Whole Lotta Viz Goin' On: New Manga for the Week of May 2

Viz is the only traditional manga publisher with new releases this week, but they have a nice selection of fan-favorite Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat titles, as well as some Pokemon. The digital manga site JManga also has some new humor releases to round out the week.

My pick from the Viz batch is vol. 7 of The Story of Saiunkoku. This shoujo manga is set in an imaginary country in some imaginary past, allowing for lots of traditional-looking costumes and settings without the bother of historical accuracy. It's the story of the impossibly clever and nice Shurei, a poor woman of noble blood who was initially sent into the palace to be a consort for the emperor. That wrapped up in volume 2, leaving Sainkoku free to pursue her destiny—she wants to be a civil servant—and the emperor hopelessly smitten with her. This series puts a fresh spin on the manga cliche of the spirited girl who tries hard to overcome adversity, much to the admiration of the gaggle of handsome males that surrounds her. Also on the Shojo Beat list: Vol. 14 of We Were There.

This is also the week for new volumes of some Shonen Jump favorites: vol. 56 of Naruto, vol. 62 of One Piece, vol. 4 of Psyren, and vol. 9 of Tegami Bachi.

Rounding out the Viz list is a pair of licensed manga in their VizKids line: Vol. 3 of Fluffy, Fluffy Cinnamoroll, a super-cute story of the Cinnamon Friends in the Land of Sweets, and vol. 7 of Pokemon Black and White.

And that's it for the print releases, but JManga has some fresh digital content this week. Yurumates is a four-panel gag manga about a group of ronin, high school graduates who haven't been admitted to college and have settled into a slacker lifestyle. Mangaranai is a slice-of-life manga about a group of would-be manga artists who are better at daydreaming than actually buckling down. Hmmm, I'm sensing a theme here. Also new this week, vol. 2 of Otaku-Type Delusion Girl, the story of a high school fujoshi who sees pairings that aren't there.

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