Saturday, December 20, 2008

Get your manga online, straight from the source

Hey, check this out: it's the website for the Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump, in English, and it's got manga that you can view online (although you have to download a browser to read it).  The key series seems to be a soccer manga called Meister by Kimiya Kaji, and it's a hoot.  I'm amazed at how effective the storytelling is in these shonen manga; this one has all the stereotypical characters, including an impossibly cheerful kid who motivates his teammates, a pompadoured punk who likes to fight, and an emo kid who is a dead ringer for Death Note's L.  And even though we only see an introductory practice game in this first chapter, it's exciting and fun, with some great visuals (which I would have excerpted here, but the reader won't allow me to capture images.  Bummer).  I might just have to keep checking back and reading chapters each week.

There's also a series called Bakuman, which appears to be about two characters creating a manga series; it's by Death Note creators Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, which makes it worth checking out, even if the only chapter currently available is the twelfth one.

And while I can't seem to get either one to download, I'm quite intrigued by a pair of chapters in which creators illustrate each other's series: Takeshi Obata takes on Yoshio Sawai's BoBoBo-Bo Bo-BoBo (read my review of that series here), and Sawai reciprocates, offering his version of Death Note (and why not read my take on volumes of that series here?).  Sounds awesome; I think I'll scour the internets to try to track those down.

So, yeah, online manga: wave of the future.  Like I didn't have too little free time already.