Novels, novelties, and nipples

December 22, 2005

I should apologize in advance for any typos in this post. I have a cat helping me. She’s what might delicately be called “full-figure,” and she’s perched herself on the control/caps lock quadrant of the keyboard. I’d move her, but my wrist might break.

Anyway, here’s a survey of the first volumes and manga oddities listed in the January 2006 edition of Previews.

Dark Horse continues to make horror fans very, very happy. This month, they offer Lullabies from Hell by Hideshi Hino. I can see retailers and booksellers reacting with horror if that’s the actual cover art for Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – The Lost Memory Novel (Junichi Fujisaku). Less potentially frightening is Haibe Renmei Anime Manga, based on the anime created by Yoshitoshi Abe.

ADV tries to catch your eye with the tag “Kill Your Parents” for the first volume of Anne Freaks (Tomohiro Nagai). It’s a horror/crime-fiction fusion featuring teens, cults, and what’s clearly a fairly drastic generational schism.

Another month, another new release from Del Rey. This time, it’s KageTora (Akira Segami), featuring “romance, action, comedy (and) ninjas!” Fresh!

Digital Manga unleashes what seems like a ton of varied material. There’s My Only King from “The Queen of Yaoi” Lily Hoshino. I’ve been wanting to see some of the more unusual, instructional titles, so Project X 240Z (Akira Yokoyama) has me curious. It’s the biography of the Datsun 204Z. No, seriously. I liked the manga version of Only the Ring Finger Knows, but I was left wanting to read more about the characters. Now, DMP offers the first of three novels tied to the series, The Lonely Ring Finger (by no one, apparently). Desire was another solid entry in DMP’s yaoi line, and that title’s artist, Yukine Honami, joins with writer Serubo Honami for Sweet Revolution, which sounds kind of like an all-boy Ultra Maniac.

Ice Kunion debuts Hissing (Kang EunYoung).

Tokyopop seems positively restrained this time around. There’s the first volume of Life (Keiko Suenobu), which promises “a foreword from a licensed psychologist who has worked with teens” on the various hot-button issues addressed in each volume. First up is cutting, apparently. I shouldn’t blame Yuna Kagesaki’s Chibi Vampire for having a title similar to Chibi Zombies, should I? No. Fans of Demo might keep an eye out for East Coast Rising, written and illustrated by Becky Cloonan. It features “some of the toughest, ‘durrtiest’ hooligans to sail the Hudson River.” It’s probably unfair of me, but hip misspellings do not fill me with confidence.

With hits Fake and Gravitation under its belt, it’s no surprise Tokyopop offers another “sexy and sophisticated bi-shonen” title, Asami Tojoh’s X-Kai. But they try to offer a little something for everyone, including “the long-awaited fan-service spectacular” Yubisaki Milk Tea (Tomochika Miyano). Fan service and cross-dressing? We’ll see. We’ll also see how fan service translates into prose with the first Love Hina Novel, written by Kuruo Hazuki with illustrations by Ken Akamatsu. Somewhat buried in the listings is the Rising Stars of Manga – UK & Ireland Edition, featuring seven stories by aspiring cartoonists.

Okay, maybe this isn’t quite as restrained as I initially thought. There are also first volumes of Priceless (Young-You Lee) and Magical x Miracle (Yuzu Mizutani). Shout Out Loud (Satosumi Takaguchi) launches in the Blu line, featuring young anime voice actors/hockey players in love.

Viz only has a handful of new titles, or maybe it just seems that way by comparison. Norihiro Yago’s Claymore launches in the Shonen Jump Advanced line. Fans of Hayao Miyazaki might be interested in the Kiki’s Delivery Service Film Comics. In the Shojo Beat line, there’s Yoko Maki’s Aishiteruze Baby.

Yaoi Press offers Saihôshi, the Guardian (Kôsen). What happened to Prince Anel’s shirt?

Listed in the Previews Book Store section is Go! Comi’s Crossroad by Shioko Mizuki. But I think that’s been listed before, hasn’t it? Even if it has, it gives me a chance to mention how much I like Go! Comi’s website.

If you note any omissions, egregious misspellings, or plain old flubs, let me know.

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Edited to add Boogiepop, a horror/mystery novel, and the first volume of the manga adaptation, Doesn’t Laugh, by Kohei Kadano and Kouji Ogata, published by Seven Seas Entertainment. (Thanks, Anonymous!)