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.
For the school cultural festival, Komi and her classmates decide to do a Maid Cafe, somewhat so they can see Komi in a maid outfit, and somewhat because that’s what Komi chooses and everyone band wagons her. Somehow, Tadano is convinced to also dress in a maid costume, and he doesn’t look half bad. Najimi uses several illicit money making schemes, most involving Komi, so her class wins the best of show but has to forfeit all their profits.
Vol 3, Encore: illustrated by Sam Johns, Rian Sygh, Brittney Williams, Caitlin Rose Boyle, Katy Farina, Walter Baiamonte
This graphic novel is a collection of Valentine's Day and Halloween stories featuring our favorite Stage Crew. Beckett hates Valentine’s Day and emotions in general, and usually spends Valentine’s Day watching scary movies. But everything turns out great when his crush joins him for some slasher thrillers. In the Halloween stories, Sasha hates Halloween for showing him clowns aren’t real, but he solves the mystery of a scary giant bug that comes out in the theater on Halloween every year.
Summer vacation is coming to an end, and it's the first time Komi has felt sad about that. In previous years, Summer vacation just meant a lot of boredom, but now she has friends to hang out with. Once school starts again, it's time for the Sports Festival! Everyone wants Komi to be on their team for events like the relay. The ever-competitive Yodano desperately wants to beat Komi in at least one event, but can't. During Komi's portion of the relay, she slips in the mud, and everyone is so concerned and happy she's ok that they celebrate her finish more so than the victors. We also meet Nokoko, a transfer student from a country school, who is likewise enamored by Komi.
This volume is written in more short chapters, but, unlike volume two, all of them basically go together one after the other. After Najimi, Komi, and Tadano study a bit in the library for their final exams, it’s summer vacation! Najimi invites the gang to go swimming at the city pool, and it turns out “gang” is much bigger than Komi thought. Nevertheless, she has a lot of fun until she scrapes her knee and has to sit out. But, ever conscientious Najimi buys water guns so they can play outside the pool and still include Komi. Next, Najimi invites everyone to a Summer Festival, and most agree Komi is still adorable in her yukata (summer kimono).
Vol 1, Beware the Kitten Holy: co-written by Grace Ellis, Faith Erin Hicks, illustrated by Brooke A. Allen, Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, Carolyn Nowak, Carey Pietsch
Lumberjanes takes place at a summer camp for Hard-Core Lady-Types. It is modeled after Girl Scouts, with pledges and badges, which become the theme of each issue. The story focuses on one cabin's occupants: Jo, Ripley, April, Molly, and Mal. Each of these ladies are strong and positive, and they are encouraging to one another. In this volume's adventure, there are three-eyed monsters everywhere, a white-water canoe ride, and a creepy cave guarded by stone warriors. At the cave's center is a room full of anagrams, one being "Beware the Kitten Holy." They also find a strange tower and a boys' camp. With each slice of adventure, a different Lumberjane has the chance to exhibit her talents.
Vol 2, The Show Must Go On: illustrated by Rian Sygh
One day while the Backstagers are hanging out and playing games, they here cries for help that send them back into the magical world behind the theater. They discover the Heart of the Theater and run into Beckett’s old school crew from Penitent Angel. The Heart is a huge space with a ton of concentrated magic. Sasha’s “friend” Polaroid comes to explain that all theaters' backstages are connected, and all their paths lead to The Heart. This is where the true magic of the theater lives, and each of their spaces borrow from here to put on performances. Polaroid gives Jory a sketchbook that reveals the magic of the backstage, and then he threatens the two crews with releasing all the magic into the real world. Jory discovers that their faculty advisor knows more about the crew who disappeared in 1987, which included Polaroid. Through their Stage Managers, crews from across the world collect together to help stop Polaroid from destroying the magic of the theater.
Vol 1, Rebels without Applause: illustrated by Rian Sygh and Walter Baiamonte
In this charming graphic novel, transfer student Jory decides to join Drama Club while trying to figure out his new all-boys school, but finds out he likes being part of the stage crew a lot mode than being with the actors. There, he meets four other boys who instantly accept Jory and initiate him into the secrets of being a Backstager. It turns out, there is a magical world behind the stage that only stage hands can navigate. The Stage Managers task Light Designer Becket with teaching young Sasha how to work the light panels. Sasha accidentally breaks the magical crystal that powers the lights, and he takes it upon himself to journey into the mystical and dangerous Backstage world to find another one. When the rest of the crew discover his mission, they set out in pairs into the perilous, ever-changing world to find him.
In the second volume of our communicatively challenged heroine, Komi continues on her quest to make 100 friends, but is truly oblivious to those around her who are obsessed with her. First, there is Yadano, who is determined to beat her in the physical test (and fails), then there's Kawai, who has a huge stalker-like crush on Komi and is willing to get rid of Tadano to get close to her. Then, there's Nakanaka, who lives in a fantasy world where Komi is the princess giving her quests.
Within the first few pages of this manga, the author discusses the perceptions other people have towards those who suffer from social anxieties, glossophobia (fear of speaking), to other communication disorders. Komi is one of many individuals at this school who cannot seem to form any words (which is interesting, considering the entrance exam for this private school is an interview). Enter Tadano, a boy who is determined to be mediocre and pass by unnoticed through his high school years. Tadano finds himself having some of his first high school conversations with Komi through writing on the chalkboard. He decides he wants to be Komi's friend and help her reach her goal: to have 100 friends. Tadano next introduces Komi to one of his long-time friends, Najimi, who is a super popular, super social gender-fluid character. Together, the trio look out for Komi and help her navigate social situations while getting her to reach her goal of 100 friends.
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