Featured Columns

March 9, 2012

Bento Bako Bonus: March 2012 Previews Manga Highlights

Greetings, manga fans! It’s March! I think. Is it still March? The last couple of days have been a total blur. The Reapers are hitting hard, and not just on Earth. Every species in the galaxy is struggling against this immense threat. And yet, me and my one little ship are pretty much the only ones doing a damn thing about it. Running around the galaxy, doing errands, shuttling diplomats, brokering treaties, killings husks, rebuilding civilizations. It’s hard work, let me tell ya. And it really sucks your time, you know? So this month, I’m copy/pasting product descriptions from Amazon rather than typing them out from Previews, unless noted otherwise. Yes, I am going the lazy way, because I still haven’t had makeup sex with Kaidan, and I mean come on, how long is he going to make me wait? Sheesh.

Kris’s Pull List:

Mass Effect: Homeworlds #2, by Jeremy Barlow, Patrick Weekes, with art by Chris Staggs. From Previews: Mass Effect: Homeworlds turns the focus onto Commander Shepard’s ally Tali’Zorah in a story from Tali’s Mass Effect 3 writer Patrick Weekes! On a mission to end her people’s generations-long exile, Tali uncovers the treachery of a central Mass Effect figure and finds herself hunted by assassins. Fleeing the Citadel for help, she instead encounters disgust and discrimination in the most ‘civilized’ place in the galaxy!” From Dark Horse Comics, May 2012, $3.50.

Drifters volume 2, by Kohta Hirano. “Heroes from Earth’s history are deposited in an enchanted land where humans subjugate the nonhuman races. Samurai warriors Shimazu Toyohisa and Oda Nobunaga aid the elves in their struggle, but a greater threat grows in the north, where the Black King and his Ends have set out to decimate the planet. But chaos creates opportunity, and Nobunaga has his own visions of conquest! From Hellsing creator Kohta Hirano, Drifters is an all-out fantasy slugfest of epic proportion!” From Dark Horse Comics, July 2012, $12.99

Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World #25, by Chuck Dixon, with art by Marcio Fiorito. From Previews: “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.

Wandering Son: Book Three, by Shimura Takako. “As shown in the first two volumes of this acclaimed series, Shuichi and his friend Yoshino have a secret: Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy.
But one day, abruptly, their secret is exposed, and the two find themselves the target of sixth-grade cruelty. Their friendship is strained, as Yoshino makes a half-hearted effort at being a “normal girl”… and their mentor, Yuki, reveals the harder reality of being transgendered. Meanwhile, Shuichi’s sister, Maho, realizes her dream of becoming a model, and drags Shuichi along for the ride. Shuichi meets another boy who wants to be a girl, and finds himself on an arranged date with a boy who doesn’t know that the girl he has a crush on is actually a boy.” From Fantagraphics, May 2012, $19.99.

Miles Edgeworth, Ace Attorney volume 1, by Kenji Kuroda. From Previews: “Miles Edgeworth is a long-time friend of ace attorney, Phoenix Wright, having been rivals in their early days as lawyers. When Miles himself was accused of murder, Phoenix stepped in to defend him. Inspired by Phoenix, Miles rededicated himself to the pursuit of justice. Now Miles Edgeworth must uncover the clues in a series of murder investigations. Are the separate crimes, or is each a piece of a larger, more sinister puzzle?” May 2012, $10.99, from Kodansha Comics.

A Devil and Her Love Song volume 3, by Miyoshi Tomori. “Hana Ibuki, a cheerful soul, waltzes into Maria’s life and befriends her right away. She even convinces wary classmates to join Maria’s choral group. There’s something suspicious about Hana’s help, however, especially since misconceptions about Maria occur every time Hana is involved. Is Hana really a friend or actually a foe?” June 2012, $9.99, from Viz Media.

The Earl and the Fairy volume 2, by Ayuko. “Edgar and his small band must travel to the Isle of Manan, once home to the Blue Knight Earl. But the island is surrounded by merfolk, whose tragic songs cause rough seas and shipwrecks. And even if Edgar and his companions reach the island, they face death if it turns out he isn’t a true heir to the Earl…” June 2012, $9.99.

Dawn of the Arcana volume 4, by Rei Toma. “Princess Nakaba of Senan and Prince Caesar of Belquat only married each other for the sake of peace between their two warring countries, so no one expected there to be love between the unlikely couple. But just as feelings start growing between them, Nakaba’s power, the Arcana of Time, shows her a vision of a young woman’s murder. Has the time come for Nakaba to harness her power to change fate?” June 2012, $9.99.

Ouran High School Host Club volume 18, by Bisco Hatori. [Final volume.] From Previews: “Tamaki wants to ask Haruhi out, but he’s quickly overwhelmed trying to plan the best first date in the universe. The members of the Host Club volunteer to assist Tamaki in his endeavor, but can they save their foolish king from himself?” June 2012, $9.99.

Black Bird volume 14, by Kanoko Sakurakouji. From Previews: “Sho is finally making a direct move against Kyo, and the battle between them is a close match. Will Sho’s recent feast on Misao’s blood give him the power to overcome Kyo? Or does Sho hope being killed in front of her will add to the pain of betrayal Misao already feels?” June 2012, $9.99, from Viz Media.

Kamisama Kiss volume 9, by Julietta Suzuki. “Nanami may have been (begrudgingly) accepted by the other kami at Izumo, but that doesn’t make her any less human or help her deal with her growing feelings for Tomoe. Should she be true to her heart or cut Tomoe loose for his own good? Either way, getting dragged into a group date isn’t going to help matters at all!” June 2012, $9.99, from Viz Media.

House of Leaves volume 7, by Natsume Ono. “Once known as “Sei the Drifter,” Yaichi has maintained a coldhearted outlook on life, a despair rooted in the trauma of a kidnapping that occurred years ago. With his past now coming to light, an air of restlessness pervades the Five Leaves. At the same time, Masanosuke must make a difficult decision when confronted with his brother Bunnosuke’s complicated circumstances.” June 2012, $12.99, vrom Viz Media.

20th Century Boys volume 21, by Naoki Urasawa. “There once was a boy who imagined the end of the world. It was just a child’s game… but not anymore! The Friend is carrying out his plan for the extermination of the human race—all according to his predictions. And the man who survived Bloody New Year’s Eve is heading toward Tokyo. The boys are coming back together one by one. The time is come. This is the countdown to the final battle.” June 2012, $12.99, from Viz Media.

Pandora Hearts volume 10, by Jun Mochizuki. “A century before, in Sablier, a forbidden portal was flung wide by a boy, Vincent, in his single-minded desire to protect his brother, Gilbert. And thus did that foolhardy desire lead to the corruption of that innocent boy’s soul like a sweet poison… Now, as Gil, Oz, and Alice wander the ruins of the former capital, they are assaulted by illusions from the past. But how much of it is real? And how much of it illusion?” May 2012, $11.99.

Also From Dark Horse Comics:

Blade of the Immortal volume 25: Snowfall at Dawn, by Hiroaki Samura. From Previews: “The showdown that fans have been waiting for begins here, as Manji and Shira finally cross paths! Although he’s missing an arm, Manji’s mystical healing powers still ensure that he’s a formidable opponent – but his greatest foe, the masochistic Shira, has a few depraved tricks up his own sleeves! With Shira deadlier than ever, having had plenty of time to plot twisted revenge schemes, will Manji be able to protect Rin from his deranged nemesis?” July 2012, $19.99.

From Digital Manga Publishing:

Kizuna volume 6, by Kazuma Kodaka. From DMP: “How do you tell your father that you are dating another man? Both Kei and Ranmaru had enough – they don’t want to go on like this. Telling everyone, “we are just roommates” and “we are just friends.” They want to tell his father that they are in a committed relationship… but how? And when..? They know they could only keep this up for so long. They will be moving into his father’s house soon. And things are about to stir up even more – its time to pick who will be taking over Sagano Group.” May 2012, $12.95.

Same Difference, by Nozomu Hiiragi. “From their offices high in a corporate skyscaper, alpha males Ozaki and Tsuburaya make all the girls swoon. Ozaki is known for his irresistible pheromones, while Tsuburaya ia a noble, worldly genius. But when these two rivals end up in a bed together, who will prove to be top dog? It’s seme vs. seme – and much more than pride’s on the line!” May 2012, $12.95.

Swallowing the Earth, by Osamu Tezuka. From DMP: “Amidst the chaos of World War II, two Japanese soldiers hear of Zephyrus, an utterly captivating woman rumored to exist on an island in the South Pacific. The tales of this bold enchantress seducing men to their dooms are both chilling and fascinating. Over twenty years pass, and Zephyrus resurfaces in Japan, seemingly unchanged, to wield her mysterious power over men once more. The one man immune to Zephyrus’ charms is simple drunkard, Gohonmatsu Seki, son of one of the wartime soldiers. Employed to spy on Zephyrus, what will Gohonmatsu uncover about her ultimate plot to create international discord and consume the world of men? What brought this woman to conspire for decades against patriarchal society – against an entire gender – and can anything be done to stop her plans?” May 2012 (thanks to a very successful Kickstarter campaign), $24.95.

In These Words, by GuiltPleasure. “Asano Katsuya is a US trained psychiatrist who has been recruited by the Tokyo Police Department to provide a profile through the victims’ data. Based on Asano’s profile and recommendation, an elaborate plan is put into place to lure the serial killer out – a plan that bore successful results! Now, after three years and twelve victims, Shinohara Keiji is finally in police custody. Shinohara has promised a thorough confession, however, on the absolute terms that Asano has to be the one to receive it. Besides the curious request by the killer whom Asano was only familiar with on paper, disturbing nightmares begin to plague him as soon as he’s given the case…” June 2012, $15.95.

Also From Fantagraphics:

Dal Tokyo, by Gary Panter. From Previews: “Collected into one giant volume for the first time, Fantagraphics proudly presents Gary Panter’s sci-fi/punk mash-up masterpiece Dal Tokyo. Panter imagines a Mars where Japanese and Texan culture have collided and the result is a dizzying and absorbing mix of more or less intelligible jokes, non-sequiturs and surreal eruptions that can engult the entire panel in scribbles. Most of theses strips were only published in Japan and are being published in the US for the first time!” $35.00.

Also From Kodansha Comics:

Attack on Titan volume 1, by Isayama Hajime. From Previews: “What’s left of humanity survives in fear for their lives in this exciting, terrifying new manga that’s a number one bestseller in Japan. Humankind is down to just a few thousand people who live in a city surrounded by three concentric walls. The walls protect them from their enemies, the ravenous giants known as the Titans. The Titans appear to have only one purpose: to consume humanity. For one hundred years, what’s left of mankind has lived in the city on earth, protected by walls that tower over even the Titans. Untouched by the Titans for a century, humanity has become complacent. But Eren Jaeger has had enough. While his fellow citizens are content to hide, Jaeger has the passion to take action to not only protect the city, but to learn what the Titans actually are. But on his first mission he comes face to face with horrors beyond his imagination…and secrets from his own past that could shift the tides of war. Jaeger and his friends are determined to survive. But everything about their situation is a mystery that only becomes more complicated the more they learn.” June 2012, $10.99.

Genshiken Omnibus volume 1, by Kio Shimoku. From Previews: “Welcome to the world of the Genshiken, home of the true otaku – the Japanese term for ubergeek. This is the story of a group of friends who are all members of the most hardcore anime and manga fan club in all of Tokyo – and the girls who love them!” May 2012, $19.99.

Kitchen Princess omnibus volume 1, by Miyuki Kobayashi. From Previews: “Najika has always known how to cook. She understands food, and how it touches people’s hearts. But she herself has always been looking for more. When she was a child, she met a boy who touched her heart, and now Najika has set out to find this boy. The only clue she has is a silver spoon that leads her to the prestigious Seika Academy. Fitting in at Seika will be a challenge. Every kid in Najika’s class has a special talent, and the girls at the school think Najika’s not worthy. But Sora and Daichi, two popular brothers who barely speak to each other, recognize Najika’s cooking for what it is – magical. Is either boy Najika’s mysterious prince? This omnibus contains the first two volumes of the original Kitchen Princess series.” June 2012, $14.99. And here I’d like to note that Genshiken runs 200 pages for $19.99 and Kitchen Princess 400 pages for $14.99. Talk about price disparity.

From Seven Seas Entertainment:

Alice in the Country of Clover: Bloody Twins volume 1, by Quinrose and Mamenosuke Fujimaru. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are the “Bloody Twins”, amorous and affable killers who are able to transform themselves into adorable children or suavely handsome adults. As the gatekeepers to the Hatter Mansion, they tried to kill Alice once. Now they are hopelessly in love with her. Will either Dee or Dum win Alice’s affections, and more importantly…will she survive their screwball courtship?” June 2012, $12.99.

Witch Hunter Books 1-2 Collection, by Cho Jung-Man. “Witch Hunter is an all new shonen fantasy manga series in the vein of Soul Eater and Full Metal Alchemist, presented in two-volumes-in-one omnibus format. Seven Seas will release the entire action-packed series across six low-priced omnibus editions.
In a world where witches have declared war against humanity, the surviving human population has gathered specialists with the power to hunt and destroy witches.
Tasha Godspell, also known as the “Magic Marksman,” is one of the best Witch Hunters there is. Along with his sword-wielding Jack-o’-Lantern partner known as Halloween, Tasha puts his magical training and weaponry to good use, in his constant battles against witches. And yet, he cannot bring himself to fully hate the very witches he is tasked to destroy.” June 2012, $15.99.

From SuBLime (a division of Viz Media):

Honey Darling, by Norikazu Akira. “Chihiro drifts through life with no purpose, going from girl to girl, until one day he finds an abandoned kitten in a box. He quickly falls in love with little Shiro and couldn’t imagine his life without her. One evening, Chihiro finds Shiro has fallen ill. While searching aimlessly for an animal hospital, he runs into Kumazawa, a local vet who takes Shiro into his care. Watching Kumazawa in action, Chihiro realizes he wishes to learn the value of life and asks Kumazawa to consider hiring him at the vet clinic. Kumazawa agrees, but only if Chihiro serves as his live-in housekeeper. Has Chihiro finally found his purpose in life, or will living with the handsome vet be a little too much to handle?” June 2012, $12.99.

Three Wolves Mountain, by Naono Bohra. “Way up in the mountains, far from any major cities or towns, Kaya Susugi runs a small cafe by day and guards a haunted cemetery by night. Then, one night, he comes across werewolf brothers Taro and Jiro. Cheerful but klutzy younger brother Jiro quickly falls head over heels for the capable loner Kaya. What results is a dive into the hot, tail-twitching delight of werewolf mating season!” June 2012, $12.99.

From Udon Entertainment:

The Eyes of Bayonetta: Artbook & DVD. “A member of an ancient witch clan and possessing powers beyond the comprehension of mere mortals, Bayonetta faces-off against countless angelic enemies, many reaching epic proportions, in a game of 100% pure, unadulterated, all-out action. The Eyes of Bayonetta collects the stylish artwork behind this cinematic action game, featuring character sketches, CG models, monster, weapon, and location designs, and creator commentary. Also included is an exclusive hour-long DVD interview with the game’s creators, taking you behind the scenes of Bayonetta’s creation!” June 2012, $49.99.

From Vertical Inc.:

Flowers of Evil volume 1, by Shuzo Oshimi. From Previews: “Bookworm Takao falls in love with Nanako but he cannot express his feelings through words. Instead he secretively acts out in a heat of passion which creates a huge scandal in his school. And there is one person who knows his true nature and this girl will do anything to nurture what this Charles Baudelaire hides.” May 2012, $10.95.

GTO: 14 Days in Shonan volume 3, by Tohru Fujisawa. From Previews: “The sequel to the groundbreaking manga Great Teacher Onizuka takes its titular lead back home to the rougth and tough surfing heaven of Shonan. One of the most imoprtant manga in American history returns with a brand new mini-series.” May 2012, $10.95.

Also From Viz Media:

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 9, by Hiroshi Shiibashi. “Tono Monogatari The yokai Hagoromo-Gitsune continues her attack to break the eight seals of Hidemoto. If she succeeds, the entire city of Kyoto will be under her full control. To save the city, Rikuo and his newfound allies, other trainee yokai that he’s met in the city of Tono, will have to harness all the power they’ve learned and travel from the safety of Tono toward the ensuing fray in Kyoto!” June 2012, $9.99.

There are other things of note, but I’m tired of fighting the lag on WordPress, so I’ll put the rest in the comments later today. Happy pre-ordering!



One Comment

  1. LMAO! Loved the intro Kris!

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