Manga Monday – Week 31

mangamondaySo, 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!

6821718Week 31 (US Release): “Doubt: Omnibus Edition (Doubt #1-4)” by Tonogai Yoshiki

Title: “Doubt: Omnibus Edition (Doubt #1-4)”

Author/Artist: Tonogai Yoshiki

US Publisher: Yen Press

Genre: Seinen, Horror, Thriler, Survival

Summary: Doubt revolves around a fictional cell phone game called “Rabbit Doubt”, in which the players are rabbits in a colony; one of these players is randomly chosen to act as a wolf infiltrating the group. Each round, the rabbits guess which is the wolf as the rabbits are eaten one-by-one until only the wolf is left.

Why?: This is a really compulsively-readable series. Not one of my favorites, but definitely one I always recommend if you’re into the survival game genre (and yes, that’s become its own genre within manga). I’m glad that Yen Press is going to be doing all four volumes in one easy (and inexpensive) omnibus edition for the US release – it’s an addictive read, and having to wait for each volume would be pretty torturous. This is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it’s a really fun series all the same. Hopefully we’ll also get the sequel/spin-off series, “Judge”, if this omnibus version sells well, too.

i145652Week 31 (Japanese Release): “Biblia Used Books’ Case Notebook (Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou): Volume 1” by Mikami En & Nakano

Title: “Biblia Used Books’ Case Notebook (Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou): Volume 1”

Author: Mikami En (original novel author)

Artist: Nakano

Genre: Mystery, Seinen, Slice-of-Life, adapted-from-light-novel

Original Publication Date: 2011

Publisher: Kadokawa Shouten

Summary: Shinokawa Shioriko, a young owner of a bookstore in Kamakura, unravels mysteries of ancient books that are taken and sold there.

The story begins with a young man named Daisuke, who grew up practically without reading books due to a “phobia”, bringing the complete (and autographed) works of Natsume Soseki, Japanese writer of the Meiji era, inherited from his grandmother, to the mysterious bookstore. Will the shy and introvert Shioriko solve the mystery of the books? (via mangaupdates)

Why?: Another unputdownable manga (hate that term, but it applies here) adapted from a great light novel series. I can see why it was up for so many awards. I really hope that both the novels and the manga (this is only one of two adaptations out at the moment) arrive stateside, though I think it’ll be a niche appeal type of thing since most Americans don’t know who Soseki is. He’s one of my favorite Japanese authors, and considered a modern classic author in Japan, so this book appeals to all of the classics lovers there. Mysteries plus Soseki’s gorgeous prose? Yes, please. He has many of his works already out in English, the most famous and accessible of which is “Kokoro” and “Botchan” – so if you read those, I think you’ll see the appeal of this series, as it has just the same kind of charm as Soseki’s works. Anyway, Daisuke and Shioriko’s bantering and partnership are great, and a ton of fun to read. Highly recommended!


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