Take a look at the Manga Bookshelf bloggers’ picks from this week’s new releases!
SEAN: There’s any number of interesting titles due out this week (hurricane permitting), but the one that most catches my eye is Bloody Monday. First off, it’s from the brother/sister writing team responsible, under various pen names, for Drops of God, Getbackers, Kindaichi Case Files, Remote and Psycho Busters. Secondly, it’s an intense psychological techno-thriller with terrorists, computer viruses, and a lot of difficulty knowing who to trust. It might definitely appeal to the Death Note crowd who liked the manga’s tense back-and-forth plotting – or heck, even Die Hard fans, though there’s no obvious John McClane figure here. It’s also spawned 2 sequels, the last of which is still running in Japan.
DAVID: After the last few weeks of relative scarcity, it’s nice to see a diverse list, even if it isn’t a particularly bountiful one. For me, the highlight is the 13th volume of Hiroki Endo’s Eden: It’s an Endless World! This paranoid, post-apocalyptic drama almost always has something intriguing to offer, even when Endo strays too long in pet subplots that don’t seem entirely specific to the world he’s been building. I’m glad that Dark Horse continues to release this series, however slowly, though I always have to go back and refresh my memory of what happened during the last couple of volumes, because I’m an old man, and some of my brain cells go into retirement over an 18-month period. Of course, a new volume of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service would make me even happier.
KATE: I normally loathe manga based on video games, but I was pleasantly surprised by Hiro Mashima’s Monster Hunter Orage: it’s funny, fast-paced, and smartly illustrated. Mashima does a fine job of adapting the source material, translating game play into an actual narrative and not just a series of monster-fighting set-pieces. Oh, and Mashima creates two awesome female leads, both of whom are smart, sensible, and handy with weapons. (Not surprisingly, they find the strong but dumb-as-toast hero a source of amusement and frustration.) No, it won’t change your life, or challenge your conceptions about what shonen manga is, but it’s a perfect read for a subway commute or a rainy afternoon.
MICHELLE: I agree with Kate’s assessment of Monster Hunger Orage 100%, but rather than simply say “ditto” I will cast my vote for Warning! Whispers of Love, a new one-volume title from Digital Manga Publishing. I admit that I am judging this one almost solely on its unconventional cover, but that strategy worked well for me with I Give to You, so why not employ it a second time? The blurb over at DMP’s site suggests that the hijinks might get a little too zany for my tastes—one of the boys seems to have an ear-swabbing fetish—but I’m willing to give it a shot, at least.
MJ: I’m going to stray from the usual Midtown list this week and pick out a title that became available at Boston’s Comicopia last week, Kodansha Comics’ re-release of Until the Full Moon from mangaka Sanami Matoh. Having completely missed the original English release from Broccoli Books, I admit I’m quite eager to give it a whirl, if for no other reason than my undying love affair with its brand of old-school shoujo artwork. I would be content with simply looking at this manga, but I’m hoping to find it enjoyable to read as well. Absolutely my must-read comic for the week.
Readers, what looks good to you this week?