This week brings some good reading as several series near their close—and one last volume of a series that is about to disappear abruptly.
My top pick is vol. 11 of Twin Spica, the story of a plucky girl who wants to be an astronaut. This is the next-to-last volume of one of the best series in print right now. Creator Kou Yaginuma has a wonderful way of creating a whole world—the art in this series is clean but filled with telling little details—and the characters seem very real, as opposed to many manga characters who act in stereotyped ways. Asumi, the heroine of Twin Spica, isn't the smartest or the coolest kid in her class at the space academy, but she tries harder, and that makes for interesting reading.
I really enjoyed the first volume of Eri Takenashi's Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens, so I'm very sorry to hear that vol. 3 of the series will be the last, at least for now: Publisher Bandai is no longer going to be releasing new material. Bandai did a nice job with these books, and I'm sorry to see them go; hopefully someone else will pick up the series.
At seven volumes, the series never overstays its welcome, offering readers an enjoyable mixture of comedy and horror, with a sprinkling of life lessons. The crisp, imaginative artwork is another plus; Haro Aso had a talent for transforming seemingly benign toys — a kokeshi doll, a teddy bear — into lethal weapons. (Do I really need to say more than “teddy bears with chainsaws” to sell you on the concept?)
And that's it for this week. Next week brings the new crop of Kodansha volumes as well as some SigIKKI titles from Viz, so stay tuned and watch this space!