ASH: It doesn’t seem like there are any truly quiet weeks when it comes to manga releases anymore, but the last week of year does tend to be smaller than others. Still, it’s not hard for me to find something to read. My pick for the week is the most recent volume of Land of the Lustrous, a series I appreciate for its philosophical musings and striking artwork even if its plot can be a little haphazard.
Looking back over everything published in 2017 there have been some tremendous releases; it’s been a great year for manga. The debut series that left the greatest impression on me was Nagabe’s beautiful and haunting The Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún. The manga is both charming and unsettling, with Nagabe’s exceptional storytelling and atmospheric artwork making it one of the most stand out releases of the year.
MICHELLE: I absolutely agree with Ash for my pick of the year, though honorable mention goes to Chihayafuru.
For this week, I’m most looking forward to the fourth volume of The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window. This complicated, suspenseful story is BL at its best.
SEAN: The week itself does not impress me that much, so I will pick the new volume of The Full-Time Wife Escapist.
And though it seems a bit premature to make a Pick of the Year for something that only debuted in December, I’m still so blown away by The Promised Neverland that I’m going with that one. It may get too bleak for me in future, but for now I can’t look away.
KATE: I liked the first volume of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. Aside from some totally gratuitous fan service, it was snappy, funny, and heart warming in an unexpected way. The release of volume three seems like a fine excuse to get caught up with Rimuru’s adventures.
As for my pick of the year, it’s Furari, one of the late, great Jiro Taniguchi’s final works. The manga reads like a mash-up of The Times of Botchan and The Walking Man, focusing on Tadataka Ino, a real cartographer who lived in Edo. As with Walking Man, not much happens story-wise, but the book offers a vibrant portrait of eighteenth-century urban life — think Richard Scarry’s Busy Town, Busy People for grown-ups.
ANNA: Although I’m shamefully behind on the series, the most interesting thing coming out this week to me is The Full-Time Wife Escapist. I’m glad others have selected The Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún, it is absolutely a standout title.
When I was thinking about my pick of the year, the first thing that came to my mind was The Water Dragon’s Bride. Well executed fantasy shoujo should be celebrated! I also agree that Chihayafuru deserves a shout-out as well.