Illustrated by Akinari Nao
Yusuka is a major video-game fan who doesn't really care about planning for his future or getting into a great high school. One day after school, he finds himself transported into another world with two very cute classmates. They have already been in this fantasy world before, and they help get Yasuka situated. The Game Master shows up with half a face and incomplete sentences, and spins the class wheel for Yasuka to land on farmer! Yasuka's classmates are a warrior and a Wind wizard, so he definitely needs to work hard to catch up to their strength. The three of them need to complete this round, then await being transported again for the next round, where another player will join them. This will continue until they beat all ten rounds of the game. If they fail, their lives, and the fate of everyone in Tokyo is on the line!
Another Outsider has broken into the house and threatens to curse Shiva. Teacher takes an ax to it and chops off its head, but that doesn’t kill it. The stranger mutters some things about Shiva’s soul, and its “mother,” and it intrigues Teacher. The now-headless one teases Teacher, saying he knows how to lift the curse, and he brings Teacher to “Mother,” who is under the water in a deep lake. Teacher only learns of more disturbing news rather than a cure for Shiva, so the two head home in defeat. Strangely though, Shiva doesn’t show any of the classic signs of one who is cursed. Inside, a Father sets into motion the plan to bring back the girl from the other side for some unknown purpose.
Chitose works for a health and lifestyle magazine, writing articles and tracking down big stories on healthy supplements, among other things. But, she’s also the “good-luck girl” for Kokoro, a rising star in the world of Japanese figure skating. The two grew up together in Fukushima (which means they somewhat need to mask their “country-bumpkin” accents), and one of their favorite shows to watch as kids was Princess Lady Lala. Jokingly, Chitose “cast” a spell from Lady Lala on Kokoro before one of his performances, and he turned out the best performance of his life. Now, Chitose has to be at every competition to be able to put that spell on him. When the date of the Grand Prix and a major work interview land on the same dates, Chitose cannot choose between the two!
Adapted by Naoshi Arakawa
After the strange disappearance of Mitsuru and an ominous trail of blood where he was, the seven remaining students try to solve the mystery of their situation with some heightened anxiety. Shimizu theorizes that this situation is like the Langoliers Incident, and they’ve been pulled into the subconscious of the person who committed suicide. The others reject her notion as foolish and too much like a Stephen King novel. Shimizu finds Takano alone in the hallway, trying to figure out who committed suicide. Shimizu recounts her friendship with Takano, their friendly rivalry, and ultimately her plans for her future, but soon realizes that this isn’t Takano. Later, then real Takano and Akihito discuss the premise of this predicament: maybe they’re being punished by the person who committed suicide because they didn't do enough to save their classmate.
Zaha Sanko is cursed - one bone from his body will grant the bearer any wish they desire, so you can imagine how many people are after him. When some junkers catch Zaha floating in space, they realize who he is by his injuries and his special dark paggy (special space backpack). Sanko and his skeleton friend, Avakian, overpower the crew with their special “Dark Flesh” armor and weapons. We then saunter down memory lane as Sanko recounts his time on an elementary school station where he made friends with a creature of death named Shimada, who feeds off of souls and finds Sanko amusing. Shimada, fortunately, is a perfectly content being, and thus has no reason to try and take one of Sanko's bones.
A mysterious innkeeper will let lost souls stay in his inn for a price that isn’t money: he feeds on secrets. When a young man is being chased by a monster in a cage, he finds refuge in the Inn, but has no secrets to give. The Master uses his power to create a situation where he will know the young man’s secret, and it gives them both new life. The Innkeeper also has several creatures in his service, including Butterfly, who can take the shape of a man, but also burst into hundreds of butterflies. Butterfly often "gets into trouble" in his human form, particularly with young ladies who often fall for him.
Colonel Shikishima is used as the latest scapegoat to explain why the Sol rocket was used and parts of the city destroyed, and he loses his command. Despite the disgrace, the soldiers are still severely loyal to him, and he employs his forces to help recover Akira before the boy fully awakens. Kei and Kaneda try to bring Akira to a safe place, but they find themselves being betrayed by someone they thought an ally. The Colonel uses the three super-powered children to track Akira, while Lady Miyako deploys three of her own children to bring Akira to her. All of these opposing parties chase each other through the streets of Neo-Tokyo during a city-wide lockdown, which means the protector robots are also after them all for breaking curfew.
In a pet store in Japan, many of the young, adorable kittens are quickly adopted, leaving behind the lovable, fluffy, slightly older cat, whose sad eyes beg for a new owner to come adopt him. Kanda, a recent widower, adopts the big guy and provides a loving home for him. Kanda names him Fukumaru, a combination of the words for "luck" and "happiness" in Japanese. Fukumaru is so grateful that he has been adopted that he tries to go into every room with Kanda, which is normally fine until Fukumaru tries to go in the shower with him. He realizes the hard way that there are some places they cannot be together.
Stella wakes up from a beautiful dream, and finds herself in a strange bedroom in a luxurious manor. Watching over her is Levi, a dashingly handsome young man, who explains her carriage crashed and he saved her, but the driver met his unfortunate demise. Stella was on the way to be a live-in maid at another manor, so she pleads with Levi to employ her as a maid, and he accepts. He introduces Stella to the other residents, one whom attacks her. Stella starts to notice strange things about the manor’s residents, and she’s disturbed that they won’t let her leave to go to the village. Despite their strangeness, Stella finds herself falling for Levi, and the two grow extremely close. When her attacker breaks loose and starts being vicious again, the residents must let Stella in on their secret: they are vampires, and they must do something terrible to keep themselves sane and non-violent.
Noel and Ninny are witches and part of the Piper segment of the Wing Bind, a group of witches and wizards who are tasked with keeping dragons away from ordinary humans. Dragons are harmful to humans because humans have no magical abilities. Wing Bind, and most of the witches’ tasks, are in Reverse London, the opposite of Front London, where magic is much stronger and dragons more prevalent. One of the cases the witches get called for involves Noel’s admirer, Balgo. Balgo’s best friend turns into a dark dragon, which exist only to hurt people and destroy things. Being so close to a dragon for so long means Balgo has absorbed lots of dragon magic, and now he has to be watched by Noel and Ninny constantly. The three of them continue to take on cases involving dragons getting too close to humans, including one involving a girl Ninny knows, and an extremely powerful dragon that either influenced or was named from fairy tales.
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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