Makoto and her cat Chito move in with her distant relatives away from Tokyo in Aomori, a small town in the countryside of Japan. There, Makoto hopes to complete her training as a witch. Her family knows about her powers, but Makoto isn’t supposed to talk about it to non-relatives. That doesn’t stop her from telling Nao, a girl at her school she befriends. Makoto often gets lost around Aomori, so occasionally she’ll take Chito with her, who has walked the neighborhood enough to not get lost. Makoto does some basic magic with her young cousin, Chinatsu, who isn't a witch. The two, along with Kei, Chinatsu's older brother, ready an abandoned plot of land to make a garden, as growing plants is part of Makoto's study of magic. Makoto's sister, Akane, also makes a surprise visit to see how Makoto is settling in, and Akane accidentally has Makoto unleash a pretty powerful spell to summon crows.
Illustrated by David Namisato
Sandy is a young Boy growing up in British Colombia who loves baseball. It’s one of the things he and his father enjoy together, that is when is father isn’t off providing medical treatments to folks. Sandy’s family and of Japanese decent, and they live in a thriving Japanese community in BC, who all root for the Asahi, the local baseball team who just lost the championship, but are hopeful to get it back next season. Then, the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, and things start getting more complicated for Sandy and his family. They have to give up some of their possessions “for safekeeping”, knowing full well they will be sold off; they have to be in their homes by sundown, which makes the father’s job much harder; and there are certain areas of port cities they are no longer allowed to live in. Soon enough, the families are transported to camps that have been set up at abandoned mining facilities.
Sakura continues to collect Clow Cards in a few new adventures. Her class gets a new substitute Math teacher, Kaho Mizuki, and it's someone from Tōya's (Sakura's brother) past. She can make predictions, and often they come to fruition. Syaoran warns that she is incredibly powerful, and tells Sakura not to trust her, but Sakura has a warm, floaty feeling evey time she talks Mizuki-san. Mizuki is the daughter of a local shrine family where Sakura tries to buy a charm, but instead she, Syaoran, and Tomoyo get sucked into a maze. Then, the school goes on a field trip to the beach, and one of Sakura’s classmate scares her with a ghost story about a test of courage that happened inside a cave on the very beach they're visiting. The next day, Sakura’s class has to do the same test of courage, and Sakura is petrified. When classmates start disappearing inside the cave, it's up to Sakura to figure out why and save them all.
Vol 12, Dionysos, The New God
Dionysos is the child of Zeus and yet another mortal, who was tricked into death by jealous Hera. Hermes delivered Dionysos to the Satyrs to be raised, where he learned to be boisterous and have lots of fun. As an adult, Dionysos discovered the beauty of fermenting grapes and drinking it, and he brought his madness-inducing liquid to several mortal cities. He wasn't always thanked for sharing his drink, though! Tragedy also seems to follow Dionysos and many people around him die unexpectedly, prompting a trip to the Underworld.
Vol 1 : The Tea Dragon Society, Vol 2, the Tea Dragon Festival, Vol 3, The Tea Dragon Tapestry
Greta is a young, aspiring blacksmith in a fantastical world with many animal-human hybrid beings. She finds a tea dragon in the market one day and rescues it from becoming dinner for some hungry wolves. Greta returns the tea dragon, Jasmine, to her master Hesekiel, a local tea house proprietor. When Greta becomes interested in tea dragons, Hesekiel and his partner, Erik, bring Greta into their fledgling Tea Dragon Society, comprised of themselves and a foundling named Minette. In the second volume, we see Erik and Hesekiel in their past adventuring days. Erik takes Hesekiel back to his village where Rinn, his niece, is trying to find her place in village life. Rinn finds a dragon who has been asleep for eighty years who was supposed to be guarding the village, but was put to sleep by the creature Erik and Hesekiel are here to take out. In the third volume, Greta has the opportunity to become a blacksmith apprentice to a well-respected master as long as she smiths a piece that inspires him. Minette, meanwhile, is struggling with her lack of memories and some of her residual powers we found out about in volume one. Greta continues to care for her tea dragon, Ginseng, who is mourning for its former master.
Sakura continues to collect Clow cards with her fabulous outfits, only in this volume, she has a rival: Syaoran, a transfer student from Hong Kong who seems to hate Sakura right off the bat. Kero figures out that Syaoran is a descendant of Clow on his mother’s side, and thinks he has a claim over Clow’s cards and magic. However, since Sakura released the deck, Syaoran can’t collect the cards on her behalf. Some of the cards in this volume are more difficult to capture. Sakura runs into an entirely different card - one that she has to call by its name in order to capture. There’s also another thing about Syaoran - he also seems to like Yukito, making him Sakura’s rival for magic and love.
In the beginning, there was the World Flower, spouting planets and stars into existence like pollen. On one of these planets (Earth) is the hive in which we find ourselves. In it, Dvorah is capping the cell of young larva Nyuki, who is scared of metamorphosis and what the rest of life will mean for her. After metamorphosis, Nyuki emerges as an adult bee but is rather scared of the outside world. That is going to work out poorly because there is a new queen in the colony, which means the old queen must lead some of the colony away to a new site. Dvorah is going, and Nyuki must decide. It turns out, Nyuki loves flying, but there are many perils of the outside world, including praying mantis, spiders, and birds! As Nyuki grows up, she finds a special flower with the best nectar and helps cross-pollinate it with a flower across the field. Nyuki inspires a younger forager, Melissa, to become a great forager for the colony.
Hana is a precocious young girl who doesn’t usually do as she’s told and has many adventures with her friends. First, Hana prepares her emergency “rations” of choco-puffs, which she leaves at her school. When a typhoon hits her town, she takes her cat down to her school to retrieve the rations in the storm. In another adventure, Hana and her friend sit in an abandoned VW Bug, when a dam breaks and carries them downstream to the sea. Later, Hana gets stuck in a hammock and her friends have to get her out before a corporation, bent on reclaiming some derelict fields, torch the whole place and Hana along with it.
Illustrated by Drew Zucker
At the end of the first book, Canto’s people leave Arcana to make a New Arcana. The first chapter is a short side-story where Canto frees some fairies from being tortured by an evil witch. Then, we go into New Arcana and see Canto and his friends in their new home. The Shrouded Man hasn’t come after them, but that’s probably because he has cursed their clocks to slowly wind down. Canto and a few friends decide to travel back to the Tower and confront the Shrouded Man, hoping to beat their clocks and get the curse reversed. Along the way, they are attacked by The Furies, and Canto realizes that not all of his friends can come with him. He reaches his destination and hopes he has found a magic that can take down the Shrouded Man. Canto’s journey is definitely not over here, and the nice cliffhanger will have fans scrambling for the next volume.
Here's the latest series pulling on my nostalgia and purse strings alike. Kodansha has released an anniversary edition of Cardcaptor Sakura in hardback, and of course I need to get all of them.
Fourth-grader Sakura Kinomoto, with her latent magical ability, accidentally sets free a deck of magical cards, called Clow Cards, from inside a book in her father’s study. She’s also awakened “Cerberus,” nicknamed Kero-San, the Guardian of the Seal, who gives Sakura the key to the book and the ability to capture the cards again. These cards have gone out into the world and will wreck havoc in their own ways depending on their magical affinity. Sakura must capture the cards and use their abilities to capture even more cards.
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