SEAN: It’s the end of February at last, and we celebrate with a huge pile of stuff. Are you ready?
SEAN: Cross Infinite World has a 2nd volume of light novel The Eccentric Master and the Fake Lover.
Dark Horse has a 4th deluxe hardcover for Berserk.
ASH: The hardcover edition really is impressive — I’m slowly replacing my paperback copies.
SEAN: A couple of Volume 2s from Ghost Ship: Destiny Lovers 2 and World’s End Harem: Fantasia 2.
J-Novel Club has another shoujo light novel out next week: Tearmoon Empire (Tearmoon Teikoku Monogatari). This is from TO Books, and stars a selfish princess who is about to be guillotined by an angry populace when suddenly she wakes up in the past! It’s time to change the future so she doesn’t die! But… that’s so much hard work… can’t she just get others to do it for her? This seems like fun.
ASH: I appreciate this foray into shoujo fantasy works.
SEAN: There’s also a 9th Lazy Dungeon Master and a 3rd Welcome to Japan, Ms. Elf!.
Kodansha has three debuts, two print and one digital. The print is Sweat and Soap (Ase to Sekken), a seinen title from Weekly Morning. A woman who works in a toiletry company is ashamed of the way she smells, and very grateful for her company’s products. Then she meets the company’s lead brand developer, who is fascinated by her natural scent. Romance ensues. Despite sounding like it does for sweat what Mysterious Girlfriend X did for drool, I’ll give this a try.
ASH: I’m cautious, but intrigued?
MELINDA: This could either be amazing… or really not.
SEAN: The other debut is a license rescue, coming out in deluxe omnibuses: Saiyuki! And yes, this is the original 1990s Saiyuki, not any of the modern remixes and spinoffs. A GFantasy title, it originally came out via Tokyopop. Now Kodansha is re-releasing it. Hope you like journeys to the west.
MICHELLE: I read a little of this ten years ago but never continued, so I’m looking forward to having another chance.
ANNA: I love journeys to the west! I have the old volumes but I’m seriously considering double dipping and I almost never double dip.
ASH: Nice to see this series back in print!
MELINDA: I’m so happy to see this again! It won’t get me over my eternal longing for Wild Adapter, but I’ll take it.
SEAN: Kodansha also has, in print, In/Spectre 11, Land of the Lustrous 10, and Magus of the Library 3.
ASH: I’ve fallen behind and need to catch up with In/Spectre, but I’m definitely ready for more of Land of the Lustrous and Magus of the Library!
SEAN: Digitally the debut is I Fell in Love After School (Houkago, Koishita), another Dessert title. A shy girl who lacks presence and a volleyball club she’s managing. This looks very fluffy.
ANNA: Aww, this sounds cute if only I were capable of keeping up on all these digital releases.
SEAN: Also out digitally next week: Altair: A Record of Battles 15, Drowning Love 17, Guilty 5, Hotaru’s Way 12, Kounodori: Dr. Stork 13, and Watari’s ******* Is About to Collapse 3.
KUMA has a one-volume title called Can an Otaku Like Me really Be an Idol? (Doruota no Bokudesuga Shinken ni Aidoru Mezashimasu!?). It’s a BL title about cross-dressing idols, and ran in Takeshobo’s Qpa. It was also on the Renta! site.
MICHELLE: My friend assures me it is very cute.
ASH: I’ve likewise heard good things.
SEAN: One Peace has a 7th Hinamatsuri.
Seven Seas has a pile, as is becoming traditional for the last week of the month. There’s another ‘early digital’ novel release, again by the author of I Want to Eat Your Pancreas. This is I Had That Same Dream Again (Mata, Onaji Yume wo Miteita), and is another coming-of-age story.
We also get The Ancient Magus’ Bride 12, The Brave-Tuber 2, Classroom of the Elite’s 4th light novel (in print), How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? 2, Mushoku Tensei’s 10th manga volume, Reincarnated As a Sword’s 4th light novel in print, Skeleton Knight in Another World 4 (print) and 5 (digital), and Ultra Kaiju Humanization Project 4.
MICHELLE: Hooray for more of The Ancient Magus’ Bride!
ASH: Yes, indeed!
SEAN: Square Enix has the debut of Hi-Score Girl, a Big Gangan series with a quirky art style and a love of retro gaming. Two otherwise dissimilar kids share a bond over games.
ASH: I like quirky.
MELINDA: I’m up for whatever Square Enix throws at us, so count me in.
SEAN: Udon has the 3rd and final Stravaganza omnibus, as well as a 6th Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu.
Vertical debuts Blood on the Tracks (Chi no Wadachi), another psychological drama from Shuzo Oshimi. This ran in Big Comic Superior, and is about a boy who realizes that his doting, over-affectionate mother may NOT be as normal as he’d though. If you’ve read Oshimi you know what to expect.
MICHELLE: Hm, potentially interesting.
ANNA: I’m gonna wait for a review, but I am also intrigued.
MELINDA: I’m with Anna on this.
SEAN: Yen On technically has a debut, but really it’s just more KH, as we get Kingdom Hearts III: The Novel 1.
They’ve also got Is It Wrong to try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Sword Oratoria 11, KonoSuba EXPLOSION! 2, My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong As I Expected 9, Re: ZERO 12, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online 6, and World’s Strongest Rearguard 2. Lots of heavy hitters in that lineup.
From the manga end, Yen debuts RaW Hero, which is from the creator of Prison School, and also appears to be for fans of Prison School. It runs in Kodansha’s Evening Magazine, and is about heroes, villains, and fetishes, not in that order.
ASH: That’s… the general impression that I’ve gotten, too.
SEAN: We also get Combatants Will Be Dispatched! 2 (manga), The Devil Is a Part-Timer! 15 (manga), Goblin Slayer: Brand New Day 2 (manga), Happy Sugar Life 4 (also a manga, but not a light novel as well like those others), Kemono Friends a la Carte 2, Phantom Tales of the Night 3, and Trinity Seven 19.
ASH: Oh, Phantom Tales of the Night! If nothing else, it’s very pretty (and creepy); I’m interested in how the series continues to develop.
SEAN: A lot of, shall we say, saucy manga out next week. Are you getting any?