It’s a fairly spectacular week at Midtown Comics, and though the Manga Bookshelf bloggers go nearly unanimously for a single title, there’s plenty to choose from for all. Check out our picks below!
MICHELLE: After last week’s slim pickings, this week’s list is positively bountiful. I am tempted to pick the 42nd and final volume of The Prince of Tennis, because even though I complain about its many flaws, I still love it and hope the sequel gets licensed soon. But the mantle of manga blogger comes with the responsibility of directing readers’ attention to the best manga has to offer, and this week I award that distinction to the first volume of Wandering Son from Fantagraphics. Simply put, it’s the story of a transgender girl who meets a transgender boy. More, it’s about childhood innocence and the significance of things. It’s also lovely, subtle, and poignant. How long ’til volume two?
MJ: Normally, this is where I’d pick one of the many other great offerings on the list, like the new omnibus of Magic Knight Rayearth or the latest volume of Chi’s Sweet Home, but in this case I simply have to agree with Michelle. Wandering Son was one of my most-anticipated releases this year, and I’m absolutely thrilled to see it finally hit the shelves. This title should be on everyone’s must-buy lists this week.
DAVID: Given how much I enjoyed the first Kekkaishi 3-in-1 volume, I could easily pick that, but there’s just no arguing with the prospect of finally having Wandering Son in my greedy grasp. Unanimity of opinion may be dull, but it’s unavoidable this week.
KATE: I’d be irresponsible if I didn’t also join the chorus of folks urging you to buy Wandering Son. So, go buy it!
That said, it’s also a shockingly good week for manga, with stuff for every demographic. VIZ is releasing its first two Mameshiba books for young readers — and really, what’s not to like about talking legumes? — as well as several omnibus editions of popular shonen titles like Naruto and latest volume of Skip Beat!. Vertical is releasing the sixth volume of Chi’s Sweet Home, one of the few all-ages titles that speaks to readers as young as five and as old as fifty. And Kodansha Comics is releasing its first new series, Monster Hunter Orage. I’m normally immune to the charms of manga based on video games, but I was pleasantly surprised by just how fun Monster Hunter turned out to be. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Hiro Mashima is the author, or that the story features lots of tough, smart female characters who find the hero’s brash stupidity endlessly annoying, but the manga’s video-game origins prove a fertile wellspring for interesting storylines. So my pick this week is volume one of Monster Hunter Orage.
Readers, what looks good to you this week?