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Swag Bag: Muscling In On Toronto’s Manga Supply

Welcome to what is definitely the longest Swag Bag to date! Mostly because I completely failed to compile my Swag Bag from last year’s Anime North… None the less! – my recent trip to Toronto was chock full of fun finds, and painful but no doubt hilarious attempts at cramming it all into my suitcases. This post here consists of the manga I bought while traversing the packed streets of Toronto while my TCAF purchases will come in a later post once I’ve finished oogling them enough to write something coherent.

The books listed here were all purchased from either my local Strange Adventures (pre-con buying is important, like eating before going to the grocery store – it helps… I think). The rest with exception of I think 1 or 2 came from what I’m dubbing the manga treasure trove of Toronto – The Beguiling. My thanks to their very accomodating staff! If curious about my other comic shop adventures in Toronto, you can check out the Ontario section of Kuriousity’s Canadian Comic Shop listings.

Now onto the swag!

Kaze Hikaru (Vol. 05)Like most of my Swag Bag posts as of late, Viz Media dominates the list. Then again why shouldn’t they with the largest output? I’m not complaining though. Starting with a dash of shoujo, I picked up Otomen (Vol. 10) and Arata (Vol. 05). Ensuring I’d need to be extra careful packing my suitcases to drag onto a plane, I also bought Kaze Hikaru (Vol. 05-17) – twelve volumes of a single series in one go is more faith than I’ve given any series before so don’t let me down Kaze Hikaru!

Picking up some series not under the Shoujo Beat brand, but certainly no less dramatic in their own ways, I got Genkaku Picasso (Vol. 03) (the last volume to my surprise!), Dogs (Vol. 04) (because I’m a ninny and bought volume five without realizing I missed four) and Bakuman (Vol. 04) (which looks more like a light novel with the words to pictures ratio – yikes!).

Interesting, unexpected and very delightful finds were the long since out of print Short Cuts (Vol. 01 – 02) by Usamaru Fuyura (who I had the pleasure of meeting there despite my sad shy pacing in circles before working up the nerve to say hello) and an artbook Dragonball: The Complete Illustrations. I had come across this very same artbook in its original Japanese release the day before and now I’m glad I held off buying it since now I have it in English.

Next up was Tokyopop, some bittersweet purchases considering their recent demise. On the upside, three of the four purchases were final volumes of series so that’s three more series completed on the shelf: Roadsong (Vol. 03), CLAMP no Kiseki (Set 12) and Karakuri Odette (Vol. 06). Alas that I can’t say the same for Matsuri Akino’s Genju no Seiza (Vol. 08) which I may never see the end of now. So depressing!

Vertical Inc. offered up some satisfying finishes to soften the blow with the absolutely, fantastically disturbing one-shot Lychee Light Club (signed by Usamaru Fuyura!) and the character-driven science fiction series 7 Billion Needles which comes to an end here at volume four.

Stay Close To MeBut all this snazzy manga buying isn’t complete without a healthy dose of boys’ love. I was pleasantly surprised to find a copy of Oh My God (Vol. 02) published by the unfortunately shutdown Deux Press. Speaking of unfortunately shutdown, I also bought the sadly weird-proofreading-flawed one-shot Croquis by Hinako Takanaga and BLU Manga. The bulk of my BL buys were then one-shots from Digital Manga and all chosen because they’re by creators whose works I’ve enjoyed before: Makoto Tateno’s A Bloody Kiss Tonight, Yukine Honami’s Stolen Heart and Yaya Sakuragi’s Stay Close To Me. I take a big break from the fluff with the second and last volume of Undergrand Hotel.

With not half as much available in English, I was all the more eager to leap a top two Yuri books I’d been looking for. The first was Voiceful – a cute little schoolgirl love story – published by Seven Seas. The second book was another one-shot titled Works from ALC Publishing. It’s a much more mature story about love between older woman – both amusing and classy!

To round off my teetering stacks of how-did-I-fit-these-in-our-suitcases with a few single volume purchases from other companies, I finally (shame on me!) found a copy of Bunny Drop (Vol. 03) from Yen Press. I gobbled this series with my eyes the moment I got home that day because it’s just that good – an absolutely adorable and refreshingly grounded story about a man raising his five year old Aunt.

Deviating a lot in tone and subject matter, I bought the second volume of Digital Manga’s horror series Taimashin (Vol. 02). I’m never blown away when I read this series but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t drawn back again by the gorgeous male main character. What can I say – I’m a sucker for a super pretty guy.

By the Sword (Vol. 02)Lastly, and certainly not least, I was happy to pick up some older series – By the Sword (Vol. 01 – 02) from the now defunct ADV Manga and by the same manga artist as Fake and the upcoming Full Moon from Kodansha Comics. Speaking of boys’ love (mentioning Fake means I’ve made a semi-meaningful connection, right?), I purchased the full two volume series of Roureville from NetComics. I’ve had it recommended to me so we’ll see how it fares. I really love the cover though so good start. And then the true lastly, Hayate x Blade Omnibus (Vol. 02) from Seven Seas – huzzah for omnibus!

So these were my purchases over the past two weeks – what shiny things have you added to your bookshelf lately? Anything you’d recommend?

And a new question for folks as we here at Kuriousity try to breath some new life into our review systems – any book here you’d like to see me review? Something you’re curious to learn more about or even something you’ve read and looking compare opinions on (and join a fellow reader in a chat)? Let me know!

For now be sure to enjoy your swag this week :)

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

Kuriousity does not condone or support the illegal distribution of manga online.
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6 Responses

  1. Aaron says:

    I got volume 19 of Fullmetal Alchmist the one thing I love about the later volumes is the way the tnesion is wrtached up untill the final battle. I also plan to pre order Tenjo Tnghe Omnibus one and Kingyo Used Books Volume 4

    • After hearing so many good things about it, I'm really eager to give Full Metal Alchemist another go. I'll likely stick with borrowing from libraries and friends for now but if I like it, that upcoming boxset of the full series will be pretty darn tempting!

  2. JRB says:

    "I purchased the full two volume series of Roureville from NetComics."

    Roureville is actually three volumes; the third volume was never printed and is currently only available online at There are 10 chapters in the final volume so it'll cost you $2.50 to read it online. I find reading on their website kinda annoying; I wish they'd look into Kindle or Nook or something.

    • Thanks for letting me know! I would've been pretty sad coming to the end of volume two thinking it was the finale and then hitting a cliffhanger. I haven't tried reading anything on NetComics in years – I can't even really recall what it's like. The price sounds great though so pending how much I like Roureville, I'll definitely check out volume three over there. Thanks again ^^

  3. Drew says:

    "who I had the pleasure of meeting there despite my sad shy pacing in circles before working up the nerve to say hello"
    Awww, haha that's just like me! Good for you though, you actually worked up the courage to say hi – something I wouldn't be able to do!
    hm, last week I picked up some mixed volumes of Rave Master off the previously viewed shelf at Strange Adventures. Sure I'm missing a few volumes in between, buuuut I feel like it's worth it for the prices I got these books at! Woohoo!
    Sounds like you had a great time in Toronto, thanks for reviewing so many comic stores, it's really helpful!

    • I felt so silly standing there (with industry folk I respect highly and feared looking childish infront of too o_o;) but I was very grateful I mustered the courage before it was too late. The translator helping Usamaru Fuyura was also very nice and I think sensed my nervousness because she made small talk between me and Furuya that I was very thankful for!

      Strange Adventures' previously viewed shelf is a blessing and a curse. Blessing because I buy tons from it, curse because most of it is random volumes from random series I may never find the rest of it. Always something new to try though!

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