It’s been March since the last Swag Bag! Well that won’t do, now will it? While my post about TCAF outlined a bunch of my most recently purchased comics, there’s been lots of manga bought between the last Swag Bag and that post. Because I’m too lazy to go through my bookshelves to find each and every one, let’s take a look at some notables!
Always the must have buy is Sailor Moon (Vol. 10) which I’m loving more and more every volume. This point in the story was broadcast only briefly on television, and these manga volumes were more difficult to find, so while I’m familiar with the story, it all feels more fresh and new and full of surprises since I have less familiarity with it. Eternal Sailor Senshi!
Then it’s my why-do-I-keep-buying-this-series with Dawn of the Arcana (Vol. 09). Loki keeps getting the short end of the stick, and I find the relationship between Nakaba and Cesare so lacking in chemistry. I think it must be some tiny sliver of hope Loki gets a happy ending that keeps me reading. I hope I’m rewarded for my diligence…
Much more satisfying were new volumes of Bleach (Vol.56), Toriko (Vol.15) and A Devil and Her Love Song (Vol.08). Toriko is still one of my favourite manga series running now, though I’m a little sad to see it dissolve to chapter upon chapter of one on one fight scenes in the current issues of Shonen Jump. On the flip side the current chapters of Bleach have been really great – actually super relevant and interesting flashbacks!
And last up from Viz Media recently was Pokemon Adventures (Vol.16), which continues the adventures of these two new Pokemon trainers who are really, really entertaining. Flip those gender roles! The male trainer is obsessed with making Pokemon beautiful, while the female trainer is a wild girl (like Tarzan wild) who wants her Pokemon to be the strongest.
In other worlds of young people doing interesting things – I picked up Arisa (Vol.10) where we finally know who the King is. There are still some motivations left to be explored, but I’m glad the one secret is finally out in the open. It’s more classic mysteries on-going in Young Miss Holmes (Vol.03-04) where the adorable lead makes it a joy to read, even when plot itself gets a little bogged down in details.
And the biggest buys recently were Mobile Suit Gundam the Origin: Activation (Vol. 01) when it came out back in April, and The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame this past weekend. Both had amazing production values – really nice work done on the design and packaging. I wasn’t sure how I’d like the Gundam manga but actually really, really liked it. As the original Gundam story, it felt simple and streamlined while containing everything that makes the franchise so popular. Very easy to read, and I look forward to more. Passion was also great, but in a very different way. Gengoroh Tagame’s work is always shocking, and I was really curious to see which of his works would be in this book. Picture Box did not hold back!
And lastly during my visit to Toronto, I picked up some out of print books from The Beguiling. Hollow Fields (Vol.01), First Love (Vol.01) and In These Words (Vol.01). Sadly I doubt I’ll ever see second volumes of First Love and In These Words, which is sad because they were both great reads and I’ve been looking for them a while. I also bought two new bara anthologies which star many of the artists we’ll see in Picture Box’s Massive anthology next Spring.
That does it for this week’s Swag Bag. As always, feel more than free to share what purchases you’ve made recently and if you’d recommend them!