Vol 7: Devourer, illustrated by Sana Takeda
Maika has been captured by the Dusk Court, and the Baroness is bringing her back in a magic-and medically-induced coma. Through wrestling with her guilt, we learn more about the background of the Baroness and why she has had to do the things she's done to her friend. Inside Maika's mind, she and Zinn relive some of Maika's memories that have been trapped away, including what happened to her mother. Kippa continues to fight as staunchly as ever, even trying to gain some allies among the witches and Dawn Court nobility, in order to save Miss Maika from what the Dusk Court plans to do. The intrigues of the past, including the efforts of Maika's father to harness the power of the Old Gods, continue to come to light and make everything in the present much more complicated.
Ryō has to deal with the fallout of having a popular YouTuber out him as transgender. At first, many people at school are supportive, but that quickly diminishes as classmates start asking inappropriate questions about Ryō’s body and sexual attraction. Ryō skips school for a couple of days to do some soul searching while Jin and Itsuka plead with Tsubasa to take down the video. Ryō returns to school and announces to his whole class who he is and apologizes for his silence. No one is more hurt than Chika, Ryō’s crush, who admits she thought they were closer friends. Meanwhile, Tsubasa has an intimate night with a woman, and she posts a photo online that goes viral. This causes Tsubasa's fans to question Tsubasa and criticize them for potentially lying to garner views and profits. The "Boys" create a new shirt supporting Tsubasa and their right to some privacy.
This autobiographical manga presents Asuka's journey of self-discovery with their gender. In Japan, X-Gender is a term for nonbinary, but even these umbrella terms are not helpful enough to help Asuka navigate the LGBTQ+ community or to find a girlfriend. Asuka also provides some introspection and analysis as to why having a period is so emotionally disturbing to them as it reminds them of their female anatomy. Throughout the manga, Asuka tries to go on dates, participate in speed-dating events specifically for LGTBQ+ folks, and navigate friendships and attractions.
Sakura, Li, Kero-Chan, and Yue all feel it - the presence of Clow Reed. But how is that possible since he died so long ago? Sakura continues to fight a formless enemy who always uses another creature or creates a natural phenomenon that Sakuramust subdue. Each time she does, the Clow Cards she summons to help her are transformed - Reed’s magic circle on the back is changed into a distinct one Kero-Chan believes is a representation of Sakura’s own magic. These new cards are therefore more part of Sakura than Clow. But this takes a terrible toll on Sakura; she leaves battles completely exhausted and begins to run a fever, but even sickness isn't going to stop her from saving her friends and getting to the bottom of this mystery.
Sakura finally collects all the Clow Cards, and doing so triggers the awakening of Yue, the Judge and second guardian of the Clow Cards whose power stems from the moon. We also get to find out what Mizuki-sensei’s roll is in all of this. Once Sakura passes the final judgment, she’s ready for some peace and quiet around Tomoeda Elementary. She goes into the 5th grade, and a new transfer student from England joins her class. Li-San was going to go back to Hong Kong, but there’s something off about Eriol, the new kid, so he’s sticking around. There’s also a new student in Tōya’s class, and she is super high energy and a little sweet on Tōya. When it starts raining only over Tomoeda for several days, Sakura sets out with her guardians to figure out what supernatural power is causing it, but she might have uncovered a new enemy in the process.
Sakura’s family goes on a weekend vacation to a lake house, and Sakura befriends a nice old man at a much larger lake house next door. He serves her tea and gives her one of his granddaughter’s dresses. It turns out that he’s related to Sakura, but he doesn’t reveal himself to her. Then, it’s time for the annual talent show, and Sakura’s class is going to put on The Sleeping Beauty play. The teachers decide to cast roles by playing the ladder game - Sakura is cast as the prince, and Li-san is cast as Aurora! But the play isn’t without incident as another Clow Card shows up to challenge Sakura. We also learn how her teacher, Mizuki-sensei, is involved with the Clow Cards as she reveals herself to Kero-Chan.
Illustrated by Berenice Nelle
Izzy and her family move from San Francisco to Sleepy Hollow after her mom lands a job as the head chef of the town’s Michelin-star restaurant. While Izzy might prefer books to interacting with people, the school assigns her outgoing Water Polo star, “Croc” Byun to be her guide. Then, Izzy sees Victoria Van Tassel, as in the Van Tassels from the “Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Vicky doesn’t really have time to give Izzy any attention since she’s over-committed to all the town’s celebrations and traditions involving The Horseman, especially given that it’s October and the town’s busiest time for celebrations. But, Izzy works her way into Vicky’s life by becoming her math tutor. On the way home from one of their sessions, Izzy is actually chased by the Headless Horseman! As she’s running away, she decides to stand up for herself and stops, which is actually a relief to the Horseman, who has been trying to get someone’s attention for almost 200 years! The Horseman has to fulfill his duty and oath to protect the Van Tassels, but there is an evil entity who might be walking around in the daytime and after Vicky. Izzy brings Croc and Vicky into the fold, and the four have to work together to thwart the threat on Vicky’s life.
Illustrated by Rowan MacColl
Alexa moves in with her grandpa in Savannah after her parents are arrested for nonviolent offenses. Her google-able past makes her an instant target for the school bullies, but she also finds some friends a group of three girls: Chloe, Skye, and Fae. The four blow off some steam after school one day with a drunken bonfire in the forest, and they come back with more than they bargained for. All four start exhibiting signs that they've delved into the Fae world and are slowly transforming into fairies. To make it worse, Alexa's grandpa starts dating a woman who also seems like she has fairy magic, and she's not leaving Alexa's family and friends alone until she restores a powerful fairy to the Fae world - someone she feels is in Alexa's friend group.
Vol 1: Jewel of the Gravesend, illustrated by Jacquelin De Leon
Zatanna Starr, the daughter of renowned Coney Island illusionist Ezra Starr, is not a fan of crowds and performing. She’s much rather hang out with her friends or boyfriend and ride Coney Island’s coasters, grab cotton candy, walk her pet rabbit, or laze around at the beach. Her whole life changes when they visit a traveling band and find Mirror Script, a backwards script trick magicians used to use to hide their spells and tricks. Everyone else seems to have difficulty reading it, but Zatanna is able to read it just fine. What's more, whatever she reads comes true, and she can't figure out how this illusion is working! Diving deeper into this mysterious world unlocks other secrets about her family and her past that she must confront in order to truly understand what she's capable of.
Adapted by David M. Booher, illustrated by Zoe Thorogood, colored by Chris O'Halloran
Honeysuckle and her girlfriend Yolanda are so excited to be finally moving in together. As they pack up the car with all of Yolanda’s things, the dark storm clouds over Boulder open up and let down a deluge - of razor sharp, nail-like crystals that pierce those out in the open. And this isn’t an isolated incident. Over the next few days, the sky drops more crystals all over Colorado, and other parts of the world. Honeysuckle traverses the somewhat post-apocalyptic landscape for survivors and for some answers to what has happened to the clouds.
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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