Finally a great week for manga and manhwa! Check out this week’s Picks from the Manga Bookshelf bloggers and special guest Michelle Smith!
DAVID: It’s a good week for Yen Press at Midtown Comics, with several appealing titles on the way, but I have to cast my lot with the third volume of Yumi Unita’s Bunny Drop. It’s about a single guy who takes in his grandfather’s young, orphan daughter, and it’s got a wonderful, smart, slice-of-life approach to the subject matter. Unita really finds the emotional core of everyday moments, and the characters are great. This was one of the great debuts of 2010, and new volumes seem to arrive painfully slowly, so it’s always a joyous occasion.
KATE: I second David’s recommendation! One of the things I like best about Bunny Drop is that Unita doesn’t go for the obvious laughs that are characteristic of the single-guy-becomes-instant-dad genre. Not that the series isn’t humorous; there’s some exquisitely funny material in volume one, for example, as Daichi questions Rin about a favorite stuffed animal. (He thinks it’s a dog, Rin insists it’s a rabbit.) But Unita is more interested in tracking Daichi’s development as a parent than in setting him up to be the straight man for a little kid, a decision that goes a long way to making the story believable.
MICHELLE: It is indeed a good week for Yen Press. While I have no doubt that Bunny Drop is thoroughly awesome, I am going to have to cast my vote for the fifth volume of Time and Again. Though this manhwa is full of intriguing supernatural stories, the most compelling thing about it is the bond between its main characters. Exorcist Baek-On and his bodyguard Ho-Yeon are both attempting to atone for something in their past, and recent volumes have begun exploring those painful memories as well as showing how the men are helping each other to heal. It’s wonderful stuff, and I can’t wait to read more!
MELNDA: This is a really tough choice for me, and though it’s not quite as tough as it might be if I didn’t know that Midtown’s listing of Hikaru no Go 22 is a lie (I bought it myself when it came out in January!), I’m still faced with quite an array of fantastic manga and manhwa. In the end, I’m going to have to be a wimp and agree with all my cohorts above. I simply can’t choose between Bunny Drop and Time and Again. Like Hikaru no Go, actually, both are examples of series I think are richer, quirkier, and more elegantly written than their respective genres necessarily command. In the spirit of Robot 6’s Food or Comics? this week I have to go with comics.
Readers, what are your Picks this week?