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February 10, 2012

Bento Bako Bonus: February 2012 Previews Highlights

Greetings, manga lovers! You may have noticed that I skipped this feature last month. I apologize to anyone who looks forward to them. If you’ve been keeping up, you’ll know that I was very sick around the time the January Previews came out, but I’m back in action this month! I’m a couple days later than usual, as I’ve been getting to my LCS a lot less often lately. It’s in another town, and now that my sister has moved (she used to live in the same town), I find it harder to drive out there just to pick up a comic or two. At any rate, here are you February 2012 Diamond Previews manga highlights! All product descriptions are from Previews unless noted otherwise. As usual, we’ll start with my personal pull list.

Kris’s Pull List:

Mass Effect: Homeworlds #1, by Mac Walters, with art by Eduardo Francisco. “Mass Effect 3 lead writer Mac Walters kicks off a new series of single-issue stories featuring heroes and adventures essential to the story of BioWare’s latest blockbuster!
Each issue will star one of the main characters of Mass Effect 3 in a story written by the BioWare writer who wrote the character in the game – beginning with a Mac Walters-penned tale of brash young gun James Vega!” From Dark Horse Comics, April 2012, $3.50. Well, they clearly won’t all be out before the game is (or, well, any of them), but since they’re written by, well, their actual writers, I have high hopes for this set of books.

Gate 7 volume 3, by CLAMP. “A battle for supernatural supremacy rages in Kyoto! When a strange dimension overlaps with our reality, Hana and the members of her Inou Squad use their mystical dominion over the elements to protect humanity against a torrent of invading creatures. Thrust in the middle of this war, Chikahito is a seemingly ordinary boy who’s been accepted into Hana’s group – but it’s possible that he has latent powers of his own!” From Dark Horse Comics, June 2012, $10.99.

The Sandman volume 9: The Kindly Ones (New edition), by Neil Gaiman. Continuing to build my Sandman collection with the new editions, which feature the enhanced artwork from the Absolute editions. From Vertigo, May 2012, $19.99.

Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World #24, by Chuck Dixon, with art by Andie Tong. “Rand and Mat are running themselves ragged, unable to afford lodging or food, and unable to perform for any money without attracting darkfriends…but they are close, so close, to Caemlyn. It’s the last village before the city, and evil is lurking everywhere – especially in their dreams. Will they make it to the city before they’re found out?” From Dynamite Entertainment, $3.99.

Oresama Teacher volume 8, by Izumi Tsubaki. From Amazon: “Summer break doesn’ t mean rest and relaxation for Mafuyu. She has a ton of homework to finish, but finds herself distracted when a drunken colleague shows up at Takaomi’ s apartment. It’ s up to Mafuyu to convince the guy that Takaomi is a good teacher, but will he take the word of an obvious delinquent?!” May 2012, $9.99, from Viz Media.

The Story of Saiunkoku volume 7, by Sai Yukino, with art by Kairi Yura. From Amazon: “Though Shurei and Eigetsu passed the Imperial Exam with high marks, they are being bullied as they go about their duties as new civil servants in the palace. But it seems the pair may have found an unlikely ally…” May 2012, $9.99, from Viz Media.

The Betrayal Knows My Name volume 3, by Hotaru Odagiri. “Despite finally learning more about the ‘Sunset of the Underworld’ a thousand years past, Yuki finds his thoughts returning once more to his former friend and current enemy Kanata. But while Yuki may be new to picking sides in a centuries-old war, it is nothing new to the Zweilt. And Kuroto and Senshirou, the new Zweilt pair Yuki has just encountered, harbor a profound hatred for Opasts, swearing revenge on one in particular. What happened four years ago to inspire such loathing?” April 2012, $18.99, from Yen Press.

Black Butler volume 9, by Yana Toboso. “Earl Ciel Phantomhive’s quietude following the conclusion of the case of Noah’s Ark Circus is show-lived, as Queen Victoria’s very own butlers commandeer Phantomhive Manor and all its residents for a lavish banquet sanctioned by Her Majesty. Preparation for such an event are quick work in the hands of Sebastian, the house’s most able butler, but corralling eminent guests during his young master’s first-ever attempt at playing host may prove to be rather more of a challenge!” April 2012, $11.99, from Yen Press.


From Digital Manga Publishing:

Starry Sky volume 1, by Haru Minakawa. “College student Tsukiko Yahisa is studying astronomy when a solitary e-mail brings memories of the good old days at Deigatsu Academy back into focus. Her mind wanders back to the scattered friends she made that spring, summer, fall and winter, and she finds herself longing for Yoh, Tsubasa, Ryunosuke and the others once again…” April 2012, $12.95.

Castle Mango volume 1, by Muku Ogura, with art by Narise Konohara. “Yorozu lives at Castle Mango, a ‘love hotel’ where couples pay for a few hours to themselves. But his quiet life is violated when Togame arrives to shoot an adult film! Soon Yorozu’s being ‘mistaken’ for an actor, having his pants suddenly removed and watching his little brother get his on. Togame eventually agrees to stay away from Yorozu’s brother, but there’s a catch – and it’s not something Yorozu’s going to like!” April 2012, $12.95.

The Tyrant Falls in Love volume 6, by Hinako Takanaga. “Waiting for Tatsumi to return to Japan, Morinaga’s sure that his unstable lover’s finally changing his way. But Morinaga’s hopes are soon overridden by sheer terror! Tatsumi’s brought someone with him – his father! And as Morinaga heads into his first meeting with Tatsumi Sr., he can’t quell his worries that the old man’s come to tear his life apart!” April 2012, $12.95.

From Gen Manga Entertainment:

Vs Aliens GN, by Yu Suzuki. “Kitaro must unravel a mystery between the two cutest girls in school. One claims the other is an alien! Is Sana Sakuma really a secret visitor from outer space or is this some elaborate prank? The mystery spirals in and out, back and forth, keeping you guessing until the very end. Do you want to believe?” Out now (limited print copies), $9.95.

From Kodansha Comics:

Sailor Moon volume 5, by Naoko Takeuchi. [Generic copy that’s been the same copy for every volume; wish they’d update it or something.] May 2012, $10.99.

From Seven Seas Entertainment:

Avalon: Web of Magic Omnibus volume 1, by Rachel Roberts. “Three very different young teens – Emily, the shy one; Adriane, the outsider; and Kara, the power shopper – are all drawn to a secret place deep in the woods where they discover a portal to another world. Wondrous animals have emerged from the portal, on the run from a dark threat bent upon destroying them all. They are chosen to protect the magical animals and save their world, but to do so, the girls must overcome their differences and band together. They [begin] a quest to discover Avalon, the lost, legendary home of magic, little knowing the dangers they will face.” May 2012, $14.95.

From Udon Entertainment:

Persona 4: Official Design Works. “Featuring the character designs of Shigenori Soejima! Go behind the scenes of PERSONA 4, the final game of the landmark Persona series! Inside you’ll find character designs, rough sketches, backgrounds & settings, an exclusive interview with the game’s creators, and more!” May 2012, $39.99.

Makeshift Miracle Book 1: The Girl From Nowhere, by Jim Zub, with art by Shun Hong Chan. “A young boy named Colby Reynolds searches for meaning in the world around him and discovers a place where dreams can come true, if he’s willing to pay the price. Along the way he’ll see sights he’s never fathomed and encounter hidden truths about himself he’ll wish he never knew. The hit online comic is now a beautiful high quality hardcover graphic novel, perfect for teen readers and manga fans with a durable library-quality binding.” May 2012, $19.99.

From Vertical Inc:

GTO: The Early Years volume 12, by Tohru Fujisawa. “Before he became known as the GTO, the legend of Eikichi Onizuka was tied to another term – the OniBaku. This group of teens with attitude changed the fortunes of a whole community by uniting rival gangs under the humor and leadership of two young men: Tyoji Danma and Eikichi Onizuka. Picking up where they left off, manga readers can finally experience the dramatic conclusions to this seminal property.” April 2012, $12.95.

Also From Viz Media:

Hana-Kimi 3-in-1 edition volume 2, by Hisaya Nakajo. “It looks like Mizuki’s cover might be blown when she finds out she’s going to have to compete…in a cross-dressing match. She’s going to have to be a boy pretending to be a girl – but that might give away that she’s already a girl pretending to be a boy. Plus, a schoolmate has a crush on Mizuki…only he’s super confused because he thinks she’s a boy!” May 2012, $14.99.

Skip Beat! 3-in-1 edition volume 2, by Yoshiki Nakamura. Kyoko needs to make some quick cash to pay for acting school, but an easy job as a seat filler for a variety show soon has her on stage – in a chicken suit! Her debut as Chicken Bo is just the break she needs, but a mess of rivalries could trip up her rise to the top. And things get even crazier when she’s asked to sub for Ren Tsuruga’s sick manager. Can her earnest hard work override a bad first impression, or will he become a powerful enemy?” May 2012, $14.99.

The Future is Japanese, edited by Haikasoru. “An ancient culture, immense social transformation, terrible disasters, and economic booms makes the island nation of Japan a laboratory for how we’ll all live one day, and a muse to science fiction writers and fantasists from around the world. Both sci-fi masters and hot new up-and-comers have seen the future…and it is Japanese.” May 2012, $14.99.

We Were There volume 14, by Yuuki Obata. From Amazon: “Nanami Takahashi falls for Motoharu Yano, the most popular, carefree boy in class. For Nanami, it’s first love, but Yano is still grieving the death of his girlfriend who died the year before. When you’re in love, once you hit the switch…
…no one can really say…
…what will truly happen.
The impossible may even become possible.” May 2012, $9.99.

Tegami Bachi volume 9, by Hiroyuki Asada. From Amazon: “The Dead Letter Office Lag’s hero, Gauche Suede, has returned to the Beehive–but not in the way Lag had hoped. While Gauche lies injured and unconscious, two mysterious government operatives show up to take him away, arousing the suspicions of the Beehive staff. What is the Amberground government trying to hide from the Letter Bees?” May 2012, $9.99.

Saturn Apartments volume 5, by Hisae Iwaoka. From Amazon: “Mitsu’s a window-washer in the Ring System, a civilization constructed after Earth was abandoned and turned into a nature preserve. His father died on the job five years earlier, and Mitsu takes his work seriously. Unfortunately, not all of his coworkers feel the same way, and they begin to resent the care and diligence he puts into clearing a vision of Earth for the residents of the Ring. One day, while staying late to check on his colleague’s work, Mitsu loses radio contact. Will he meet the same fate as his father?” May 2012, $12.99.

Also From Yen Press:

Durarara!! volume 2, by Ryohgo Narita, Suzuhito Yasuda, Akiyo Satorigi. “The Black Biker of Ikebukuro, gliding along the dark streets on her pitch-black motorcycle, may take on any number of delivery jobs, but Celty’s objective remains fixed on one single task: recovering her severed head. The dullahan of Irish lore has sensed her head in Tokyo, but even she has made little progress finding it. Meanwhile, the color gangs of Ikebukuro are dealing with a newcomer even more mysterious than the Black Biker: the colorless gang known as the Dollars has the usual thugs fearful and uneasy!” April 2012, $11.99.


Figures of interest include the Mass Effect 3 Series 1 and 2 action figures, including Thane, Tali, MaleShepard, Grunt, Mordin, Garrus, Legion, and Miranda, coming this April from Big Fish Toys. RAH (real action hero) Full Metal Alchemist figures from Medicom, featuring Ed ($174.99) and Al ($219.99). A Sif EX Evangelion 2.0 Makinami Mari PVC figure (school uniform), coming in August for $139.99. Dissidia Final Fantasy figures from Square’s Play Arts ~KAI~ line, featuring Cloud, Squall, and Judge Gabranth, for $49.99 each. Upcoming anime DVD releases include the new FMA movie, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood – The Sacred Star of Milos, on DVD ($29.98) and BR+DVD ($34.98) combo pack. The DVD ($59.98) and BR ($69.98) release of EF: A Tale of Melodies from Sentai Filmworks. The complete collection for Squid Girl season one, $59.98 (BR). And here’s one that you can’t miss out on (again), Sentai Filmworks’ re-release of Iaso Takahata’s (studio Ghibli co-founder) Grave of the Fireflies remastered DVD, for $19.98. 

That’s it for this month! Happy pre-ordering!


Nanami Takahashi falls for Motoharu Yano, the most popular, carefree boy in class. For Nanami, it’s first love, but Yano is still grieving the death of his girlfriend who died the year before.

When you’re in love, once you hit the switch…

…no one can really say…

…what will truly happen.

The impossible may even become possible.



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