SEAN: Given that this last week is rather thin, I thought I’d briefly touch on the titles I enjoyed in 2012. It was hard to pick just one, and several series – Devil and Her Love Song, Young Miss Holmes, Fallen Words, Sakuran, GTO 14 Days – were on my shortlist. But really, 2012 has a surprising winner for me, a red-blooded American male, and it comes from a young girl in a magical Wonderland choosing between many men who seem designed to fall for her. Alice in the Country of Hearts was license rescued by Yen Press and put out in 3 huge omnibuses this May, and it brought with it a host of spinoffs from Seven Seas and Yen, all of which seem to be selling quite well. More to the point, with one or two exceptions, the manga adaptations are not straying too far from the game’s central tenet – this is a broken young girl trapped in a world full of men with loose grips on sanity who think nothing of death and violence. Maintaining that balance between psychological mystery and romantic drama is the key to the series’ success, and it’s why I still enjoy reading it, even if I don’t really care who Alice ends up with.
MJ: This year was filled with a number of surprising new favorites for me, including titles like GTO: 14 Days in Shonan, Soulless, The Flowers of Evil, and Loveless, as well as a number of shoo-ins like Sakuran, Paradise Kiss, and the awesome conclusion to long-time favorite 13th Boy. It was a strong year for BL as well, as Michelle and I have discussed previously (including a last-minute entry, The Scent of Apple Blossoms). But in the end, my Pick of the Year is a publisher rather than a single title, and that publisher is JManga. When I think about my favorite new titles of the year, a full half of them come from the pages of JManga—Pride, Crazy for You, Sweet Blue Flowers, Dousei Ai, My Darling Kitten Hair, Love My Life, Kyudo Boys—and the list goes on. If I had to pick just one, it’d be impossible. I’ve loved each one of these series and many more. Thanks, JManga, for making my year!
MICHELLE: I had to think about this for a while, because the title that first sprang to mine was not one that debuted in 2012. In fact, it started coming out here in 2010, but I so loved every single volume of it, most especially the final one, that I simply must award my pick to Mitsuru Adachi’s Cross Game. Okay, yeah, maybe it’s not pushing any envelopes, but it’s incredibly heartwarming and I just adore it to pieces.
Readers, what’s your favorite title of 2012?