October 02, 2006

How To Scare An Otaku.

My friend The Librarian sent me an e-mail today.

The e-mail contained a link. THIS link.

Click only if you won't miss your sanity.

Go ahead, I'll wait. When you're done, click below: So you've seen it? Harlequin 'Ginger Blossom' Manga Romances.

I'm at turns amused, horrified, and curious. Amused, because they put a lot of effort into this (Debbie Macomber wrote the one I glanced at; BIG name in the romance biz) and the artist sure looks like she's got the manga style down (may be a real manga-ka, for all I know).

Horrified that they thought it had to be done, when half of the manga out there would need nothing more than to be translated to fit the Harlequin Romance genre. I'm guessing this is a surefire indicator that anime/manga has REALLY hit the mainstream, or is getting awful close.

Curious... in the same way one is curious at a car wreck.

Prediction: FAILURE. From my experience running a regular retail bookstore (as opposed to the Duck U. bookstore), the clientele for Harlequin-style romance isn't likely to buy these, and would manga readers go for something with the Harlequin logo?

Guess we'll find out... The Librarian is already threatening to give me a few.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:35 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 212 words, total size 1 kb.

1 Here's some background. (wouldn't let me post the link for some reason... take out the spaces)

http://www.anime news network.com/article.php?id=6749

Apparently it's just now getting its own label, having been under Dark Horse Comics previously. Such a move suggests that it hasn't been a total failure.

What would have surprised me had I not read that article is that this is actually authentic Japanese manga, with over 250 volumes published, not a cheap cash-in like some of Tokyopop's OEL stuff.

Admittedly, I don't know a lot about the romance-novel-reading demographic (or the female-manga-reader one, for that matter). What makes a "Harlequin-style" romance novel and what's their target demographic?

Posted by: Andrew F. at October 02, 2006 03:16 PM (ty0hy)

2 Do you have some strange vendetta against ANN that you won't allow it to be linked from your comments? When I tried, it told me that ANN was "objectionable content"... probably an anti-spam measure... does this link go through?

Yeah, they're hardly a paragon of accuracy (I'll never forget the time they mixed up Kare Kano and Saikano), but I don't know a more comprehensive English language site for general anime news.

Probably nothing... sorry for the double comment.

Posted by: Andrew F. at October 02, 2006 03:28 PM (ty0hy)

3 Hrm. No, I don't have ANN blocked... at least intentionally.

Ahh, I see I was off slightly! It's not that Harlequin hired Debbie Macomber to write the manga, but it's a Japanese manga using an existing romance novel as source material.

Harlequin Romance buyers, in my experience, are in their late 30s or above (often VERY 'above'), are locked into one of the Harlequin/Shillouette 'lines' (for example, there's a monthly series of romance novels involving single fathers. Or firefighters. Police. Cowboys. Sheiks...) and generally don't wander off it.

Unless they go for ALL the novels.

Meanwhile, here in the USA, manga trends towards younger males (yes, I'm making a generalization).

But, hey, if DarkHorse carried it for a while, and it didn't die off... this scares me even more!

Posted by: wonderduck at October 02, 2006 05:26 PM (vFS/o)

4 (I'll never forget the time they mixed up Kare Kano and Saikano)

*cleaning soup off monitor*

Posted by: Wonderduck at October 02, 2006 05:27 PM (vFS/o)

5 Eep!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 04, 2006 03:44 PM (FRalS)

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