Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while – fell out of the routine I created for myself. Hopefully I’ll get back into the swing of things from now on.
To start things off, here are 5 manga series I would like to see translated into English and distributed in the UK.
Manga distribution has come on leaps and bounds in the UK in the last few years.
My hometown is a little run down place in the UK countryside and when I went back there last time I popped into my local WHSmiths and was shocked to see they were selling manga! I was surprised that a little local Smiths was selling manga and was reasonably well stocked (OK, it was all the big stuff like Death Note, Bleach and Naruto, but still…!!)
In Issue 135 Neo Magazine quoted figures from Neilsan BookScan, saying that manga sales “have increased overall in volume by 18% and value by 43% between 2010 and 2014”, which is impressive considering sales of print books have actually declined. It is thought such success is due to big titles such as Attack on Titan, which have made people more aware of the diversity of the anime and manga industry (and it’s not just filled with fanservice/hentai stuff).
Even so, there is a certain slowness in translating and distributing manga into the UK market, which is frustrating. I know that manga distributors such as Viz Media, Shojo Beats and Kodansha have to invest money and take a risk when they distribute a new manga series, so they tend to only do the big names they know will be popular. Yes, I know you can read a lot of manga online, but that is heavily dependent on volunteer work – someone has to get hold of the physical copies, scan them in and then translate them – so with a lot of series only half the content is available. It’s also not the same reading on a screen as holding a book in your hands. I also feel guilty for getting this content for free and not giving the authors any money for their hard work.
These are the 5 series that I am desperate for see translated and shipped into the UK manga market:
I started reading Hiyokoi after watching the two OVAs Production I.G. made. Unfortunately only the first 46 chapters have been translated and posted online, and the person who was translating it seemed to have given up on it, which is annoying because I was really enjoying it.
Hiyokoi is available on UK Amazon, but it’s only available in German, Japanese and French. My French is OK, but not good enough to read a whole manga. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Shojo Beats picks up on this series soon, since I would love to find out how this adorable romance is going to pan out.
4) Akatsuki no Yona
I became hooked on Akatsuki no Yona after watching the first season of the anime. Since the anime industry is such a mess at the moment (where they are making one season of a popular manga series and then dropping it to animate the next most popular one) it’s doubtful season 2 will arrive any time soon, so I started reading the manga. It’s fortunate because someone is dutifully posting two chapters every fortnight (or so…at least it is getting updated), so hopefully they will continue to the end and finish translating the whole thing.
But, again, it’s not the same experience as reading it in a physical book, and I would love to show my support to the author by buying her work. It’s such an usual shojo series since it’s a fantasy series where the female character is kicking ass. Yona is such an amazing character – I love her character development from ‘weak’ princess to strong woman, and all the dragons are amazing. Such a good cast of characters, and Soo Won is a very interesting character. Even now I’m unsure what to think of him.
Shojo Beats, another one for you please!
3) Akagami no Shirayukihime
Another shojo I would love to see on my bookshelves – Shojo Beats, you’ve got your work cut out!
I’m currently watching the anime and loving it – Shirayuki is the best and her romance with Zen is the cutest. I really like how it’s a typical shojo romance, but is set against a fantasy backdrop.
This one is also being translated and posted online, but since the anime is so popular I hope that someone is going to snap it up for the UK market.
2) Sinbad no Bouken
I have high hopes that Sinbad no Bouken will be available on the UK market since Magi is currently being distributed.
I’ve watched the OVAs that are out and am planning to make my way through the manga, since I’m interested in Sinbad as a character – he’s so complex, since you don’t know what he’s planning. He’s so devious. I’m also interested to see how he’s going to gather the 8 generals and what all their backgrounds are.
This is one for you, Viz Media.
1) Free! Highspeed
Again, my love for Free! knows no bounds. I loved the TV series, I can’t wait for the film, so I was overjoyed when someone started posting the manga/light novel online…only to stop after two chapters…
Yup – that’s exactly how I feel.
Big name light novels such as The Devil is a Part-timer, and Sword Art Online are being published in the UK, so hopefully more and more light novels will start to appear in the UK market. Unfortunately the Free! anime still isn’t available in the UK market…you can only buy the US import which sucks. You can buy all the merch, just not the actually anime.
Walks off muttering how sucky distribution and licensing is.
Anyway, I really want to see the origins of the characters I have grown to know and love…and shameless ship…
Honourable mention: Aoharu x Kikanjuu
I know I was going to do 5 series, but I’ve decided to do 6… I guess Free! didn’t count since it’s a light novel rather than a manga series.
Aoharu x Kikanjuu is a my current anime obsession. It proves my theory that if you can have a female as the lead in a shounen series if they are boyish enough (gives me hope for the shounen series I’m working on with the housemate!). I love Tachibana – she’s so funny and awesome – and I love the survival games she gets involved with. It’s a fresh take on the battle manga sub-genre.
Like Akatsuki no Yona I’m afraid that the animation studio will animate one season worth of the manga and then put it to bed, leaving those of us who want to find out what happens and unable to read the manga hanging. So I’m on my knees begging to the gods of anime and manga that someone snaps this up for the UK market.