So, I’ve seen this feature on a few book blogs out there, and decided to make this feature my own. After suggestions from friends, Manga Mondays comes to Birth of a New Witch! I’ll try to give equal billing to manga being released both in the US and in Japan, since US licensing takes awhile and I read manga in both languages. I want to cater to other fans out there who do the same.
Confused by some of the terms I use in this feature? See Week 1 for clarification on my most commonly used terms.
And now, to this week’s US and Japanese choices!
Week 9 (US Release): “Blue Exorcist (Ao no Exorcist): Volume 7” by Kato Kazue
Author: Kato Kazue
Artist: Kato Kazue
Translation Company/US Publisher: Viz Media
Release Date: April 3, 2012 (North America)
Summary: Raised by Father Fujimoto, a famous exorcist, Rin Okumura never knew his real father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto forces Rin to face a terrible truth – the blood of the demon lord Satan runs in Rin’s veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself. Can Rin fight demons and keep his infernal bloodline a secret? It won’t be easy, especially when drawing his father’s sword releases the demonic power within him!
Usagi’s Take: This is a fantastic series, one I’ve been following since its inception a few years ago in Square Jump magazine. I absolutely adore this story and all of its characters, and I even liked the anime, though the ending was slightly different (since the manga was still being written at the time) – I can’t wait for the film! This series has a little something for everyone, boys and girls – romance, demons, monsters, epic fight scenes, and cute fairies. Seriously awesome, and I’m so glad it’s come here to the States. Viz has done a great job with it – one of my favorites, so I highly recommend it!
Title: “Cloth Road”
Author: Hideyuki Kurata
Publication Date: 2004
Summary: Fergus is an apprentice fashion designer who hates his life. His master is a drunk, the love of his life is a street whore, and the only model willing to buy his clothes is a fat drug popper. While attending to his “model” at a game of War-King, a competition of beauty and fighting prowess, Fergus is treated to the sight of a real fashion model who easily dispenses of Fergus’ model. Fergus then sinks into deeper despair now knowing the huge gap that lies between him and the top brands. To make matters worse, his master collapses and is hospitalized that same day. Just when he wonders if life can get any worse, fate conveniently presents to him a long-lost twin sister, Jennifer.
Usagi’s Take: Definitely one of my favorite series of the 2000s so far – and I still haven’t been able to read the last three volumes yet, unfortunately. But this is an absolutely lovely series by two awesome figures in the manga world – OKAMA, whose art is second to none and Kurata, who wrote for series like “Read or Die”. This series enchanted me and it came out shortly before I started studying in Japan in 2005, so I read all of what I could and bought the rest over the years. This is an amazing series featuring clothing, steampunk, and fighting competition and the use of color is wonderful. I really hope this gets picked up for US distribution soon! And OKAMA’s newest series, “Tail Star”, has just started in the same magazine that serialized “Cloth Road” – Ultra Jump Magazine and I can’t wait to read it! Either way, this is an amazing series that can’t be missed!
What about you? Do you read manga? If so, feel free to participate with your own manga monday segment and link up in the comments section!