Otaku USA Magazine
On The Shelf – February 22, 2012

Just about every current manga publisher showed up for shipping this week; seven publishers total for a variety of manga titles. The end of xxxHolic – a sad event in itself for the fans – also marks the end of Del Rey’s role as a manga publisher, with the exception of their continued connection-of-sorts to Kodansha Comics. Bye-bye, Del Rey! Except for my continued purchases of your fantasy novels anyway…

Dark Horse’s release of Oh My Goddess (Vol.20) marks the end of this second-edition set where the first half of the series was re-released in its original format (unlike their original release which mirrored the artwork). If you’ve been collecting these as well as the later volumes – which just recently reached over forty volumes – then the gap in your bookshelf shall now be closed! As entertaining as it is a milestone, this volume sees Sora versus Keichi in a go-kart race around campus.


• Oh My Goddess (RTL) (Vol.20), ($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)

While Oh My Goddess‘ ‘end’ this week still leaves a lot of volumes ahead for readers, today’s release of CLAMP’s xxxHolic (Vol.19) is the final book of the series. Watanuki has come a long way as the exuberant, spastic young man looking for a ‘cure’ for his ability to see the spirit world back in the story’s earlier volumes. Now in the role that his mentor and employer, Yuko, once held as wish-granter, he remains trapped in her shop of his own accord until the day he can see her again. Will that day come in volume nineteen? We shall see! While CLAMP has a habit of leaving us guessing at the end of their series, I’m at least confident they’ll take it out looking as gorgeous art-wise as it’s always been.


• xxxHOLiC (Vol.19), ($10.99/US, $12.99/CAN)

Digital Manga has two new boys’ love books on the market this week – Gentlemen’s Agreement Between A Rabbit & Wolf is a one-shot release while Kizuna: Deluxe Edition (Vol.05) continues their new edition of Kazuma Kodaka’s genre classic. After Masa and Kai finally made some communicative progress in volume four of Kizuna, Masa is now made an offer of marriage that could drastically alter relationships between opposing factions for the better. It seems safe to conclude that Kai is going to have more than a few words about this. I’m looking forward to another dramatic opportunity for Masa to open up about his feelings when confronted head on with the choice between Kai and their yakuza ties.


• Kizuna: Deluxe Edition (Vol.05),
($19.95/US, $21.99/CAN)
• Gentlemen’s Agreement Between A Rabbit & Wolf, ($12.95/US, $14.50/CAN)

Two series continue from Kodansha Comics – Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (Vol.13) and Mardock Scramble (Vol.04). Both star lead characters with some depression problems, but their reasons and reactions vary wildly. Mardock Scramble is coming close to its finish, but volume thirteen of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei marks only the halfway point of this bizarre comedy.


• Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (Vol.13),
($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)
• Mardock Scramble (Vol.04),
($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)

Vertical Inc.’s title this week is a continuation and a new series wrapped into one. Continuing off from around where Tokyopop stopped the series in 2009 (hence being volume eleven), Vertical Inc. is bringing GTO: The Early Years back to English readers with their fresh new edition. Vertical’s recent release of GTO: 12 Days in Shonan is a sequel to the Great Teacher Onizuka series, while GTO: The Early Years is GTO‘s predecessor. The (mis)adventures of Eikichi Onizuka continue!


• GTO: The Early Years (Vol.11),
($12.95/US, $14.95/CAN)

Tenjo Tenge (Vol.05) is another 440 pages of martial arts mayhem and fan service shots from Viz Media. The Imperial Martial Arts Tournament is coming up, which means Soichiro is training, training, and training some more to make sure he’s strong enough to fight his way to the top. Of course, he needs to survive long enough to make it to round one, a task made even more difficult here in omnibus volume five with rescue missions and new gangs on the agenda.


• Tenjo Tenge (Vol.05), ($17.99/US, $21.00/CAN)

Setting aside most of its fan service and questionable marriage proposals for a volume chock full of battles instead, the cast of  Sumomomo Momomo (Vol.11) struggles to keep from imploding in Koushi’s absence. While he’s away trying to earn the title of king of the jungle, other martial artists have ignited a war in the name of regaining their ancestors’ strength.

Omamori Himari (Vol.06)‘s fan service meanwhile is as panty-full as ever. Having been surrounded by powerful magic-wielding girls for some time, Yuuto finally decides it’s time he earns the title of demon slayer. His training under Himari begins, and just in time to find himself pitted against demons, grudges, raging housemates, and the usual sudden groping.


• Higurashi When They Cry
  (Vol.17): Atonement Arc,
($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya (Vol.11), ($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Nabari No Ou (Vol.09),
($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Omamori Himari (Vol.06),
($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Soul Eater (Vol.08),
($11.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Sumomomo Momomo (Vol.11),
($11.99/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 be ship prior to or after the date listed above varying by location and availability.