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February 2, 2010

Bento Bako Lite: February 2010 Previews

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Written by: Kristin
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Welcome to another month of Diamond Previews highlights!  This is going to be a much better month than the last, so get ready to order up some new manga!

Kris’s Pre-Orders

MegaTokyo volume 6, by Fred Gallagher.  This is the sixth installment of Gallagher’s web comic collection.  There’s always a huge amount of content in these, including about two chapters of the online comic, commentary from Fred and Dom, Shirt Guy Dom comics, bonus sketches, and bonus short stories.  From CMX, May 2010, $10.99.

Fruits Basket Banquet.  This is the follow-up to Fruits Basket Fanbook -Cat-, which was a wealth of information on the series.  This book expands on the information from the first fan book, and includes character profiles, color illustrations, quizzes, stickers, behind-the-scenes info straight from Natsuki Takaya, and a volume-by-volume recap of every book in the series.  If you’re a hard core fan, it’s probably a lot of information you already know (especially if you’ve read through the series as many times as I have), but it’s consolidated together, and may include some things you might have forgotten or passed over in your own reading.  It also serves as a quick guide in case you don’t want to read all 23 books over again.  From Tokyopop, April 2010, $12.99.

Songs to Make You Smile: Stories From the Creator of Fruits Basket, by Natsuki Takaya.  The Japanese title is Boku ga Utau to Kimi wa Warau kara, which seems to more directly translate to Because You Smile When I Sing, which has a rather different meaning than what Tokyopop decided on as a title.  It’s a collection of short stories, and not a series.  From Previews: “In these unforgettable tales from the creator of Fruits Basket, a pop band vocalist meets the only woman who touched his heart… A girl wonders if her deceased father ever loved her… The son of a musical genius tries to find his own voice… An 18-year-old boy tries to learn to be a man… And in a side story to ‘Tsubasa: Those with Wings,’ ultimate love thrives.”  Tokyopop, April 2010, $12.99.

Black Bird volume 4, by Kanoko Sakurakoji.  From Previews: “Despite the constant danger Misao finds herself in, she’s determined to stay by Kyo’s side no matter what happens.  But a chance meeting with one of Kyo’s best friends shows her just how hard a human/demon relationship can be.  Tadanobu, heir to the Kitsune clan, gave up everything to be with his human girlfriend.  But now he is being forced to take on the clan leadership and abandon his love, and it’s all Kyo’s fault!”  From Viz Media, May 2010, $9.99.

We Were There volume 10, by Yuki Obata.  From Amazon.com: “Don’t regret.  Do everything you can while you still have the chance.  That’s what I think it means…  …to have a ‘happy heart.'”  From Viz Media, May 2010, $9.99.

From Dark Horse:

The Art of Blade of the Immortal, by Hiroaki Samura.  From Previews: “Hiroaki Samura’s Blade of the Immortal epic is a unique, expertly paced manga series that mixes Edo-era samurai grudge matches with anachronistic punk attitudes and mannerisms.  It’s also one of the longest-running manga series in the U.S.!  Samura’s stirring tale of a warrior’s search for redemption and a young girl’s quest for revenge has taken the world by storm, winning numerous awards across the globe and spawning an anime series and a novel spinoff.  In Dark Horse’s The Art of Blade of the Immortal, Hiroaki Samura’s lush color paintings, detailed line work, and selected story pages and chapter breaks are on display in an oversized, 9″x12″, hardcover collection.  This Dark Horse edition also includes an exclusive section with thirty-two extra pages of artwork, an introduction by acclaimed artist Geof Darrow (The Matrix Comics, Hard Boiled), and a translated afterword by Samura.”  160 full color pages, June 2010, $29.99.

Oh My Goddess! volume 15, by Kosuke Fujishima.  From Previews: “The battle to control the minds of every student at Nekomi Tech comes to its showdown, as the power behind Queen Sayoko’s throne is revealed at last !  Then it’s back to good old-fashioned campus rivalries, as Megumi squares off against a different kind of royalty…the one who rules the road on the Inokuradai Pass!”  June 2010, $10.99.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Shinji Ikari Raising Project volume 5, by Osamu Takahashi.  From Previews: “Shinji and Rei enter the plugs side by side for their new synchro test, where Rei is given the task to find her way out of an imaginary cityscape, and Shinji is given the job of helping her concentrate – but how likely is that, with all the chaos happening in the personal lives, a chaos everyone seems eager to encourage?”  June 2010, $9.99.

From Del Rey Manga:

Sayonara, Zetsubo-Sensei volume 6, by Koji Kumeta.  From Previews: “This darkly-humorous fan-favorite series continues, as the world’s most depressed teacher tries to kill himself in ever more elaborate fashions.”  April 2010, $10.99.

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle volume 26, by CLAMP.  From Previews: “The best-selling manga continues!  Syaoran and Sakura’s long-hidden past stands revealed.  Will anything be the same between them now?”  April 2010, $10.99.

From Digital Manga Publishing:

Alice the 101st volume 1, by Chigusa Kawai.  From Previews: “Mondonville Music Academy attracts thousands of elite musician applicants from around the world, but only 100 students are accepted into the program each year.  But this year, Alistair Lang – who has no formal music training and is unable to even read a music score – is somehow accepted into the program as the 101st student!  His classmates wonder how he even made it into the program, and proceed to treat him like an outcast, calling him, ‘the 101st’.  One day, during a violin lesson, Alistair steps up and begins to play his violin…”  On their Doki Doki line, April 2010, $12.95.

Millennium Prime Minister volume 4, by Eiki Eiki.  From Previews: “Kanata receives a threatening phone call after he announces a new policy that shocks the entire country.  Then – an assassination attempt on Kanata!  How far would you go to protect the one you love?  What about Kanata and Miki’s feelings for each other?  The future of the country is in jeopardy!  What will happen in the final dramatic volume of Millennium Prime Minister?!”  From Doki Doki, April 2010, $12.95.

From Udon Entertainment:

Apple volume 4. From Previews: “It’s an all-new volume of Apple, the breathtaking Korean anthology/art book series!  Join dozens of Korea’s best illustrators and animators as they present their wildest fantasies through original stories and illustrations.  Featuring artist Hyung Min-Woo (Priest), plus the latest chapters of “Burnboy’s Love,” “Shoku,” and many more!”  May 2010, $34.95.

From Viz Media:

Inuyasha VIZBIG Edition volume 3, by Rumiko Takahashi.  Collects three volumes of the manga series.  May 2010, $17.99.

Crown of Love volume 2, by Yun Kouga.  From Previews: “With Hisayoshi as her tutor, Rima attempts to enroll in prestigious Hakuô High.  Although Hisayoshi’s feelings for her are distracting, Rima needs his help is she’s ever going to pass the entrance exam.  And when he lands his first job in a commercial, she realizes that he’s got the potential to be a star…one bigger than herself!”  May 2010, $9.99.  Check out a good review of the first volume here, by Melinda Beasi.

From Vertical Inc.:

Tezuka’s Ode to Kirihito, volumes 1 and 2, by Osamu Tezuka.  From Previews: “The young doctor Kirihito Osanai has been introduced to the Monmow disease, which transforms humans into dog-like beasts and then kills them within a month of the transformation.  While studying the disease’s pathology, Kirihito becomes an unwilling test subject for his hospital’s research as he contracts the disease, which alienates him from his fiancee and his colleagues.  As the disease begins its transformation, Kirihito’s attitude toward life changes and he accepts his fate.  While he becomes a spiritual figure to a rural village, his former colleagues seek to uncover the mystery behind the disease.”  March 2010, $14.95 each.

From Yen Press:

Spice and Wolf volume 1, written by Isuna Hasekura, art by Keito Koume.  From Previews: “Craft Lawrence has been walking the lonely path of the itinerant merchant for seven years.  His life changes forever when he meets Horo, the Wolf-God of the harvest.  They discover a unique business opportunity, but their plans go awry when a competing organization captures Horo and threatens to turn her over to the oppressive monotheistic Church.  Can Lawrence rescue his companion, and will the pair become more than just friends?”  This is the graphic novel adaptation of the charming story about a spice merchant and his wolf-god companion; it seems to cover the same story lines that are in the first volume of the light novel, so just pick your preferred method of consumption, I suppose.  April 2010, $12.99.

And that’s that, really.  I would like to recommend Square-Enix’s Play Arts -Kai- incredibly detailed Bayonetta action figure, but her misproportioned butt cheeks do not translate well into this figure line.  They look disjointed and ridiculous.  I’d also like to recommend the Evangelion 2.0 Kubrick figures, but as I find them rather hideous (especially Asuka), I can’t really do so.  I guess the Evas themselves are kind of cute, in a creepy sort of way, if that makes sense.  I feel no qualms, however, about recommending a set of adorable mini-stuffed Final Fantasy monster key chains, including a Cactaur, Moogle, Tonberry, Chocobo, and a Bomb.  They go for $9.99 each.

Happy pre-ordering!




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