Full series title: BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! Roselia Stage
Yukina is a serious girl with a serious dream: to form a band with other dedicated and talented musicians and play at Future World Fes, one of the largest festivals. She practices every day and performs often at Live Houses with the hopes of finding other people to compliment her vocals. Here, she finds guitarist Sayo, who is breaking up with her band for not being serious enough. Sayo and Yukina's sound mesh well, but now they need to find three more band members: a bassist, drummer, and keyboardist. Over the course of volume one, the two find their band mates and create a magical symbiosis of sound that leaves them all hopeful.
Mona is plagued by depression, anxiety, some lack of self-confidence, and many other mental health issues that so many teenagers suffer from. She calls her depression and doubts her “Matter.” To begin with, Mona's best friend moves away to Hawai'i, and she makes a new friend who has just enrolled in her school. Mona is also a violinist and loves to draw, but her Matter constantly tells her she's not talented enough. Throughout the narrative, Mona learns to cope with her Matter invading her thoughts and sabotaging her social interactions. She uses therapy, art, and writing to understand with and change her self-doubt into positivity.
Fun, short chapters show how a former Yakuza hit man adjusts to life as a Househusband and accomplishes normal life tasks, but old habits die hard. Hunting for bargains becomes a life or death situation. A broken toy's "body" needs to be buried 6 feet down to destroy the evidence. But the Immortal Dragon can't fully leave the Yakuza. It isn't long before current gang members recognize him, but rather than sucking him back into the life, others always get dragged along on househusband duties.
The five sailor scouts are finally all together, just in time for the Dark Kingdom, headed by the evil Queen Metalia and Queen Beryl, to start tearing them apart. Kunzite steals Tuxedo Mask away from them just as they all regain their memories of their past lives in the Moon Kingdom. The group finally finds their lost Moon Princess, and they must protect her from the Dark Kingdom. A trip to the moon helps shed some light on who the enemy is and how it impacted their former lives.
Vol 1: The Space Race of 1869
After a tragic science experiment claims the life of a family member, Séraphin his father find themselves in the castle of the King of Bavaria, working with a small crew on an engine powered by the legendary substance known as Aether. But there is more involved than just science and engineering in this tale of political intrigue and invention. Séraphin recognizes someone in the castle as a person who tried to sabotage everything, but none of the adults believe him. Instead, Séraphin and his new friends swear to protect the project and the King as the Knights of the Aether.
Yukko, Alice, and Genda-San finally make their way to Yukko’s school and meet up with her boyfriend, who cannot stomach what’s happened to them. He takes them home and hides them from the searching eyes of cats and rats, under the control of the ominous Iosef. While the group recuperates, they learn more about how they became shrunken in the first place. Meanwhile, the military is continuing to hunt down Alice and goes after Yukko, her boyfriend, and many others.
Vol 5: Imperial Phase: Part 1, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie and Kevin Wada, colored by Matt Wilson
The Pantheon has to deal with the repercussions of Persephone’s actions from the previous volume, and a disagreement on how to proceed has them in factions. Some favor taking their enemy head on, some favor researching their options more, while others believe a path of anarchy is the best.
This volume is prefaced with an interesting edition of "Pantheon Monthly," a magazine that presents as one written in-universe, and that gives insights to how the remaining pantheon members feel about what’s happening. This also serves as a recap of sorts for some of the major incidents of previous volumes.
Freya is an overly-emotional (re: crybaby) country girl living in Tyr, trying to get by and get enough food for her sick mother. A visit from her adopted older brothers, who are both knights serving the Prince, leaves Freya worried about Sigurd, the neighboring kingdom, invading. When she overhears of a Sigurdian plot to kill her older "brother," Freya rushes to the palace to warn them. Here, she learns the true reason her knights came to visit - the prince is dying from Sigurdian poison, and Freya resembles the prince almost identically! She agrees to take on the persona of the prince, but how can she hope to embody a confident, cunning prince when she can't stop crying?
Thanks to Emma and her pen, the residents of Goldy Pond can finally figure out what Mr. Minerva set up for them so many years ago. Emma finds the true Goldy Pond, not the hunting ground facade that she first discovered, and within, there is much revealed about The Promise set up between the humans and demons generations ago, as well as important background details on Mr. Minerva himself. Unfortunately, Goldy Pond is another dead end, and Emma and the rest of the children have to fight their way past some of the worst demons if they are going to continue their journey towards the Human World.
Taichi has to deal with the immense guilt from Toma's broken leg. If Taichi hadn't tried to save the kitten from being run over by a car, Toma wouldn't have tried to say Taichi, and he wouldn't have an injury that completely ended his baseball season, just when the team on the cusp of qualifying for the summer tournament. Futaba tries to console Taichi and discovers just how much she cares for him. Taichi and Toma lash out at each other for the injury - Taichi claims responsibility for ruining Toma's dreams, but ultimately, the argument ends with Toma expressing that Taichi's life is more important than his dreams of becoming a professional athlete. Taichi begins to understand some of the feelings Toma has been unable to express before, and he doesn't quite know what to do about it all.
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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