Otaku USA Magazine
On The Shelf – December 7, 2011

Dinosaurs, vampires, princesses and pasts—there’s a great assortment of titles out this week to kick off the last month of 2011!

A little dinosaur with a big mouth and even bigger attitude awaits you in Kodansha’s release of Gon (Vol.03). I have a love/fear relationship with this series. The artwork is gorgeous and so meticulously detailed. The fact it tells stories without words makes it a read anybody from anywhere can enjoy too. On the other hand, Gon the dinosaur really scares me sometimes! He’s cute, he’s curious and he’ll tear a shark out of the ocean by clamping himself inside its mouth and leaving it to flounder helplessly on land. Natural selection has never been so creative or looked so eerily casual.


• Gon (Vol.03), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)

Seven Seas continues one of my favorite on-going series with Blood Alone (Vol.05). This volume continues, and concludes, the flashback from volume four where we see how Kuroe and Misaki met for the first time. With Misaki threatened by a deadly organization, it’s up to Kuroe to put his life on the line and show what a human can do against the supernatural onslaught to save her from the fate the vampiric Caledwich has in store.


• Blood Alone (Vol.05), ($10.99/US, $12.50/CAN)

The first shipping Wednesday of December also means the big Viz Media haul of the month. The diversity of titles is great, from stacks of shonen to piles of shoujo. Perhaps no title on the list is more long-awaited however than Ouran High School Host Club (Vol.17). It’s been six months since we saw the last book and we’re now only one book away until the series’ end. The drama has been building and building and we just know something’s going to give soon. The host club has been suspended, plans are afoot to get Haruhi shipped overseas and all of it’s orchestrated by Tamaki’s family heads who are determined to force the path their son will walk.

A new shoujo story starts this week—Dawn of the Arcana. Nakaba is a princess of the country of Senan and is forced to marry the Prince of their enemy country as a bargaining chip. Prince Caesar may be good looking but it’s only skin deep and Nakaba needs to find out to survive a selfish and possessive husband, a dangerous new home and a strange power that seems to be emerging.

On the other end of a series’ lifespan, Grand Guignol Orchestra (Vol.05) is the last volume of Kaori Yuki’s latest English-released series. It’s finally showdown time between Lucille and the monarch who haunts him, Queen Gemsilica. Will his zombie-doll destructing voice and killer good looks be enough to win this battle with the long-sought Black Oratorio now MIA?

This month’s release of Naruto brings the series up to fifty-three printed volumes, meaning one more happily-purchased reason to worsen the bend in your bookshelves. This is an important volume for fans of the series, and those who love its title character especially. Naruto is facing his own inner demons at the Waterfall of Truth and a flash to the past will reveal more truth than even he expected about his village, family and Nine Tails.

For even more flashback action, Bleach (Vol.37) continues the story of Soul Society’s past and how Aizen’s first big betrayal lead to so many good friends and Soul Reapers being transformed into Hollows. Meanwhile in One Piece (Vol.59), it’s another dose of family trauma as Luffy is pushed further than ever before trying to save his brother. The pirate war may be coming to an end but the world is far from okay after these events transpired.


• Bakuman (Vol.08),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Bleach (Vol.37),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Blue Exorcist (Vol.05),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• D.Gray-man Illustrations (Art Book),
($21.99/US, $25.99/CAN)
• Dawn Of The Arcana (Vol.01),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Grand Guignol Orchestra (Vol.05),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow (Vol.04),
($12.99/US, $14.99/CAN)
• Kamisama Kiss (Vol.06),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Naruto (Vol.53),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Nura: Rise Of The Yokai Clan (Vol.06),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• One Piece (Vol.59),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Ouran High School Host Club (Vol.17),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Sakura Hime: The Legend Of Princess Sakura (Vol.05),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Slam Dunk (Vol.19),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Toriko (Vol.07), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)

Just in time to make the perfect Christmas bundle gift for manga fans, Vertical Inc. is releasing the second, and final, volume of Osamu Tezuka’s Princess Knight. With her Mother trapped as stone, a prince on her mind and a love-struck pirate at her side, Sapphire struggles for her life, kingdom and identity against witches, a goddess and evil Dukes.

No Longer Human (Vol.02) resumes another story of soul-searching but one that’s much darker. In volume one we followed Yozo Oba on his downward spiral from well-off, beloved student to a self-loathing shut-in joining terrorist groups out of boredom. Volume two continues the journey with another collection of chapters watching Oba hide himself from a world he feels he can’t truly express himself in.


• No Longer Human (Vol.02), ($10.95/US, $11.95/CAN)
• Princess Knight (Vol.02), ($10.95/US, $15.95/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 be ship prior to or after the date listed above varying by location and availability.