Hey there, On The Shelf readers and manga buyers - last week we didn't have an On The Shelf article so this week I'll be covering both July 18 and July 25th's shipping lists! That's twice as much manga, and all available for you to buy this week. We're kicking off this two-week combo with a little stack from Digital Manga Publishing. All three of these books are mature titles, so not for the kiddies!
The first is Finder (Vol.06), published under their June imprint for boys' love, and the newest volume of one of the genre's most popular titles. In the previous volume, Akihito finally made it back to Japan after being rescued by Asami, and he's thrilled to be back on his own turf and free to return to his work as a photographer. To no one's surprise (except maybe Akihito himself), he soon gets himself embroiled in trouble when he tangles himself in a celebrity stalking scandal. One can guess super-seme Asami is somewhere nearby, though...
My Cute Crossdresser is a new one-shot published under DMP's Project-H imprint, which publishes hentai titles. This title is a weird little addition because it doesn't get especially pornographic at all and is a collection of short stories involving teenage boys being attractive to other boys who dress up as girls. In this way it makes for a title that will probably appeal just as much, if not more, to DMP's boys' love readers for its tone and topic.
Project-H's most anticipated title in their launch year so far, though, is probably this week's Velvet Kiss (Vol.01). The multi-volume series has a fair-sized following online and DMP even worked with a team who did the scanlations to cater to that pre-existing audience. The story is about a young man who finds himself overwhelmed by debt. One day he gets a phone call from his loan adviser that says if he 'befriends' a particular young woman, his debt problems could be solved... but of course not without a price of its own.
DIGITAL MANGA PUBLISHING
• Finder (Vol.06): Passion Within The Viewfinder, ($13.95/US, $15.50/CAN)
• My Cute Crossdresser, ($17.95/US, $19.99/CAN)
• Velvet Kiss (Vol.01), ($17.95/US, $19.99/CAN)
Kodansha Comics gives us some more slightly age-friendly titles, their three books erring on the side of at least teenager appropriate. Arisa (Vol.08) continues Tsubasa's struggle against a dangerous individual known as the King, who rules her twin sister's class under a powerful wish-granting thumb. We're edging closer and closer to the truth and I keep being surprised how truly dangerous this investigation has been. What will the King try next?
Phoenix Wright (Vol.05) is the final volume of this manga adaptation of the popular video game. This is the legal team's last chance to solve some mysteries, catch some criminals and, above all else, offer up some OBJECTION! This story arc wraps up in time for Kodansha Comics next Phoenix Wright manga starting up later, which follows the character Edgeworth.
• Arisa (Vol.08), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)
• Fairy Tail (Vol.20), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)
• Phoenix Wright (Vol.05), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)
Flowers of Evil (Vol.02) and GTO: The Early Years (Vol.13) are continuations of two Vertical Inc series, but what's really got my attention from them this week is a new one-shot title, Sakuran. I've already heard great things about the publishing work Vertical has done on it and the cover design and artwork alone was enough to catch my initial interest. Layer on the fact it's the story of a young woman surviving and resisting the life of a Japanese courtesan, and the crazy entertainment value of Moyoco Anno's previous works, and this title became one of my top anticipated titles of the year.
• Flowers of Evil (Vol.02), ($10.95/US, $11.95/CAN)
• GTO: The Early Years (Vol. 13), ($10.95/US, $11.95/CAN)
• Sakuran ($16.95/US, $17.95/CAN)
Viz Media is all continuing titles this week but they've got some much awaited titles of their own to salivate for. 20th Century Boys (Vol.21) is always a treat and Naoki Urasawa is a master of suspense to ensure you're on the edge of your seat while reading, and then while waiting for the next volume. The series is winding down to its final moments in this penultimate book and all the past players are convening to confront the Friend once more. The cast is sizable but each one is memorable, so I'm excited to see what role everyone plays in the finale, because I'm confident Urasawa has a plot for all of them.
Case Closed (Vol.43) is now out, and it's hard to believe that this is only just slightly past the halfway point for the series as a whole. Phenomenal news if you're a fan of the series, though, with lots more to enjoy (as long as Viz Media can continue to afford publishing it anyway – don't forget to buy!). The cover sports a baseball uniform wearing Conan and, true to the image, he gets involved in a mystery where a terrorist has planted a bomb inside a baseball stadium. The clock is ticking!
Speaking of a ticking clock, in Kimi ni Todoke Sawako and Kazehaya suddenly find themselves with some alone time, something their loving but ever-present friends rarely allow. Will this adorable but restrained couple take things a step further in their relationship? Fourteen volumes in and there remains to be a kiss!
• 20th Century Boys (Vol.21), ($12.99/US, $14.99/CAN)
• Afterschool Charisma (Vol.06), ($12.99/US, $14.99/CAN)
• Case Closed (Vol.43), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Kimi ni Todoke (Vol.14), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Ooku: Inner Chambers (Vol.07), ($12.99/US, $14.99/CAN)
Last April, Black Butler fans were stunned to get the end of that volume and be left on one heckuva cliffhanger. What will Ciel do without his demonic butler!? A dinner party has gone awry in the Phantomhive Manor and now the guests are being murdered, with few clues as to who is responsible. In Black Butler (Vol.10), we'll see if the group can survive and solve the mystery when their usual ace in the hole was one of the night's earlier victims and a new face appears on the rain-soaked doorstep. Are they friend or felon?! Like with any great murder-mystery, I can't wait to buy this book and find out.
Offering up a less subtle suspense is High School of the Dead (Vol.07) where the remaining survivors of the high school group continue their violent trek through the zombie covered streets. Some are looking for their parents, others have lost hope, but all are still fighting tooth, nail and gun to survive. This time they seek refuge in a police station, but as the book's cover copy says, “hungry officers within give a whole new meaning to the phrase 'police brutality.'"
Fresh from the pages of their digital magazine, Yen Plus, comes a new series from Yen Press in book form – Soul Eater Not. The series is a spin-off of Soul Eater, and follows a new band of
students in the kooky and dangerous hallways of Death Weapon Meister Academy as they study and battle their way to the higher ranks and the end of day school bell.
• Black Butler (Vol.10), ($11.99/US
• Durarara!! (Vol.03), ($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• High School of the Dead (Vol.07), ($11.99/US, $15.50/CAN)
• Pandora Hearts (Vol.11), ($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Soul Eater Not (Vol.01), ($11.99/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 ship prior to or after the date listed above varying by location and availability.