The top Hot Picks for January 2007 are…
4. E’S – Satol Yuiga, 16+ (Brocolli)
Set in a world were some humans have developed pyschic abilities, this story follows Kai who works for the eilte psychic forces taking illegal psychics into custody. I’ve not seen the anime E’S Otherwise, which has poor reviews, but I’m hoping this works better in a manga medium – for starters it wont have the terrible dubbed voices of the ADV anime trailer “He’s a psychic kill him before he kills us!” *cringe* and the review in Newtype (#Jan07 p142) describes this as a promising character drama with plenty of action. However, this is not going higher up in case it is as ‘predictable, disappointing and stereotyped’ as the anime :S Thanks to Ebay I’ve seen a range of earlier covers and a few inside pages which look promising, here are some of my favourite images:
If you buy this there is a questionnaire redeemable for a sticker…not sure what the sticker is though! I think the girl with the pale green hair is Kai’s sick sister, her design is very cute, the manga has a dark edge to it which gets me interested!
Release Day: 10th
Original Manga Year: 1997
Total Volumes: 14
Review: Newtype #Jan07 p142
3. Vampire Knight – Matsuri Hino, Older Teen (VIZ)
Sexy male vampires and a girl saved by a vampire in the past – sounds like the perfect opportunity for a gothic sexy love tale! If you’re turned on by the idea of a vampire biting your neck, or school romance then this is for you, it’s even Anime Insider’s ‘Must Read’ (#Jan07 p70). If you’re in any doubt, there’s a preview online of the first 18 pages. If that didn’t work you can always try watching this youtube collage to the dramatic Requiem From A Dream film theme. I find the artwork *sexy* and the idea of a school with a separate day and night school that cross over original and full of potential. It caters for the girls with bishies and the boys with attractive female characters. I want to read this, I hope it is a refreshing take on the vampire-love story, I wonder what ‘shocking secret’ Yuki hides and how her relationship will develop with a vampire. It’s encouraging to see a variety of merchandise associated with this manga being sold on Ebay, hopefully another indication this wont disappoint!
I didn’t put this as the top pick because of the quality of other works associated with the top 2 – but I wonder if this will see an anime release in the future?
Release Day: 2nd (today!)
Original Manga Year 2005
Total Volumes: 5 ongoing…
2. Mushishi – Yuki Urushibara, 16+ (Del Rey)
I loved every episode of the Mushishi anime. It is a beautiful masterpiece, it will make you smile then make you cry and I would highly recommend you watch the fansub if you can. However, this gets second pick as while the anime is completed with beautiful artwork and a mesmerizing soundtrack; the manga has a sketchy feel, and while it can convey the same emotions as the anime, and endearing character design, it does not feel like the whole experience. Refreshingly original in concept the story follows Ginko the mushishi who travels around Japan helping people who have problems with mushi – the ancient mysterious creatures of nature that few people can see. I love the stories so much it was difficult to choose highlights but it was lovely to experience the swamp girl story and tender horns story again. I still find the dream mushishi story disturbing even on paper! What this manga lacks in a sense of artistic whole it makes up with in heartwrenching stories. You must read this if you haven’t seen the anime, it’s worth the money! Here are my favourite images from the manga:
Release Day: 30th
Original Manga Year: 2000
Total Volumes: 7 (+?)
Anime Website: Mushishi
Reviews: I was disappointed this wasn’t reviewed in Newtype, Anime Insider or Neo!
*1*. Tanpenshu – Hiroki Endo, 18+ (Dark Horse)
If the name sounds familiar you may have read or heard of Eden: It’s an Endless World also by Hiroki Endo. Having read the first 2 volumes of Eden and been completely blown away by the bleak vision of the future, (even if it is a little preachy at times) I am excited to see what this volume of short stories has to offer. I know I will like the artwork from what little I’ve seen in the Newtype review (a panda mascot throwing soft toy pandas through a basketball hoop, haha!), the only thing I wonder is whether he can write well in a genre other than sci-fi/cyberpunk, although these are said to be as depressing as the vision of the future in Eden so he’s in his element. I guess what I found most absorbing about Eden was not what was happening but the character design and dialogue, all the characters are likeable, and don’t stick to stereotypes so I hope for the same in Tanpenshu. The only little thing I’ve found mildy annoying in Hiroki Endo’s art is that the girls are not quite feminine looking enough, but that’s just a little personal issue!
Release Day: 17th
Original Manga Year: 1997
Total Collections: 2 so far, some work not in collected volumes
Review: Newtype #Jan07 p138
So there you have it all the new volumes of manga out in January 2007. I can’t wait to see how Vampire Knight and Tanpenshu compare, I had a hard time deciding where to place the top 1-3 as I wasn’t sure whether to value potential sexiness over potential depth…I though depth was the best bet, but I might not enjoy Tanpenshu as much as Eden, we shall see :) Also, I feel if i hadn’t been spoilt by the Mushishi anime i would have placed Mushishi at the top for originality and heartwrenchingly beautiful tales. I look forward to seeing inside the other mangas in random london comic stores, I should be buying my top 5 to review…if my student loan appears soon…and maybe Free Collars Kingdom as well out of curiosity *Meow!*. ^_^