SEAN: Given I can barely move my arms after digging out from over 3 feet of snow, I’d better have a comfort manga for my pick of the week. So let’s go with the biannual release of Hayate the Combat Butler. Yes, its art is moe and pandering, and yes, it’s a harem genre of the most brutal kind. But I admire its ability to never take itself seriously, and (when it doesn’t feature Athena) it’s really, really funny. Every single character, even the minor ones, has the ability to bring the funny to any situation. It may sell poorly, but that just makes each new volume a cherished treat. Well, unless lack of romantic resolution upsets you. Then this is the WORST MANGA EVER, as that is its main bread and butter. Not resolving anything.
MJ: I’m in similar pain today, but instead of comfort manga, I will opt for just immersing myself in something really compelling and go with Tsutomu Nihei’s Knights of Sidonia, arriving at Midtown this week from Vertical. Michelle and I read this for Saturday’s Off the Shelf, and I am not sure I’ve gone more than five minutes since without it on my mind, at least lurking around in the background. I found it incredibly engaging and visually stunning to boot. And though I’m anxious for the next volume, for the time being I’ll settle for re-reading the first. It’s that good.
MICHELLE: A big “me too!” on the Knights of Sidonia front. More human and accessible than BLAME!, Knights of Sidonia is still pure Nihei, both visually and in the particular, mysterious feeling reading his works evokes in me. I loved it without reservation.
Readers, what looks good to you this week?