Illustrated by Hiroyuki Aigamo
This has a really long, very Japanese title, but it's overall a fun story. Akira’s entire class gets suddenly transported to another world where they are tasked with fighting the Demon King and saving the kingdom. Each pupil, upon entering the world, was given skills and a job class that best suited them. Tsukasa, the class president and star athlete, was obviously the hero, and he has to lead the charge against the Demon King. Akira, however, is an assassin, and his stats are much, much higher than Tsukasa’s as the hero. Not everything is as it seems in this world, and Akira uses his max level [conceal presence] skill to find out what’s really going on. He befriends the commander of the guard and trainer of the Class, and uncovers a plot that speaks of more sinister intentions than just fighting a Demon King.
Thirteen-year-old Tiến reads fairy tales to his mother, Helen, to help her practice her English as she works as a seamstress. Woven through the fairy tales are memories Helen has of immigrating with her husband. The fairy tales are variations on the story of Cinderella. The first is about a maiden named Alera who is promised to the Old Man in the Sea to repay her father’s debts. She demands three impossibly beautiful dresses as payment, then escapes his clutches after receiving them. She wakes up on a distant shore and finds a new family in the kitchens of a palace. The kind prince has a ball for his birthday, and Alera wears one of her beautiful dresses. Of course, she catches the eye of the prince.
In between reading stories Tiến attends school and tries to navigate his crush on one of his best friends, Julian. His other best friend, Claire, encourages Tiến to tell Julian and his family that he is gay, but Tiến can’t find the words to express it in Vietnamese in order to tell his parents. Outside pressures make Tiến feel ashamed of his feelings, so will he ever find the courage to tell his mother?
Vol 3: The Knights of Mars
The Knights of the Aether are hiding out at Seraphin's grandfather's house in Brittany. Seraphin's father travels to London to a society of the best minds, a group he calls "The International Society of the Aether." He seeks to showcase aether ships and to recruit anyone willing to be an ally against the Prussian forces. But, their meeting is sabotaged, and Seraphin loses contact with his father. Meanwhile, King Ludwig's sister begs for more information about her brother's whereabouts, and she won't believe he is traveling to Mars. Then, the Prussian forces are upon them, and it will take everything the Knights have to outwit and escape them, on board a ship hurtling towards Mars!
In the latter part of volume ten, Ed asked Lieutenant Hawkeye to tell him the truth about the Ishvalan Civil War, and she finishes her story in this volume. Part of the many horrors that was the Civil War were some of the human weapons the military created, namely the State Alchemists they emboldened with power to destroy any Ishvalan they saw. One such weapon was Solf J. Kimblee, the Crimson Lotus Alchemist, a ruthless man who made it his personal mission to wipe out every last Ishvalan. In this volume, Kimblee is freed from his jail cell to go after one last Isvhalan - Scar. Edward and Alphonse decide to figure out why Alkahestry is so different than Amestrian Alchemy, but May and her little "cat" have eluded them. They follow her trail into the North to Fort Briggs, the military's outpost on the frozen border between Amestris and Drachma, where the motto is "Survival of the Fittest".
Legoshi and the drama department are invited to join in with creating floats and other designs for the Festival of the Meteor, the day animals commemorate the meteor that brought about the extinction of the dinosaurs. since they have plenty of experience making backdrops for the plays. Legoshi runs into the rabbit, Haru, again, and can't explain the magnetism he has towards her. Is it predatory? does he like her? Later, the students go out into the city below their school, and they inadvertently find themselves at the steps of the Black Market - a place that sells herbivore meat to carnivores in an attempt to help them keep their urges in check. Legoshi is separated from his friends, and he is forced to confront his nature as a carnivore, and really look at the attraction he has to Haru.
Teenager Marjorie Glatt is running her family's laundromat after a tragic accident took her mother's life. Her dad glides through life from his room to the table for food, then back to his room again. Marjorie is basically in charge with keeping the business afloat and making sure her brother does everything he's supposed to do. Marjorie dodges bullies at school and unruly customers at home, all while trying her best to fend of Mr. Saubertuck, who wants the laundromat so he can finally open his luxurious spa and yoga studio. Then there's Wendell, a ghost in the Land of Ghosts who is dissatisfied with going to his group therapy sessions. He sneaks his way back to the land of the living and finds himself in a ghosts' playground - a laundromat. His midnight playtime unknowingly is making Marjorie's life more difficult. The two come together to hopefully solve both their problems.
Just as it seems all hope is lost, as the Sigurdian soldiers surge on the fort, the Horned Warriors of Leren, an old foe of Sigurd, emerge from the wilds and attack the Sigurdian forces. Freya tries to recruit them as allies, but the Leren warriors’ only motivation is to cause harm to Sigurd, not to become friends with anyone. Freya realizes that Sigurd has made many enemies in its path to dominating the continent, and joining forces with them may be the only way Tyr will survive against this Goliath. Freya and her brave royal guard set out to invoke old alliances and gather enemies of Sigurd.
At the end of volume seven, the students were paired and pitted against a UA teacher as a type of final exam, and the first half of this volume concludes that storyline. Midoriya and Kacchan get paired and go against All Might. The objective is either to incapacitate the teacher, or to escape through an exit gate. Most teams plan to escape rather than fight such strong heroes. Bottom line, the team needs to work together and was paired together because this might not be the easiest thing to do. Not everyone in Class-A passes their exam. Thus, the Class A heroes-in-training go to a summer camp to receive extra training to catch up to where they should be.
This volume begins the "Death Busters" story arc, or the Sailor Moon S series for those watching at home. A new enemy is on the horizon, which means the hard-fought peace after dealing with Black Moon is over. The enemy seems to be centered around the Mugen Academy built upon a triangle of reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay. At the center of it all is an elite private school that attracts talented students, like violin virtuoso Michiru Kaiō, or the star race car driver, Haruka Tenō (spelled Ten'ô in this translation). Both have frequent run ins with Usagi and Mamoru, and seem to know more about the new enemy than they let on. Chibi-Usa makes a new friend, Hotaru, whose father runs the Mugen Academy and has been known to conduct questionable genetic experiments. Later, the Outer Sailor Guardians make their first appearance, but it's not the happy team-building moment that Usagi wishes it was!
Vol 1: Here there be Gerblins, by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, and Travis McElroy. Illustrated by Carey Pietsch
Based on a popular podcast, Adventure Zone follows three heroes as they quest and roll for initiative. Warrior Magnus has an aptitude in pretty much everything, which both helps and annoys his companions. Takko is a kleptomaniac spell-caster who Often charms monsters and other characters. Merle is the typical treasure-obsessed dwarf with a cousin who has the inside scoop on a really great score. When a mysterious warrior shows up and every other word is censored, the trio has no choice but to go along with her. Mix in a dungeon master who keeps everyone on the straight and narrow by breaking through the top corner of panels periodically, you’ve got a recipe for hilarity!
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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