It's a great week for manga readers, with two deluxe boxed sets, a new volume (finally!) of "Neon Genesis Evangelion," two new shoujo series, another new series that was created by Stan Lee, and a heap of old favorites. With the holidays coming up, we might even have some time to read these! Here's a look at what's new this week.
Viz kicks off the holiday gift-giving season with two nice box sets, their oversized, deluxe edition of "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" and a collection of the 18-volume "Ouran High School Host Club," which includes a special notebook.
The other big Viz release is vol. 13 of "Neon Genesis Evangelion," which came out digitally and in print in North America, and several other countries, the same day as Japan. The anime has been complete for a while, and manga-ka Yoshiyuki Sadamoto is taking his time with the manga—it has been over a year since the last volume came out. To help bring in new readers, Viz is also releasing the earlier volumes as three-in-one omnibuses; the first volume is due out next week.
Those goodies aside, it's Shonen Jump/Shojo Beat week at Viz, with a slew of new releases in both lines, and one new series debuting: "Strobe Edge," a high-school story about a naive girl who may eventually have to choose between her faithful old friend and the hot guy everyone is salivating over. Is this an original premise? No, but in her review at Anime News Network, Rebecca Silverman makes the case that it isn't quite your run-of-the-mill shoujo manga either. Other SB volumes out this week: Vol. 7 of "Ai Ore," in which Akira decides to go solo; vol. 11 of "Kamisama Kiss"; vol. 15 of "Kimi ni Todoke"; vol. 11 of "Oresama Teacher"; vol. 15 of "Vampire Knight"; and vol. 15 of "We Were There."
It's a good week for the guys as well, with a ton of new volumes in the Shonen Jump and Shonen Jump Advanced lines: vol. 16 of "Bakuman," vols. 50 and 51 of "Bleach," vol. 8 of "Blue Exorcist," vol. 21 of "Claymore," vol. 59 of "Naruto," vol. 65 of "One Piece," vol. 7 of "Psyren," vol. 10 of "Rosario + Vampire: Season II," and vol. 11 of "Tegami Bachi."
Kodansha Comics also debuts a new shoujo series this week: "Missions of Love," by Ema Toyama, the creator of "Pixie Pop" and "I Am Here!" I think that cover tells you everything you need to know about this series, but in case it doesn't, it's about a passionless cell-phone novelist who blackmails a guy into performing "missions of love" so she will have something to write about.
Vertical rounds out the week with vol. 1 of "Heroman," a new series created by Stan Lee and turned into manga by BONES and Tamon Ohta. Set in California, it's the story of a teenage boy who finds a broken toy, fixes it, gets hit by lightning, and gets superpowers—yep, sounds like Stan Lee to me. Also up from Vertical this week: Vol. 15 of "GTO: The Early Years."