Things pick up this week at Midtown Comics, just in time for Presidents’ Day. Though we’re a bit short-staffed at Manga Bookshelf today, MJ, Sean, & Michelle have some books they’re excited to buy!
MJ: I’m a bit torn this week, I have to admit. On one hand, I’d like to recommend the latest volume of Nabari no Ou—the only manga to ever get me even remotely interested in ninja—or perhaps volume four of Bloody Monday, which I can’t help liking, despite its unbelievable premise. But after reading Kate’s recent review of Soulless, I think it’s won my vote. An “agreeable mishmash of Young Sherlock Holmes, Underworld, and Mansfield Park, with a dash of Jules Verne”?? Where do I sign up? I’ll be the first to admit that Yen Press’ “manga” adaptations of popular novels have mostly missed with me, but this one sounds like it’s right up my alley. Definitely a must-buy!
SEAN: As I noted in my Manga The Week Of post, I always get happier when I see a new volume of Higurashi: When They Cry. A combination of harem manga, horror manga, and mystery, it’s the bonds of friendship elements that keep me coming back. One Piece fans popularized the Western use of ‘Nakama’, a word meant to convey a close bond between a group that’s not quite family or friends, but something deeper – something unshakeable. Of course, with the Higurashi series that type of relationship is a long and unstable process, and we’ve seen in past arcs how mistrust and paranoia can ruin everything. Rena’s friends have helped her hide a corpse in the last volume… but was that really the right thing to do? Gripping stuff.
MICHELLE: There are certain titles that, when I see them on this list, everything else just sort of falls away. So, while I am definitely very keen to read Soulless, I must seize the opportunity to recommend Kazuma Kodaka’s landmark BL series, Kizuna, now in its fifth (and presumably final) volume. Maybe the trials and tribulations of yakuza in love just isn’t your thing, but the way the stories are told and the unique artwork are things that every BL fan should experience.
Readers, what looks good to you this week?