Check out the week’s Picks from the Manga Bookshelf bloggers and special guest Michelle Smith!
From Kate: I’d be the first to admit that Rin-ne has been a hit-or-miss affair. Writing about the second volume, for example, I called it “an unmitigated disaster, filled with clunky exposition, lame adventures, and embarrassingly transparent voice-overs of a ‘Oh, so that’s why no one can see him — he’s wearing the robe that makes him invisible!’ nature.” Yet the first and third volumes were totally charming, filled with inspired comic bits and classic Takahashian characters; anyone who liked Lum: Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2, or InuYasha would find the prickly collaboration between Rinne and Sakura as pleasantly comforting as a bowl of mac and cheese. I’m in the mood for manga mac and cheese this week, so I’m picking volume five of Rin-ne and hoping it’s as solid as volumes one and three.
From Michelle: This week’s pickings include new volumes of several series that I am determined to read in the near future even though I’m woefully far behind. Though I’ll definitely be picking up Arata: The Legend and Rasetsu, it’s the fifth volume of Dogs: Bullets & Carnage I am most determined to acquire. I simply must read this series soon—I’ve been borrowing the early volumes from a friend for far too long!—and slick sci-fi adventure set in a dark future seems awfully appealing right about now.
From MJ: My pick this week is decidedly volume eight of Rasetsu, a supernatural romance series I’ve been enjoying much, much more than I ever expected. In volume seven, things heated up quite a bit in the romance department. This continues in volume eight, but with the stakes rising and a big surprise in store for Rasetsu regarding her personal doom, it’s clear we’re ramping up for a supernatural showdown in the series’ final volume. I’ve been genuinely surprised by how fresh this series manages to feel, especially after its fairly slow start. I wouldn’t miss its penultimate volume for the world. It’s great shoujo fun.
From David: I’m going to second Kate’s choice of Rin-ne for essentially the same reasons — it’s nice to be able to pick up a volume and immerse yourself in Takahashi’s very familiar sensibility. You know there will be endearing characters, good-natured comedy, and a bit of supernatural adventure. As Greg (Read About Comics) McElhatton said in his review, “Even Takahashi on autopilot isn’t bad.” As a bonus, it’s nice to be able to recommend a series where readers can sample so much of it for free.
Readers, what are your Picks this week?