Aria (Amano Kozue) and Tokyopop

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Aria (Amano Kozue) and Tokyopop

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1keristars
apr 20, 2010, 12:26 pm

Hi, I'm what I guess could be called a baby manga collector? I read scans of Death Note when it was being serialized, but then there were delays and I forgot about manga altogether, until this past summer when I stumbled upon an Inukami! clip on YouTube, and from there to the manga a month or two later.

Anyway, the reason I'm explaining this is because I have really no idea how to find out what's going on with Tokyopop, and it's driving me batty. Aria is one of my number one favorite things ever, and I don't know if they've dropped the series or are just delaying it again (the 6th volume is listed on Amazon as getting released last June 2009 - of course, the 5th wasn't out until Nov 2009...).

The dang series was already dropped from one licenser/publisher, it's really irritating to think that it'll happen again. The French publisher also seems to have left the face of the earth, after 6 volumes.

So - where can I look for information to see what's going on? The places where I found out about the 4/5 delay don't seem to have anything more recent.

Or, alternately, any recommendations for learn-to-read-Japanese books so that I can import the Japanese versions and be able to read them? I don't mind using the scans, but I really want to own legit copies, you know?

(On the other hand, maybe it's better if Tokyopop releases the series and someone else licenses it, because the quality in the last two volumes were pretty terrible. The color illustrations came out muddy and awful in b&w, they didn't even bother to put in the color first page like in the other three, and the translations of certain phrases in #5 especially were awful.)

2Akashic_Librarian
Redigeret: apr 20, 2010, 10:56 pm

I thought I recalled in a recent Tokyopop announcement that they have not dropped ARIA, and are supposed to reschedule volume 6 for later on this year. Of course, this is Tokyopop we're dealing with, so one always has to take what they say with a grain of salt.

This is officially the series that made me download hiragana charts and start my path in learning Japanese.
After ADV had stopped after volume 3, my love for the series was too great, so I ended up ordering the available japanese volumes 4 & 5, and continued on 'til this day, having immensely enjoyed finishing the series at Volume 12, and still now persue my love affair with all that is AMANO Kozue, having bought the first two volumes of new series Amanchu!.
(As well, I've been a regular buyer of Comic BLADE, the magazine ARIA and now Amanchu! is serialized in, since the March 2006 issue. The various ARIA related posters, figures, and other knickknacks that came with the magazine was totally worth the investment alone. Also, many of the manga volumes were available in ltd editions with ultra-cute gondola toys and figurines and such)

For learn-to-read-Japanese books, there's so much out there...
I had bought Kana de Manga http://www.amazon.com/dp/4921205019/
(though by the time my special order for the book came in, I had already become comfortable enough with my hirigana and katakana via downloadable charts I found through a simple google, though the specific ones I used don't seem to be online anymore. It doesn't really take too long to learn your kana if you're serious about it)
Flashcard sets are recommended by many as well.

Get a quality dictionary like something from Kodansha.
After using and only ending up annoyed with two other unintuitive lacklustre kanji dics with missing parts, I finally found myself very happy with Kodansha's Essential Kanji Dictionary (fits nicely in the hand too. Seriously, I wasted TOO much time fumbling half-assed with lesser quality dictionaries)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/4770028911/

Though probably, at the 'just starting to learn your first kanji' stage, one might prefer getting the following:
Kodansha's Furigana Japanese Dictionary: Japanese-English English-Japanese
http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/4770024800/

After finding many people in various Amazon reviews suggesting the following, I must agree and say these kick ass and help make you REALLY get a grasp on the characters and their meanings:
Remembering the Kanji, Vol. 1: A Complete Course on How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Japanese Characters
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0824831659/
There are three volumes in the series.

At least that's my $.02.

On another tip, while you begin your path to japanese literacy, you could always do yourself a favour and go pick up the three still available ARIA Illustration books and at least get a quality visual ARIA fix early on.
Alpha―天野こずえIllustration Works
http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/486127009X/
Stella ステラ 天野こずえIllustration Works2
http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4861271401/
天野こずえ画集3 Cielo
http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4861272971/

Absolutely AMANO-licious!

oops! forgot about the final series illustration book:
アリアジイラストレーション AVVENIRE
http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4861275733/

3keristars
apr 20, 2010, 11:00 pm

Thank you so much! I've been half-assedly studying hiragana since last August, figuring that the kana are a basic building block (especially when there are furigana for some of the kanji in the books for youth), and I recently figured I know most of them well enough by sight to start on katakana.

I know there's a flash card program of sorts for the computer that uses an algorithm to optimize which cards it shows according to how well you know them that I've been meaning to set up, because it has had a lot of praises.

But none of those would really help with grammar, and the books I saw at B&N a few weeks ago (when I decided to be more serious, because of スキマスキ and also Aria and Amanchu!) weren't really for beginners, or else they felt too awkward (I'm not new to learning a foreign language - I have also studied classical Greek, Latin, and German, in addition to French. The only one I remember enough to read is French, though...)

And, also, I learn better with physical books than from a computer screen, so that flashcard program wouldn't be best for me. So thank you, again, for the kanji books. I'll look into them, maybe see if the Book Depository can get them to me when the volcanic ash stops interfering with air-post. (I've also been thinking about the art books for a long time, but back in November, I decided to possibly hold off to see if there's a new one with Amanchu! art, as a way to not spend all my food and gas money on books I don't *really* need.)

... Speaking of ARIA, I'm really pissed that I didn't discover it until 10 months ago, because I seem to have missed out on most of the merchandise from when it was being serialized/aired. I have been coveting a President Maa key/phone dangle so much that I've resorted to asking an artist friend who works with clay to make one for me.

4Akashic_Librarian
apr 21, 2010, 12:47 am

Re: flashcards, I meant an actual physical pack of cards (I, too, never took to the computer program as well)

I don't think Sukimasuki has furigana (as it was a Comic Ikki series).
(as 95% of my luxuries budget ends up supporting the manga industry, I'll accept the burden of having enjoyed the scanlated version, especially considering that I have another book from the same publisher line sitting in my Amazon cart *x*)

Amanchu! , indeed is a wee bit more difficult, but I found ARIA to be friendly enough comparatively.

' Probably won't be an artbook with Amanchu! art for another year at least. THOUGH, I'm thinking there's a chance of a 2011 poster calendar, which is the next best thing. (there were nice A2 poster calendars for ARIA 2006 & 2007, as well as a series of three A2 Premium poster books)

All I ever got for Maa-kun is an ultra-tiny PVC figure that came with a three part ARIA Company dollhouse set. (there's still a decent amount of goods available at www.cospa.com, 12 pages worth, but nothing Maa-kun oriented, alas)
http://www.cospa.com/index.php?act=itemlist&series_index=&itemp_series_i...

Good luck to your artist friends mars-cat sculpting abilities.

5keristars
apr 21, 2010, 12:09 pm

Yeah, the realization that my very-favorite stories run in the more adult-oriented magazines is partly what spurred me to be more serious about learning to read. That and suspecting that some of them might never be licensed.

Thank you, again :)

6Akashic_Librarian
aug 13, 2010, 12:36 am

Tokyopop update:
Aria Volume 6 is resolicited for a Dec 28 2010 release

(Thankfully, they've finally restarted a few series that previously were in limbo.)

Amanchu! Vol.3 out now too (though no limited edition versions as of yet...)

7keristars
aug 13, 2010, 12:51 am

Ooh, thanks for the update! I was just starting to poke around the blogs to see if there was any news, too.

This might restore some trust in TP, but we'll have to wait until December to be certain. I hope the quality isn't as slapdash as the last two volumes.