Upcoming 8/1

August 1, 2007

With San Diego behind us all, it’s back to the weekly Wednesday routine.

Meca Tanaka’s funky, charming Omukae Desu (CMX) ends with its fifth volume. Will Aguma get over her crush on a dead guy? Will Madoka break through her veneer of hostility? What will the theme days be?

Debuting from CMX is Makoto Tateno’s King of Cards. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by game-based manga in the past, and the idea of a shôjo take on the subject is kind of interesting conceptually. That said, the preview didn’t grab me. Card-game enthusiasts might like it, though I have no idea if the game Tateno has invented bears any resemblance to actual games of this nature. I couldn’t really follow the rules, so dramatic reversals in matches might not be generating the proper level of excitement.

It’s a big week for Del Rey, with new volumes of lots of series and a debut, Alive, by Tadashi Kawashima and Adachitoka. Now this preview did grab me. After a somewhat shaky opening sequence, Kawashima gets down to business with a creepy tale of a suicide virus that cuts a chunk out of the population and leaves a group of schoolmates in terrible danger. The highlight here is the cinematic pacing, with tense cuts between simultaneous terrors. There’s also lots of mystery, a solid cast, and plenty of promising material to cover in future volumes.

My personal picks among the already-in-progress series are the second volume of Mushishi, a beautifully drawn supernatural travelogue of sorts, and the tenth volume of Nodame Cantabile, a quirky soap opera about music students.

In case you missed it the first time, NBM offers you another crack at Nicolas DeCrécy’s Glacial Period. I’ve run out of ways to summarize how unique and entertaining this book is, so I’ll just point you to this old review.

It’s not a huge week for Viz, but it is a fairly eclectic one, with new volumes of The Drifting Classroom (#7), Fullmetal Alchemist (#14), Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs (#4), and Naoki Urasawa’s Monster (#10). If I had to choose only one, I’d probably be in trouble, though I have to admit that I’d ultimately go with Fullmetal. Drifting is hyperactive and crazy, Inubaka is sweet, and Monster has its many odd charms, but Fullmetal is crack.