So I’ve been reading Adachi Mitsuru’s Touch in the past couple of weeks. My opinions on it are more or less public record. The original reason I got started on it was to do a serious rundown of all the baseball series I knew of (since talking about baseball manga without mentioning Touch would be like talking about great basketball players and not mentioning Bill Russell). However, an interesting theme constantly showed up in that manga that I’ve seen in another series, Space Brothers.* Namely, both series focus on a relationship between two talented brothers who take their talents in different directions. And both do a fascinating job of exploring what caused those brothers to walk their separate paths.
I’m a tremendous fan of battle series that play with creative power systems. So I was ecstatic when, some 5 years ago now, a new fantasy adventure manga about a couple who needed to hold hands constantly or perish called Double Arts arrived on the scene. I was equally devastated when, half a year later, Weekly Shonen Jump’s ruthless management killed the series dead immediately after some of the best introductory chapters of manga I’d ever read. I was younger then and didn’t realize that there were thousands of amazing manga I’d never even be able to read in my lifetime, so I was all kinds of devastated.
This whole affair was my introduction to one Komi Naoshi, a multiclass genius of a manga author who handily survived Double Arts’ cancellation and is currently set to break the anime barrier with an adaptation of two-years-young Weekly Shonen Jump (hereafter WSJ) manga Nisekoi. He’s also one of the few personalities in manga or anime who gets exponentially cooler the more I read about him. If you don’t currently have the afternoon’s worth of time to check out his entire mangaography (something I wholly endorse), then you might as well read this column.
This post represents the third of three entries our blog is submitting this week to the Manga Olympics for Bloggers. Voting begins on June 16th, so just enjoy the article for now. Or check out our illustrious competition.
Manga in Japan can be hard to break into, and most manga take time to become big sellers. That is why it is always amazing when the first volumes of series do so well so quickly. In the past year, there have been many big starts with the biggest being:
Assassination Classroom – Over one million copies of the first volume in print in less than one year
Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui, the creator of Majin Tantei Nōgami Neuro, is the story of what happens when aliens invade – or, in this case, THE alien. Koro is an alien that can move at speeds of mach 20, is incredibly powerful, and destroys most of the moon during first contact. He says that he will destroy the earth in one year, but during that year he wants to teach a middle school class, so the kids of Kunugigaoka Middle School’s class 3-E become his pupils, and Koro-sensei teaches them the 4 Rs- Reading, Writing, ‘Rithmetic, and ‘Radication, for he is also teaching them how to kill him. But how easy is it to kill a genocidal alien when he is also the best teacher you have ever had? Continue reading