There seems to have been a glitch in the Viz website when I compiled this week's list of new manga, so I missed a lot of their releases for this week—and Viz always puts out a boatload of manga the first week or so of the month. So today we have a bonus new-manga post, this one dedicated to Viz and Viz alone.
With the exception of the Arrietty books, most of this week's releases are in the Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat imprints. The Shonen Jump titles include four that are now being serialized in Shonen Jump Alpha: vol. 9 of Bakuman, vol. 38 of Bleach, vol. 7 of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, and vol. 8 of Toriko. Any of these is a good pick—I'm partial to Bakuman and Toriko myself—but I see two more good bets in this stack: Vol. 20 of Slam Dunk and vol. 19 of Hayate the Combat Butler. Both are series that aren't too hard to pick up in the middle. Takehiko Inoue's Slam Dunk features blazing basketball action; if you're a sports fan, that's the one to check out. Hayate is a light comedy about a young man who is sort of an indentured servant to a wealthy girl, after she ransoms him from the yakuza. There's a cute cast of characters, and the stories seem to be self-contained; this was the first volume of the series I have read, and I could jump right in. At The Fandom Post John Rose commented about this volume: "The latest volume of Hayate the Combat Butler does what the series does best- it pokes its cast with) sticks(metaphorically…usually) and sees what happens." Unlike the other titles mentioned, Hayate is a Shonen Sunday title.
On the shoujo side, I already mentioned the new series A Devil and Her Love Song, which debuts this week. The other shoujo series is a real standout, vol. 6 of The Story of Saiunkoku, the tale of a smart but poor girl who is summoned to the emperor's household and winds up being an important palace operative. It's well written and beautifully illustrated, set in a fictional land that allows the artist scope for rich costume designs without the necessity of accuracy. Aside from the costumes, though, this book is illustrated in a clean, linear style that makes it a pleasure to read. The heroine is smart, and the writing is good—this is shoujo with a little something extra.