DMC: to collect or not?, work update, and some review links

June 21, 2009 at 7:34 pm (reviews - links, upcoming releases)

I don’t often waffle on whether or not to check out a new manga title, but I’m seriously unsure about whether or not to try Detroit Metal City. Since the review copies that get sent my way are almost exclusively shoujo, this one isn’t likely to fall into my hands if I don’t seek it out. I hear really good things, and I certainly read and work on a fairly wide variety of titles/genres, but I can’t decide if DMC sounds like something I’d enjoy. (It doesn’t help that I avoid reviews of things I haven’t read, since most other reviewers tend to talk about more plot details than I usually want to know in advance.)

I already collect a fair number of series, so I’m trying to avoid adding too many new titles to my list for the next little while. But several titles I collect are ending in just a volume or two, which makes it hard to keep from just trying everything that catches my eye. And the DMC waffling continues.

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On the work front, TOKYOPOP now has a preview of ZONE-00 vol. 1 up on their site. That may just be the single most challenging volume I’ve ever worked on, and I say that in full awareness of having done three full-length fanbooks and multiple volumes of Sgt. Frog. ^_^ (Volume 2 was much, much easier than volume 1, for a few reasons.) I’ll be very interested to see what people think of vol. 1 when review copies start going out.

Meanwhile, I’m currently at work on the final volume of Natsuki Takaya’s Phantom Dream, and I’ll be very sorry to see it go. It’s interesting as an early work, as I’ve said to many people, and it also improves noticeably from volume to volume. The artwork in vol. 5 is much, much different from vol. 1 (it looks fairly similar to her style in early volumes of Fruits Basket), and while her plotting isn’t as masterful as it is in Fruits Basket (which I think is structurally brilliant), I really like the characters and the story comes together quite well. I have a long history of really enjoying various series right up until the end and then being disappointed by the way they wrap up, and that didn’t happen here.

And while I’m mentioning Dream: Lillian (Diaz-Przybyl, the current series editor) has given me the go-ahead to tell readers that vol. 3+ will include a glossary and character guide, which should come as a relief to the people who find the plethora of Japanese mystical terms a little, er, overwhelming.

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And as always, a small batch of MangaLife reviews (including some CMX books):
Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea (B-) [CMX]
Sand Chronicles vol. 5 (A+)
Venus Capriccio vol. 1 (B-) [CMX]

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