A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{February 10, 2013}   Comics and manga of the week (78 & 79)


I made it through a lot of my Viz backlog this week (but not all of it, I get a lot of manga from Viz) though my comics and manga to read pile is still frighteningly high.

Black Bird, volume 14 and 15 by Kanoko Sakurakouji

  • Volume 14 wraps up the bitter rivalry between Kyo and his elder brother, Sho and volume 15 begins the final arc of the series, where we learn the ultimate, tragic fate of the senka maiden. It turns out marrying a tengu isn’t a good idea. Who knew? This is an interesting look at Japanese mythology though the romance, which borders on obsessive, irks me. My favorite part of the two volumes? Finding out how Sagami fell for his wife. Hilarious.

Dawn of the Arcana, volume 8 by Rei Toma

  • Princess Nakaba tried and failed to use her powers to see the future to catch the criminals plaguing the country of Lithuanel. In the process, she has become caught up in the country’s vicious struggle for succession. Meanwhile Ceasar questions his usefulness and plans to return to his kingdom, alone. I feel like Toma is building up to something big in the upcoming volumes. I look forward to it.

A Devil and her Love Song, volume 7 by Miyoshi Tomori

  • Maria has finally become friends with her classmates but she still struggles to reach Anna, her former best friend. Meanwhile the terrible truth about her past and her mother is beginning to surface. Maria continues to grow in this charming touching series, while staying the blunt girl I love to read about. 🙂

Kamisama Kiss, volume 12 by Julietta Suzuki

  • This volume starts the Himemiko ark. The sweet catfish deity wants nothing more than to marry her human lover, Kotaro. But the lord of another swamp wishes to join their realms through marriage and he has stolen Nanami and her entire temple to facilitate the wedding. But he has underestimated both Nanami and Himemiko; they are going to teach the arrogant lord a lesson. Fantastical fun.

Loveless, volume 9 & 10 by Yun Kouga

  • Ritsuka and Sou continue to search for Seimei and unravel his plots. But first they must save Kio, who has been kidnapped, and face off with a few new fighter-sacrifice pairs. It’s been a long time since I read volume 8 (the series used to be published by the now defunct Tokyopop) so I feel a bit disconnected from the story; I got back into it rather quickly though. There were many interesting revelations about Ritsuka’s brother Seimei and my  personal favorite character, Kio. I have mixed feelings about this series. On the one hand it is beautiful, both visually and thematically. Kouga explores the power of language through her interesting magical system. But it is also a difficult story, full of children who grew up too quickly. It forces us to see that sometimes adults don’t protect kids but are the thing they need to be protected from. And I can’t bear to see Ritsuka hurt.

Sakura Hime, volume 8 & 9 by Arina Tanemura

  • Volume 8 moves a bit away from the fantastical action and drama that made up the earlier volumes. Tanemura offers us a light romantic comedy that brings Sakura and prince Aoba closer together. But soon enough we learn a shocking truth about the prince and we are thrown back into the struggle against Sakura’s vengeful brother. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Scott Pilgrim, volume 1 & 2 (color edition) by Bryan Lee O’Malley

  • Scott is out of school, out of work and living in a tiny apartment with his gay best friend. He’s the bassist for Sex Bob-Omb and recently started dating a high school girl. But when Ramona enters his life – and his dreams – everything changes. In order to stay with her, he’ll have to defeat her 7 evil boyfriends. Scott Pilgrim is part romance, part video game-inspired insanity and jsut plain fun. The color is absolutely gorgeous. If I didn’t know better I would have thought it was meant to be there all along so kudos to the colorist,Nathan Fairbairn.

Skip Beat!, volume 30 by Yoshiki Nakamura

  • Ren has been fooled everyone on the set into believing that he is the actor Cain Heel but living in close quarters with Kyoko, who is pretending to be his sister, is testing his self-control. But his role as the serial killer BJ is harder than he imagined; it is awakening the violent aspects of his own personality and reminding his of a past he’d rather forget. This is not my favorite volume of the series. I prefer a bit more focus on Kyoko but this remains a unique and entertaining shojo manga.

Slam Dunk, volume 26 by Takehiko Inoue

  • The Shohoku basketball team is actually holding its own against the 3 time national champions Sannoh. Coach Anzai surprises everyone by running the offense through Sakuragi and he proves once again how much he’s grown in a short amount of time. 5 volumes left and the intensity just keeps increasing. I love sports manga and this is one of the great ones.

Stepping on Roses, volume 9 by Rinko Ueda

  • This is the finally volume of Ueda’s melodramatic Taisho era love story. Sumi is being forced to marry Nozumu in order to protect her family and the man she loves, Soichiro. Nozomu is terrifying in the volume: jealous and possessive to the point of insanity. It gave me chills. But, of course, all turns out well in the end.

Vampire Knight, volume 14 & 15 by Matsuri Hino

  • Though he said he wanted to spend eternity with Yuki, Kaname suddenly starts killing pure blood and aristocrat vampires and disappears. Yuki is left to take over the rule of the vampires and mend the fragile truce with the humans. Yuki is really starting to come into her own. She was always a physically strong character but we’re starting to see her determination and her courage too. I’m not crazy about vampire romances but this is a pretty good one, and beautifully illustrated.

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