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My New Manga Addiction of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood

I’ve been getting back into Manga lately and I’ve had one series in particular recommended to me, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki. Right now Viz Media is releasing the series in gorgeous hardcover format. After buying the third volume of the hardcovers I’ve started reading the series, oh my goodness it is awesome. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure tells the story of Jonathan Joestar and his rise to awesomeness. Okay that’s a little too basic but it fits here. Another subtitle would be Dio Brando is a jerk but you know, that would reveal way too much of the story to come. Hirohiko Araki’s writing is pure unfiltered fun to match his exaggerated but amazing art style. Some might be thrown off by how exaggerated it is but this was done in the 80’s and Araki was going for that as that exaggeration matched the nature of action movies of that day. Then add in that exaggerated style and then Araki throws the madness and you will gobble it up and want more. That’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure as it stands in the Phantom Blood saga. I’m hooked, I’m so hooked you all have no idea. Of course if you follow me on twitter you know how hyper excited I’ve been over this right now. If you’ve made it this far in my ramble, onward to the rest of the show.

I’ve started on the second volume of Phantom Blood and it’s amazing where it has come from the first volume of the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure saga. At first it starts off with a mild balance to it and then it grows into something completely different. You get a hint of it in a Stone Mask shown at the beginning of the first volume, that’s letting you know this is unlike anything you will ever see. It’s that electric energy of the Golden and Silver Age of comics into Manga and it is total bliss to read. The color work in the first volume by the way is gorgeous, the Stone Mask showcase has some awesome color in it. It’s so crazy to see how this series evolves in one volume and gets crazier from there. From a quiet beginning into the best kind of insanity, that’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure for me.

If you’ve been in a bookstore or wandered online and seen these hardcovers, get on the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure train. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has three volumes of Phantom Blood out already. You will enjoy yourself and you will have an amazing time in the world of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Own these for yourself and embrace the glory!

The Finale of Tokyopop.

Yesterday was one hell of a big day in a horrible way being that the death of the US operations of Tokyopop is shutting down.

This is where I first read on it:

Then it just went from there.

On a personal note Tokyopop was actually my second big manga reading time. Between Viz and Dark Horse then once Tokyopop introduced the unflopped format being right to left reading experience my mind was blown. It was one fun period of time too. New manga in this unflopped format and it’s stuff I’d not heard much about till that point and it was absolutely exciting. When you went into the bookstores there was this sort of life about it that was absolutely cool. Here it was manga hitting huge and it was spreading everywhere else. Viz started to hit full steam with that and then everyone else started following suit. I swear I’d never had seen anything like it nor ever since. Then it spread into the graphic novels and it just exploded from there.  Walking into the bookstores with my comic interest in full steam with the manga push and I was in heaven.

It’s strange to think about the manga scene without Tokyopop. For there’s new people out there doing it now and Tokyopop is a shell of it’s former self but it’s sad to think about for me. For the manga industry in the states is still in a precarious situation. It’s doing okay but the boom is definitely in the rear view mirror and growing distant. I think in my heart of hearts that it could perk back up again but in what time period I couldn’t tell you. I think also the other hit of this is the fact that Tokyopop just started to have even the slightest potential to get into some sort of track again. I just don’t think it was soon enough. Just keep a thought for all those people that are losing their jobs and hopeful for you all that any manga you might have been following from them find new homes.

Here’s hoping next week brings brighter news and better thoughts for believe me it seems the past two weeks have had one wicked piece of news in it. Keep a thought out eh? Good luck Tokyopop employees and hopefully you all find new gigs soon. Here’s hoping for a brighter week to come.

Manga Adventures: 7 Billion Needles by Nobuaki Tadano

In my reading the thing I’m pickiest about is manga. I think it’s because it’s where I first started in my early stages before I got back fully into comics so when I find a manga I like I’m not hesitant at all to tell people I like it. I just finished reading 7 Billion Needles by Nobuaki Tadano and it’s inspired by book by Hal Clement called Needle. The best way to put this book to you is you have this anti-social school girl named Hikaru who gets this entity of sorts inside her through means I won’t totally spoil for you named Horizon. Now what Horizon is after is a being named Malestrom. Best way to put Malestrom is it likes to kill. Oh man does it like to kill. When it possesses the body of one student and there’s a few images in the book itself that gave me the creeps. When I read some parts I couldn’t help but say, “Holy s-word!” and just keep going.

The character that you follow being Hikaru and her dealings with Horizon are funny to behold. She just things initially it’s just interference with her Mp3 player but heh heh..she wishes. Tadano has this great art style that is one that appeals to me in a book. It’s a very natural style which I absolutely love. What I mean is that the style isn’t the typical manga style so to speak. It’s a very real sort of world to me in the aspect of seeing this brutality that is to come in this title. It can go from fun school aspects and be great in just showing that aspect to this detailed battle and brutality of this. There’s also a reason why the book is called 7 billion needles but I’ll let you all read the book to get the idea of what that means. It’s pretty under the radar too I had remembered reading about it somewhere on the web and I couldn’t tell you how I stumbled upon the first mention but something about it interested me. I was at the bookstore late last night and saw the one copy and grabbed it. It’s published by Vertical Inc. and I love that they released this sort of book. For it being hard sci-fi it’s also fantastically brutal and fascinating in concept all at the same time. I mean yes possessed kids by different entities of course but the thing is the way it’s handled and how it works out is great. The last couple chapters alone are a thrill ride mixed in with great storytelling.

One other thing to mention too with Hikaru is she is extremely anti-social at one point where Horizon wants to figure out where Malestrom is in the school and in turn Horizon has her *gasp* TALK TO PEOPLE! It freaks her all the hell out. There’s hints that there’s more to her anti-social behaviors than meets the eye though. The way they handle it as it goes through and all the people talking around her and she’s just standing alone in the beginning parts of the book sort of show that talking is not an easy thing and connecting is worse. I can understand that sort of thing and as I was reading it reminded myself of situations in my own right. She’s just standing alone generally perfectly content with her mp3 and headphones yet there’s everyone else just chatting along and hanging together. No one is mean to her or anything of that sort she just is preferring to be alone. I like that the book goes in that direction with that rather than have everyone be mean and all that stupidity. I find that hilariously cliche. I just wanted to add that note in there.

To sum this up for you all. Definitely get this book. It is well worth your time. Bonus? It’s only four books long though I get the feeling I’ll probably want more by the time it’s all done.