Illustrated by Yoshi Yoshitani
Starfire’s daughter, Mandy, is trying to live a life outside of the shadow of her famous mother. Mandy has taken on a very dark persona, died her hair black, and wears lots of dark colors, trying desperately to stand out away from her bright, effervescent mother. When Mandy gets paired with the popular Clare for an English assignment, she discovers someone who maybe can be her friend, or even more than that, outside of people seeing her for her famous family and superhero friends. Starfire's past on her home planet catches up with her and makes like more complicated for Mandy, who really wants nothing to do with any of the super-powered politics of Tamaran. Mandy must believe in herself and her own strength to get through this newest challenge.
Makoto and her cat Chito move in with her distant relatives away from Tokyo in Aomori, a small town in the countryside of Japan. There, Makoto hopes to complete her training as a witch. Her family knows about her powers, but Makoto isn’t supposed to talk about it to non-relatives. That doesn’t stop her from telling Nao, a girl at her school she befriends. Makoto often gets lost around Aomori, so occasionally she’ll take Chito with her, who has walked the neighborhood enough to not get lost. Makoto does some basic magic with her young cousin, Chinatsu, who isn't a witch. The two, along with Kei, Chinatsu's older brother, ready an abandoned plot of land to make a garden, as growing plants is part of Makoto's study of magic. Makoto's sister, Akane, also makes a surprise visit to see how Makoto is settling in, and Akane accidentally has Makoto unleash a pretty powerful spell to summon crows.
Asa runs into a young man at a museum who has a photograph of the monster she saw when the typhoon took her family. He refuses to talk to a “nobody” like her and scuttled off with a ton of research on the monster. Asa and Mr. Kasuga are then conscripted to help identify the creature should it make an appearance during the opening ceremony of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Asa makes the acquaintance of The Blue Impulse - some of the best aerial maneuver pilots in the country - as they practice making the Olympic Rings for the Opening Ceremony. The Government is using this display as an important symbol of peace, and, because of this, the Defense Forced won’t be allowed to intercede during the Opening Ceremony should the monster return.
High school student Senri Nakajou hasn't fully grappled with what happened the night his parents were murdered. Senri's twin brother, Kazuto, told him to hide - said he'd take Dad's abuse that night - but Senri would still feel it. Their special bond as twins visited all the pains the other felt, as well as flashes of what the other was seeing as it happened. But Dad didn't hit anyone. Instead, a man broke into the house, murdered Mom and Dad, and kidnapped Kazuto. Now, as a teenager, Senri caught a glimpse of the man who may have ultimately murdered his brother too - a scar on his arm in the shape of the Kanji for Fire. Senri sets off across the country to track down this Fire Man and, hopefully, find out what happened to his brother.
Amir and Karluk, along with their family and village, must fend off another attempt by Amir’s father to seize her and bring her back to become someone else’s bride. Amir is to be given to a clan of men who treat their women horribly, and their reputation is known far and wide. Amir and Karluk, along with another new friend, show Mr. Smith, an explorer, some of the sights, including a shrine that women would visit if they are wishing to become pregnant. Amir's family interrupts the outing in another attempt to take her back. Mr. Smith records much of the daily life of Karluck’s family, and investigates further after the tradition of “cloth preparations” is discussed.
Asa and Kasuga continue to fly and deliver rice balls and water, but the strange thing they found at the end of volume one is right where Asa’s house should be. They find two of her younger siblings and the doctor holding the newborn baby, and something else monstrous and strange. Kinuyo, the lady who owns the restaurant, notices Kasuga’s bloody arm from being shot, and worries he might lose consciousness. Kasuga starts to lose feeling in his arm, so he tells Asa how to fly and land the plane. Asa falls in love with flying. With her endless fiery spirit, Asa goes to make a deal with the owner of the plane, who was using it to do illegal things, and tries to get him to give her his plane.
Nasa‘s cousin, Ginga, who acts like a yakuza man but he’s really a normal high school student, has his “boys" bring in a feral kitten they found outside their high school. Nasa immediately takes it to the vet to get completely checked out. When the vet asks for his name, Tsukasa offers up "Toast" because the kitten has a lighter square of fur on its back and it’s mostly brown. Once Toast is back home settling in, he starts getting in the way of Nasa getting close to his wife because he's constantly demanding food. Ganga presents Nasa with a wedding present: two tickets to the Land of Dreams, a theme park. The young couple decided to go to the park as a date. Tsukasa has never been and is excited to try everything. They weren’t the only ones who had the idea to come as a date. Nasa's teacher is invited by a colleague who doesn’t know how to confessed his feelings for her.
Illustrated by David Namisato
Sandy is a young Boy growing up in British Colombia who loves baseball. It’s one of the things he and his father enjoy together, that is when is father isn’t off providing medical treatments to folks. Sandy’s family and of Japanese decent, and they live in a thriving Japanese community in BC, who all root for the Asahi, the local baseball team who just lost the championship, but are hopeful to get it back next season. Then, the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, and things start getting more complicated for Sandy and his family. They have to give up some of their possessions “for safekeeping”, knowing full well they will be sold off; they have to be in their homes by sundown, which makes the father’s job much harder; and there are certain areas of port cities they are no longer allowed to live in. Soon enough, the families are transported to camps that have been set up at abandoned mining facilities.
On a morning in 1959 of a terrible typhoon, Asa runs to fetch the doctor for the deliver of her mother's twelfth child. On the way back home, Asa finds a burglar escaping a house with his loot and confronts him, so he kidnaps her, thinking she's the daughter of the wealthy doctor. Her kidnapper has just recently turned to a life of crime in a moment of desperation. He was a hero in WWII, a successful pilot who always brought his team home, but now can't afford a pilot's license. The two seek shelter from the terrible typhoon in a metal shipping container, and when they emerge, everything along the harbor has been destroyed. The pilot and Asa try to find their way back to her family's home, but Asa, ever compassionate, suggests they find a way to deliver food to those stranded on rooftops while they look for her family. The pilot steals a plane, Asa convinces a restaurant owner to make lots of rice balls, and the two drop the care packages from the plane using balloons tied to plastic bags. As they near where Asa's house should be, they make a startling discovery that means more than the typhoon was at work wrecking havoc on the town.
Illustrated by Hippolyte
A young man and his younger sister flee their home in The Low Country, which is being ravaged by violent bandits, and try to immigrate to the High Country and on to another place they call The Other World. Along the way, they are kidnapped by an ogre who forces them to work in his factory or risk being eaten. Upon escaping the factory, the siblings and two other refugees travel together, all trying to make it to a better life. The story is told through the interview of the Older Brother, who is being evaluated for whether he can enter a country or not, and he is surrounded by the shadows and memories of his loved ones who he’s lost along the way.
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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