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|Title:||Del Rey Manga: Summer 2008|
|Published:||Sun, 17 Aug 2008|
Out of a strong Del Rey summer list, I’ve selected a few of the titles that appealed to me, hoping that there’s something here to please most tastes!
xxxHOLIC # 12 by CLAMP 13+
“There are two kinds of dreams,” Yuko tells Watanuki. “Dreams of waking and dreams of sleep. And…with both kinds of dreams… if you wish hard enough, they can come true.”
Watanuki drifts between dreams and reality. And we share his increasing sense of panic and desolation as he begins to question if anything that he knows in the everyday world is real. Now the crossover with ‘Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle’ begins to become more meaningful as he encounters Princess Sakura in one of his dreams Volume 11 ended with the time/dimension witch Yuko’s ominous words, “The final moment is approaching,” and CLAMP continue to intrigue their readers with tantalizing hints as to the parts Watanuki and Domeki will play in Sakura and Syaoran’s tangled lives. The artwork is as darkly beautiful as ever; ‘xxxHOLIC’ continues to delight and disturb the reader in equal measure as the mysteries surrounding Watanuki’s true identity increase.
Pumpkin Scissors # 3 by Ryotaro Iwanaga 16+
As the Pumpkin Scissors find themselves trapped below ground at the waterworks, caught between the elite army squad known as Claymore One and the flamethrower soldier Hans from the defunct unit 908, more of the sinister secrets of the Caplan Insititute’s military experiments come to light. We get to see Lieutenant Alice Malvin in two very different lights: wielding her family weapon like an experienced warrior to defend her squad, and all dressed up in a gown alongside her sisters at a nobles’ ball so that she can meet her fiancé, Lord Lionel Taylor. And it’s a measure of Iwanaga’s skill as a storyteller that there’s always several strands of plot being developed – coherently – at the same time; for example, as Alice goes unwillingly but dutifully to the ball, her squad are deployed outside in the snow, distributing food rations to the resentful locals…
‘Pumpkin Scissors’ has received a rather muted reception so far, which is a shame as it’s beginning to build a sense of genuine menace, whilst at the same time portraying an interesting cast in the members of Pumpkin Scissors. From good-looking ladies’ man Oreldo to gentle giant Randal Oland, each member of the squad is far from the clichéd stereotype they might appear to be. With a serious underlying theme about the problems of rebuilding society after a devastating war, this is definitely a series to watch.
Yozakura Quartet #2 by Suzuhito Yasuda 16+
Throughout Volume 1 of ‘Yozakura Quartet’, Yasuda had us wondering why ordinary guy Akina Hiizumi was part of the eponymous quartet, alongside three girls with special powers, including Hime, the high schooler who is also the mayor of Sakurashin Town. Much of this volume, like the first, is concerned with developing the main characters and their relationships. However, a major plus is that Akina’s special role is also revealed, although this revelation raises more questions than it answers, making the reader all the more eager to lay hands on the next volume! Sakurashin Town is no ordinary town; there are a great number of demons living there. But as to why they have gathered there....
Yasuda’a art is attractive and understated, with a contemporary feel that suits the quirky, yet sympathetic characters he has created.
Fairy Tail #3 by Hiro Mashima 13+
Lucy, the newest member of the Fairy Tail guild of wizards has become caught up in a desperate attempt to stop the Dark Guild of Eisenwald from playing Lullaby, the flute which brings death to anyone who hears its music.
In company with the formidable Erza, Natsu the salamander and Gray his friend/deadly rival (not to forget Happy, the flying cat), Lucy finds herself in the most dangerous battle of her life so far. And she also learns the meaning of the word to ‘requip’…
Mashima’s new series provides a breathless, crazy ride for the reader with memorable characters and genuine peril; the battles here are difficult and hard-won. There are also hints of darker matters that may be waiting for the unsuspecting Lucy and her new friends. A strong sense of the shonen values of friendship and teamwork permeates the narrative but they’re never hammered home in a boring way. And there are piquant and unexpected moments of comedy too to enliven the battles.
Type the characters you see in the picture above.