A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{February 12, 2012}   Comics and manga of the week (25 & 26)

Afterschool Charisma, Volume 5 by Kumiko Suekane

  • In this volume we learn about the previous generation of clones and the events that led them to terrorism.

Avengers Academy, Volume 1: Permanent Record by Christos Gage

  • The avenger’s academy was created to keep six super powered teens with a loose grasp of morality from turning to super villany. I love series about young super heroes but I found the dialogue a little cheesy and the characters stereotypical. It wasn’t unenjoyable, but it made me groan a lot.

Avengers Academy, Volume 2: Will We Use This in the Real World by Christos Gage

  • The second volume is much better as the kids continue to struggle with their shaky understanding of morals and their unstable powers. But trying to get me to relate to Hank Pym (best known for brutal wife-beating) is doomed to fail and reliving the story of Tigra being beat half to  death on film made me want to vomit. That wasn’t one of your high points Marvel, there was no need to bring it back.

Chocola et Vanilla, Volume 6 to 8 (French) by Moyoco Anno

  • The end of this beautiful magical series sees one of the young witches on the throne after a war that threatened to tear the magical world apart. It ends how it began: with magic, friendship and love.

Cross Game, Volume 6 by Mitsuru Adachi

  • There is very little baseball in this double volume of Adachi’s brilliant baseball manga. Rather, it concerns Ko and Aoba’s budding love affairs.

Dawn of the Arcana, Volume 2 by Rei Toma

  • I am really enjoying this fantasy story about a bastard princess in an arranged marriage with the (surprisingly sweet) prince of an enemy country. She feels herself falling for him though she knows she will probably have to betray him eventually.

A Devil and her Love Song, Volume 1 by Miyoshi Tomori

  • A surprise hit with a very unique shoujo heroine. I wouldn’t call Maria a devil as the title implies, rather she is someone socially awkward and misunderstood, very perceptive and a little too honest. She is trying very hard to believe in people and become someone who can love herself and others. Personally, I like her a lot.

Go! Go! Heaven, Volume 1 (French) by Shinji Obara and Yuko Umino

  • Four girls who want to commit suicide form a band to go out with a bang. This series will give you a very dark view of the world and of people but it is beautifully drawn and told.

Great Place High School: Student Council, Volume 4 by Naduki Koujima

  • The jealous, possessive men of the Great High student council and IT club (why are they always jealous and possessive, that’s not hot) head to Hokkaido of their school trip.

Hotaru, Volume 8 (French) by Satoru Hiura

  • Hotaru finally admits to her boyfriend that her roomate is not a woman but her boss Takano. Can their relationship survive it?

Kabuki, Volume 4 by Yukari Hashida

  • A historical drama about a feudal lord and his beloved page, Kaguya. In this volume Kounosuke has a terrible cold he cannot shake but he is more bothered by the feelings Kaguya may still hold for a man from his past.

Kamisama Kiss, Volume 7 by Julietta Suzuki

  • As the human kami of the Tochigami shrine, Nanami continues to struggle with her romantic feelings for her fox spirit, Tomoe. Meanwhile she must travel to a gathering of the gods where she is not entirely welcome.

Laissée Pour Comte, Volume 1 (French) by Mimori Seike and Isuzu Shibata

  • Mireille, the daughter of a baker, is kidnapped and brought to another country where she discovers that her father is a duke and that her brother has eloped with the prince’s fiance. She must pose as her brother to allay suspicions.

Library Wars, Volume 7 by Kiiro Yumi and Hiro Arikawa

  • In Kasahara’s world libraries seek to protect patron’s access to information by military means if the need arises. But there are factions within the libraries that disagree on how to do this. Kasahara becomes a scapegoat in the fight between these factions.

Mr. Tiger and Mr. Wolf, Volume 2 by Haruno Ahiru

  • A strange anthropomorphic BL story. I liked the reflexion on what it means for a wolf at the end of a 10 year lifespan to be in love with a tiger who still has many years to go, but that storyline was left hanging.

Obaka-chan, Volume 1 (French) by Zakuri Sato

  • Neiro is a strong girl, trained to fight since she was young. She starts at a new school to escape her reputation and find love.

Onmyoji, Volume 3 (French) by Reiko Okano

  • In this volume famed yin-yang master, Abe no Seimei, helps a young woman who is visited by an otter at night and rids the palace of spirits and demons for the new year. The best volume yet.

Papillon, Volume 1 (French) by Miwa Ueda

  • Ageha and Hana are twins but they are quite different. Ageha wishes she could be as beautiful and sociable as her sister, especially once her childhood friend and first love comes back into her life. The school councilor may be able to help her gain some confidence and reach for her dreams. A promising series by the author of Peach Girl.

Phantom Dreams, Volume 1 to 5 by Natsuki Takaya

  • Takaya’s first manga about a young exorcist is not as sophisticated as some of her later work and the plot is occasionally confusing but you can already see the themes that run through her more well known works (like Fruits Basket): neglect, loneliness, family curses but above all a faith in humanity that can heal all that pain.

Polly and the Pirates, Volume 2: Mystery of the Dragonfish by Ted Neifeh

  • Polly, the daughter of the infamous pirate queen, leads her men on a mission to rescue Emperor Norton and thwart a plan to conquer the United States. A great all ages comic.

Sailor Moon, volume 3 by Naoko Takeuchi

  • Ah, Sailor Moon, so cheesy, so nostalgic. Don’t ever change. The Moon Kingdom arc is over and the Black Moon arc has begun.

Sakura Hime, volume 6 by Arina Takemura

  • After the ninja battle in volume 5, we learn of the tragic past of Sakura’s friend Asagiri, the snow woman.

Slam Dunk, volume 20 by Takehiko Inoue

  • Cliffhanger! Shohoku is in a desperate battle for a position in nationals. All the excitement and humour that I’ve come to expect from this series.

Sweet Tooth, Volume 4: Endangered Species by Jeff Lemire

  • I love Jeff Lemire and his post apocalytic comic about a half-human, half-deer boy is sheer brilliance. In this volume the group seems to have found a safe haven but much worse things are still to come.

Twinkle Stars, Volume 11 (French) by Natsuki Takaya

  • The final volume of a bittersweet story about hurt, lonely people, healing each other. I didn’t like it as much as Fruits Basket but it was still lovely and touching.

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