It’s a Yen-heavy week at Midtown Comics! See how the Manga Bookshelf blogger picks stack up below!
MICHELLE: Although VIZ Media and others make a decent showing on this week’s release list from Midtown Comics, the majority of the titles hail from Yen Press. Unfortunately, most of them are the latest volumes in series I don’t personally follow, but there is one shining gem, the eighth volume of the quirky and fun manhwa, 13th Boy. I recently indulged in a binge and got caught up on the series, so I’m looking forward to keeping current with new releases. When we left off, Beatrice, heroine Hee-So’s talking cactus, was stuck in his human form and living with his creator lest he burden his beloved owner with his troublesome presence. I never thought I’d be rooting for a cactus to win the girl of his dreams, but it’s to 13th Boy‘s credit that this seems like an entirely rational thing to do.
SEAN: I already pimped Book Girl and the Captive Fool on my Manga The Week Of post, so will stop myself doing so again, even though it’s a fantastic novel series that everyone should be getting. Instead, I’ll go for the 4th and last of Higurashi When They Cry: Eye Opening Arc, which concludes the ‘Shion’ arc of the manga based on visual game series. This particular arc has a reputation of being one of the bloodiest and most off-putting, and therefore I expect getting through the last volume will be quite a haul for me, as generally speaking I tend to avoid gore. As always, though, Higurashi’s intense plot and taut emotions pull me in, and if it upsets me too much, I’ll remind myself of the reset button and Rena’s arc beginning in October.
MJ: I’d like to say that I’m torn this week, with the latest volume of Blue Exorcist on the way, but I’m not. I’m with Michelle, all the way. 13th Boy is one of my favorite girls’ comic series being published today, and one of the few series I’ll put aside everything to read the moment it lands on my doorstep. It’s just that charming. SangEun Lee has managed to create a heroine who really is just an “ordinary” girl, while reminding us how idiosyncratic and genuinely relatable “ordinary” can be. Also, as Michelle mentioned, it’s the first time ever I can recall actively ‘shipping someone with a cactus. I wholeheartedly recommend 13th Boy.
DAVID: I’m going to be predictable and take up the Blue Exorcist mantle. You can see my specific opinion of the third volume in this week’s Bookshelf Briefs, but I will note that Kazue Kato becomes more assured with this material with each new volume. It’s not perfect fantasy adventure, but it’s certainly the best example to debut lately, and it’s got some great, root-worthy characters.
KATE: Though I also share the group’s enthusiasm for Blue Exorcist and 13th Boy, I’m going to recommend the latest omnibus of InuYasha. Readers familiar with the anime will want to pick us this particular volume, as it features the beginning of the series’ best-loved story arc: The Band of Seven. There’s also a plotline involving Sesshomaru — always a plus in my book — and a memorable showdown between InuYasha and a faceless demon. And if you still need persuading, let me praise VIZ for giving InuYasha the deluxe treatment it deserves, printing it on good quality, over-sized paper, retouching the artwork, and reproducing the original Japanese covers in full color.
Readers, what looks good to you this week?