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 34 (US Release): “D. Gray-Man: Volume 1″ by Hoshino Katsura
Author/Artist: Hoshino Katsura
US Publisher: Viz
Genre: Shounen, Paranormal, Steampunk, Alternate Universes/Parallel Timelines
Publication Date: May 2, 2006 (North America)
Summary: Set in a fictional end of the 19th century England, it’s the story of Allen Walker, a 15-year-old boy who roams the Earth in search of Innocence. Washed away to unknown parts of the world after The Great Flood, Innocence is the mysterious substance used to create weapons that obliterate demons known as akuma.
A born exorcist, Walker’s primary anti-akuma weapon is the cross that’s embossed on his red and disfigured left hand, which contains Innocence. But not only does Walker destroy akuma, he sees the akuma hiding inside a person’s soul! Together with his fellow exorcists fighting under the command of the Black Order, Walker leads the battle against the Millennium Earl, the evil being out to destroy mankind.
Usagi’s Take: An oldie but goody, “D.Gray-Man” is one of my go-to series when I can’t find anything new to read. While it’s not entirely one of my absolute favorites, I really really like this series. There’s a little something for everyone in this series – magic, romance, an alternate universe for the 19th century. This is a very fun series, and it hasn’t yet worn out its welcome in the manga world in either country, which is refreshing from a Jump magazine title. I would love another season of anime, though! Highly recommended!
Week 34 (Japanese Release) – “Amanchu!: Volume 1” by Amano Kozue
Author/Artist: Amano Kozue
Publisher: Mag Garden
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Seinen
Publication Date: 2008
Summary: Hikari Kohinata is a cheerful 15 year-old girl who lives near the ocean and she spends much of her time diving as a result. On her first day of high school, she meets a teacher who also likes scuba diving. There’s also a 16 year-old classmate, Futaba, who gets dragged along in Hikari’s maelstrom as soon as they meet at school. Most of the manga so far details the relationship between the two girls, which quickly seems to move into romantic two girl friendship-territory. (via myanimelist)
Usagi’s Take: From one of my favorite seinen manga artists, who created “Aqua” and its sequel, “Aria”, which is one of my all-time favorite series comes this really fun, carefree series that reminded me why I love this mangaka so much in the first place. With absolutely gorgeous art and snappy dialogue that will immediately make you love all of the characters in this series, while it’s not “Aria”, is still damned good. I’m quite behind on it, but I love Hikari and her crew (if Yotsuba from “Yotsubato!” grew up, she’d be Hikari – that’s my headcanon), and it’s one of those “comfort food” sort of manga that one can read when you’re feeling bad and feel better immediately. Here’s hoping someone picks this up for NA license and distro soon – it definitely deserves it!
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!