- Shiharu has been caring for M. Matsunaga’s infant niece and nephew for some time, but now the uncle is sick and needs her help. Things aren’t going well at school either: some jealous girls have started to bully Shiharu and her best friend. We also learn about her life and relationship with fellow orphan, Nao. Honestly, though it’s not likely, I hope she ends up with Nao; I have a soft spot for sweet, awkward guys like him. There is nothing surprising about this manga but it is nice and sweet.
Master Keaton, volume 1 (French) by Naoki Urasawa
- Taichi Hiragi Keaton is an unusual man: half-English and half-Japanese, he studied at Oxford, was an instructor for the S.A.S. and now works as an archeology professor in a small Japanese university. But he has another job as an investigator for a large insurance firm which leads him on some incredible adventures. Keaton is basically McGyver meets Indiana Jones. I might be in love. Add to this Urasawa’s incredible skill for suspense and pacing, this is a a series not to be missed.
Piece, volume 5 (French) by Hinako Ashihara
- When Mizuho’s former classmate died, she left behind a lot of secrets. The search for the dead girl’s boyfriend has lead Mizuho all over Japan and forces her to confront her own relationships: her friendship with Remi and her affection for troubled Narumi. This is one of my favorite shojo manga of the moment; it deals with friendship, love and emotion like most but it does it in such innovative ways and confronts some truly difficult feelings. It is well worth discovering.
Puzzle, volume 12 & 13 (French) by Ryo Ikuemi
- Kanna comes to realize that she hasn’t matured from her 15 year old self, when her childhood friend Haruta died. She returns to her home town to confront her past and finally opens her heart to someone new. This was a long, emotional series with a (sometimes confusingly) large cast of characters and it has come to a satisfying end… though I suspect some storylines may have been dropped, there are so many I couldn’t say for sure. But honestly my favorite part, was a side story at the very end about Kanna’s friend Momoka’s romance.
The Transformers: Robots in Disguise, volume 1 by John Barber
- More Transformers! This series takes place at the same time as More than Meets the Eye, which I’ve been loving. It isn’t as good sadly but it deals with some interesting politics and ethical problems back on Cybertron. Four million years of war between autobots and decepticons have finally ended. Both factions, as well as the countless unaffiliated bots (called nails with more than a little disdain) are returning to the home world. But the planet is not as hospitable as it once was and old grudges aren’t easily forgotten.