Quoi de neuf - 2005

Current news on the French manga scene: upcoming releases, rumors, miscellaneous stuff (a LOT of miscellaneous stuff).

Shin! Sun Nov 6 22:08:09 EST 2005
The end of an, um, era? epoch? couple of years?

Skating off into the sunset...

I guess saying "I told you so" would not be especially appreciated, but Pika's calling it quits on their manga anthology magazine:

27/10/2005 - Arrêt de Shônen Collection ! Nous avons décidé d'un commun accord avec notre partenaire Kodansha de ne pas continuer sa publication. Les raisons de l'arrêt d'un magazine sont toujours les mêmes: des ventes trop faibles qui ne justifient plus le temps, ni l'énergie, sans parler de l'argent dépensé à sa réalisation. Shônen était le dernier magazine de prépublication de manga en France, il aura marqué son époque. Lancé il y a presque trois ans au moment où le marché du manga commençait à devenir grand public, Shônen Collection a été un déclencheur de cette vague de fond. Le but affiché était de faire découvrir la variété et la richesse de la bande dessinée japonaise auprès d'un public et d'une profession qui n'en soupçonnaient pas encore la réalité. Cette époque est révolue, le manga aujourd'hui reconnu de tous, Pika Édition va maintenant travailler sur de nouveaux concepts qui trouveront écho auprès d'un lectorat toujours plus large et plus exigeant. Nous refermons ce petit bout d'histoire sans tristesse ni nostalgie, avec le sentiment d'avoir participé à une belle aventure. Shônen Collection 10-2005 en librairie le 22 novembre 2005.
Wed Aug 24 07:02:52 EDT 2005
Speaking of massive investments...

Act now and we'll throw in the little squirrel for free!

No sooner had I written the last paragraph below, but I noticed the following text on Mangastore.com's website:

Avec la volonté de poursuivre son developpement dans un marché en pleine croissance et dans la perspective de la préparation de son prochain départ à la retraite, Christian Hebert, gérant de la société Teshima, met en vente la marque déposée Mangastore, le site mangastore.com et ses dérivés ainsi que ses activités de distribution auprès des professionnels.
With the desire to pursue his development in a market in full growth and with a view toward preparing for his imminent retirement, Christian Hebert, manager of Teshima, Inc., has put up for sale the trademark Mangastore, the site mangastore.com and all associated items such as its distribution channels to professionals.
I'm not quite sure how long it's been up there (it's embedded in one of those annoying ticker-tape things), but it's definitely a sign of something or other. Mangastore.com still has probably the deepest stock around (though they're missing a couple of the newer publishers), so it's not a bad acquisition target. Assuming, of course, the whole market doesn't collapse in the next few months.
Shin! Sun Aug 7 15:38:35 EDT 2005
Otanjoubi omedetou!
Euh... désolé, mais le gâteau... euh... s'abîme un peu...

It's more than a little belated, but let me note a couple of anniversaries. This site first began a bit over five years ago, right before the dot-com crash of 2000. Unlike boo.com, I never made the mistake of investing any effort in the web page design, nor of trying to make any money, which may explain why my site survived while theirs failed. No, wait, boo.com never really seriously tried to make any money either.

Of greater significance, perhaps, the liste.manga.fr recently celebrated its tenth birthday. The oldest copy I could find (courtesy of Deja-Ne... er, I mean, Google Groups) was No. 3, dating from July, 1995, so presumably it began around May of that year. For anything to survive that long on an Internet which has so cruelly dashed the hopes, dreams, and half-thought-out speculations of so many, is truly a notable achievement, so congratulations are indeed in order.

Looking at that early version of the liste is instructive. It lists 18 different titles, with a total of 74 volumes published to that date (03 Jul 1995). It's a bit hard to get an exact count now, but by my quick reckoning, in my (augmented) liste as of today (07 Aug 2005), there are over 670 titles listed, with well over 3700 volumes published. In both cases, I know a number of works were left out, but it should give you some idea of the level of growth.

And that growth is accelerating if anything; the review from BD Land I cited last year said that 521 (new) volumes of manga (and manwha) were published in French in 2003. Totals obviously are not in yet for 2005, but it appears there will be closer to 1000 new volumes for this year. (Probably a bit short, but close.) Hmm, those dot-com instincts are taking over - time to make some massive investments in the French manga market...

Sun Jul 24 21:20:48 EDT 2005
Punch drunk
Hopefully not just a lot of hot air...

Their web site is a mess, their manga is almost impossible to find, and now it turns out their name had trademark issues. So the former Punch Comics is renaming itself Taifu Comics. Here is their own little comic about the change. A quick trad:
All right now, I've called you together because I have some good news and some bad news.
The bad news is, we can't call ourselves "Punch Comics" anymore.
The good news is, we're going to think up a new name together and...
I think, in order for it to sound the same, we ought to call it "Chump Comics"!
Too close!
Actually, Jeff, Thomas, and me thought up "Bento Comics."
I quit!
Why not Chump?!
"Zeta Comics"
"Momo Comics"
"Power Comics"
"Rage Comics"
"In your ass Comics"!
And Chump?
We need something darker: "Bad Comics." I think that would be a good seller myself...
I don't know...
And Chump, what about that?
I got it! Seeing what a mess we're making, we should call it "Typhoon"!
Typhoon in Japanese, that's...
Hey, can you think of a slogan?
Taifu Comics in your a...!?!

Mon Jul 18 22:57:59 EDT 2005
Girl gangs

They're cheap but they're not easy...

Tie-in marketing on the shoujo front: in an effort to promote Urukyu, Soleil is offering the first volume of it free if you buy one of their other similarly-directed series - Cyber Idol Mink, Da! Da! Da!, or Urukyu itself. That is, if you buy the first volume of either of the first two, or the second volume of Urukyu, you will get the first volume of Urukyu for free (at selected retailers, while supplies last, etc., etc.)

I must shamefacedly admit I already have all three of these series, so the offer doesn't do me any good, but perhaps you've been too shy to take the plunge before now.

Thu Jul 21 07:17:27 EDT 2005 Incidentally, at this point I have completely updated the (Japanese) manga listings, except for a few minor details (coffrets, etc.). I have yet to incorporate the new reviews and so on from the Animint liste, and have also still to get to the (Korean) manwha updates. All these will follow in good course.

Mon Jul 18 08:48:11 EDT 2005
Partial update...

Working like a dog...

What can I say.... My two different sources for update reminders both seem to have died last April, and coincidentally I got so busy I didn't really notice. And so now, just like Muteki, I seem to have gotten a bit overwhelmed. Unlike them, though, I have the option of doing partial releases, so I've gone ahead and made an update incorporating about a third(!) of the new releases since April. I'll get to the rest as I can, hopefully getting fully up-to-date in a week or so. Then there new publishers to list (and dead ones to remove), and a host of new features that I wanted to add....

Oh, and just to clarify the Muteki reference, it appears Haruka may have disciplined them once too often - no new volumes have come out in many months, and their website seems dead.

Sun Feb 6 14:46:52 EST 2005
New forum and guestbook, more stuff coming...

Cute girls, cute boys and cute boy/girls

I've gotten a bit out of the habit of listing upcoming releases, but looking through some notes from last August(!), I see that Génération Comics is supposedly going to be bringing out Toshihiko Kobayashi's Pastel after they're done with his Parallel, which should mean within a couple of months or so. Good news for fans of round-eyed streaky-haired girls and the spiky-haired guys that love them.

Tonkam is also supposed to be coming out with Hisaya Nakajo's cross-dressing tale Hanazakari no Kimitachi e ("For you in full bloom"), which is being done in English by Viz under the title HanaKimi.

Lots of other titles are coming too; I may get a fuller listing up later. However, right now it's hard getting the info, since a number of publisher (and other) websites are down, having been hacked by what appears to be a Portuguese or Brazilian group, Simien's Crew. It looks, from reports I've received, that these guys are using a recently published exploit script for AWStats.pl, a web-based log analysis tool. As it happens, someone tried to hack the web server I run at work with this very same exploit a few days ago. (No, we weren't vulnerable.)

Anyway, let me also take this opportunity to announce the debut of my new manga forum. I'll be using it to preannounce various upcoming site features, as well as add info about particular series that doesn't really fit under the main listings. You're welcome to go there as well to post your own questions/observations/whatever.

Mon Jan 17 21:16:07 EST 2005
Another HUGE set of updates to the manga liste

Not such a piece of cake doing these updates!

Yet again, there is a huge set of changes to the manga liste, this time including around 30 new titles. Part of the reason for the flood this time is that yet more publishers have entered the fray. By my count, there are around 23 current publishers of French manga (out of 30 or so over the last decade), with more than a dozen of them being fairly active (issuing new titles every month or two). It's tough for one person to keep up!

Animint obviously has reached a similar conclusion, as they now have a brace of people doing reviews, commentary, etc. This is a good thing, in general - updates to the liste had gotten a little sparse in the past, something which is hardly the case now. However, it does create a couple of difficulties: First off, I've fallen way behind on translating stuff; I've just done a few big hunks, but there's lots more to do. Secondly, some of the new contributors are - well, let's just say they're not demonstrating the finest command of French grammar or spelling I've ever seen. Bleah, I have trouble enough editing stuff in my native language; fixing up the French makes things doubly tedious...

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Copyright 2005 by Mahousu, but: May be freely redistributed by any means, for any purpose. I don't even care whether or not you acknowledge me. Have fun! [Portions, as marked, may be copyrighted by somebody else, with other restrictions. You should still have fun, though.]