MICHELLE: Ordinarily next week would be one of those impossible-to-choose weeks for me, featuring as it does series like Bakuman, Slam Dunk, Kimi ni Todoke, and Dawn of the Arcana, all of which are terrific. However, they’re all also still being released in English, which means I have plenty of time to recommend them in future. The same cannot be said for Ouran High School Host Club, which reaches its eighteenth and final volume at long last. I’ve followed this series for six years, throughout various ups and downs—I loved some of it, I liked some of it, and I grew frustrated by some of it—but I am really looking forward to its conclusion. I hope it’s as satisfying as it has the potential to be!
SEAN: What Michelle said. Ouran 18 for me as well. (Hey, sometimes even I have little to say.)
KATE: I’ve never been an Ouran gal, so my pick goes to another Shojo Beat title: volume three of A Devil and Her Love Song. I thought the first two volumes showed promise, but felt that the author sometimes didn’t quite know what to do with her prickly, truth-telling heroine. In the third volume, however, the story really clicks: the characters are fully realized, and the storyline begins moving more briskly. Though there are some melodramatic flourishes, A Devil and Her Love Song remains squarely focused on real teenage concerns: fitting in, staying true to one’s beliefs, and rejecting phoniness in all guises. Surely Holden Caulfield would approve.
MELINDA: While there are quite a few favorites of mine on the list this week, I’ll give my vote to volume three of GTO: 14 Days in Shonan. From my write-up at Off the Shelf: “What I found pretty spectacular about 14 Days in Shonan, is that it features a main character who spends a lot of time telling other people just how much of a badass he is, while actually being a badass … I enjoyed these volumes so much more than I expected, I find myself wishing I had some kind of award to give out for it, or something. It’s been a while since my expectations were so neatly trounced.” I realize that simply repeating myself is a lazy way to make my pick, but really, that gets to the crux of it. I (very unexpectedly) loved the first two volumes of this manga, and I can’t wait to read more!
Readers, what looks good to you this week?