There’s a wealth of new manga shipping in to Midtown Comics, including popular titles from Kodansha Comics, VIZ Media, and Seven Seas. But it’s Yen Press who manages a clean sweep of the Battle Robot’s picks this week.
MJ: This week is really brutal on the pocketbook, or at least it is on mine. I see several must-buys on the list, including the latest volumes of favorites like House of Five Leaves, Bunny Drop, Sailor Moon, and Pandora Hearts, none of which I’d be willing to miss. And A Bride’s Story, for heaven’s sake! I couldn’t possibly pass that up! But for my pick this week, I’ll continue on in my endless crusade for SangEun Lee’s supernatural romance manhwa 13th Boy. I’ve followed this series rabidly since the beginning, and now that we’ve reached its penultimate volume, I’m bursting with anticipation. Though the series’ romantic destination has been clear (to me, anyway) from the start, the journey has always been the point, and I’m dying to see how Lee plans to take us there. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
MICHELLE: I’m in the same boat! I’ve touted both Sailor Moon and 13th Boy in the past, and love both with equal fervor. The tie-breaking factor, then, must come from how awesome the story is in each series at the present moment. Sailor Moon has just embarked on a new arc while 13th Boy is approaching its end, with all sorts of attendant drama. Put in that perspective, I think 13th Boy is the clear, “can’t miss” winner.
SEAN: I think we can all basically toss up a picture of Sailor Moon every time it comes out, and then say “in addition to this”. For me, my “in addition” is the 5th volume of Bunny Drop, the heartwarming josei manga about single parenthood. I’d noted when reviewing Volume 4 that I felt the series needed to shake things up a bit, and clearly Unita agreed with me – as the cover and back copy both note so no complaints – and so this volume timeskips ahead ten years to find Rin in high school, and Daikichi… well, just as single as he was. We’re going to have a whole new host of questions to wonder about and things to talk about. Hopefully this series can continue to keep the same high quality that has greeted us every time, even with this new development.
KATE: Tempting as those other titles are, my heart belongs to the third volume of A Bride’s Story. Kaoru Mori’s manga is awesome on many levels: it’s meticulously researched and meticulously drawn. It boasts a diverse, compelling cast of female characters who range in age from thirteen to seventy. And it has some of the funniest, weirdest omake of any series on the US market. (Seriously! Mori’s omake might be even better than Yellow Tanabe’s delightfully self-deprecating strips.) What really sold me on this title, however, is Mori’s ability to suggest the rhythm of daily life in nineteenth-century Central Asia; yes, the drama is compelling, but damned if I don’t find those chapters on weaving and bread-baking just as entertaining as the Big Confrontations.
Readers, what looks good to you this week?