My Week in Manga: November 21-November 27, 2011

My News and Reviews

So, I had a pretty miserable week last week. Monday I was hit with a completely debilitating headache that only showed minor improvement by Tuesday. A trip to the doctor resulted in being prescribed medication that helped tremendously with the pain, but left me feeling like crap. I couldn’t really do anything but sit around being useless. I couldn’t read (which is simply devastating for me) and I couldn’t watch anything, either. I was very, very bored in addition to being in pain. The headache still hadn’t gone away after a week. Another trip to the doctor resulted in a different set of prescriptions which look like they might actually be working. (Fingers crossed!) Which is why this week’s My Week in Manga is not only late, but rather brief, too. Assuming that the drugs work like they’re supposed to, my posts at Experiment in Manga should still be (mostly) on schedule. I’m going to do my best, anyways!

Even with all of that suckiness going on, I did manage to post two reviews last week (not that I actually remember much about doing so.) If you’re looking for a long novel to read, I have reviews for both Eiji Yoshikawa’s epic historical novel Taiko as well as Haruki Murakami’s newest novel 1Q84 for your reading pleasure.

Quick Takes

A Strange and Mystifying Story, Volume 1 by Tsuta Suzuki. An oddly appropriate boys’ love manga for me to be reading this week. Akio’s family is cursed with a painful, incurable illness. All alone, he is the last of his bloodline when a spirit charged with protecting his family appears to devour the disease. I actually really enjoyed this manga—it has a nice blend of supernatural fantasy mixed in with the plot. I also really like Suzuki’s artwork. But it’s the museum director, Akio’s boss, that really steals the show with his astoundingly good-natured open-mindedness. The first volume seems fairly self-contained, so I’m not really sure where the second volume is going to take the story, but I plan on finding out.

Toriko, Volumes 1-2 by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro. Toriko may not be vegetarian friendly, but it’s still a lot of fun. I loved Shimabukuro’s muscle-bound character designs which don’t seem to show up in English translated manga all that much recently. It is the Gourmet Era, a time when humanity pushes the limits of exotic (and generally very dangerous in one way or another) cuisine. I’m fond of Toriko and his almost childlike delight and innocence in the food that he eats, even if it means an epic confrontation or battle with what is on the menu. I also like that the Gourmet Hunters’ powers are a natural, if fantastically over-the-top, extension of the skills they need to be successful in their work capturing and acquiring rare ingredients.

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