MJ: There is an avalanche of new manga flooding Midtown Comics this week, including some regular favorites of mine like Pandora Hearts, Bakuman, and Natsume’s Book of Friends, but I only have eyes for one title, and that’s volume 8 of Chocolat, a girls’ manhwa series from Yen Press that has been on hiatus since 2008. This omnibus includes the series’ final three volumes, and I can’t wait to read it! Well, I admit I probably have to go back and read the rest of the series again first (it has been a while), but that doesn’t dampen my excitement in the slightest. Chocolat marathon, anyone?
SEAN: Midtown may be getting a pile, but my store is only getting a tiny amount, for some likely Diamond-related reason. And I already talked about Higurashi a couple of days ago. So for my pick, I’ll go with the 13th volume of Toriko, another Shonen Jump success story about food and manliness. After a lull where it fell into “3 volumes of fight,” Toriko has picked right back up again, and it always seems to find the right balance between fighting and food. And the food is getting more and more gloriously weird, with every menu item almost becoming a new character that has to be defeated. Like One Piece, which it resembles a bit, Toriko gives off an old-school Jump feeling of boys with their toys. And the toys are MEAT. (P.S. – Also get the 2nd Pogo volume from Fantagraphics, as Pogo is awesome. Sincerely, Sean.)
MICHELLE: I’d be up for that Chocolat marathon, but I’m going to award my pick to volume 13 of Natsume’s Book of Friends. Though episodic stories aren’t generally my preference, Natsume is consistently excellent and maintains a certain… ethereal air? I’m not sure how to describe it. It’s not quite gentle, it’s not quite wistful… But it’s entirely wonderful. If you haven’t checked this series out yet, you really should!
ANNA: My Pick of the week is the new Mayu Shinjo title, Demon Love Spell. This quite funny send-up of paranormal romance manga features a chibified incubus and a bumbling yet sassy shrine maiden. It should appeal to fans of Ai Ore, and for people who dropped Ai Ore due to some of the squicky gender issues in the first volume, I think that the humor in this manga is much easier to relate to.
Readers, what looks good to you this week?