April 7, 2010

Bento Bako Lite: April 2010 Previews

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Written by: Kristin
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Howdy, my loyal lunch boxers!  What a haul I found this month!  I’ve got a pile of things to recommend to you, though you will have to excuse a few non-strictly otaku related items today.  I think you’ll find all sorts of great things to wet your palate.

As usual, I’ll start with my personal pull list, then move on to general recommendations for your own collections.  All quoted product descriptions are from the Diamond Previews catalog, unless otherwise noted.

We Were There vol. 11, by Yuki Obata.  From “There’s a fine line between strength and weakness.  Everyone needs something to hold on to……just to live life.”  $9.99, July 2010.

I Hate You More Than Anyone vol. 10, by Banri Hidaka.  Lots of news all around as the joint fashion and hairdressing show wraps up.  Saki is getting married (!!!! I didn’t even know he was dating anyone, and volume 9 came out a week or two ago; talk about out of nowhere…), but his brother Maki also has some news.  His father has offered to continue his training at his salon back in Tokyo.  Kazuha is still a high school student, so how will she react to the news that her boyfriend, whom she barely sees to begin with, might be moving away?  $9.99, July 2010, from CMX.

Penny Arcade volume 6: The Halls Below, by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik.  This one comes from Del Rey rather than Dark Horse, like the previous five books.  It also costs a little bit more (DH’s books were $12.95) at $15.00, but it also has more pages (DH’s had about 120-140, this one has 208).  As the last book covered comics from the year 2004, this one should cover their comics from 2005.  If you don’t know what Penny Arcadeis, then you’re probably not interested in this book.  Otherwise, it’s time to add another webcomic volume to your collection!  Coming in June 2010.

Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 14, by Bisco Hatori.  I’ve recently decided to drop nearly all the American comics from my pull list (from the Big 2 anyway), and I’m replacing them with the rest of the Ouran books.  Things are heating up as Hikaru has finally confessed his feelings to Haruhi, and asked her out on a date.  Will this prompt Tamaki to act on his own feelings?  $9.99, July 2010, from Viz Media.

From Dark Horse:

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse volume 1, by Ming Ming.  Another alternate reality telling of the Evangelion universe.  This time, Shinji lives with Ryoji Kaji (Misato’s scruffy boyfriend and spy from the television series) and attends the private school, NERV Academy.  Original series pilots Kaworu (the angel), Rei (the original EVA pilot), and Asuka (the temperamental redhead) are there, doing things a little differently.  Using weapons like the sword, spear, and whip, the children fight humanoid monsters called Angels.  $10.99 (with bonus color pages and fan pages), August 2010.

Oh My Goddess! volume 36, by Kosuke Fujishima.  “Things go spectacularly wrong (as expected) when Urd’s and Skuld’s rival schemes to help Megumi through a bad memory end up not only making her forget who she is, but making Keiichi and the goddesses forget who they are!”  $11.99, August 2010.

Berserk volume 34, by Kentaro Miura.  “Faced with the Kushan emperor’s horrific new form, and the bloody swath of destruction and spawning demons he leaves in his wake with every step, the soldiers in Griffith’s new Band of the Hawk must assume their true unholy form to battle the emperor, revealing their true faces to the citizens of Midland.  How will these tormented refugees react when the discover that their would-be rescuers are as monstrous as their enemies?  And could this titanic confrontation threaten to unleash even greater horrors upon the human world?”  $14.99, August 2010.

Also From CMX:

My Darling! Miss Bancho vol. 2, by Mayu Fujikata. “When Souka brings a get-well-soon present to Yuuki’s house, she discovers he has a lot more home responsibilities than she ever imagined.  Later, at the school festival, someone from another school dares Souka into a contest, and she might lose a lot more than she bargained for.  Then it’s holiday time and Souka wants to spend it with Yuuki, but will she have the courage to tell him?”  $9.99, July 2010.  A couple of excellent reviews of volume 1: via Sean at A Case for Suitable Treament, and via Katherine at The Manga Critic.

From Bandai Entertainment:

Code Geass: Queen volume 1, by various (unlisted).  The companion anthology to Code Geass: Knight (mentioned in last month’s highlights), this one is for the boys.  $10.99, July 2010.

Eureka Seven Manga Collection volume 1, by Mamoru Iwasa.  “Reprints Volumes #1-3 of the Eureka Sevenmanga in one collection!  Renton Thurston’s a young 14-year-old tired of his monotonous life.  One day, a large LFO (Light Finding Operation) craft falls from the sky and a beautiful young girl named Eureka emerges and asks for repairs.  When a smitten Renton literally falls over himself to help her, the two begin a journey that will change both of their destinies!”  $19.99.  Looks like a relist, as lists this as having come out in December of last year, with the second volume this past February.

From Cartoon Books:

Bone Handbook, by Jeff Smith.  A companion book for the Bone comic series by Jeff Smith.  Includes interviews, a cover gallery, character profiles, event time-line, and more.  Not exactly an otaku highlight, but I’m a big fan of the Bone comic, and this looks to be a nice companion to the series.  $9.99, says it came out in February 2010.

From Digital Manga Publishing:

Vampire Hunter D 5, adapted from Hideyuki Kikuchi’s original work and illustrated by Saiko Takaki.  “In a secluded village void of the dangers that come during the night, there lies an ageless sleeping beauty once bitten by a vampire 30 years ago.  She is the key that holds the delicate balance in the village in which mortals and the Nobility can coexist.  But when the wandering vampire known as “D” is drawn to the town by recurring dreams of the mysterious girl, the town will stop at nothing to protect that tranquil balance and stop the vampire hunter’s in his tracks.”  $13.95, June 2010.  I’ll be reviewing volumes 1 and 2 of this series soon (within the next week or so), so keep an eye out for that.

Café Latte Rhapsody, by Tokō Kawai (In the Walnut).  “They just look odd together from the beginning.  A bookstore employee, Serizawa – a short, comical and adorable young man, spots Keito – an immensely tall and intense-eyed man, in the store.  It was love at first site for Serizawa.  As these two meet more and more often in the bookstore, they begin to trust each other and it seems like this could be the beginning of a great relationship.  That is, until Serizawa realizes that Keito is extremely shy and meek.  What’s holding him back?  Can Keito overcome his shyness and show his true feelings?”  $12.95, June 2010, on their Juné imprint.

Yokan Premonition: Noise, by Makoto Tateno.  (This is the second of two volumes.)  “Akira is a lead vocalist of a popular band called CHARON.  Hiroya Sunaga was a singer once before but he left the music scene to pursue [an] acting career.  But he realizes that his first love is music.  He makes a decision to abandon his acting career and comes back to music business and joins a legendary band called NUN as a lead vocalist.  Akira and Hiroya are rivalry-friends.  They love each other and they respect each other but rivalries always seem to get in their way.  They are trying to make this relationship work but can they put their ego and talent aside?”  $12.95, June 2010, on their Juné imprint.

Midnight Bloom, by Rico Fukiyama.  “Everybody knows Tatsuki – is a star performer at Academy of Performing Arts School.  When he is on stage, he is very expressive and full of energy… but off the stage is the complete opposite – shy and introvert, especially when it comes to relationships.  He has a crush on someone back then but it ended up being a crash-and-burn.  But that’s all that’s in the past now.  Several years later, he meets someone new and this someone changes his life and his personality.  Would Tatsuki [get] his happy ending this time?”  $12.95, June 2010, on their DokiDoki imprint.

From Netcomics:

There’s Something About Sunyool volume 1, by Youngran Lee.  “Sunyool Lee is looking for the perfect man to share her life with.  But things are not always what they seem; the perfect groom gets cold feet on the night of their honeymoon, and their married life is cut short when her father is convicted of bribery.  She quickly finds herself divorced and back at the bottom of the social ladder, but she picks up the pieces and starts a new life.  Years go by, and Sunyool has found financial stability as a pastry chef but her love life is as rocky as ever and the return of her lawyer ex-husband only complicates things further with her gay would-be lover.  Will Sunyool ever find true love and more importantly, herself?”  Uh, I read the first chapter previewed on Netcomics’ website, and didn’t get ANY of that, but it seems to come in later.  There’s an excellent, though short, review of the title at Manga Bookshelf.  It’s $9.99, but I’m not sure when the physical release is (you can buy/rent it chapter by chapter on the website), though it’s probably June or July.

From Tokyopop:

Maria Holic volume 4, by Minari Endou.  “After receiving a mysterious letter from the school president, Mariya just isn’t himself anymore.  He doesn’t even freak out after getting tea dumped on him – what’s up with our cross-dressing brute?!”  $10.99, June 2010.  I’ll be reviewing the first volume soon, so come back for that.

From Vertical Inc.:

Chi’s Sweet Home volume 1, by Kanata Konami.  “Chi is a mischievous newborn kitten who, while on a leisurely stroll with her family, finds herself lost.  Separated from the warmth and protection of her mother, the confused kitten becomes distraught.  When Chi feels all hope is lost, she is found in a park by a young boy named Yohei.  The little kitty is soon under the protection and care of Yohei’s family – the Yamadas.  And kitty isn’t the only one with a little bit of a problem.  The Yamadas have taken in a cat when their lease explicitly states pets are not allowed in their building!”  $12.95, June 2010.  I don’t know much about it, but the anime is available on Crunchyroll, and I’ve noticed some people go nuts for it.

Ah!  What a month!  Bear with me; there’s just a bit more!

Also From Viz Media:

Gente, vol. 1, by Natsume Ono.  The continuation of Ono’s Ristorante Paradiso series, about a restaurant run by handsome, older (not old necessarily, just not boys), bespectacled men.  A more mature series about romance, heartbreak, and dreams.  $12.99, July 2010, on their Viz Signature line.

Black Lagoon, vol. 9, by Rei Hiroe.  “Roanapur explodes as Roberta’s vendetta against a top secret U.S. Special Forces team brings out the city’s heaviest hitters.  Balalaika and the ex-Soviet military troops of Hotel Moscow face off with Major Caxton’s Grey Fox unit as it tries to fight its way out of Roanapur.  Meanwhile, Rock, Revy and Garcia Lovelace continue their pursuit of Roberta.”  $12.99, July 2010, on their Viz Signature line.

Nana, vol. 21, by Ai Yazawa.  “Tragedy strikes as the Search Weekly team takes their snooping too far!  Hounded to the limit by remorseless reporters, Ren spins his car off the icy road in a horrible accident that will change the course of everyone’s future…”  $9.99, July 2010.

Natsume’s Book of Friends, vol. 3, by Yuki Midorikawa.  “Takashi is busy returning the names his grandmother trapped in her book and helping the local yokai with their problems.  But he has to put his good deeds on hold when a black Nyanko Sensei snatches the Book of Friends!  Takashi and the real Nyanko trail the bad cat to a secret yokai meeting deep in the forest.  Will they be in time to stop the impostor’s wicked plans?!”  $9.99, July 2010.

From Yen Press:

Spice and Wolf novel volume 2, by Isuna Hasekura.  The description here in Previews is actually what happened in the previous volume, so it’s a bit misleading.  The basic plot is: a lonely traveling merchant named Lawrence comes across a harvest wolf-god named Horo on his journey, who joins him on his adventures.  It’s a smart story with a lot of politics, but there’s a lot of touching focus on the lonely life of a traveling merchant and an immortal being.  $10.99, June 2010.

Misc. Goodies for Your Shelves:

Harry Potter: Professor Snape Year 6 Mini-Bust, from Gentle Giant.  I don’t usually point out stuff like this, but he’s amazing and the sculpt is spot on.  It actually looks like Alan Rickman (the same definitely cannot be said for the Nymphadora bust pictured next to it).  Perfect for Potter fangirls, like me.  $59.99.

Final Fantasy XIII Original Soundtrack 4-CD Set.  Yeah, you read that right, it’s four CD’s of FFXIII music.  Composed by the same composer of FFX, Hamauzu Masashi.  The four CDs contain 85 tracks of music.  $29.99, June 2010.

The Venture Bros 8-Inch Series 1 Action Figures.  Yeah, sorry, but I’m a total freak for this show.  I can’t wait for these to come out, although the ones I’m interested in are not in this release.  The first series includes Doctor Venture and Brock Samson, modeled in a retro action figure style, with fabric clothing, and full articulation.  August 2010 (no listed price, but I think they’re going to run about 20 bucks each).

Chrono Trigger Formation Arts Box Set.  This is an amazing figure set, at a really good price.  The four quite detailed figures showcase characters from one of the greatest RPGs of all time, Chrono Trigger.  The set features Crono, Ayla, Frog, Magus, Robo, and Lucca, in various combinations and poses, standing 2 3/4″ to 3 1/2″ tall.  $29.99, October 2010.

X: The Complete Series DVD Box Set, from FUNimation.  This is a re-release (originally released by Geneon) of CLAMP’s television series X.  “The Seven Dragons of Earth swear to purge humanity from the world, while the Seven Dragons of Heaven are the last hope of all mankind.  One young man holds the key to Earth’s destiny, but to choose the side of good, he may spell doom for all creation.”  It’s a pretty great series, and all 24 episodes are included in this box set for $49.99 in June 2010.

And…done!  Whew!  Hopefully you found something interesting!  I know I did.  I’d pick up nearly everything on this list if I had that kind of cash, which is a rare position I’ve found myself in.  Those Chrono Trigger figures particularly are pretty sexy looking….




  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Mulder, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: Bento Bako Lite: April 2010 previews!! #comics #manga #anime […]

  2. Kristin

    So yeah…if you’ve got some extra cash just lying around with nothing to buy…there’s an extra sexy wizard I’ve got my eyes on. 🙂

  3. Billy

    Kris, can you say more about “We Were There”? Oh, and Vamp D sounds good!

  4. Kristin

    Not about that particular volume, because I the previous book hasn’t come out yet. But about the series? I plan on reviewing it at some point, but a quick sum-up…. It’s HS romance angst. The main girl, Nanami, falls for the charismatic popular guy in her class, Yano. He’s arrogant and is a huge jerk to her. He’s also super hung up on his dead girlfriend, also named Nana. Somehow she gets up the courage to confess to him, and he agrees to go out with her. The books basically follow the two of them through the ups and downs of their relationship (fed by Nanami’s insecurities and Yano’s trust issues). Throw in Yano’s best friend who is in love with Nanami, and you’ve got a crazy love triangle on top of Nanami not being able to let go of a previous affair Yano had (before going out with Nanami), and Yano not being able to move forward regarding his complex feelings over his dead girlfriend.
    They started out in HS, skipped over college (though I think some of that will be touched in flash backs), and they’re currently trying to enter the work force.
    That’s the basics.

  5. […] looks at manga in the April Previews in her Bento Bako Lite column at Comic […]

  6. […] looks at manga in the April Previews in her Bento Bako Lite column at Comic […]

  7. Woah! That’s a lot of manga!

    How is “Oh My Goddess!”? Is it something worth beginning at the beginning with? Who’s the target audience? I see it in previews all the time.

    And that cover to “There’s Something about Sunyool” is HOT!

  8. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by girlg33k_Kris: April Previews highlights are up! It’s a good month for #manga fans

  9. Oh My Goddess? That’s…herm…that’s a difficult question actually. I really enjoyed the original anime they made. But it falls into that male fantasy genre, where an average boy meets a beautiful girl (in this case, quite literally a goddess as well) who is domestic, submissive, docile, and ready and willing to fulfill the male lead’s every desire. It’s a popular genre….
    Oh My Goddess has the advantage of being genuinely sweet and well made.
    Keiichi is living at a male dormitory, and while trying to order some delivery food, he accidentally calls the Goddess Hotline. Belldandy is sent to Earth to grant his wish. He doesn’t really believe her, so he semi-jokingly says “I wish I had a girlfriend like you.” And viola, she’s his girlfriend. He gets kicked out of the dorm and has to move into this abandoned temple and house, and Belldandy’s two sisters move in with them to cause all sorts of trouble.
    Their relationship is tested in various ways in the different series and throughout the manga, but there’s no doubt they’ll always be together.

  10. […] the publishing front, bloggers like David Welsh and Kristin Bomba report that a print volume of NETCOMICS’ There’s Something About Sunyool is listed in this […]

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