A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{November 4, 2012}   Comics and manga of the week (65)

Awkward Silence, volume 2 by Hinako Takanaga

  • This volume continues to explore the relationship between Satoru, whose face shows none of his emotions, and his boyfriend Keigo. I liked this one less than the first volume; Takanaga is taking her cute story onto cliche paths and there’s very little sexiness but there are still a few funny moments. Satoru’s mother, with her even more expressionless face, surprised a few chuckles out of me for instance.

Billy Bat, volume 4 (French) by Naoki Urasawa

  • This volume of Billy Bat takes us to Cold War America, where a man by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald dreams of becoming a hero. Meanwhile two government agencies are tracking down Kevin Yamagata, the author of the original Billy Bat. His comics and the future they show may be the key to saving the president. I’m not even American and I knew who Oswald was as soon as I read his name but if you think that makes this comic predictable, think again. Urasawa brings us all his usual surprises and twists and things are starting to get really creepy. I can’t wait to find out what happens in volume 5!

GTO, volume 19 & 20 (French) by Toru Fujisawa

  • Volume 19 is the conclusion of the Teshigawara storyline. We find out what led the Todai graduate to stalking, kidnapping and attempted murder. Onizuka, true to form, saves both Asuza and Teshigawara. In volume 20, things change at school. A board brings in a sexy new principal and she’s using all her wiles to get Onizuka to quit. But our favorite irreverent teach isn’t that easy to beat. Though it can be crude at times, this is a series that deserves its cult status.

Love So Life, volume 1 (French) by Kaede Kouchi

  • Shiharu grew up in an orphanage and dreams of becoming a kindergarten teacher. In order to train for this future, she babysits the 2-year-old twins Akane and Aoi for their news anchor uncle. I picked this up on a whim but it’s the most adorable thing I’ve read in recent memory. I’m reminded of Aishiteru Baby. For the moment, it mostly concentrates on Shiharu learning the joys of family but there are hints of budding romance. I look forward to the second volume.

Yakitate Ja-Pan!!! volume 3 (French) by Takashi Hashiguchi

  • The Pantasia new employee competition is about to begin. Azuma and Kawachi are working hard to win (which involves a surprising amount of physical exercise), but they soon discover that there is more at stake than mere prestige. Tsukino, as the daughter of a mistress, needs her employees to win in order to prove herself as skilled a manager as her half-sisters. The series continues to be silly and full off puns but with volume 3, the characters begin to have some real human depth.

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