It’s slim pickin’s once again this week at Midtown Comics. Check out recommendations from the Manga Bookshelf bloggers and special guest Michelle Smith!
From Kate: This week, I’m going to ignore my triskaidekaphobia and recommend the thirteenth volume of 20th Century Boys. We’re now a little past the midway mark in the series, and I can honestly say I have no idea where it’s headed. With a less capable author than Naoki Urasawa, I might be worried; I was one of those viewers who grew tired of Lost’s bolt-from-the-blue plotting after just two seasons. Urasawa, however, does an excellent job of convincing the reader to stay the course, offering tantalizing clues to the Friend’s identity while gradually revealing what went down on the eve of the millennium. I’m convinced that no matter how the series ends, I will believe in that ending, even if I didn’t forsee it.
From Michelle: This is probably going to be an unpopular choice, but I’m going to go with volume three of Bokurano: Ours. The series features a group of middle-school-aged children taking life-leeching turns piloting a mecha to protect Earth from invaders, and has some serious flaws, most notably the inability to allow readers to really get to know or care about any of these kids before it’s their turn to die. Many would eschew a story like this, and maybe it’s my complete and utter lack of a maternal drive talking, but I find it kind of fascinating. There hasn’t been any reason offered for this invasion, and I suspect that someone, somewhere is merely enjoying a bit of sport at humanity’s expense. We shall see!
From MJ: I’m going to go off the Midtown list this week and turn to the fine folks at Boston’s Comicopia, who say they’ll be seeing volume three of one of my favorite new series of last year, Nobuaki Tadano’s 7 Billion Needles, published in English by Vertical, Inc. This is my second time around with this series as a Pick, but it’s really that good. Check out my review of volume two here. A quote: “Though the story’s horror/sci-fi elements are what keeps its plot going, the real heart of this story is Hikaru’s journey toward becoming a real, living participant in her world, and this is a story Tadano tells very well.” I’m very much looking forward to digging into the newest volume.
From David: I was hoping someone would fudge their source before I had to do so. I’m going to again use the ComicList for my pick, which would be the first omnibus of Yu Aida’s Gunslinger Girl (Seven Seas). Ages ago, when I was still writing the Flipped column for Comic World News, I asked various manga bloggers to share what they felt were overlooked comics. Ed (MangaCast) Chavez, now with Vertical, mentioned Gunslinger Girl, describing it as a “[w]ell drawn primer to pop-culture perversion.” I’ve been curious ever since, and this seems like an economical and convenient way to slake that curiosity, though I may live to regret it.
Readers, what are your picks this week?
Noura saysFebruary 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm
My pick of the week is definitely none other than volume 13 of Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys. I’m a huge fan of the series and anything by Urasawa. 20th Century Boys is addicting and you can’t help but want more once you finish a volume. It is a good thing that a new book is published every other month.
Things are getting interesting now as more have come to light. Also, characters who were thought to be gone are slowly making an appearance again. Can’t wait to see how things are going to unfold.
By the end of this series, I hope we get to see 21st Century Boys. I hope VIZ Media already has it.
Naoki Urasawa is a true genius and I’d love more of his work to be licensed.
Michelle Smith saysFebruary 15, 2011 at 8:58 am
I’m pretty sure we will. Isn’t that, like, the actual conclusion to the series?
Kris saysFebruary 15, 2011 at 11:16 am
I’ve got that Gunslinger Girl omni here, though I haven’t cracked it open yet. I read Viz’s vol 1 years ago, and vol…6, I think, which was the last they published. I enjoyed it, but I’m a huge fan of the anime, which is one of my favorites (the original series, at least). I hope you enjoy it, David.
Kate: That’s an awesome pick, and I thoroughly enjoyed that volume of 20th Century Boys. Lots of great stuff involving Kanna’s mother.
Kris saysFebruary 16, 2011 at 11:43 am
Also, I mean I read ADV’s volume 1 years ago. *smacks forehead*