It’s an uneven week at Midtown Comics but the Battle Robot presents a nearly-united front on this week’s must-buy. See below!
SEAN: Well, there’s not quite as much going on with the list this week as there was last week. But we do get a final volume of a series I really enjoyed… and also tended to avoid. Twin Spica was very well written, emotional, and had wonderful character development, but I always kept putting off reading the volumes when I got them. Possibly as I knew they would be such an emotional wrench – the series is not depressing overall, but its lows can be quite low, and its highs always seem to be fleeting. But it has a fantastic likeable heroine in Asumi, and in the end I’m glad that Vertical took a chance on the series, even if it didn’t sell quite as well as hoped. In this final volume we’ll get to see who – if any – will be going to space. And whether Mr. Lion can finally find peace.
MJ: I’m definitely with Sean this week. Twin Spica has been a consistent high point over the past couple of years. It made my Best Of list with its debut in 2010, and has never once disappointed me over the entire course of its run. Twin Spica 12 is absolutely this week’s must-buy manga.
KATE: My votes also goes to Twin Spica, a series that hasn’t yet found the wide audience it so richly deserves. The artwork is clean and unfussy, yet very expressive; the characters are as interesting, complex, and contradictory as real people; and the science fiction elements are handled with skill and knowledge. (Anyone who’s read about the Mercury or Apollo programs will nod their head in recognition during the astronaut training sequences.) Kou Yaginuma even manages to introduce elements of magical realism into the story without compromising the serious tone. In short, Twin Spica is utterly heartfelt, speaking directly to adolescent fears and hopes, but is crafted with enough skill to sustain an adult’s interest. If you haven’t yet tried it, what are you waiting for?
MICHELLE: I concur on the Twin Spica front, though I’m lamentably behind in the series, but I am going to award my pick of the week to something that’s not on this list but which, according to Amazon, is coming out this week and that’s Young Miss Holmes, Casebook 1-2 from Seven Seas. I have a soft spot for mystery manga, and when you make it a seinen historical fiction mystery manga starring the niece of Sherlock Holmes, I surely cannot resist. I love that Seven Seas is packaging the series—now up to volume seven in Japan—in lovely two-volume chunks, as well!
Readers, what looks good to you this week?
Aaron saysMarch 12, 2012 at 10:01 am
I’m seconding Young Miss Holmes while I have no real affenity for Sherlock Holmes and Mystery manga has always been kind of a hard subgenere for me to get into. I like this sereis from it’s slightly 70s Shojo art style the legitmitelly complex cases likeable herione and even the Dance in The Vampire Bund tie in (wich is an extra treat since I’m a big fan of that sereis.)
Rij saysMarch 12, 2012 at 10:19 am
My bookstore sent volume 6 of House of Five Leaves to me today, so I’ll name that as my pick. I don’t think I’m getting any more manga this week anyway.
CJ saysMarch 12, 2012 at 10:40 am
Looking at the bookshelf briefs, it’s a pretty good week, there’s Blue Exorcist, Kamisama Kiss, and GTO. Young Miss Holmes interests me too, I plan to pick it up at some point strictly based on the fact that the guy did Area 88 (the OVA of which was amazing, and I managed to get the first three single issues).
But yeah, Twin Spica is definitely the prize I’m after. I thought it would come in the mail today, but alas, it shall be tomorrow. Having not read Vertical’s last 4 volumes, I’ve decided to just start the series again from the beginning despite what a poor idea this is as despite being so very very good, it also makes me so very very sad. On the plus side though, I did get a friend hooked by going “here, read this” and our local library has the manga too, making it easier for her to keep going without my volumes leaving the shelf. My prediction for the final volume? I am going to be bawling for well over an hour (a feat not accomplished for me since Banana Fish).
CJ saysMarch 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm
Nevermind, I did indeed get it in today! My house must be a perpetual day behind picking up our mail or something, it’s weird… Anyway I’ve decided to re-read it from the start, two volumes per day for the first 6, then just one thick volume per afterwards. Anything more and I’ll be bawling my eyes out too much as the series makes me oddly depressed (as others have noted). I might let my friend read it first if I see her before I get to volume 12 myself.
I was unaware that Twin Spica hasn’t sold as well as it so clearly deserves to, it’s a shame because it’s one of the very few series I’d hand out copies of like a religious nutjob (the others being Banana Fish and Hikaru no Go).
Manga Connection saysMarch 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm
I’m so far behind on Twin Spica; I only have up to volume 4 and am trying to wait until a Rightstuf Vertical sale to snag up the rest. I wish I wouldn’t have gotten so behind now that the series is ending, darn.
Young Miss Holmes seems really interesting to me, but I don’t know why. I flipped through it this weekend at the bookstore and was surprised to see sort of older shoujo art. I’d love if someone reviewed this first volume; I’m sort of wavering on whether to pick it up. I did think it was cool that the volume had an obi around it though.
Michelle Smith saysMarch 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm
It’s one of my goals for this week to review it. Hopefully I can manage it! :)
ed saysMarch 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm
“…am trying to wait until a Rightstuf Vertical sale to snag up the rest.”
If you really want to read this title, I would not recommend doing this.
Just as a warning the next sale possibly won’t come round until late summer at the earliest (if not then by Jan 2013). And more importantly, this series will not likely see a second printing and for some of the volumes of this series (volumes 5-11) quantities are limited.