Aya-Chan, Mitsuki’s best friend from her childhood, is back in Japan, back playing basketball, and just finished a tournament opposite Mitsuki’s new Fab Four basketball friends. But there’s something very different about Aya - she’s not a girl! While Mitsuki wrestles with this new information, and how it fits in to all her memories of Aya, Towa is determined not to lose to Aya in any way. Mitsuki tries to fit in with some girls in her class by inviting them to karaoke, but she’s an afterthought the whole time. She confesses her lack of friend making skills to Kyōsuke, one of the four basketballers, and he promises to get to know her better and be a better friend. Mitsuki doesn’t quite trust the offer but also doesn’t want to snub a chance at a friend! Aya finds out Mitsuki works at the Words Café across from the basketball court where they meet, and after one of her shifts, he’s very forward and promises to take her on a date after the next tournament. Mitsuki isn’t sure still how to handle Aya being a boy, let alone asking her on a date!
Mari has been stuck in a classroom by herself, forced to practice reviving things, while havoc goes on around her. Miriam and the demon she summoned, whose name is also Alice, apparently have a long history together. Lady Alice the demon sets things in motion between two other countries to spark a war, and the country they’re all in must decide which of their alliances are strongest. The countries then discover that it was the witches who started everything in their quest to get back at the humans for generations of abuse. The country starts attacking the school they’re all in just as Alice discovers Mari’s mother is in the witch’s crypt below the school. Lady Alice dares Mari to try and resurrect everyone she’s killed, but it turns out that everyone has misunderstood Mari’s powers from the beginning.
Vol 1: Before the Storm, translated by Greg Pak, illustrated by Keng, lettered (English edition) by Joe Caramagna
In an extremely non-linear plot line, we are introduced to Lei Ling, also known as Aero, a hero in Shanghai who has control over the air. When she’s not flying around her beloved city, Ling is an architect who designs homes for Shanghai citizens. Aero is currently battling animated buildings, some of which she designed, and desperately trying to stop a floating city from crashing into Shanghai. In the alternating scenes, we see glimpses of Ling’s past, where she and her boyfriend dine at a fancy restaurant just before he might get the courage and opportunity to propose to her, but she has to sneak away to save some folks trapped in a cyclone on a ferry. And then we meet Aero’s mentor, Madame Huang, who Aero is battling in the present while past Ling meets her for the first time.
Illustrations by Marcos Martín & Muntsa Vicente
Friday and her childhood friend, Lancelot Jones, solved many mysteries around their small town. When it came time for college, Friday chooses a school out of town. The day before she leaves, she and Lancelot had an embarrassing moment that Friday dwells on for months away at college. Now, it’s the winter holidays, and Friday is home visiting family. Lancelot is on the case, as always, and she is swept up again in the same old routine of finding clues and solving the mystery. She’s dismayed that Lancelot is treating her just the same, reverting back to before she messed everything up. Something about this case is very different than the others, though, as there seems to be a mysterious spirit involved that Lancelot may know more about than he’s leading on. The case and clues really pick up, and Lancelot leaves traces letting Friday know to come back to their headquarters in the woods, but that’s when everything goes from bad to the absolute worst.
Asakusa wants to join the Anime Club at school because she aspires to create it in her future. She drags along her friend, Kanamori, who’s singularly minded on making things profitable. At their first meeting, they triumphantly rescue Mizusaki from her body guards, and the three discover their hidden talents would compliment each other perfectly: Asakusa draws insanely detailed worlds, Mizusaki loves creating characters, and Kanamori has a producer’s attention to detail and scheduling. The three form their own club, Eizouken - a group for Moving Image Studies. They piece together a “studio” in a dilapidated building, scrounge together some tools, and create their first pitch for the Student Council in hopes of having an actual club budget.
Vol 1 (2021): Only Death is Eternal, illustrated by Esad Ribić, colored by Matthew Wilson
The story opens up on the resurrection of Ikaris, the last of the Eternals to be “woken” again. He is given instructions to release Sprite, an eternal who caused a lot of problems for the Eternals recently and has been “reset.” The two travel to the main city of The Eternals and soon find Prime Eternal Zurus has been murdered. This isn’t a majorly big deal because he’ll be resurrected soon, but then they find out The Machine, the system that keeps Earth alive and maintains The Eternals, has been sabotaged, including the mechanism to revive Eternals. There’s no shortage of suspects who would want to bring down Eternals and/or destroy the Earth. Together with Sersi, Thana, Ikaris, Sprite, and a few others try to track down the traitor while keeping humans safe and alive.
Yuki and Zero are part of the Discipline Committee at their high school, Cross Academy, tasked with keeping the Night Class and the Day Class separated. When it’s time for the Night Class to go to school, they herd the rest of the Day Class to their dorms like a batch of cats in heat. All the girls have the hots for the beautiful guys of the Night Class, but Yuki and Zero know the deadly consequences of letting the two classes mingle. That's because the Night Class is full of vampires. These vampires are "pacifists" and agree not to feast on humans at least until they're done with their schooling. Both Discipline Committee members have tragic backstories: Yuki was saved ten years ago from a vampire attack and adopted by the headmaster of Cross Academy, while Zero's entire family was slaughtered by vampires in front of him. A budding romance may derail the efforts to keep the classes separated, while Zero goes through an unwanted transformation that will completely change the dynamic of the Discipline Committee.
Illustrated by Tōru Naomura
Students at the elite private school, Hyakkaou Academy, aren't interested in getting great grades or joining clubs. The Academy prioritizes the ability to manipulate people, and the most popular past time at the school is gambling. There's a very strict caste system that ranks students based on their winnings and how good they are at gambling. Suzui finds himself in the lowest of casts after a disappointing lost to Mary - he becomes a "house pet" and has to do everything Mary says. Then, transfer student, Jabami, surprises everyone by coming in and destroying Mary in a special game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Jabami then challenges several other students, including some powerful members of the Student Council, and Suzui goes along for the crazy ride.
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.
Vol 1: The Promise, illustrated by Nick Dragotta, lettered by Rus Wooton, colored by Frank Martin Jr
Three of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been reincarnated as children in a nation that very slightly resembles the United States in a bizarre future. One of the Horsemen is nowhere to be seen, and the other three set off to find and kill him. We move to another scene where a man, dressed in an all white Wild West outfit, extorts information from a barkeep in exchange for the man’s life. What our mysterious man in white receives is a list of "The Chosen", the seven people who can bring about the End of the World based on the teachings of "The Message". The man in white is Death, and he’d very much like for the world not to end.
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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