It’s a Viz-centric week according to Midtown:
From David: My pick this week is the second volume of Julietta Suzuki’s Kamisama Kiss (Viz). I wasn’t very inspired by the notion of this book until I read some of Suzuki’s Karakuri Odette (Tokyopop) for a recent Manga Moveable Feast and was very taken with Suzuki’s quirky, thoughtful writing. As I noted about the first volume, “It’s got grumpy, likeable leads, a solid premise, and an endearing look to it.” And Kate noted something very central to the appeal of the series and its protagonists in her review of the first two volumes: “Making those tart exchanges more entertaining is the fact that Nanami and Tomoe are equally matched.”
From Kate: Once again, I’m going to wear my Good Comics for Kids hat and recommend a title for the under-ten crowd: Taro and the Terror of Eats Street, which is published by VIZKids. The series focuses on Taro, a young cartoonist, who creates the fictional world of Doodledom. When an eraser-wielding maniac threatens Taro’s characters, he uses a magic pencil to leap into the page and join the fight, drawing weapons and cool getaway vehicles whenever he’s in a pinch. The first volume of the series, Taro and the Magic Pencil, was so imaginative, funny, and fast-paced that I’m willing to bet that Eats Street will be a winner, too. Like the Panda Man books, Taro and the Terror of Eats Street also includes games and puzzles. The fun part: those activities are actually part of the story, not an afterthought, making for a more interactive reading experience for elementary school readers.
From Michelle: Although I am very keen to read the second volume of Kamisama Kiss, I am going to go with Oresama Teacher for my pick this week. It’s a new Shojo Beat series about a girl with a delinquent past who’s been given a chance to start over at a new school. Best of all, she seems inclined to seize the opportunity to change, which reminds me of Very! Very! Sweet, a manhwa I enjoy a lot. Of course, this is by the same author of Magic Touch, about which I heard mixed opinions, but I’m hopeful that it will be as fun as it looks.
From MJ: I’m going to bring this mini-roundtable full circle and agree with David. Volume two of Kamisama Kiss is my Pick of the Week. Here’s a bit from my review of the first volume: “What I especially appreciate about this series, is that regardless of Tomoe’s tremendous superiority complex, he’s far too lazy to be controlling like so many shoujo love interests, and even his surliness is kept staunchly at bay thanks to Nanami’s power of kotodama, which forces him to do her bidding whether he wants to or not. In a way, Kamisama Kiss is everything that Black Bird could have been if not for its heavy misogynist overtones. Like Misao, Nanami’s surrounded by yokai who would just as soon eat her if they had the chance, but unlike Misao, Nanami has agency, and that makes all the difference in the world.”
So, readers, what are your Picks this week?