A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{December 10, 2012}   Comics and manga of the week (70)

wrinkleBokurano, volume 7 by Mohiro Kitoh

  • The death count in this giant robot manga continues to mount. In this volume, Komoda must directly confront the pilot of the enemy robot during a piano recital. And Aiko sees her turn as pilot as her chance to finally be in the spotlight and gain the attention of her journalist father. This is an absolutely miserable manga, with at least 2 children dying a volume, and it can get a bit predictable, but something about the pacing and the melodrama keeps me hooked.

The Devil and her Love Song, volume 6 by Miyoshi Tomori

  • Maria’s former best friend Anna has thrown down the gauntlet and admitted her love for Shin. She is ready to do anything, no matter how underhanded, to win him away from Maria. I really love this manga, Maria is a unique heroine (elegant, blunt and inexpressive) and I love how hard she tries, despite repeated failures. I hope she and Shin end up together, he’s not your typical hero either.

Dawn of the Arcana, volume 7 by Rei Toma

  • Fleeing after the death of the crown prince of Belquat, Princess Nakaba and her new husband return to her native Senan. Ceasar is shocked to discover the disdain in which her own family holds her because of her red hair. Worse, the king sends them on a dangerous diplomatic mission which forces Nakaba to uses her arcana of time, despite the danger to herself. This beautiful shojo fantasy continues to gain in complexity and hints at many more secrets. I can’t wait for the next volume!

D. Gray-man, volume 23 by Katsura Hoshino

  • Kanda (who has become incredibly sexy during his brief absence!) and Johnny, from the order’s science department, work together to find Allen before he loses his identity to the 14th Noah. Their search wavers from the ridiculous (as Johnny and Gill troll bars and get drunk in search for Allen) and the desperate (as they are beset by countless akuma). We also learn a great deal about Allen’s past and Cross’ place in it in this volume. D. Gray-man remains an interesting and unique shonen manga and Allen’s uncertain fate keeps it fresh.

Kings of Shogi, volume 7 (French) by Masaru Katori and Jiro Ando

  • Young Shion has reached the semi-finals of the shogi tournament but she’s having a hard time keeping calm: her opponent insists on reminding her of her parents’ gruesome murders. Some suspect his unhealthy interest means that he was involved but he claims to be seeking the real killer. Meanwhile Shion’s friend Ayumi has shed his female disguise and is re-starting his shogi career as a man (and his new haircut certainly suits him!). The story is nearing its conclusion and though the shogi games are a bit over my head, the mystery is thrilling.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson

  • I’ve never read this children’s classic: I’m wary of time travel stories and, to be perfectly honest, the cover of my copy is terrifying. But for the past few months I’ve been circling it: First I read When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead which is heavily influenced by L’Engle’s novel and now I read this beautiful comic adaptation. I don’t think I’ll be able to resist for much longer. Larson has illustrated her comics in blues and blacks which gives it a mysterious atmosphere. I can’t speak for the faithfulness of the adaptation but the story is engaging and I like the way Larson illustrates concepts just beyond human understanding. I also love that the heroine Meg is mathematical and that her strengths are things one would usually consider faults, especially in a girl: impatience, stubbornness, anger. It is a rather long comic but time flew as I read it. Highly recommended.

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