Here you will find a run down of this week's anime and manga news! This week, we've got an analysis of the popularity of big hit "Shingeki no Kyojin," the launch of JManga.com, FMA's Arakawa-sensei's new manga breaking onto the Oricon charts, and a live-action for "Afro Samurai"! Enjoy!
Manga About Man-eating Giants a Hit in Desperate Times Asahi Newspaper analyses the popularity of Isayama Hajime's "Shingeki no Kyojin".
A doom-filled manga series about ruthless giants with a voracious appetite for human flesh has become an unexpected hit in crisis-hit Japan.
The four-volume book series, "Shingeki no Kyojin" (The advancing giants), has already surpassed 4.5 million copies to become a best seller. The horror fiction series, which first appeared in Kodansha Ltd.'s Bessatsu Shonen Magazine in 2009, marks cartoonist Hajime Isayama's debut as a serial cartoon creator.
As the story opens, the world has been overrun by giants who devour every human they can find. A few people have managed to survive huddled inside a fortress built with walls 50 meters tall.
The people in the stronghold manage to keep the goliaths out for a century, but eventually a super-sized giant emerges and breaks through the protective walls, catching the hapless castle dwellers off guard.
It is up to the youth of the walled city to fight for their lives and stop the beast.
Isayama's crude but convincing drawings show an eerie and expressionless beast who gobbles up humans, chewing them to a pulp.
Isayama said he took his inspiration for the hellish creature not from a natural disaster or supernatural experience, but rather from a mundane scene that he witnessed while working part-time at a late-night Internet cafe in Tokyo.
"At times, we had drunk customers with whom there was no way of communicating. I realized how frightening it was to find there was no way to understand what was in the minds of these creatures who are closest to us," he said.
In the manga, Isayama portrays a community that has grown complacent about the security provided by the wall.
The main protagonist is a young man who feels that sense of complacency, but at the same time, has an urge to see the world outside the walls.
Isayama uses the word "stagnant" to describe the atmosphere surrounding his cartoon.
Only after facing such a seemingly unconquerable crisis do the characters realize they must fight to survive.
Asked about the parallels between the cartoon and real life, Isayama appears a little uncomfortable.
"I'm not sure," he says adding, "To a certain extent, from politics to the state of rural economies where shopping arcades are lined by shuttered shopfronts, things are pretty gloomy."original source
'JManga.com' will Launch in August The Digital Comic Association, has announced today that JManga.com will be officially launching on August 17th. Currently the site is being tested in a closed beta.
The new site will be offered to fans as an official source for manga and will be releasing titles such as Naruto, Kekkaishi, Manga Science, Crayon Shinchan and many others. The site will also be providing manga artist interviews and feature articles. Social networking features will also be integrated.
The Digital Comic Association is comprised of 39 Japanese publishers.original source
'Silver Spoon' Sells over 90,000 Copies in Three Days The weekly Oricon book rankings has been released and in its first week, Hiromu Arakawa's newest series, Silver Spoon, has sold 90,257 copies within three days. This ranks the first volume at number four in the charts.
The rankings list took place between July 11 - 17, with volume one of Silver Spoons being released on July 15th.
Arakawa's newest manga launched in Shonen Sunday in April, which is home to many of Rumiko Takahashi's series. Best known for her hit series Hero Tales and FullMetal Alchemist, the new series follows Yugo Machiken, a young man determined to attend an agricultural school. This is Arakawa's first weekly manga series. original source
'Afro Samurai' goes live-action Thanks to Samuel L. Jackson, Afro Samurai goes live-action
Takashi Okazaki's Afro Samurai has been adapted once by Gonzo as a five-episode anime and subsequent TV movie. Now, the hip-hop styled manga is getting another adaptation, this time in live-action. Samuel L. Jackson, the voice of Afro in the anime, has teamed up with Gonzo and The Indomina Group to make a full-length movie out of the property.
Afro Samurai tells the story of the son of the Number 1 headband's owner, Rokutaro. The owner of the Number 2 headband, the gunslinger Justice, is allowed to challenge Rokutaro for the headband and does so, killing him in front of his son, Afro. Afro takes the No. 2 headband and vows revenge; however, while only the No. 2 can challenge the No. 1, anyone can challenge the No. 2 for his position, leading to a constant struggle for Afro in a futuristic, yet feudal Japan.
Jackson and company hope to have a writer and director attached to the product by the end of the year, with the film shooting in the Dominican Republic in 2012. There's no word on whether RZA will be returning to do the soundtrack, but I really hope they contact him; he lent a great feel to the anime's tone. Here's hoping the director keeps things as stylistically violent as the anime.original source
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