[AniFemTalk] Manga in 2017

Last week we talked about our first impressions of anime in 2017 so far, but what about manga?

  • Which ongoing manga will you continue to read in 2017? (Through legal means only, please)
  • Which new manga licences are you excited about?
  • Which (legal) online manga readers do you recommend, in English, Japanese or other languages?
  • Which manga do you wish more feminist fans would read in 2017?
  • Which manga author do you hope more feminist fans discover in 2017?

Self-promotion on these posts is permitted and even encouraged, especially if you are analyzing anime, manga, Japanese pop culture or fandom from a marginalized perspective! Please only include one link per post, but you can put up a different link every Monday if you like. If you’ve already done a blog post on your thoughts on manga for 2017, by all means include it below!

 

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  • Brainchild129

    *cracks knuckles* WELL. I shall have much to add to this topic!
    As I mentioned previously during the end-of-2016 articles, I was genuinely surprised by how good Everyone’s Getting Married is. What seems like another Harlequin-lite premise manages to be surprisingly modern and nuanced about a conflict between a successful businesswoman who wants get married and the newscaster who loves her, supports her, but wants nothing to do with commitment. It has a very modern understanding about how hard it can be for a woman to defend her choices about her work and her life when they run against the grain of her peers. It also doesn’t let her boyfriend off the slack narratively. He’s not just written off as a feckless playboy, but instead the story investigates why he would be so commitment-phobic and how this fear causes him to avoid the matter passive-aggressively through overwork.
    I also have to reiterate how people should be reading other great debut works from 2016 such as Please Tell Me! Galko-chan (for its frank yet sympathetic take on teen girlhood) and Complex Age (for its nuanced take on the troubles of going older in the youth-centric world of cosplay as well as struggling to find a balance between adult needs and youthful pleasures).
    As for what I’m looking forward too….hmm. I don’t know if there are a lot of currently announced shoujo and josei I’m looking forward to. Most of it is stuff that’s long ongoing, such as The Ancient Magus’ Bride or A Bride’s Story. The biggest one I was looking forward to is already out: Suil a Ruin: The Girl From the Other Side. It’s basically like Magus’ Bride if you took out the romance, added a lot more mystery, and drew it all like a storybook. Naturally, I love it.
    I am really excited for the boom in yuri manga for this year. Yuri’s never gotten much of a fair shake here. Until this year, the only mainstream publisher who would touch it is Seven Seas, and even then it was only occasionally. It took the success of Milk Morinaga’s Girl Friends to make publishers really take notice. Thanks to that, not only does Seven Seas have at least half a dozen new yuri titles lined up for this spring, but Yen Press and even risk-adverse Viz are putting out yuri titles this year. I really hope these licenses do well for all of them. I know I’m looking forward to Seven Seas putting out more Milk Morinaga titles next month, I have friends who are deeply looking forward to the dark and twisted Murcielago, and I’m really looking forward to Viz’s release of Takako Shimura’s Sweet Blue Flowers. As someone who really enjoyed Wandering Son, I’m looking forward to reading more of her work, and I’m also glad to see that a very well-reputed work has been saved from Digital Manga’s neglectful clutches.
    Finally, I hope this year is the year that Udon gets the lead out and finally gets around to putting out The Rose of Versailles. You can’t keep sitting on that treasure forever!

    • Peter

      If the do put out Rose I need to keep an eye out for it. That’s one of Evan Minto’s favorites.

      Just picked up the first volume of Ancient Magus Bride. There’s a lot out there so I’m hoping it really connects with me since it will mean I’m not lacking for things to read for a while.

  • I read manga almost exclusively on Crunchyroll, so that accounts for the titles I mention. For 2017 I’m looking forward to the conclusions of Scum’s Wish and Princess Jellyfish, and am continuing to read Sweetness and Lightning, Space Brothers, and Investor Z. I’m also planning to buy the entire set of Sweet Blue Flowers when it gets released; I enjoyed the anime and regretted that it only covered the first part of the story.

    In terms of recommendations for feminist fans, I’ll go with a non-obvious choice and suggest that people check out Space Brothers. The series does focus primarily on the eponymous brothers, Mutta and Hibito, but there are many female characters among the secondary cast, including several astronauts, who are all treated as respected professionals as far as I can recall. I also don’t recall any fan service, and little else that people might consider problematic. (The main thing I can think of is a sequence involving the teen-aged daughter of a cosmonaut and the 30-something Hibito; that walked close to the creepiness line but didn’t quite cross it. Also, some episodes of the anime had a tacked-on cartoon that featured animal versions of the astronauts — guess the race of the astronaut who got portrayed as a gorilla. But that was anime-only and is not in the manga.)

    For people interested in the space program and STEM in general Space Brothers is an easy recommendation; it has a good mix of drama, comedy, and tech realism (except for not featuring the Chinese space program or any Chinese astronauts–heh). Other people may be interested in a story about adults doing adult things and doing so with a maximum of competence and a minimum of melodrama. And at 288 episodes so far it’s a perfect candidate for binge-reading on Crunchyroll if you find yourself liking it.

    • Peter

      Seconded. Space Brothers was such an amazing read for me. I got into it after a long hiatus from manga and it had all the elements that drew me to the medium in the first place. It tells such a fantastic, character-focused story while also organically providing you with so much information about astronaut training, engineering problems in space, and scientific research performed on the moon and in zero gravity. I caught up to the manga in like two days but it’s been a while so I might find my place and dive back in.

  • John Clark

    Scum’s Wish is ending in March, and that was the first Manga I ever started following, so I’m looking forward to seeing that wrap up neatly. I thin I’ll probably start on Princess Jellyfish, since I’ve heard its supposed to be amazing.

  • Tim M

    Crunchyroll is my only source of brand new manga. I really enjoy Attack on Titan. The anime was fine and forgettable, but I think the manga has a wonderful sense of scope that combines the world-building with many well-rounded characters. It is the action manga I can recommend to just about anyone.

    Aijin Demi-Human is another one that I read each month. It is a more standard all-the-interesting-characters-are-male violent story, just without the fanservice. The premise is interesting enough to me to keep me around.

    Edit, I forgot one more:
    Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko! is another one I’m excited to keep up with. Not sure who runs the english site or if it is licensed. It would be a perfect addition to Crunchyroll!

    Any recommendations for more feminist action manga?

  • NightWingDing

    Definitley gonna have to recomend the promised neverland, currently running in WSJ. It’s got a lot of good female characters and an amazing plot. Other than that Astra Lost in Space is currently free on the Viz site. While the female characters in that have all been fairly passive, it had some interesting revelations about one of the characters in a recent chapter.

    On crunchyroll, I’ve started reading Princess Jellyfish which is saying a lot about how women are pecieved in society. The plan is to read that, a silent voice and orange all at some point this year.

    • John Clark

      Its running in the Wall Street Journal?

      • NightWingDing

        Weekly Shonen Jump
        I should have known someone would get the two muddled up

  • Tommy L

    I’m going to echo a few of the comments here by recommending The Ancient Magus’ Bride. The story is beautifully drawn and written, and it has been my go-to recommendation for people who don’t usually read manga, or any reader in general – if someone ask me to recommend only one manga title, it’d be The Ancient Magus’ Bride, and I am looking forward to future volumes of the series. Oh, and like Brainchild129, this year I am also looking forward to getting a copy of Suil a Ruin: The Girl From the Other Side.

    A new manga lincense I’m really excited about is Dungeon Meshi (which unfortunately has been awkwardly titled “Delicious in Dungeon” for the English release) which got picked up by Yen Press. For those who don’t know about the series, the basic premise is like a pretty standard D&D campaign – “a group of adventurers go into a dungeon on a quest and fight monsters”, the twist is that they end up cooking and eating the many different D&D monsters they encounter along the way. So it’s like a standard fantasy adventure manga – but hybridised with a food manga. It seems to be the right mix of fantasy/speculative animal biology, food/cooking, humour, and adventure that just ticked so many boxes for me – so I’m really looking forward to that one when it comes out in May(?).

    The other new manga volumes I’ll be reading this year are mostly ongoing series – the new volume of Nurse Hitomi’s Monster Infirmary – which I would consider as Interview with Monster Girls’ louder, bolder, and somewhat more crude cousin. If we’re going to talk about problematic faves, well this is one of mine. Beneath its fan service-y and trope-y exterior, that series tells some surprisingly heart-felt stories about growing up, self-identity, empathy, friendship, and grief. Additionally, the mangaka manipulates the format of the panels, gutters, and onomatopoeia to contribute to the story-telling in ways which I have rarely seen in any other titles. It’s not really a series I’d readily recommend to anyone, and it is certainly not for everyone, but it has become a personal favourite.

    I’m also looking forward to more volumes of Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun – it is still consistently funny with very likeable characters, and the way it subverts shoujo manga and gender role tropes are very fun. I think Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun would actually be my recommendation for feminist fans because the male and female characters consistently defy gender expectations. I was one of the fans who go into the series from its anime adaptation (which was done quite well and is one of the few anime comedy that made me actually laugh) and decided to continue with the story through the manga.

  • Laura Fox

    I’ll be keeping up on the English releases of Yona of the Dawn.

  • Black Emolga

    Due to reading some interesting Josei titles. I became interested in reading moreJosei manga but I was having a hard time finding any websites with a large collection of titles. Until I accidentally stumbled upon this site which has a fairly large collection of titles http://www.ebookrenta.com/.