december 2016 haul

December 2016 new arrivals

I’d been a bit remiss in keeping up with my manga and LNs, so my package (that actually arrived on Tuesday but I’ve been in Houston all week) was a biggun.

This is a bit too much to comment on individually (read: I’m too lazy to), so I’m just going to point out a few.

On the LN side, Isolator 3 and SAO:Progressive 4 are both high on my list. Isolator has been a very interesting series so far; you can definitely feel that Reki has structured the world much more thoughtfully than SAO and AW, so I’m excited to see where it goes next. Progressive 3 was a real slog, but 1 and 2 were both excellent, so I’m hoping 4 returns to form. Sword Oratoria is a spinoff of the main DanMachi series starring Aiz, which should be a fun read as well.

Among the manga, most of it is just collecting more of what has come before. Re:Monster is a really amusing diary-type series about a guy (with some ridiculous backstory that has mostly nothing to do with the main story) who is reborn into a RPG-like world, but as a goblin. It’s pretty funny, but also just very thoroughly done, which makes it interesting to read.

The Overlord manga adaptation follows the LN pretty close, but I really just like the art. Last, there’s My Girlfriend is a T-Rex, which is just a 4-koma comedy about a world where the author asked “what if dinosaurs existed today as anthropomorphic half-humans with all the habits and mannerisms of dinosaurs?!” It’s pretty great, so I couldn’t not get it :)

i am lazy: confirmed

So yeah, about that PAX post… eh, I got lazy and didn’t find a time when I felt like sitting down to write about it. So I didn’t :X I might just post all the pictures at some point, but I didn’t really have much to talk about on it, so I decided not to do a post.

Anyway, here are new light novels from September!

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First there’s the next volume of Accel World, which is a series in the pile of I’m Going To Read It Eventually, But Not Right Now, And It’s Been X Years Since I Made That Declaration. Other series in the pile: Spice & Wolf, Index, Sword Art Online, Durarara, Baccano! This pile also includes 95% of the video games I’ve bought in the last 8ish years, lol. The light novels are well past the anime material, though, and Accel World is a lot more exciting than the other books in my pile, so I might end up getting to it sooner rather than later.

To the right we have the fourth Strike the Blood novel, the Labyrinth of the Blue Witch. If I remember correctly, this is the last full arc that was animated, since I believe the final anime arc was a short story or side story? I’m not caught up on StB regardless, so I’ll get to it when I get to it.

The meat of this package is definitely Overlord volume 2. Covering the Dark Warrior arc, 2 of 3 from the anime, I’ve already started reading it due to how good the first book was. The anime did a pretty good job with the adaptation, but what’s definitely missing is all the internal monologuing that Ainz does as he struggles to act as a proper dark lord while aware that this new world is changing him and that he constantly has to be an actor. I’m eager to see how his perspective changes as the story progresses, and how this gives insight into events I’ve already seen from the outside.

new arrivals, and pax!

So over the last couple weeks, I got a few packages but neglected to post pictures. That shall be rectified right now, with the additional promise of a follow up post about PAX West!

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First off, my mom was in Europe visiting her family and she was able to stop by some bookstores (FNAC etc.) and pick up random manga. I actually have yet to sit down and read the ones I got last summer, so these will just be added to the piles haha. I am definitely happy to be able to get them in a language I can read, though!

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Here’s August’s Yen Press releases. Joining the collection are Baccano! volume 2, Index volume 8, and Sword Art Online volume 8. These are series I’m not actively reading yet, but I do know that Index 8 covers the Remnant arc from season 2 of the anime, and SAO 8 is a collection of short stories, including the murder-mystery from season 1 of the anime and the Calibur mini-arc, as well as a story that wasn’t animated if I gleaned enough information from skimming it. Trinity Seven just continues the story where it left off, ending with a nice one-two sequence where we see a couple timely arrivals.

Nozaki 4 is nearing the end of the animated strips, but also includes some strips that were left out of the anime adaptation, probably for time/consistency. These strips introduce Nozaki’s brother, with some flashbacks featuring his mother and father. I would assume that volume 5 will start delving into material for the entire cast that hasn’t been animated yet.

Hataraku Maou-sama 5 I finished on the plane from my new project in Memphis to Seattle. It felt rather similar in overall plot structure to the last volume, where the cast is doing some random, mundane activity, and somehow it relates to the baddy’s plans. As usual, the star of the novel is in the slice of life and just bouncing characters off one another. Every characters’ relationships in the main cast get touched on and change or grow, with a couple characters getting some upgraded scenarios in the story which will hopefully mean that treatment will continue into future volumes. The villain this time was kind of weird, with his objectives being less menacing than the newfound knowledge we obtained of one of the forces working against our protagonists. I’m looking forward to the next volume!

Finally, we’ve got DanMachi 6, the first entire volume in English to surpass the anime! I’ve only gotten a short way into it, but it definitely appears to share a common theme with a multitude of Korean manhwa, mainly the topic of bullying, or abuse of power. This is definitely something that came up in previous DanMachi novels, but I think this is the first time it’s the main plot rather than a subplot. I feel like power abuse plots are somewhat low-hanging fruit as far as character development goes, because most readers will readily side with the party being bullied and condemn the party doing the bullying, but we’ll see how Omori handles it.

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Last, here’s a package I just picked up today, from the VIZ sale that was on RightStuf a couple weeks ago. I’m taking the plunge into the One Punch Man world! And just in time for volume 8, which appears to be material beyond the anime! Along with that, I got the new volumes for D-FRAG and Monster Musume as well.

Anyway, stay tuned for my PAX post!

akatsuki no yona early!

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So I have no idea why I got Yona of the Dawn volume 1 so early, considering the street release date is August 6th, but I’m not complaining!

Anyway, here is my loot from the end of July!

On the continuing manga front, we have Food Wars volume 13, which covers the end of the Autumn Elections and the first half of the Stagiare arc. The current second season of the anime has just covered through chapter 80, which is about 2/3rds of volume 10, so for anyone who wants to experience the anime first, hold back on reading anything past volume 9 for now.

Horimiya continues to excel at just being a very thoughtful high school romance that cares most about its interpersonal relationships and interactions between characters as they encounter each other or something new. It contains natural humor in what is ultimately very normal situations, and so the humor arises from the weirdness that surrounds each and every person, even in real life, as they strive to find their place and make impressions on others. It’s not a bold or flashy manga, so it doesn’t always come to mind immediately, but I would definitely rank it very high on my favorite list.

My Monster Secret starts showing its teeth (or should I say fangs?) with volume 3, where we get to some content that isn’t shown in the anime adaptation. Aizawa Nagisa’s brother, Ryou, is one half of the comedy-gold duo, along with Shima, who make up some of the most hilarious, roll-on-the-floor gut-busting content in the later chapters. It’s really too bad they decided to make the anime a standalone, since we do lose some characters and chapters that make the series so enjoyable. I can’t remember if the anime includes any of it, but the faux-intimidating horror faces are some of the best panels, since they’re basically indicators of an upcoming incredible punch line :) We also get the original Mikan/Fuku-chan origin chapter, which I think works way better than how the anime did it. I also prefer my head-canon where Fuku-chan is voiced by a middle aged man rather than the anime’s squeaky, high-pitched woman :x

Last in the manga is the aforementioned Yona of the Dawn. I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, but I am a huge, huge fan of the anime, so I am really excited that VIZ took a chance and picked up the very long-running manga, which is currently at 20+ volumes. I hope somehow another anime season comes, but, until then, I’ll slowly collect the English manga releases!

Finally, there are 2 light novels. First is Log Horizon volume 5, which I believe will cover the entire or maybe just the first half of the last arc in season 1 of the anime, the Akiba fair and commerce war. Then, we have the highly-anticipated first volume of Re:Zero! The anime is still airing in its third arc and is a pretty hot conversation topic in the anime world right now with how intense the events are in the anime and how unconventional the material is compared to more typical stories of similar veins, specifically the “transported to another world” genre. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to reading it, since I’m pretty behind on my books and also devoting a lot of time to Granblue Fantasy, but I have high hopes for it to be great!

and here’s what came in today

rs75So with the catchup done, here’s what came in today!

For long-running series, we have Skip Beat 30 and Nisekoi 15-16. Hataraku Maou High School is just kind of a fun thing to own, I like the LN/anime so much that I’m willing to support the spinoff manga, which is pretty funny in its own right.

So what are the highlights? First, Haikyu!! is one of my favorite newer shounen series. It’s not super original or anything, but I really like that it feels more like a shounen adventure story that just happens to be volleyball instead of, say, slaying dragons or roaming the countryside. The energy is always high, and the characters are all distinct with varied personalities and agendas. Production IG did an amazing job on the anime (season 3 this fall!), so I’m happy the series is getting enough exposure to earn a North American manga pickup :)

The Ancient Magus’s Bride (I disagree with the lack of additional S, but that’s neither here nor there ;P) is definitely one of Seven Seas’s standout hits. While it’s not a long-running popular hit like Naruto/Bleach/Titans/Tokyo Ghoul, (almost?) every volume has been listed on the top 10 best sellers for the week it released. I love the art and the pure sense of wonder that Yamazaki conveys in the series, something that tends to get lost in the more popular shounen series. I think One Piece does a decent job at retaining the wonder as well, but it’s just so high-energy that Magus’s Bride more reserved, focused style of wonder is distinct enough to distinguish itself.

I have a feeling that Kamachi Kazuma didn’t quite intend Shokuhou Misaki to be as big a part of the Railgun spinoff as she is, but her character was so immediately magnetic and interesting that he kind of rolled with the punches and gave her more spotlight. Because if he actually planned for it, that does not bode well for my wallet if he continues putting out quality characters in his work. Volume 11 of A Certain Scientific Railgun kicks off a new arc and immediately brings back Shokuhou as Misaka’s not-so-friendly rival, though that does get a bit sidelined by Shirai and Uiharu’s short adventure and the exploration of the new MacGuffin, the Indian Poker cards. As, again, I follow the scanlations, I know this arc gets pretty involved, and Shokuhou definitely plays a major part, so I eagerly await the official releases! The one unfortunate thing of Seven Seas catching up to the Japanese releases is how much gap there is between releases :( however, in this case, it was a good thing, since I definitely didn’t remember one piece in volume 11 connecting to the current Japanese chapters…!

Finally, a short word regarding Twin Star Exorcists. I hate the anime. It makes the manga look bad. But the manga is pretty great. Read the manga. Don’t stain your mind with the anime. Please.