Ouran High School Host Club

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Posts Tagged Shoujo

Victoria’s Favourites: Top 20 Manga (Part 04)

Victoria’s Favourites: Top 20 Manga (Part 04)

The hardest part about making this list was assigning the order and I replayed with the rankings over and over again. Nailing it down was the most difficult for the top ten titles or so, because all of them are ones I absolutely adore and it was very challenging to say I liked one more than the other. In fact, I only came up with the final order when I asked myself a question concerning the top five, which I am about to finally share.

That question was this: if there were only five manga series I could read for the rest of my life, which ones would I choose?

Without further ado, here are my choices.

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Otaku USA: On The Shelf – September 19, 2012

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - September 19, 2012

It’s manga finale week! Not the end of manga of course (apocalypse!) but the end of a few different series that will all be greatly missed – 20th Century Boys (Viz), Cardcaptor Sakura (DH) and House of Five Leaves (Viz). Filling the gap in our manga buying lives just a bit is the start of Dark Horse’s release of Angelic Layer. This is one of my favourite CLAMP series, so it could definitely warrant a re-buy for me.

You can read more of my thoughts on this week’s releases over at my On The Shelf article for Otaku USA.

And new to my brief postings here on Kuriousity, and for your shopping convenience, a handy list of this week’s releases complete with links* to buy!

20th Century Boys (Vol. 22) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Angelic Layer Omnibus (Vol. 01) [Amazon CAN, Amazon USRightStuf]
Attack on Titan (Vol. 02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon USRightStuf]
Berserk (Vol. 36) [Amazon CAN, Amazon USRightStuf]
Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus (Vol. 04) [Amazon CAN, Amazon USRightStuf]
House of Five Leaves (Vol. 08) [Amazon CAN, Amazon USRightStuf]
Sailor Moon (Vol. 07) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]

*As a disclaimer, links on the site are affiliation links for Kuriousity with any and all proceeds from them going towards our hosting fees.

Review: A Devil and Her Love Song (Vol. 04)

A Devil and Her Love Song (Vol. 04)

Manga-ka: Miyoshi Tomori
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: August 2012

Synopsis: “Maria encourages antagonistic Ayu to be true to her feelings, but that simple action snowballs into a huge rift within their class! As secret crushes and hidden motives are revealed, the backlash of honesty just might destroy Mario’s efforts in uniting everyone for the choral competition!”

I was really surprised to see the avalanche of confession and reveal in this volume of A Devil and Her Love Song. The tension just kept rising between Maria and her classmates, and just when I thought things were going to plummet to an all-time low (which would be pretty darn low indeed), suddenly what we’ve wanted to have happen has actually happened! Maria’s classmates are finally privy to one of ‘those’ conversations, the kind no one ever seems to be around to hear but the ones you know that if they were, everything would change. And change it did!

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Review: Otomen (Vol. 13)

Otomen (Vol. 13)

Manga-ka: Aya Kanno
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: September 2012

Synopsis: “Ryo ends up coaching a high school judo team, but women aren’t allowed at that school! She finds a way around this obstacle, but the real challenge comes when she finds herself facing off against… Asuka?!”

Otomen is a series I’ve enjoyed since the beginning, but recent volumes have been a little lacklustre. The story’s been moving away from characters I like most and even Asuka was feeling a bit overshadowed by other secondary characters pushing their own agendas onto him. When I read the synopsis for volume thirteen however, I felt excited. Ryo and Asuka facing off against each other in judo? Cool! What I got was both what I expected and not at the same time. This volume has the longest focus on Ryo I recall since the series began. It provides a better look at her as a character and springs forward her relationship with Asuka more than I ever honestly thought would be possible.

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Swag Bag: Farewell Ouran, Hello Shonen and Bye-Bye Kizuna Boys

Swag Bag - June 13, 2012

Swag Bag time! Below are some of my thoughts of books I’ve purchased in the past two weeks (and love very, very much). As always these books were purchased at my local comic shop, Strange Adventures.

My favourite buy of recent weeks was the final volume of Ouran High School Host Club (Vol.18). I couldn’t even wait to get home to read it so I was quick to find a place to sit down and enjoy. It was a fantastic ending, probably one of the best I’ve ever actually read in manga series, especially a shoujo. I plan to go into it in more detail in an upcoming review, but in summary – yay! Though I’m really sad there’s no more to read.

Also from Viz Media this week were the first two volumes of their Bleach speed-up. Despite some pleadings from my wallet, I simply couldn’t leave volume 41 on the shelf when I was walking away with volume 40, so both it was! I enjoyed these together more than I have Bleach in a while and having two volumes at once I think played a big role in that. You can read more of my thoughts in my recent duo-review of the volumes.

Hopping back on a different shonen train, I purchased Toriko (Vol.09). It’s still one of my favourite on-going series right now which I never would have expected when I first came across it. It feels so reminiscent of Dragonball, including Komatsu who ups his adorable and toughing-it-out points in this new volume. On the flipside, I bought Dawn of the Arcana (Vol.04) which is a series I thought I would really like but it has yet to click with me. Volume four is it! If I don’t get into it after this, then I’m done with this iffy shoujo series.

With one series over and three others continuing, I sought something brand new by buying Puella Nagi Magica Madoka (Vol.01) from Yen Press. I haven’t seen the anime but heard the story was really good. The manga didn’t live up to my expectations, but I can see it being worth exploring further in some format at least. I wrote and posted a review on my Madoka thoughts last week.

Evyione (Vol.01)Catching my eye was an older title from UDON EntertainmentEvyione Ocean Fantasy (Vol.01). Even knowing their track record for continuing manhwa past a first volume is horrendous, I couldn’t help but buy it. It’s a retelling of the Little Mermaid story except the mermaid is a gorgeous mysterious merman and the prince is instead, you guessed it, a princess. I really like what I read here but I won’t hold my breath for getting volume two.

And then it was boys’ love time! Two new Digital Manga titles arrived in-store, which is always a surprise since you never know for sure when their books will ship. Both titles were by Kazuma Kadoka – Kizuna (Vol.06) and Bad Teacher’s Equation (Vol.04). I was a little disappointed to see that the Kizuna volume was only a single, where all the others released by DMP were omnibus. Nothing that can be done when that’s all that’s left though. I’ll miss the series now that it’s over – it’s a true BL classic. Bad Teacher’s Equation as a series is so silly – I have fun reading it so I’m glad there are still a few volumes left to go.

And in non-manga buying news, but something that still overlaps a lot with the fandom, I purchased the second Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise graphic novel from Dark Horse. As a big fan of ATLA, I adore these graphic novels for reading so much like the original series (very amusing dialogue, for one) and for being drawn by the very talented, GuruHiru.

Otaku USA: On The Shelf – April 25, 2012

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - April 25, 2012

New comics’ day! Alas that Diamond Comics was a bit behind in releasing a number of the new manga released but I suppose that’s nothing new. If you’re ordering from online retailers or large bookstores though, you should be good to go, buy and read!

Top titles of the week for me are Air Gear (Vol. 25) and the last Tokyo Mew Mew omnibus. You can check out the full list and more of my thoughts over at my On The Shelf article at Otaku USA.

Viz Media Adds to Shoujo Beat Line-Up with Strobe Edge & Demon Love

Shoujo Beat Licenses Two New Titles For Print

Viz Media treated us with a couple new licenses this week, announced first via their Shoujo Beat Twitter account and then very shortly after through a press release.

Strobe Edge – Io Sakisaka
Demon Love Spell – Mayu Shinjo

This is the first time Io Sakisaka’s work has been released in English.  Strobe Edge has already been published in French though, and was cited by Viz as “one of the most requested titles that our readers have asked to be licensed”. The series is about a teen named Ninako who is looking for love and may have found it with the school’s number one mysterious heartthrob. He already has a girlfriend, however, and Ninako must learn to cope with her first experience with love being her first with heartbreak as well. Currently the series is ten volumes in Japan and has been running  since 2007 (still going!).

Demon Love Spell isn’t Mayu Shinjo’s first title released in North America. Her series Ai Ore! is currently being published by Viz Media in omnibus format. Unfortunately Ai Ore! (Vol.01) very easily earned top spot as my Most Gag-Worthy book released in 2011 so my hopes aren’t very high for this new one. The plot, however – about a shrine maiden who finds herself the target of a lusty demon after sealing away his powers – does peak my interest enough to at least give it a try. My fingers are crossed it proves more palatable! Demon Love Spell (“Ayakashi Koi Emaki”)  is currently four volumes and on-going.

Both of these new titles will start print publication later this year.


PR: Viz Media Announces New Shojo Manga – Strobe Edge & Demon Love


VIZ Media announces its latest manga (graphic novel) licenses with the acquisition of the domestic publishing rights to two new shojo series – STROBE EDGE, by Io Sakisaka, and DEMON LOVE SPELL, by Mayu Shinjo. Both titles are scheduled to begin publication later this year under the company’s Shojo Beat imprint.

Creator Io Sakisaka’s STROBE EDGE (rated ‘T’ for Teens) asks the timeless question, “What is love?” Ninako Kinoshita’s friends tell her it’s one thing, but Ninako wants to discover this mysterious emotion herself. When she meets Ren Ichinose, a handsome, enigmatic guy worshipped by all the girls at her school, she finds her heartbeat quickening with excitement! Is Ninako about to experience the many facets of love?

Celebrated manga creator Mayu Shinjo (AI ORE!, SENSUAL PHRASE) also returns with her new supernatural romance, DEMON LOVE SPELL (rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens). In the series, Miko is a shrine maiden who has never had much success at seeing or banishing spirits. Then she meets Kagura, a sexy demon who feeds off of women’s feelings of passion and love. Kagura’s insatiable appetite has left many girls brokenhearted at school, so Miko casts a spell to seal his powers. Surprisingly the spell works – sort of – but now Kagura is after her!

“STROBE EDGE has been one of the most requested titles that our readers have asked to be licensed, and the romantic coming-of-age story will be a perfect series for young teen readers in particular,” says Leyla Aker, Vice President, Publishing. “Mayu Shinjo’s new series, DEMON LOVE SPELL, will intrigue older teen readers and young adults with its fun mix of comedic supernatural romance and gorgeous artwork. We look forward to launching both series later this year and will be announcing more information on the forthcoming debuts soon!”

For more information on Shojo Beat manga titles, please visit: www.ShojoBeat.com

Review: Dawn of the Arcana (Vol. 02)

Dawn of the Arcana (Vol. 02)

Manga-ka: Rei Toma
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: February 2012

Synopsis: “Princess Nakaba of Senan and Prince Caesar of Belquat only married each other for the sake of peace between their two warring countries, but things take a surprising turn when Caesar finds himself falling for his strange wife! Caesar tries to get Nakaba to return his feelings, but she maintains that he is her enemy and that she hates him. So when Nakaba has a vision of Caesar getting killed, will she say anything to save him?”

Princess Nakaba remains a captive as the wife to Prince Caeser, heir to the throne of the kingdom warring against her own. With Nakaba’s loyal attendant Loki at her side, her time in the castle has shifted its attentions from survival to instead coming to terms with her growing romantic feelings. It’s not the direction I was hoping the story would go but I can’t say I’m surprised. At least with someone still worth rooting for and artwork to oogle, Dawn of the Arcana could be a winner yet.

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Review: Ouran High School Host Club (Vol. 17)

Ouran High School Host Club (Vol. 17)

Manga-ka: Bisco Hatori
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: December 2011

Synopsis: “Tamaki’s father and grandmother, the heads of the powerful Suoh Corp., are behind the Host Club’s suspension and the plan for Haruhi to be shipped off abroad. Now the Host Club members must pull out all the stops to save their beloved leader from his family’s infighting.”

We’ve arrived at the penultimate volume of Ouran High School Host Club – you’d think it was the end reading it though. It feels like all the stops were pulled out for this amazing climax. The romance, the friendship, the favours of acquaintances, the company power plays, the family struggles, medical breakthroughs and a race against the clock. No volume of manga I read throughout this entire year had me as giddy and tight gripped on the pages as this one.

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