Media and Merchandise

February 9, 2011

Bento Bako Lite: February 2011 Previews

After waiting for the icy roads to melt, I finally made it out to my local comic shop to pick up Diamond’s February Previews catalog. There are quite a lot of interesting things on offer this month, so get out your order form and get ready to pre-order some manga! Looks like this month is going to break the bank for me. As always, quoted product descriptions are from Previews unless otherwise noted.

Kris’s Pull List:

Gunslinger Girl Omnibus volume 2, by Yu Aida. “The Social Welfare Agency: a secret counter-terrorism unit for the Italian government that rescues troubles young girls and turns them into cybernetically-enhanced ruthless killers who do the government’s dirty work. Yet the child assassins are not as heartless as they were programmed to be. Henrietta struggles with her conflicted feelings towards her handler Jose, while fellow agent Triela combats her own inner demons as she strives to remember the girl she once was.” From Seven Seas Entertainment, April 2011, $15.99.

Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths GN, by Shigeru Mizuki. “A landmark publishing event by one of Japan’s most famous cartoonists. Shigeru Mizuki is the preeminent figure of Gekiga manga and one of the most famous working cartoonists in Japan today. Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths is his first book to be translated into English and is a semi-autobiographical account of the desperate final weeks of a Japanese infantry unit at the end of World War II. The soldiers are told that they must go into battle and die for the honor of our country, with certain execution facing them if they return alive. Mizuki was a soldier himself, and he uses his experience to convey the devastating consequences and moral depravity of the war.” From Drawn & Quarterly, May 2011, $24.95.

Your Story I’ve Known, by Tsuta Suzuki. “High-school student Matsumoto Haato has fallen in love with his abusive mother’s ex-boyfriend, yakuza Shibusawa, who was nice to him in the past. When he has nowhere left to go he turns to the gruff but kind older man. A three-chapter love story that details the changing relationship between the two men over the years.” From Digital Manga Publishing’s Juné line, April 2011, $12.95.

Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince, by Noriko Ogiwara. “Oguna is an orphan with a secret even he doesn’t know—he’s a prince and heir to a terrible power. His best friend Toko is a member of the Tachibana clan and a potential high priestess able to tame that power…or destroy it.” From Viz Media’s Haikasoru novel line, May 2011, $21.99 (which is…rather high for a 400 page paperback novel, so this one is pending).

The Story of Saiunkoku volume 3, by Sai Yukino. From Amazon: “Shurei Hong, destitute but of noble birth, has always dreamed of working as a civil servant in the imperial court of Saiunkoku, but women are barred from holding office. The emperor Ryuki, however, refuses to take command, leaving everything to his advisors. Shurei is asked to become a consort to the emperor to persuade the ne’er-do-well ruler to govern.” From Viz Media, May 2011, $9.99.

Black Bird volume 8, by Kanoko Sakurakoji. From Amazon: “Raiko, the demon hunter who has been staying at Misao’s house, is determined to save her–even if that’s the last thing she wants! Kyo won’t allow a threat to Misao to go unchecked and plans to take care of the problem in his own special way. Misao, however, hopes that she can broker a peace between Raiko and Kyo before things get out of hand. But when Raiko’s attempts to “free” Misao fail, he hatches a devious new plan that will use Misao’s bond with Kyo to destroy him!” From Viz Media, May 2011, $9.99.

Gente volume 3, by Natsume Ono. [Final volume] From Amazon: “For the final course of Gente, a senator pondering a political maneuver arrives at an unexpected conclusion over a delicious meal at Casetta dell’Orso. A notorious playboy finds himself enthralled by the sophisticated Savina, a Cassetta regular. Lorenzo finally reaches the point in life where he needs glasses, and silent Gigi accepts an invitation from a young lady. Enjoy the dolce conclusion to this charming story.” From Viz Media, May 2011, $12.99.

Black Butler volume 5, by Yana Toboso. From Amazon: “For an impeccable gentleman’s butler like Sebastian Michaelis, the word “impossible” is just not in his vocabulary. Everything demanded of him under the English sun is well within his grasp. But do his talents extend to things under the scalding Indian sun?! As Harold West Jeb’s plan to use Agni, Prince Soma’s superhuman butler, in a curry battle to win himself a Royal Warrant is exposed, along with his role in the attacks on Anglo-Indians throughout London, Earl Ciel Phantomhive sets Sebastian to the task of creating an incomparable curry to defeat the despicable trader. But how can Sebastian possibly best Agni, the man with the Right Hand of God?! The Black Butler and the Yellow Butler face off in a climactic showdown!” From Yen Press, April 2011, $11.99.

The Venture Bros. Season 4 DVD. The fourth season of the hit Adult Swim cartoon comes to DVD and Blu-ray. Blu-ray viewers get one set for $39.99, while us old fogey DVD viewers are punished by having to buy two separate sets for $23.99 and $19.99, respectively.

Antique Bakery DVD Collection. From “In food and in life, one must taste what is bitter to appreciate what is sweet…
Troubled by memories of the past that continue to invade his dreams of the present, Keiichiro Tachibana stuns everyone who knows him by abruptly quitting his ordinary office job to open a bakery. He envisions a predominantly feminine clientele and a wait staff of cute girls – but instead, his employees include a playboy patissier who’s been fired from every job he’s ever had, an ex-boxer with an insatiable sweet tooth, and an absent-minded childhood friend and old family servant. Can this unlikely quartet overcome personal tragedies, learn to work together, and discover a recipe for culinary success?
Contains all 12 episodes, plus a booklet including character bios, quick facts, featured desserts, and two in-depth interviews featuring the four lead voice actors and series creator, Fumi Yoshinaga!” From Right Stuff/Nozomi Entertainment, April 2011, $49.99.

From Dark Horse Comics:

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse volume 4, by Mingming. [Final volume] “Shinji Ikari remembers having met Kaworu during childhood. But that’s not all – Kaworu has more shocking truths to share about Shinji’s own father, Gendo! Shinji and Koworu, along with their friends Asuka and Rei, must do battle to put an end to Gendo’s crazed rampage! Can four teenagers put a stop to the destruction of the Y’ggdrasil, the Life-Tree, the pillar sustaining our dimension and reality? The ultimate fight is on!” June 2011, $10.99.

From Drawn & Quarterly:

A Drifting Life TP, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi. [New printing] “Over ten years in the making, A Drifting Life is Tatsumi’s autobiographical bildungsroman in comics form, a massive 840 page book edited and designed by Adrian Tomine. Using his life-long obsession with comics as a framework, Tatsumi weaves a complex story that encompasses family dynamics, Japanese culture and history, first love, the intricacies of the manga industry, and most importantly, what it means to be an artist.” $29.95.

Also From Digital Manga Publishing:

The Tyrant Falls in Love volume 3, by Hinako Takanaga. “Morinaga and Tatsumi have a special ‘once a week’ rule that’s meant to guarantee some sweet one-on-one time, no matter how busy they get in the lab! So why is Morinaga still fighting tooth and nail for proof that Tatsumi wants to be with him? If they’ve got to take their epic struggle for love to the streets, then so be it!  But they’ll need to be careful, or their liaison may become fodder for the most devilish blackmail known to man!” April 2011, $12.95. [Juné]

The Desert Prince, by Shushushu Sakurai. “A young Prince of the Ababida Kingdom is being pressured to marry but the Prince detests the idea and he decides to run away. But he finds himself lost and stranded in the desert; here he’s rescued by Haruto, a kind Japanese tourist who was in search of treasure, ‘the Rose of the Desert.’ It was a love at first sight – the Prince instantly becomes head over heels in love and asks Haruto to marry him! Haruto’s life is about to drastically change.” April 2011, $15.95. [801 Media]

From Kodansha Comics:

Akira volume 6, by Katsuhiro Otomo. [Kodansha edition] “Regarded by many as the finest work of graphic fiction ever produced, Akira is a bold and breathtaking epic of potent narrative strength and astonishing illustrative skill. The lives of two streetwise teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, change forever when dormant paranormal abilities begin to waken in Tetsuo, who becomes a target for a shadowy government operation, a group who will stop at nothing to prevent another catastrophe like that which leveled Tokyo. Includes a postscript by Dark Horse Comics publisher Mike Richardson.” April 2011, $29.99.

From One Peace Books:

Tenken, by Yumiko Shirai. “The world has been annihilated and an evil bestial deity must be appeased. Saki, a young girl, finds refuge in an unusual and rough line of work. But she has been chosen for an unthinkable role – as a princess who must be sacrificed to the monster Yamata-no-Orochi at the 50-year Tenken Festival. Can Manaka, the man who loves her, follow her into the abyss to save her from her fate? Winner of the Japan Media Festival Arts Award.” Available now (possibly a reprinting), $16.95.

Also From Seven Seas Entertainment:

Blood Alone Omnibus, by Masayuki Takano. “There are worse things than being a vampire. For recently turned vampiress Minato Misaki, there is nothing more painful than watching her human companion, the former vampire hunter turned investigative author, Kurose Kuroe, risk his life to protect her. But Kuroe’s supernatural investigations make him a regular target of the creatures of the night. The only way to save him from these deadly threats may be to do the one thing that Misaki fears the most: to turn Kuroe into a vampire for his own protection!” April 2011, $15.99.

From Tokyopop:

Maid Shokun volume 1, by Nanki Satou, with art by Akira Kiduki. From Amazon: “This slice-of-life manga is a lovely exploration of the inner workings of a Maid Cafe, filled with laughter and romance, joy and heartbreak. Maybe you’ve wondered what the ‘maids’ are like before or after work? Or perhaps you’ve wondered how they deal with a job where pleasing the customer is their top priority? Well, let’s introduce you to an adorable, delicate, attractive girl who gets drawn into such a job – and see this unusual story, filled with warmth and pathos, unfold!” May 2011, $10.99.

Ghostface volume 1, by Min-Woo Hyung. From Amazon: “This title is from the creator of “Priest!” The island Sodo is home to the most reprehensible criminals, who live there in isolation without fear of further prosecution by the state. The only rule felons must abide by is this: never leave the island – otherwise become a Ghostface, hunted and killed like a feral animal. But when the wrongly-accused threatens to shatter the very foundation of the island, a mass paranoia consumes Sodo, and the line between tormenter and prey suddenly becomes blurred!” May 2011, $17.99.

Deadman Wonderland volume 5, by Jinsei Kataoka, with art by Kazuma Kondou. From Amazon: “Ganta is about to be publicly executed by Rokuro when Senji intervenes and kills the Undertakers by attacking at supersonic speed. Meanwhile, Shiro is befriended by a mysterious boy named Toto. Ganta, tired of being helpless and weak, asks Senji to train him so he can help Karako and the Scar Chain as they decide to retry their escape plan after rescuing Nagi from Genkaku. Karako and the others escape, the data chip is delivered to their colleague in the inspection team, while Ganta decides to remain in Deadman Wonderland with Shiro.” May 2011, $10.99.

From Vertical Inc.:

The Lychee Light Club volume 1, by Usamaru Furuya. “The Lychee Light Club is considered Usamaru Furuya’s breakthrough work. Originally designed as an experimental project, Lychee’s themes of youthful rebellions, deus ex machina destruction, and attractive designs won over a generation of readers and critics, leading the way for Furuya to take on other high-profile projects. A surreal yet touching horror/comedy, The Lychee Light Club mixes elements of French Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol and with modern day pop-culture tropes. Shocking, sexy, and innovative, the The Lychee Light Club is at the pinnacle of modern day Japanese seinen manga.” April 2011, $16.95.

7 Billion Needles volume 4, by Nobuaki Tadano. [Final volume] “Created as an homage to Hal Clement’s science-fiction classic Needle, 7 Billion Needles re-invents the sci-fi manga genre by mixing whodunit mystery with a very youthful cast of teenage girls. Hikaru is a strong-willed and self-reliant teenage girl, who does not shy away from danger or responsibility. In this final volume, she must build up her courage to save mankind from annihilation at the hands of a highly-evolved alien race.” April 2011, $10.95.

Twin Spica volume 7, by Kou Yaginuma. “Mankind’s hopes and dreams are realized in Asumi Kamogawa. A teenage girl with a troubled past, she looks to the starts to bring her a better future as she has ambitions to become a member of Japan’s first manned space mission!” May 2011, $10.95.

Also From Viz Media:

Ai Ore!: Love Me! volume 1, by Mayu Shinjo. “Mizuki is the female “prince” of her all-girls school and the lead guitarist in an all-girl rock band. Akira is the male “princess” of his all-boys school and wants to join her band. Love may be on his mind, but romance is difficult when everyone keeps mistaking Mizuki for a boy and Akira for a girl!” May 2011, $12.99.

Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You volume 8, by Karuho Shiina. “A new school year begins happily when Sawako and her friends Chizu and Ayane – as well as her crush, Kazehaya – are all in the same homeroom. But when anothe popular guy in the class shows an interest in Sawako, will it push Kazehaya and Sawako apart?” May 2011, $9.99.

Hikaru no Go volume 23, by Yumi Hotta, with art by Takeshi Obata. [Final volume] “Hikaru is in the toughest battle of his life when he faces Ko Yong Ha, Korea’s top player in the Hokuto Cup tournament. The stakes, however, aren’t for personal glory but for something far deeper, something that differentiates a mere game from a way of life. Hikaru knows what this means to him, but will he understand what it means to the new wave of go players and, indeed, the game of go itself?” May 2011, $9.99.

Maoh: Juvenile Remix volume 5, by Megumi Osuga. “When an angry mob goes after his friend, Ando has no choice but to fight back with his limited powers. Can his ventriloquism actually stop violence? And while Semi is a skilled assassin, he’s never met an opponent like this.” May 2011, $9.99.

Biomega volume 6, by Tsutomu Nihei. [Final volume] “Niarudi and the DRF rule the strange cordlike world of the Restorative. Yet without Eon Green, Niarudi will never be able to remake the world as she wishes. Now the biomechanical inhabitants of the Restorative are beginning to succumb to dronification, a result of the N5S plague that wiped out the original Earth. Only Zoichi and Fuyu can stop the nightmare from repeating itself, but to do so they’ll need to find Eon Green and the incredible secret she holds about the past that will shape the future. The final confrontation is at hand, and the prize for victory is the power to transform humanity and the world itself!” May 2011, $12.99.

Saturn Apartments volume 3, by Hisae Iwaoka. “Mitsu meets two new clients, both lonely in their unique ways. Meanwhile, his work ethic catches the eye of other employers. Sohta, already overqualified for his job at the power plant, gets demoted due to nepotism and channels his frustration toward the surface of the earth. Another day, another dollar for the workforce of Saturn Apartments.” May 2011, $12.99.

Also From Yen Press:

Pandora Hearts volume 5, by Jun Mochizuki. From Amazon: “Guided by Jack Vessalius, the man from Alice’s memories, Oz wanders back into the world of lost memories in search of Alice. There, he stumbles upon the devastating tragedy of Sablier, the century-old disaster which sent the old capital into the Abyss, an incident of which no one has any recollection…except Alice, who was there?! When Oz discovers the truth of the memories Alice so desperately wants to forget, the powers of the B-Rabbit will spiral out of control and threaten the lives of all who are trapped within the dreamlike dimension, including Alice herself…” April 2011, $11.99.


Venture Brothers 8-inch Series 5 Action Figures, from Bif Bang Pow! Series 5 features my favorite sorcerer Doctor Orpheus and the evilest of evil villains Phantom Limb. Definitely going to have to hunt down the cash for a Dr. O. These things seem to vary in price, so I’m not sure how much they’ll run. Ships in August 2011.

There are some great Final Fantasy figure offerings this month. For Final Fantasy XIII fans, there are two beautiful wall scrolls up for order, $19.99 each, one featuring Lightning, and the other with Lightning and Snow. From Play Arts ~KAI~ comes a $199.99 version of the Eidolon Odin. I believe it even transforms into its Gestalt Mode. Also from the same line is a $39.99 Serah Farron, Lighting’s little sister and Snow’s fiancée. For fans of cute and adorable things, Final Fantasy Volume 3 Trading Arts Figures set includes Aerith, Tidus, Balthier, and Fran, for $18.99. For Final Fantasy VII fans comes a beautiful Sephiroth PVC statue for $149.99.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – Wolf Link & Midna Statue. From First 4 Figures comes this beautifully painted statue of Link transformed into his wolf form, with the Twili Midna riding on his back. Standing an impressive 15″ tall and 15.5″ long, and limited to 750 pieces, it’s a must for Twilight Princess fans. Shipping in July 2011, $349.99.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. From Amazon: “For the first time ever, the magic of Blu-ray high definition reveals the exquisite details in Hayao Miyazaki’s epic masterpiece, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
Experience the film that launched the Academy Award winning career (2002 for best animated feature, Spirited Away) of one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animation.
After a global war, the seaside kingdom known as the Valley of the Wind remains one of the last strongholds on Earth, untouched by a poisonous jungle and the powerful insects that guard it. Led by the courageous Princess Nausicaa, the people of the Valley engage in an epic struggle to restore the bond between humanity and Earth.
Like Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and Ponyo, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind will dazzle your senses with its intracately imagined storytelling and stunning aniimation now more spectacular than ever on Blu-ray.” From Disney Studios, March 2011, $39.99.

That’s all for this month, and I think that’s quite enough, as well! My poor wallet….


Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths GN, by Shigeru Mizuki. “A landmark publishing event by one of Japan’s most famous cartoonists. Shigeru Mizuki is the preeminent figure of Gekiga manga and one of the most famous working cartoonists in Japan today. Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths is his first book to be translated into English and is a semi-autobiographical account of the desperate final weeks of a Japanese infantry unit at the end of World War II. The soldiers are told that they must go into battle and die for the honor of our country, with certain execution facing them if they return alive. Mizuki was a soldier himself, and he uses his experience to convey the devastating consequences and moral depravity of the war.” ___, $24.95.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristin Bomba, Rick F. Barnes. Rick F. Barnes said: Bento Bako Lite: February 2011 Previews […]

  2. A friend of mine was a bit overly excited about Ghostface and said that it’s a pretty good read. I’ve never heard of it but since he’s so adamant about it I just may give it a shot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Website Protected by Spam Master