Welcome to the first non-holiday weekend of 2016! Hope your holidays were restful and filled with delicious food and people. Now, it’s time to kick off the year in style! What news will 2016 bring to the manga world? Who knows? Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it’ll be interesting, exciting, and entertaining!
For now, let Shinbun Saturday get you caught up on manga news you might have missed over the past few weeks.
The bestselling manga of 2015 brings the usual suspects and a couple surprises
It’s fitting that 2016 is the Year of the Monkey because One Piece tops last year’s annual list of bestselling manga once again! I honestly cannot remember a time when One Piece didn’t take first place, but there were a couple years when it seemed like Attack on Titan might usurp the Pirate King’s throne. I don’t know if Japan is growing weary of the post-apocalyptic adventure (an effect of pop culture oversaturation, maybe?), but it’s fallen to the #3 spot by a wide margin. I’m personally excited to see One-Punch Man and both Tokyo Ghoul series in the top 15. Since multiple volumes of both series hit the latest New York Times manga bestseller list, it looks like English-speaking readers are discovering how amazing these stories are, too.
Naruto marches on
Time to face the facts. We’re never going to be free of Naruto. The ninja adventure will never end. It made the top 15 of Oricon’s bestselling manga in 2015 list and the main series ended in 2014! Readers familiar with the ending and its infamous epilogue probably won’t be surprised that we’re getting a spin-off series about the next generation of ninja this spring. While original mangaka Masashi Kishimoto will be supervising the sequel, the actual comic will be written and drawn by someone else. Good. That poor man needs to rest and hopefully get the chance to work on something else. I know I’d like to see how he’d execute a science fiction manga!
A preview of manga offered at Free Comic Book Day
Free Comic Book Day may be months away, but that doesn’t mean we don’t already know what the line-up is. A quick glance at the list tells us that VIZ Media will be offering a One-Punch Man/My Hero Academic sampler–not a surprise considering that One-Punch Man was the anime of the fall 2015 season–while Kodansha is offering a preview of its original Attack on Titan anthology featuring English-language creators.
Two manga series enter their final arcs
A new year means a new beginning, but new beginnings also mean that some things must end. Long-running shounen series Gintama and shoujo fantasy Kamisama Kiss will be entering their final arcs this year. Goodness, Gintama‘s ending? It’s hard to imagine. Now the question is: Will Gintama end first or Bleach? For those who don’t know, Bleach has been in its final arc for approximately three years now. Oh, Shounen Jump. Never change.
Top North American anime cons see a shake-up in 2015
AnimeCons.com recently released their list of the largest North American anime cons for 2015. The names are familiar, but what might be shocking is Otakon’s drop from its usual #2 spot to #5. While there are many theories explaining the decline, there has been a noticeable decrease in attendance over the past couple years. I know Otakon will be changing venues in a few years, so hopefully the shift will fix some of the problems with overcrowding that have plagued the con.
Japan opens first cafe that caters only to female geek fans
Late December saw the opening of Ataraxia Cafe in Osaka. What makes the cafe unique is that it allows admittance only to female geek fans, no guys allowed. You even have to prove your geek cred by taking an online test! The establishment is designed to offer female fans a safe space to read the latest manga or doujinshi, play videogames with their friends, and work on their latest cosplay project. Sounds like a great idea, but I’m a little so-so on the idea of taking a test to determine whether you’re “geeky enough” to enter.
And that’s it for this week! This year, Angel and I will be playing with the format and style of this column, so we’re open to suggestions for what you’d like to see. Feel free to reach out to us on Twitter with ideas and comments!