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    Soliciting Multiversity: Top 10 Manga for February 2019

    By | December 1st, 2018
    Posted in Columns | % Comments

    Welcome back, manga fans! Since Previews has a section of the catalog dedicated to manga, we’ll be highlighting that section’s most notable upcoming releases every month. Read on to see what stuck out to us!

    10. Omni Everything!

    I don’t know much about “Gantz,” but it looks like the omnibus 3-in-1 volumes Dark Horse has been putting out are by far the best place to start. The series has been wildly popular for over a decade now, and Dark Horse always does a good job with their releases. Action! Sci-fi! Sex! Gore! Aliens! I’m sure there’s a lot of American readers out there, primarily Image-heavy readers, who would love this book.

    Gantz Omnibus, volume 3
    Written and Illustrated by Hiroya Oku
    Published by Dark Horse

    The stakes raise for the conscripted Gantz team as they face an increasingly deadly array of bizarre alien adversaries. But while the team remain in the dark about the nature of the lethal “game” they’re forced to play, the consequences of losing couldn’t be more crystal clear! Collects Gantz volumes 7-9.

    9. Fandom speaks louder than sales.

    One Peace doesn’t put out a lot of books, so it’s always interesting to see what they do pick up. This looks like it has all the trappings of a generic action/sci-fi book, but it uses that world to deliver a slice-of-life comedy. The series seems to be an under-the-radar cult hit, and while that solicit doesn’t necessarily entice me, the fan buzz certainly does.

    Hinamatsuri, volume 2
    Written and Illustrated by Masao Ohtake
    Published by One Peace Books

    Nitta is an ambitious, young member of the Ashikawa-gumi yakuza syndicate. One day, a mysterious, oval-shaped object falls out of thin air into his apartment, and suddenly changes everything! Inside of the object is an expressionless young girl named Hina. The girl has formidable telekinetic powers that she uses to threaten Nitta, forcing him to allow her to live in his apartment. Dangers abound as the yakuza member and young psychic begin their life together as roommates! Originally a one-shot published in the Japanese manga magazine Fellows!, Hinamatsuri quickly became a favorite following its serialization. And now, propelled to success by the passionate support from fans, the strange world of Hinamatsuri is finally being published as a trade paperback!

    8. Old-school reprints!

    A series from the late 70s, “Urusei Yatsura” has a completely bizarre premise. I dare you to read that solicit and try to figure out what the average chapter is like. Given the fact that it’s being reprinted by Viz, though, makes me take a second look. I always love that 70s/80s anime art style, and any time something is taken out of the vault like this, it’s probably worth your attention.

    Urusei Yatsura, volume 1
    Written and Illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi
    Published by Viz Media

    In a high-stakes game of tag, Ataru must touch Lum’s horns in ten days-or aliens will take over the earth! The fact that Lum can fly doesn’t make Ataru’s job any easier. As it turns out, the game of tag is only the beginning of Ataru’s troubles, as he continues to attract strange encounters with otherworldly beings like beautiful snow spirit Oyuki and the sexy crow goblin Princess Kurama!

    7. How many ways can you milk a franchise?

    “Fate/Stay Night” has its origins in a computer game from the mid-aughts, and its success brought it to just about every other medium imaginable. Here we have the latest: a cooking manga, set in the world of the series but largely ignoring it. This is… one of the most Japanese things I’ve ever seen.

    Dining with Emiya Family, volume 1
    Written by Type-Moon
    Illustrated by TAa
    Published by Denpa

    In TAa’s English language debut, we return to the legendary world FATE/, but instead of experiencing the fantasy and lore of that franchise, we are invited into the Emiya family home to dine with Shiro, Saber, Rin, Taiga, and more. With every meal, and every chapter, Shiro prepares a seasonal dish set to warm up hearts and fill bellies. So enough talking… Emiya, what’s for dinner today?

    Continued below

    6. Go, Speed Racer, Go!

    Speed Racer has a strange level of recognition in our culture: whether you’re familiar with the original incarnation or not, you probably know about the property in some form. Digital Manga Distribution is bringing back the manga that started it all in a complete set of two hardcovers, so if you were ever curious about where things began, now’s your chance to see!

    Speed Racer Mach GoGoGo Box Set
    Written and Illustrated by Tatsuo Yoshida
    Published by Digital Manga Distribution

    DMP celebrates Speed Racer’s 40th anniversary with a two-volume hardcover collector’s set! The Speed Racer: Mach Go Go Go Box Set is the complete, unabridged version and contains episodes available in the United States for the first time. Join Speed Racer, Racer X, Trixie, Spritle and Chim-Chim in this fast-paced thriller of action and intrigue!

    5. Romance on the railways.

    I’m a sucker for a good romance. This mangaka has an interesting track record of many different types of romance stories, so I’m hoping this anthology will be a good sampler of the variety of stories she’s capable of telling.

    Maiden Railways
    Written and Illustrated by Asumiko Nakamura
    Published by Denpa

    All aboard! This book is your ticket to seven romances, from confessions in Iruda to proposals in Enoshima and all points in between. Beloved josei/boy’s love mangaka Asumiko Nakamura returns to the English market with a unique collection of romance shorts each set around the Kanagawa railway system, the Odakyu. Combining moments of yuri, shojo, josei, and teen love, Maiden Railways is a ride to romance rarely seen in manga these days.

    4. Dark mysterious gays.

    Seven Seas recently translated Syundei’s “Go For It, Nakamura!,” which looked like a charming retro-inspired series about a shy gay high school student. This book looks to use that as its basis and create something more mystical and mysterious. Syundei’s old-school character designs are enough to make me want to follow their work, and adding this tone to the mix has me intrigued.

    Total Eclipse of the Eternal Heart
    Written and Illustrated by Syundei
    Published by Seven Seas Entertainment

    A Boy’s Love drama about dark connections by the creator of “Go For It, Nakamura!” High schooler Hoshino Terumichi has been haunted by a recurring dream: a young man, a century earlier, dying at the hands of another man he calls “Sensei.” This dream (or curse) is about to merge with reality when a mysterious, attractive classmate named Yamada Omihito steps into Terumichi’s life.

    3. Ante up.

    The “Kakegurui” anime has been an unexpected success on Netflix, and now that the English manga volumes are almost caught up with Japan’s, it’s time to start publishing the book’s spin-off prequel. It just goes to show: wherever there’s a successful property, there’s sequels and spin-offs and prequels waiting to be released.

    Kakegurui Twin, volume 1
    Written by Homura Kawamoto
    Illustrated by Kei Saiki
    Published by Yen Press

    A year before Yumeko Jabami graced the hallowed halls of Hyakkou Private Academy, Mary Saotome got her own start at the gambling-addicted school. Can this normal girl achieve her own rags-to-riches story through wits and luck? Find out in this prequel to the mega-popular Kakegurui!

    2. The best manga you aren’t reading by a mangaka you know and love.

    Yen Press has been quietly putting out a manga by “Fullmetal Alchemist” creator Hiromu Arakawa this entire last year, and I’m not sure why it hasn’t been getting more press. The volumes have been released at a decent clip — one every two months — and, while it is a slice-of-life book about an agricultural school, it’s every bit as engaging and thought-provoking as Arakawa’s most famous action manga. If you aren’t reading the series, now is the perfect time to catch up.

    Silver Spoon, volume 7
    Written and Illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa
    Published by Yen Press

    The largest stage…the actor who cannot stand upon it cannot even be considered a clown. On the morning of the Ezono Festival, Hachiken pushes himself too hard and collapses. For those who have dreams and those who don’t, everyone must face their own struggles and setbacks-that is the meaning of youth.

    Continued below

    1. Kino’s Journey returns!

    Way back when I was first getting into anime, the original “Kino’s Journey” was frequently cited as one of the best, yet I never got around to watching it. I feel it’s been largely forgotten among Americans in the years since. Meanwhile, the Japanese light novel series where the story originated has been going the whole time, leading to a new manga adaptation and a new anime based on it. This is the first volume of that new manga, an episodic fantasy exploring a variety of societal and philosophical issues. This month’s highlights have been heavy on franchise books, and this is by far the one I’m most excited for.

    Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World, volume 1
    Written by Keiichi Sigsawa
    Illustrated by Iruka Shiomiya
    Published by Vertical Comics

    Kino’s Journey is about a character named Kino who travels around the world with a talking motorcycle named Hermes. Kino travels to many mystical worlds, each with its unique customs and people. Kino’s policy is to only stay three days in every town without exception, saying it’s enough time to learn about the each place and moving on to explore the next new place.

    Anything you’re looking forward to that I overlooked? Let me know in the comments!

    //TAGS | Soliciting Multiversity

    Nicholas Palmieri

    Nick is a South Floridian writer of films, comics, and analyses of films and comics. Flight attendants tend to be misled by his youthful visage. You can try to decipher his out-of-context thoughts over on Twitter at @NPalmieriWrites.


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