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 35 (US Release): “House of Five Leaves: Volume 1″ by Ono Natsume
Author/Artist: Ono Natsume
Genre: Historical, Seinen, Slice of Life, Mystery
Publication Date: September 21, 2010
US Publisher: Viz
Summary: A best-selling series from one of Japan’s most respected authors. Masterless samurai Akitsu Masanosuke is a skilled and loyal swordsman, but his naïve, diffident nature has more than once caused him to be let go by the lords who employ him. Hungry and desperate, he agrees to become a bodyguard for Yaichi, the charismatic leader of a group calling itself “Five Leaves.” Although disturbed by the gang’s sinister activities, Masa begins to suspect that Yaichi’s motivations are not what they seem. And despite his misgivings, the deeper he’s drawn into the world of the Five Leaves, the more he finds himself fascinated by these devious, mysterious outlaws.
Usagi’s Take: Ono does some amazing work, and “House of Five Leaves” is definitely no exception. It’s historical, it’s slice-of-life, and there’s some comedy in there too. It’s definitely one of my favorite “high brow” pics in terms of manga, and Viz has done a great job with this series in terms of translation. Just wish it was marketed a little more aggressively – it’s definitely one of the most under-marketed, under-loved manga from Ono out in the States right now. Highly recommended!
Week 34 (Japanese Release):
Author: Nagai Go
Artist: Kinutani Yuu
Genre: Shounen. Paranormal
Publication Date: 2000
Summary: Fear runs rampant throughout Tokyo with the revelation that demons in fact exist amongst us. Paranoia and the darker side of humanity boils onto the streets as people turn on one another, suspecting that anyone could in fact be a demon hiding in human clothing. Amidst the growing tensions, tragedy strikes Akira causing his mind to snap, retreating into his subconscious, allowing his Devilish alter-ego Amon to break free from Akira’s cage of flesh and wreak havoc on both human and demons alike. Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman is a re-imagining of the last chapters of the original Devilman manga. Where in the original, Devilman faces Satan after seeing the slain friend Miki Makimura’s decapitated head, Amon sees Akira lose control of himself, and due to his sadness and depression from not being able to protect Miki, allows Amon to gain control of Akira, and his powers again.
Usagi’s Take: I’m a huge Nagai fan, and a friend turned me onto this series a little bit ago. I’m still making my way through this series (only six volumes), but I’m really liking what I’m reading so far. I’m pretty far behind in terms of the Devilman/Devilwoman canon, so I’m hoping I can get caught up this way even if it is a retelling. Still, loving the art and the story, and I think others will like it too. Definitely give it a try when you get the chance!
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!