Otaku USA Magazine
On The Shelf – September 19, 2012

Dark Horse pulls out the big guns this week with over 1,000 pages of CLAMP manga! Their newest volume of Cardcaptor Sakura is the last book in the series. If you haven’t picked up this gem already, I highly recommend it. I’d say it’s my favorite of CLAMP’s work, beautifully showcasing their skill and passion for rendering magic, mystery and romance. In these last chapters, we learn the truth behind Eriol and what his presence there means to Sakura now that she knows he’s the reincarnation of Clow Reed. Other mysteries won’t be so neatly laid out for her, however, including her feelings for her once-rival, Li. Prepare for another action-packed, mystery-filled, sugary-sweet volume to top things off with a fluffy farewell.

Fret not, though, fans, if you find yourself weeping for lack of CLAMP to buy. While this next title has been delayed a while, its first volume coincides quite nicely with the end of Cardcaptor SakuraAngelic Layer (Vol. 01). Also being released in a large trim, re-translated omnibus (complete with color illustrations!), Angelic Layer is another of my favorite CLAMP stories. Both the art and the story is a little more simplistic than some of the creators’ other works but is no less fun and interesting. In fact it has some of my favorite artwork to date from them. The plot is about a young girl named Misaki who joins the world of ‘Angels’, small robots that are customized, trained and controlled by their owners to battle against each other. Like many of CLAMP’s stories, Angelic Layer will have some recognizable faces and characters, including some very direct tie-ins to their future series, Chobits. I love the battle sequences in Angelic Layer and it also has some easily adored characters, not to mention pretty kick-butt robots and some really wacky humor.

DARK HORSE

• Angelic Layer Omnibus (Vol.01), ($19.99/US, $21.99/CAN)

• Berserk (Vol.36), ($14.99/US, $17.50/CAN)

• Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus (Vol.04), ($19.99/US, $21.99/CAN)

Kodansha Comics is releasing their second volume of Attack on Titan this week. The award-winning series resumes the story of an apocalyptic future where the last remaining humans try to defend themselves against giants—whom they call titans—who seek to kill them. The humans have an unlikely ally on their side, and one they sorely need, when the titans manage to break through one of their strongest defenses, a massive wall surrounding their city.

Also out from Kodansha Comics is the always anticipated arrival of a new Sailor Moon volume. This week it’s volume seven, moving forward the current story arc which has introduced us to Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune, plus a bevy of new bad guys. It feels like the tone of the series has really stepped up with the addition of the new characters, and more still remain in the wings ready to reveal themselves. The key conflict now is determining whether these new Sailor Guardians can be trusted or not…

KODANSHA COMICS

• Attack on Titan (Vol.02), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)

• Sailor Moon (Vol.07), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)

Another series with a finale upon us this week is Viz Media’s 20th Century Boys. It’s been a long road getting to this point and, wow, what a ride! The actions of The Friend in the previous volume really surprised me. I was flabbergasted. What does this mean? Why did he do that?! I’ve long since come to assume that nothing is ever as simple as it initially appears in Naoki Urasawa’s stories. I can’t believe this series is finally at its end, but I suppose knowing its sequel is starting up in November helps that a bit. If you haven’t already started reading this series, it’s well worth finding copies of the first volume or two. It doesn’t take long to get sucked into this story of masterful suspense and conspiracy.

House of Five Leaves is also ending this week, topping off a shipping manifest that’s short but sure sees quite a few finales. Goodbyes are so hard! I’ve really loved watching the slow and subtle character development in this story. The events of the past two volumes also had me more intrigued by the plot itself than I have been since the beginning, yet what I think excites me most about this volume is I really have no idea how Natsume Ono will end it, in regards to either the story or the overall mood. Happy? Sad? We’ll soon find out.

VIZ MEDIA

• 20th Century Boys (Vol.22), ($12.99/US, $14.99/CAN)

• House of Five Leaves (Vol.08), ($12.99/US, $14.99/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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