SEAN: I’ll go with the 3rd Bakemonogatari novel, which promises to dig into Tsubasa Hanekawa’s psyche at long last, as well as metatext, annoying sexualized scenes, and more insults hurled with love than you can shake a stick at.
KATE: I only have eyes for one title this week: Shuzo Oshimi’s Happiness. For my money, Happiness is the best title Kodansha is publishing right now: it’s smartly drawn, expertly paced, and meticulously plotted, with a memorable, sympathetic lead character and a well-rounded cast of supporting players. More impressive still is that the horror elements feel fresh and surprising; this isn’t just another teen vampire manga. If you do give it a try, be prepared to squirm or cringe from time to time — not because it’s gory, but because it captures the special awfulness of being fifteen in vivid detail.
ASH: I’m with Kate. I don’t have much to add after such an eloquent description, but Happiness is definitely the manga release which commands my attention this week.
ANNA: OK, Happiness wasn’t on my radar before, but now it certainly is! This week would be much smaller without Kodansha’s digital releases, they are bringing back older unfinished series and producing more and more digital josei, which is a very good thing. My pick of the week is Kodansha’s digital program in general. I hope it inspires other publishers to bring out more titles that might be too noncommercial for print release.
MICHELLE: At the risk of sounding like a broken record…. Like 7SEEDS?!?!
MJ: So, first I have to decide whether I can forgive my co-bloggers for momentarily making me think that someone had actually licensed 7SEEDS. If I ever manage that, or indeed manage to recover from that brief moment of excitement, I will pick… something else? I haven’t started Happiness, but it sounds like I should.