Jmanga in Early June

I need to keep better track of what’s going on at Jmanga, because I was interested to see that they’re so far into their releases of many volumes of old Tokyopop titles.


Your and My SecretMy previous review of volume 1

Animal Academyvolume 1 review

Good Witch of the West

Of that group, I probably read more of Animal Academy, which was an amusing take on the whole magic boarding school genre. As to what I’m intested in reading next on the Jmanga platform, there’s still an Est Em title I haven’t sampled yet, Apartments of Calle Feliz. Mo’some Sting also looks potentially interesting. There are some more Harlequin titles available too. It looks like there’s a points back promotion on food manga good through tomorrow, so that’s worth checking out if you are a foodie.

What have you been reading on Jmanga lately? Any recommendations for me?

PR: New Shojo Titles from Viz Strobe Edge and Demon Love Spell

It was fun seeing @shojobeat on twitter this afternoon announcing these titles, and here’s the official press release from Viz.

Here’s the cover of Strobe Edge, which has some appealing looking art.
The cover of Demon Love Spell features a hero in the classic Mayu Shinjo mold. I’ve been happy with the recent titles coming out from Shojo Beat. Dawn of the Arcana and A Devil and Her Love Song have been entertaining and quirky enough to seem fresh. I was excited to see another Shinjo series announced. I enjoyed Sensual Phrase, and while I haven’t been getting into Ai Ore as much, I suspect that I’ll like Demon Love Spell quite a lot, if only because the hero looks like Sakuya. I’m shallow that way!

Read on for all the details.


VIZ Media announces its latest manga (graphic novel) licenses with the acquisition of the domestic publishing rights to two new shojo series – STROBE EDGE, by Io Sakisaka, and DEMON LOVE SPELL, by Mayu Shinjo. Both titles are scheduled to begin publication later this year under the company’s Shojo Beat imprint.

Creator Io Sakisaka’s STROBE EDGE (rated ‘T’ for Teens) asks the timeless question, “What is love?” Ninako Kinoshita’s friends tell her it’s one thing, but Ninako wants to discover this mysterious emotion herself. When she meets Ren Ichinose, a handsome, enigmatic guy worshipped by all the girls at her school, she finds her heartbeat quickening with excitement! Is Ninako about to experience the many facets of love?

Celebrated manga creator Mayu Shinjo (AI ORE!, SENSUAL PHRASE) also returns with her new supernatural romance, DEMON LOVE SPELL (rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens). In the series, Miko is a shrine maiden who has never had much success at seeing or banishing spirits. Then she meets Kagura, a sexy demon who feeds off of women’s feelings of passion and love. Kagura’s insatiable appetite has left many girls brokenhearted at school, so Miko casts a spell to seal his powers. Surprisingly the spell works – sort of – but now Kagura is after her!

“STROBE EDGE has been one of the most requested titles that our readers have asked to be licensed, and the romantic coming-of-age story will be a perfect series for young teen readers in particular,” says Leyla Aker, Vice President, Publishing. “Mayu Shinjo’s new series, DEMON LOVE SPELL, will intrigue older teen readers and young adults with its fun mix of comedic supernatural romance and gorgeous artwork. We look forward to launching both series later this year and will be announcing more information on the forthcoming debuts soon!”

For more information on Shojo Beat manga titles, please visit:

PR: Manly Takao Saito manga from Jmanga

Jmanga is running a promotion for testosterone-filled titles from Takao “Golgo 13” Saito. I reviewed Saito’s title The Larceny Log of Zampei the Cloud-Snatcher in my first post on Jmanga. Read on for the details!

100 Points Back on all Takao Saito Titles!!
Date: April 5th to 11th 2012
1. Purchase any title by Takao Saito and get 100 POINTS BACK per volume!!
2. Sign up for a paid subscription and get up to 4500 POINTS!!
About Takao Saito:
Takao Saito is a Japanese manga artist born in 1936. He debuted with his first manga “Baron Air” in 1955. He is best known for creating the internationally acclaimed series “Golgo 13”.

PR: Josei and Romance manga promotion on

When Jmanga was announced, one of the things I was hoping for from the online manga company was more josei manga, since it does seem to struggle a bit sales-wise in print format. So it is nice to see that Jmanga is featuring josei and romance titles in a promotion. They’ve been adding some harlequin manga I haven’t read yet to their online library, which I plan to review in a little bit. So read on below for full details:

Get 100 points back on all Josei/Romance purchases!
Sign up now and get up to 4500 POINTS!, the first official and legal manga portal website, will be holding a special campaign from March 15th to 21st (PST). Subscribers who purchase any Josei/Romance titles during the promotion will get 100 points back (up to 29% off) per volume!

Now is the perfect chance to check out such romance manga titles as “The Celebrity Doctor’s Proposal” by Sarah Morgan / Masami Hoshino, “The Bride of Montefalco” by Rebecca Winters / Kiriko Higashizato, and yaoi romance such as “Pet on Duty” by Nase Yamato and “Dash!” by Isaku Natsume.

You must be a subscriber in order to purchase manga on JManga, but during this promotion will be offering a special sign-up bonus of up to 4500 points! Don’t miss this chance to get the romance manga you need. continuously strives to offer the widest selection of legal online manga available, from major to niche, shonen to shojo and yuri to yaoi/BL!

100 Points Back on all Josei Romance Manga Purchases!!
Date:March15th through 21st in2012(PST)
1. Purchase any Josei/Romance titles and get 100 POINTS BACK per volume.
2. Sign up for a paid subscription and get up to 4500 POINTS!!

Kicking the Tires at launched today, an online site that promises to deliver digital content from a variety of publishers. When I saw the site I was delighted to see that they were making some more obscure manga available, but as I investigated further I found myself a little disappointed by their payment model and pricing.

The site is organized by genre, making it easy to browse shonen, shoujo, seinen, and josei manga. The titles available range from manga already available in English (I spotted titles from Viz, Dark Horse, and CMX) to material that hasn’t been translated before. One of the things I was hoping for from Jmanga before it launched was that it would be a good source of josei manga titles. Unfortunately the josei selection is tilted heavily towards the boys love end of the spectrum, without featuring the office lady or paranormal romances I was wishing to read. The seinen section of the site seemed to have the most interesting possibilities for me as a reader. I was absolutely delighted to see that Jmanga had a translation of Ekiben Hitoritabi available. I’d heard about this manga featuring people riding trains and eating bento before, but I’d never expected to be able to read it. It was this title more than anything else that prompted me to sign up as a Jmanga user.

The pricing is one of the most problematic aspects of the site. Jmanga requires you to sign up for a $10 subscription, giving you 1000 points to buy manga with. Initial subscribers get a bonus of 500 points, but 1500 points doesn’t go very far on the site. As a monthly subscriber, you can purchase additional points when you’ve used up what you have. Individual chapters are as much as 290 points and single volumes are 899 points. This is problematic and I think not very sustainable pricing for digital comics. Emanga has single volumes for around $5, and so does the Viz iPad app. I tend to go for bargains when buying digital content. I’m perfectly happy to watch my k-dramas on streaming sites with commercials, without paying for a premium subscription. I tend to buy ebooks for the kindle when there’s a special sale. I buy digital comics through Comixology when they have items on sale. I buy manga on the Viz iPad app when it is discounted, but I do pay full digital price when I’m missing a volume. I would much rather have a “pay as you go” system on Being forced into a subscriber model annoys me. I also just do not enjoy reading manga on a web browser all that much, and view the iPad as an ideal method of reading digital comics. I hope an iPad version of Jmanga is going to be developed soon.

I ran through most of my 1500 points in an evening. This is what I read:

Ekiben Hitoritabi

This seinen manga will appeal to anyone who wants to feel like they’re taking a leisurely trip around Japan. Daisuke’s wife sends him on a slow train tour of Japan for an anniversary present. He loves the unique train station bentos he can get at each station that reflect the unique food culture of the area he’s traveling through. Daisuke is a genial guide to this aspect of Japan. He’s a large bearded man with a perpetual smile on his face. He meets a travel companion named Nana. She’s a journalist who is working on an article, and she enjoys eating almost as much as Daisuke does. There’s no real romance here, although Daisuke enjoys spending time exploring bento with Nana. Like many foodie manga, Ekiben Hitoritabi will make you want to eat. Each regional bento is lavishly illustrated, with diagrams pointing out all the different types of food packed into a small rectangular container.

Ekiben Hitoritabi is an exercise in notalgia as a slower, more rural Japan is showcased. Daisuke is riding in sleeper cars and slow trains, making stops along the way to visit hot springs or to buy the best locally made bento. No shinkansens here! Along the way we also get stories Daisuke tells of the unique models of trains he’s riding, local stories about how the railway was constructed, and illustrations of different types of engines. I have to admit, the bento descriptions appealed to me much more than the train history aspects of the manga.
The translation quality for the manga was fine, I didn’t notice any major typos or glitches other than the occasional odd turn of phrase. As with most foodie manga, the art excels in depicting food but Daisuke and Nana had much more fluid facial expressions than I was expecting, with Oishinbo as the main foodie manga I’ve read before. After reading this manga I know that one image will stick in my mind – Daisuke almost in tears hugging a prized bento to his face and Nana laughing at him. Ekiben Hitoritabi is the best type of foodie/travel manga because after reading it I really wanted to duplicate the type of trip Daisuke was on for myself. If you can endure the inevitable craving for bento and longing for Japanese scenery that Ekiben Hitoritabi will inspire, it is well worth the read.

My Sadistic Boyfriend

Switching to one of the few shoujo titles that looked interesting that hasn’t already come out in English, I decided to try out My Sadistic Boyfriend. This is a pretty typical shoujo title with attractive art that I think would appeal to fans of Miki Aihara. Chiaki enrolls in a prestigious school only to be told on the first day that she’s won a lottery and is going to be roommates with the “Prince” of the school, Katsuho. Does he immediatly start putting the moves on Chiaki? Does he have a Jeckyll and Hyde type personality? Is she bewildered yet strangely excited by his unwanted attentions? If you have to ask questions like these, you haven’t read a shoujo manga before! So there is not much new in My Sadistic Boyfriend, but it seems fine for what it is. I just liked the title.

The Larceny Log of Zampei the Cloud Snatcher

If you are a fan of Golgo 13’s Takao Saito, Jmanga is the site for you because it hosts a ton of his titles. The Larceny Log of Zampei the Cloud Snatcher is exactly what you’d expect from a Saito title set in historic Japan about the greatest womanizing thief ever. Zampei meets with a female client who wants him to steal a sword in a hot springs. Being a Saito hero, the details about the job and an incredible amount of exposition are spread over several pages while Zampei abruptly has sex with his client. I was truly amazed at the amount of backstory and details about the sword she wanted Zampei to steal the woman was able to convey considering the variety of positions she was contorted into. Even though Zampei is an awesome thief, he does have a fear of snakes which causes some complications when he goes out on the job. This title had by far the worst translation of the three titles I sampled. There were misspellings and word transpositions (faminine for feminine) that were really obvious.

The flash-based manga reader functioned ok, but sometimes lagged a bit when loading pages. I enjoyed the way I could toggle between English and Japanese in the reader. This seems like a potentially useful tool for Japanese language students.

After trying Jmanga out these are my hopes for the future:

  • More variety available for shoujo and josei titles. I would also like to see authorized translations for some of the many orphan series we have that were left untranslated in the US. I would like to pay to read many of the unfinished series that were previously licensed by CMX.
  • A better, more reasonable pricing scheme and subscription model. I signed up, but I’m not going to continue to subscribe for many months unless my points go further. They need to either lower prices or have some crazy sales for additional points in order to match what other manga companies are currently offering.
  • Development of an iPad app
  • As a first try, there are aspects of Jmanga that are very promising. Being able to get series online from so many different publishers is certainly something to be excited about. I hope that in the next few months they work on some of the issues they had at the launch.