Here's the latest series pulling on my nostalgia and purse strings alike. Kodansha has released an anniversary edition of Cardcaptor Sakura in hardback, and of course I need to get all of them.
Fourth-grader Sakura Kinomoto, with her latent magical ability, accidentally sets free a deck of magical cards, called Clow Cards, from inside a book in her father’s study. She’s also awakened “Cerberus,” nicknamed Kero-San, the Guardian of the Seal, who gives Sakura the key to the book and the ability to capture the cards again. These cards have gone out into the world and will wreck havoc in their own ways depending on their magical affinity. Sakura must capture the cards and use their abilities to capture even more cards.
Illustrated by Gianna Meola
Josephine, or J. B. to her friends, is your typical C-average student in high school who finishes in the middle of the pack in PE and gets Cs or high Ds on her French tests. One day, when accosted by agents demanding to know about her actions in France on a recent "business trip" with her mom, J. B. finds out she’s actually an operative for The Company, and she’s been brainwashed into not remembering her skills, training, or missions. What’s worse, is that this was all done to her by her mother, who wants J. B. to have job security within The Company! J. B. has never been in control of her full self, so it’s time to change all that and fight back against The Company and other forces that are trying to control and use her.
After finding out the truth about the famous painting Sayuri, the Phantom Thieves take on the artist Madarame for all the evil he’s done to his students and victims, especially how much art he has passed off as his own when it was really the hard work of others all along. This high profile change of heart brings more notoriety to the Phantoms, but it’s not all good. Special investigators, the police, the school president, even a mysterious high school student detective have all started to investigate the Thieves. Some believe their intentions to be good, but others wonder what laws they're breaking, and what sort of power they have over their targets to instigate this change of heart in the first place. So far, none suspect there is really another "world" the Phantoms step into to change their targets' hearts.
Illustrated by Jorge Corona
Abel continues his search to cure himself of the mysterious mark on his chest, and the terrifying ability he has to turn into a cyclone when he loses his temper. He leaves the traveling Carnival group, afraid he will cause more death and destruction, but, within days, Bobby decides to search for him and help him come back to his new family. Abel’s quest leads him to the Winter Woods where a reunion with family from his past doesn’t go quite like he hopes. He then stumbles upon a city that isn’t known for being super family-friendly, and he gets swept up by a decades-long slave-labor plot.
Tami is a young boy questing through the world, charged with becoming a man. He was cast out of his village and told not to return until he achieves his goal. Tami has fought monsters and saved princesses, but he is still not a man. A wiseman tells him he must travel far to the north, climb an unscalable mountain, and take the Flower of the Witch who lives there. Tami ventures to this place and continues to fight monsters along the way. Defeating one of the monsters inadvertently sparks a conflict between the villagers who live at the base of the witch’s mountain, and Yabra, the daughter of the slain monster. The villagers and Tami fight side by side to protect everyone and defeat Yabra, which puts Tami in a difficult spot. He must choose between completing his quest or saving everyone.
Illustrated by Jorge Corona
Abel and his father live in a trailer in a town called Farmington in Middlewest. Abel decides to circumvent dad‘s controlling instructions and hangs out with his friends for a day. He is caught shoplifting, and the father completely loses his temper. This introduces an inexplicable monster to Abel’s life. He runs away from home to find someone who can help him with a strange mark that appears after the monster attack, and a kindly old man in a strange dilapidated home tells him to find his sister who works for a traveling carnival. The sister reveals that the magic eating away at the boy could result in another monster being born. She lacks the specific knowledge for how to help him but pledges to research for the solution while he works off his debts at the carnival
Akira and Amelia decide to adopt the not-so-fierce demon kitty. Amelia heals him, and Akira names him Night. Akira and Night form a new pact as master and servant, which will allow the demon king to still be able to see everything with the link inherent between demon king and all demons, but will give Akira and Night special abilities. Night reveals that there are three other dungeons in the world, and each dungeon challenges a different aspect of the character's skills. A portal opens at the end of the labyrinth, and Akira decides to travel to the next labyrinth in the forest of the Elven people, where Amelia is being hunted by her twin sister. With Akira caught right in the middle of the power struggle in the Elven kingdom, will he ever make it to the labyrinth to continue his development?
Hot off of her successful acquisition of her first Stella, the Folger family is on the way to get a dog for Anya. They have no success at a pet store (completely stocked with agency dogs and run by the agency), so Yor and Anya try a pet expo while Loid gets feigns a bathroom emergency in order to slip away to his handler. Loid finds out that a foreign minister is in the country for peace talks, and there is a terrorist plot to blow up the meeting using highly trained — what else? — dogs! Anya, with her telepathic ability, accidentally discovers one of the terrorists’ lairs, but one of the highly trained dogs comes to her rescue. Anya sees brief glimpses inside the dog’s mind, and she realizes that this dog has a special ability! In their own separate ways, Yor, Loid with the agency, and Anya with the dog work against them terrorists in the name of World Peace.
Illustrated by Hiroyuki Aigamo
Akira has retreated back to the labyrinth his class went to in volume one, determined to gain maximum levels in as much as he can. He’s been in the labyrinth a month before he finds Amelia trapped inside a slime monster. She’s an elven warrior who has come to the labyrinth for the same reason, and the two decide to team up to defeat the most challenging monsters at the end of the labyrinth. Back in the castle, Kyosuke, another classmate whose class is samurai, wakes to find himself in the princess’s chamber, having just cut through six black crystals. He has no idea what he’s doing or what the crystals are until the next day when hero Tsukasa announces he’s going off to fight the demon king. The rest of the class ridicules him, all except six classmates, Kyosuke among them.
Vol 4: A Frenchman on Mars
Seraphin and his aethership make it to Mars and find a world teeming with strange life forms and weird versions of aetherite that solidify after you walk through a seeming puddle. Searching for the previous Prussian expedition turns up no survivors, including Seraphin’s father. But Gubbard reveals the true nastiness of his plan to get Seraphin and the others to agree to go to Mars in the first place, and it is steeped in deception! Seraphin is wounded and wakes up abandoned by his fellows. He stumbles upon what he thinks is a winged beast, badly injured, but still he feels the need to save the creature from being a feast to other beasts. The creature ends up being a prominent figure in a fractured Martian society, one half dying out, the other exiled to the desert.
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