Otaku USA Magazine
On The Shelf – February 13th, 2013

This week it’s a dash of this and a dash of that as we get a couple books from a number of different publishers. An anthology, some shonen, some boys’ love, some science fiction and whatever Hayate the Combat Butler is classified as – there’s a little something for just about everyone….

Dark Horse’s book this week is a treat for fans of their long-time running series, Blade of the Immortal. Emerald & Other Stories isn’t the only other book by Hiroaki Samura they’ve released, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen another and BotI is definitely the title most North Americans are familiar with. The setting here in Emerald, however, is considerably different. This book collects seven different stories from across genres and time periods, but the title story takes place in the Wild West as a one-armed gunman and a mysterious woman team up to dupe a town that already has some cons of its own. I enjoyed Hiroaki Samura’s Ohikkoshi one-shot, so I’m really eager to get my hands on Emerald to experience an even more diverse assortment of subject matter.

• Hiroaki Samura’s Emerald & Other Stories, ($12.99/US, $14.50/CAN)

Kodansha Comics is ending a series this week with Deltora Quest (Vol.10). There are only two gems left until the Belt of Deltora is complete, but even if Lief and his group manage to survive the last trials in order to find them, it’s all for nothing if they can’t discover the right heir to put the belt on. Oh, and of course to make sure they never, ever let it out of their sight! Deltora Quest may be a fun series that’s spawned both an anime and a manga from the original book series, but it’s not a quest I think any of these characters want to embark on again.

• Deltora Quest (Vol.10), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)

SuBLime meanwhile is continuing one of their on-going series with Awkward Silence (Vol.03). Those who enjoyed the banter of secondary characters in volume two will be excited to know that Sagara and Kagami are the stars of the show in this volume. While the very emotionally-subtle (to put it lightly) teen, Satoru, and his baseball-playing boyfriend, Keigo, continue their adorable romance, there’s a lot more yelling, jealously and hesitant declarations as Sagara struggles to make sense of Kagami’s advances and juggle part time jobs and hospital visits at the same time.

• Awkward Silence (Vol.03), ($12.99/US, $14.99/CAN)

Then it’s time for something brand new: Vertical Inc. is beginning a new series, Knights of Sidonia. This science-fiction series—by the creator of Viz Media’s Biomega—follows a youth named Nagate Tanikaze who is one of the last human beings, and one of few not of the new race they’ve become. The story takes place in the depths of space, where the threat of aliens who drove humans there is still prevalent in the universe. Not only is it about the bleakness of humanity’s future and the eccentricities of the way they’ve evolved (including a new gender!), but also has some alien-busting robot battles. Yes! I love that this series sounds like it mixes a lot of different moods and genres in one, plus anything by Vertical, who is especially selective about their licensing, is worth giving at least a volume’s worth to strut its stuff. (Check out our review!)

• Knights of Sidonia (Vol.01), ($12.95/US, $13.95/CAN)

And last up for publishers, it’s Viz Media. Their first title this week doesn’t seem to have the same bustling fan base as many of their other series, but those who like Hayate the Combat Butler definitely seem to like it a lot. I must say, volume twenty-one’s synopsis definitely piques some interest: “Surf! Sun! Gratuitous bikini shots! Battle nuns!”  It continues to be a romantic comedy of the wacky variety as Hinagiku musters up the nerve to confess her feelings amidst the backdrop plot of a thieving nun out to steal a family heirloom, and Nishizawa finally gets a moment alone with Hayate but it takes a trip to Greece to do it.

InuYasha caps off this week’s releases with a hefty page count and some fan favorite team-ups. When a turtle demon gets a power boost, its near-indestructible shell proves more than Inu Yasha can handle on his own. Enter big brother Sesshomaru who puts aside the sibling stand-offs in order to help his half-demon brother take down the armored adversary. At nearly 600 pages, that’s only one of the story arcs explored in this hefty three-in-one.

• Hayate the Combat Butler (Vol.21), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• InuYasha VIZBig (Vol.14), ($17.99/US, $21.00/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.