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Pick of the Week: X

With power finally restored to the entire Battle Robot, everyone’s on board with a pick this week, though the robot’s leaning heavily in one particular direction.

MELINDA: We’ve got an odd assortment of manga coming it to Midtown Comics this week. I have half a mind to recommend volume two of Bandai’s Tales of the Abyss: Asch the Bloody since I had such a surprisingly enjoyable experience with the first. But pretty pictures and beautiful production win my heart this week, as I choose the first of Viz’s 3-in-1 editions of CLAMP’s shoujo battle-fest, X. Admittedly, I’m a much bigger fan of X‘s shorter, more intimate predecessor, Tokyo Babylon, and I think I’ve failed to appreciate the allure of X‘s larger, sweeping drama and penchant for destruction. But with this new 3-in-1, Viz has provided a package that’s impossible for me to ignore. This book is gorgeous, with its thick, glossy cover (love the new, minimalist design), crisp, white paper, and delicious color pages preceding each volume. It’s a delight to behold, and I am really looking forward to giving X a second chance to win me over with these particular attributes in its favor.

DAVID: It’s strange that I’m finding myself so drawn to CLAMP as I settle into middle age. That seems just wrong, but there’s no denying that it’s so. I’m utterly taken with Gate 7 (also Dark Horse), and now I find myself seconding Melinda’s choice of the X 3-in-1 from Viz. As I’ve noted, it’s probably the CLAMP-iest thing I’ve ever seen, but it’s made somewhat special by the fact that there’s tons and tons of violence. It probably won’t hold a place of honor on my shelves in years to come, but I’ll certainly read the rest of it.

KATE: Looking at this week’s shipping list makes me feel like I took a ride in Mister Peabody’s WABAC machine, with new volumes of X and InuYasha arriving on store shelves. And though I’m tempted to be a contrarian and recommend, say, Yakuza Cafe (DMP) just for the sake of variety, my vote also goes for X. The new edition boasts a new translation, a bigger trim size, and almost six hundred pages of story per volume, all of which enhance the reading experience. And if you’re the kind of reader who cares passionately about extras, you’ll be pleased to discover that VIZ has included a generous selection of glossy, full-color pinups from various points in the series’ run.

MICHELLE: I certainly intend to snap up the X 3-in-1 edition, but since ample reasons for doing so have been ably supplied by my cohorts, I’ll cast my vote for the second volume of Kazuma Kodaka’s Bad Teacher’s Equation. Okay, so I haven’t exactly finished reading the first volume yet—these books are chunky!—but I am a big fan of Kodaka’s Kizuna, so I’m familiar with her style. In looks and execution, Kizuna is very different from most of the other BL coming out in English, and I am excited to dig deeper into Bad Teacher’s Equation and follow up with Border, two Kodaka series more recently announced by DMP.

SEAN: Too many people have already picked X. So I’m exercising my right to say I had no power last week and picking a title from last week’s list, namely the 11th volume of Kimi ni Todoke. As I noted in my post on last week’s books, it’s always a treat when a couple get together and the series continues on, seeing how well their relationship holds up after the big fireworks. Plus the supporting cast of this series is top notch – this volume in particular has one of my favorite Yano scenes in the whole series, and unsurprisingly it also involves Pin. Just really nice and heartwarming, in all the best ways.

Readers, what looks good to you this week?

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  1. My pick of the week is volume 2 of Kazuma Kodaka’s Bad Teacher Equation. This series is so good and hilarious I cannot put it down once I start. I am a big fan of Kodaka’s Kizuna and Border and this one is just as good. I have to admit, though, that Kizuna is my favorite so far. Can’t wait for volume 3 of Bad Teacher’s Equation to come out!

  2. Border is really very good – much more a family drama than boy’s love centered. It’s just that the people who love each other are men. Bad Teacher’s Equation I bounced off of, but I have heard it gets better – it’s K2 doing comedy boy’s love. I think she’s better with the dramatic stuff.


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