New Manga for the Week of January 9: Twos for Tuesday

After last week's bumper crop of great manga, things are a bit quieter this week. Actually, there are some interesting volume 2s popping up, so this might be a good week to pick up some volume 1s to go with them.

Dark Horse kicks it off with vol. 2 of "Oreimo," the series that dares to ask "Who says girls can't be otaku too?" I think it's pretty well established that they can, but this lighthearted series gets its yuks from high-school student Kyosuke's attempts to keep his strict father from finding out about his 14-year-old sister's collection of racy anime and video games. Expect lots more awkwardness and innuendo mixed in with the humor in volume 2.

Meanwhile, Seven Seas has vol. 2 of Milk Morinaga's "Girl Friends." As is fairly obvious from the cover, this is a yuri manga; the story is about a popular girl who takes a quiet girl under her wing and helps her overcome her shyness—and along the way, the two develop deeper feelings for one another. If you're curious, check out Erica Friedman's review and interview with Milk Morinaga at Okazu. This series ran for five volumes in Japan, but Seven Seas is releasing it in two omnibus volumes, so there's a lot of reading here for short money.

Seven Seas also has vol. 6 of "Gunslinger Girl," an omnibus edition that contains the final two volumes of the series. Also wrapping up is "I Don't Like You At All, Big Brother," with the omnibus edition of volumes 3 and 4 coming out this week. If you know anything about manga, you know a book with a title like this can only be about a girl who likes her big brother too much (but relax—he's adopted). It's really a love-triangle comedy, as another of her friends likes Big Bro as well. And finally, for those who prefer violence to sex, there's vol. 3 of "Jack the Ripper: Hell Blade," which bills itself as "a shocking and fascinating reimagining of the world’s most famous serial killer."

Viz has two volume 2s for us, and both are of series that they rescued from other publishers. "07-Ghost" is a story about an orphan who is on the verge of graduating from a very Germanic military academy when he hears something that turns his world upside down; volume 2 brings more adventure as everyone is after something called The Eye of Mikael, which keeps evil at bay, and the main character tangles with his best friend.

The other volume 2 is of "Loveless," a rather strange series about a 12-year-old boy making his way through a strange alternate world. I can't begin to explain it, but for the curious, I would recommend Lianne Sentar's review at Sleep Is For the Weak. Viz's volume 2 is actually volumes 3 and 4 of the original series, which they are releasing as an omnibus edition, and a fresh vol. 10 is out this week as well. And finally, the Viz list wraps up with vol. 45 of "Case Closed."

All this week's new manga are taken from the invaluable ComicList, which tracks releases into comics shops; some books may be available earlier or later in other outlets.

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