Much to my dismay, there was a lull in last week's manga schedule where no confirmed books popped up on my shipping list. They say having a break now and again is great, but I'm not sure I liked my empty shopping bag last Wednesday (plus no On The Shelf to write)! This week seems keen on making up for it, though, with a few back stock Digital Manga titles hitting the market and Viz Media's first big release list of the month arriving.
Dark Horse starts us out this week with the newest volume of its beautiful manhwa series, Bride of the Water God. This series' plot can get a little confusing with the varied characters, magic powers, ghosts, curses, civil wars and divine interventions, and this book is no exception. It's never been hard to tell what a gorgeous series it is, though, and I'm always drawn to it the moment my eyes hit the cover. In this volume Soah remains trapped in a castle on the moon, separated from her husband, Habaek. Habaek, in turn, still has this pesky turns-into-a-child-when-the-sun's-up problem. With their happy ending still a number of trials away, Soah must contend with a slew of obstacles between her and the man she loves down on Earth.
• Bride of the Water God (Vol.10), ($9.99/US, $10.99/CAN)
Digital Manga has an assortment of books out this week and all with Explicit Content stickers slapped firmly on their covers. For mature eyes only on all four counts! The long awaited (though aren't they all, really?) Finder: Truth in the Viewfinder (Vol.05) is out, where once again Akihito is in the clutches of the bitter and dangerous Fei Long. Will Asami come to his rescue again? Our assumptions say yes but whether or not everyone makes it out of this business gang war in one piece or not remains to be seen.
Two hentai titles from DMP's Project H line are also out for order now – Three P and Embrace & Bloom. Three P is about three best friends who all share their sex lives with one another, making for a book of diverse and sometimes surprising or silly stories of their beds and boyfriends. Embrace & Bloom is also an assortment of sex stories told from different people's perspectives but this one is more of an anthology collection with nine different women sharing the spotlight.
DIGITAL MANGA PUBLISHING
• Devil's Infirmary ($15.95/US, $17.99/CAN)
• Embrace And Bloom ($17.95/US, $19.99/CAN)
• Finder: Truth in the Viewfinder (Vol.05),
• Three P ($17.95/US, $19.99/CAN)
Shifting to some books more safe for the all-ages category, Kodansha Comics is releasing the fourth volume of the manga-style adaptation, Deltora Quest. The Shadow Kings' hold remains tightly gripped on the Deltora Kingdom as a group of adventurers scour the land for the seven lost stones needed to restore their proper ruler to the throne.
Shugo Chara Chan (Vol.02) is a second collection of four panel comics starring the adorable little guardians from its predecessor series, Shugo Chara. This book will likely be the top provider of cute and fluffy factor amidst this week's releases!
• Deltora Quest (Vol.04), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)
• Gon (Vol.03), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)
• Negima! (Vol.33), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)
• Shugo Chara Chan (Vol.02), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)
Vertical Inc. is starting a new series that will be familiar to a fair share of readers – GTO: 14 Days of Shonan. A sequel series to the Tokyopop-published GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka), this series follows the titular character Eikichi Onizuka returning to his hometown of Shonan where he discovers the lives of teens to be no better than in Tokyo. Using his own unique methods of correction and education, Onizuka once again takes on the great task of getting some lost teenagers on a better path.
• GTO: 14 Days in Shonan (Vol.01),
Viz Media also has a new series starting today – A Devil and Her Love Song. It stars a “gorgeous and whip-smart” girl with a sharp tongue and a mind all her own. After getting kicked out of an elite private school, she enters a new school and is immediately targeted by some of her fellow students. However, this time it's not for her attitude, but for her great singing voice. I'm really looking forward to trying out this story because of how interesting the lead, Maria Kawai, sounds to be. I hope it's fun!
There's a number of enjoyable fantasy series continuing this week, including Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time (Vol.15) and Tegami Bachi (Vol.08). In Haruka, Akane is crushed to see that her eight guardians have lost all their memories of her and each other. Without their support and protection, she needs to find an item called the Curse Seed to restore their memories and get this visual novel adaptation back on track. In Tegami Bachi – another series whose covers will never stop drawing my eye – sees the young letter bee, Lag, infiltrating the rebel group belonging to the very individual he wants to save. After loving the series' first volume, where we saw Lag and their idol letter bee, Gauche, traveling together, I'm really looking forward to seeing another meeting between the two.
From the Shonen Jump stack, there are new volumes of Bakuman, Bleach, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan and Toriko all out this week. All four of these series are currently serialized in Viz Media's new digital Shonen Jump. Even if reading digitally isn't your thing, it's hard to ignore such a cheap weekly edition with the most recent chapters from Japan. The collected manga volumes released this week are still a ways behind where the digital editions have now leapt but, with some speed-ups on the way, we're going to have even more printed volumes to litter our shelves with. No complaints there!
• A Devil and Her Love Song (Vol.01),
• Ai Ore! (Vol.04), ($12.99/US, $14.99/CAN)
• Bakuman (Vol.09), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Bleach (Vol.38), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Blue Exorcist (Vol.06), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Dawn of the Arcana (Vol.02),
• Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time (Vol.15), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Hayate the Combat Butler (Vol.19),
• Kamisama Kiss (Vol.07), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Library Wars: Love & War (Vol.07),
• Natsume's Book of Friends (Vol.11),
• Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (Vol.07),
• Otomen (Vol.12), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura (Vol.06), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Slam Dunk (Vol.20), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Tegami Bachi (Vol.08), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• The Story of Saiunkoku (Vol.06), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Toriko (Vol.08), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's (Vol.02), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
That does it for this week's On The Shelf – what on the list are you most eager to buy? Any must-have recommendations? Share your thoughts in our handy comment area for all our readers to see!
* All dates are based on distributor listings and may not necessarily reflect exact release dates. Some books may be ship prior to or after the date listed above varying by location and availability.