Monday, May 04, 2015

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 5/2

Hello and welcome back to another week. I'm yet another blogger who lists the books that arrived during the previous week -- I think I was one of the first, but that doesn't actually mean anything. What matters is if you find something interesting to read, so I hope to write quickly about these books in a way that's either accurate or entertaining or (preferably) both.

I am, as always, hampered by the fact that I haven't read any of these books, and possibly also by the fact that it's a bright sunny Sunday morning as I type this, and I could be doing more pleasant things in places more pleasant than this blogger's basement. But here we go, with this week's crop: four manga volumes from two different publishers.

I'll start out with one big book from Yen Press: Etorouji Shiono's Ubel Blatt, Vol. 2, continuing an epic fantasy story in a vaguely medieval-German world (hence the title). I reviewed the first volume -- confusingly numbered zero -- last year, so see that link for more details of the storyline and world. This series could be of particular interest to Michael Moorcock fansa, since Shiono also has a weak, elfin hero with a creepy black weapon and a secret of doom and despair.

The rest of the books this week are all from Vertical, and all are also continuing volumes in series -- which is pretty typical for manga, which tell long stories in anything from three to infinite books.

Tetsuya Tsutsui is here with Prophecy, Part 3, which actually concludes this relatively short story of cybercrime and social-media bullying.

And then there's Ajin: Demi-Human, Vol. 4 by Gamon Sakurai, about a sub-group of humans who cannot be killed and who are thus declared not human because of it. As is typical for manga, the central story focused on a typical teenage boy -- Japan is the world leader in tight audience identification characters -- and his new life once he discovers he's one of these "demi-humans."

Last for me this week is Ryu Mizunagi's Witchcraft Works, Vol. 4. This one is a magical school story, though the main character is pretty much exactly like the one I described a paragraph ago: manga delights in heroes who are essentially interchangeable.

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