Featured Columns

April 6, 2011

Bento Bako Lite: April 2011 Previews

Welcome to April, everyone! A new month means a new issue of Diamond’s Previews catalog. And a new catalog means a bundle of new manga to explore. Let me flip through the pages for you and find the most interesting books coming out later this year. Dark Horse is bringing an old fan favorite back, and Kodansha is at last kicking things into gear here in America. As always, quoted product descriptions are from Previews unless otherwise noted.

Kris’s Pull List:

Samurai’s Blood #1, by Owen Wiseman, with art by Nam Kim, Matthew Dalton, and Jessica Kholinne. “In an era when lineage defined you, three teenagers must make their way through the world hiding their identities in order to find their destinies. As their village burns behind them, they are headed for a city they’d heard about only in stories. The three young samurai must now struggle to stay alive and take vengeance on the evil usurper who has destroyed the rest of their clan and the only world they’d ever known. Will they rise on the tides of vengeance, or [will they] fall on the swords of fate?” From Image Comics, June 2011, $1.00.

Penny Arcade volume 7: Be a Good Little Puppy, by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik. Another excellent collection of Penny Arcade comics, sure to be filled with some great extras. From Del Rey, June 28, $15.00.

Phoenix Wright volume 1, by Kenji Kuroda, with art by Kazuo Maekawa. “Ace attorney, Phoenix Wright is at it again, protecting the innocent and helping his friends with his amazing skill as a lawyer. Fans of the Ace Attorney video games will love this manga [ie: your humble Comic Attack editor], which follows Phoenix Wright and his courtroom triumphs.” From Kodansha Comics, June 7, $10.99.

Black Bird volume 9, by Kanoko Sakurakoji. “Misao and Kyo finally go all the way, and Misao can’t regret the new levels of intimacy, even thought all the other demons seems to be able to tell that they are now lovers. But does Kyo feel the same way? Instead of bringing them closer, their new status seems to make him turn away from Misao. Is that just the nature of guys, be they human or demon? Or is there something darker behind Kyo’s sudden lack of warmth?” July 6, $9.99, from Viz Media.

La Quinta Camera, by Natsume Ono. “An apartment in Italy. In four of the rooms live four single men with singular personalities. Into this peculiar ménage steps an exchange student, the new tenant of the fifth room. Brought together by chance, friends by choice, they pursue their dreams together as the days drift gently by.” July 20, $12.99, from Viz Media.

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers volume 6, by Fumi Yoshinaga. From Midtown Comics: “The aging shogun [T]sunayoshi must name an heir, but her senile father is blocking the ascendance of the most likely candidate in favor of a young, untried lord. But politics and the shogun’s own unpopularity may soon take the choice out of her hands.” July 20, $12.99, from Viz Media.

Skip Beat! volume 24, by Yoshiki Nakamura. From Amazon: “Valentine’s Day is on its way, but Kyoko won’t be able to celebrate love and friendship the normal way. She’s getting blackmailed into giving chocolate to guys she hates, she has her ongoing revenge to oblige, and to top it all off, it’s Ren’s birthday! How can Kyoko give him a meaningful present when she’s slinging meaningless chocolate left and right?” July 6, $9.99, from Viz Media.

The Betrayal Knows My Name volume 1, by Hotaru Odagiri. From Amazon: “As an infant, Yuki Sakurai was abandoned by his mother, left in the bushes near an orphanage. The mystery of his parentage deepens when Yuki discovers he has a strange ability: when he touches others, he can feel their emotions. Because of his upbringing, the teenage Yuki strives to be independent so that he won’t be a burden on those around him, but this attitude coupled with his powers can sometimes feel isolating. Little does he know that he has never really been alone. Someone has been watching him from the shadows ever since he was left in the bushes all those years ago… But can Yuki trust the silver-eyed boy who claims to be his protector…and to know the truth of Yuki’s past?” June 28, $18.99, from Yen Press.

From Dark Horse:

Eden: It’s an Endless World! volume 13, by Hiroki Endo. “Hiroki Endo’s critically acclaimed manga series returns with a massive volume packed with brutal battles, strange sci-fi surprises, political intrigue, and an expanding ‘intelligent virus’ that’s taking over the world!
As Elijah searches Australia for his missing sister, the Propater organization sends several rounds of cyborg assassins after him! The ‘Maya’ virus grows and threatens to absorb all human life into it, Elijah is reunited with a few talented friends, and a budding romance restores a bit of hope to this violent, postapocalyptic near future!” August 31, $12.99.

Drifters volume 1, by Kohta Hirano (Hellsing). “Imagine a world of magic, full of elves and hobbits and dragons and orcs. Inside this world of magic and wonder there is a great war being waged, using warriors from human history as chess pieces in a bloody, endless battle. Hirano’s new concept gathers famous warriors throughout history and puts them on both sides of good and evil, and then turns them loose in a bloody melee of madness.” August 31, $12.99.

From Bandai Entertainment:

Kannagi volume 1, by Eri Takenashi. “Nagi’s a strange young girl – and not just because she popped out of a tree! She tells Jin (who’s a perfectly normal high school boy) that she’s a goddess. But is she really? As a matter of fact, she is! Normal girls, even strange ones, don’t come from trees, you know. And soon, the odd pair start living under the same roof together. Thus begins the first volume of a bizarre manga tale that wends [its] way through both the comical and serious! More or less.” July 12, $10.99.

From Digital Manga Publishing:

Yashakiden: The Demon Princess volume 4, by Hideyuki Kikuchi, illustrated by Jun Suemi. “As the immortal Demon Princess inexorably transforms Demon City Shinjuku into a vampire metropolis, Setsura infiltrates her manor house alone. There he encounters the puppet paramours and ‘picture soldiers’ created by the warlock Kikiou. The witch Galeen Nuvenberg once again comes to the rescue. But that only draws her into Princess’s crosshairs as well. Meanwhile, panicked by the growing vampire hordes in Shinjuku, the Japanese government and its American allies resolve to sterilize the city with nuclear weapons. As if taunting the stranded and isolated Setsura, the countdown to disaster has begun.” June 15, $19.95 (DMP).

Angelic Runes volume 2, by Makoto Tateno. “Sowil continues on in his journey to find his father, accompanies by the two child oracles who channel the voices of angels and demons. Each encounter with a new angel or demon yields yet another clue about who his father is, and lifts a bit more of the seal that is laid upon Sowil’s meory. The wheel of fate is turning and it is quite evident that Sowil, the children, and the supernatural beings they meet, are but cogs in the machine of destiny. Or are they? the fate of the world may rest in their hands!” June 15, $12.95 (DMP).

Entangled Circumstances, by Kikuko Kikuya. “Himeko and Shibui not only work for the same company, but had also attended university together. Himeko was wildly popular, and nicknamed ‘The Prince.’ But whatever Shibui may be trying not to recall about their shared past, one thing is certain. Their present and future are tangled together, with the past knotting it quite firmly. Seeing Himeko everyday, Shibui finds his feelings ever more swayed. ‘Whatever it takes to get you…’ Juné Manga presents mangaka Kikuko Kikuya’s English debut with this tale of office romance!” June 15, $12.95 (Juné).

I Give to You, by Ebishi Maki. “Reeling from betrayal at the hands of his lover who left him in incredible debt, Ryouichi finds himself aimlessly wandering in the midst of a storm. Suddenly [he finds] himself standing at the door of a teahouse. He goes in, and soon finds himself indebted to the owner. Helping out around the shop to pay back the owner’s kindness, Ryouichi finds that he is looking forward to it, and not just to pay back the debt either. Has Ryouichi found where he belongs?” June 15, $12.95 (Juné).

From Fanfare/Ponent Mon:

A Zoo in Winter, by Jiro Taniguchi. “Kyoto, 1966. Young Hamaguchi works for a textile manufacturer while dreaming of becoming an artist, until an incident at the zoo forces his hand. Invited to Tokyo by an old school friend, Hamagushi [sic] interviews at the studios of the famous mangaka, Shiro Kondo, where he discovers the long hours of meeting deadlines along with the nightlife of the capital. Muti Eisner-nominee Taniguchi recalls his beginnings in manga and his youth spent in Tokyo in the 60’s in an account of his apprenticeship where all the finesse and elegance of the creator are united to illustrate those first emotions of adulthood.” June 23, $23.00, HC.

The Quest for the Missing Girl, by Jiro Taniguchi. “Mountains are unforgiving but, for Shiga, the City is treacherous! When he descends from his mountain refuge to search the city for his missing ‘niece,’ all he finds is trouble. Multi-award winning creator Jiro Taniguchi builds the tension to a massive climax in this exciting drama when Mountain and City collide! Eisner nominated title 2009.” Out now, $25.00.

Also From Kodansha Comics:

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex volume 1, by Yu Kinutani. “Stand Alone Complex takes place in the year 2030, in the fictional Japanese city of New Port. The story follows the members of Public Security Section 9, a special-operations task-force made up of former military officers and police detectives. The manga presents individual cases that Section 9 investigates, along with an ongoing, more serious investigation into the serial killer and hacker known only as ‘The Laughing Man.'” May 24, $10.99.

Yakuza Moon: The True Story of a Gangster’s Daughter, by Shoko Tendo and Sean Michael Wilson, with art by Michiru Morikawa [from Kodansha America]. “Born into the family of a wealthy yakuza boss, Shoko Tendo lived her early years in luxury. But labeled ‘the yakuza kid,’ she was the victim both of bullying and discrimination from teachers and classmates at school, and of her father’s drunken rages at home. By the age of fifteen she was a gang member; by the age of eighteen, a drug addict; and in her twenties, a willing participant in a series of abusive and violent relationships with men. After the death of her parents and her own suicide attempt, she began a tortuous, soul-searching reevaluation of the road she had taken and an unconventional act of empowerment finally helped her take control of her own life, leading to redemption and happiness.” July 1, $15.95.

Negima! Omnibus volume 1, by Ken Akamatsu. “10-year-old Negi Springfield has just graduated from a British school for wizards. After meeting with the school headmaster to discuss his graduate work assignment, he finds that he will be moving to Japan – to teach English at an all-girls high school. Under strict instructions not to show his magic powers, Negi finds that he can’t resist using them to help others. Of course, despite his good intentions sometimes his magic just makes things even worse! Reprinting the first three volumes of this hit series with a new translation and reduced price!” June 14, $19.99.

From Picturebox:

Color Engineering, by Yuichi Yokoyama. “This is the first book of color paintings and comics by the Eisner-nominated manga artist Yuichi Yokoyama. This book seamlessly integrates his lush painted canvases (often presented as foldout pages) with a sequence of comic strips in a variety of techniques: photography, loose marker drawings, hyper real portraiture, and much more. Through it all he continues his investigations into the world of machine architecture and post-human fashion.” September 22, $30.00.

From Tokyopop:

Chibisan Date, by Hidekaz Himaruya. “On the crescent-shaped island of Nantucket lives Seiji, a young Japanese artist pursuing his dreams. This charming, slice-of-life story filled with warmth and pathos follows a cast of fascinating characters on the island.” July 5, $10.99.

The Diary of a Crazed Family volume 1, by Akira, with art by wEshica. “A thousand years ago, Enka, the god of destruction, died vowing that its ‘child’ would one day destroy the world. In order to prevent this, ‘Operation Crazy Family’ is implemented in which the children who are potentially prophesied as the ‘Child of Enka’ are forced to live together. This impromptu family contain all children, human and otherwise, as well as an official of the bureau and a self proclaimed goddess who act as the parents of the household. The goal of ‘Operation Crazy Family’ is to discern who the prophecy applies to, as well as to teach them all about the love of family in hopes of convincing the ‘Child of Enka’ not to destroy the world. But with all families, there’s bound to be mishaps and adventure – especially when the fate of the world is at hand!” July 12, $10.99.

Bizenghast volume 8, by M. Alice LeGrow. “Dinah reaches the end of her long battle…but what lies in wait there for her to find? Even with the full might of the mausoleum behind her, can she truly raise a hand against her friends and former allies? And what final sacrifices must be made to restore peace to the tormented town of Bizenghast?” July 5, $10.99.

World’s Greatest First Love: Ritsu Onodera’s Affair volume 1, by Shungiku Nakamura (Junjo Romantica). From Amazon: “From the creator of Junjo Romantica comes a hilarious and heartbreaking look at the world’s greatest first love – yaoi style! When Onodera Ritsu accepts a job at the publishing company Marukawa Shoten, he gets assigned to the editing department that handles shojo manga; but for the heartbroken Ritsu, who vowed to never fall in love again, working on love stories is impossible. Panic ensues when he realizes that the arrogant and tyrannical editorial director turns out to be his former first love!” July 5, $14.99.

From Vertical Inc.:

Chi’s Sweet Home volume 6, by Konami Kanata. From Amazon: “In the latest volume of Chi’s Sweet Home, the titular kitten takes to the streets with unbridled curiosity. Exploring her new surroundings she encounters countless new friends, including another young feline named Cocchi. This new kitty comrade opens up a whole new world for our star. Prior to this encounter she had a mild awareness of what it was like to be a cat. To Chi, she was Chi and the Yamada’s were her clan. But now with another one of her kind clearly there, she is more willing than ever to accept that a cat’s world is one that she should be and will eventually be a part of. So while on a rare night excursion, our furry heroine reunites with an old friend and is introduced to a world where a whole community of cats of all shapes and sizes congregate in the twilight. This reunion with her mentor Blackie allows Chi to slowly move closer and closer to that long awaited reunion with her own cat family. Even if she is no longer searching for her own original home it is suddenly closer than it’s ever been.” June 28, $13.95.

Twin Spica volume 8, by Ken Yaginuma. [Generic description only, no new copy.] July 5, $10.95.

From Udon Entertainment:

Street Fighter Legends: The Ultimate Edition, by Ken Siu-Chong and Jim Zub, with art by Omar Dogan. “It’s the entire Street Fighter Legends series in a gorgeous, oversized format to catch every detail. Collecting the complete Sakura, Chun-Li, and Ibuki comic series, this ultimate collection shows why the lovely ladies of Street Fighter deserve to be called Legends! Plus appearances from Ryu, Sagat, Dan, M.Bison, Karin, Makoto, Elena, and more of  your favorites!” July 12, $59.99 (full color).

Also From Viz Media:

Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You volume 9, by Karuho Shiina. “Kento, a new classmate, takes an interest in Kazehaya and Sawako’s relationship, but his interference confuses Sawako even more. When Kazehaya tries to tell Sawako he has feelings for her, she completely misinterprets him. Will Sawako ever muster the confidence to confess her own feelings and resolve the misunderstanding?” July 6, $9.99.

Cross Game volume 4, by Mitsuru Adachi. “With Ko in his second year of high school and Aoba in her first, the regionals for Summer Koshien are about to begin! The third round pits Seishu up against mighty Ryuou Gakuin—one of the teams favored to win the whole shebang. Do Ko and team have what it takes to even advance that far in the tourney? But first, Aoba’s cousin enters the picture, and he might shake things up on a different front…” July 12, $14.99.

Oresama Teacher volume 3, by Izumi Tsubaki. From Amazon: “Mafuyu is heading home for the weekend to get some much-needed TLC. But neither her mom nor her hometown seem to be in the mood for a warm welcome. Trying to walk off the weird feelings, Mafuyu and some of her old East High comrades are caught in a trap set by the gang from West High! Can she help her former friends without compromising her fresh start?” July 6, $9.99.


Doctor Who: David Tennant As the Tenth Doctor Maxi-Bust, from Titan Merchandise. This 8″ tall bust of my beloved David Tennant is a must for any fans of Tennant’s version of the Doctor. From what I can tell from the image, it appears to be a good likeness, and sports Tennant in his trademark blue suit, holding his sonic screwdriver in one hand. Shipping July 2011, $69.99.

Excel Saga Complete Series DVD Set, from FUNimation. “The only thing the demented and hyper active ACROSS special agent Excel wants to do is please her supreme lord and commander Ilpalazzo. This, of course, means taking over the entire world one small country at a time. Partnered with the chronically ill Hyatt and thwarted by an army of alien Puchus, the madcap adventures these two go on are random to the extreme. Filled to the brim with anime and pop-culture parodies galore, Excel Saga is the original sugar-high anime hit that doesn’t stop hitting you in the face.” May 17, $49.98.

Kiddy Grade Complete Series DVD Set, from FUNimation. “In Star Century Zero-One-Sixty-Five, the Global Union was born. To provide an impartial mediator to the various planetary governments of the G.U., the Galactic Organization of Trade and Tariffs, or G.O.T.T. was simultaneously formed to settle economic disputes amongst the member planets. Existing in the shadows of the G.O.T.T., the ES Force serves as the G.O.T.T.’s primary law enforcement organization. ES Force members Eclair and Lumiere are on the front line, pursuing all manner of criminals and bringing them to justice. This is their story.” May 10, $39.98.

Osamu Tezuka’s Phoenix LiteBox DVD Set, from Anime Works. “Throughout time, mankind has chased after the dream of immortality. The Phoenix, in the form of a bird of fire, is said to hold the key to eternal life. Great warriors, greedy princesses, ambitious scientists and ordinary people desire its power. Great wars are fought in a vain attempt to possess it and, as a result, civilizations rise and fall. Phoenix is a collection of five stories from the past, present and future. Many will perish because of their desires, and they are the lucky ones. True pain comes for those who find immortality and experience the burden of living forever. This LiteBox edition features new package design and lenticular cover.” June,  $19.98.

And that’s all for this month! I hope you found something interesting to add to your pull list!

Editor’s Note: ComicAttack.net has been officially nominated for an Eagle Award! Please click here to vote for us in the “Favorite Comic Book Website” category (question #27). Thank you for your continued support!




  1. The Drifters cover layout looks similar to the Beserk cover layout

  2. Yakuza Moon is a manga? I actually have this on my “to watch” list for this month. You really think it’ll be something worth getting Kris?

  3. Kristin

    It was a novel first, Andy. The manga is an adaptation of the novel.
    I don’t know if it’ll be worth getting. I haven’t read the novel or seen the film (I didn’t know there was a film). But I’m kind of fascinated by the yakuza, though up til now most of my exposure has been pretty romanticized. Yakuza Moon is clearly a brutal, dark story. I’m not familiar with the creators behind the manga, but the novel is an autobiography. I’m definitely interested in at least reading the novel, but I’ll wait for someone else to review the manga version before I decide to put money down on it.

  4. Ok, cool. I’ll probably check it out since next month is a light one for me in terms of graphic novels. The cover image is striking. Is the interior art by the same person?

  5. Kristin

    Probably. Unlike comic books, manga doesn’t lie about the art inside the cover. 🙂

  6. […] Bento Bako Lite: April 2011 Previews […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Website Protected by Spam Master