(PR) For Immediate Release: HINAKO TAKANAGA Appearing At Yaoi-Con 2010!

HINAKO TAKANAGA Appearing At Yaoi-Con 2010!


Gardena, CA (May 19. 2010)- Digital Manga Publishing is excited to announce their special guest for Yaoi-Con 2010, the prolific and fan-favorite yaoi mangaka-Hinako Takanaga! The creator of numerous manga, including Little Butterfly, The Devil’s Secret, Challengers, Croquis, Love Round!!, Liberty Liberty, and the soon to be released The Tyrant Falls In Love, Hinako Takanaga has been one of the most popular yaoi mangaka in the US, and will be making her second appearance at Yaoi-Con!

So come up to San Francisco in October, and meet the immensely talented Hinako Takanaga in person, and hear her answer questions about her process and her work!

Yaoi-Con takes place over the Halloween weekend, October 29-October 31, and at a brand new location in Burlingame, CA! For more information on Yaoi-Con, including location, hotels, and registration, please visit their site at: www.yaoicon.com

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THE TYRANT FALLS IN LOVE, VOL. 1, Rated M+ (for ages 18+), MSRP: $12.95, Available: August 18, 2010, B6 Size, June’ Imprint


University study Tetsuhiro Morinaga has been in love with his homophobic, violent and tyrannical sempai Souichi Tatsumi for more than four years now. Even though he’s told Tatsumi how he feels and even managed to steal a kiss, expecting anything more seems like nothing more than the stuff of dreams… That is until the long-oppressed Morinaga gets his biggest chance ever. Might his unendingly unrequited love finally be returned?

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About Digital Manga Publishing

Located in Gardena, CA, Digital Manga Publishing is one of the industry’s most unconventional and innovative companies, specializing in building corporate and cultural bridges from Japan to the Western Hemisphere – specifically through the licensing, importation and preparation of anime (Japanese animation), manga (Japanese comic books) and related merchandise for the North American mainstream and subculture markets. In this capacity, DMI serves as a catalyst for the expansion of Japanese pop culture institutions into global arenas. The company’s imprint line includes DMP: its mainstream imprint, DMP PLATINUM: its classic manga imprint, JUNE´: its boys love imprint, 801 MEDIA: its adult boys love imprint, and DokiDoki: its exclusive co-publishing imprint with Shinshokan Publishing.

For more information about Digital Manga Publishing, visit www.digitalmanga.com

[PR] Digital Manga Publishing Nabs the Finder Series by Ayano Yamane!

Digital Manga Publishing & Libre Shuppan proudly announce the licensing of the Finder Series by Ayano Yamane!

Gardena, CA (3/11/10)- Digital Manga Publishing and Libre Shuppan are proud to announce the licensing of the Finder Series by Ayano Yamane! The Finder series has been one of the most heavily requested series from our readers, and has been considered by fans of the yaoi genre to be the quintessential yaoi title. From one of Japan’s top-selling yaoi mangaka, Ayano Yamane, DMP is proud to release the Finder series beginning with volume one in the summer of 2010 under the June’ imprint. For more information, news updates, and to keep on top of all things Finder, visit the Finder website at www.finderseries.com!

From our friends at Libre Shuppan:

We are pleased to announce that Kazuma Kodaka’s KIZUNA-?- and Ayano Yamane’s Finder Series, both of which were previously licensed by Central Park Media, are now acquired by Digital Manga Publishing (DMP).  For these series, all volumes will be newly translated and will be published under DMP’s June imprint.  Finder Series is set to be released in Summer of 2010 and Kizuna is scheduled for September of 2010. 

For further inquiries regarding this matter, feel free to contact us at rights@libre-pub.co.jp or Digital Manga Inc, at contact@emanga.com We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading our books and for your continued support. 

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FINDER VOL. 1: TARGET IN THE VIEWFINDER, Rated M+ (for ages 18+), MSRP: $13.95, Available: SUMMER 2010, SIZE: B6,  June’ Imprint

While out on assignment trying to document the illegal activities of the Japanese underworld, photographer Takaba crosses paths with the dark and mysterious leader Asami. Asami takes Takaba captive, in an attempt to subjugate and possess him. But when the son of the Chinese mafia enters demanding evidence that Takaba may have, will Takaba be able to survive being caught in the crosshairs of a deadly underworld feud?

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ABOUT DIGITAL MANGA PUBLISHING:  Located in Gardena, CA, Digital Manga Publishing is one of the industry’s most unconventional and innovative companies, specializing in building corporate and cultural bridges from Japan to the Western Hemisphere – specifically through the licensing, importation and preparation of anime (Japanese animation), manga (Japanese comic books) and related merchandise for the North American mainstream and subculture markets. In this capacity, DMI serves as a catalyst for the expansion of Japanese pop culture institutions into global arenas. The company’s imprint line includes DMP: its mainstream imprint, DMP PLATINUM: its classic manga imprint, JUNE´: its boys love imprint, 801 MEDIA: its adult boys love imprint, and DokiDoki: its exclusive co-publishing imprint with Shinshokan Publishing.

For more information about Digital Manga Publishing, visit www.digitalmanga.com

ABOUT LIBRE SHUPPAN: Located in Japan, Libre Shuppan is the publisher of Be-Boy, Be-Boy Gold, Junk! Boy and Kurofune Zero. Taking their name from "lib" in Latin for book and liberty, they hope to spread the message to "be free", and "read lots of books". Libre has strived to create unique and one of a kind content for the benefit of all their readers.

For more information about Libre Shuppan, visit: www.libre-pub.co.jp

9th Sleep by Makoto Tateno Manga Review

 

Title: 9th Sleep

Author: Makoto Tateno

Publisher:  June

ISBN: 9781569708347

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

The planet had died once before. On the day of Despaira, a god appeared in the sky and saved the world. His name was King Shishioh. But now with the throne of the king empty, a vicious battle between two brothers is unfolding. Who will ascend the throne?

I have been waiting to read this book for a long time.  I actually have the Japanese release because I liked the cover, but with my poor command of the language, owing it hasn’t done me much good.  When June announced that they had the license, I was excited because I was finally going to be able to read the story.  Then it was delayed, and I started to despair that I would ever get to read it.  All is good, because I finally was able to flip through the pages and actually understand what was going on.

9th Sleep tells the story of two brothers who battle through many incarnations for control of the throne of a sky city.  Luke possesses the King’s Soul, and he lives in blissful ignorance with his mother.  Everyone believes he’s the child of a Maria Possession, and that his mother was virgin when he was born.  Conceived through an immaculate conception, he never questions the origins of his birth.  He’s really too busy taking care of his ill mother, and when a menacing stranger suddenly appears, intent on killing him, he doesn’t have time to do much other than run away from his would be killer.

I enjoyed the twists on religious convention, and thought that the reincarnation angle was fascinating.  What if you were caught in a cycle of birth and death, destined to battle again and again to gain control over a throne that you didn’t even want.  Or even remember?  As Luke weaves his way from one life to the next, tidbits behind the conflict between Luke and Malchus are slowly revealed.  As he progresses through his lives, he keeps questioning the need to battle to the death and wonders how to put an end to the fighting between them.

Makoto Tateno’s elegant art also kept me turning the pages.  Her boys are so pretty that I can’t help but be drawn to her books.  And all of those gorgeous mops of disheveled hair!  Why doesn’t hair look that lustrous in real life?  Why have my locks never had even a fraction of the body and thickness that these guys have in abundance? 

I love the contrast of the cover, too, with Luke holding a blossom in one hand and reaching up to touch the sword that Malchus is holding at his throat.  The burst of red from the flower and the jewel in the weapon grabbed my attention, and I think the hues on the cover make a very striking picture.  It’s what drew me to the book in the first place.

Complete in one volume, 9th Sleep offers an intriguing fantasy featuring an intense rivalry between two brothers.  A diverting read with plenty of pretty illustrations, this book will appeal to both Makoto Tateno and fantasy fans. 

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by June

Our Kingdom: Arabian Nights by Naduki Koujima BL Manga Review

 

Title: Our Kingdom: Arabian Nights

Author: Naduki Koujima

Publisher:  June

ISBN: 9781569701287

May Contain Spoilers

Brokenhearted when the love of his life rejects him, Raoul heads on a trip overseas to soothe his ruffled feathers.  He is promptly kidnapped by Ashif, the 3rd prince of a small Arabian kingdom.  Raoul discovers that Ashif is sweet and naive, and he quickly loses his heart to him. Can Raoul overcome his fear of being hurt and convince Ashif that his love is for real?

Our Kingdom: Arabian Nights pushes the envelope of believability, in a fun and refreshing way.  I haven’t read Our Kingdom, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of this title.  Raoul is the star here, and he ends up in a desert kingdom after fleeing first Akira, the boy he loves, and then his annoying little sisters.  Ashif is interested in him because Raoul once helped his sister, and the prince wants to repay his kindness.  I’m not sure how kidnapping qualifies as a gesture of appreciation, but since Ashif is so beautiful and kindhearted, Raoul quickly forgives him and falls head over heels for him.

This is a fast read, and once you pick it up, it is very, very tough to put down.  Raoul and Ashif make a charismatic couple, and the book is packed with amusing personalities that make you want to learn more about them.  The courtship between the leads is like a sandstorm, sudden, wild, and intense, and with the exotic setting, they even get to partake in some exciting activities, like falcon hunting and horseback riding.  How cool is that?

I liked Raoul, and his lack of confidence from competing with his rival Rei made him more likeable.  Raoul is very competitive, and it irks him to no end that Rei usually comes out with the upper hand.  Now that he’s met Ashif, Raoul is determined to never let him go, and his controlling attitude causes friction between them.

Ashif is gentle and kind, and he really has no clue about anything.  He is very naive, so Raoul has an uphill battle to win.  First, Raoul has to make him understand how he feels about him, and then he has to coax him into accepting his feelings.  I enjoyed the interaction between them, and was quickly convinced that they cared for each other.

Our Kingdom: Arabian Nights plays up the fantasy of being held captive by a rich and handsome desert prince, and add to the visual appeal, the illustrations are rich and detailed.  This is an enjoyable and satisfying read, peopled with a wonderful cast of diverse characters.

Grade: A-

Review copy provided by June

Ciao Ciao Bambino by Momoko Tenzen Manga Review

 

Title:  Ciao Ciao Bambino

Author: Momoko Tenzen

Publisher: June

ISBN: 9781569700778

May Contain Spoilers

When Kaname starts his new part-time job, he doesn’t expect to fall in love.  He is thrown in to confusion when he meets Yuuta, and soon he can’t stop the pounding of his heart or the butterflies in his stomach.  Will he be able to keep his cool, or will Kaname fall head over heels for his student?

Most of the stories in Ciao Ciao Bambino feature student/teacher relationships, which is usually not a favorite of mine.  I really enjoyed these sweet, discreet romances, though, because they focused on romance and not on physical relationships.  It’s rated 16+, so the material is very tame, and I liked it better because of that.  The book celebrates the shyer, giddier side of love, and the relationships are very uplifting.

Yuuta looks like a girl, and when Kaname saves him from a thug, he thinks he just rescued a girl.  Yuuta doesn’t take offense at his mistake, and instead he develops a crush on the awkward Kaname.  This story was fun because it takes place over a period of several years, starting when Yuuta is in middle school, and following their blossoming relationship as Yuuta matures.  I have to admit that I was a little put off by the age difference, but the relationship is presented in such sugary confines that I quickly got over my objections.  In addition, Yuuta grew up to be one hawt number, so there is no possible way that Kaname could have resisted his determined pursuit.

The next chapter explores the growing feelings between Yuuta’s friends, Kei and Mako.  This one is cute because neither boy is really interested in each other, but once someone suggests that they do have a thing for one another, they realize that they want to be more than friends.  Both boys are pretty clueless, and so they were a good match for each other.

The book finishes up with Kana, a high school student who harbors a forbidden crush on his tutor, Nakahara.  The usual angst ensues, including jealousy and self-doubt, and the characters are likeable enough that you get caught up in their confusion and uncertainty.  Nothing is too deep or too over the top on an emotional level; instead you have a solid romance with two attractive guys who don’t quite know how to express their feelings.

I haven’t cared for Momoko Tenzen’s art in the past, but I must be getting used to it because I liked it here.  All of those impossibly pointy chins still give me pause, but the characters are good-looking, the emphasis is on facial expresses, and you never have to guess how anyone is feeling.  It’s all evident, through every bashful blush or shy curve of the lips.

Readers looking for a steamy romp won’t find it here, but Ciao Ciao Bambino piles on the romance instead.  This would be a good introduction for someone just venturing into the BL genre; it’s a solid read with likeable characters and engaging situations.

Grade: B+

Review copy provided by June

Love Code by Sakurako Hanafubuki Manga Review

 

Title:  Love Code

Author:  Sakurako Hanafubuki

Publisher: June

ISBN: 9781569705988

May Contain Spoilers

Koji Mizuhara and Kyo Ayukawa return, and the two busy stars are both riding waves of popularity.  Koji is about to make his Hollywood debut, and Kyo is slated to record a music CD.  They always find time for each other, but when the president of their talent agency decides to interfere with their relationship, suddenly other people are trying to keep them apart.  Then Ayu’s career is threatened and he’s given an ultimatum:  break things off with Koji, or he’ll be replaced on the music CD!

I enjoyed this volume of the Junior Escort series better than the first.  The entire book is devoted to Koji and Ayu, and now that they are an established couple, it is outside forces and how they effect their relationship that make up a large part of the book.  Now it is jealous individuals from Koji’s past that threaten to tear them apart.  Keeping their relationship under wraps is also getting harder, as both of them continue to bolster their careers. 

When the talent agency threatens to replace Ayu for the CD recording, he isn’t one to back away from the confrontation.  When he realizes that Koji’s popularity may be jeopardized if news of their relationship leaks out, he begins to have some doubts about staying with him.  The agency is also doing a spectacular job keeping the two from having any alone time.  When Koji goes overseas to make his Hollywood debut, Ayu has the space to seriously consider the consequences of staying Koji’s lover. 

The action drags in Love Code, and the uneven pacing made it hard to hold my attention.  Koji and Ayu are kept apart for most of the book, and the focus is on each of them pursuing their careers.  Ayu wonders about the viability of their long distance relationship, and when he learns a little about Koji’s past, doubts about the future creep up to worry him.  Mix in a couple of people with grudges against Koji, and you have the potential for some tense dramatic scenes.  Most of the melodrama falls flat, though, and the lack of emotion shown by Ayu and Koji make for a slow read.  I didn’t feel that the author captured enough of the emotional turmoil to make for a compelling read, and I found myself putting the book down several times.  The sometimes confusing jumps in perspective and time didn’t help matters, and left me confused a couple of times.

There is also a short story included about Koji during his high school years, and again, I didn’t feel that the emotional drama was effectively captured as the scenes from his past played out.  Sakurako Hanafubuki presents the material in a very subtle, subdued manner, which isn’t very effective in this setting.  While I don’t believe that the characters needed to be standing on the rooftop shouting out their feelings, any display would have created a more engaging read.

Grade: C+

Review copy provided by June