Otaku USA Magazine
On The Shelf – May 2, 2012

It’s a two publisher week with Gen Manga and Viz Media starting off our manga this month. And don’t forget, once you’ve sated your manga desire with this week’s releases, this upcoming Saturday is Free Comic Book Day! Viz Media and Yen Press each have a free issue out at participating stores this year so be sure you get yourself a copy of those two while you’re spelunking through all the other goodies the day has to offer.

As for offerings at the stores here and now, GEN Manga is releasing their second collected edition, Kamen. The story takes place in feudal Japan, following a mysterious mask-wearing man who appears as part of a group of prisoners. Without speaking a word, he uses his inhuman abilities to rescue them from their power-hungry oppressors.


• Kamen, ($9.95/US, $9.95/CAN)

Viz Media is putting out a couple collected editions as well, continuing their 3-in-1 volumes of Hana Kimi and Skip Beat. Each book is just shy of 600 pages and contains the original volumes four to six. If you haven’t read these often hilarious shoujo stories, these remain an excellent place to start. Well… volume ones do anyway, but you’ll be clamoring for these second ones as soon as you’re done!

While those two shoujo stories take place in our modern age, you can grasp a piece of fantasy-charged history with the new releases of Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time and The Story of Saiunkoku. Both sport a cast of super pretty men, each with a goal-driven heroine at their sides. In Haruka, Akane continues her face-off with Akram in the Demon Cave and realizes that to save the life of her friends, she may need to forfeit her own. Shurei has some very different problems to deal with in Saiunkoku—and ones hopefully much less likely to result in death—as she hits opposition in her role as  a royal civil servant after passing the Imperial exam.

Hidden amidst the shoujo, there lies a couple shonen as well, offering up another always appreciated fix of Pokémon: Black & White and One Piece. Each of these worlds are populated with their own vast assortment of creatures, from the strange to the silly to the straight up amazing. Trainers Black & White continue on the road to gym badges and modeling contracts in Pokémon while Luffy and crew make their way to Fish-man Island with a giant sea monster set to stop them.


• Ai Ore! (Vol.05),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Fluffy Fluffy Cinnamoroll (Vol.03),
($7.99/US, $9.99/CAN)
• Hana-Kimi 3-in-1 (Vol.02),
($14.99/US, $16.99/CAN)
• Haruka: Beyond The Stream Of Time
(Vol.16), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• One Piece (Vol.62),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
Oresama Teacher (Vol.08),
($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Pokémon: Black & White (Vol.07),
($4.99/US, $5.99/CAN)
• Psyren (Vol.04), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• Skip-Beat 3-in-1 (Vol.02), ($14.99/US, $16.99/CAN)
Tegami Bachi (Vol.09), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• The Story of Saiunkoku (Vol.07), ($9.99/US, $12.99/CAN)
• We Were There (Vol.14), ($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.