Last week was the start of November's avalanche of manga and this week takes no breather with just short of another two dozen brand new books! This time almost all the big manga players come to deliver with continuations, conclusions and new titles from Dark Horse, Digital Manga, Viz Media, Kodansha Comics and Yen Press!
Kicking things off with demons, portals and monster trucks is Blood Blockade Battlefront (Vol.03). Beating back the creatures that rampage through the battered and rebuilt New York has become an everyday thing for the Libra agents and their own bag of tricks. However, in this volume they face off against not only forty million criminals, but one of the city's own greatest enemies – rush hour traffic! While we love to savor our manga, this may be one book we're grateful won't last a couple hours.
• Blood Blockade Battlefront (Vol.03), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)
For the cat lovers out there, Digital Manga Publishing has the first volume of Start With A Happy Ending. It's a strange but sweet little series where individuals are given a second chance at life to reevaluate themselves and sometimes complete unfinished business. The catch? They're brought back as cats! Is seven days enough time to find satisfaction in your recently ended life when you're viewing it through the eyes of a feline?
DIGITAL MANGA PUBLISHING
• Start With A Happy Ending (Vol.01), ($12.95/US, $14.50/CAN)
DMP then serves up a triple-dose of boys' love via their BL imprint, June, with a new volume of Bad Teacher's Equation and two brand new one-shots. Speaking again of second chances, Secret Thorns has a unique sounding plot for a boys' love book if only because of the fact the two leads are past lovers who are reconnecting a year later. Now suddenly in love with a new acquaintance here or spontaneously questioning sexuality there. In Secret Thorns, one lead is a writer, the other his new editor – it's going to be a little tricky not to interact in this new relationship, let alone forget their old one.
Sleepless Nights actually follows somewhat of the same vein as well. A one-night stand returns to the minds of two men who meet again years later. While one is gay, the other identifies as straight and has tried to forget what occurred. Can sex and romance really be mutually exclusive or does their night together imply something further may've happened? Written and drawn by Sachi Murakami, this is the artist's first time published in English.
• Bad Teachers' Equation (Vol.05), ($19.95/US, $21.99/CAN)
• Secret Thorns, ($12.95/US, $14.50/CAN)
• Sleepless Nights, ($12.95/US, $14.50/CAN)
Kodansha Comics gives us the second new series of the week with Missions of Love (Vol.01). Continuing a trend I enjoy with female leads being more than just a pretty face looking for love, Missions of Love stars a young cell phone novelist named Yukina Himuro. In her mission to improve her writing, she seeks to experience romance first hand but skips the usual dating formalities and moves straight to... blackmail? Okay, maybe she isn't the most admirable lead but it sounds like there may be plenty of amusing moments following her efforts to learn about love with the 'help' of her school's most popular male student.
• Missions of Love (Vol.01), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)
A blast from the past emits again from Viz Media, giving English readers another shot at a fan-favorite title – actually, two in fact! First up is a brand new edition of 07 Ghost starting with volume one. Previously a good portion of the series was published by the now shuttered GoComi, leaving it unfinished. After really loving the work Viz Media did on Loveless, I'm looking forward to re-experiencing 07 Ghost with a fresh translation and crisp new printing. The series follows a young man named Teito Klein who fights to discover his past amidst a tangled web of betrayal, gods, ghosts and wars from within the walls of the militant academy and Barsburg Church.
An even bigger nostalgia blast for many will be Viz Media's first volume of their Neon Genesis Evangelion omnibus edition. Collecting three in one, this first volume is over 500 pages long! Along with being a new printing of an old classic, this new edition also comes with a collection of full-color images. Follow again or for the first time the story of a group of young adults made to fight against the Angels by piloting Evas, massive part-organic machines that may be as deadly as the enemy itself.
More bittersweet a release is Cross Game (Vol.08) which is the final volume of the series. I hope it's not the last we see of Mitsuri Adachi in English. I've loved every volume of Cross Game which makes even the most mundane activities feel heartfelt and important. Plus the sport of baseball is shown with such passion and hard work that even those who aren't fans of sports can't help but get engaged with what's going on. It'll be sad knowing no more volumes of this gem await us in the future.
• 07 Ghost (Vol.01), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Cross Game (Vol.08), ($14.99/US, $16.99/CAN)
• Excel Saga (Vol.24), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• InuYasha VizBIG (Vol.13), ($17.99/US, $21.00/CAN)
• Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 (Vol.01), ($19.99/US, $22.99/CAN)
• Rin-Ne (Vol.10), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Yen Press is debuting two new series of their own – Aron's Absurd Armada and Umineko When They Cry: Golden Witch. Both are omnibus editions so you really get your money's worth, plus AAA is in full color! Both are almost entirely different as far as story goes though. Aron's Absurd Armada is a collection of 4-koma (four-panel comic strips) about a band of lively pirates living their own unique lives on the high seas of hilarity, while Umineko is horror straight from the minds of Higurashi creator, Ryukishi07. This first volume is over 500 pages of suspense, violence and who-done-it murders as an entire extended family is trapped in a giant mansion by a typhoon. With ghosts in the halls and a family fortune looming above their heads, there's multiple mysteries to be solved but none more pressing than who's picking them off one by one.
A series more subtle with its darker elements is Soul Eater Not!, which has volume two now out. On-going with the school life of three new Death Weapon Meister Academy students, their silly and fun trials of friendship, shopping, homework and who-will-weild-my-other-forms'-deadly-blade-of-destruction continues for Tsugumi and her friends. But while all that goes on, a sinister plot is taking place in the background, and when one of their classmates goes violently berserk in the marketplace, two very different sides of DWM Academy begin to bleed together.
Worlds collide elsewhere in Spice & Wolf (Vol. 07) as Lawrence and Holo attempt to learn more about the world Holo came from by visiting a church in the village of Tereo. The welcome they receive is anything but warm, though. Was it something they said? Or does it have something to do with certain on-going disputes with the neighboring village of Enberch...
• Aron's Absurd Armada Omnibus (Vol.01), ($18.99/US, $20.99/CAN)
• Bunny Drop (Vol.07), ($13.99/US, $15.50/CAN)
• Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan (Vol.06), ($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Nabari no Ou (Vol.12), ($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Omamori Himari (Vol.09), ($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro (Vol.03), ($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Soul Eater Not! (Vol.02), ($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Soul Eater (Vol.11), ($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Spice and Wolf (Vol.07), ($12.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Umineko When They Cry: Golden Witch (Vol.01), ($18.99/US, $20.99/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.
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