SP Baby, Vol. 1

SP Baby Volume 1 by Maki Enjoji

I’m a pretty big fan of Enjoji’s series Happy Marriage so I was excited when it was announced that Shojo Beat would be bringing out another series of hers. While Happy Marriage has an undercurrent of tension (spoiler alert! no one is getting married yet), the first volume of SP Baby is more of a comedic workplace romance.

Tamaki Hasegawa is struggling to find a full-time job. She needs to better support both herself and her little brother who is about to enter college. She has an ordinary life where one of the highlights is her helpless pining for her long-time friend Natsu who works in a flower shop. One day she sees one man chasing another on the street and jumps in to help by attempting a kick to the head of the threatening man. He promptly catches her ankle, leaving her at a loss on what to do next. After it becomes clear that the two men in question know each other, Tamaki apologizes for interrupting a lover’s quarrel and runs away. Her adventures are not over because the next day she’s shoved into a car carrying Kagetora Sugou, the man who she attempted to defend. He gives her a suit with a short skirt and announces that he’s going to interview her for the full-time job of being his bodyguard.

Kagetora is a nice contrast from Ryu in Everyone’s Getting Married. Kagetora is of course rich, but there’s an odd open-hearted innocence in his mannerisms and actions, like when he gives the people he works with nicknames that are usually reserved for cats. He alludes to having met Tamaki in the past, which is something that she has no memory of. Tamaki embarks on her new job, which necessitates dealing with some intense training in martial arts as well as finally getting her driver’s license. While it is obvious that her new boss is romantically interested in her, Tamaki keeps reminding herself of her so far one-sided affection for Natsu.

Enjoji’s art is always solid, and she easily captures the extreme emotions that Tamaki deals with as she ends up on an impromptu date with Kagetora or gives in to her lighting-fast violent reflexes. By the end of SP Baby, I was rooting for this very odd couple and wanting to see more of this story unfold. February is a long time to wait for the next volume! I recommend this title if you enjoy josei comedies with heroines who have a tendency to kick people in the head.

Tempted by Viz Digital Bundles

The bundles Viz has been running recently for digital manga are great deals! In many cases previously I’ve already had the print manga for the featured bundles, so I haven’t taken advantage of them. I forgot to get in on the One Piece bundle that was available before, but there are some great bundles currently available that I’m about to buy.

Cross Manage – I haven’t heard much of Cross Manage before, but $10 for a sports manga seems like a great bargain to me!

Claymore Vols 1-10 – I have a few scattered print volumes of Claymore, and I enjoyed reading the first three volumes of this series. $20 for a solid shonen fantasy manga is a great deal, and I’m probably going to buy this for myself.

10 volumes of Nana is a crazy deal for some great manga! I would totally be buying this if I hadn’t collected all the print volumes as they were coming out.

I also own all of Biomega already, but this is a wonderfully illustrated series that features a talking bear with a machine gun. Lovely art and action sequences. If you have to buy only one manga that features a talking bear with a machine gun, buy this one!

There are some other great sampler bundles for you to check out a variety of first volumes.

Harlequin manga special on emanga.com

I don’t usually run press releases, unless I think the press release is INCREDIBLY AWESOME! I am very excited to see new Harlequin manga coming to emanga.com!


Come celebrate with us!!

It’s a Harlequin Holiday on eManga.com!

Gardena, CA. (December 5, 2013) Digital Manga Publishing Inc., one of the industry’s most unconventional and innovative publishers is proud to announce the latest news with partner SB Creative Corp., distributors of the Harlequin romance manga series of books. Harlequin is one of the world’s leading publishers of books for women and since 2011, eManga.com, Digital Manga’s own online ebookstore, has digitally distributed over a hundred Harlequin manga titles from SB Creative Corp.’s digital library.

Now, for this holiday season, eManga.com brings to all avid fans of manga romance, 30 BRAND NEW Harlequin romance stories. Starting from December 5th, we will be releasing 10 new titles each week on eManga for online streaming at the amazing price of $4.99. Some of the new titles include The Most Coveted Prize, a narrative about an aristocratic young lady who is wooed by a devilishly handsome billionaire, not knowing his ulterior motives of revenged. Along with Raintree: Haunted Vol. 1, the thriller romance about detective Malory, her shady but handsome partner Gideon Raintree, and the homicide they have to investigate. With the holidays are just around the corner, what better way to spread the joy and manga love than by gifting one of our newest titles? They’re sure to be a great stocking stuffer for devoted fans and for new fans alike.

Harlequin K.K. is based in Canada and started off in 1988 by translating hundreds of their romance novels for the Japanese young and hopeless. Later on, their titles were recreated with the magical imagery of manga art. Then through their collaboration with SB Creative Corp., Harlequin started translating their manga titles into English and other languages, so that readers everywhere could enjoy their stories.

Some of their classic titles include Amber by Night, the story of a woman living a double life as librarian by day and seductive waitress by night. As well as The Apartment, the story of a young flute player who is trying to survive on her own without her wealthy inheritance or her overbearing mother. She thinks she’s found her dream apartment until she wakes up the next day to find another renter in her home sweet home! You can find these titles and more from Harlequin on eManga.com.

eManga.com is Digital Manga, Inc.’s own one stop online ebook shop for manga and comics since 2008. They provide a variety of manga and comics to read online and download at the convenience of our customers. Together with our partners and published creators, the platform is an ever growing establishment centered on continuously offering customers with the best electronic manga experience. With a collection of over 2000 eBook titles that is still growing, releases in all genres coming to you every day, and with an updated online eManga Reader equipped with features to make your reading experience that much more enjoyable, eManga is the answer to fill your holiday shopping needs—You can send ebook gifts from eManga to your holiday recipients too! Send a Harlequin title as a gift and be sure to write a review for your favorite Harlequin titles too!

Goodbye JManga

Well, I’ve been wondering why JManga seemed to be spinning its wheels a bit in terms of new releases, and I got my answer today when the notice was posted on the site that the service was going to be terminated. It is really too bad, because they were a unique outlet for niche manga, but as much as I would like to think that there are thousands upon thousands of North American manga fans wanting to read obscure josei manga and manga about train station bento boxes, maybe there are only about fifty or so people willing to pay for it.

Jmanga gave me review points, which I greatly appreciated. I did sign up and pay for the service at the beginning, but at launch time there wasn’t enough content on there to keep me busy. While I greatly enjoyed the few series from Jmanga I was able to read, it was only in more recent months that they started releasing more titles in the genres I enjoy from publishers like Ohzora and Shueisha. Some people have pointed to a lack of support for iPads as one reason why they didn’t subscribe more to JManga, and the titles I read on JManga I read because I was so interested in them that I was willing to read them in my browser, which isn’t really my preferred viewing methods for digital comics.

Jmanga was an ambitious effort, and it is unfortunate that it is shutting down. I imagine this will have a chilling effect on digital manga distribution in the future. I’ll always be delighted that JManga gave me a chance to read the last volume of a josei series that I thought I’d never get to finish, Walkin’ Butterfly. Jmanga had some fun Harlequin and romance manga, and it enabled me to read Est Em’s manga about Centaur Salarymen. Those were some great reading experiences, and I’ll miss Jmanga for what it was and what it had the potential to be. I’m going to be rereading some of my favorite titles before the site goes dark.

Midnight Secretary!!!!!

I am often excited when Viz announces new series, but I am extra excited to see that they are going to be bringing out Midnight Secretary and also Happy Marriage. More mature shojo/josei manga is a category that I wish more US manga publishers would pursue because as much as I do enjoy high school romance, it is very nice to have titles featuring main characters who are not teenagers. I think these acquisitions would appeal to fans of more mature manga like Butterflies, Flowers.

Here’s the scoop from the Viz Press release about these titles:

HAPPY MARRIAGE?! • Rated “M” for Mature •
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN • Available August 6, 2013
In order to help her father, Chiwa Takanashi agrees to an arranged marriage with the company president Hokuto Mamiya – a man she doesn’t know – at the request of Hokuto’s grandfather. Chiwa believes the arrangement isn’t binding, but her new partner seems to think otherwise. Can two strangers living together find their way to a happy marriage?!


MIDNIGHT SECRETARY • Rated “M” for Mature •
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN • Available September 3, 2013
Kaya Satozuka is a brilliant secretary who excels at her job, which is why she doesn’t bat an eye when she’s assigned to be personal secretary to Kyohei Touma, the very difficult managing director of Touma Foods. It doesn’t faze her when her new boss seems determined to make her fail, and she even manages to take it in stride when she discovers the secret behind his prickly behavior…he’s a vampire! But while Kaya easily adapts to late nights and keeping a schedule of his “dinner dates,” will her ultra-competence help when Kyohei’s smoldering gaze starts turning her way?!