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.
Elias has revealed his full, true form, and takes on the being known as Josef, who has been trying to capture the Church Grim in order to make a chimera. Chise awakens from her injury inflicted by Josef, and she manages to calm Elias down back into his "human" form. She forms a bond with the Church Grim, who becomes her familiar even though he is a fae, which means his eternal life will end when hers does. Chise renames the Grim "Ruth" because of his loyalty. Days later, while wandering and looking for Elias, Chise comes across a man named Joel tending his garden full of beautiful roses. He has a muse attached to him, a parasite who normally feeds on the energy of people in exchange for inspiration, but this muse is content with just being near Joel. At the very end, Chise receives an invitation from Master Lindel to return to the Dragon Sanctuary to make her wand.
Illustrated by Gianna Meola
Josephine, or J. B. to her friends, is your typical C-average student in high school who finishes in the middle of the pack in PE and gets Cs or high Ds on her French tests. One day, when accosted by agents demanding to know about her actions in France on a recent "business trip" with her mom, J. B. finds out she’s actually an operative for The Company, and she’s been brainwashed into not remembering her skills, training, or missions. What’s worse, is that this was all done to her by her mother, who wants J. B. to have job security within The Company! J. B. has never been in control of her full self, so it’s time to change all that and fight back against The Company and other forces that are trying to control and use her.
Shōyō Hinata loves playing volleyball, but he hasn't have enough people in his middle school club to make a full team. Instead, he practices with whoever will set the ball for him - the girls' volleyball team, a women's volunteer team. When he finally gets enough people to enter his first and last ever tournament of middle school, they lose miserably to Tobio Kageyama's team that is a favorite for National competitions. When Hinata and Kageyama both end up at the same high school, they must set aside their middle school egos, learn to be teammates, and learn to share the spotlight before they can officially start playing with the official High School Club Volleyball team. The team captain pit Hinata, Kageyama, and a veteran player against two new first-year hopefuls. Whichever team of newbies wins will join the team.
Illustrated by Nate Powell
On the morning of Barack Obama’s inauguration to his first term as president, Congressman John Lewis readies himself in his office in Washington D.C. A lady with two kids stops by the office, obviously not expecting the Congressman to be there, but they are delighted to find him and ask questions about his life and his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. This launches Lewis down memory lane as he recounts his childhood from growing up on a farm, raising chickens, to going to school and getting involved in sit ins at local department store lunch counters. The work isn't done with those demonstrations, as later volumes promise to hold other activism and demonstrations Lewis took part in and led.
Lord Beldaruit tells Coco a story of Qifrey’s past and why he has such a strong prejudice against the Brimmed Caps. Because of this, Coco decides to break off from the group and go to the Tower of Tomes to seek answers for Qifrey’s struggles as well as seek a solution for her own mother. But getting to the Tower proves to be much more perilous than Coco believed it would be. The Tower is guarded by fierce water dragons that spring out of the lake and attack any movement they sense on the banks of the lake. Qifrey races after her to save her from the guardians of the Tower, but he's still not fully healed from his previous injuries, and he must rely on Coco's originality and ingenuity to save them both.
Mei and her father work in the kitchen for a logging camp in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the late 1800s, where they expertly make delicious meals for the loggers after a long day of hard work. Mei makes wonderful pies that everyone craves, and at night, she entertains the camp's chidlren by telling fanciful stories. One such stories is the legend of Po Pan Yin, an elderly Chinese woman logger who watches over the camp and works in the forest with her giant blue ox. The children accuse Mei of stealing the American legend of Paul Bunyan, but Mei makes Auntie Po into her own myth and a guardian spirit for the camp and herself. With the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act limiting the opportunities and safety for Chinese immigrants, Mei and her father must navigate an increasingly hostile community where violence against Chinese workers is not uncommon. On top of all of this, Mei must work out her feelings for her best friend Bee, which are becoming increasingly romantic, as well as plan for her future away from the logging camp.
The Sailor Scouts have a new enemy who has put a spell over the entire Jûban district of Tokyo, and is setting loose little concentrated spheres of evil - lemures - to turn all the beautiful dreams into nightmares. This new enemy is headed by Queen Nehellenia, the queen of the New Moon, of the dark side of the moon. She has found a way in through all the protections on Earth, and is attacking it from the inside. The Dead Moon Circus is her front to besiege the people of Jûban, and her efforts are affecting Mamoru-san. To complicate things even more, the scouts find they can’t transform in the face of this new enemy, but instead have to gain a new power up.
Illustrated by Jen Wang
Anda gets invited by a guild runner to join up playing a MMORPG (Massive-multiplayer-online-roll-playing-game), Coarsegold Online, as a female avatar in an all female guild. She makes a friend in game and they take on missions that pay real money. Their missions are to exterminate gold farmers who sell in-game gold to players for real money. It’s a lucrative system that is a real part of most MMORPGs. Anda makes a friend with one of the gold farmers and finds out he’s a teen named Ah Duo (Raymond in English) from China. Raymond is the same age as her, but he's farming gold online as an actual paying job in China. He has health issues, and Anda convinces him that he needs to stand up for himself with his boss, but things don’t turn out well for Raymond. Anda discovers a darker side of world economics played out in her game, and struggles with how to really help her new friend.
Despite its ridiculous title, this was a really fun book. Hanako-kun is one of the seven mysteries of Yashiro’s school. She summons Hanako-kun one day because she’s heard she can be granted one wish, but Hanako is nothing like she expected. To begin with, he’s a boy bound to a toilet in the girls' bathroom! Yashiro is desperate to be part of a couple, so she eats a mermaid scale and tries to give its matching scale to a boy she has a crush on (as legend says he will be inexplicably bound to her forever), but she chickens out at the last minute. The scale turns her into a fish, but Hanako eats the matching scale to save her from a worse fate, and fights off the mermaid who has come to claim Yashiro. From that point on, Hanako and Yashiro and bound together with a supernatural bond. Yashiro becomes Hanako’s assistant and the two continue to explore the supernatural elements of the school, keeping them from harming the mortal students whenever possible.
I've been reading Manga and comicbooks for years. Now, it's time to share my knowledge with you.
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