Welcome to the new year and the first shipping week of 2012! It’s unfortunate that the anime and manga industry is off to a rocky start with news that Bandai Entertainment is going though a big restructuring that involves no more new releases and lay-offs of its already minimal staff. Not what we like to hear! It’s all the more reason to be thankful for the bountiful shipping lists we get every week and further reminder of the importance of supporting them.
That being said, there’s plenty to buy, support and love in this first shipment haul of 2012. Fantagraphics is leading the charge with volume two of Wandering Son. If this large-trimmed, hardcover book isn’t impressive enough from a publishing quality point of view, then the charming story about a young boy and girl growing into their own gender identities is likely to finish winning you over. I was completely won over with volume one so you can bet this second one is at the top of my priority list this week.
• Wandering Son (Vol.02), ($19.99/US, $24.99/CAN)
Kodansha Comics is going for the page-count with two omnibus editions – Love Hina (Vol.02) and Negima! (Vol.03). They may be releases of previously published material, but the new translations and omnibus formats seem to be doing well for them and pleased fans new and old. On the newer-to-English side of things, their newer series Monster Hunter Orage is up to its third single volume issue this week as the quest for the legendary monster Miogaruna continues.
• Love Hina Omnibus (Vol.02), ($19.99/US, $22.99/CAN)
• Monster Hunter Orage (Vol.03), ($10.99/US, $11.99/CAN)
• Negima! Omnibus (Vol.03), ($19.99/US, $22.99/CAN)
Seven Seas’ first book of the year is Dance in the Vampire Bund (Vol.11). In this volume, an imposter has slipped into the role of vampire Queen, unbeknownst to the members of Vampire Bund. It’s up to Yuki and the queen’s werewolf bodyguard to step in and set things straight. I’ve been meaning to get caught up on this series and the really nice covers are always a solid reminder as to why I want to.
• Dance in the Vampire Bund (Vol.11), ($11.99/US, $13.99/CAN)
The holiday season didn’t slow down Viz Media one bit as we see their trend of a hefty first shipping week of the month continues. No complaints here!
The melodrama continues in Black Bird (Vol. 12) as Kyo’s big brother Sho wreaks havoc on the demon world. Kyo has no choice but to leave the safety of their village to help his clans’ allies, but in the process leaves Misao all on her own. Magical demon shield protecting her or not, this is always a recipe for dramatic disaster!
The stakes may be lower in Oresama Teacher (Vol.06) but you can bet it’s no less entertaining. The student council brings in their very own ninja (handy to have around, aren’t they?) to try and destroy Mafuyu’s club. He’ll have plenty on his plate to deal with, however, when Super Bun appears back on the scene! Meanwhile, beneath the pretty character designs adorning the cover of Rosario+Vampire Season II (Vol.07) lies a mystery of missing guests. Where are they and who done it?
Hopefully they’ll have better luck making it home than the folks in Psyren (Vol.02), though. The characters may have returned from the apocalyptic wasteland those mysterious cards led them to, but now they’ve begun to develop abilities as alarming as their original race for survival. Has the Psyren game really completed or is this just the beginning? At sixteen volumes, I think we can safely assume it’s the latter!
• Black Bird (Vol.12),
• Dengeki Daisy (Vol.08),
• Fluffy, Fluffy Cinnamoroll (Vol.01),
• Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You
(Vol. 12), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Naruto (Vol. 54),
• One Piece (Vol.60),
• One Piece Color Walk Art Book,
• Oresama Teacher (Vol.06),
• Pokémon Black & White (Vol.05),
• Psyren (Vol. 02),
• Rosario+Vampire Season II
(Vol.07), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Skip Beat! (Vol.26),
• Yu-Gi-Oh! GX (Vol.08),
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.