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January 12, 2010

Bento Bako Lite: January 2010 Previews

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Written by: Kristin
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Oh, what a disappointing month!  I really had to dig to find things to recommend this month, but I managed to find a couple of gems.  It’s hard to complain about a lack of interesting titles when it means giving my wallet a break, but the last couple of months have looked really sad.  A quick note: the January Previews catalog was delayed along with everything else due to the holidays.  As such, the due date you’ll find on the short order form is incorrect (but the full order form is correct).  Orders are due  by January 18th.

Usually I start off with titles I’m ordering…but I’m not ordering anything this month.  So we’ll launch right into my recommendations by publisher.  I think I should make it clear here that the things I’m recommending are real suggestions.  I’m not ordering them myself for various reasons; my budget causes me to be very picky about what exactly I order, never mind my utter lack of shelf space.  And in the case of something like Chobits, which I genuinely think is excellent, I used to own part of Tokyopop’s release, and I’ve seen the anime, so unfortunately DH’s new books are a bit low on my list.  Basically, just know that I’m not randomly picking things, and that I believe these things are worth your time.  I research what I can, as well.  Though admittedly these highlights are largely based on my personal opinion, with a few exceptions (in this case, I myself am not a fan of Metroid, but the figure listed is quite lovely).  With that in mind, let’s begin!

Dark Horse

Chobits Omnibus, book 2, by CLAMP.  This oversized, 720 page collection is Dark Horse’s second omnibus (re)release of CLAMP’s charming Chobitsmanga.  In Chobits, technology has advanced in the world to provide people with living computers called persocoms – life like robotic companions that move, walk, talk, and think.  They’re basically androids, but they also work like advanced personal computers (hence, persocoms).  Because of their attractive appearance, many people treat them like a boyfriend or girlfriend.  Hideki is a poor student who could never afford his own persocom, but he stumbles across one named Chi in a pile of trash, and he takes her home.  Little does he know that Chi is a Chobit, a legendary prototype infused with real emotions.  This second omnibus is actually the conclusion to the series as well.  That’s 8 volumes of manga in two beautiful books.  This one also includes 30+ pages of color illustrations.  It’s a steal for $24.99.  May 2010.

Del Rey Manga

xxxHolic, vol. 15, also by CLAMP.  A supernatural story about destiny and human emotion.  Kimihiro Watanuki stumbles upon an old house inhabited by a strange fortune teller named Yuko, who grants wishes for a price.  In exchange for having his wish granted, Watanuki must serve as chef, maid, and errand boy in Yuko’s shop until she releases him.  From Previews: “The bestselling manga continues!  Kimihiro is having some wish-granting success with his very first customer, but his efforts are interrupted by a disturbing dream of the witch Yuko vanishing forever.”  $10.99, March 2010.

Digital Manga Publishing

Maiden Rose, vol. 1, by Fusanosuke Inariya.  From Previews: “Two soldiers from warring countries are bound by a pledge as master and servant.  Taki Reizen is a Commander of sublime beauty, shouldering the fate of his nation.  Called ‘Mad Dog’ because of his rough temperament, Klaus has sworn his loyalty to him as a knight.  Despite this, those around them are cold and disapproving of their relationship.  For all their genuine feelings, what will come of love made cruel by the violence of war?”  $12.95, on their Juné imprint, March 2010.

Itazura na Kiss, vol. 2, by Kaoru Tada.  See my review of volume 1 here.  Kotoko somehow managed to get into the same college as Naoki, but now she’s faced with new problems.  A new place with new people means new competition for Kotoko!  $16.95, March 2010.

Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist, vol. 2, by Hideyuki Kikuchi, with art by Shin Yong-Gwan.  From Previews: “Traveling in-between the world of the living and the twilight world of the dead, is Akamushi, the shaman known as the ‘Red Spider Exorcist’.  In a serendipitous moment, a young girl meets Akamushi, finding him beautiful and unforgettable, falls in love with him at first sight.  However, her grandfather and mother are haunted by a ‘Waraigao’ demon – a demon that attacks living human bodies from inside the body to erode and eventually deteriorate their nerves that kills them.  Akamushi senses that her family is in danger, only to discover that she is being attacked by her own family member that was possessed by ‘Waraigao.’  Can Akamushi eliminate the demon and save her life?”  $9.95, March 2010.

Kodansha Comics

Akira, vol. 3 (Kodansha Edition), by Katsuhiro Otomo.  Kodansha continues to reissue this classic series. From Previews: “Kodansha Comics’ reissue of one of the true classics of manga continues, as Neo-Tokyo’s resistance agents and government forces race against the clock to find the child with godlike powers before his destructive abilities are unleashed.”  $24.99, April 2010.

The Ghost in the Shell, vol. 2 (Kodansha Edition), by Shirow Masamune.  From Previews: “Kodansha publishes the long-awaited sequel to Shiro Masamune’s groundbreaking The Ghost in the Shell, one of the most highly anticipated graphic novel events in many years, and one of the most ambitious and complex stories ever told in the manga format.”  $26.99, April 2010.

UDON Entertainment

Okami: Official Complete Works.  This beautiful art book is being offered again by UDON.  If you didn’t play Okami, you’re missing out on one of the most beautiful games ever made.  This book is no less stunning.  Check UDON’s website for a preview of the interior.  $39.99.

Viz Media

House of Five Leaves, vol. 1, by Natsume Ono (Ristorante Paradiso).  From Previews: “Masterless samurai Akitsu Masanosuke is a skilled and loyal swordsman, but his naive, diffident nature has time and again caused him to be let go by the lords who have employed him.  Hungry and desperate, he becomes a bodyguard for Yaichi, the charismatic leader of a gang called ‘Five Leaves.'”  Viz Signature line.  $12.99, April 2010.
[See a preview from Viz here.]

Natsume’s Book of Friends, vol. 2, by Yuki Midorikawa.  From Previews: “Rumors about the old school being haunted are absolutely true, and the spirit that lives there has a special hatred for humans!”  $9.99, April 2010.

For your shelves:

Samurai Champloo 12-inch Action Figures, from Triad Toys.  These are pretty nice looking, and their 35+ points of articulation is nothing to sneer at.  Even their eyes move.  Choose from quiet, mysterious Jin, or loud and hot-tempered Mugen.  They’re rather pricey at about $155, but they’re incredibly detailed.  March 2010.

Metroid Prime 2 Echoes: Samus “Zero Suit” Statue, from First 4 Figures.  This 9 1/2″ tall polystone statue depicts Samus in her blue suit from the end of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.  Limited to 1,500 pieces, this hand-painted statue looks gorgeous in the book, though it’s always hard to tell until it’s in your hands.  $119.99, March 2010.

And that’s that, until February.




  1. InfiniteSpeech

    With so many Akira releases I wonder which one is the “definitive” one?

  2. So many Akira releases? There’s just the single film and manga series, as far as I know.

  3. InfiniteSpeech

    It just seems like every few months is another collection and reissue of Akira. I was just wondering what makes them different and if one stands out among the others. I only own the movie and haven’t owned the books since 91 and I am thinking about getting them all again but in a collected format.

  4. Kristin

    From what I understand, as I had to look at this when I recommended the previous volume in another Previews highlights post…. Dark Horse had the license for the Akira manga and was publishing it. Kodansha OWNS the license. Kodansha, in the past couple years I believe, has kicked their American publishing back into gear, pulling back many of their licensed titles, and publishing them on their own. So either Dark Horse lost the license, or Kodansha ended the license, or whatever. And now Kodansha is republishing the entire run.

  5. infinite speech


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