This week, Sean and Michelle look at recent releases from Kodansha Comics and Viz Media.
Cage of Eden, Vol. 17 | By Yoshinobu Yamada | Kodansha Comics – In this volume, we see a welcome return of massive killer beats, this one a genetic monstrosity that seems to be an attempted chimera. It allows this manga to do what it does best. No, not the fanservice and commentary on the fanservice, though there’s that too. Seeing the cast inspire each other to use their abilities to their fullest in order to survive is something both Sengoku and Yarai to a lesser degree have been doing, and there’s lots of impressive fighting attempts, even if some of them don’t work. Sadly, this can also lead to OVERconfidence, as we see with fake Miina, who tries to take out the beast and gets eaten. Hard to come back from getting eaten. Or is it? – Sean Gaffney
Magi, Vol. 10 | By Shinobu Ohtaka | Viz Media – This volume reminds us how far our heroes have cme since the start of this book, and how closely they work as a team. So when you add a new element to that team, Hakuryu, he can find himself quickly falling behind – something that makes him insane with envy and self-hatred. It takes Alibaba to remind him that they’ve all made mistakes because they tried to take too much on their own, and his mistakes cost people their lives. In among this, we get Morgiana stepping up to new levels of awesome as she learns to use her vessel, a sneering villain who does his best t drive the group onward and will likely prove to be testing them, and some new arrogant bad guys to provide a cliffhanger. What more culd you want? – Sean Gaffney
Meteor Prince, Vol. 1 | By Meca Tanaka | Viz Media – The premise of Meteor Prince—“a naked alien prince falls from the sky to tell [our heroine] that out of all the girls in the universe, he’s come to Earth to mate with her”—is virtually guaranteed to make one dubious. However, I’m glad I overcame my initial doubts because the series won me over in the end. Io, said prince, is an innocent horndog with alien abilities who easily overcomes the horrible luck that has forced heroine Hako Natsuno to keep her distance from all but a few good friends. As a result, there’s a nice balance of comedy and romance, and Tanaka even finds time to hint at feelings between a couple of the secondary characters. Two volumes seems just the right length for this series, which ultimately reminded me of the type of shoujo once offered by CMX. Surprisingly recommended! – Michelle Smith
One Piece, Vol. 73 | By Eiichiro Oda | Viz Media – No volume of One Piece is ever bad, but some are more emotionally affecting than others. Volume 73 is a good balance of sympathetic islanders—a much-loved king forced to betray his people by a villain, swept-under-the-carpet undesirables plotting rebellion, Franky crying his eyes out over their story…—and action, as the storylines converge and our heroes make ready to help out. I like how the alliance with Trafalgar Law has affected the crew, and how Nami is the one to really recognize the merits of his strategy, and I really liked the arrival of a certain (presumed) character and the effect this had on Luffy. Did any of this make me personally verklempt? Well, no, but it’s still pretty great. – Michelle Smith
Say “I Love You”, Vol. 6 | By Kanae Hazuki | Kodansha Comics – Well, it didn’t take long for Megumi’s plans to come crumbling down around her, did it? It helps that Mei has her first major rival/villain on her side now, one that can see through all the garbage. Given that we also see a sizeable chunk of Megumi’s past here, I suspect she may also end up becoming more likeable to the reader, though I suspect it will take longer. What’s more interesting is the cliffhanger, which makes you wonder if Mei and Yamato will have their first time together. I’m inclined to guess they won’t, but we’ve seen quite a bit of sexual activity in the book already, so you never know. In any case, this is still one of those mangas I always try to read as soon as it arrives. – Sean Gaffney