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!
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.
But 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.
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 :)