Manga Review: Kamisama Kiss V 2 by Julietta Suzuki @shojobeat


May Contain Spoilers

When Nanami learns that super-idol Kurama will be attending her old high school, she decides to put her reservations about facing her classmates aside and start attending classes again. Who wouldn’t want a chance to breathe the same air as Kurama? Rumored to be a fallen angel with black wings, Nanami can’t get to class fast enough. Tomoe isn’t convinced that it’s a good idea.

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Manga Review: The Water Dragon’s Bride V 3 by Rei Toma @shojobeat

May Contain Spoilers

Subaru and Asahi are all grown up! Subaru’s village has become prosperous since Asahi became the water priestess, and other villages view their growth with envy. Believing that Asahi is blessed by the water dragon god, she’s kidnapped by another village hoping to improve their fortunes. Will Asahi be more than a pawn in the struggle between the two villages?

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Manga Review: The Water Dragon’s Bride V 2 by Rei Toma @shojobeat


May Contain Spoilers

Asahi is terribly ill after Subaru’s mother burned her in a ritual. The water dragon god heals her, making Subaru realize how insignificant he is, when compared to the powers of the god. He’s fearful that the water dragon will take her from him, and he knows that she will always be the bride of the god.

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[PR] Viz Media to Release Honey Blood!

I’m looking forward to reading this series. It’s the perfect time of year for to start a new supernatural romance!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VIZ MEDIA MIXES SWEET PASSION AND DARK INTRIGUE IN THE NEW MANGA SERIES

HONEY BLOOD

A Beautiful Girl Falls For The Old-World Charm Of A Mysterious Vampire Romance Writer—With His Own Taste For Blood!

New Shojo Series Launches In Print And Digitally!

San Francisco, CA, September 25, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, opens Fall with a fiery mixture of bloodthirsty romance and supernatural intrigue in Miko Mitsuki’s shojo manga series – HONEY BLOOD. Set for release under the Shojo Beat imprint, Volume 1 of the 3-part series launches on October 7th and is rated ‘T’ for Teens. Print volumes each carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.

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[PR] Viz Media Announces the Return of Millennium Snow!

{ED.-I’m off at a horse show, but here’s some VIZ news for your Sunday morning.}

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES THE RETURN OF THE HIT SHOJO MANGA SERIES MILLENNIUM SNOW

Catch The Digital And Print Debut Of A Brand New Volume From Creator Bisco Hatori’s Paranormal Romance Series; New

2-In-1 Omnibus Manga Release For Earlier Volumes Also Debuts

San Francisco, CA, May 20, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, invites manga (graphic novel) fans to mark to the much-awaited digital and print debut on June 3rd of a brand new volume from Bisco Hatori’s hit manga (graphic novel) series – MILLENNIUM SNOW – as well as the release on the same day of a new 2-in-1 omnibus print edition.

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PR- Viz Announces Thrilling New Additions to Shojo Beat Imprint!

VIZ MEDIA’S SHOJO BEAT IMPRINT TO DEBUT THRILLING NEW MANGA SERIES HONEY BLOOD AND KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS

San Francisco, CA, March 3, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, announces exciting news for manga (graphic novel) fans as it expands its shojo catalog with the acquisition of two swoon-worthy new titles that are scheduled for release under the Shojo Beat imprint this Fall and Winter.

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Viz Media Gets in the Christmas Spirit with the Launch of Sweet Rein

{Editor’s Note: The guy is a reindeer.  Say what?!  Okay, I have to read this.}

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VIZ MEDIA GETS IN THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT WITH THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW SHOJO MANGA SERIES SWEET REIN

A Girl Takes On The Role Of Santa Claus With A Cute Boy Who Also Happens To Be An Enchanted Reindeer In A New Magical Romance

San Francisco, CA, November 1, 2013 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga & anime in North America, delivers a nod towards Christmas with the release of SWEET REIN Volume 1 on November 5th. The new manga (graphic novel) fantasy series by creator Sakura Tsukuba arrives from the Shojo Beat imprint in time for the start of holiday season, is rated ‘T’ for Teens, and will carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.

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Interview with Laurianne Uy, Creator of Polterguys

Laurianne Uy is the creator of Polterguys, a new graphic novel series with one shy girl and a bunch of hot ghosts.  Laurianne dropped by the virtual offices to chat about Polterguys, and about her road to getting her project published.  Check out what she has to say!

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Laurianne Uy] Someone who enjoys writing and creating fun, compelling stories Likes visual art analysis and bubble milk tea. Internet junkie. XD

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about Polterguys?

[Laurianne Uy] Sure, it’s the story of Bree — a smart but socially awkward college girl who moves into a house that’s haunted by five cute guys. She’s the only one who can see these ghosts so she has to help them resolve their unfinished business. From someone who’s uncomfortable hanging around boys, Bree suddenly has to live with a bunch of dead ones!

The series is informed by my love of ghost stories, reverse-harem manga and TV shows with awesome girls as lead characters. Some of my favorite movies from the ‘90s were Ghost, Heart & Souls and The Frighteners and I was always drawn to them for the dramatic storylines. But I always wanted to see one with a young girl in the spotlight (Why should guys have all the ghostly fun? XD)

Fruits Basket and Ouran are among my favorite anime/manga because they are incredibly entertaining with just the right amount of bittersweet-ness to them. Both series don’t have the “save-the-world” kind of arcs but their conflicts always felt so personal and intimate. The characters’ struggles were much more relatable that way and for Polterguys, I wanted familiar kinds of problems, too.

And finally, I can’t say enough how empowering shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars are for me as a viewer. Watching these tough girls take on bad guys, saving their friends and just kick ass inspires me to do the same (er…narratively, of course.) I like the idea that stories could inspire young women to be their own heroes in their daily lives. My favorite writers do that for me and this is me trying to pay it forward.

[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Laurianne Uy] Out of nowhere, I was having breakfast one morning and an idea just came to me- "Ghost harem." Somehow, my mind connected ghosts from shonen manga like Bleach and Yu Yu Hakusho to the reverse-harem shojo trope in Fruits Basket and Ouran. I usually didn’t have strong conceptual ideas like this so I knew this was special. But I did struggle to flesh out the world. My first drafts were pretty depressing and the main character was not very relatable or sympathetic. 

Then, I moved the setting from high school to the university and suddenly, the drafts were getting stronger. It was about this girl and figuring out who she was on her own. Full disclosure, I was pulling from my experiences studying at Berkeley for college after growing up in the Philippines most of my life. I felt like a blank slate coming here and that was fueling my writing much more so than if I had a younger protagonist.

Bree is the survivor out of all the protagonists we tried placing in this unique situation and I’m relieved people have liked her (so far, haha!) As for the ghosts, I retrieved all my mental files on reverse-harem stories I’ve enjoyed and devoured in the past. The boys had to somehow clue you into that reverse-harem trope but also function as believable characters in this world. So I had a football jock as the gentle giant, the kid who’s smarter than a whip and goes to a private school, identical twins with different tastes in fashion, and a cute kid in pajamas. 

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Bree?

[Laurianne Uy] Driven. Nerdy. Lonely.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Bree would never have in her bedroom?

[Laurianne Uy] Frilly skirts, sports gear and green lipstick.  

[Manga Maniac Café] Why did you decide to use Kickstarter to fund this project?

[Laurianne Uy] I’ve seen Womanthology do pretty well on Kickstarter and have heard of other webcomic artists get their projects funded the same way. But to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure I could successfully raise enough money for the project. It wasn’t a question of whether the project itself was good because we had all the confidence in it. Nathan and I talked it over and we decided we didn’t have much to lose by trying. Kickstarter does streamline the rewards and pre-ordering process and there seems to be a great community of backers already comfortable with being a patron of the arts.   

[Manga Maniac Café] What’s the first word that came to your mind when you reached your campaign goal?

[Laurianne Uy] "MA~~!" (In my head, that sounded exactly like Fran Drescher.) I think my mom and my sister backed us that night when we were this close to getting funded. Haha, it would have been cool if strangers did it for us but they must have wanted the honor (and gotten a bit impatient).

[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Laurianne Uy] Oh, that’s a good one. Let’s see. The Disney golden years (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin), Friday night cartoons (Spider-Man, X-men and Batman the Animated Series) because I was banned from watching TV on weekdays , CLAMP manga, Joss Whedon’s writing. It’s kind of all over the place, isn’t it? 

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Laurianne Uy] A comfy booth (because Nathan and I usually solve story problems in coffee shops so we’re not tempted to get up and check e-mail), paper for recording those sessions, and of course, Microsoft Word.

[Manga Maniac Café] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Laurianne Uy]  The Fault in our Stars. It’s not a comic but the writing and the characters are just so brutally honest. It destroyed me but I loved it so much for doing that. I have this weakness for stories about mortality and dying. It doesn’t matter if it’s a movie, TV show or comic, I will cry my eyes out if I care about a character, they know they don’t have much time left and they’re struggling with that burden. Nathan makes fun of me for it because I’m so predictable now. He eyes me from the side and prepares the tissue box. 

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Laurianne Uy] I can’t remember if I picked this up myself or if it was given to me but the first book I remember owning was Nancy Drew: The Quest of the Missing Map. I must’ve not cared about continuity (Vol. 19? It’s okay!) or the garishly pink cover because there was a map involved! Buried treasure! I loved mysteries and Nancy was a pretty awesome gal. Looking back, she was my proto-Buffy. I was a super shy kid and felt pretty helpless all the time. She could do all these things I couldn’t. My parents forked over a lot of money to the Carolyn Keene estate. 

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Laurianne Uy] I draw! I guess I should hand in my artist card if I don’t say that first. Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to draw more complex illustrations and using more copics. It’s hard to experiment with more expensive tools but I do want to get better at them. I also watch a lot of TV drama and try to soak in good writing through osmosis. When I read for fun it’s either the latest Terry Pratchett novel, a graphic novel I picked up from the library or a non-fiction bestseller. 

[Manga Maniac Café] How can readers connect with you?

[Laurianne Uy] I blog every week on my website at Laurbits.com. If you’re not into RSS or bookmarking the site, I also have a monthly newsletter you can sign up for so my updates and posts arrive in your inbox. I’m all over your social networks as Laurbits on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Deviantart so you can always hang out and catch up with me on there. 

Thank you so much for having me, Julie. 🙂

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

Purchase links coming soon!