Illustrated by Trish Forstner
Sophie is a nervous dog who classically can’t remember much after it happens to her. She’s introduced to a group of dogs in a new house, and they terrify her. The nicest of the bunch, Rusty, recognizes her fears and protects Sophie. He gives her a tour of the home, including the room they’re not allowed to go into. Snippets of traumatic memories start coming back to Sophie, prompting other dogs to also remember some of their pasts, with owners who were not their current master, who all happen to be female and usually alone. Through this, the dogs discover their happy home with plenty of food and treats is not a safe place to be, for animals or humans.
In this kingdom there are two sides: Inside and Outside. Those on the Outside are cursed and can infect those from the inside. Those living on the Inside live behind tall walls and search for anyone who may be “infected” in order to banish them to the Outside. Shiva is a young girl who was suspected of being infected, and now lives Outside, eagerly waiting for the day her aunt will come retrieve her. She lives with Teacher, an Outsider who is very careful not to touch Shiva or allow her to touch him. The two forage for food, chop firewood, have tea parties, and read stories to pass the time. Teacher knows no one is coming for Shiva and struggles with how to keep her alive and happy.
Jinwoo is still dealing with the trauma from the last double-dungeon, but he decides he needs to get stronger so he can earn more and help out his family. He starts grinding in a low-level dungeon and puts a majority of his skill points into strength. This changes his physical appearance - he’s taller and has more muscle mass. He decides it’s time to try a harder dungeon, and he finds a group who need to round out their numbers to 10 to enter. There’s another new person, who is also low level, but he has extremely expensive equipment. Things turn out badly for the two of them in the dungeon, and Jinwoo uses all his new experience to protect them and survive the dungeon.
Illustrated by Posuka Demizu
Now that the world has been turned upside down, the Ratri clan desperately try to reestablish a similar government and farm system to put the world back to what it was. They plan on making all the farms like Lambda so none of the children they raise as food will have free will or rise up against them again. They prepare to make one last stand against Emma and her friends back where it all began: Grace Field House. Mom has now become Grandma, the head of the whole farm system, and she wields enormous power as the leader of the Sisters who work the farms.
Vol 1: Fantasy heartbreaker, illustrated by Stephanie Hans, letted by Clayton Cowles
For Ash's 16th birthday, his best friend Solomon (Sol) creates a new role-playing game that will knock everyone's socks off. Ash's kid sister, Angela, tags along, and the group is rounded out by Chuck, Isabelle, and Matt. The players build their characters, and Sol passes out special dice to each of them, reserving the D20 for himself as the master. They role, and they find themselves inside the game. Two years later, they come back to the real world, unable to speak about what has happened. Angela is missing an arm, and Sol is missing entirely. Twenty five years later, Sol's D20 finds its way back to Ash, who brings the gang back together again to decide what to do. Before anything can be decided, the five are sucked back into the game again. Sol is now the Grandmaster, and he insists they play again to defeat him this time. The group tries to work together to defeat Sol, but they discover their personal motives don't perfectly align this time.
Yuki and Itsuomi get closer as she teaches him more signs and they spend more time together. Rin and her crush go on their first “date” to Costco to pick up supplies for the diner, but Rin is a little too embarrassed to be alone in the car with him for that long. She invites Yuki and Itsuomi to go as a double date, so the four have fun picking out interesting items and necessities that are all oversized. Afterwards, Itsuomi invites Yuki to his place where they eat pizza and she teaches him more signs. They are interrupted by Emma, a former paramour of Itsuomi’s, and Yuki doesn’t know how to feel about the two of them.
Ruri makes it to the capital, but she has been traveling as a cat in order to avoid attention. She is introduced to the king's advisor, and later, the king himself, as a cat, so now she's not sure how she'll be able to tell them she's a human! The Dragon King and Ruri also have similar magical wavelengths that compliment each other, so King Jade ends up sneaking off to visit her every chance he gets. Ruri indulges in a life of laziness and luxury for quite some time before she remembers her ultimate goal: get revenge on Asahi. Ruri decides to visit the kingdom of Nadosha after hearing they may be preparing for war (on Asahi's recommendation, most likely), and what she finds is desolation and starvation.
The friends continue to get letters from their future selves that warn them of choices and events that might lead to a tragedy. In the future, we see some speculation about how they can send letters to their former selves. The friends in the present and in the future worry about Suwa, whose future might completely change if they are successful in helping their past selves. The sports festival is coming up, and the letters warn how this event shaped their futures, and offer suggestions on how to stop the bad future from coming to pass. Later, the friends go to a shrine for New Years, and Naho is extremely worried. This outing is where everything can change in the battle make everything right, and one little misstep could ruin all of their hard work.
Yuki was born Deaf, and the hearing aides she uses allows her to hear some sounds, but not clearly. In order to communicate, she relies on Japanese Sign Language, her phone, notebooks, whiteboards, and her decent ability to read lips. On the train one day, a tourist asks Yuki for directions, and the charismatic Itsuomi-san comes to her rescue. Thanks to the encouragement from her friend, Rin-Chan, Yuki gets up the courage to ask Itsuomi for his number, and the two start texting, but not as often as Yuki would like. Both of Rin and Yuki crushes work at the same cafe, so they encourage each other to get to know the guys. Rin asks Yuki if she is having affectionate feelings for Itsuomi, or if it's love, and Yuki thinks she might actually be falling in love with Itsuomi.
Illustrated by Testuya Tashiro
Tatsumi is a country kid who, along with two others, have trained up and left their village to go into the Capital and make enough money to save their starving village. Things don’t go so well for Tatsumi. Within a day of reaching the capital, all his money is stolen and his life is put in danger. He’s taken in by a Good Samaritan, but an attack from the deadly Night Raiders destroys even more of what he thought was good about the capital. He is “kidnapped” by the Raiders and shown the true nature of how deep the corruption flows throughout the country. Tatsumi joins with the Raiders to hopefully set things right, and, ultimately, to save the entire country, and his village, from ruin.
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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