Slow January For Manga

By Mat K.

I’m opening this week with sorry for missing everyone last week. There was a lot of post New Year’s counting and inventory that needed to be done, so I passed the torch to Shannon just that one time. Now I’m back and, well, there is not a lot to talk about. As this week’s title points out, it has been a slow January so far. a dozen or less books per week. Usually we’re used to the beginning of a month spitting out at least 20 books. Either way there is still some interesting stuff coming out. And oddly enough, there are no premier series. Usually there are at least one or two, but everything this week is at least the second volume of whatever it is.

One of the more impressive books coming in this week is the second volume of the Jiro Taniguchi series Summit Of The Gods. It’s written by Yumemakura Baku, but let’s face it, everyone dies to find a Jiro Taniguchi book. On his third expedition in June 1924, Mallory and his climbing partner, Andrew Irvine, disappeared on the North-East ridge during their ascent, having been sighted only a few hundred meters from the summit. In 1993, in a small Nepalese store, Makoto Fukamachi, photographer for a Japanese expedition to conquer Mount Everest, stumbles across an old camera – a Vest Pocket Autographic Kodak Special. Could it be Mallory’s camera? Did it hold the secret of whether Mallory and Irvine made it to the summit almost three decades before Hillary?

Now what kind of reporter would I be if I missed this, Inu Yasha volume 56 arrived. Why is this one special? It’s the final volume! That is correct sir! The epic tale of cross-temporal love and demon hunting finally comes to an end after a million years. Frankly the first hint would have been the cover. An overtly romantic photo of Inu Yasha and Kagome staring into the distance with the blue sky behind them and, for some strange reason, a flock of John Woo style doves behind them. In this volume the demon Naraku’s true intentions are finally revealed! Then, Kagome is swallowed up by the Meido. Is she finally beyond her friends’ reach? The final battle over the Shikon Jewel will either draw Inuyasha and Kagome together or pull them apart forever.

And the next most exciting thing happening this week is Battle Angel Alita: Last Order Volume 14. I do love the series, and I know it is a fan favorite, my only criticism is really that I’m surprised at Viz for not keeping the earlier volumes available and in print. They are usually better at doing that, after all, it’s hard to get people to read Volume 14 if they can’t read Volume 1. But I digress. The fate of entire worlds and peoples is at stake as teams of bizarre life-forms prepare for the barbaric Z.O.T. Tournament finals! Then Alita’s friend Zazie arrives in need of a literal disarming. And who will prevail when Hitechnolat Minister and LADDER Assistant Chairman Mbadi and Alita finally have their showdown?

Well, that’s all I have this time. The books are good, but let’s hope next week will be flush with new titles. Til then!

Ja Ne!

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