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December 2, 2009

Bento Bako Lite – December 2009 Previews

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Written by: Kristin
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It’s that time again.  Open up your copy of Diamond’s December Previews, and let’s find you something interesting to read!  This month seemed a little…lacking.  Is it just me, or was this month’s Previews half the size it normally is?  I didn’t check the page count, but it was pretty thin.  It’s a little lacking on things worth picking up, as well.  As usual, I’ll start with my own pre-order list, then go on to make some recommendations.

bbwsp20Skip Beat! vol. 20, by Yoshiki Nakamura.  In volume 19, we finally met Ren’s father.  He teaches Kyoko a valuable lesson in acting, then leaves just as quickly as he came.  We head off to another story line now, with some touching Christmas surprises!  From Viz Media’s website: “It’s the season of giving in Tokyo, but Lory’s granddaughter Maria is in no mood to celebrate. Kyoko, never one to sit out a challenge, finally gets Maria to admit what has her so soured on the holidays. It turns out December 24 is Maria’s birthday–and the anniversary of her mother’s death! Can Kyoko work a Christmas miracle and give this little girl a happy birthday?”  March 2010 from Viz Media.

bbwwwt9We Were There vol. 9, by Yuki Obata.  This volumes jumps ahead in the story several years.  Yano went to Tokyo with his recently divorced mother, leaving Nanami behind to finish high school.  Five years later, Nanami is about to graduate from college, and she hasn’t seen or heard from Yano in years.  Why did these two drift so far apart, and will they ever meet again?  From Viz’s website: “In my memory I link together fragments from the past when we were together… …to create a clear image of him in my mind. But I no longer know if that image is really him. That moment I see in my mind may have never existed.”  March 2010 from Viz Media.

bbw9hateI Hate You More Than Anyone vol. 9, by Banri Hidaka.  Things are heating up as Kazuha finds herself trapped in a battle between the man she loves, Maki Sugimoto, and his manipulative half-brother, Saki.  Volume 8 ended with Maki finally sitting down with Kazuha to tell her about his family’s history.  Now we’ll hear the rest of the unfortunate story of these two brothers who hold deep resentment for each other.  From the CMX website: “Kazuha contends with the rivalry between the Sugimoto brothers. Maki, the one she’s in love with, resents Saki, the brother who teaches at Kazuha’s school—and the feeling may be mutual. Now we’ll learn how their mother blamed Maki for all of their family misfortunes and how a mysterious woman became involved in this family feud. Will all of this information affect Kazuha’s feelings toward Maki?”  March 2010 from CMX.

Other than a couple of yaoi titles from DMP that I’m mildly interested in (and will mention a little further down), that’s it for me this month.  So let’s move on to other titles you should keep your eyes open for!

From Tokyopop

The Twelve Kingdoms volume 4: Skies of Dawn, by Fuyumi Ono.  I am actually reading these, but I wait for the paperback editions.  If you don’t have the patience to wait for the paperback version to come out, then pick up this hardcover version of the continuation of this epic fantasy.  It runs about 10 bucks more than the paperback, at $19.99 (a price hike of $2-3 since the previous volumes).  March 2010.

From Vertical Inc.

bbwtezukamwTezuka’s MW, by Osamu Tezuka.  Remember what I said about Tezuka?  That you should pick up anything with his name on it?  This one is no exception, and it’s now available in paperback format. From Previews: “Yuki is a young bank employee, charismatic but devoid of morality.  Garai is the guilt-ridden priest who atones for Yuki’s sins.  Years ago they survived the release of an experimental psychotic drug, called MW, an event the government covered up.  Driven by nothing but his desire to inflict evil upon the world, Yuki’s salvation can only come from Garai’s negotiation of the guilt-ridden torment of their forbidden love, and his responsibility to stop the vicious iller the MW chremical created!”  Check out the free preview on Vertical’s website.

From Del Rey Manga

bbwxmenmisfitsWolverine: Prodigal Son volume 1, by Antony Johnston, with art by Wilson Tortosa.  Marvel’s joint manga project with Del Rey gets a reprint this month.  This is a very different Wolverine, prettied up manga-style.

X-Men: Misfits volume 1, by Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, with art by AnZu.  Another reimaging of the X-Men, drawn in a Japanese style, and written like a Japanese shojo manga.  This one is all about Kitty Pryde, who has suddenly found herself in a strange school…full of all boys.

CLAMP in America, art by CLAMP, written by Shaenon Garrity.  A sort of illustrated biography of the popular manga group CLAMP, celebrating their 20th anniversary.  March 2010.

Also from Viz Media

bbwparadisoRistorante Paradiso, by Natsume Ono.  21-year-old Nicoletta travels to Rome to be with her estranged mother, who left Nicoletta with her grandparents years ago to marry a man who didn’t like divorced women.  Nicoletta’s grandmother has sent her to Rome to make amends with her mother Olga, but she is not allowed to tell her mother’s husband that she is her daughter.  Olga’s husband owns the quaint Casetta dell’Orso restaurant, staffed by a group of bespectacled middled-aged men…one of whom Nicoletta has developed a crush on.  After begging her mother, Nicoletta is admitted into the restaurant as the only female staff member.   March 2010, from Viz Media’s Viz Signature line.

From Digital Manga Publishing

Yokan Premonition vol. 1, by Makoto Tateno.  It’s listed as the first volume of an ongoing series, but really it’s two single volume titles that go together – Yokan Premonition (also known as Omen) and Yokan EX Noise.  From DMP: “Akira, lead vocalist of the popular band CHARON, desires to have a song written by the famous actor and talented lyricist Sunaga. Sunaga agrees, but demands Akira’s body as payment! Akira is faced with a dilemma, that isn’t made any easier by Sunaga’s carefree attitude and constant sexual advances. But is it just possible for Akira to maybe feel something for Sunaga too? From bestselling mangaka Makoto Tateno, creator of Yellow and Steal Moon!”  February 2010, from DMP’s Juné line.

Dry Heat, by Yugi Yamada.  The title is actually Warera no Mizu wa Doko ni Aru, but I’m not sure what exactly that translates to.  From DMP: “Little Tatsuhiko, says to his young family servant Itaru,’when I grow up, I want to become a politician and change the law – so two men can get married. Will you marry me then?’ Ten years later, Tatsuhiko leaves a mysterious note behind and disappears from his prestigious academy. Itaru is asked to find him, only to discover that time changes people and learns that things aren’t the way they used to be… From Yugi Yamada, creator of Close The Last Door and Laugh Under The Sun!”  February 2010, also from their Juné line.

From Dark Horse

Hellsing10Hellsing volume 10, by Kohta Hirano.  The manga reaches its conclusion in this volume.  Who will be left alive, dead, or undead after this bloody battle for survival?  April 2010.

Vampire Hunter D Reader’s Guide, by Hideyuki Kikuchi, with art by Yoshitaka Amano.  From Amazon.com:  “An international sensation for more than two decades, the now-legendary monster killer known only as “D” has conquered the worlds of movies, comics, and, since the publication of the first novel in English in 2004, is becoming just as popular in America and the English-speaking world as he has been in Japan for more than a dozen novels. Now, for the first time, go behind the scenes of the phenomenon. With rare artwork from Yoshitaka Amano and interviews that shed light on the inspirations for the memorable stories, you’ll have a front-row seat at the creation of the two animated adventures of Vampire Hunter D, and learn new secrets about the novels through detailed summaries.”  April 2010.

A Little Extra

Claymore Complete Series Blu-Ray box set. This beautifully animated, grusome tale about monster hunters known as Claymores – humans who bond with monsters to become powerful fighters – is a sure hit.  I don’t normally advocate Blu-Ray animation, because for most things, it’s not worth it.  But Claymore is one title that would probably benefit from the treatment.  February 2010; Amazon.com has it on sale for almost half the price, so if you’re interested, I’d head over and pre-order it.

bbwnautilusNadia: The Secret of Blue Water Nautilus Diecast Models. If I had this kind of cash, you can bet I’d pick up one of these.  Nadia is a great series, based on a concept by Hayao Miyazaki, and written and directed by Evangelion‘s Hideaki Anno.  The Nautilus is captained by Captain Nemo, straight out of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  Young Nadia and Jean find themselves on the submarine during their adventures, and are catapulted into a journey that will make them grow up far beyond their years.  Both versions are at 1/500-scale, about a foot long, and have moving parts.  The regular edition is the underwater submarine; the limited edition is, I think, the airship/spaceship version.  It’s described as its “flying mode,” but if that’s the case, there should be more of a difference than just a simple recolor.  They both run, with working parts and a display stand, at $250 each.  March 2010.

And that wraps up the December 2009 Previews preview!  Well, there were some rather nice looking Evangelion sculpts, but there are billions of those.  If you need yet another, one is Rei and Asuka in their plug-suits, and the other is Shinji and Kaworu in their school uniforms.

Happy pre-ordering!




  1. billy

    “Hellsing” sounds interesting. Hey Kris, what’s The Twelve Kingdom’s about?

  2. Kristin

    Oh, it’s fantastic. It’s a fantasy story, with a rich mythology. I did a review for the anime: http://girlg33k.blogspot.com/2009/05/twelve-kingdoms.html
    The anime covers the first 3-4 volumes of the book, and then stops.
    Essentially, it’s about a high school girl named Youko, who is approached by a man who claims that she is the next Queen of a mystical land. She is taken through a whirlpool into this other land, but is separated from everyone, and has to find her own way to her destiny.

  3. Billy

    @Kris-that’s a good description/article. Does this ever appear on TV or do you have to get it on DVD?

  4. Kristin

    I’m afraid you’ll have to buy it or rent it. But they did release a complete collection just this year. I rented it through Netflix, and the complete collection is on my Christmas wish list this year, because I loved it. The novels are a little hard to track down sometimes though.

  5. We already got the X-Men Manga in my store. I think it arrived two weeks ago.

    And where are the statue pics of Shinji and Kaworu in their school uniforms?

    : D

  6. Kristin

    Shouldn’t you be asking to see Asuka and Rei?

    I think Shinji and Kaworu have actually been out for a while (just listed again, I guess).

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