Shonen Jump!

Welcome to Kuriousity

News, reviews and features with a focus on manga, self-published works and a Canadian perspective. Enjoy fulfilling your Kuriousity!

SITE RETIRED - Thank you for the years of support and readership!

Posts Tagged Natsume’s Book of Friends

On The Shelf: July 3, 2013

On The Shelf: July 3, 2013

The upside to being staff at a con and never having a moment to visit the dealer’s room, is that you don’t end up spending much money. It doesn’t mean I’m rolling in dollar bills, alas, but I am always grateful to have a little budget wiggle room when new release day comes around.

My must-have buy this week is the first volume of Vertical Inc‘s new series, Wolfsmund. This past weekend at Animaritime, Ed Chavez spoke about the artist’s work as assistant to both the creators of Emma and Berserk, as well as showed us some interior artwork. This is a book I definitely need to have.

Little Fluffy Gigolo PELU (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US]
Battle Angel Alita: Last Order (Vol.18) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Blue Exorcist (Vol.10) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
D.Gray-man 3-in-1 (Vol.01) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Gunslinger Girl (Vol.15) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Jiu Jiu (Vol.05) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Kanokon Omnibus (Vol.03-04) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Mayo Chiki! (Vol.03) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Natsume’s Book of Friends (Vol.14) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Oresama Teacher (Vol.14) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Pokemon Adventures: Ruby & Sapphire (Vol.17) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Pokemon Adventures: Black and White Collected (Vol.01) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Psyren (Vol.11) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Skip Beat! Omnibus (Vol.05) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Strobe Edge (Vol.05) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Vampire Knight (Vol.17) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Wolfsmund (Vol.01) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
World War Blue (Vol.01) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]


Swag Bag: Zombies, Zeal and Melancholy

Swag Bag: Zombies, Zeal and Melancholy

Diamond Comics has been sneaking out some releases early this year, so this week’s swag bag (which is actually last week’s by purchase time) includes a couple Yen Press books that I didn’t expect to be seeing until sometime this week. No complaints from me! It just means more budget for what arrives at Strange Adventures tomorrow.

My first purchase last week though was Dark Horse‘s Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (Vol. 13), as I missed it when it was released back in mid December. We only get a couple volumes of this series a year, at best, so I’m always excited to get a new one. Most of the volumes are still episodic in nature, but randomly there’s a sudden plot development that I never see coming. This was one of those volumes! I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this particular reveal, and it really feels like it came out of no where, but I’m eager to see where the story goes with it.

Another episodic series was next in my bag with Natsume’s Book of Friends (Vol. 13). Plot development is far less in-your-face in this series, and any forward progression is done via subtle character development and the occasional new face. The second half of this volume is made up of two flashbacks following the perspective of Natsume’s school friends and how they met him. We rarely see much of those who aren’t affiliated with yokai, so it was fun getting a glimpse of Natsume from someone else’s angle. This series is always so… relaxingly sad?  Soothingly melancholic? It’s a tough feeling to pinpoint, but I’m sure those who read the series understand what I mean.

Black Butler (Vol. 12)The first of my two early Yen Press buys was A Bride’s Story (Vol. 04). This volume is a big tone change from earlier books, and it’s pretty great because of that. It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed each volume of A Bride’s Story, but I love that this volume is a lot more fun than usual. The twin girls on the cover are the book’s focus and it’s entertaining watching them tear around their little village trying to find perfect husbands.

And last up this shopping trip was Black Butler (Vol. 12). I wasn’t feeling all that excited to get this book since recent volumes of the series have felt a bit lackluster  Still pretty, but the story just hasn’t been clicking for me. And now zombies? Eh… And yet, my ambivalence to it was rewarded this time with surprise and awe! This could possibly be my favourite volume of the series to date. The art was top notch, the fan-service abundant but classy and all the beautiful Victorian clothing was looking especially attractive when worn by people kicking some series zombie butt. Now I’m really looking forward to the next volume.

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!


Otaku USA: On The Shelf – December 5, 2012

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - December 5, 2012

Feeling extra lazy today, so MANGA! Yay! Check out the list of new books released this week at my On the Shelf article for Otaku USA. Handy link-ready list below too!

Arata the Legend (Vol. 12) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Bakuman (Vol. 17) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Black Bird (Vol. 15) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Bleach (Vol. 52) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Bleach (Vol. 53) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
D. Gray Man (Vol. 23) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Dawn of the Arcana (Vol. 07) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Demon Love Spell (Vol. 01) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Devil & Her Love Song (Vol. 06) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
The Earl and the Fairy (Vol. 04) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Natsume’s Book of Friends (Vol. 13) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
NGE: Shinji Ikari Raising Project (Vol. 12) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Nura Rise of the Yokai Clan (Vol. 12) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Sakura Hime: Legend of Princess Sakura (Vol. 09) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Slam Dunk (Vol. 25) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Toriko (Vol. 13) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal (Vol. 02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]


Swag Bag: Mew Mew Manga Power

Swag Bag

New York Comic Con may’ve been almost a month ago but I’m still digging myself out of the stacks of stuff I bought there. What I brought back from the ‘big apple’ remains a post for another day but October proved itself manga-behemonth enough in release count to ensure every release-day was another manga buying opportunity.

Read more…


Swag Bag: Samurai, Incubus, Rabbits and Tyrants

Swag Bag

My bedroom is finally under control! A week of vacation as I transition to a new job plus a very release-heavy month, not to mention a few trips to my local library, have ensured every inch of my desk, floor and shelves were littered with material waiting to be read and watched. Upside to cleaning your room at least is there’s almost always something you’ll discover  you haven’t read yet, or perhaps just want to revisit.  Naturally among the now organized chaos are a bunch of the things I bought this past week:

For my birthday I received a gift card to Chapters. While I avoid buying from there in-store (too expensive!), their online prices are still pretty good, especially for the more niche material and some harder to find titles. Thus, it was just that I filled my digital shopping cart with.

Mister Mistress (Vol. 01)Boys’ love made up the bulk of my online purchase with my most eagerly awaited purchase being the hardcopy edition of Digital Manga‘s Rabbit Man, Tiger Man (Vol. 01). Second to that fun and charming tale of yakuza/doctor love, was Tyrant Who Falls In Love (Vol. 03). Never enough Hinako Takanaga on the bookshelves! Even Yen Press had some boys’ love to offer me with Tale of the Waning Moon (Vol. 02) and I picked up an older title I missed from Deux Press called Mister Mistress (Vol. 01). It’s almost unfortunate I enjoyed it so much since volume two is looking very tricky to find.

Using up the last pennies of my credit, I bought One Pound Gospel (Vol. 04) which is the end of the series. On the other end of series collection, I bought Descendants of Darkness (Vol. 01) which finishes off my collection of that series as well.

Next up it was into my local comic store, Strange Adventures, where I picked up the new releases (which if you’re curious about the complete recent lists for, check out my Otaku USA articles, On The Shelf). Viz Media dominated my purchasing stack, which I suppose by now should stop seeming like an anomaly.

I was really excited to get my hands on Kaze Hikaru (Vol. 19) – it’s one of my favourite series but there’s a long wait between books. It’s a really long series too so I’m always worried Viz Media will drop it. Everyone buy the series so this doesn’t happen! It’s really charming and wonderfully drawn.

Pokemon Adventures (Vol. 14)Also in the pile of awesome swag was 20th Century Boys (Vol. 16), Otomen (Vol. 11), Tenjo Tenge (Vol. 02) and Natsume’s Book of Friends (Vol. 08). A pleasant surprise was the size of Pokemon Adventures (Vol. 14). It’s notably thicker than past volumes and works really well with the content considering it’s the huge climax of all the plot lines coming together since volume one. Pokemon and trainers everywhere!

And lastly, to make my shopping bags all the heavier, a got a few volumes of manga from the library. Looking for something lighthearted and fluff-heavy, I borrowed Fall In Love Like A Comic (Vol. 01). A really fun discovery though was Saint Young Men (Vol. 01-03). I can’t read Japanese but that didn’t stop me from borrowing the books so I can oogle the amusing pictures and hope all the more someone licenses it. Buddha and Jesus living together in an apartment – how could you not be curious?

That was my Swag Bag this week – what about you?


Swag Bag: Sunshine Surgeons and Flopping Fantasies

Swag Bag - August 12

It’s been a little while I’ve had a Swag Bag column. In a very disorganized way it suits the current state of my apartment, where I keep finding books I’d forgotten I bought! Upside is I always find something new to read, inadvertently stopping myself from simply reading everything the moment I get home.

So what goodies have I been ‘finding’ over the last couple of weeks?

Starting off with some shoujo, I picked up the fourth volume of Kobato. It’s not my favourite CLAMP series but I’m still enjoying it’s cute-factor. I reviewed this volume earlier in the week and really liked the cameos from CLAMP’s other series. For something less fantasy and more kooky, I bought Dengeki Daisy (Vol. 05) – which I recently learned is created by a male manga-ka (the more you know!) Edit: Or not? See comments below!. For a story darker than those two put together, Arisa (Vol. 03) fit the bill perfectly continuing to deceive anyone I show with its cutesy covers.

Dengeki Daisy (Vol. 05)After drawing a lot of attention back when it was first announced by Viz Media, volumes one and two of Pokemon Black & White have hit comic store shelves (they were in most big chain bookstores a couple weeks back). The size of them is interesting – more square shaped than Viz’s standard books and considerably thinner, more similar to the way they used to publish Pokemon Adventures during its first graphic novel run. I love reading a manga with the Pokemon from the new games and they’ve got no shortage of attitude based on what I’ve flipped through so far.

The second omnibus collection of Full Metal Alchemist offered me something substantially larger in regards to page-count. Having finished this, I’ve now read the equivalent of six volumes of the original run, and it’s official – I’m hooked. So good! It’s going to be hard not to rush out and buy the rest of the series in singles. At first the omnibus paper quality bothered me (it’s noticeably thinner than the single books) but it really doesn’t make much of a difference when you’re reading as long as you don’t try to hold your book up by a single sheet (and why would you do that in the first place?).

High quality publishing from Viz Media are two books from their Viz Signature collection – Ooku (Vol. 06) and La Quinta Camera. I openly admit that I can barely grasp who is who and what’s going on half the time in the grand scheme of things in Ooku but Fumi Yoshinaga makes every scene so potent with drama and expression that I’m completely engrossed all the time anyway.

From Vertical Inc, I bought the newest volume of Black Jack (Vol. 15) – always an absolute must-have! This volume comes in sunny shades of yellow, an eye-catching but somber reminder that sun is something we’ve seen very little of this summer here in Nova Scotia! Ah well, a new volume of Black Jack can always chase away the rainy day blues.

Deltora Quest (Vol. 01)Looking to try a new series, and get a fantasy-fix in the process, I picked up Deltora Quest (Vol. 01) from Kodansha Comics. The plot sounded super generic but that’s not always a bad thing. Unfortunately the art style, which has already had my roommate and I in giggles over some of the super awkward panel choices and character designs, has me questioning the purchase. We’ll see how I feel about it as a whole when my review goes up early next week.

And finally, to fill in some empty spots on my bookshelf, I bought Tale of an Unknown Country (Vol. 02) from the now non-existent CMX and Natsume’s Book of Friends (Vol. 05), which is a random volume mid-series I somehow managed to miss purchasing.

What was in your swag bag this week?


Review: Natsume’s Book of Friends (Vol. 04)

Reviewer: Andre
Natsume's Book of Friends (Vol. 04)

Manga-ka: Yuki Midorikawa
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: October 2010

Synopsis: “Takashi’s quiet afternoon in the forest is disrupted when an angry spirit tries to possess him. He manages to dodge the spiritual attack, but he can’t as easily avoid the yokai’s pleas for help. Now he’s tracking down an escaped evil spirit that threatens the life of the forest. But he’s still learning that yokai never tell the whole truth, and the secrets spirits keep spell trouble for him!”

Yuki Midorikawa returns with yet another volume of Natsume’s Book of Friends, taking us back to the enchanting bittersweet realm of a boy haunted by Yokai due to his grandmother’s strange childhood hobby. Takashi’s grandmother Reiko Natsume made many enemies by enslaving yokai with her magical book of the work’s title, and this volume continues his encounters with the supernatural, and search for the comforts of a happy family life and friendships. With excellent art and characterization, Midorikawa creates a wonderful manga supported by VIZ’s strong production values.

Read more…


Review: Natsume’s Book of Friends (Vol. 03)

Reviewer: Andre Paploo
Natsume's Book of Friends (Vol. 03)

Manga-ka: Yuki Midorikawa
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: July 2010

Synopsis: “Takashi is busy returning the names his grandmother trapped in her book and helping the local yokai with their problems. But he has to put his good deeds on hold when a black Nyanko Sensei snatches the Book of Friends! Takashi and the real Nyanko trail the bad cat to a secret yokai meeting deep in the forest. Will they be in time to stop the impostor’s wicked plans?!”

Bringing in a pleasant new addition to their Shojo Beat line of graphic novels, VIZ’s choice of Natsume’s Book of Friends has provided readers with yet another subtle manga treasure. A laid back adventure that slowly builds its mystery, the work presents itself in a gentle fashion while not shying away from contemplating darker story elements. Takashi Natsume’s world is both uncertain and hopeful, depicted in welcome shades of grey and light that make for a relaxing, involving reading experience.

Read more…


Viz Dominates NYCC 2009 Sunday

With Tokyopop, Bandai, Del Rey and Yen Press’s panels yesterday, it was Viz who stepped up to take centrestage today at New York Comic Con. Many thanks to @MangaCast again and the ever-vigilant (and wonderfully detailed) Gia over at AnimeVice! You can read her live-postings about the Viz panel here.

New manga licenses from Viz are:

All My Darling Daughters
Fumi Yoshinaga

Beast Master
Kyousuke Motomi

Boys Over Flowers: Jewelery Box
Yoko Kamio

Butterfly, Flowers
Yuki Yoshihara

Gogo Monster
Taiyo Matsumoto

Jormungand
Keitaro Takahashi

Natsume’s Book of Friends
Yuki Midorikawa

Not Simple
Natsume Ono

The Gentlemen’s Alliance Cross Artbook
Arina Tanemura

What a Wonderful World
Inio Asano

Yu-Gi-Oh! R
Akira Ito

ANN has thumbnails and release dates to go with these titles as well.

Also exciting from Viz is that they’ll be revealing “very soon” information about their release plans for the Monster anime series and L: Change the World live-action film. As someone who has just finished the Monster manga series (in a word, wow), I’m excited to hear that the English anime release is moving forward. An anime I may actually sit down and watch! I hope its a nice boxset release initially over individual DVDs.

Other tidbits (which you can read about in more detail over at Gia’s live blog of the panel) include Stan Lee’s Ultimo running in Shonen Jump, Naruto taking a break in Shonen Jump to make way for a lot of manga volumes spread over a few months and some date reminders of upcoming releases.


Take me back to the top!