Manga Monday – Week 18

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 18 (US Release):”Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji): Volume 10″ by Toboso Yana

Title: “Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji): Volume 10”

Author/Artist: Toboso Yana

Translation Company/US Publisher: Yen Press/Hachette

Genre: Seinen/Josei, Paranormal, Historical, AWESOME

Publication Date: July 24, 2012 (North America)

Summary: With his royally sanctioned dinner party a shambles and a murderer on the loose, Earl Ciel Phantomhive is a veritable prisoner in his own home, alongside those of his guests who still live. And in the most shocking of turns, the young earl now finds himself without his indispensible manservant, Sebastian.

But as the mystery deepens, there arrives upon the young earl’s doorstep an odd vicar, wearing an insolent smile and an Inverness cape that flaps and splashes behind him… Is this mysterious thirteenth guest the perpetrator of the crimes that have bloodied the halls of Phantomhive Manor?

Usagi’s Take: One of my favorite series, “Black Butler” never fails to satisfy. While I’d recommend this title to middle to older YA readers due to content, it has a little something for everyone. Victoriana, witchcraft, demons and angels, murder mysteries, secret government organizations, and more – everyone will find something they like in this story. I’ve only read up to volume 8, but I can’t wait to get my hands on this volume. I’m so far behind (volume 14 was just published in Japan a few months ago), but this is one of those stories you just can’t miss because of how original it is. Highly recommended!

Week 18 (Japanese Release): “Humanity Has Declined: Fairies, Will You Do It? (Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita: Yousei, Shimasuka?): Volume 1”

Title: “Humanity Has Declined: Fairies, Will You Do It? (Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita: Yousei, Shimasuka?): Volume 1”

Author: Tanaka Romeo (original novel author)

Artist: Kichijou Terae

Genre: Seinen, Parody/Criticism, Post-Apocalyptic, Paranormal, Mystery

Publication Date: 2012

Publisher: Media Factory

Summary: The story is set several centuries into the slow decline of mankind. Earth has now become the realm of “fairies” — 10-centimeter-tall (about 4-inch-tall) creatures with remarkable intelligence. The human protagonist of the story serves an important duty as the international arbitrator between the fairies and humans, and she returns to her former hometown of Kusunoki. She chose this job because she thought it was an easy job she can do, even when she is as old as her grandfather. However, she learns that her job is anything but simple when she meets the fairies. (via Baka Updates)

Usagi’s Take: I’m currently reading this first volume of the manga now, and I can’t wait to own it. This manga comes from the original novels by Tanaka Romeo, which is also enjoying a good run as a brilliant anime during this Summer 2012 TV season. Sharp, witty, and cute, this series takes on some of the stickier issues in Japanese society and proceeds to either criticize or poke fun at it – often a mix of the two. This is another title I think everyone will find something to enjoy, and I really hope it (and the original light novel series) gets picked up for US publication soon. This is one of my new favorites and makes the best of 2012 list so far, so you definitely have to check it out!


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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