It’s an uneven week at Midtown Comics but the Battle Robot presents a nearly-united front on this week’s must-buy. See below!
SEAN: Well, there’s not quite as much going on with the list this week as there was last week. But we do get a final volume of a series I really enjoyed… and also tended to avoid. Twin Spica was very well written, emotional, and had wonderful character development, but I always kept putting off reading the volumes when I got them. Possibly as I knew they would be such an emotional wrench – the series is not depressing overall, but its lows can be quite low, and its highs always seem to be fleeting. But it has a fantastic likeable heroine in Asumi, and in the end I’m glad that Vertical took a chance on the series, even if it didn’t sell quite as well as hoped. In this final volume we’ll get to see who – if any – will be going to space. And whether Mr. Lion can finally find peace.
MELINDA: I’m definitely with Sean this week. Twin Spica has been a consistent high point over the past couple of years. It made my Best Of list with its debut in 2010, and has never once disappointed me over the entire course of its run. Twin Spica 12 is absolutely this week’s must-buy manga.
KATE: My votes also goes to Twin Spica, a series that hasn’t yet found the wide audience it so richly deserves. The artwork is clean and unfussy, yet very expressive; the characters are as interesting, complex, and contradictory as real people; and the science fiction elements are handled with skill and knowledge. (Anyone who’s read about the Mercury or Apollo programs will nod their head in recognition during the astronaut training sequences.) Kou Yaginuma even manages to introduce elements of magical realism into the story without compromising the serious tone. In short, Twin Spica is utterly heartfelt, speaking directly to adolescent fears and hopes, but is crafted with enough skill to sustain an adult’s interest. If you haven’t yet tried it, what are you waiting for?
MICHELLE: I concur on the Twin Spica front, though I’m lamentably behind in the series, but I am going to award my pick of the week to something that’s not on this list but which, according to Amazon, is coming out this week and that’s Young Miss Holmes, Casebook 1-2 from Seven Seas. I have a soft spot for mystery manga, and when you make it a seinen historical fiction mystery manga starring the niece of Sherlock Holmes, I surely cannot resist. I love that Seven Seas is packaging the series—now up to volume seven in Japan—in lovely two-volume chunks, as well!
Readers, what looks good to you this week?