June 8, 2011

Bento Bako Lite: June 2011 Previews Highlights

Welcome manga fans! Is it too time consuming to flip through the pages of Diamond’s monthly Previews catalog to find some interesting manga to pre-order? Well, good news! Each month I’ll do the job for you and post my picks of the most interesting or important (like first or final volumes) manga (and related things) in the catalog. So pull out your order forms and get ready to order some manga! All quoted product descriptions are from Previews unless otherwise noted.

Kris’s Pull List

Gate 7 volume 1, by CLAMP. “An innocent sightseeing trip to Kyoto opens up a magical realm to shy high schooler Chikahito Takamoto! Visiting a legendary shrine, Chikahito finds himself in the mystical world of Hana and her comrades – and his immunity to their powers leads them to believe that he’s no ordinary, awkward teenager! Protecting our world from violent elemental beasts, Hana and her team welcome the confused Chikahito – who isn’t quite sure that he wants to be caught in the middle of their war! One’s [sic] thing’s certain, though: since he’s smitten with aloof, childlike warrior Hana, he’s along for the ride, for better or worse!” October 2011, $10.99. This is about as close to a print version of a simultaneous publishing as we’ve ever had, as Dark Horse is working closely with CLAMP and their publisher to put volumes of Gate 7 into the American market just a few months after the Japanese version.

Bride of the Water God volume 9, by Mi-Kyung Yun. “Deceived by a shape shifter, brainwashed by his fellow gods, and a victim of the emperor’s schemes, Habaek is a cursed and deeply confused water god! Still yearning for Soah, his human bride, Habaek reveals that his memories have been restored and that he’s now ready to uncover the truth about his half-human former bride, Nakbin – but Nakbin’s ghost will not be laid to rest easily! And Habaek has a certain curse to contend with…” October 2011, $9.99, from Dark Horse.

Tales of the Abyss: Asch the Bloody volume 1, by Various. “Based on Namco’s role-playing game, Tales of the Abyss! Asch is the last prince of a country torn asunder by prophecy. Cloned and replaced by a new prince, Asch finds himself among the ranks of God-Generals, fighting to destroy the very prophecy for peace that his clone will fulfill. War, magic, and science clash, but at their heart stands Asch the Bloody.” August 2011, $10.99, from Bandai Entertainment.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney volume 2, by Kenji Kuroda, with art by Kazuo Maekawa and Capcom. “Ace attorney, Phoenix Wright is at it again, protecting the innocent and helping his friends with his amazing skills as a lawyer. Adapted from the best-selling video game.” August 2011, $10.99, from Kodansha Comics.

Black Bird volume 10, by Kanoko Sakurakoji. “The past returns to haunt Kyo and Misao when Kyo’s long-lost father suddenly reappears. But the reunion is less than happy, for Lord Yo is suspected of murdering his wife!” September 2011, $9.99, from Viz Media.

Grand Guignol Orchestra volume 4, by Kaori Yuki. “The Grand Orchestra is wanted for the murder of Duke Rhodonite, and being on the run is causing the group to fracture. Can Lucille keep his band together, or will the rogues take this opportunity to go their own way? And if the Grand Orchestra dissolves, who is left to face Le Sénat?” September 2011, $9.99, from Viz Media.

House of Five Leaves volume 4, by Natsume Ono. “With Masa having joined the crew, the fragile bonds between the members of the Five Leaves begin to change. Further changes are promised by the arrival of Ginta, a self-styled ‘negotiator’ who learns of the existence of the Five Leaves and offers them his services. Meanwhile, the pressure on Yaichi increases as the members of his old gang continue to track him down. Burdened by the weight of his hidden past, his impervious facade begins to crack.” September 2011, $12.99, from Viz Media.

Also From Dark Horse:

Megatokyo Omnibus (volumes 1-3), by Fred Gallagher. This omnibus collects the first three volumes (originally published by IC Entertainment and Dark Horse), and adds twenty extra pages of new content. October 2011, $19.99.

Blade of the Immortal volume 24, by Hiroaki Samura. “There’s going to be a massacre at Edo Castle! While the bitter Kagimura believes that he’s sending his forces chasing after Anotsu and the entire Ittō-ryū crew, Anotsu fakes them all out and risks his life in one mad dash back to the Edo Castle grounds! What is his strange mission? Also believing that she’s still on Anotsu’s trail, Rin travels with Manji behind a group of decoy Ittō-ryū warriors, whose dreadful soldiers are still lethal without their leader.” October 2011, $19.99.

Also From Digital Manga Publishing:

Private Teacher volume 1, by Yuu Moegi. “Not only is the schoolwork so confusing that Rintarou needs a private tutor, but the maelstrom of emotions he feels when spending his time with Kaede-san is weirdly unsettling. But when Kaede-san decides to reward unsatisfactory progress with some unusual punishment, Rintarou figures out that what he is feeling is love. But what about Kaede? Does he love Rintarou or is he just a perverted sadist? Juné Manga proudly presents the first volume of the popular manga by Yuu Moegi in her English language debut!” From Juné, August 2011, $12.95.

Only Serious About You volume 1, by Asou Kai. “Yoshioka is a regular at Oosawa’s workplace, and always seems to be bringing in yet another boyfriend that he wants to introduce the good food to. As a single parents Oosawa works very had and doesn’t have time to make many close friends, or even consider dating. But when his beloved daughter Mizu falls ill and Yoshioka offers his help, Oosawa finds he must accept this frivolous seeming person’s outstretched hand. Sometimes, people are not quite what they seem, as Oosawa discovers – a tender romance story of a single father, a lonely businessman, and the child who brings them together.” From Juné, August 2011, $12.95.

Seven Days: Friday – Sunday, by Venio Tachibana, with art by Rihito Takarai. “Yuzuru asked Touji out as a half hearted joke, not expecting to be taken seriously. Touji accepted, and Yuzuru knew he was like the rest, relationship begun on a Monday, and dumped on the Sunday. What he did not expect was the feelings that went beyond friendship that emerged. It’s now Friday, and the end is approaching. But is it? Yuzuru may be mourning the inevitable, but what about Touji? Friday begins the end, but Sunday reveals all… The exciting conclusion to the popular boy’s love manga by Tachibana Venio!” From Juné, August 2011, $12.95.

The Tyrant Falls in Love volume 4, by Hinako Takanaga. “Everyone’s favorite angry homophobe returns with more irascible mayhem. Souichi and Morinaga are still more than friends, but less than true lovers, with Morinaga still scheming and Souichi still terrorizing his beloved junior. But when a stalker appears on the scene, the balance shifts. But which way is it going to tip? Will the two finally overcome all, with Souichi finally accepting Morinaga’s love whole heartedly? All bets are off, when a tyrant falls in love…” From Juné, August 2011, $12.95.

Fallen Saint’s Kiss, by You Higashino. From Amazon: “When high school teacher Okano is molested on the train on his way to school, the last thing he wanted was for his shame to be witnessed by anyone. But one of his students not only witnessed it, but decided to use the incident to blackmail his teacher! Threatened with exposure, Okano must submit to Tokiwa’s perverted will or have his shameful secret exposed.” September 2011, $15.95. [801 Media]

From Harper Collins Publishing:

Vampire Kisses: Graveyard Games, volume 1, by Ellen Schreiber, with art by Xian Nu Studio. This series was originally published by Tokyopop, and will now apparently be published by Harper Collins. “Things might finally be back to normal for Raven and Alexander, as normal as they can be for a goth teen in a small town and her dreamy vampire boyfriend! But the secretive couple soon discovers Alexander’s now full-blooded vampire cousin Claude and his friends are still lingering in Dullsville. And when they all become involved in the same local production of Cinderella that Raven is pushed into costume designing, once again their worlds collide. Can Raven and Alexander keep a close watch on the gang, and still make sure the curtain rises on opening night?” September 2011, $9.99.

Also From Kodansha Comics:

Animal Land volume 1, by Raiku Makoto. “Orphaned after her parents were killed by Lynxes, Monoko is the only tanuki (raccoon dog) in her village without a family, until she finds a human baby in a river. In Animal Land, a world inhabited solely by animals, this human child is a mystery. This baby is Monoko’s only chance at having a family and she is determined to raise the human child as her own. Animal Land is a quirky story about Monoko and the mysterious human baby.” August 2011, $10.99.

Bloody Monday volume 1, by Ryumon Ryou, with art by Megumi Koji. “Takagi Fujimaru may seem like a regular high school student, but behind the cheery facade lies a genius hacker by the name of Falcon. When his father is framed for a murder, Falcon uses his brilliant hacking skills to try and protect his sister and clear his father’s name. However, he finds that his father, an agent in an elite government agency, was involved with something far more complex than a simple murder. A terrorist group is plotting against the city of Tokyo and it is up to Falcon, with the help of his friends to unravel the twisted plans set in place to kill millions of people.” August 2011, $10.99.

Cage of Eden volume 1, by Yoshinobu Yamada. “Akira and his classmate are on a plane heading back home after a field trip abroad. Suddenly the plane crashed on a mysterious island. Akira is somehow still alive despite the crash, but soon discovers that he’s not exactly safe and sound when [enormous] supposedly extinct beasts begin chasing him. Akira begins to find other classmates who have also survived the crash. Some work together and some work against each other in an effort to survive on the strange island.” August 2011, $10.99.

Gon volume 1, by Masashi Tanaka. “Gon is a small dinosaur that has managed to survive extinction. He goes on fun adventures in a world of vibrant creatures and fauna. A unique manga told entirely without words, Gon features luch art depicting beautiful environments.” (Originally published by CMX.) August 2011, $10.99.

Mardock Scramble volume 1, by Tow Ubukata, with art by Yoshitoki Oima. “Rune Balot, a prostitute, is nearly murdered by Ciel, an enigmatic casino manager. A victim for most of her life, Rune faces a choice. While on the brink of death, she is given the opportunity to live. It is not a simple choice for a victim, but Rune takes it. A professor brings Rune back to life as a cyborg with the ability to control electronics and partners her up with a self-aware universal tool named Oeufcocque. Together they begin to unravel the mystery behind Ciel and Rune sheds the role of victim, but must struggle between seeking justice and vengeance.” (Based on the light novel published by Viz Media.) August 2011, $10.99.

Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei volume 10, by Koji Kumeta. [Generic copy.] August 2011, $10.99.

From Udon Entertainment:

Mega Man Tribute. “Hundreds of artists from around the world join forces to pay homage to one of the most iconic figures in gaming with Mega Man Tribute! It’s the ultimate celebration of the blue bomber, featuring the characters of Mega Man classic, Mega Man X, Mega Man Zero, Mega Man ZX, and Mega Man Legends in every style you can imagine!” September 2011, $39.99.

Also From Viz Media:

Butterflies, Flowers volume 8, by Yuki Yoshihara. [Final volume.] “Choko Kuze is in a relationship with Masayuki Domoto, her current boss and former servant. Their relationship has withstood interference from the Senior Director as well as Masayuki’s ex-girlfriend. Butnow Choko is facing an arranged marriage by her father, and Masayuki is diong nothign to stop it…?!” September 2011, $9.99.

The Art of Vampire Knight, by Matsuri Hino. “Cross over into the world of Vampire Knight with the lush, full-color artwork of Matsuri Hino. Includes an extensive gallery with author comments, a how-to tutorial, and an exclusive poster.” September 2011, $24.99.

Library Wars: Love and War volume 6, by Kiiro Yumi. “It’s Valentine’s Day, and Iku’shopes are dashed when Dojo, the guy she’s been crushing on – and who’s her Library force superior! – receives an elegant box of chocolates from another woman. Romantic intrigue strikes the whole team as Shibazaki meets a would-be suitor and confides in Iku about her tortured love life. And it seems that Hikaru is being followed by a sinister admirer…” September 2011, $9.99.

Oresama Teacher volume 4, by Izumi Tsubaki. “Troublemaking student council chairman Hanabusa thinks the best way to solve the problem of two similar clubs at school is to have them fight to the death! Actually, the losers just have to disband their club. But a silly club rivalry quickly gets out of hand when Mafuyu is kidnapped by the enemy!” September 2011, $9.99.

Detroit Metal City volume 10, by Kiminori Wakasugi. [Final volume.] [Generic copy.] September 2011, $12.99.

From Vertical Inc.:

Velveteen & Mandala, by Jiro Matsumoto. “Tokyo, a city where its youth used to waste their time, is now barren. For a pair of teens who still live along the outskirts of town, Velveteen and Mandala, Tokyo is a nightmare that can only compare to the nightmare that is slowly [trying] to take over the metropolis. The pair must fight off the zombie hordes while they catfight each other for food, entertainment, and maybe even the affection and attention of the opposite sex. They have nothing to lose in this world except their humanity.” August 2011, $16.95.

From Yen Press:

Kobato volume 4, by CLAMP. “Unable to soothe the hearts of Sayak-sensei and Fujimoto-san, Kobato’s mission to heal the wounds within Yomogi Kindergarten is at a standstill. Thus, the belligerent blue Ioryogi-san, Kobato’s plush mentor takes it upon himself to do a little digging into the school’s back story. Returning from his fact finding mission, though Yomogi becomes the least of Ioryogi-san’s worries when his own past catches up with him! As the seconds tick away, will Ioryogi-san be able to light a fire under Kobato, whose head and heart have become clouded by what seems like love?” July 2011, $11.99.

Ugly Duckling’s Love Revolution volume 4, by Yuuki Fujinari. [Final volume.] “At long last, it’s time for Hitomi’s happy ending! With the help of her brother and the handsome group of boys living in her apartment complex who help her keep to her healthy regimen, 220-pound Hitomi is well on her way to being fit and fabulous as she loses weight! But a healthy routine isn’t all there is to it! Hitomi must learn to stay on track as new adventures pop up in her calendar! Will Hitomi’s lifestyle finally have taken a turn for the best in the final volume of the series?” August 2011, $11.99.


Megahouse Bleach: Tia Harribel PVC Statue. “An Arrancar in Sosuke Aizen’s army in the popular manga and anime Bleach, the female Espada Tia Harribel is brought to life as a detailed PVC statue from Megahouse! Sculpted in 1/8th scale, this PVC statue stands roughly 8 1/4th” tall and comes with a display base.” August 2011. I’m not sure what the MSRP is, but I’m seeing it sold online between $100-180 through various sites.

Galaxy Express 999 DVD. “Galaxy Express 999 will take you on a journey, a never ending journey to the stars! Leiji Matsumoto’s legendary storytelling is brought to life in the series. Follow Tetsuro on the quest to become a man and all the adventures he encounters on his way to fulfilling his dreams. With Maetel as his guide, they visit exciting new planets, meet amazing characters, and evil villains along their way.” June 2011, from Eastern Star, $19.95.

Adieu Galaxy Express 999 DVD. “Two years after the events in Galaxy Express 999, Earth has become a battleground. Tetsuro, older and fighting the Machine People, meets up with Maetel again for a new adventure aboard the GE999. Will he achieve his goals, or will he lose her forever?” June 2011, from Eastern Star, $19.95.

Eden of the East: Paradise Lost Blu-ray/DVD Combo. “The sequel to the Eden of the East anime, Eden of the East: Paradise Lost picks up several months after the horrific events of the anime. Akira Takizawa and Saki Morimi have returned to Japan from the United States. As others converge on Japan, preparations to save the country are formed and characters spring into action once more.” August 2011, from FUNimation, $34.98.

Happy pre-ordering!





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