My Week in Manga: December 4-December 10, 2017

My News and Reviews

Last week at Experiments in Manga I announced the winner of the Cache of Kodansha Comics giveaway. The post also includes a list of Kodansha Comics’ manga debuts from 2017. Before the year is over and Experiments in Manga enters retirement I will be holding one last manga giveaway. This week, however, I will be posting the final Bookshelf Overload feature. As for other thing found elsewhere online: Anime Feminist has been posting some really interesting content lately, including but certainly not limited to an interview with Arina Tanemura. Iron Circus Comix recently revealed that it would be releasing Japanese creator Sachiko Kaneoya’s first English-language collection. And speaking of Iron Circus Comix, the publisher’s most recent Kickstarter for Niki Smith’s erotic graphic novel Crossplay may also be of interest. Another Kickstarter project that is worth taking a look at is for the second volume of Minna Sundberg’s fantastic comic Stand Still, Stay Silent. (I enjoyed the first book tremendously.)

Quick Takes

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Department, Volume 1ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Department, Volume 1 by Natsume Ono. My first encounter with Ono’s work was through the anime adaptation of House of Five Leaves. After watching it, I immediately sought out the original along with Ono’s other manga available in English. I was very happy when Yen Press announced it would be releasing ACCA (which itself recently received an anime adaptation). The country of Dowa is divided into thirteen separate districts, each of which independently operates a branch of ACCA, a civil service-orientated organization. Jean Otus works for ACCA’s Inspection Department which is always on the alert for and investigates possible corruption within the agency. When the situation demands it, Jean’s colleagues at the office are shown to be quite capable at their jobs, but most of their time seems to be spent bantering over pastries. This does reinforce the perception that the Inspection Department has become superfluous in a time of peace and prosperity, but I also find it to be a delightful bit of characterization. The first volume of ACCA is a slow burn, but it has incredible atmosphere and I enjoyed it greatly.

Neo-Parasyte MNeo-Parasyte M by Various. It’s been a while since I first read it, but I still remember the huge impression that Hitoshi Iwaaki’s horror manga series Parasyte made on me. (I really need to reread it again sometime in the near future.) Last year Kodansha Comics released Neo-Parasyte F, a shoujo/josei anthology created as a tribute to the original Parasyte. It was a fantastic anthology, so I was very excited when its shounen/seinen counterpart (and technically its predecessor) was also licensed. As a whole, I think that Neo-Parasyte F worked better or at least more consistently for me than Neo-Parasyte M, but there are still some terrific stories in the collection. The roster of contributors is rather impressive, too. Of particular note, a piece by Moto Hagio opens the volume. As is to be expected, most of the short manga in the anthology require at least a basic familiarity with Parasyte to be fully appreciated. The twelve stories in Neo-Parastye M take a variety of approaches. Some are more serious while others are more comedic, and a few can even be described as endearing. Not every contribution is successful, but overall Neo-Parasyte M is a great collection.

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  1. There’s a Kickstarter for the Plume omnibus, I got the first 3 vols before (vol 4 is also available in this Kickstarter), and I quite enjoyed those, if you feel like blowing more money anytime soon. Been eyeing that Stand Still, Stay Silent Kickstarter myself. But it’s also Xmas season and getting both vols for SSSS is pretty pricey. If there’ll be a third Kickstarter in the future, I may have to wait for that one.

    I rented the first vol of The Nameless City from the library and quite enjoyed it! It has a compliment from the creator of Avata:TLA on the cover, and I can see why, it does have strong Avatar (particularly Ba Sing Se) vibes. Picked up the second vol (I’ll find the first later), gonna be a bit of wait on v3.

    Also got the first vol for Children of the Whales, I enjoyed it, started getting really intriguing towards the end, so the next vol can’t come soon enough.
    And I picked up the first vol of Spirit Circle, which I kind of assumed would be good because Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, but the first vol actually blew me away, excellent debut! I am also a fan of reincarnation series though (see Please Save My Earth and NG Life).

    Also, I feel I should mention that I was able to pick up vol 2-7 of Requiem of the Rose King at the comic shop (half off). I can get vol 1 later. I think getting the chunk of 1-3 at the library helped things be clearer. I will get around to reading them eventually (it seems, based on reviews around here, that it should be coming to its natural end soon? In which case, I might as well just wait a bit).

    Also reading Nabari no Ou, which a lot of my internet friends seem to like. Read 2 vols, it’s good stuff so far, but I can see it getting better.

    I also hope that you read a bit of What’s Michael? this week, seeing how Catmas is almost upon us. Catmas is my favorite holiday, it’s a time of the year where we, as humans, celebrate the joy that cats bring us and our special bond with cats (both individually and as a species). Binging cat manga and looking at silly cat pics and videos is a fine way to celebrate, even if one is allergic to cats or cannot own them.

    • Oh! Thanks for the heads up about Plume! The Kickstarter for the third volume caught my eye last year and I’ve been meaning to check it out ever since. This seems like as good a time as any! The Stand Still, Stay Silent volumes are a bit pricey, but the books themselves really are beautifully designed and produced.

      It’s been a while since I’ve read The Nameless City, but I remember enjoying it! But, like so many other things, I haven’t actually gotten around to reading the second volume yet. I think the third book is scheduled to be released in September, so I’ve still got a little time left. ;)

      Children of Whales is another series that I’ve been hearing good things about, too. I’m hoping to read the first volume sooner rather than later. Spirit Circle was a series that took me by surprise, as well! I was expecting to enjoy it, but the first volume was tremendous.

      Sounds like you’re finding some great manga this season, both new and old. I have so much that I need to catch up on! :D

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