This Week’s New Manga: ‘Kitchen Princess,’ ‘Lizzie Newton,’ And Fun With ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’

There’s not much on the shelves for newcomers to manga this week—every new release is either halfway through a series or a riff on a classic. Still, there’s plenty of good reading here, and it comes in generous servings, too, as most of this week’s new releases are omnibus editions.

Who doesn’t love “Neon Genesis Evangelion”? Well, probably 99% of the world, actually, but for the rest of us, Dark Horse has “Neon Genesis Evangelion: Comic Tribute,” featuring short stories by “Sgt. Frog” creator Mine Yoshizaki, Hideki Ohwada (“The Legend of Koizumi”), Yun Kouga (“Loveless”), Rikdo Koshi (“Excel Saga”), and a host of other creators making gentle fun of the venerable manga and anime franchise. So hard-core NGE fans are well served this week.

Kodansha Comics serves up vol. 3 of “Kitchen Princess” in tasty omnibus format. “Kitchen Princess” manages to embrace pretty much every shoujo manga cliche there is while also being eminently readable and occasionally surprising. It’s a really great series and deserving of a read, whether you start with the first volume or the third. And for Ken Akamatsu fans, there’s also vol. 5 of “Love Hina,” again in an omnibus format.

Seven Seas has two new volumes in ongoing series, vol. 2 of “Lizzie Newton: Victorian Mysteries” and vol. 2 of “Dance in the Vampire Bund,” an omnibus edition that gathers up vols. 4-6 of the original format. I reviewed the first volume of “Lizzie Newton” last year and while I liked the mystery, I thought the male characters spent too much time being sexist and Lizzie spent too much time resenting their sexism, even for a story about Victorian times. Hopefully the writing will even out a bit in this second volume.

And if you’re in the mood for digital, JManga has two new releases this week: vol. 4 of “Elemental Gelade,” which is one of those battle stories where humans are paired with living weapons, and vol. 6 of “Joshi Kousei,” a story of antics in an all-girl high school. If you’re curious, you can read the first chapter of each of these on JManga’s sister site, JManga7.