Manga Monday – Week 32

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!

Week 32 (US Release): “Attack on Titans (Shougeki no Kyoujin): Volume 1” by Iseyama Hajime

13154150Title: “Attack on Titans (Shougeki no Kyoujin): Volume 1”

Author/Artist: Iseyama Hajime

US Publisher: Kodansha Comics USA

Genre: Horror, SciFi, Seinen, Post-apocalyptic, Dystopian, AWESOME

Summary: Humankind is down to just a few thousand people who live in a city surrounded by three concentric walls. The walls protect them from their enemies, the ravenous giants known as the Titans. The Titans appear to have only one purpose: to consume humanity.

For one hundred years, what’s left of mankind has lived in the city on earth, protected by walls that tower over even the Titans. Untouched by the Titans for a century, humanity has become complacent. But Eren Jaeger has had enough. While his fellow citizens are content to hide, Jaeger has the passion to take action to not only protect the city, but to learn what the Titans actually are. But on his first mission he comes face to face with horrors beyond his imagination… and secrets from his own past that could shift the tides of war.

Jarger and his friends are determined to survive. But everything about their situation is a mystery that only becomes more complicated the more they learn.

Usagi’s Take: This one popped up on my radar due to a good friend – and the fact that the anime just started airing with the new spring season in Japan. Very similar to “Claymore” in many ways, “Titan” is a really awesome, breathtaking series that takes no prisoners and pulls no punches. I love the design of the Titans the most – they look like something out of a Dali painting or out of Dante’s “Inferno”. They’re hideous, and they want to eat people. So far, Kodansha’s done a good job translating it, and I’m glad it’s available here for everyone to enjoy. Definitely recommended if you like a little horror mixed in with your monsters!

Week 32 (Japanese Release): “Karneval: Volume 1” by Mikanagi Touya

7854325Title: “Karneval: Volume 1”

Author/Artist: Mikanagi Touya

Genre: Mystery, Fantasy, Procedural, Seinen/Shoujo

Original Publication Date: 2008

Publisher: Ichijinsha

Summary: When innocent country boy Nai sets foot into the sordid cutthroat realm of the city, he might as well have painted a target on his own back. Kidnappers, murderers and desperados abound, waiting to take advantage of a boy guileless enough to believe blood is merely “red water”. When he is framed for a murder, it is the bandit Gareki who bails him out. Being a shrewd and sharp-eyed thief, however, Gareki’s motives are less than pure. Nai is looking for a friend who has disappeared and left behind something particularly intriguing – an I.D bracelet from the organisation named “Circus”, the country’s supreme defense agency. While Gareki has his sights set firmly on the bracelet, “Circus” in turn, has shifted its eye onto the duo as well…(via Madman Entertainment)

Usagi’s Take: While this one has been licensed in Australia, it hasn’t been licensed here yet, damn it all. The art here is absolutely gorgeous, and I’d forgotten about it for a long time, up until the anime (that’s now airing in Japan) reminded me of just how awesome this series is. There’s a lot of mystery and I love how this is a semi-procedural mixed in with the general fantasy genre. Definitely highly recommended, and I’m hoping it’ll be licensed for distro in North America 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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