A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{February 17, 2013}   Comics and manga of the week (80)

Black-rose-alice-6-kazeA lot of French manga this week! I finally found the time to stop by the Manga Thé and pick up the new volumes of the series I’m currently reading. I made a lot of progress but I’m far from done.

Awkward Silence, volume 3 by Hinako Takanaga

  • In the previous volume, the student council president surprised Yuji with a kiss. Yuji doesn’t know what to make with the flirty boy’s advances but soon he has more to worry about: his mother is in the hospital and he is worn out by his part-time job. A very standard BL romance though there are a couple of cute scenes with in the inexpressive hero of the first volume.

Billy Bat, volume 5 (French) by Naoki Urasawa

  • Kevin Yamagata returns to the US only to find out that his former assistant has stolen his comic series, Billy Bat. But he has more to worry about: he is been given visions of a man named Lee Harvey Oswald and must figure out how to stop him from assassinating the president. Meanwhile, an interracial couple comes upon a KKK lynching on their way to Texas. Urasawa’s new thriller is getting really exciting and ties together myth, comics and American history in fascinating ways.

Black Rose Alice, volume 5 & 6 (French) by Setona Mizushiro

  • Mizushiro’s unique and disturbing vampire story continues. Alice is about to chose which of the vampires to mate with when she meets the boy she loved when she was still Azusa. All the relationships are turned upside down and the twins recover disturbing memories about their deaths. But for me, the best part of these two volumes was to see the usually composed Dimitri freaking out. I’m sadistic that way. 🙂 Volume 6 marks the end of the first arc, I have no idea where she will go from here but then this series has never been anything but fresh and surprising.

Le chemin des fleurs, volume 3 (French) by Ako Shimaki

  • The young heir to a kabuki family, Kyonosuke, finally decides to apply himself to his art in order to win a girl’s heart. But Ayame only seems to have eyes for his rival Ichiya. When they perform together, will Kyonosuke be able to draw her eye? The romance leaves me a bit dry but I think this is a really interesting look at the world of kabuki.

From Five to Nine, volume 4 (French) by Miki Aihara

  • Junko takes the a company test in order to get the promotion and the transfer abroad that will allow her to escape the gorgeous but controlling monk who wants to marry her. But when he uses his connections to crush her dreams, she takes extreme measures to prove that he doesn’t own her. I cannot stand the male lead, he’s dreadful but I kind of enjoy watching Junko lash out at him.

Love so Life, volume 2 (French) by Kaede Kouchi

  • Shiharu dreams of becoming a kindergarten teacher. In the mean time, she babysits for a pair of adorable twins, whose father abandoned them with their overworked uncle. Though very little happens, the series is adorable and heart warming. If you liked Aishiteru Baby, you’ll love Love So Life.

Oglaf, volume 1 by Doug Bayne & Trudy Cooper

  • This series is totally and absolutely not safe for work. You have been warned. It is also hilarious. It is a fantasy webcomic with a twisted and very sexual sense of humour… no, that’s not fair, I’m sure there are at least 10 strips that have no sex in them. 😉 The art is gorgeous and I was chuckling to myself the whole way through. But if jokes about blow jobs and masturbation make you blush, it may not be for you. You can read the webcomic here.

Parfait-tic, volume 22 (French) by Nagamu Nanaji

  • The final volume of Nanaji’s emotional roller coaster! I’ve been waiting for this for a while. I found the ending a little easy after all the drama in the first 21 volumes; for once I wasn’t sobbing while reading. Still I was happy that Fuko was able to find love (with my favorite of the two boys ;)) and reach her dreams.

Sawako, volume 14 (French) by Karuho Shiina

  • Sawako and her friends go on a school trip to Okinawa. Sawako and Kazehaya continue to grow closer though they are adorably bashful, still. Ryu finally confesses his love to Chizu. And Yano, though the most experienced of the three with boys, ponders love and whether she has ever felt it. This is a slow, sweet series that perfectly captures adolescence for me.

Silver Diamond, volume 5 & 6 (French) by Shiho Sugiura

  • Rakan draws a group of outcasts to him through his disarming personnality and his ability to bring plants to life in their barren land. He vows to stop the prince, to whom he bears an uncanny resemblance, from destroying the world. This is a nice little parallel world fantasy with BL overtones. I found myself chuckling and being drawn into the story by turns. With volume 6, the plot begins to thicken and it is starting to show the potential of becoming a true epic.

Vinland Saga, volume 11 (French) by Makoto Yukimura

  • Several years have passed since volume 3. Knut is king of England, and once his brother succumbs to poison, of Danemark as well. He has changed a lot from the gentle boy he had been; he is ready to commit any evil in order to create his dreamed of paradise. Meanwhile Thorfinn has been working as a slave and will soon have earned his freedom. His days as a warrior seem far behind him but unease is stirring in his peaceful new home. Yukimura is really an amazing artist and story teller. I’m kind of terrified to find out what new hell Thorfinn is going to be put through…

Virtus, volume 3 (French) by Gibbon and Hideo Shinanogawa

  • Takeru, former judo champion and convicted murderer, was transported to ancient Rome with his fellow prisoners. Now they are being trained as gladiators. The training is brutal and some of the other gladiators – and the trainer’s daughter – have it in for them. They may not all survive. This series may have been written for me: history, drama AND combat sports. Besides the hyper-realistic art is gorgeous.

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