It’s that time again! Get out your short order forms, load up the Amazon.com home page, or hop over to Right Stuf, and get ready to order some new manga! Let me do the work for you and point out the best titles coming out later this year, and some debuts. As always, quoted product descriptions are from Diamond’s Previews catalog unless otherwise noted. Here are your manga highlights from Diamond’s March 2011 Previews catalog.
Kris’s Pull List:
Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus volume 2, by CLAMP. “The beautiful new teacher in Sakura’s class, Kaho Mizuki, soon reveals that she’s a shrine maiden with magic powers of her own. But, as always, the struggle to capture the Clow cards is woven together with the mysterious – and complicated – threads of love and affection between Sakura and all the people in her life. Will her heart be strong enough as she faces the one who will judge her worthiness to master the cards at last?” July 2011, $19.99, from Dark Horse Comics.
Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus Edition, by CLAMP. “Umi, Hikaru, and Fuu are three schoolgirls out on a field trip to Tokyo Tower, whisked suddenly away by a strange voice and light to Cefiro, a world full of spirits and sorcery. They were summoned here through the last remaining strength of the Princess Emeraude, who hopes that they are the trio destined to become the magic knights legend says can save her realm! But how are a bunch of junior-high-school kids supposed to defeat the dark might of the sinister Lord Zagato…with only an exceedingly strange bunny creature named Mokona as their guide…?” July 2011, $19.99, from Dark Horse. I don’t actually know what volume this is. Volume 1 was supposed to come out in January, volume 2 was listed for February, but the solicit here features the cover for volume 1, but doesn’t list a volume number on the page (and it’s the same info on Dark Horse’s website).
Butterfly of the Distant Day, by Tooko Miyagi. From Amazon: “The sequel to the popular series Il Gatto sul G finds the schizophrenic genius violinist Riya Narukawa on a European tour with his cousin, the famous pianist Saki Narukawa. Despite Riya being settled, Saki’s own life is about to turn upside down thanks to an unexpected reunion with an old friend – a friend with whom he shares quite a past. That past still burns with dark passion in one man’s heart! Is this it for Riya, or will he find his own happily ever after?” From Digital Manga’s Juné line, May 2011, $12.95.
The Sacred Blacksmith volume 1, by Isao Miura. “A rookie female soldier with a mission, to protect her village by defeating the evil, hires a young blacksmith whose quest is to make the unbeatable, legendary Sacred Sword.” June 2011, from Tokyopop (holy crap, I’m buying a TP book?), $10.99.
Ouran High School Host Club volume 16, by Bisco Hatori. “The two senior members of the Host Club are graduating and will lead separate lives at university. Everyone is mourning the loss of the ‘Hunny-Mori Combo,’ but the longtime duo already seems to have ended their close friendship. Now Mori has challenged Hunny to a duel – by why?” June 2011, $9.99, from Viz Media.
Vampire Knight volume 12, by Matsuri Hino. “It’s been one year since Yuki left Cross Academy with Kaname, and tonight is her first vampire soirée as a pureblood. Her best friend Sayori has snuck into the party to see her, but will Yuki and Zero be able to protect a human girl in a bevy of vampires?” June 2011, $9.99, from Viz Media.
Grand Guignol Orchestra volume 3, by Kaori Yuki. “Lucille and company visit the residence of Duke Rhodonite – a member of the opposition to the queen – in search of information about the new type of Guignols they discovered at the Vienne Abbey. when the Duke holds a party to announce his betrothal, Lucille is captured through a nefarious plot!” June 2011, $9.99, from Viz Media.
A Bride’s Story volume 1 (HC), by Kaoru Mori (Emma). From Amazon: “Amir is twenty years old when she marries her husband, a boy named Karluk from a neighboring village. Adjusting to life in a new household can be trying for any young bride, but Amir’s husband is eight years her junior! Amir was a strong, sophisticated hunter and horsewoman in her village, but though their villages were next to each other, their customs are very different. As Amir introduces Karluk to the foods and pastimes that were popular among her comrades back home, the warmth she feels for her young husband grows.” May 2011, $16.99, from Yen Press.
From Bandai Entertainment:
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion volume 1, by Goro Taniguichi, Ichiro Okouchi, and Majiko. From Amazon: “In the year 2010, the Holy Empire of Brittania declared war on Japan. Powerless to stop them, Japan surrendered in less than a month. Freedom was lost and Japan was renamed “Area 11” and its people became known as “Elevens.” Lelouch is a Brittanian and his friend Suzaku, born an eleven, has achieved the status of honorary Brittanian. As a boy Lelouch vowed to crush his own government, but now seven years later and in high school, he’s accepted that he can’t change anything. That is until he meets a mysterious girl that gives him the power to control people’s minds – the power of Geass! He dons a mask and becomes the ruthless terrorist known only as Zero, destroying any who might stand in his path – including his boyhood friend Suzaku!” Now, this came out in 2008, so I guess this is a reprinting. $9.99.
Ghost Slayers Ayashi volume 1, by Yaeko Ninagawa and Toshihiro Kawamoto. “In Edo-era Japan, the land is under attack from demons called Youi and a secret group of ghost slayers known as the Ayashi roam the land, seeking to destroy the creatures wherever they appear. Ryuuda Yukiatsu, a vagrant samurai, might be the next ayashi, but will a secret from his past keep him from facing his destiny?” Another reprinting? The second volume of this came out in 2009. $9.99.
Also From Digital Manga Publishing:
Border volume 1, by Kazuma Kodaka (Kizuna). “Yamato is [a] man with a darkly dramatic past, so perhaps it is no surprise that he now runs his own detective agency. With a staff of three misfits that are practically family to him, he does whatever it takes to get the job done. Unconventional cases can mean unconventional solutions, but Yamato is not one to shy away, except when his heart is concerned. The creator of Kizuna brings a story of mystery and romance.” Juné, May 2011, $12.95.
Bad Teacher’s Equation volume 1, by Kazuma Kodaka. “Atsushi Arisawa enrolls at Jougouka High School in order to reunite with his childhood crush Ma-chan who is now the school nurse there. Strangely, Ma-chan’s previously sweet personality seems to have radically changed beyond all recognition. Things are even more complicated by Atsushi’s friend Kouji trying to put the moves on him. Atsushi just wants Ma-chan though, so perhaps if he gets to know the new, adult Ma-chan, he will find he is not so bad after all. But wait a minute…his name isn’t Masami but Masayoshi? A hilarious case of mistaken identity and a love triangle from the popular mangaka Kodaka Kazuma!” Juné, May 2011, $19.95.
Moon & Blood volume 1, by Nao Yazawa. “When high schooler Sayaka awoke one morning, to her surprise, she found an unexpected guest at the family kitchen table – Kai. A cool, handsome and aloof character, a so-called family friend of Sayaka’s father, his temporary stay in her household and attendance to Sayaka’s school, is more than she’s bargained for. But what secrets does Kai hold and what are his true intentions for his sudden appearance into Sayaka’s life? Why does he excel so well in school but sleep through every class? Where does he disappear every night? Will sayaka find her answers? Or will her curiosity get her into trouble? And what is up with that black cat?” May, 2011, $6.95.
Blue Sheep Reverie volume 4, by Makoto Tateno. [Final Volume] “It’s the final showdown between Lahti and and his sister Maria, as they struggle for dominance in their post apocalyptic world. Kei is still caught between the two that he loves, but the time for making a clear choice is at hand. Will he choose Lahti, and can they thwart the plans Maria and the opposing faction have laid? Or will Maria win him over, and use him to take control of the city known as Dawn over her brother’s dead body? The exciting conclusion to this sci-fi fantasy is here at last!” Juné, May 2011, $12.95.
From Drawn and Quarterly:
The Push Man & Other Stories, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi. “Designed and edited by Adrian Tomine, The Push Man and Other Stories collects Tatsumi’s short stories about Japanese urban life. Tatsumi’s stories are simultaneously haunting, disturbing, and darkly humorous, commenting on the interplay between an overwhelming, bustling, crowded modern society and the troubled emotional and sexual life of the individual.“ Either a relisting or a reprinting, $19.95.
Garden, by Yuichi Yokoyama. From Amazon: “A group of friends is attempting to enter a garden just beyond a wall. When they succeed, the garden they finally enter is no Eden, but rather a massive landscape of machines, geometric forms and all manner of nonorganic objects. In Japanese comic-book artist Yuichi Yokoyama’s newest and longest (at 328 pages) work of graphic magic, his characters become enmeshed in a fantastic wonderland of distorted mirrors, photographic equipment, massive libraries and complex pathways. To his signature vivid visual style, Yokoyama has added more dialogue than in past works, fleshing out the characters and allowing them equal billing with his spectacular architectural creations, thus yielding a reflection on the myriad ways human interact with the complex mechanical world we have created.” May 2011, $24.95.
Tank Tankuro, by Gajo Sakamoto. “The roots of Astro Boy – Tank Tankuro pioneered robot manga during the pre-World War II period in Japan. First published in 1934, Tank Tankuro was one of the most famous manga characters of the era. Tankuro is said to be the first robot ever to appear in Japanese comics. He and his villain, Kuro Kabuto, famous among Japanese SF fans for his [resemblance] to Darth Vader, laid the foundation for such manga greats as Tezuka, Sugiura, and Fujiko.” HC with slip case. Spring 2011, $29.95.
From Seven Seas Entertainment:
A Certain Scientific Railgun volume 1, by Kazuma Kamachi, with art by Motoi Fuyukawa. “Welcome to a world where mysticism and science collide, and supernatural powers are derived from either science or religion. In Academy City, an advanced metropolis populated by scholars, the majority of students are enrolled in the city’s ‘Power Curriculum Program,’ where they must learn to master their latent psychic powers. Out of several million students, only seven are deemed powerful enough to have Level 5 status. Mikoto Misaka, the third most powerful Level 5 esper in Academy City, delves deep into the dark heart of the scientific sprawl she calls home – and uncovers secrets she wishes she hadn’!” June 2011, $10.99.
Kampfer volume 1, by Yu Tachibana. “Senou Natsuru is an everyday school boy, who wakes up one day to discover that he’s been chosen to be a Kampfer (fighters) whose objective is to fight other Kampfer. There’s just one catch: In order to fight others, he must turn into a girl!” June 2011, $10.99.
Sakura’s Finest volume 1, by Yuna Kagesaki (Chibi Vampire). “When a young girl named Asami starts her studies at the Sakura Hill School for Girls in Tokyo, she discovers that Japan’s capital is a dangerous place, with a dark underground filled with the darkest of characters. Fortunately for Asami, she’s got a trick or two up her sleeve to fight the city’s seedy underbelly.” May 2011, $12.99.
Also From Viz Media:
Kamisama Kiss volume 3, by Julietta Suzuki. “Nanami has been missing a lot of school because of her new duties at the shrine. But every time she goes to class, something seems to go wrong! And now her instinct to rescue animals has turned and bit her on the wrist! Is she marked for life…or death?!” June 2011, $9.99.
New Viz 3-in-1 volumes for $14.99, featuring: Naruto, Bleach, Kekkaishi, and Fullmetal Alchemist, to join with One Piece and Death Note. Naruto volume 1, May 2011, Bleach volume 1, June 2011, Kekkaishi volume 1, May 2011, and Fullmetal Alchemist volume 1, June 2011 (followed by volume 2’s in July and August, and volume 3’s in September and October).
Tenjo Tenge volume 1, by Oh!great. Tenjo Tenge is back! Rescued from the abyss that was the poor, unfortunate CMX vault, now uncensored with color pages (2 volumes in 1). “Soichiro Nagi and Bob Makihara have always been the meanest street brawlers around. When they enter Todo High they plan on carving out a reputation as the strongest fighters in their new school – easier said than done in a place that’s dedicated to training its students in the art of combat!” June 2011, $17.99.
Afterschool Charisma volume 3, by Kumiko Suekane. Read the review linked to find out about the series, as the only copy I can find is a mini-bio of Napoleon, who graces the cover of volume 3. June 2011, $12.99.
Dorohedoro volume 4, by Q Hayashida. From Amazon: “Caiman and Nikaido return to the Hole, where Doc and Kasukabe manage to cure Nikaido of her deadly fungal affliction. But a prowler outside Central Hospital is watching and waiting for an opportunity to steal her away. Fujita returns to the Hole to finally kill Caiman himself. He gets close when he’s recruited for a baseball match between Central Hospital and Hole Peace Hospital, but his plans change when he spots an old friend. Meanwhile, in the Sorcerer’s dimension, a little accident transforms Noi into a hideous monster. It’s up to Shin to stop her before she kills everyone.” June 2011, $12.99.
Library Wars: Love & War volume 5, by Hiro Arikawa with art by Kiiro Yumi. From Amazon: “Iku is about to face her most difficult challenge—her parents are coming to visit the library where she works! When she joined the Library Forces, she told her parents that she was just going to be a librarian. Now she has to come clean that she’s on the ultra-dangerous Task Force. Can her parents ever accept that she’s a library warrior?” June 2011, $9.99.
Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys volume 15, by Naoki Urasawa. From Amazon: “Sorting through the volumes of research his dearly departed mentor left behind, a young priest, recently returned to Rome, stumbles across a mysterious (and potentially dangerous) book that prophesizes the end of the world. Uncertain as to the text’s true meaning, Brother Luciano’s search quickly leads him to a startling revelation: the Friends may have operatives inside the Vatican, and the young priest’s life is most likely now in danger. Around the globe, the mysterious and deadly virus continues to spread as the death toll mounts. However, Kanna, Otcho and Yoshitsune have another concern: despite what is being reported in the media, several people have claimed to see the Friend alive and walking the streets of Tokyo. But what does this bode for the pope’s visit to Japan and the 2015 World Exposition in Tokyo?” June 2011, $12.99.
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 2, by Hiroshi Shiibashi. From Amazon: “While the day belongs to humans, the night belongs to yokai,supernatural creatures that thrive on human fear. Caught between these worlds is Rikuo Nura. He’s three-quarters human, but his grandfather is none other than Nurarihyon, the supreme commander of the Nura clan, a powerful yokai consortium. So, Rikuo is an ordinary teenages three quarters of the time, until his yokai blood awakens. Then Rikuo transforms into the future leader of the Nura clan, leading a hundred demons.” April 2011, $9.99.
The Clique: The Manga volume 1, by Lisi Harrison, with art by YiShan Li. From Amazon: “Claire Lyons is the new girl at Octavian Country Day School, an exclusive private school in Westchester County, New York. But Claire is totally unprepared for the social (and fashion) demands of her new classmates. To make matters worse, Claire’s family is living in the guesthouse of one Massie Block, the queen supreme of her new school! And Massie couldn’t be less thrilled with the new squatter on her family’s estate. Does Claire have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the “it” girl in her school?” July 2011, $11.99.
From Vertical Inc.:
Tezuka’s Black Jack volume 16, by Osamu Tezuka. [Generic copy in Previews, and no copy on Amazon.] June 2011, $16.95.
Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga Collector’s Edition, by Frederik L. Schodt. “This landmark book, first published at the height of the manga boom, is offered in a hardcover collector’s edition with a new foreword and afterword. Frederik L. Schodt looks at the classic publications and artists who created modern manga, including the magazines Big Comics and Morning, and artists like Suehiro Maruo and Shigeru Mizuki; an entire chapter is devoted to Osamu Tezuka. The new afterword shows how manga have evolved in the past decade to transform global visual culture.” May 2011, $29.95, From Stone Bridge Press.
Several Final Fantasy collector’s items, including: Dissidia: Final Fantasy Play Arts ~Kai~ Action Figures, featuring Cloud, Squall, and Judge Gabranth (from FF7, FF8, and FF12, respectively), $49.99 each, shipping in September 2011; a beautiful Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children – Sephiroth Hand Fan, shipping June 2011, $29.99; and Final Fantasy XIII Trading Arts Set featuring Hope, Lightning, Serah, and Sazh, shipping June 2011, $45.99 for the set.
Genshiken: The Complete Collection DVD, from Anime Works, featuring the first and second seasons, plus the OVA. A hilarious comedy about an eclectic assortment of otaku in a school club. March 2011, $49.98.
BONE: 20th-Anniversary Full Color One Volume Collector’s Box Set, by Jeff Smith. This amazing collection, which costs a pretty penny, includes the entire BONE series in full-color in a single hardcover volume, a signed and numbered art print, a 22k gold plated Bone coin, the Bone cousins as pewter figures, a mini Bone #1 comic book, a cover gallery, an essay by Jeff Smith, an illustrated timeline, and the documentary Jeff Smith, BONE, and the Changes Face of Comics. Signed and limited to 2,000 copies, it’s only for the biggest BONE fans. From Cartoon Books, July 2011, $350.00.
And we’ll leave it on that note, with me drooling over that gorgeous collection that I’ll never be able to afford.