You may recall that the past few weeks the Manga Bookshelf teams has had some trouble picking out picks of the week, frequently having to dip into the well of non-manga or simply dropping out. Let’s just say… that won’t be an issue this coming week. Jeepers, there’s a lot of manga.
First off, next week as always brings us this week’s Kodansha releases, as Diamond feels there’s nothing worth doing that can’t wait a week. There’s the debut of the sequel to Until the Full Moon, which is called @Full Moon. It runs in Kodansha’s obscure yet intriguing magazine MiChao!, and still features vampires and werewolves being vaguely gay at each other. Oh, and did I mention it now adds genderbending? In other titles, we see the debut of Shugo-chara Chan!, the adorable 4-koma adventures of the original Shugo Chara cast. (Trust me when I say cute 4-koma adaptations are a hot industry in Japan.) There’s also new volumes of Deltora Quest and Ghost in the Shell: Stand-Alone Complex.
Vertical has the final volume of the iconic Black Jack series, and I am so happy that they finished it. The series may be of highly varying quality, but its inventiveness has always been first rate. And if nothing else, it introduced Western fandom to Pinoko, who shows Chibi-Usa has a ways to go before she hits the big time of controversy.
Viz. Right. (rolls up sleeves) On the Weekly Shonen Jump side, we have a one-two-three-four-five combo punch that would kill any manga reader – new Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Toriko and Bakuman ALL AT THE SAME TIME. (Naruto is strangely not on Midtown’s list, but my shop says it’s getting it.) There is also Nura and Slam Dunk, which never quite hit the dizzying sales heights of the former but this does not make them unworthy. And from its sister magazine Jump Square, there’s Blue Exorcist, which may soon pass Rosario + Vampire and Claymore to become that magazine’s flagship title.
On the shoujo end, we see the debut of Dawn of the Arcana, a new fantasy romance that runs in Shogakukan’s shoujo for college kids (except it’s actually read by teens who want to be grownups) Cheese! magazine. Shueisha, not wanting to be left out, gives us a new Sakura Hime from everyone’s favorite artist Arina Tanemura. And our friends at Hakusensha remind North America they still exist despite being down to only one venue for their titles, and give us new Grand Guignol Orchestra (the final volume), Kamisama Kiss, Natsume’s Book of Friends, and the penultimate volume of Ouran High School Host Club. I think anyone will be able to find something they’ll like there.
Lastly, and strangely out of place this week (I think it got shoved back from a Week 3, which is where Viz normally releases their Ikki titles), as have a new volume of the slacker artist manga I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow. Quick, name some other manga titles out over here with ellipses in them. It’s OK, I’ll wait.
And great, now Yen is shipping the first week of the month? That RUINS EVERYTHING! They have to ship second week so as to not CRUSH US ALL! Whine. Flail. Anyway, what have we here? New volumes of Bamboo Blade, still one of my favorites. The second of four Higurashi volumes devoted to its poster child, Rena. A new volume of the CLAMP manga Kobato, which honestly seems strangely forgotten now that Gate 7 is out. The final volume of My Girlfriend’s A Geek, a title for female otaku that I found myself quite enjoying anyway. And the “final” volume of 4-koma sensation K-On!. It’s the final volume of the original series, but as there are now 2 separate sequels going in Japan, I suspect we’ll be seeing a 5th before long. Till then, enjoy Romio and Juritsu.
Exhausted yet? I know I am.