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Raijin Comics


Angry Postal Worker
28 Nov 2002
First mentioned by Moyashi, I thought it'd be good to mention this weekly anthology again having now read it myself.

Interestingly, it's a joint effort between a Japanese publisher (Coamix) and an American editorial team (Gutsoon). It reads in the Japanese format, from right to left like Viz's Shonen Jump magazine, and features unflipped artwork (Japanese panels and artwork have always been flipped to fit the American comic book format) and, unlike Viz Publishing's Shonen Jump, features all the original hand-drawn Japanese sound effects and an accurate translation.

The manga strips themselves are a good mixture of genres and styles. Only one - Bomber Girl - fits the common and misled Western image of manga, with a big-breasted, mini-skirted girl wobbling about the place and blowing stuff up. The others are rare in American-published manga. There are two sports manga (Slam Dunk and Baki the Grappler), a political manga (The First President of Japan), the prequel to cult favourite Fist of the North Star (called Fist of the Blue Sky), a crime thriller/comedy/romace (City Hunter) and a few others that I haven't got round to reading yet, so can't pass comment on.

In addition, there are small spot features helping to outline the back story to certain stories, like the political structure in Japan and the origins of Karate. All in all, the package is of unusually high quality and is presented in a very newbie friendly manner, with small and unobtrusive numbers in each panel to help new readers get used to the right-to-left flow of the artwork. The one flaw (there's always one, isn't there. . .) is that at US$4.95 per issue for a weekly title, some serious damage will be happening to bank accounts across the US. That said, I still think the title is better value for money than Viz's monthly Shonen Jump, which retails at US$5.95, mostly because it should be readily available through comic book shops worldwide. Viz have put a prohibition on the resale of all their licensed products (DVDs, comics, trade paperbacks and so on) outside of North America. I'm lucky to know someone who is still able to get hold of Viz stuff (I want to give Shonen Jump a go mostly because of the inclusion of the One Piece manga, which has interested me for a while now). Naturally, I'm not at liberty to say HOW he gets hold of the stuff. . .

Manga anthologies are booming in the US, and I hope that Raijin will survive the explosion. Anyone interested can check out the English language website at <http://www.raijincomics.com>. There's also a Japanese-only site at <coamix.com - Domain Name For Sale | DAN.COM>.

If enough people ask, maybe the Berserk manga will finally be published in English. . .

Education rant over. Please return to youre bananas.
Yea... It's pretty good, although I like the Japanese version of Raijin Comics better because helps with my Japanese... But yes, I recommend this magazine...
Hmm... cool. I wasn't familiar with it but i'll definitely have to check it out. Thnx for the head-up guys.
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