It’s tough pickings for me this week, even taking into account the last two weeks’ worth of new arrivals at Boston’s Comicopia. Dark Horse’s second Chobits omnibus is tempting, though I haven’t yet taken a look at their new (reportedly awesome) translation. The second volume of Seiho Boys High School! is an outside possibility, too (reviewed here in a recent installment of Off the Shelf).
Yet, after much indecision, I’m going with volumes one and two of Demon Sacred, just out from TOKYOPOP. I haven’t read either volume yet (they’ve just barely arrived on my doorstep!) but here’s a taste of what Manga Critic Kate Dacey has to say about them in her recent review:
Demon Sacred is shojo manga’s answer to the everything bagel, substituting hot scientists, dragons, pop idols, twins, secret government research facilities, and time-traveling aliens for garlic chips and sesame seeds … the opening pages of the series involve a stampede of unicorns emerging from the aurora borealis and trampling a group of tourists in the Finnish countryside. Even Madeline L’Engle didn’t have the guts to try that.
It’s hard to guess how Itsuki will resolve the myriad subplots introduced in the first two volumes, but the story unfolds in such a feverish, urgent fashion that it’s easy to forgive the occasional narrative shortcuts or capitulations to shojo convention. (See “hot young scientist” and “pop idols,” above.) Demon Sacred may not be the best new manga of 2010, but it’s a strong contender for most addictive.
Time traveling aliens? Dragons? Stampede of unicorns? SIGN ME UP.
Look for my take on this series before the month is out. In the meantime, buy these books.