Summer Manga Preview 2012

This summer there is plenty of manga to get stuck into. New series are coming out, old series are ending, and there are some interesting returns to keep an eye out for.

June

Those who follow the regular manga release updates will know one highly popular series this month has already come to an end, as Ouran High School Host Club (Viz) came to a close with its 18th and final volume.

However, if you are into your comedy, then you may be pleased to know that another manga is making a long awaited return, as is a seemingly long-gone manga publisher. Tokyopop has entered into a deal with the Right Stuf to publish some of its manga on demand.

The first manga to be given this treatment is the third volume of Hetalia: Axis Powers, which was due out a week after Tokyopop decided to close its English-language operation. The third volume includes the debut appearances of the countries such as the Nordic states, Monaco, Belgium, Netherlands and Seychelles.

It is known that if there is a big enough demand for this book, there is a good chance that other Tokyopop titles will be released too. At the moment, the only other title they are going to publish is the OEL manga Bizenghast.

In other new releases, Kodansha is bringing out the sci-fi horror series Attack on Titan, where in which humanity now lives in cities surrounded by huge walls in order to keep out human-eating monsters. One boy decides to learn more about the creatures.

Yen are releasing three omnibus editions of Alice in the Country of Hearts, a loose manga adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Around the same time Seven Seas are publishing the sequel to the series, Alice in the Country of Clover, so it will be interesting to see which of the two will achieve the better sales.

June also sees new releases from The Drops of God (Vertical), Bleach (Viz), 20th Century Boys (Viz), Air Gear (Viz) and Gantz (Dark Horse).

July

For Yen Press, July is mostly about spin-offs and releases. Their new titles include Soul Eater NOT! and Haruhi Suzumiya spin-off The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan.

Seven Seas have a new manga title coming out in July, Angel Para Bellum, an action fantasy about a boy who is the key to stopping a war between Heaven and Hell. Also coming out is Jiu Jiu (Viz) a shojo fantasy about a monster-hunting girl who is accompanied by two shapeshifting wolf-cub familiars.

There are also plenty of continuing titles. Viz will be bringing out more volumes of their Shonen Jump titles such as Bakuman, Bleach, Claymore, Naruto and One Piece, plus releases of Skip Beat! (including omnibus editions). Yen will be continuing with Black Butler, Durarara!!, Highschool of the Dead and Pandora Hearts. Plus Kodansha will be releasing more Fairy Tail, Negima!, and the highly popular Sailor Moon.

August

In August it appears that love is in the air in several titles. Seven Seas will be releasing I Don’t Like You At All Big Brother!!, featuring schoolgirl Takanashi Nao who has a crush on her older brother. She then discovers she was adopted, meaning that there is nothing to stop their relationship, but it is not plain sailing.

Meanwhile, Fantagraphics are re-releasing one of the very first examples of shonen-ai, with the release of a single-volume collection of The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. Shonen-ai is a form of yaoi relaying more on romance than sex, so if that sort of thing puts you off then you may enjoy this. Although it still has a darker side as the book begins with a suicide.

Vertical continue to release more works by the great Osamu Tezuka, as August sees the release of the first volume of Message to Adolf, a historical manga set during the 1936 Nazi Olympics where a journalist discovers that his brother, who is studying in Germany, has been murdered. He tries to solve the crime but for some reason the authorities are keen for him not to.

There are plenty more releases of continuing titles from all the major publishers, including Oh My Goddess! from Dark Horse, and several Yen titles including Haruhi Suzumiya, Madoka Magica and the final volume of Gon.

Ian Wolf

Ian works as an anime and manga critic for Anime UK News, and is also the manga critic for MyM Magazine. Outside of anime, he also is the editor of On The Box, data specialist for the British Comedy Guide, is QI's most pedantic viewer, and has appeared on Mastermind.

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