Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Shonen Jump Manga Competition - Finalists

Hey everyone, hope you are ready for Christmahanakwanzika!

I got an email from Shonen Jump about their Manga Competition. They have wrapped it all up from over 1400 entries to just the Final 6. Each one is unique and shows promise on some great new manga. Even those that didn't make it, I hope they keep pressing forward. I am always looking for new manga to add to my collection!

I have them listed below with a quick intro for each (spoilers). The links are for the English versions and I hope you do check them all out. I did pick my favorite, but won't let you know - heehee. Don't want to screw your judgement for who you want to pick.

Sweat Man by Fei ZiXuan (Taiwan) ~ This is your normal story about a High School, joining clubs and finding your true self. The interesting twist is that our 'hero' Kannan has this very odd ability to, well SWEAT continually. He of course is trying to hide this fact, but as with all secrets, it gets out after a crisis. Never imagined that sweat would be a super power, but this is what keeps the story on a lighter note at times. The artwork style is clean and story line seems to be leading into a good progression for more.

Golden Rabbit by Nick Kanoza (US) ~ I found the mix of humans and a talking animal different. Nothing is funnier however than a rabbit dressed like an elf being mistaken for a leprechaun. Edel has a good heart and drive to help Jasmine walk again. As we find out this tragedy was partly on him, but he takes to world on his shoulders and accepts the responsibility. Something we all wish people actually did in real life. The artwork has clean lines and not over drawn. Not sure where this is going to go now that this chapter has ended the original storyline (on a good note).

Morning Star by Aitor Holgado (Spain) ~ Nothing is more fun than an adventure manga and this one is keeping with that tradition. We have Qalim, who was a squire and wanted to be knight. As we all know you can't be knight unless you are nobility (WTF). He left pissed and became a thief. He was then discovered  by Dorobov, a treasure hunter. Their first adventure almost leads to their death, but it seems others may now be aware of them. This is due to the fact they awoken something at the grave of a sorcerer they robbed. Artwork is a bit sketchy, but very detailed. The flow of the story is good and we catch a glimpse of the next chapter at the end.

BOOM by Docurro (China) ~ Like the title, this is an explosive series. Our 'anti-hero' is Nobel Bakuon and his unique ability to make bombs, but not just any type bombs as you will see. Besides, bombs with names like Octo, Hungry and Cook can't be taken seriously. He has a dark background, but has 'changed' and joined the local police bomb squad. His is pitted against the Security Squad (all women) which is run by Director Jurika. Due to this, there is definitely some nice fanboy service - bombs that take off clothing is very revealing - LOL. The artwork is a bit rough and busy, but very much reminds me of One Piece. This first chapter is a great intro for this series and looks to have many more ready for print.

The Team Before Daybreak by Yu YanShu (China) ~ Wars and Vampires seem to have a common thread at times. This stars off with that principle in World War 2. The United States is using a Vampire to help fight as nothing rings nicer that free meals while at work. They keep with the traditional vampire legends which is nice. We meet Roland in this series who of course is another 'anti-hero' and hates all humans (as a vampire should). The something tragic happens with his group during this war and changes his outlook entirely. We see a short view of the present with him and another character. The artwork is wonderfully draw and reminds me a lot of Joe Kubert's style. Really enjoyed the background story this started with and looks to be an entertaining series.

El Viento Del Norte by Niu Zai (Taiwan) ~ What we have here is the beginning of your Spaghetti Western. The best part though, is this has a female lead by the name of Elizabeth Kitakaze Eastwood with an 'eye' for battle. I had to chuckle at the last name of course. It did read like a Clint Eastwood Western which I very much enjoy. We have a long female gunslinger sword slinger that is traveling looking for he Father. She happens upon a town and gets mixed up with the local riff raff. She is more than a match for any of them and makes friends along the way. Mixing in some American Indian culture was an excellent way to introduce her special ability.Like all good Westerns, she ends up walking out of down on to her next destination - where ever that is which is a great way to end this chapter (or any of these chapters for that matter). Artwork is nicely drawn and reminds me of the Kurohime series with the use of tonal screens as well.

That's everyone in a nut shell, so take a look for yourself and VOTE!

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