The NYCC manga licenses – they just keep going, and going, and going… I love it! I can’t recall the last convention that had so many manga licenses in one place. Today I take a look at new licenses from Viz Media:
Battle Royale: Angels’ Border – Koushun Takami, Mioko Ohnishi & Youhei Oguma
Black Rose Alice – Setona Mizushiro
My Love Story!! – Kazune Kawahara & Aruko
Terra Formars – Yū Sasuga & Kenichi Tachibana
Time Killers: Kazue Kato Short Story Collection – Kazue Kato
Nearly every title on this list stands out to me in one good way or another. Starting from the top, there’s Battle Royale: Angels’ Border. This is a manga side-story sequel to Battle Royale, written by the author of the original books. I haven’t read those (yet) but I did read the manga adaptation Tokyopop released and have watched the movie several times, so I’m looking forward to a need to refresh and revisit. The story is split into two parts – episode 01 and episode 02 – with each drawn by a different artist. They’re both released together in this collected edition.
Black Rose Alice is a title I’ve heard praised a lot in passing but never much more than that, but I can’t deny the draw of a title by Setona Mizushiro no matter what I have or haven’t heard. I love her work, which in English includes GoComi’s Afterschool Nightmare and Tokyopop’s X-Day. She renders such heart-wrenching characters and has done some really interesting things with gender roles and the evolution of relationships. I have a couple of her other series in French, and hoped for the day we would get more in English. May this be the first of many!
As for this current announcement, Black Rose Alice enters our still vampire-hungry market with a story about a young singer who survives an accident only to find his body has never felt right since. A string of suicides by those close to him act as catalysts for a new life of romance, drama and potentially tasty looking necks.
With My Love Story!! I’m smitten with the Japanese covers. I love a title with characters that actually look like people. Too pretty can easily be too much sometimes. My Love Story!! is written by the creator of High School Debut, which I thought was a fun read, so that’s another point in its favour. The downside of My Love Story!! is it’s promoted as a love triangle story, which I’m not a big fan of. Sure almost all romances use this at some point or another but, like a cast of characters that’re too pretty to be believed, reading story after story that tends to end in watching the more likable and loyal person get left on the curb is more than a little tiring. How will I feel about” the unattractive Takeo Gouda, his cool and attractive childhood friend Sunagawa, and the pure Yamato, whose specialty is making candy*”? We shall see!
Terra Formars is the only title on the list that’s entirely new to me. It looks pretty cool though, even though the plot makes me laugh. It takes place years in the future when a team of colonists go to Mars only to discover that the mold and cockroaches they sent ahead to help prepare the land for living have since mutated into super strong humanoid cockroaches. Oops! The manga series – currently six volumes long – then follows a group of soldiers sent to get rid of them.
And last but not least, there’s Time Killers: Kazue Kato Short Story Collection. This one really excites me. As the title explains, Time Killers is a collection of short stories by Kazue Kato, creator of Blue Exorcist. I love reading creators’ short stories. The boundaries of a short story can bring out a person’s best work or at least some of their most creative as they can explore ideas that might not see success in lengthier formats. Admittedly, I got tired of Blue Exorcist and dropped it at volume six, but I did love the earlier volumes so I’m hoping to re-experience some of that same adoration in these shorts.
We don’t have dates yet for these releases, but my thanks goes to ANN for the existing details*. Looking forward to them, Viz!