Otaku USA Magazine
On The Shelf – May 22, 2013

Pickings are a bit small this week but as always it’s a matter of quality over quantity! And there are some real knock-outs if the content floats your boat.

The release dates on this first book have been a bit iffy retailer to retailer, but with its official premiere happening at last week’s Toronto Comics Art Fest, I’m going to say it’s safe to say this book is now available to all! Well, available to all over eighteen and with a healthy amount of warnings as to its content.

The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame is not the kind of book you can easily recommend to most, but its uniqueness and meaning for future books of its kind in English makes it a release I hope does well. This is the first of its kind to see publication in North America: a collection of short stories of gay erotica manga. This isn’t to be confused with boys’ love—this is actual content made by gay men, for gay men. Gengoroh Tagame is a leader in the genre in Japan, but he’s one of the most prolific not only for how long he’s been doing it, but also how he does it. These stories are brutal, with graphic sex and graphic violence and, well, it’s just very graphic. Not all the stories are, and it’s specific moments in each, but it makes it a book that even those who want to see and are comfortable with stories with heavy sexual content should take warning.

That said, I’m a fan of Gengoroh Tagame’s work so I was quick to buy the book. I’ve no regrets I did either, because though not every story is my cup of tea, he’s a talented creator who I’m glad to see a publisher taking the risk in publishing. Good on you, Picture Box!

The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame, ($29.95/US, $30.50/CAN)

Viz Media is also releasing a book this week that they premiered at the Toronto Comics Art Fest, and flew out the creator for the event, as well. Sunny is by Taiyo Matsumoto, who is the creator of Tekkonkinkreet. In this series—of which this week’s release is the first of a few volumes—Matsumoto writes about an orphanage of children who find escape from their lives with the help of a car called Sunny. Viz went the extra mile with this book, releasing it as a fancy hardcover edition. Check out our review for more.

And lastly this week we bid a bittersweet farewell to one of my favorite manga series, Saturn Apartments. The last few volumes have been building up some big events, most importantly a possible descent to Earth from the floating satellite the story takes place on. Will the plan work? Will everyone survive it? I’m so eager to find out, but knowing this is the last volume also makes me want to put it off a bit longer…

Saturn Apartments (Vol.07), ($12.99/US, $14.99/CAN)
Sunny (Vol.01), ($22.99/US, $26.99/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.