Category Archives: ask tangognat

Ask me a question, and I’ll answer it on my blog.

Ask Tangognat: Manga for boys who like Archie

Kiki writes:

You helped before with manga for tweens, now I’m wondering what you can recommend manga-wise for boys who enjoy the Archie and Jughead comics/digests. They don’t necessarily want something Pokemon-ish, just humorous teen-age hijinks.

This is a little tricky, because much of the teenage hijink manga that I can think of is probably not suitable for tweens.

I think I only read the first two volumes or so of Love Roma, but that might be an option. It is a romantic comedy/slice of life manga that focuses just as much on the boy as the girl as Hajime and Yumiko get together, much to the delight of their classmates who enjoy teasing the couple about their new relationship. It looks like School Library Journal rated this at grades 7-9, but I think the last volume takes a turn towards more mature content so that might be something to look out for.

While some of Viz’s Shonen Jump sports stories might not have the comedy factor, they might be a good choice for boys who want more realistic manga. Prince of Tennis and Whistle are two titles that come to mind.

After these titles, I’m stumped. Salt Water Taffy looks like it might be fun. I think Kiki has hit on an age range and genre combination that is really under served. Most of the teenage hijinks manga that I can think of are either for kids 13+ or are mostly aimed at girls. If you have any suggestions, please add your comments!

Ask Tangognat – Manga for a 6 year old girl

Justin writes: My 6yo. daughter just loves Tanya del Rio’s Sabrina comics, but now that her run is ending, I don’t know where to go next. She’s kind of into some superhero titles–the new Shazam and Supergirl–but I think she’ll like manga more. Got any suggestions?

I know you asked for manga, but the first titles that popped into my head were regular comics. If your daughter likes superhero titles and manga influenced art, you might want to try the recent series of Power Pack graphic novels.

I haven’t read the new Power Pack issues myself because my children are still in the chewing on board books stage, but I think these graphic novels are rated for all ages.

The other series I thought your daughter might want to try is Babymouse. These short volumes detail the adventures of an mouse in elementary school who has a vivid imagination, bad hair days, and an annoying little brother. Babymouse is very funny and a good choice if your daughter likes the color pink.

For manga, I think you’ll want to try some of the new and upcoming kids imprints from some of the manga publishers. Viz Kids is a bit heavy on the Pokemon, but one of the titles called Happy Happy Clover was mentioned in the comments threads of one of my earlier recommendation posts. It is about bunnies! I haven’t read it myself, but the cover looks cute.

Viz also has picture books based on the Ghibli library of films, so something like the Kiki’s Delivery Service film picture book might be another one to try.

Tokyopop briefly had a chapter book-like OEL manga line. I don’t think these series are continuing, but you might also want to check out Kat and Mouse, about girl detectives at a boarding school.

If you can wait until spring, I think the recently announced kids imprint from UDON could be promising too.

If you have more suggestions for Justin, please let him know!

Ask Tangognat – Manga for an 11 year old girl

I really like doing manga reader’s advisory! If you want suggestions for what to read, go ahead and ask through my contact form.

Here’s a request for suggestions from Lisa, who writes:

Hello Tangognat! Can you recommend a manga for my daughter? She (we) have never read one before but would like to try. She is 11 and I´d like to surprise her with one. She loves love stories and (what can I do?) Hannah Montana and Tokyo Hotel. I´d appreciate any leads you´d be willing to give.

Well, one of the first titles that came in mind when I read your question was Sugar Princess: Skating to win. The content in it would be appropriate for an 11 year old, and for someone who hasn’t read any manga before, a short two volume series like this might be a great one to try. There’s a definite attraction between Maya and her older partner Shun, but it isn’t a full-blown love story. Here’s a preview of the manga.

I haven’t read this series, but if your daughter likes music another possibility is the series Full Moon by Arina Tanemura:

Full Moon is about a 12 year old girl who is putting off an operation on her vocal chords because she wants to sing. She’s visited by guardian spirits who help her transform into a 16 year old idol singer and starts to break into show business. I think there’s romance involved too, so this might cover the love + pop music aspect of your daughter’s interests.

An oldie but goodie is the fantasy series by CLAMP called Magic Knight Rayearth.

Three girls from modern Tokyo are summoned to a magical realm where they must team up in order to save a lost princess. There isn’t as much of a love story here, although there is a hint of romance.

Ultra Maniac is a cute series about a girl named Ayu who tries to be cool at school, only to find her reputation under attack when she befriends a teen witch named Nina. Nina decides to help Ayu with her crush, but magic makes matchmaking very unpredictable.

Continuing with the witchy theme, Sugar Sugar Rune tells the story of two witches named Chocolate and Vanilla who are sent to earth to engage in a competition – whoever can capture the most hearts will become the queen of their world. Here’s a preview of the manga.

If you have more suggestions for Lisa and her daughter, please add your comments!

Ask Tangognat – Realistic Manga for 5th graders

Penny asked me for ideas on manga to give fifth grade girls who don’t like manga with fantasy elements. They want to read realistic stories with drama and romance about high schoolers and college students. They’ve already read and mostly hated Sugar Princess: Skating to Win.

This is tricky because fifth graders are going to be too old to enjoy all-ages titles but Penny needs to stay away from manga with sexual situations. Penny’s girls like Red String and Harlequin manga. I’m going to try to list a few titles below, and if any of my readers have advice or other suggestions for Penny, please add your thoughts in the comments.

When I first got this question I thought of the Shojo Beat line. While some of the titles have the fantasy elements that Penny’s girls won’t like, I think there are a few titles from that imprint that might be worth considering. I’m guessing that Penny will want to preview all of these titles before passing them on to her class – I’ve read early volumes of most of these manga, but I can’t comment on whether or not there’s more sexual content by the end of the series.

High School Debut
– This has more of an emphasis on comedy than drama, as enthusiastic Haruna and cynical Yoh start to date. Still, the realistic setting and emphasis on relationships might appeal to these fifth graders. This is one of my favorite recent manga series.

Love*Com – A tall girl and a short boy have an antagonistic relationship that makes their classmates think they are training to become a comedy team. Will love develop between them despite their height difference? Risa and Atsushi are really funny together as their relationship progresses, yet there is also plenty of angst as Risa discovers her feelings for Atsushi before he figures out his feelings for her. I’ve read the first 4 or 5 volumes of this, so I’m not sure about recent plot developments.

Monkey High – Slightly more serious than the other two series I’ve mentioned so far, Monkey High is the story of a stereotypical cool girl who ends up going to a new school and finding a boyfriend who looks and acts like a monkey! I’ve only read the first two volumes of this series, but the commentary on high school life might be enjoyed by fifth graders who want to read about characters who are older than them.

Most of the titles I can think of from Tokyopop are either too mature or have fantasy elements, but here are a couple possibilities:

Zig Zag – A boy settles into a new life at his school’s dorm. I’ve only read the first volume of this series.

VB Rose – I haven’t read this at all, but the storyline about a girl forced to make her older sister’s wedding dress might be interesting, and it doesn’t seem like it has any fantasy elements.

If you have any more suggestions for Penny, please let her know in the comments for this post!

I’ve been getting a ton of suggestions from my twitter peeps:

Hikaru No Go – Doesn’t have the romance angle, but has plenty of action.
Prince of Tennis – Sports manga with cute guys.
Crimson Hero – The trials and tribulations of a high school volleyball player. Plenty of romance and angst in this title.
Baby and Me – An older brother struggles to raise his younger brother after his mother’s death.
Gals! – Adventures of girls who love to shop and take on bad guys.
Hitohira – Slice of life title.
Mixed Vegetables – Amusing if they like cooking manga.
Happy Happy Clover – Manga about cute bunnies.
Wild Ones – A girl moves in with a yakuza clan.

Ask TangognaT: Inkdeath Release Date

Emma wrote:
When is the third book of Inkspell going to be out?


Inkdeath is available for preorder on amazon, with a release date of September 26th, 2008.

Ask Tangognat: Web 2.0 and Libraries

Greg writes:
I am compiling an annotated bibliography…The topic I am working on is the impact of blogs and what I am calling “web 2.0” applications on libraries (the behind the scenes aspect with the biblioblogosphere as well as on patrons).

So far, I have the following books:

Clyde, L. (2004). Weblogs and libraries. Oxford: Chandos Publishing.

Anderson, C. R., & Sprenkle P. (2006). Reference librarianship: Notes from the trenches. New York: Haworth Information Press.

Sauers, M. (2006). Blogging and RSS: A librarian’s guide. Medford, N.J.: Information Today, Inc.

Stephens, M. (2006). Web 2.0 & libraries: Best practices for social software . Chicago: ALA TechSource.

Would you be able to recommend websites, blog posts or journal articles that are seminal works in this area? Or even “important” works in this area.

I’m really the last person to ask about this topic for various reasons, but I’ll give it a go.

Walt Crawford’s Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0”

Five Weeks to a Social Library

Libraries in Social Networking Software, Information Wants to be Free in general.

Tame the Web


Thingology (Library Thing Blog)

Next Generation Catalogs for Libraries List

This isn’t comprehensive by any means, but hopefully there are a few ideas there to get you started. I’ve been less and less inclined to write about much library stuff recently, and most of it isn’t really on my radar.

Ask Tangognat: All about favicons

Juice wrote:
Hey, weird tech question, but I notice you have a personalized Tab image that
appears when I have your site open in one of many tabs in IE. How does one go
about customizing tab images?

This is one of those questions that is hard to answer unless you already know the terminology used to describe what you’re looking for! The personalized tab images are called favicons. Basically all you need to do to create one is make an image 16 pixels by 16 pixels. If you can save the image in .ico format from your image editor, great! I created mine a long time ago, I think I downloaded a shareware program that no longer exists that I used to convert my image file into .ico format. There are also online favicon generators too.

I think it is a bit easier to add a favicon when you own your own domain, all I seem to remember doing was uploading the favicon.ico file to the root directory of my site. But I there are resources out there to tell you how to add a favicon to a blogger site. You will need to host the favicon image somewhere and add a link to the image in your blogger template.

If you want some inspiration, you can take a look at the favicon collection at Delta Tango Bravo.

Ask Tangognat: Product Placement in Manga

Dr. Peter A. Maresco wrote:

Can you tell me if product placement occurs in manga novels. I am interested to learn if specific products are mentioned in the stories and if so how many.

This is tricky. I’m not aware of any studies that have been done about product placement in manga, and in any case it would be almost impossible to tell if this is occurring if you aren’t reading the manga in the original japanese. I suspect that the editors of most of the english language editions replace mentions of japanese products with made-up names.

For example, I have dim memories of a reference to Sony in Fruits Basket being replaced with the word “Somy” (although I could be wrong).

I think a lot of the product references are things that the characters just happen to use (like photo sticker machines, karoke, etc). The products are used as background to make the story seem more realistic. For example, In Sgt Frog volume 1, Sgt Keroro has an imac, but I seriously doubt that Apple paid to be mentioned in the manga.
Sometimes the products mentioned are fake. In the Clamp series Tsubasa, made up products from “Piffle” are mentioned, the same way “Acme” is referenced in Looney Tunes. And the series Paradise Kiss mentions the fashion line Happy Berry, which was developed by one of the characters in a different series by creator Ai Yazawa.

I think that more often, manga characters are used to sell products instead of the other way around. For example, this fabulous Rose of Versailles ad for Daihatsu.

It’d be tough to figure this out from just reading translated manga.

Some links:

Here’s an example of product placement in manga, over at the blog Thought Balloons.

Manga starts California wine craze

An example of product placement in anime (not manga) can be found in this jalopnik post about Nissan and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

More anime (studio Gibli)

Product placement in the Densha Otaku live action movie.

Product placement in anime (animesuki discussion forum)

If you have examples of product placement in manga, please comment!

Ask Tangognat: Anime Collection

Rebecca writes:

Another comics-related question! This time, it’s about anime movies! My library is seriously lacking any besides Yu-Gi-Oh!, and last week I went on a binge and bought a couple of volumes of Full Metal Alchemist and Samurai Seven – what else could I add to our collection?

I think Full Metal Alchemist and Samurai Seven are great series to start off your anime collection. I’ll list a few more that you might want to consider. Some of my suggestions will probably skew towards shows that are more suitable for adult audiences. This is a great time to be building an anime collection, some of the series that used to cost a ton of money are being reissued as lower cost thinpack box sets.


I think you can’t go wrong with anything by Hayao Miyazaki. Most of his movies are modern day classics and are suitable for all ages.

Neon Genesis Evangelion
One of the most influential giant robot shows of recent years.

Cowboy Bebop – This was the show that got me back into anime again! Great space opera with a wonderful soundtrack by Yoko Kanno. (Rebecca already has a few volumes of this, but I think she should get the whole series, and the movie!)

The Vision of Escaflowne – Hitomi is transported from Earth to a magical world called Gaia, where she meets Van, a dispossesed prince who struggles to reclaim his country with a mystical suit of armor. This is one of my favorite series, I watch it at least once a year.


Anime that makes you go Huh?!

I think every collection needs at least one anime title that veers towards the somewhat insane and incomprehensible. So you might want to pick one of these titles:

FLCL, Paranoia Agent, or Serial Experiments Lain.

Artsy Anime

Some of the titles that I think of as being of greater artistic merit are Perfect Blue, Metropolis, and Grave of the Fireflies. I haven’t seen Millenium Actress, but from what I hear it belongs on this list too.

Just Entertaining

These are some of the series that I’ve enjoyed watching over the past few years:

Revolutionary Girl Utena
Princess Tutu
Last Exile
Witch Hunter Robin
Fushigi Yugi
Samurai Champloo
Haibane Renmei
Scrapped Princess
Read or Die, both the TV series and the OVA
Ruroni Kenshin – both the TV series and the OVA
I just started watching Gankutsuou – The Count of Monte Christo.

I hope this gives you a few ideas! If any of you have more suggestions for Rebecca, please post a comment.

Ask Tangognat: Greg Cook Graphic Novel

Greg wrote:
I recently picked-up Graphic
Novels: Stories to Change Your Life
and have found it to be a great

On p. 59 “From Iraq” by Greg Cook is recommended.

LOC, OCLC, web searches yield nothing.

Any leads?

I wonder if the book listed is actually Iraq Project, listed as forthcoming from First Second. Was there any indication in the Gravett book that the graphic novel in question had been published yet?

Greg Cook’s website looks pretty comprehensive in listing his works, and I didn’t see the book listed. If you click on the contact button on his web site it looks like you can e-mail him, so you might want to do that for a definitive answer!