Some manga series you might enjoy, if you haven’t already discovered them!
Sakura Hime, by Arina Tanemura. Sakura is a princess, engaged to Prince Oura since birth. Since she’s not keen on marrying the prince, Sakura runs away, accidentally looking at the full moon in the process (the one thing she must never do).
Kitchen princess, by Natsumi Ando. Najika is a talented cook, who follows the trail of a mystery boy who touched her heart as a child to the exclusive Seika Academy. Everyone at the Seika Academy is special in some way, except Najika according to the girls there. However, two brothers, Sora and Daichi, know her cooking is magical. (Also, who’s the mystery boy?)
Cardcaptor Sakura, by CLAMP. This was awarded the Seiun Award for best manga in 2001, and was also made into a TV series. The series begins with Sakura releasing the magical Clow Cards, a set of cards with their own personalitythat can assume different forms when activated. Oops. Sakura is told she must now find all the missing cards, battle their magical forms and re-seal them.
Kobato, also by CLAMP. Kobato, mysteriously, has a quest to heal broken hearts by trapping feelings in a bottle, in order to make her way to a mystery place. It sounds daunting, but she does have the help of a grumpy dog called Ioyogi-san, so that’s okay then. CLAMP’s website is here (great for practising your Japanese).
Here’s a list of other manga series we’ve got in the library.
Hey, recently we left a box out in Central for people to recommend to us some new manga titles. They are very popular! We received LOTS of suggestions and if you were one of the people who filled in one of the forms (thanks heaps!) you will be pleased to learn that we have purchased some of the suggested titles. These are some of the new titles that you can already reserve (the links go only to the first volume, so to reserve the others do a title search);
Fairy Tale (vols 1-5) – Teenage wizards! Dragons! One of the best shōnen manga in Japan – as decided by Japan!
Pandora Hearts (vols 1-5) – Published by Square Enix, the studio behind the Final Fantasy series in all its forms. Publishers Weekly say, ‘A sharp eye can find many literary references in this exciting fantasy manga. Oz, the main character, is turning 15 and is all set to be part of a ceremony, only to be dragged into a hellish place called the Abyss, for reasons he doesn’t know. Previously, he was a rambunctious rich boy who didn’t treat his servants well, but the Abyss is supposed to only take the worst of the worst. In this dark and disturbing world he meets a girl named Alice, whom he may or may not be able to trust, but who might be the only way out.’
Blue Exorcist (vol 1-3) – ‘Raised by Father Fujimoto, a famous exorcist, Rin Okumura never knew his real father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto forces Rin to face a terrible truth – the blood of the demon lord Satan runs in Rin’s veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself.’ – Catalogue summary.
So that’s a few we’re getting! In addition to more volumes of Bakugan, Dragon Ball Z, and Black Butler. Quite a few people wanted us to get that last one, but we already have the first four volumes! Unfortunately it is often out. But we’re getting more for you.
Hulk. Volume 3, Hulk no more by Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuiness. Hulk and his buddies, Silver Surfer, Dorma and the other guy have all lost their girlfriends to evil, on their wedding days too! To get them back they must fight Red Hulk, a guy called Tigershark (who has Adamantium teeth!) and two other nogoodniks. Spiderman turns up to crack some wise as well.
A Study In Scarlet adapted by Ian Edington from the original text by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes gets an action-packed graphic novel adaptation. Follow our tweed-clad hero as he investigates a murder, meets Watson for the first time, sleuths up a storm and smokes a curved pipe.
Witch and Wizard battle for Shadowland by James Patterson. Have you always wondered what happened inbetween the first and second “Witch and Wizard” novels by James Patterson? Now you can find out in graphic novel form. Reviews said things like “basically non-stop action” and “action-packed” so, you know, expect action. Also magic, the protagonists are a witch and wizard after all.
Simpsons comic extravaganza by Matt Groening. Lots of Simpson-y adventures collected in one handy volume. On a related note; what is your favourite Simpsons episode? A friend and I discussed this the other day and it was very difficult to decide. It is a worthy debate that could probably spawn a top ten list…
The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds. Books get adapted into graphic novels all the time, epic poems, not so much. Homer’s The Odyssey is one such instance and it’s rather good too, not only does it practically count as studying for Classics, but it’s entertaining at the same time. Your correspondent awaits a similar version of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with baited breath.
Also new this week are Ouran High School Host Club volumes one, two and three. It’s a self-described screwball romantic comedy in which our heroine, Haruhi, must work at a club dressed as a boy in order to repay a sizable debt. Smooth sailing does not follow.
Stuff for the Teen Age is the New York Public Library’s list of the best stuff for teens from that year. You should take a look! We have some – if not most – of it. True, the list includes Xbox games, Justin Bieber, and a whole load of manga*, but we have the books and many CDs covered.
They also have a blog you should add to your RSS feed (along with this blog).
* We’re getting in a lot more manga and anime soonish though
What is Zuda Comics? That’s a great question. The short answer is that it’s an all-new line of Web Comics. The longer answer is that Zuda Comics are whatever you make of them.
Zuda Comics is the webcomics division of DC. You can design your own comic for entry into their monthly competition, vote for your favourite entry, or simply enjoy the ones already online.
While we’re on the subject, you can find the DC comics website here, and don’t forget to check out our collection of them in your library branch.
Not so long ago we asked which magazines should get added to the Young Adult (YA) magazine collection. Not too many people responded, but that’s okay! We’re not too disappointed! As a consequence we have added Entertainment Weekly to the YA collection – it means you can issue it for free on a YA card. (If you reserve it through the catalogue be sure to reserve the YA copy.)
We are also adding Shonen Jump. It’s not yet in the system but there is a website. Good news for manga fans, is it not. Okay, cool.
Tomorrow (the 11th of July, from 1pm at the Town Hall) is the Japanese Festival (as mentioned here) and, with that in mind, here’s our Top Ten Japanese-related material (mostly) in the YA area. In no particular order.
1. Final Fantasy VII : Advent Children (ファイナルファンタジーVII アドベントチルドレン) – This is based on the highly-regarded console game, and although it might be a little incomprehensible if you’re not familiar with Final Fantasy it’s still a spectacular CGI film. (Website.)
2. Kino No Tabi (or Kino’s Journey : The Beautiful World, キノの旅), by Keiichi Shigusawa – This is the first in a series of novels about Kino, who travels through many unique lands with her talking motorcycle. That might sound a little twee, but the story looks at some pretty profound themes. We’ve only the first book, for now (sadly).
3. Anything by Studio Ghibli Inc. (株式会社スタジオジブリ) – The films produced by Studio Ghibli are some of the best out there. Most people have seen Spirited Away (the first anime to win an Academy Award), but Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle are definitely worth the 50c rental fee. And Ponyo (trailer) is at this year’s Wellington Film Festival (on the 17th and 19th of July).
4. Tekkon Kinkreet (鉄コン筋クリート) – Another anime that I highly recommend; it’s stylistic and lush to look at (the backgrounds are works of art). The story – about two orphans who take on the yakuza – is multi-layered and moving. (Trailer.)
5. Usagi Yojimbo : Volumes 1- (兎用心棒), by Stan Sakai - This epic comic series is about Usagi, a samurai who happens to be a rabbit (everyone is some sort of animal). He’s modelled on the real-life samurai/swordsman/writer/philosopher, Miyamoto Musashi, whose life truly was epic. The 23rd volume is due out later this month.
6. Number9Dream, by David Mitchell – Grimm recommended this book, about 19-year-old Japanese student, Eiji, who has come to Tokyo to search for his father. There’s an excerpt to read here. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2001.
7. Naruto : Volumes 1- (ナルト) – Naruto Uzumaki is a young ninja-in-training. He also has the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox within him, which means that if he can control it he can be a pretty powerful ninja. There are at least 45 in the series (held at the library, anyway) so there’s a lot to keep you going. Failing that, there is …
8. all the other manga we have. Which is loads.
9. Aranzi Aronzo’s books, Cute Stuff and The Cute Book. Aranzi Aronzo is a Japanese company that specialise in ‘cute, strange, cool, silly, a little bit horrible, stupid and comfortable’ design, and these two books show you how to make some very, very cute (kawaii, or Japanese cute) felt toys. Cute! They have a website.
10. Sushi for Dummies, by Judi Strata – Knowing how to make sushi (寿司) is one of those skills that everyone should know, as it’s a) delicious and b) healthy as anything, and c) pretty easy to make. This book isn’t in the YA area but we must include it in this list anyway.
We’ve a new manga series in the YA collection. It is titled Case Closed, by Gosho Aoyama. Jimmy Kudo is a hyper-skilled high school detective who is transformed into first-grader by a’ strange chemical’. He adopts a new name – Conan Edogawa – and continues to solve crime while hunting for whoever’s responsible for his transformation.
We have 29 volumes, so the hunt may take awhile. The animated series is big in Japan and Germany, according to Wikipedia, but I don’t think we’re getting it.
(All our other manga series are listed on this page.)
More new books from last week and this week. Christmas week!
Last Kiss of the Butterfly, by Jill Hucklesby (287 pages) – Jaz is a London girl and proud of it, but her mother – who has cancer – wants the two of them to spend a final summer in a cottage on the marshes. Not quite what Jaz wants, until she meets Ethan, who’s quiet but a bit of a stunner.
First sentence: ‘Here with me.’
Hunting Elephants, by James Roy (339 pages) – Harry’s Uncle Frank’s Vietnam War experiences threaten to exacerbate family tensions. And! There may be a crazed gunman in the bushes.
First sentence: ‘Harry was dying.’
The Celebutantes : In The Club, The Celebutantes : To The Penthouse, and The Celebutantes : On The Avenue, all by Antonion Pagliarulo (327, 356, and 340 pages respectively) – The Hamiton triplets are named Madison, Park, and Lexington, and are rich heiresses living in New York. Sort of like the Gossip Girl books, but with richer, more famous girls.
First sentences (in order): ‘She reached for her sunglasses.’ ‘The Ambassadors for the Arts Luncheon, held annually in the legendary Conrad Suite of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, had officially begun.’ ‘Night fell cool and crazy over Manhattan, the streets buzzing with the first hint of spring.’
Antsy Does Time, by Neal Shüsterman (247 pages) – Fourteen-year-old Ansty (short for Anthony) learns about life when his terminally-ill friend (with the awesome name, Gunnar Ümlaut) feels hopeful for the future.
First sentences: ‘It was all my idea. The stupid ones usually are.’
Into the Dark : An Echo Falls Mystery, by Peter Abrahams (262 pages) – Super-sleuth Ingrid Levin-Hill finds a body while out snowshoeing (which is when you walk on snow while wearing shoes that resemble tennis racquets). Unfortunately, the body is on her grandfather’s land and he’s sent to jail. Ingrid needs to uncover the past to find out the truth.
First sentence: ‘“Brucie?” said Jill Monteiro, director of the Prescott Players.’
Gay America : Struggle for Equality, by Linas Alsenas (160 pages)[Non-fiction] - This is an extensive and very interesting history of gay rights in America, written for teen readers.
Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances, by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle (352 pages) – There are three stories in this book about high school romance. Although written by different authors the stories are connected. As the title suggests the stories rely rather on a white Christmas – but we’re used to that.
First sentence from each story: ‘It was the night before Christmas.’ ‘JP and the Duke and I were four movies in to our James Bond marathon when my mother called home for the sixth time in five hours.’ ‘Being me sucked.’
A World Away, by Pauline Francis (316 pages) – Nadie is an American Indian girl who is taken by the early settlers of America back to England, to display to Queen Elizabeth I. There she falls in love with Tom, a blacksmith; can he survive with her, back in her own country? I could tell you … but I won’t.
First sentence: ‘Flames light the length of my mother’s body and lick around her slender neck.‘
The Mendini Canticle, by Brian Keaney (201 pages) – This is book three in the science fiction series, Promises of Dr Sigmundus.
First sentence: ‘The storm that had raged over the south of Gehenna had finally blown itself out.’
Crowboy, by David Calcutt (233 pages) – A war-torn city with gangs of warring children. Sort of a cross between Mad Max and Lord of the Flies, according to Amazon (where it reviews well).
First sentence: ‘So I’m outside the city one evening on me usual rounds, sorting through the leftovers and picking me way through the day’s dead.‘
Drawing Words and Writing Pictures : Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (282 pages) [non fiction] - This is a ‘definitive course from concept to comic in 15 lessons’. It’s a very, very nice book, laden with illustrations and guides. I’d go so far as to say that it’s the definitive book for people wanting to write and draw their own comics.
Merry Christmas, yall!
There’s not a lot of new material this week, so I’ll bundle it all up into one post. First up; new books!
Fruits Basket #21, by Natsuki Takaya (181 pages) - The Sohma family are each possessed by an animal from the Chinese zodiac, and if they’re hugged by the opposite gender (or get stressed out) they turn into that animal. Fruits Basket is one of the best-selling shōjo manga in the world; ’shōjo manga’ is manga marketed towards teenage girls.
Kekkaishi #14 (and #15), by Yellow Tanabe (162 pages) – Kekkaishi are demon-hunters who use magic to create barriers in creative and interesting ways. This is shōnen manga, which is manga marketed for boys between 8 and 18.
The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine, by April Lurie (211 pages) – Fifteen-year-old Dylan’s life is in shambles; his mother may have run off, his father is never home, his older brother hangs out with his loser band, and he – Dylan – has just been caught shoplifting underwear. Also, his best friend is shooting a documentary about him and she (unfortunately) wants to remain his friend.
Finnikin of the Rock, by Melina Marchette (398 pages) - This is the latest from the author of Looking for Alibrandi, (a very popular book still, fifteen years after its publication). Finnikin of the Rock is a character-driven fantasy novel. ‘A long time ago, in the spring before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamt he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere.‘ How’s that for a first sentence?
Jane Eyre (M rated) – A retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel from the BBC.
Appleseed : Ex Machina (M rated) – This is the sequel to the pretty-good-but-not-as-good-as-the-manga-I-thought film we also have in the YA DVDs. Reviews suggest that the CGI is fantastic, although the story lets the film down. I shall watch it this weekend (and compare it to Final Fantasy : Advent Children, the best CGI film ever).
Now That’s I Call Music 28 – Various. There are three things in life that we can’t get away from; death, taxes, and Now That’s What I Call Music compilations. This CD has eighteen tracks.
Funhouse – Pink. This is Pink’s fifth album. She may be touring NZ next year.