manga bookshelf

Pick of the Week: Negima & more

A slow week at Midtown Comics can be painful, but the Battle Robot finds a few books to love, both on and off the list.

SEAN: I’ve become accustomed to the fact that both titles I’d like to talk about this week fall into the category of ‘will never, ever gain new readers no matter how much I review them’. With that in mind, this has been one of the most enjoyable arcs of Negima! to date, and this volume, although technically a breather, advances a lot of plot points. The four sports girls each get some lovely character moments, particularly Yuna and Akira, and we get some nice (if tear-jerking) backstory. We also get a good look at Fate’s group, showing that even thought they may be the villains that doesn’t mean that they’re irredeemable or acting out of evil. (cough) Well, except Tsukuyomi. Who reaches new levels of terrifying. For Negima fans, it’s a must buy. For casual readers, go read the 2nd omnibus instead.

MELINDA: This week’s meager offering is nearly a bust for me, but fortunately my favorite talking cactus saves the day! Things take a fairly dramatic turn, romance-wise, in volume 9 of SangEun Lee’s 13th Boy, and I have to admit it’s all going my way, at least for now. I can’t think of a girls’ comic I’ve enjoyed more in the past year or so than 13th Boy, and I’m already mourning the fact that it’s only going to last me through July of next year. Beatrice now, Beatrice forever!

KATE: This week’s manga offerings are mighty slim, so my choice is the third issue of Dorothy and The Wizard in Oz (Marvel). As a child, I only read the first Oz novel and, truth be told, found it kind of ponderous. In Skottie Young and Erik Shanower’s capable hands, however, all of Baum’s Oz novels have been a genuine pleasure to read: they’re beautifully and playfully illustrated, bringing Baum’s weirdest creations to vivid life. Dorothy and the Wizard is the fourth novel in the original series, reuniting Dorothy with the balloonist-cum-wizard from the first book. The episodic plot is perfectly suited to a serial medium like comics, offering readers enough variation to keep them interested while allowing each of the supporting characters a memorable turn in the spotlight. A great choice for younger readers.

MICHELLE: Oh dear, there is indeed a paucity of choices from Midtown Comics this week. Since Melinda has so ably recommended volume nine of 13th Boy, I shall go off-list and pick something that should be on this list but isn’t, and that’s volume one of Shugo Chara-chan!, due out this week from Kodansha Comics. Honestly, I have no idea whether this will actually be good, but I’ve been looking forward to checking it out for a while. It’s by Peach-Pit, the same team who wrote Shugo Chara! itself, and is essentially a 4-koma comic strip starring the “guardian characters” from the main series. It’s possible that it will be painfully unfunny, or perhaps only suited for young audiences, but I am hoping for the best!

Readers, what looks good to you?

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  1. Not much this week I’d recomend the new volume of Toriko if only for the overall goofiness of the sereis and the old school art work. But this week not a whole lot to perk my intrest the next couple weeks are where I expect to clean up though (new Blood Alone and the final volumes of K-On! and FMA)

  2. Oh gee I rarely stay up to date with manga releases…I suppose my recommendation would have been Sailor Moon and Sailor V vol. 2. But I recommend it with reservations because for me Sailor Moon has a VERY high nostalgia factor and I’m uncertain if other readers at my current age would take to it like I did in 5th grade. I have the latest volume of Black Jack on the way :) I haven’t read it yet but I’m pretty sure it will be great just like the rest of the series.

    PS – Bought 13th boy volumes 1 and 2, recommended manga is almost always worth the risk for me

    • Katherine Dacey says:

      Let us know what you think of 13th Boy—it’s a staff favorite here at MB! Well, among the female staffers, at least; I can’t speak for Sean and David, but really, what’s not to like about a romantic comedy in which one of the characters is a walking, talking cactus in a doo rag?

    • I really hope you enjoy 13th Boy! Good call on buying both volumes 1 & 2.


  1. […] The Manga Bookshelf bloggers discuss their Picks of the Week. […]

  2. […] can check out what my Manga Bookshelf colleagues are eagerly anticipating this week, and you can read our thoughts on some recent releases in a heaping helping of Bookshelf […]

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