Monday, October 15, 2007

Manga Monday 48

This week, a slew of mini manga reviews...

Emma (Volume 5)
Kaoru Mori

Kaoru Mori's quiet Emma series gets much better as the volumes go by. If you can get past the second installment, you'll find yourself pretty much knee-deep in great material. The book that follows a young maid in Victorian England who's in love with someone in a higher class, boasts a wealth of supporting characters and some fantastic art, particularly the detailed, authentic backgrounds that the characters maneuver through. This is fast-becoming one of my favorite manga. A

The Drifting Classroom (Volume 8)
Kazuo Umezu

And on the other side of the spectrum, there's a series that can be called anything but quiet. Umezu's The Drifting Classroom is an in-your-face book of screams, shocks and disasters. Wave after wave of natural disasters meet the children who try to survive on a barren world. There's never a break for the poor blood-soaked, starving brats. And Jog recently pointed out that another Kazuo Umezu series is on the way courtesy of IDW entitled Reptilia. B

Dragon Head (Volume 8)
Minetaro Mochizuki

With Death Note out of the way, there are few titles fighting for the title of best manga currently being serialized. This is one of them. I don't get why this title isn't very popular, but it's an amazing post-apocalyptic title that sees the darkness of the world slowly closing in on our protagonists. Plenty happens in this volume, with a mere two installments to go! A

Hana-Kimi (Volume 20)
Hisaya Nakajo

More fun in Osaka High School's dorms as Nakatsu's mother makes a visit and Mizuki wonders if she's beginning to look too girly to keep her guise up for much longer. This series is always a treat and consistently puts a smile on my face - a very feel-good title. And one of the best covers of the series. B+

Monster (Volume 10)
Naoki Urasawa

New players are introduced late in the game, particularly a "freelance journalist" who's trying to get to the bottom of what occurred at 511 Kinderheim, the infamous orphanage where a monster was raised, and wet-behind-the-ears Detective Suk of the Prague Police who gets a little too close to the truth for comfort... As always, thrilling and suspenseful with top-notch art. A

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