SEAN: A fairly quiet Week 2 for this last month of 2013, with just a few tasty morsels of manga to take in while you drink eggnog.
MICHELLE: Mmm, eggnog.
ANNA: Woo hoo!
SEAN: If you like all the wacky misunderstandings, school romance, and tsunderes of shoujo manga, but would like it with BL flavoring, well, here’s Vol. 4 of Awkward Silence, whose cover resembles Ouran High School Host Club if they ditched Haruhi.
Meanwhile, if you want a fantasy sword and sorcery title with demons who insatiable lust for young men knows no bounds, well, SubLime has you covered there as well, with Vol. 1 of Crimson Spell, from the author of Finder.
ASH: Crimson Spell is actually my favorite manga by Ayano Yamane. Only two volumes were released by Media Blasters back in the day, so I’m very excited that SuBLime rescued the series.
MJ: i am really looking forward to reading this. I missed it originally, and it’s so well-loved.
ANNA: Hmm, I’m looking forward to hearing what you guys think about this!
SEAN: Fairy Tail 33 was actually out 12/4, but I forgot about it, possibly as 32 only came out two weeks ago. There’s speedup and then there’s ridiculous.
I will admit, the body horror scene in the last volume of Knights of Sidonia still freaks me out. That said, I’m totally on board with this series now, which hopefully will try not to kill off its entire cast by the time it finishes. Vol. 6 is coming out this week.
ASH: Body horror, mecha battles, and romantic comedy all in one convenient package!
MICHELLE: Not to mention Tsutomu Nihei’s atmospheric art. I still prefer BLAME! for sheer landscape awesomeness, but Sidonia comes close and is far more accessible.
MJ: Yes! I can’t wait to read this!
ANNA: Such a great series, I need to get caught up.
SEAN: Arata the Legend is up to Vol. 16, which means only 2 more volumes and it’s as long as Fushigi Yuugi, which is the series everyone remembers its author for. At least for now. Arata’s day in the sun is coming!
MICHELLE: This is a fun series. I’ll be catching up soon!
Itsuwaribito has wrapped up in Japan recently, but we have a long way to go here in North America. But at least Vol. 10 gets us into double digits. Wikipedia links to some pretty brutal reviews, to be honest. Perhaps a reassessment is needed?
Magi 3 will send us into the manga’s second story arc, and I have been very pleased with what I’ve read so far. I don’t expect that to change.
MICHELLE: Same here! I really like the direction the plot seems to be heading at the end of volume two, and am looking forward to seeing how the story develops from here.
MJ: I’m late beginning this, but it sounds like this is a good time to start.
SEAN: Lastly, the Tiger & Bunny series, like Code Geass, has led to an ongoing series of doujinshi anthologies, which likely lends itself more towards the deep male bonding most fans of this series want to see. (Still clean, though – c’mon, this is being put out by Viz.) We get the 2nd anthology this week.
What appeals to you in this list?
Beanbro saysDecember 6, 2013 at 12:06 am
I’m getting Sidonia for sure.
Y’all seen Mangabox.me. Some Japanese company started a new free online magazine that they’re translating into English. Most of the series aren’t very good but it’s got a lot more variety in terms of genre than say Weekly Shonen Jump or Crunchyroll. It’s even got what looks like a BL manga.
JRB saysDecember 6, 2013 at 8:01 pm
Sean said (re Crimson Spell):
“with demons who[se] insatiable lust for young men knows no bounds”
Other way around, dude. :) It’s the wizard guy who is all over demon-boy (not that demon-boy minds). I’d kind of prefer it the other way around, because I think wizard guy is way hot (mmm, hair) and I want to see him bottom. :D But it’s Ayano Yamane so that’s not gonna happen. I will probably get the SuBLime release of CS eventually, even though I have the Kitty release, but I’m not in any rush; Media Blasters did an unusually good job (for them) on the translation and retouch, so I’d be rebuying mainly to support SuBLime (and have the spines match up on the bookshelf…).
I’m not sure it will be to the tastes of the BL arm of the MB Battle Robot; it is 100% unrealistic smutty fantasy adventure, but it is pretty fun if you turn your brain off and just wallow in it. Also: unrepentantly smutty (it’s one of the more explicit BL titles available in translation), which doesn’t seem to go over all that well here. Of course, that is part of why it’s so beloved by the fandom… :)
Melinda Beasi saysDecember 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm
For what it’s worth, I’m not opposed to smut, I’m just persnickety about its context. :) I can’t speak for Michelle (the other half of MB’s BL arm), but my enjoyment of Crimson Spell will probably hang on whether or not its particular flavor of unrealistic fantasy adventure ends up being my cup of tea. You never know! Some books have really surprised me.
Michelle Smith saysDecember 6, 2013 at 10:10 pm
I tried volume one of Finder and it was just not for me. I was pretty much assuming the same would be true of Crimson Spell.
Melinda Beasi saysDecember 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm
Ah, yes. On the other hand, popular books I was surprised to like: Vol. 1 of Under Grand Hotel, and Vol. 2 of The Tyrant Falls in Love.
JRB saysDecember 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm
“my enjoyment of Crimson Spell will probably hang on whether or not its particular flavor of unrealistic fantasy adventure ends up being my cup of tea. You never know!”
Well, if you go into it expecting trashy entertainment, with lots of gratuitous sex mixed in with occasional moments of swashbuckling action, rather than serious epic fantasy, you’ll probably be OK. :)
“I tried volume one of Finder and it was just not for me. I was pretty much assuming the same would be true of Crimson Spell.”
It’s much less non-con-y than Finder. There is an issue in that demonically-possessed prince-dude (who turns into a sex-crazed, apparently mindless demon at night) doesn’t remember in the daytime what went on after dark, and wizard-dude doesn’t deign to inform him. The setup is kind of twistedly brilliant for BL, in that you get the graphic sex and the “what is this strange feeling I get around him” confusion from the same character pairing at the same time. :)