It’s a quality-over-quantity week for manga in the new ComicList: not a ton of arrivals, but each is welcome.
CMX releases the second and concluding volume of Natsuna Kawase’s The Lapis Lazuli Crown. It’s one of those charming romances where you can readily understand why the protagonists like each other. Here’s my review of the first volume. I’m less smitten with CMX’s other Kawase offering, A Tale of an Unknown Country, but it’s still a solid earlier work from the creator. And if you look at how far Kawase progressed as a storyteller between Tale and Crown, Kawase certainly seems like a manga-ka to watch.
In other CMX news, I really need to catch up with Yuki Nakaji’s Venus in Love, a charming story of love among the co-eds. It’s up to its seventh volume.
The rest of the week’s heavy lifting is performed by Viz, which offers new volumes of a couple of always-welcome series. Writer Tetsu Kariya and illustrator Akira Hanasaki continue to build the food pyramid with Oishinbo: Vegetables, the fifth volume in Viz’s reprinting of the A la Carte excerpts of the long-running series.
The fourth volume of Pluto: (Naoki) Urasawa x (Osamu) Tezuka was packed with shocking twists and a surprising amount of very effective tear-jerking. As Urasawa’s works always seem to get better as they progress, I’m predicting more of the same with the fifth volume. Oh, and for a preview of Urasawa’s current project, Billy Bat, check out this piece by Adam Stephanides at Completely Futile. It’s being serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Morning, so don’t expect it to end up in Viz’s Signature line when it’s licensed.