Otaku USA Magazine
On The Shelf – April 3, 2013

Welcome back, Otaku USA readers, to an Internet free of jokes, trolls, lies and misdirection as April Fools’ Day lays behind us! … … Alright, you got me, the internet isn’t exactly a pure haven of information on an everyday basis, but never fear! We’ve got you covered here in our On The Shelf articles with all the new manga on shelves, and that’s no joke. Don’t let the size of this week’s list trick you either, I swear we’re not foolin’! It’s just that nice.

Just in time for the premiere of its anime this weekend, Kodansha Comics is releasing volume four of Attack on Titan. The anime is most likely starting back with the events of volume one, but for those keeping up with the manga we’ve already moved quite a ways past that. In this newest English-released volume, the Survey Corps are preparing to launch one of their riskiest plans yet—trying to rebuild Wall Rose and reclaiming back the land lost to the Titans for over a hundred years.

It’s go time of a different kind in Fairy Tail (Vol.24) when the cast returns home to participate in the annual S-class wizard promotion test. Everyone partners up and heads to the island where the test is to take place. But when it’s potentially do or die to prove themselves the best of the magical best, who will come out on top?

And then in Sailor Moon (Vol.10), the clock ticks as Usagi falls victim to the same illness that has Mamoru coughing up black blood. With the Dead Moon Circus closing in on the Sailor Guardians, old friends return to help, but even their strength combined might not be enough to defeat this new enemy… at least not yet. And when both Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask are put under a dark spell, Helios whisks them away to the dying Elysion to seek the power of the Golden Crystal.

Attack on Titan (Vol.04), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)
Battle Angel Alita: Last Order Omnibus (Vol.01), ($19.99/US, $22.99/CAN)
Fairy Tail (Vol.24), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)
Love Hina Omnibus (Vol.05), ($14.99/US, $16.99/CAN)
Sailor Moon (Vol.10), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)

Seven Seas’ first title is a new volume A Certain Scientific Railgun. This seventh volume marks the end of the Sisters arc as Level 0 Touma faces off with the Accelerator. Then, with a pleasing 320 pages, My Boyfriend is a Vampire (Vol.04) reaches the series’ halfway point and delivers up some more supernatural fun as it’s pretty-boy lead, Ryu, struggles with being transformed into a girl that all the vampires want a bite of.

A Certain Scientific Railgun (Vol.07), ($12.99/US, $14.99/CAN)
My Boyfriend is a Vampire (Vol.04), ($17.99/US, $18.50/CAN)

For me the most exciting title out this week is also one of the oldest in regards to its source material: Mobile Suit Gundam Origin: Activation. This is a manga adaptation of the original Gundam anime series, which makes it a perfect read for new and existing fans. The story begins when a young man finds himself in the middle of an on-going political and territorial war, and in an effort to save innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire, he enters the cockpit of an experimental new weapon called the Mobile Suit Gundam. The rest is history!

I’ve been looking forward to reading this Gundam series so I can learn more about the older Gundam stories, since my experience is limited to pretty much just Gundam Wing and a bit of Gundam Seed. Not only that, but Vertical’s edition looks gorgeous with its hardcover treatment. This is definitely a collector’s item for any serious manga collector or Gundam fan.

GTO: 14 Days in Shonan (Vol.08), ($10.95/US, $11.95/CAN)
Limit (Vol.04), ($10.95/US, $11.95/CAN)
Mobile Suit Gundam Origin: Activation (Vol.01), ($29.95/US, $33.95/CAN)

Viz Media caps off the week’s releases with an avalanche of titles all their own. Where to even begin?!

Well how about at the top? Barrage (Vol.02) sees the now-prince Astro working together with his knight and teacher, Tiamat, to free Industria from the alien invaders. I really loved getting to know Astro as a spunky street rat with a dozen children’s mouths to feed, and then seeing his sudden upgrade to super-powered Prince, in volume one. Tiamat is entertaining with his stoic personality in contrast, so with them now together full-time in volume two, it should be doubly fun!

The first of several volume nines Viz Media has for us today is Blue Exorcist (Vol.09). After the students spent volume eight keeping the Impure King busy, Rin is finally ready to use his newly drawn sword and discovered confidence to take the demon down with some demonic powers of his own. Dawn of the Arcana (Vol.09), however, is a very different kind of suspense climax. After eight volumes, Nakaba has finally become aware of how strongly Loki feels for her, and with her husband Caesar returning home to seize the throne, she’s forced to make a choice between the one always by her side and the one now leaving it.

Elsewhere, in Jiu Jiu (Vol.04), demon hunter Takamichi has some boy troubles of her own as her two dogs-turned-human protectors, Snow and Night, continue to cause chaos during their days at school. A temporary reprieve may spell more disaster than peace, though, when the pair suddenly find themselves with temporary new masters.

Edging us closer to its finale at thirty-one volumes is Slam Dunk (Vol.27), with Shohoku High continuing to put their all in against Sannoh as the game progresses to the second half. Still a long way to go to the finish is Toriko (Vol.15), as Komatsu and Toriko are on their own to keep the deadly Zebra in check when their friends Sunny and Coco refuse to help.

And, as a somewhat bittersweet finish to the week, Story of Saiunkoku comes to an end at nine volumes. The story goes on however, and some readers may be upset to see that this little collection of related mini stories doesn’t address most of the on-going plot points. There are still some neat revelations to be had, but if volume nine leaves you wanting for more, then be sure to check out the anime for a more satisfying finish.

Barrage (Vol.02), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Bleach (Vol.56), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Blue Exorcist (Vol.09), ($9.99/US,$12.99/CAN)
Dawn of the Arcana (Vol.09), ($9.99/US,$12.99/CAN)
Devil & Her Love Song (Vol.08), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Hana Kimi 3-in-1 (Vol.04), ($14.99/US, $16.99/CAN)
Jiu Jiu (Vol.04), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Kimi ni Todoke (Vol.16), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Library Wars: Love & War (Vol.09), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Nura Rise of the Yokai Clan (Vol.14), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Slam Dunk (Vol.27), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Story of Saiunkoku (Vol.09), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Toriko (Vol.15), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Yu-Gi-Oh 5DS (Vol.04), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)

That does it for this week’s On The Shelf – what on the list are you most eager to buy? Any must-have recommendations? Share your thoughts in our handy comment area for all our readers to see!

* All dates are based on distributor listings and may not necessarily reflect exact release dates. Some books may ship prior to or after the date listed above varying by location and availability.