A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{December 2, 2012}   Comics and manga of the week (69)

parmi-eux-deluxe-7-tonkamGTO, volume 21 & 22 (French) by Toru Fujisawa

  • The new principal has set a group of “angels” loose on the school to deal with the bad elements in a bloody and underhanded fashion. Meanwhile with the institution of a point-based salary scale, Onizuka may be turning into exactly the kind of teacher he always hated: the kind that care more about himself and his standing than his students. Will he be able to change back in time to save his students? I found these volume a bit triggery but it’s basic message: that violence begets more violence is a good one (though it’s a bit hypocritical coming from Onizuka). At the end of the volume is also a sweet love story between Anko and Yoshikawa. I like geeky boys too, Anko; I’m rooting for you. 🙂

Hiyokoi, volume 1 (French) by Moe Yukimaru

  • Hiyori started High School late because of an accident. She is painfully shy and afraid of going to class. She is also only 140 cm tall. Hirose, who sits next to her, is the exact opposite: loud, popular and almost 2m tall. He frightens her at first but soon love blooms. This is a cute manga but nothing about it really stands out for me. Lovely Complex was a much better romance about height difference IMHO.

Kamisama Kiss, volume 11 by Julietta Suzuki

  • In this volume we learn more about Nanami’s tragic past: her deceased mother, her dead beat father and the terrible luck the women in her family have with men. Nanami and Tomoe continue to grow closer but bad things are brewing. This series is just so much fun. I never tire of it.

Parmi Eux, volume 7 (French) by Hisaya Nakajo (Hanazakari no Kimisama he/Hana Kimi)

  • Mizuki is surprised to run into Sano and Nakatsu in the US. She is also terrified that they and her parents will find out that she is pretending to be a boy in Japan. Back in Japan, her secret is further put in danger when students from the first dorm are forced to bunk in Mizuki’s dorm. Can she continue to hide her sex? How much longer will Sano be able to resist his feelings for her? A beautiful hardcover edition of my favorite cross-dressing comedy.

Strobe Edge, volume 8 & 9 (French) by Io Sakisaka

  • Strobe Edge is such a sweet, realistic love story. The characters really touch me. In these volumes, Ninako finally decides to tell Ren that she loves him. But when she discovers that Ren and his best friend Ando were torn apart by a girl once, she decides to sacrifice her feelings for their friendship. Meanwhile, both boys are trying desperately, in their own ways to win her. With only one volume to go, I have a pretty good idea of how the series will end but I’m still enjoying the ride.

Thermae Romae, volume 4 (French) by Mari Yamazaki

  • When Emperor Hadrien’s heir suddenly dies, the emperor is overwrought, and his loyal architect Lucius is determined to do anything to aid him and Rome. But as usual Lucius finds himself transported to modern day Japan and he cannot seem to return. Things are a bit different this time though: he has found a young woman fluent and latin and is employed in a traditional inn. Volume four is the first to have a storyline extending over an entire volume and I must say, I approve.

X-Factor, Volume 17: The Road to Redemption by Peter David

  • The X-Factor girls go on a road trip to help Rahne deal with her guilt. Meanwhile Terri is confronted by a true Banshee and Layla with the consequences of changing what she knew must happen. This is not the best volume of X-Factor (and the art of issues 238 & 239 didn’t please me at all) but it sets up what will surely be some thrilling adventures. Besides, issue 240, told from Layla’s point of view and laying out the different possibilities of all actions, is truly fascinating.

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