Category Archives: manga news

Madoka Magica heads to the beach with new line of anime-themed swimsuits

If you’re a magical girl, or just an anime fan, in need of some seaside R and R, this unique swimwear is for you.

On the surface, the hit anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica looks like a simple tale of good versus evil, but the surprisingly subversive series raises a number of difficult questions. “How different, really, is a seemingly heroic magical girl from a self-indulgent witch?” it asks. “Where do you draw the line between blind devotion and all-consuming desire?”

And now, Madoka Magica is presenting another blurred line, with a new line of swimsuits that look, at first glance, like casual roomwear.

▼ The swimsuits, pictured here, are a stark departure from the Madoka Magica lingerie sets, which look exactly like you’d expect underwear to.

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Anime fashion brand Super Groupies has partnered with the designers at MIIA to produce the bathing suits, and while the core cast of Madoka Magica consists of five magical girls, right now it’s only the two biggest stars who are represented, with one set for protagonist Madoka Kaname and the other for Homura Akemi.

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Super Groupies itself readily admits that the designs don’t immediately scream “swimwear,” but that’s completely deliberate. The company says that the non-revealing style makes the Madoka Magica swimsuits a great choice for people headed to beachside events or pool parties who want the option of going for a dip yet still having the coverage they desire for the lengthy amount of time they’ll be spending out of the water, too.

Both models feature the same cut and overall design, with a pattern featuring the magical girls’ soul gems and other shapes in a faux constellation motif. The three-piece sets include a top, shorts, and bikini bottom, all made of swimsuit material.

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While the Madoka Magica franchise loves to submerge itself in gray-area issues of morality, the swimsuits are much more colorful. Madoka’s is pink from top to bottom, while Homura’s two-shade design reflects the duality of the character’s emotional state and motivations.

▼ Or maybe navy and lavender just go well together.

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Both suits are priced at 15,000 yen (US$140), and include the illustrations seen here of their individual character wearing the outfit. Delivery is scheduled for early August.




Source: Super Groupies

Rocketnews 24 edited by JWS


School girl action pose reference book.

Generally, artists work better when they have a frame of reference. This is why art classes begin by painting a bowl of fruit that’s actually in front of you. It’s a little harder though, when your drawing requirements include people posing in outrageous situations. While there are plenty of resources online that are available for budding artists, sometimes you need something a little more relevant to your muse, thematically.

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We’ve found the perfect reference book for manga artists drawing action sequences featuring school girl heroines. It’s written and compiled by action coordinator and action director Isao Karasawa, who’s responsible for titles such as Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial, Thermae Romae, and Sailor Suit and Machine Gun: Graduation.

This book features a collection of action poses by female models in high school sailor uniforms and blazers as they deal with violent situations in at least three different chapters which include brawling, flying and gun play. You won’t be limited to just girls in school uniforms though, as there are reference photos of the models in swimsuits posing in the same action shots. With less clothing, you’ll be able to see the structures of the muscles and the lines of the body…so it’s easier to draw them.

▼ Bring on the poses!

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▼ They’re still friends, even with that powerful kick to the neck.

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▼ Focus on the way the muscles move!

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▼ Jumping over someone with a gun in hand is an important pose to master.

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▼ Two high schoolers with swords, just like everyday life.

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Published by Genkosha, Freeze Framed Action Pose Shots 01: The Compilation of Female High School Students (瞬 撮アクションポーズ01 女子高生アクション編) can be found in Japanese bookstores for 2,484 yen (US$22.90).

Leave the footwork to us and we will send you a copy of this book.

Source: Artist Database
Images: Amazon JP

Rocketnews24 edited by JWS

New super flexible doll might be your best substitute for a real-life model

For most artists, drawing something when you have nothing to look at or be inspired by can be tough, but a company called Phicen created  “seamless bendable figures“, to give you that much needed inspiration. Their line-up feature either a fully poseable 1:6-scale ripped guy or busty gal. While neither figure may be especially realistic when you compare their proportions to your average Jane or Joe, they bend at 26 different points and provide a super-realistic look at how muscles, skin, and shadowing look at an almost endless number of angles—ideal for anime and manga artists!

▼ This is practically Lupin’s Fujiko in bendable form, but with “woman secret parts”.


▼ And a male version for all you artists out there that might need a guy with a prefect six-pack for a reference as you draw the next big shonen manga thriller. (“man secret parts” not included, or possibly sold separately? :O)


Depending on where you buy them from, each figure costs upwards 12,210 yen for the female and 14,800 yen for the man, but we’re sure that’s still much cheaper than hiring a real-life model for reference or multiple pose packs from Manga no

Members of the Japanese art community who have bought the figures seem rather pleased with their purchases, too:

“I went out and bought the Phicen doll everyone’s been talking about to use as a reference. Although it can’t be posed in every single way possible, it’s a lot more flexible than I thought it would be.”

“This seamless figure really is more flexible than you’d imagine it would be. I bought the male figure, but now I’m thinking about getting the female version.”

Of course, even if you’re not a serious artist, we imagine either would provide hours of fun at work as an office toy/decoration.

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Shonen Jump + now taking manga submissions from Japan and abroad in new $8,200!


The publisher of Shonen Jump + is teaming with digital distributor MediBang to hold an amateur manga submission contest. Those who make the cut will see their manga on the virtual pages of the magazine!

Ever thought your genius story idea about a bagel that becomes sentient and does anime-style battle with other pastries for breakfast domination had some real legs, but couldn’t quite get your foot in the door with a publisher? Well, now’s your chance to submit your manga idea to someone that’ll actually give it the chance it deserves.

Shonen Jump publisher Shueisha and digital manga distributor MediBang have teamed to hold a contest beginning this month to choose some amateur manga stories to turn into full-fledged entries in Shonen Jump’s digital cousin, Shonen Jump +.

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According to MediBang, Japanese manga publishers have recently had trouble finding new manga talent, partially because the language barrier has blocked potential non-Japanese creators from getting their works seen in Japan. With the ongoing contest, Shueisha and MediBang hope to change this by offering to localize any foreign works that make the cut into Japanese using Shueisha’s team of professional translators.

Foreign creators hoping to enter the contest are encouraged to use MediBang’s “Medi Paint” digital comics drawing program to draw up a one-shot manga story under 50 pages in length. Then it’s as simple as adding the tag “Jump+ Manga Contest” and your work will automatically be forwarded to the contest’s board of judges.

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Apparently, just two stories will be chosen for publication, with prize money for the first, second and third-place winners set at 1 million yen (US$8,200), 300,000 yen, and 100,000 yen respectively. Additionally, even entrants that don’t make the cut may receive feedback from Shueisha and MediBang if the judges feel the work is strong enough to warrant it, meaning you can add a bagel-on-cronut romance subplot to your story and come back for another crack at the contest next year.

Entries are being accepted until March 17, 2016. Click here for more details.

Source: Internet Watch
Images: Official Website

An anime recipe cookbook-The perfect gift for your cosplaying foodie friends!

Have you ever watched an anime and thought, “Mmm, that food looks delicious?” Then this is exactly the cookbook you are looking for.

Many of our favorite anime characters have a specific dish associated with them. Naruto loves his Ichiraku Ramen and Gintoki from Gintama loves chowing down on his Uji Gintoki Don Parfait. Seeing them eat it time and time again makes us wish we could make the dishes for ourselves at home, and now, thanks to some industrious cosplayers, you will be able to create some iconic anime-inspired dishes thanks to a new cookbook called Animeshi!

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Cosplayer Yohco, who goes by the Twitter handle @veryprettybetty, is the creative force behind this new cookbook that mixes anime characters and their recipes. Even the title of the book is a clever portmanteau that tells you exactly what is in the book, a combination of anime and meshi (“food”).

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The easy, delicious, and cute recipes will bring you closer to the food that you see in anime than ever before. All the preparation and the photography is done by Yohco. She’s also recruited a number of her cosplaying friends to appear in the book with her, perfectly marrying characters and their recipes.

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Animeshi! will be available at Tokyo Big Sight during Comiket 89 on December 31. If you can’t make, you’ll also be able to mail order the book from within Japan through the Animeshi! website. Even if you don’t want to cook any of these meals, it is still a gorgeous cookbook that would look fantastic on your shelf.

Source: Cupo
Images: Animeshi Website

Bishonen, special collection book

Can’t get enough of bishonen (beautiful boy) manga characters? Look out for the new book, Boy Meets…Graph, featuring work from famous illustrators.

Although you may be unfamiliar with the term bishonen, literally translated to “beautiful boy,” you’ve probably seen bishonen in manga, anime, or even some pop bands. The term refers to those young men that are so beautiful, sexy, and androgynous that they drive female fans into a frenzy.

Realizing the power of the genre, a group of famous manga artists banded together to make a special bishonen and ikemen (handsome man) book of images, featuring profiles and contributions from 79 different manga artists, illustrators, and character designers. There are also pictures drawn specifically for release in this book. All bishonen fans should probably be pretty giddy by now.

▼ Profile page of Ogawa Chise


Artists who contributed original work for this volume include:

Jiro Suzuki (character designer and artist for MAGiMAGi, Touken Ranbu)
Mitsuya Fuji (Touken Ranbu, character design)
Nao Tsukiji (Adekan, creator)
Nagarenai Tesshu (Ichijinsha gateau, creator)
Shishunki (Touken Ranbu, Gogotai, character design)

Other featured artists include:

Aomiya Kara, Akiharu no Pita, Asashima Yoshiyuki, Arii Memeco, Uda Jo, Enjin Yamimaru, Ogawa Chise, Kazari Tayu, Kamata Misato, Karasuba Ame, Kinako, Kirya Takashi, Kusama Yayoi, Kunimitsu, Kuroyuki, Kokokanata, Kosumi Fujiko, Sagami Waka, Sakamoto Akira, Saki Kaoru, Sazami Ichiya, ZAKK, Shikimi, Shimako, Janome, SHOOWA, Shiroma, Suzu Ken, Sekai Meguru, serori, and many more.

▼ The book has tons of beautiful drawings of beautiful boys.


Boy Meets… Graph (ボーイ ミーツ グラフ) will hit bookstore shelves (and online store shelves) just in time for Christmas on December 12. The book will be available for 2,400 yen (US$20), which is pretty reasonable, considering that it’s 192 full color, B5-sized pages!

▼ Profile page of Suzuki Jiro


▼ Profile page of Yamako


▼ Profile page of Uda Jo


▼ To make the book extra special, some artists drew special images for clear A4-size file folders, like the three below, available at select stores.




▼ With your file folder you can get a signed card!


Ladies beware;Young Black Jack sheets and pillow cases for your sexy sleepy times

For those you who have dreamed of wrapping yourself in Young Black Jack‘s warmth or falling asleep with him by your side, we have just the thing!

It seems like all of the full-sized huggable anime character body pillows are only of female characters. That’s all well and good if you’re attracted to cute girls or lovely ladies, but what about the other half who prefers some male companionship? Well, now there are sheets and pillow cases available with a dreamy, seductive-looking Young Black Jack for you to wrap yourself in and snuggle with.

First we have the sheets, which features Black Jack sprawled out suggestively on his back, his shirt partway undone and his tie completely untied, just waiting for you to fall into his 100-percent polyester embrace.


If cuddling with pillows is more your thing, you can get these equally suggestive full-body pillow cases, one with Black Jack giving you a dreamy look, and the other with Black Jack giving you a “sneak peek”.

▼ Someone’s too sexy for their shirt


These goods will be on sale at this year’s Comiket 89, and are also available for pre-order online until Wednesday, December 16! The sheets cost 7,020 yen (US$52), and the pillow cases are 9,720 yen ($79). Which one would you choose?



Source: Nijimen
Images: Animaru (1, 2)

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