This Week's New Manga: Something Old, Something New

We have a couple of distinguished debuts this week, as Seven Seas releases the first volume of the high-school comedy "Haganai: I Don't Have Many Friends," Viz brings back the tourtured-bishounen tale "07-Ghost" and a fresh omnibus edition of "Neon Genesis Evangelion," and JManga debuts two quirky-looking new series as well as a trio of BL short stories. Plus we have fresh volumes of Mitsuru Adachi's "Cross Game," "Trigun" creator Yasuhiro Nightow's "Blood Blockade Battlefront," and "Zatch Bell" manga-ka Makoto Raiku's "Animal Land." Read on!

Viz kicks off a new title this week, vol. 1 of "07-Ghost," the story of a boy at an elite military school who uncovers some repressed memories that reveal he is the heir to the throne of a subjugated kingdom. Sound intriguing? This series was first licensed in 2009 by the now-defunct publisher Go Comi, and here's what reviewer Casey Brienza had to say about it then:

A brooding, superpowered bishounen in Prussian-inspired school uniform coming to grips with his dark past and uncertain, violent future? Sounds like CLAMP's X or Code Geass. As a matter of fact, it also looks a lot like an amalgamation of those two series with its panel busting action scenes and pseudo-European techno-fantasy setting.

Right, then. If that's your cup of tea, well, Sebastian just arrived with the trolley. For those with a taste for classic manga, Viz also has the first volume of its "Neon Genesis Evangelion" omnibus, which binds up the first three volumes of the original series. Vol. 8 of "Cross Game" brings Mitsuru Adachi's baseball/slice of life story to a climax with the team heading toward the Big Game and one character facing an operation. There's double goodness for Rumiko Takahashi fans, with vol. 10 of "Rin-ne" and vol. 13 of the VizBig edition of "InuYasha" hitting the shelves, and the list winds up with vol. 24 of "Excel Saga." Well, not quite: "Street Fighter x Sanrio: World View" is a novelty book that mashes up the characters from the Street Fighter game with Hello Kitty and her posse; if you can't get enough, there's a sticker book as well.

Seven Seas has a big week, with the debut of one new series and fresh volumes in three more. The title of the new series tells it all: "Haganai: I Don't Have Many Friends" is about an awkward guy and a loner girl who form a club to teach themselves social skills. Comedy gold? Well, we'll see. Also new from Seven Seas this week: Vol. 2 of "Angel Para Bellum," vol. 3 of "Alice in the Country of Clover: Cheshire Cat Waltz," and the omnibus collecting vols. 3 and 4 of "Young Miss Holmes Casebook," which I'll definitely be checking out as I really enjoyed the first two volumes.

The digital manga site JManga has two new series and a BL collection for us this week. Vol. 1 of "Tokyo Cycle Girl" is, as the title would suggest, about a girl who rides around Tokyo on a bicycle; if there's more to it than that, the blurb isn't telling, but it looks like it's worth a look. Vol. 1 of "Koetama" is about a high school girl who doesn't know what she wants to do with her life until she meets a voice actress. The anthology, "Takatoh-sanchi no Komatta Jijyou," is a collection of three yaoi shorts.

Dark Horse has vol. 3 of Blood Blockade Battlefront, by Trigun creator Yasuhiro Nightow. In my review of vol. 1, I described it as "your basic chase-the-monster-to-save-the-earth sci-fi manga, with a few twists to make it more interesting," and I'll be curious to see if it has evolved since then.

Kodansha has two new titles this week, vol. 6 of "Animal Land" and vol. 3 of "Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney." I'll admit I haven't been following Animal Land, which is by "Zatch Bell!" creator Makoto Raiku, since the first volume, but that's a mighty nice cover and there's a pleasing weirdness to the series. This volume includes a special epilogue to "Zatch Bell!" as well.

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