This story follows a gardener who can see ghosts, and a ghost who has fallen in love with the gardener. Hamal tries to go about his day at the nursery where he works, but customers constantly complain about his odd behavior and how he talks to himself. But Hamal is actually talking to the ghosts, including his best friend, Blue. Blue and a few other ghosts keep getting swept into a creepy, dead forest. A reaper approaches Blue and reveals there is an unlicensed necromancer in the vicinity, and asks for Blue’s help, but Blue is sure it's Hamal, and he can’t betray him like that. The reaper catches up to them anyway, but gives Hamal a way to make balance between the world of the dead and the world of the living - work for the reaper, but the jobs aren't as gnarly as one might think working for a creature of death.
While watching the news, Takemichi finds out his middle school girlfriend and her brother are killed by by a fierce gang, the Tokyo Manji. He goes about his day, has another horrible time at work, and his on his way back home, he falls onto the subway tracks and gets transported back to his middle-school self. He comes back in time to be jumped into the Tokyo Manji gang with a few of his friends. He runs into Hinata, his girlfriend, and is determined to use this time-jump power to save her. Later, he finds Naoto, Hinata’s little brother, and he becomes connected to Takemichi’s power to time leap between present day and his past. The two of them must work together to stop the gang and save everyone.
Vol 2: Theory of Happiness
After Kōhei kissed Taichi, the two don’t quite know how to act around each other. Taichi is still willing to take notes for Kohei, but then Maya comes along - another hard-of-hearing person who thinks Taichi is just taking advantage of Kōhei and his seemingly endless supply of lunches. Taichi stumbles upon a business called SIGN that helps train people in some basic sign language and works with other companies to be more inclusive, and Taichi’s impassioned plea to not exclude the hard-of-hearing from their company’s work impressed the owner so much that he offers Taichi a job. While he’s mulling over the offer, Taichi realizes he would probably be better off working full time instead of wasting money going through college without direction. But will Kōhei be ok with another note taker?
Illustrated by Jess Taylor
Taylor and her associates are posing as a makeshift family in a small town outside Metropolis, but they’re actually refugees from another planet, hiding from a cruel enemy called The Vane that destroyed their world. For an extra measure of protection, Taylor’s general and pretend father made Taylor’s disguise a human boy, even thought Taylor’s true identity is The Galaxy Crowned, Princess of Cyandii, and she feels out of place in her male body. She also has a guard "robot", an adorable sentient corgi who follows her and records what happens daily. When a girl named Kat moved to their small town, Taylor’s facade starts to really distress her, and she breaks her cover to reveal her true self to Kat. The community, however, isn't as accepting of having an alien in their midst.
Illustrated by Yomi Sarachi
Okabe aka "Kyoma the Mad Scientist," attends a press conference on time travel that changes his entire life. Together with his lab assistants, or LabMem, they create a time machine with a cell phone and a microwave, and he can send text messages back in time that can affect the current world line they’re on. Okabe can feel the changes to the world, a type of energy he calls Steiner, but not all of the changes end up positively impacting the lives of those involved or around them. A seemingly innocent change to make one of the LabMem closer to their true self spirals into the death of another, and Okabe scrambles to put everything back to normal. But, another traveler from the future tells him he has one more major change to make, one that can stop World War III from killing billions of people.
The human sacrifices have been assembled, but Father is one sacrifice short. Along with his homunculi, they force another alchemist to attempt human transmutation to become the fifth human sacrifice and round out the transmutation circle. Greed and his followers are meanwhile trying to keep Wrath occupied and keep the main gate of Central Command closed; Major General Armstrong and her remaining Briggs troops are trying to keep the interior of Command under control; and the rest of Mustang's loyal soldiers regroup outside Command and try to keep King Bradley's wife safe and unaware of the predicament her husband and son are currently in.
College student Al decides to stay in London for the winter holidays to work as many shifts and save money for the next term, but when London’s mayor is found dead in the same subway Al was on, he gets tangled up in a clandestine investigation with Ellis, a detective seeking redemption. Al's flatmate also gets intertwined with a disastrous outcome, so nothing is looking too good for Al. The search for leads forces Al to seek out his birth mother and confront a past he had been content to keep buried.
Eijun Sawamura and his middle school baseball team fail to win their championship game based on a wild pitch from Eijun. After he recovers from his disappointment, he’s content to head to the local high school with his friends and continue to play baseball with them. Then, Rei Takashima turns up, scouting Eijun for Seido High, a top baseball high school in the country. Eijun feels guilty for leaving his friends behind, but a trip to watch the team practice mostly solidifies Eijun’s decision. He doesn’t make a great first impression on the Coach, however, after showing up late for the first day of practice. The coach gives him an ultimatum to be able to throw a ball over 300 feet or give up pitching all together, and Eijun of course can’t back down from a challenge.
Moon Knight (2014) Vol 2: Dead Will Rise, illustrated by Greg Smallwood
Wood takes over the series from Ellis, and it starts off similarly to Ellis’ volume 1 short story-type narrative. However, Wood weaves threads throughout each chapters that have payoff in the end. Moon Knight stops a well-armed sniper from killing a foreign dignitary, but it’s clear the man is a mercenary paid by someone very powerful. He then foils a terrorist plot at One World Trade Center, but the whole encounter is recorded on a cell phone camera and released to the world. The doctor from volume 1 is back - she tries to convince Marc to help her take down the foreign dignitary, and she gets Khonshu for her efforts. She infiltrates a security detail that is supposed to be protecting him, and without Khonshu, Marc finds himself detained yet again in something like a mental facility. Now, he’ll have to make it out without the powers of his god behind him, and stop the doctor before she ignites a civil war in an African country.
Kaori signs Arima up for his first piano competition in two years, and she coaches/berates him into practicing and getting back to the level he was once at. She tries to get him to put his own emotion into the pieces, but this is something Arima has always struggled with. Similarly, it's time for all the sports tournaments, with Tsubaki competing in softball and Watari competing in soccer. Tsubaki becomes jealous of how close Kaori is to Arima, and she relives some of their childhood memories when she supported him through physical and mental anguish, including carrying him home after he hurt his ankle. She's pleasantly surprised to see Arima come out to support her in her tournament, and even more pleased when he carries her home after she hurts her ankle.
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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