Takafumi’s uncle has been in a coma for seventeen years. He finally awakens and he’s been stuck in a fantasy, RPG-style world for the last seventeen years. Most of the family has fallen apart, in large part over a disagreement with what to do with the comatose family member, so Takafumi takes in his uncle as he becomes accustomed to the world again. Uncle turns out to be a huge fan of the Sega game systems, and he’s devastated to find that it, amongst other of his favorite things, have been left in the past. While adjusting, Takafumi continually asks his uncle about his experiences in the other world, where everyone was beautiful but treated Uncle like a sub-species of Orc.
Illustrations by Marcos Martín & Muntsa Vicente
Friday and her childhood friend, Lancelot Jones, solved many mysteries around their small town. When it came time for college, Friday chooses a school out of town. The day before she leaves, she and Lancelot had an embarrassing moment that Friday dwells on for months away at college. Now, it’s the winter holidays, and Friday is home visiting family. Lancelot is on the case, as always, and she is swept up again in the same old routine of finding clues and solving the mystery. She’s dismayed that Lancelot is treating her just the same, reverting back to before she messed everything up. Something about this case is very different than the others, though, as there seems to be a mysterious spirit involved that Lancelot may know more about than he’s leading on. The case and clues really pick up, and Lancelot leaves traces letting Friday know to come back to their headquarters in the woods, but that’s when everything goes from bad to the absolute worst.
Taichi is a struggling college student, trying to juggle working enough to afford food with going to his classes. One day, he literally stumbles upon the lunch spot of Kōhei, who mysteriously hands Taichi his bento box before taking off, wordlessly. Later, Taichi discovers that Kōhei is partially deaf, and his hearing loss has left him removed and detached from society. Kōhei’s hearing began to deteriorate after a sickness he suffered as a child. Taichi sees that Kōhei is looking for a note-taker to assist during classes, but it's an unpaid service. Taichi accepts, so long as Kōhei pays him in delicious lunches. Taichi is a pretty loud talker, so Kōhei finds he can hear his voice, and it soothes him. When Kōhei realizes he likes Taichi more than a friend, and his hearing loss starts to get worse, he pulls away from Taichi, but Taichi's also too attached to his new friend to let him slip out of his life.
When the German forces surrendered at the end of World War II, a select unit of Jewish Soldiers, British and Palestinian, became an unofficial unit known as The Jewish Brigade. These soldiers made detours during their official missions in order to hunt down elite Nazis or save any Jewish survivors of the Concentration Camps. This story focuses on Leslie Toliver. Toliver and his Palestinian friend, Ari, rescue a girl named Safaya from a church where a former SS official was acting as a priest. Ari and another British officer covertly rescue truckloads of Jewish civilians from the Russian city of Graz before it comes under British control because they feared Anti-Semitism that would make like difficult or impossible for those survivors. The Jewish civilians are trying to make their way to Palestine, where the U.N. had a planned Jewist State. Later, Toliver supports the Jewish forces in Palestine fighting for their own state. He and Safaya are reunited, but now, Safaya is a soldier fighting for her people against the Arabs in Palestine who oppose the partition of their country.
Asakusa wants to join the Anime Club at school because she aspires to create it in her future. She drags along her friend, Kanamori, who’s singularly minded on making things profitable. At their first meeting, they triumphantly rescue Mizusaki from her body guards, and the three discover their hidden talents would compliment each other perfectly: Asakusa draws insanely detailed worlds, Mizusaki loves creating characters, and Kanamori has a producer’s attention to detail and scheduling. The three form their own club, Eizouken - a group for Moving Image Studies. They piece together a “studio” in a dilapidated building, scrounge together some tools, and create their first pitch for the Student Council in hopes of having an actual club budget.
Vol 1: Fear & Fire, illustrated by V. V. Glass, colored by Natalia Neserenko
Saoirse and friend challenge each other to get to the Witch Tower first on this, the most dangerous day for being outside - it's the day the Cailleach hunts children to eat. Saoirse's father catchers her and saddles her with babysitting her sick brother, Brahm. When they sneak out later and make it to the Witch Tower, she doesn't find a deserted relic at all - they finds a fearsome witch ready to make up her dinner out of Brahm. Saoirse overpowers the witch with a hidden strength and saves her brother. Her Nan later reveals that she is witch-marked, a special descendant of magical beings. Saoirse is possibly strong enough to finally take down the four handmaidens and the Cailleach and rid the world of the threat of the Fae King being released from Tir Na Nog.
Vol 1: Child of Wonder, illustrated by Godwin Akpan
Iyanu and her mentor live just inside the outer walls of the city of Elu. The kids who live inside the inner wall, known as Inners, yell at her and throw rocks when they see her looking through a crack in the wall, calling her a Forest Girl who doesn’t belong. Iyanu and her mentor practice the old ways of the Agoni, a segment of Eli’s population who keep the history and the old ways alive. Before Iyanu’s time, the Oba (king) of Elu banished all the Agoni away from their place inside the city and moved the survivors into the Forest. When Iyanu uses her magic to save an Inner boy from a corrupt animal, the Oba and his council of advisors order her capture. Iyanu's mentor is captured instead and sets Iyano on a dangerous journey to locate The Source, a mythical place where magic is strong, and Iyanu will find answers to the curse that has corrupted animals and made them thirst for human blood.
Kōsei Arima was a child prodigy on the piano until one competition where he froze entirely. Now, he can’t bring himself to play the piano. He’s still drawn to music and often transcribes sheet music of popular songs for karaoke or other things. His friend makes him tag along on a pseudo-double date and it turns out, the girl they’re introduced to plays the violin! Kōsei is tricked into going back to the very hall he froze in to watch her in a violin competition. She plays the assigned piece brilliantly, but not at all like she’s supposed to. When she puts together that he’s the Amazing Arima, she begs him to become her accompanist, but Kōhei is extremely scared and resistant.
Hideo is dissatisfied with his life as a manga assistant. He used to have a running serial, called Uncut Penis, but it got cancelled after only a few issues. He has his share of eccentricities and probably several social anxieties. He thinks he can see evil spirits in his apartment and often talks to one of them. The only way to get rid of them is to form a prayer circle with wholesome manga and textbooks around him. Hideo's girlfriend will cook delicious food for him and be intimate with him. She gets bit by a little kid on the way home from work and no one thinks anything of it. When Hideo comes to her apartment the next day, he can’t believe she’s been turned into a creature. He’s pretty sure it’s because he had to pull an all nighter at the manga job, not that there are actually zombies trying to eat him. The whole building might be scary zombies, or they might be figments of his imagination.
Vol 1 (2021): Only Death is Eternal, illustrated by Esad Ribić, colored by Matthew Wilson
the story opens up on the resurrection of Ikaris, the last of the Eternals to be “woken” again. He is given instructions to release Sprite, an eternal who caused a lot of problems for the Eternals recently and has been “reset.” The two travel to the main city of The Eternals and soon find Prime Eternal Zurus has been murdered. This isn’t a majorly big deal because he’ll be resurrected soon, but then they find out The Machine, the system that keeps Earth alive and maintains The Eternals, has been sabotaged, including the mechanism to revive Eternals. There’s no shortage of suspects who would want to bring down Eternals and/or destroy the Earth. Together with Sersi, Thana, Ikaris, Sprite, and a few others try to track down the traitor while keeping humans safe and alive.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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