My Week in Manga: August 3-August 9, 2015

My News and Reviews

Okay! In addition to the usual My Week in Manga feature, I managed to post three other things last week. First up was the announcement of the Sparkler Monthly Giveaway Winner, which also includes a list of the current, ongoing series being released in Sparkler Monthly (which is only a fraction of the total content). The other two posts were in-depth manga reviews; I took a look at a couple of Kodansha Comics’ recent releases. The first in-depth review of the month went to Naoshi Arakawa’s Your Lie in April, Volume 2, which I enjoyed. But then again, it’s a music manga, so it’s not too surprising that I like it. I also reviewed Masayuki Ishikawa’s Maria the Virgin Witch, Volume 3. It’s the last volume of the series, although the seque Exhibition is scheduled to be released in English later this year. Maria the Virgin Witch is somewhat uneven, but I still found it to be both intriguing and engaging.

As seems to always be the case nowadays, life was keeping me very busy last week, but I still came across some interesting things  elsewhere online. A translation of an interview of Daisuke Igarashi, for example. Last week also marked the seventieth anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. It’s quite timely then that Last Gasp launched a Kickstarter project to create a hardcover edition of Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen with schools and libraries specifically in mind. To coincide with this, Paul Gravett reposted his article “Keiji Nakazawa: Barefoot in Hiroshima”. Barefoot Gen is a tremendous work. One of the Manga Moveable Feasts was even devoted to it back in the day. If anyone is interested in learning more about Nakazawa himself as well as some of the historical context surrounding Barefoot Gen, his autobiography was translated into English several years ago.

Quick Takes

Prophecy, Volume 3Prophecy, Volume 3 by Tetsuya Tsutsui. The first volume of Prophecy is the one that left the greatest impression on me, but in general it’s a very strong series. I didn’t find the second volume to be quite as compelling as the first, but the third provides a mostly satisfying conclusion to the series even though in some ways it felt a little anticlimactic. One of the members of Paperboy tips off the police and soon the Cyber Crimes Division has been able to identify the four terrorists. As the investigators draw closer and closer to capturing the men, they begin to notice what at first seem to be mistakes, slip ups, and inconsistencies in the group’s behavior. However, everything falls into place once Paperboy’s true motivations for committing all of the crimes are revealed. Prophecy is a realistic, smart, and engaging series with the added bite of social commentary. There’s apparently also a Prophecy spin-off series. I don’t think that it has been licensed, or that there are any current plans to do so, but I’d certainly be interested in reading it.

xxxHolic, Omnibus 6xxxHolic, Omnibus 6 (equivalent to Volumes 16-17) by CLAMP. For the most part I have been enjoying xxxHolic since the beginning of the series, but I think this omnibus has been my favorite so far. I really liked its brooding, ominous atmosphere. The humor that was so prevalent earlier in the series is actually almost entirely gone. The comedy in xxxHolic could be fun, but I have a particular penchant for the series’ supernatural angst, and that’s definitely taken the forefront in the last few volumes. I also initially found the crossover between Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and xxxHolic to be intriguing, but I’ll admit that I was happy to see that the other series didn’t intrude too much in this omnibus. Instead, xxxHolic is focusing on how Watanuki and the others are coping now that Yuko is gone. Watanuki takes it especially hard and his tendency to slip in and out of dreams is becoming increasingly dangerous. There’s not much that the people who care about him can actually do except to watch over and support him as best as they can.

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Volume 3Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Volume 3 by Miki Yoshikawa. There really are witches in this series! With its good-natured comedy and gender play, I’ve liked Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches a great deal from the very start. But with the third volume, Yoshikawa has started to really develop the series’ worldbuilding and is diving even further into the details of how the magic works. The relationships between the characters are also becoming more fleshed-out and complicated, which I’m enjoying as well. One of the things that I particularly appreciate about the series is that it seems perfectly okay for a guy to be crushing on another guy. Yes, it’s because there are some strange supernatural powers at work, but it’s also not treated like something gross. The setup also allows kissing to freely occur regardless of gender, which is fun. There’s still plenty of fanservice in Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, as one would probably expect from a shounen series full of gender- and body-swapping, but I generally find it to be tastefully done.

My Week in Manga: June 29-July 5, 2015

My News and Reviews

Once again, I was actually away for most of the week last week. The taiko ensemble I that primarily play with had a series of performances, a mini taiko tour of sorts, so I was traveling. We had a great time; I only wish I that could make my living in music! (Who knows, maybe in the future I’ll be able to make it work. You know, once the mountain of student loans has been paid back.) Although I fell behind in my reading and writing, I did have a few things in queue to post at Experiments in Manga. First, the Assassination Classroom Giveaway Winner was announced. The post also includes a list of manga available in English that feature teachers. I’m a couple of volumes behind in my reviews for the series, but the honor of the first in-depth manga review for July goes to Fumi Yoshinaga’s What Did You Eat Yesterday?, Volume 7. Kenji finally has the chance to meet Shiro’s parents and it’s great. Finally, over the weekend, I posted June’s Bookshelf Overload. Most notably, I found an entire set of the tragically out-of-print Banana Fish that I didn’t have to trade a kidney to obtain!

Because I was away from the Internet for so many days, I didn’t really stumble across any articles that I found particularly interesting. However, Anime Expo was held last week, and there were a ton of licensing announcements. (Manga Bookshelf cohort Sean has a nice roundup.) Kodansha has Akiko Higashimura’s Princess Jellyfish (I’m thrilled!), Shizumu Watanabe and Okushō’s Real Account, and Hoshino Taguchi’s Magatsuki. Haikasoru has the first three novels of Yoshiki Tanaka’s Legend of the Galactic Heroes (hooray!), and Sentai licensed the anime series. Shojo Beat picked up Matsuri Hino’s Shuriken and Pleats and Bisco Hatori’s Behind the Scenes. Seven Seas licensed Angel Beats!: Heaven’s Door. Tokyopop returns to manga publishing in 2016, but no specific titles have yet been mentioned. Vertical will be releasing Keiichi Arawi’s Nichijō, and Kanata Konami’s FukuFuku: Kitten Tales among other things. Yen Press announced a slew of manga and light novel acquisitions, too, including the mahjong manga Saki! (Sadly, it’s currently only a digital release.) I’m sure I’ve missed something, so please let me know what exciting news or reading I should be aware of!

Quick Takes

The Ancient Magus' Bride, Volume 1The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Volume 1 by Kore Yamazaki. Apparently, The Ancient Magus’ Bride started as a one-shot doujin before catching the eye of an editor. It’s a curious and atmospheric manga, mostly set in current-day England, albeit it’s a world in which magic and alchemy take their place alongside science. Although magic use seems to be fading away, fae are still very real and a few humans show rare talent for the craft. Chise is one of those humans. Sold into slavery, she is purchased and perhaps rescued by a Elias, a powerful mage who wants her to become his apprentice. He also mentions something about Chise becoming his bride, too, though she can’t quite tell if he’s being serious or not. Granted, it’s a little difficult to read a person with an animal skull for a head. Yokai exist in The Ancient Magus’ Bride as well (they can be seen in the background of some of Chise’s memories), but so far it appears as though the manga will be focusing on Europe’s fantastical and legendary creatures. I enjoyed the first volume of The Anceint Magus’ Bride a great deal and look forward to reading more of the series.

An Entity Observes All ThingsAn Entity Observes All Things by Box Brown. I was already curious about An Entity Observes All Things, but after briefly meeting Brown at TCAF I knew that I wanted to read it. The volume includes nine of Brown’s short, alternative comics, three of which were previously published elsewhere while I believe the other six are new for the collection. Though for the most part the comics are unrelated to each other—they don’t really share characters, plots, or settings and even their color palettes are different—in general, the short works fall into the category of science fiction and deal with themes of exploration, specifically of the world and of the self. They all tend to be fairly quirky, too, and can often be rather humorous without necessarily being comedies. I enjoyed An Entity Observes All Things quite a bit. As with most collections, some of the individual comics worked for me more than others, but overall I found the selections to be engaging. Sometimes funny and sometimes sad, the comics are all somewhat strange, and that’s something that I particularly appreciate about An Entity Observes All Things.

Man of Many Faces, Volume 1Man of Many Faces, Volumes 1-2 by CLAMP. I largely enjoy manga by CLAMP, but if I’m going to be honest, I was primarily interested in Man of Many Faces due to its loose connection to the works of Edogawa Rampo. For the most part, the Rampo references are limited to the characters’ names and roles. There’s the titular “Twenty Faces,” a skilled thief in both Rampo and CLAMP’s creations, a young man by the name of Kobayashi who chases after him, and even Akechi-sensei, although he’s a school doctor rather than a detective in the manga. Man of Many Faces is one of CLAMP’s earliest professional works and it is very, very silly, the more absurd elements being lampshaded and intentionally left unexplained. However, the manga ends up being rather sweet and charming, too. Twenty Faces is a third grader who has taken on the role of the gentleman thief in the absence of his father. Akira steals things according to the whims of his two eccentric mothers in addition to doing all of the cooking and housework. Although the story at first focuses on the various heists, ultimately Man of Many Faces is about romantic love.

My Week in Manga: June 1-June 7, 2015

My News and Reviews

Happy June, everyone! I’ve been super busy (I seem to say that a lot, don’t I?) but was still able to post a few things here at Experiments in Manga last week. The winner of the Ema Toyama Twosome manga giveaway was announced. That post also includes a list of manga available in English that feature novelists and other writers. The honor of the first in-depth manga review for the month of June goes to Masayuki Ishikawa’s Maria the Virgin Witch, Volume 2. Ishikawa seems to be trying to do a lot with such a short series (it’s only three volumes), maybe a bit too much. Even if he’s not able to successfully pull everything off, I still find Maria the Virgin Witch to be an intriguing series and want to read the rest of it. Finally, over the weekend I posted the Bookshelf Overload for May. I had a pretty big haul of manga and comics last month; I largely blame TCAF.

Elsewhere online there’s been some interesting reading to be found. Justin interviewed Kate Dacey (aka The Manga Critic) over at Organization Anti-Social Geniuses. Kate was one of my biggest manga blogging inspirations, so I’ve been very happy to see her recent return. Sean Kleefeld brought my attention to a panel on the history of manhwa. Drawn & Quarterly recently released the massive anthology Drawn and Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels. Joe McCulloch specifically looks at the volume’s manga content. Mangabrog has a translation of a conversation between Naoki Urasawa and Hisashi Eguchi. Last but not least, two licensing announcements were made last week that I’m very excited about: Viz Media is finally releasing a print edition of One-Punch Man by ONE and Yusuke Murata and Drawn & Quarterly is releasing more of Shigeru Mizuki’s GeGeGe no Kitaro! (I loved the publisher’s first Kitaro collection.)

Quick Takes

Welcome to the N.H.K., Volume 1Welcome to the N.H.K., Volumes 1-4 by Kendi Oiwa. Originally published in print by Tokyopop, Viz Media recently announced that it would be releasing Welcome to the N.H.K. digitally in the very near future. Tatsuhiko Takimoto’s original Welcome to the N.H.K. light novel was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed the anime adaptation, too. It was only a matter of time before I read Kendi Oiwa’s manga adaptation, though I am a little surprised that it’s taken me this long to get around to it. It has been a while since I’ve read or watched the other versions of Welcome to the N.H.K., but so far the manga is closer to the anime than it is to the novel, except that it seems a little more streamlined and perhaps even a little raunchier. Satou is a college dropout and hikikomori who has been targeted by Misaki, a young woman who is determined to rehabilitate him despite her own oddities and personal issues. In some ways, the more recent Watamote is reminiscent of Welcome to the N.H.K. Both series feature protagonists who are extremely socially awkward and both series can be hilarious, but they can also be somewhat depressing and painful to read at times, too. But, I am enjoying the manga version of Welcome to the N.H.K. a great deal.

xxxHolic: Rei, Volume 3xxxHolic: Rei, Volume 3 by CLAMP. Initially, I felt that it wasn’t necessary to have read xxxHolic in order to enjoy xxxHolic: Rei. However after reading the third volume, I feel I need to revise that opinion. It’s still not absolutely necessary to have read xxxHolic, but Rei makes a lot more sense and is much more meaningful if a reader has that background. I’ve actually not finished reading the entirety of xxxHolic, so while I was able to get the basic gist of what was going on in Rei, I did feel I was missing out on some important context while reading the third volume. However, I really like what CLAMP is doing with the series and I’m looking forward to reading the part of xxxHolic where Rei ties in directly. Rei has developed a marvelously ominous atmosphere that has a surreal, dreamlike quality to it. CLAMP’s high-contrast artwork in the series is great, too. At first, Rei felt directionless as though CLAMP didn’t really know what to do with the series, but the third volume begins to bring everything together in a way that actually makes sense. Of course, this also means the Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles connection is becoming more pronounced as well, which can sometimes feel forced.

Ze, Volume 7Ze, Volumes 7-9 by Yuki Shimizu. Despite it being a series that I tend to enjoy, it’s actually been a few years since I’ve read any of Shimizu’s supernatural boys’ love manga Ze. Although there is some dubious content (which doesn’t really surprise me much at this point), these three volumes reminded me what it is about Ze that I like so much: Shimizu has a knack for creating fascinatingly intense and complex relationship and power dynamics. The seventh and eighth volumes explore the backstories of Kotoha and Konoe; I was very satisfied with the explanation of their peculiar relationship and personalities. (Granted, most of the characters and relationships in Ze are pretty strange.) Ze, Volume 8 focuses on Shoui and Asari. Most of the story arcs have been two volumes long, but perhaps because their relationship has been developing in the background over the course of the series, the eighth volume is the only one specifically devoted to the couple. These three volumes are also very important in setting up the next and what I believe is the final story arc which will reveal more of Waki’s tragic history. I had forgotten how much of an asshole he can be, so I am curious to find out what made him the person he is.

My Week in Manga: May 18-May 24, 2015

My News and Reviews

Well, it was a little later than I initially intended, but I finally finished writing and posted my random musings on TCAF 2015 last week! It’s a long post which includes some of my general thoughts as well as write-ups of the panels that attended while at the festival. Even considering its length, people still seem to like it or at least find parts of it interesting, which makes me happy. Tangentially related to TCAF, I also posted and in-depth review of Wayward, Volume 1: String Theory, the first collection in an ongoing comic series created by Jim Zub and Steve Cummings. (Zub was one of the exhibitors at TCAF, though I picked up Wayward long before that.) The comic is heavily influenced by stories about yokai, but it definitely has its own modern twist on Japan’s myths and legends. String Theory is a great start to the series and I’m looking forward to reading the next volume.

Last week seemed to be oddly quiet on the news and licensing front. I’m sure there must have been some interesting things posted, but at least I didn’t come across very many. However, speaking of yokai, The New York Times recently published the article “Reviving Japan’s Dreaded and Beloved Ghosts” (or, “Pokémon’s Spooky Ancestors” if you try to look it up in the print edition) about some of the recent and forthcoming books being released in North America about the creatures. Vaguely related, Seven Seas announced that it has licensed Yoshihiko Inui’s Tomodachi x Monster, a dark parody manga series about kids and their pet monsters. Otherwise, if I’ve missed some particularly good reading, please do let me know!

Quick Takes

NimonaNimona by Noelle Stevenson. Originally an award-winning webcomic, Nimona was recently released as Stevenson’s debut graphic novel. The comic has been slightly revised for the print edition and additional content, including a new epilogue, has been collected in the volume as well. Nimona is one of my favorite comic releases so far this year. In the beginning it’s silly and very funny. But, while it never loses its humor, the comic does become more serious and even heart-wrenching as it progresses after some of the characters’ personal struggles and backgrounds are fully revealed. Nimona is a young shapeshifter who has decided that she will become the sidekick of Lord Ballister Blackheart, a supervillain whose plans are always being foiled by his arch-nemesis Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin. (The two men share a history together and deeply care about each other.) Nimona does manage to convince Blackheart to allow her to join his team, but finds his strict code of ethics frustrating to deal with. Likewise, he often frowns upon her excessively wild nature and propensity towards violence. Despite their differences, over time the two of them grow very close to each other. Nimona is an incredibly delightful and charming comic. I look forward to reading more of Stevenson’s work in the future.

Noragami: Stray God, Volume 4Noragami: Stray God, Volume 4 by Adachitoka. Even though Noragami seems to have been doing fairly well for Kodansha Comics, I haven’t really heard many people talking about the series. Initially I thought that Noragami was primarily going to be a comedy but the last few volumes, though they have their moments of levity, have actually been pretty serious. The fourth volume largely focuses on the plight of Bishamonten, a warrior god (technically goddess in Noragami). Though outwardly very strong and aggressive, she is having difficulty controlling and supporting the numerous shinki under her care. This does strike me as a little strange since Tenjin also has a large number of shinki without there seeming to be any negative consequences, but perhaps Bishamonten’s group is significantly bigger. It is interesting to see the differences in the relationships between the shinki and their respective gods in Noragami. After some strife in the last couple of volumes, Yato and Yuki have managed to forge an impressive partnership. Probably most importantly, they are at a point in their relationship where they can be honest with each other, airing their grievances and sharing their pain. The same cannot be said of Bishamonten and her shinki, which may be the source of their problems. Even though it is out of concern, hiding their true feelings is actually more damaging in the long run.

xxxHolic, Omnibus 5xxxHolic, Omnibus 5 (equivalent to Volumes 13-15) by CLAMP. I’ve come to the realization that I much prefer xxxHolic when it isn’t being tied down with its association toTsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles. Fortunately, even though its connection to the other series continues to solidify in this omnibus, for the most part this portion of xxxHolic remains its own story without too much interference. Oddly enough, it even becomes a food manga of sorts, which I really wasn’t anticipating. Perhaps it’s not so surprising, though. Throughout xxHOlic Watanuki has always been shown to be cooking, making bento and snacks for the people who are important to him. But in the fifth omnibus of xxxHolic the cooking becomes critical to the story itself rather than just being a part of his character. (CLAMP also has a way of making the most mundane thing extraordinarily melodramatic to such an extent that a character’s very life seems to hang by a thread from it.) Watanuki teaches Kohane to cook because he wants to, but then he is hired out to fulfill the wish of one of the shop’s clients by providing instruction to her, too. Though at first he halfheartedly puts up a fight, he takes this task very seriously, eventually uncovering the woman’s true fears and desires. (All through the power of food!) There is also a sense of ominous foreboding in this volume as the series prepares for its finale.

You & Me, Etc.You & Me, Etc. by Kyugo. After I finished reading You & Me, Etc., I was extremely surprised to note that the boys’ love manga had been rated mature by the publisher. Honestly, nothing more than a few kisses and perhaps a little bit of cuddling happen in the manga. (The fact that it’s between men shouldn’t make a difference.) I believe You & Me, Etc. is the only manga by Kyugo to have been released in English. You & Me, Etc. is not an especially memorable collection of short boys’ love manga—none of the selections really have any sort of “hook” per se—but the stories are executed very well and it’s a very enjoyable volume. The stories included are quieter with a strong focus on the characters’ relationships and interactions. Some of those relationships aren’t even particularly romantic in nature (which will likely disappoint readers expecting or hoping for something a little steamier from a manga with an “M” rating), but nonetheless they are still very important and most often deal with some sort of love or affection. The volume features three couples (broadly defined) who must navigate and develop their relationships in the face of difficult circumstances, whether it be a life-changing accident, a shared secret, or a death in the family. Based on the volume’s strengths, I would certainly be interested in reading more of Kyugo’s work.

My Week in Manga: April 6-April 12, 2015

My News and Reviews

I posted two reviews last week at Experiments in Manga that featured some of Kodansha Comics’ newest series: Masayuki Ishikawa’s Maria the Virgin Witch, Volume 1, released back in February, and Naoshi Arakawa’s Your Lie in April, Volume 1, which will be released later this month. The main reason I picked up Maria the Virgin Witch was because Ishikawa was the creator of Moyasimon. I really wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did, but now I’m very interested in reading the rest of the series. Your Lie in April caught my attention because it’s a music manga. It has the potential to become rather melodramatic, but I did enjoy the first volume and plan on reading more.

Last week also saw the release of Gamon Sakurai’s Ajin: Demi-Human, Volume 4 from Vertical. I’m actually quoted on the back cover, a blurb taken from my review of the first volume. This is all very exciting, although my legacy will now probably be that of an ignorant reviewer who spouts nonsense about production values and the quality of paper. Although I thought it looked nice, it turns out Ajin is actually printed on one of the cheaper, thinner stocks used by Vertical. Anyway. Lesson learned! I also discovered that a much more flattering quote of mine from a quick take last year was used for the final volume of Tetsuya Tsutsui’s Prophecy, except that it was credited to Manga Bookshelf. So it goes!

Elsewhere online, Lori of Manga Xanadu has recently been putting together some interesting lists of manga. A few weeks ago she featured sewing and fashion manga and last week focused on manga which include books with great power. Organization of Anti-Social Geniuses posted the transcription of the panel with Abigail Blackman on manga editing, lettering, and Japanese nuance. from the Castle Point Anime Con. Geeks OUT! has an exclusive interview with Jiraiya (one of the creators featured in the Massive gay manga anthology) from his recent North American tour. And Zero Comprehension has a brief guide to the official releases of the Golgo 13 manga in English.

In licensing-ish news, Digital Manga has launched another Tezuka Kickstarter for Clockwork Apple and is making plans for its next yaoi Kickstarter. Unrelated, there’s also a Kickstarter project for an original-English boys’ love anthology that looks quite good—Boy, I Love You. Viz Media has licensed the Yo-Kai Watch manga series for its Perfect Square imprint. I don’t often mention anime licenses, but I was very excited to learn that Discotek Media will be releasing Library Wars and Dororo. Finally, Sparkler Monthly has added the reboot of Jennifer Doyle’s excellent webcomic Knights-Errant. (Also, the most recent Sparkler Podcast talks about josei manga and the differences between the Japanese manga industry and the North American comics industry, among other topics.)

Quick Takes

Genshiken: Second Season, Volume 4Genshiken: Second Season, Volumes 4-6 by Shimoku Kio. For some reason, I don’t find the second season of Genshiken to be as engaging as the original manga series. I haven’t quite been able to identify why yet, though I suspect it may be because most of the newer characters haven’t seen much development in the recent volumes and the characters from the first “season” feel like they’re invading the new series. I think Genshiken works best for me with an ensemble cast. While there are still plenty of characters in the manga as well as regular plot tangents, lately the story has primarily focused on just a few. Admittedly, the two characters who are getting the most attention, namely Madarame and Hato, happen to be my favorites in the series. Hato in particular is marvelous. He’s going through some significant personal turmoil over his cross-dressing and love of boys’ love, which has a tremendous impact on the rest of the story and characters. And apparently just about everyone is in love with Madarame. But as interesting as the increasingly convoluted relationships in the series are, at this point what I really want is to know more about the other club members.

Last Man, Volume 1: The StrangerLast Man, Volume 1: The Stranger by Bastien Vivès, Michael Sanlaville, and Balak. Despite France being one of the world powerhouses of comics creation, relatively few French comics have been translated into English, especially when compared to the number of manga available. Last Man, which is in part inspired and heavily influenced by shōnen battle manga, has been very well received in France. And now, thanks to First Second, it’s available in English. (I believe Last Man may actually the first comic in translation that has been released by First Second.) Adrian is a young boy who has been training hard for his first fighting tournament, but when his teammate gets sick, it looks like he won’t be able to compete. Enter Richard, the titular stranger and a physically imposing man, who also needs a partner in order to compete. They make a peculiar pair: Adrian hasn’t quite mastered the magic and special techniques of his martial style, and Richard relies completely on his fists and strength. He also doesn’t appear to actually know the rules of the tournament, which poses a bit of a problem. So far, Last Man is delightfully engaging; I’m really looking forward to reading more of the series.

Missing RoadMissing Road by Shushushu Sakurai. Before quietly disappearing, DramaQueen released two final manga by Sakurai, Junk! and Missing Road. What particularly caught my attention about these two manga was the fact that they were science fiction—a genre that I’ve rarely seen in translated boys’ love manga. Missing Road specifically was described as “an epic sci-fi adventure of love, loss, and redemption.” Sadly, although some of Sakurai’s ideas certainly had great potential and I did like the setting, Missing Road doesn’t quite live up to that promise. The manga would have been more successful from a narrative standpoint if Sakurai could have expanded the story over the course of multiple volumes. As it is, she tries to cover too much ground in a single installment and many of the manga’s elements feel underdeveloped or truncated as a result. There are important close and intimate relationships, but Missing Road isn’t really a love story and is instead more about brutal war and revenge. Most of the sex is of a violent nature and rape occurs on several different occasions. The English-language edition was actually censored (with permission from Sakurai) for fear of United States child pornography laws.

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Omnibus 3Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Omnibus 3 by CLAMP. With this omnibus, I have entered into territory that I previously didn’t have the opportunity to read before Tsubasa originally went out-of-print in English. At this point, I’m still enjoying the series. It’s not always the most emotionally compelling manga (although admittedly it can sometimes be heart-wrenching), but Tsubasa is definitely a solid adventure tale. The manga’s premise allows CLAMP to very creative and develop world after world, each one different from the ones preceding and following it and each with its own challenges and dangers to be faced. Nods to other CLAMP manga and characters are still prevalent, and I assume this will likely be true for the entire series. This particular omnibus prominently features RG Veda, which I haven’t actually read, so I probably don’t appreciate the references as much as someone who has. It looks like the alternate version of Seishirō from Tokyo Babylon and X will be an important antagonist in Tsubasa as well. The series Tsubasa most directly crosses over with is xxxHolic. This connection actually works very well for Tsubasa, but I find it somewhat distracting when reading xxxHolic.