Manga Monday – Week 11

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 11 (US Release):  “Highschool of the Dead: Volume 6” by Sato Daisuke & Sato Shoji

Title: “Highschool of the Dead: Volume 6”

Author: Sato Daisuke

Artist: Sato Shoji

Translation Company/US Publisher: Yen Press

Release Date: April 24, 2012

Summary: As the mall refugees grow restless, Takashi and his comrades make plans to leave as Officer Asami’s authority slides further and the group’s order is completely undone. Unfortunately, just the final preparations for departure are nearly complete, the mall’s defenses are breached, and “they” come streaming in. Asami joins the Fujimi High students as they battle their way toward the exit while the rest of the group seeks refuge on the roof. Their fortress has become a trap-can anyone hope to escape the mall of the dead?

Usagi’s Take: I LOVE this series. There are SO many Romero tributes throughout this series, it’s almost like I have to make a drinking game in order to catch them all. It’s unapologetically sexy and full of zombie violence, and I absolutely love that about this series. It’s definitely not for younger teenagers, and Yen Press takes responsibility for that by sealing each volume because of its “mature” content. But if you’re a zombie fan and you love Romero, manga, and sexy highschoolers, this series is so definitely for you. It also makes fun of itself A LOT, and I’m just really glad it’s getting distributed here in the States – just as I’m glad it’s finally resumed serialization in Japan (it’d taken a three or four year break for reasons unknown), so that gave Yen Press some time to catch up with the Japanese releases in terms of translation and now both countries are roughly on par for simultaneous releases for each new volume.

Week 11 (Japanese Release): “Medaka Box: Volume 1” by Nisioisin & Akatsuki Akira

Title: “Medaka Box: Volume 1”

Author: Nisioisin

Artist: Akatsuki Akira

Publication Date: 2009

Publisher: Shueisha

Summary: Medaka Kurokami, the recently elected Student Council President of Hakoniwa Academy, has instituted a suggestion box in order to collect suggestions and improvements from fellow academy students. Together with Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, she solves problems, from finding lost dogs to cleaning up club buildings and even fixing personalities. During the course of the series, Kouki Akune and Mogana Kikaijima are recruited to the Student Council to help improve the school.

Soon, the Student Council discovers the existence of the Flask Plan, supervised by the Hakoniwa Academy Chairman in order to experiment on students with supernatural abilities, dubbed as “Abnormals”. The goal of the project is to find a way to mass produce Abnormal beings. However, once a method is found, the students of Hakoniwa Academy will be forced to endure the vicious tests which will result in the death of most of the students. After battling many foes, the Student Council are able to put a stop to the Flask Plan. However, the results of their success are short-lived with the immediate introduction of Misogi Kumagawa, a teenage boy with a powerful abnormality. Using a school rule, he threatens to usurp Medaka’s Student Council with one of his own.

Usagi’s Take: This is a new discovery for me – literally, within the past few months. I’m a HUGE Nisioisin fan – I love his “Monogatari” and “Zaregoto/Zerozaki” series, and when I found out he was also authoring a manga while also writing the “Monogatari” series at the same time, I was not only impressed but I knew I had to read this series. And I’m loving it – I’m only two or three volumes in (13 have been published so far in Japan), but I love Medaka as a main character. She reminds me a bit of Haruhi from the “Suzumiya Haruhi” series, but only with a twist Nisio can bring with his writing. I can’t wait to get caught up with this series and all that it brings with it. From what I’ve read, I like it a lot, so I definitely recommend it. The anime just started airing last week in Japan, so let’s hope that the anime and the manga both make here Stateside for translation soon!

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!


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