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November 9, 2011

Bento Bako Lite: November 2011 Previews Highlights

Remember, remember, your comics for November! Greetings manga lovers! It’s November, and that means it’s time for my Diamond Previews (mostly) manga highlights. Each month I flip through my volume of Previews to find the best and most interesting manga to make you open up your wallets and pre-order some upcoming titles. So sit back and let me do the hard part for you in my Previews highlights! As usual, I’ll start out with my personal pull list. All product descriptions are from Previews unless otherwise noted.

Kris’s Pull List:

The Sandman volume 8: World’s End TP New Edition, by Neil Gaiman and various artists. I was collecting these volumes a good while back, but stopped when I learned they were re-releasing all the trades with the updated, remastered artwork from the Absolute editions. “In this new edition collecting The Sandman #51-56, two wayward compatriots trapped in a ‘reality storm’ are entertained by myths of sea creatures, dreaming cities, ancient kings, funerals and moralistic hangmen.” From Vertigo, February 22, 2012, $19.99.

Tales of the Abyss: Jade’s Secret Memories volume 2, by Ayumi Kanou. “The conclusion to the side-story! Tales of the Abyss: Jade’s Secret Memories is a manga side-story of the Tales of the Abyss video game series. Tales of the Abyss, a video game RPG  much like the Final Fantasy franchise, has spun off dozens of successful subproperties in Japan and the US over the past two decades. This manga adaptation from the POV of one of the series’ most popular characters, Jade the Necromancer, is timed for release alongside the US release of the series’ anime adaptation.” From Bandai Entertainment, February 7, 2012, $11.99.

Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World #21, by Chuck Dixon, with art by Andie Tong. “Perrin is warned by the wolves about the approach of unfriendly visitors to the stedding – the Children of the Light, whose arrival comes with a deadly cost…for both sides. Can Perrin and Egwene avoid capture, or will they be at the mercy of the Children?” From Dynamite Entertainment, $3.99.

Phoenix Wright volume 5, 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. Ties into the hit video game series from CAPCOM.” From Kodansha Comics, February 28, 2012, $10.99.

No Longer Human volume 3, by Usamaru Furuya. [Review of volume 1 coming this Friday.] “In honor of the 100th birthday of Osamu Dazai, Usamaru Furuya retells his most important work No Longer Human in modern day Tokyo where modern vices can bring ruin to the self-loathing. No Longer Human is considered Dazai’s masterpiece and ranks as the second-best selling novel in Japan, behind Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro.” From Vertical Inc., January 24, 2012, $10.95.

Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys volume 19, by Naoki Urasawa. “The man with the guitar heads for Tokyo and arrives at a rough-and-tumble border town with an ominous-looking checkpoint. Only those who have a pass may go through, and those who try to get by without one are summarily shot. Many have tried, and many are buried nearby. Who can change this horrific situation and get through the checkpoint? And who or what could be waiting on the other side?” From Viz Media, February 14, 2012, $12.99.

Maoh: Juvenile Remix volume 9, by Megumi Osuga. “To get revenge for his brother’s death, Junya decides to follow in Ando’s footsteps. To get to the bottom of who killed Ando, Junya will have to develop his own special powers. But before he can deal with Inukai, another group of misfits might beat him to it.” From Viz Media, February 14, 2012, $9.99.

Kamisama Kiss volume 7, by Julietta Suzuki. “Mizuki loves living at the shrine with Nanami, but he hates that he has to stay behidn when she goes to school. He hates even more that Tomoe gets to go with her. But Mizuki isn’t used to the human world, so Nanami thinks it’s safer if he just stays put. Can Mizuki become a master of the mundane, or will his secret foray into town end in disaster?!” From Viz Media, February 7, 2012, $9.99.

Dawn of the Arcana volume 2, by Rei Toma. “Princess Nakaba of Senan and Prince Caesar of Belquat only married each other for the sake of peace between their two warring countries, but things take a surprising turn when Caesar finds himself falling for his strange wife! Caesar tries to get Nakaba to return his feelings, but she maintains that he is her enemy and that she hates him. So when Nakaba has a vision of Caesar getting killed, will she say anything to save him?” From Viz Media, February 7, 2012, $9.99.

Library Wars: Love and War volume 7, by Kiiro Yumi. “Hikaru’s big brother is working for the enemy, and he wants to reunite with Hikaru. Meanwhile, someone is posting negative reviews on the library’s website, and Kasahara intends to find out who. Later, personal issues are set aside with the Library Forces find out about a book burning on their home turf!” From Viz Media, February 7, 2012, $9.99.

The Story of Saiunkoku volume 6, by Kairi Yura. “The Blue Scarf Gang continues its attack on Kogaro. Yogetsu’s strength during the battle gets the notice of the underworld bosses who want to recruit him, but Ryuki says the boy is already promised to him…?!” From Viz Media, February 7, 2012, $9.99.

Black Butler volume 8, by Yana Toboso. “When one curtain falls upon the stage at the big top, another rises behind the scenes, as young Earl Ciel Phantomhive and his virtuoso butler Sebastian face off against the villain behind the children’s disappearance. But as Sebastian, under orders from his master, singlehandedly draws the gruesome tale to its sad conclusion on one front, battle lines are drawn on another! Is Ciel’s home once again headed for the same tragedy that took the lives of the young earl’s parents?” From Yen Press, January 24, 2012, $11.99.

Pandora Hearts volume 8, by Jun Mochizuki. “As there are two sides to every story, so are there two sides to the existence known as Alice? The young girl all in white encountered by the clown nicknamed the red-eyed specter once upon a time at the depths of the Abyss. Who is she really? Prodded by Duke Barama, Break finally shows Oz Company the cards he has long held close to his chest, but will the gruesome truths he reveals isolate him further?” From Yen Press, January 24, 2012, $11.99.

From Amulet Books:

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes, by Kazu Kibuishi and various artists. “Explorer is an exciting anthology of short graphic works by established artists and innovative newcomers in the comics and animation fields, who have each created a unique story on a central theme: a mysterious box and the marvels – or mayhem – inside. Collected and edited by the New York Times bestselling comics creator, Kazu Kibuishi, these well-written, beautifully-illustrated stories reflect a range of styles from the humorous to the fantastic.” xxx, $10.95 (SC), $19.95 (HC).

From Digital Manga Publishing:

Border volume 3, by Kazuma Kodaka. “JAT’s lead programmer, Kippei, is known for his cheerful and uplifting personality; he is always cheering his teammates whenever they have bad times. One day, an inquiry rolls into the agency and they are asked to look into a long lost son and to launch an investigation to find him. Yamato takes the lead of this investigation but soon finds out that he is deeply connected to Kippei and his past is about to change his life forever – this is one of the biggest [cases] they have handled and Kippei and the team’s future depends on the outcome of this case. What went wrong in the past? What must Kippei mend to move on? Kazuma Kodaka’s fan beloved series, Border, is about to open another dramatic case!” January 17, 2012, $12.95.

Kizuna Deluxe Edition volume 5, by Kazuma Kodaka. “Returning home, Ranmaru discovers that the surprises just keep coming. It seems he and Kei are not the only ones with secrets. Back at the dojo he learns the news that drives him to do some soul searching. His father is alive! How will this affect him and the way he wishes to lead his life with his beloved by his side? Is this a new obstacle, or a potential ally? And why was he led to believe that his father was deceased? This time the bonds of love being tested are not his and Kei’s but the ones that hold the very fabric of his family together and all he ever thought he knew. Can he and Kei weather this emotional storm together and come out stronger for it?” January 25, 2012, $19.95.

Also From Kodansha Comics:

Arisa volume 6, by Natsumi Ando. “Twin sisters, Arisa and Tsubasa, are separated by their parent’s divorce. The twins are finally reunited after three years, and Arisa asks Tsubasa to pretend to be her and spend a day in her school just for fun. At school everyone seems very nice to Tsubasa (who is pretending to be Arisa) and everything seemed normal – until she finds a strange note in her sister’s shoe locker. When Tsubasa shows the letter to Arisa, Arisa tries to kill herself by jumping out of a window. After her sister’s suicide attempts, Tsubasa is determined to unravel the mystery behind the letter. Will she find out who sent the note and why it had such an effect on Arisa?” xxx, $10.99.

Bloody Monday volume 4, by Ryumon Ryou. “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.” xxx, $10.99.

Sailor Moon volume 3, by Naoko Takeuchi. “Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), and together, they fight the forces of evil!” January 17, 2012, $10.99.

From Seven Seas Entertainment:

Certain Scientific Railgun volume 3, by Kazuma Kamachi, with art by Motoi Fuyukawa. “Together with her best friend Kuroko, Mikoto Misaka, the third most-powerful Leven 5 esper in Academy City, delves deep into the dark heart of the scientific sprawl she calls home, and uncovers secrets she wishes she hadn’t!” xxx, $11.99.

Also From Vertical Inc.:

GTO: 14 Days in Shonan volume 1, by Tohru Fujisawa. “The sequel to the groundbreaking manga Great Teacher Onizuka takes its titular lead back home to the rough and tough surfing heaven of Shonan. One of the most important manga in American history returns with a brand new mini-series.” xxx, $10.95.

Tezuka’s Dororo Complete Edition, by Osamu Tezuka. “Dororo‘s unique story, set in a swashbuckling environment, made it a shoe-in for live action adaptation, and its potential for providing such story content in the U.S. is only natural. This action-filled tale of vengeance revolves as much around an Oedipal urge to punish the abandoning father as it does around the characters’ confrontations with ghosts and monsters. An edge-of-your-seat manga of redemption.” xxx, $24.95.

Twin Spica volume 11, by Kou Yaginuma. “Graduation looms for what is left of the Tokyo Space School’s first class. As the teens focus on their final days in school, many of them take the opportunity to finally share some long-hidden feelings and settle a few differences. And finally, Japan’s first student astronaut is selected. Will Asumi finally be able to drive the rocket of her childhood dreams?” xxx, $13.95.

Also From Viz Media:

Hayate the Combat Butler volume 19, by Kenjiro Hata. “Are Hayate and Maria out on a date? Of course not. As even the most casual manga fan could guess, it’s just part of a complex ruse to defeat a psychopathic stalker with a Fatal Attraction thing for Hayate.” February 2, 2012, $9.99.

Bleach volume 38, by Tite Kubo. “The Soul Reapers must guard the four pillars that are protecting Karakura Town from destruction at the hands of Aizen’s minions. Standing guard are assistant captains Yumichika, Kira, Hisagi and Ikkaku! But when Ikkaku goes down, will Karakura Town fall with him…?!” February 7, 2012, $9.99.

Blue Exorcist volume 6, by Kazue Kato. “The heads of the various Myodha temple families gather to discuss recent events surrounding the Eyes of the Impure King. Revelations at the meeting only deepen suspicion of Suguro’s father, Tatsuma, and angry accusations follow.” February 7, 2012, $9.99.

Slam Dunk volume 20, by Hiroshi Shiibashi. “Shohoku steadily increases their lead against Ryonan with less than ten minutes remaining in the game. But the all-out attack wears Shohoku down and fatigue is getting the better of them. Without Coach Anzai’s guidance, Shohoku struggles to hold on against Ryonan as their weaknesses are exposed one by one. Sakuragi’s inexperience is one of their biggest and the margin for error is slim with Sakuragi on the court. Is this game going to push Shohoku to the edge of total collapse?” February 7, 2012, $9.99.

Tegami Bachi volume 8, by Hiroyuki Asada. “Lag arrives at the town of Lament determined to save the heart of his fallen hero, Gauche Suede. Gauche’s rebel organization, reverse, may be hiding out in the town’s convent. To get in, Lag will have to use his wits, and he has no idea what – or who – awaits him there. Will this be Lag’s chance to fire his Letter Bullet and restore Gauche’s memories…or the end of his career as a Letter Bee?” February 7, 2012, $9.99.

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 7, by Hiroshi Shiibashi. “Rikuo encounters three siblings from the house of Keikain who are from a generations-long line of yokai hunters. Yura, the sister of the trio, is not sure what to think of Rikuo and seems to be unconvinced as to whether he is friend or foe. But her brothers have other ideas. And the battle that ensues is epic!” February 7, 2012, $9.99.

A Devil and Her Love Song volume 1, by Miyoshi Tomori. “Meet Maria Kawai – she’s gorgeous and whip-smart, a girl who seems to have it all. But when she unleashes her sharp tongue, it’s no wonder some consider her to be the very devil! Maria’s difficult ways even get her kicked out of an elite school, but this particular fall may actually turn out to be her saving grace…” February 7, 2012, $9.99.

Natsume’s Book of Friends, by Yuki Midorikawa. “Natsume and Tanuma are spending a rainy day helping Taki clean up a storehouse full of her grandfather’s stuff. But old clothes and books aren’t the only things sealed away. The friends accidentally release a very angry yokai. Is teamwork enough to stop the yokai from going on a rampage?!” February 7, 2012, $9.99.

Also From Yen Press:

Durarara!! volume 1, by Ryohgo Narita, Suzuhito Yasuda, and Akiyo Satorigi. “High school student Mikado, yearning for a life less ordinary, makes his way to Tokyo at the invitation of an old friend. His destination: Ikebukuro, a hotbed of madmen living out their most unusual lives. On his first day, Mikado encounters a cast of characters so colorful, his rural hometown pales by comparison! Mikado also chances upon a sight that leaves him rubbing his eyes and scratching his head – the Black Biker soundlessly weaving through the streets like a figure out of an urban legend. Who is this ‘Headless Rider’ on the jet black metal and rubber steed?” xxx, $11.99.

Zombie Loan volume 13, by Peach-Pit. [Final volume.] “Chika and Shito may have escaped the clutches of the video game they were cast into by Kanro’s tactics, but they still have yet to save their princess! Grasping Michiru’s true identity as a ‘singularity’ – an existence created to bring the world to an end – Chika and Shito throw all caution to the wind and turn their attentions to the rescue of their friends. Along the way, hidden truths about the identities of Yuuta, Shiba, and Shujji are revealed, and each proves himself a major player in this moving and action packed finale!” xxx, $11.99.


OK gang, usually I add many more images, and add in links to reviews of titles listed that I’ve written, and even add a little miscellaneous area of statues, DVDs, etc. But for some reason, WordPress, or something we’re using with WordPress, is causing TREMENDOUS lag, and it’s taking me about 10 times as long to get anything done. I simply don’t have all day to sit here fiddling with this. So my apologies, and I’ll come back to it if I can figure out what’s going on.




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