promoting this manga in the U.S. There are a majority of young people out there that don’t know how to utilize whatever hidden talents they have in a positive manner and/or try to avoid responsibility for some of their actions. 

I’m interested to see where Takamagahara goes from here and this could be a breakout hit because of the many possibilities involving the “divine gifts”. 

Does anyone think Takamagahara is the “divine gift” Shonen Jump is looking for after the end of Naruto and BLEACH? 


Tagged: Juzo KawaiShueisha PublishingTakamagaharaVIZ Mediamangamanga charactermanga psychologypsychologyshonen mangateen psychologyShonen Jump

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