SEAN: There’s a heck of a lot of stuff here, almost too much to choose from. Therefore I will go with an old favorite, because I am lazy like that. It’s the rare manga series in America that can hit its 70th volume and show no signs of stopping, and One Piece is that manga series. More than any other, I think this title exemplifies all the good qualities of shonen manga – and, yes, a few of the bad ones, as Nami and Robin’s figures have expanded to ludicrous proportions over the years. But oh well. Pirates! Comedy! Creepy poison power villains! Give me 70 more volumes after this! (No, don’t do that, pleads Viz.)
MICHELLE: I do love me some One Piece, but I really can’t pass up my final chance to pick Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden, which finally comes to an end this week with its twelfth volume. (It’s been a year since volume eleven.) It’s got all the drama of the original, but Watase has matured a lot as a storyteller, which leaves me hopeful that she’ll allow tragic events to unfold without some kind of cheery retcon or presumably editor-mandated continuation to the story. And, of course, I can’t pass up this last opportunity to hope for Byakko Kaiden someday!
ASH: My pick of the week goes to Inio Asano’s Nijigahara Holograph. The previews that I’ve seen have been beautiful, dark, and disconcerting. Fantagraphics’ hardcover manga are gorgeous, too, easily making Nijigahara Holograph one of my most anticipated releases for the year.
ANNA: I’m torn, because I want to read Nijigahara Holograph as soon as I can, and it has been a very long time since we’ve had new manga from Asano to enjoy. But I’m going to team up with Michelle and highlight Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden. It took a long time for the series to be completed, but Watase can do shoujo adventure romance like no one else. I’m also holding out hope for the Byakko storyline!
MJ: I’m extremely anxious to read the final volume of Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden, but I think this week I have to go along with Ash and Nijigahara Holograph. I first encountered Inio Asano’s work by way of Solanin, which has been one of those rare manga that sticks with me over time, cropping up in my mind at surprising moments. Add to that my very positive feelings about the line of manga Matt Thorn has curated for Fantagraphics, and Nijigahara Holograph becomes the obvious choice.
What looks good to you this week?