New Manga: Watch Out Fumi Yoshinaga, Natsume Ono Is On The Prowl

By Mat K.

There are a decent amount of books coming out this week, and one title in particular made something fairly clear to me. Natsume Ono is the new Fumi Yoshinaga. “How is that?” you might ask? The beginning of Fumi Yoshinaga’s American career began with Antique Bakery, which brought her unique wispy art style to fans in The States, and separated her from most other manga artists, drawing lots of attention, combined with great story-telling. Also, you can’t forget the gay pastry chef, and various shonen ai undertones. Well, Not Simple, Natsume Ono’s premier book can be described much the same way. Between her very unique art style (more akin to American indy comic artists), and the awesome gay character and other undertones as well as an amazing story, these are what rake in the girl fans. Never mind the fact that her second book was also about a restaurant, and still pretty Boy Love-ish.

When I was going over the new list of things coming out this week, I discovered that there was another new book coming in from Natsume Ono called “House Of Five Leaves“. This would be her fourth title release in less than a year, it looks like someone has a fan over at Viz. In this one a masterless samurai named Akitsu Masanosuke is a skilled and loyal swordsman, but his naive, diffident nature has more than once caused him to be let go by the lords who employ him. Hungry and desperate, he agrees to become a bodyguard for Yaichi, the charismatic leader of a group calling itself “Five Leaves.” Although disturbed by the gang’s sinister activities, Masa begins to suspect that Yaichi’s motivations are not what they seem. And despite his misgivings, the deeper he’s drawn into the world of the Five Leaves, the more he finds himself fascinated by these devious, mysterious outlaws.

There are also quite a few other nifty books coming in, a bunch of them from Yen Press, but I want to focus for a bit on a new book coming from Top Shelf called AX. This is a trade collection of AX magazine, a magazine of indy manga artists. Published bi-monthly for over ten years now, AX contains the most creative and cutting-edge works of independent comics from the world’s largest comics industry. Now Top Shelf presents a 400-page collection of stories from ten years of AX history, translated into English for the first time. This groundbreaking book includes work by 33 artists, including Yoshihiro Tatsumi (A Drifting Life). Over all it looks like an awesome book and definitely worth your time, it’s the kind of thing that is going make your bookshelf that much sexier. Also, for those of you who are over generic manga style, this will be a refreshing reprieve.

You can just come by and see the other neat stuff coming in, because that is all I have for you guys this week. Til next time!

Ja Ne!

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