- In the second volume of this kabuki manga, we have left Kyonosuke behind and we follow instead the story of Ayame’s childhood sweetheart, Ichiya. He is determined to become a kabuki star, despite not having been born to the profession, in order to find Ayame again. But the only way to make it might be to marry his master’s daughter. A beautiful, fascinating look at the world of kabuki.
C.l.a.s.s. (French) by Natsumi Aida
- A one-shot by the author of Switch Girl about a class that ranks students according to their (perceived) social value. Leila, a new student, sees the abuse and unfairness in this system and decides to take it down. Because this is a one-shot, things are resolved a bit too easily but it was an interesting look at a social experiment gone horribly wrong and much darker than Aida’s other series. My main complaint is that the class leader got off too easily; he’s basically a psychopath.
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch
- Mirka is one of 8 sisters in an Orthodox Jewish family, living in the Orthodox Jewish town of Hereville. Her stepmother tries in vain to teach her womanly arts but Mirka wants to be a dragon slayer. Her quest pits her against witches, malevolent pigs and trolls. A beautifully told and enlightening tale about heroism and Judaism. Well worth a read.
Hikaru no Go, volume 22 (French) by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata
- In the second to last volume of the famous Go series, Hikaru, Akira and their teammate Yashiro must face China and Korea’s most promising new talents. They may be outmatched. But Hikaru has more to prove than his countries continued skill at Go: Hokusai, and by extension his mentor Sai, has been mocked and Hikaru is determined to restore his honor. The story is wrapping up but it remains as engaging and exciting as ever. I can’t wait to find out how Hikaru’s match against Korea will turn out. (And I just found the box with volume 23 in it!)
Paul à la Campagne (French) by Paul Rabagliati
- In this comic (the third Paul comic I’ve read to date) Paul takes his wife and daughter to the countryside to visit his parents and reflects upon his childhood. This one is much shorter than the others, and far from my favorite, but it contains all the humour and nostalgia that has made the series popular.
Stepping on Roses, volume 8 by Rinko Ueda
- Sumi has been reduced to poverty once more and this time her husband Soichiro shares her troubles. Nozomu, the new head of Ashida products promises to stop persecuting them if she marries him instead. I love how what seemed, in the first volume, to be a sweet Cinderella story turned into something so complicated and twisted. I’m routing for you Soichiro!