Wellington City Libraries

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Teen Blog

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We Need These eManga in Our Lives (and so do you)

We understand it’s been a dark time for many manga fans. The books you were able to borrow before our libraries closed are long finished, their covers growing thick with the dust of disappointment. Your days are growing heavy with the weight of unresolved cliffhangers. Thankfully, our eLibrary is absolutely stuffed full of manga series to keep you going until you can get your hands on printed material once again. Below are some of our faves, but be sure to check out the Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga section on OverDrive/Libby for more gold.

Overdrive cover Assassination Classroom, Volume 1, Yusei Matsui (ebook)
Volumes 1 – 5 available on OverDrive.
One of the most popular manga series currently publishing outside Japan, in Assassination Classroom we join Nagisa, Sugino, Karma, Okuda, and the other would-be assassins of Class 3E as they navigate life, death, and education under their moon-killing, pseudo-octopoid, super-organism teacher, Koro-sensei. Sound weird? Well, strap in. This is shōnen sci-fi manga at its best we’re talking about here — pretty much anything goes.

Overdrive cover Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus, Volume 1, CLAMP (ebook)
Omnibus Volumes 1 and 2 available on OverDrive.
I love Cardcaptor Sakura unreservedly, and once you read it, you will too — and not just for its super awesome anime adaptation that aired in the late ’90s. This series has everything you’re looking for in a shōjo ‘magical girl’ manga — namely, an awesomely strong and compellingly-rendered magical girl to lead the cast, vicious beasts to fight, mythological dreamscapes to explore, complex characters that grow into their roles, and of course it can all be pulled together into a largely unknown trading card game from the year 2001 that I wish I owned. Some day, some day.

Overdrive cover Haikyu!!, Volume 1, Haruichi Furudate (ebook)
Volumes 1 – 8 available on OverDrive.
Okay, I admit it. I was skeptical about Haikyu!! at first. I mean, I’m not really one for the whole sportsball thing, so a manga about one boy’s drive to become the greatest volleyball player in Japan didn’t really sound like my cup of tea. With that out of the way, if you read one thing from this list, read this. The characters are expertly-drawn, both in terms of line and in terms of personality. The whole gamut of human experience is explored and poignantly rendered: hubris, ambition, disappointment, determination, loss, commitment, betrayal, hurt, unity — but ultimately it is this series’ big-heartedness that will win you over. Do yourself a favour and read it now.

Overdrive cover One-Punch Man, Volume 1, ONE (ebook)
Volumes 1 – 5 available on OverDrive.
I still remember the first time my friend showed me the One-Punch Man webcomic. Even then, in the summer of 2010, it seemed legendary, destined for greater things. And so it was — the manga remake is full of the charm, the absurdity, the inexplicable baldness, and the manic, supercharged energy of the original webcomic, but distilled, whisked, blended, and baked into the extended manga form. It’s a superhero story like no other, and we couldn’t recommend it more highly.

Overdrive cover Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 1, Sui Ishida (ebook)
Volumes 1 – 8 available on OverDrive.
Sui Ishida’s Tokyo Ghoul may just be one of the greatest tales in contemporary fantasy. The premise is simple — in the shadow of our regular human world there dwell mysterious, powerful, and cannibalistic demi-humans known as ghouls, kept at bay by the powerful but shadowy government-controlled CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul), who will go to any length to exterminate ghouls from the face of the planet. The morals of each party? Grey. The storytelling? Immersive, dark, and intense. The characters? Deeply human and beautifully flawed, with motivations that gradually unwind as we get to know them. The result? A series you must read. Not for the faint of heart.

This is just the barest sliver of excellent manga you can find on OverDrive and Libby. If we don’t have what you’re after, you can always use the handy-dandy ‘Recommend to Library’ tool to suggest we purchase what you’re after. At the moment you can only recommend one title every 30 days, to make sure our librarians aren’t overwhelmed, so choose wisely!

Mahou shoujo Part 2

Since mahou shoujo is a whole subgenre of anime and manga I thought I had better tell you about our super collection of manga and anime that we have in our libraries! Did you even know we had them in the collection? I’ve chosen a few “magical girl” themed anime and manga for you all to check out that you may or may not be familiar with already.

(In case you didn’t know, manga are comics you read and anime are cartoons you watch.)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsPretty Guardian Sailor Moon (manga)

If you grew up in the 90s like me, you’d probably be pretty familiar with Sailor Moon. Usagi Tsukino (Serena) is a regular girl, until she discovers she is sailor senshi Sailor Moon. Together with the other sailor scouts, handsome Tuxedo Mask and two mystical beings that appear to be sentient stuffed cats, Sailor Moon must stop the evil Queen Beryl from taking over the world.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCardcaptor Sakura (manga)

This is one of my absolute favourites! Ten year old Sakura accidentally releases a magical set of cards called the Clow Cards, and is enlisted by the guardian of the cards to capture them again. Each card has a special ability and some cards require some serious puzzle-solving to capture. It is written and illustrated by popular manga group Clamp, and it has absolutely beautiful illustrations throughout.

My-Z-HiMe (anime)

This story takes place in the distant future on the planet Earl, colonized by immigrants from Earth centuries ago. Certain girls and women aspire to be Meister Otomes – bodyguards, attendants and warriors that serve the royalty of various kingdoms. Arika Yumemiya has come to Windbloom Kingdom in search of her mother, a former Otome. Arika enrols at Garderobe Academy to train to be an Otome herself, but she must beware those who desire to use the old technologies of the Otome for destructive powers.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAlice 19th (manga)

Alice Seno is a 15-year-old girl, constantly living in the shadow of her seemingly perfect older sister Mayura. One day Alice rescues a white rabbit from the road, but it is no ordinary rabbit. It reveals its true form and informs Alice she is destined to be a Lotis Master – someone who uses the power of words and communication to enter the Inner Heart of others. Alice soon discovers this is a powerful ability which must be used carefully when she accidentally makes her older sister disappear. Using the power of the Lotis Runes, Alice must get Mayura back.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFull Moon o Sagashite (manga)

Twelve-year-old Mitsuki Koyama loves singing and dreams of becoming a pop star. Unfortunately, a malignant tumor in her throat prevents her from pursuing her passion. However, her life turns around when two surprisingly fun-loving harbingers of death appear to grant Mitsuki a temporary reprieve from her illness and give her singing career a magical push start. (library catalogue)

Recent DVD releases

We have some really awesome films in the library collection, and a bunch of these sit right among our very own YA section. There are comedies, mysteries, sci-fis and award winners all tucked away amongst the stacks. Here are my picks of our newest additions to the shelves:

From Up On Poppy Hill
This is one of the newest DVDs we have from Studio Ghibli, who have brought us so many other amazing films such as Howl’s Moving Castle, The Cat Returns and Spirited Away. From Up On Poppy Hill is set in Japan, 1963. Umi is a high school girl living in a boarding house. She meets Shun, a member of the school’s newspaper club and together they decide to clean up the club’s vast and sprawling clubhouse. However Tokumaru, a businessman as well as the high school chairman intends to tear down the clubhouse for redevelopment. Umi and Shun must work together to convince Tokumaru that the clubhouse should remain standing.

The Bling Ring
Based on the Vanity Fair article titled “The Suspects Wore Loboutins” The Bling Ring follows a group of Hollywood Hills teens who are mostly rich and all bored. One night they discover Paris Hilton is on the other side of the country partying so they figure they could break into her home, because why not? They find that it’s not exactly hard to get inside and they steal countless items from a slew of celebrities, whose wealth and possessions are so vast they don’t even notice things are missing for several weeks. The ring can only keep up the game for so long before they are caught though, and the defence statements of the teens after they’re arrested are pretty hilarious (and accurate, taken from police records!). Well worth the watch from the directorial wonder Sofia Coppolla, not to mention it has a killer soundtrack.

Legend of Korra Book One: Air
If you’ve seen the original Avatar series (nothing to do with blue people) then you’ve got to see Korra. If you haven’t seen the original, it doesn’t matter, you’ve got to see Korra anyway. Among water-, earth-, fire- and air-benders, the Avatar is the only one who can master all four elements and keep peace with the world. Korra is the successor to Aang, the Avatar from the previous series of the show. In Korra, technology has progressed to a steampunk-like level of technology, drawing inspirations from metropolitan cities of the 1920s. Korra is still coming to terms with her Avatar responsibilities, and travels into the city to live and train with a master waterbender. But everything is not as peaceful as it first appears in the city, and Korra faces an enemy in the Equalist movement leader Amon. Amon plans to rid the world of elemental bending powers forever, and it’s up to Korra to stop him!

Paranorman
From the same animation company that brought us button-eyed Coraline comes Paranorman. Norman loves ghosts, ghouls, mummies, monsters and just about anything scary that lives under your bed. His schoolmates and even his family make him feel like an outsider for his interests, but when he awakens a ghoul from a long hibernation, Norman’s supernatural know-how could be the key to defeating the curse dispelled by the ancient ghost.

Pacific Rim
I name this the action movie of 2013! And in a year full of them, that’s high praise. It’s the near future and Earth is being attacked again and again from an interdimensional portal in the center of the planet by huge dinosaur-like monsters called kaiju. The current defence involves giant humanoid kaiju-punching mecha robots, each piloted by a team of two people. Raleigh Beckett is a washed-up Jaeger pilot, called out of retirement to team up with rookie Jaeger pilot Mako Mori in a last ditch attempt to overcome the kaiju attacks. Pacific Rim is full of cool martial arts, robots punching giant dinosaurs and amazing robot CGI that Transformers could only dream of. This is one of my picks of the whole year of 2013 so I hope you like it!

The Wind Rises this weekend

Weekend newsflash: The latest film from Studio Ghibli (and the last film directed by Hayao Miyazaki before his retirement!) is showing this Sunday at the Embassy cinema! It’s called The Wind Rises and it tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II. Check out the trailer below and book your tickets over at the Embassy website.

New Books! New DVDs!

There are only a handful of new books this week. There’s a stack of DVDs though! Quite exciting for anime fans!

Here are the books.

Here’s How I See It: Here’s How It Is, by Heather Henson (270 pages) – The remarkably named Junebug wants to be an actress, but at the age of thirteen she’s still a stagehand at her parents’ playhouse. She feels like she’s becoming the perfect stagehand – this isn’t necessarily good, as it means she feels invisible!

First line: ‘Here’s how I see it: everything is going to be okay, just like Dad said.

Ship Breaker : A Novel, by Paolo Bacigalupi (326 pages) – In the grim, grim future (teens like dystopian novels!) Nailer, a teenaged boy, strips beached oil tankers for their copper. He stumbles across an ‘exquisite’ clipper ship beached in a hurrican and must decide between stripping it for parts or helping out the sole survivor (she is rich and beautiful!)

First line: ‘Nailer clambered through a service duct, tugging at copper wire and yanking it free.

Wolves, Boys, & Other Things That Might Kill Me : A Novel, by Kristen Chandler (371 pages) – KJ lives in Montana, near Yellowstone park, where introduced wolves are splitting the community. Is she for them or against them? Do I mean the wolves, or the community? Yes to both!

First lines: ‘Wolves don’t actually howl at the moon. Mostly they howl at each other. I’m a girl, so I get that.

The Carrie Diaries, by Candace Bushnell (389 pages) – Carrie Bradshaw is the main character in the Sex And The City TV series and films. This book is her ‘diary’ from when she was a teen in Connecticut in the early ’80s, and before she went to New York.  

First lines: ‘They say a lot can happen in a summer. Or not.

My Worst Best Friend, by Dyan Sheldon (303 pages) – Grace and Savanna are besties! Even soul sisters. But sometimes friendships can turn sour.

First line: ‘The way I saw it when I was in high school, even though there were still millioins of different life forms left on the planet, there were basically only two kinds of girls: Those Girls and everyone else.

Out of Shadows, by Jason Wallace (277 pages) – This is set in Zimbabwe, in the early ’80s, just after independence. Robert is new to the country, and finds that some of his classmates are keen for the country to return to the old, white-led past, at any cost.

First line: ‘Go ahead, shoot, I thought, because I was thirteen and deperate and anything, absolutely anything, was better than the fate to which my parents were leading me.

Here are the new DVDs! We have added the newest Bleach DVDs (volumes 16 to 20), and we’ve also got the first Bleach film, Bleach : Memories of Nobody. (There’s talk of a live-action Bleach film, btw.) We have added a couple of Ghost In The Shell : Stand Alone Complex DVDs to the YA collection, and the entire first series of Tsubasa in one, six-disc boxed set. Boxed sets of shounen-ai classic Gravitation  and FLCL (pronounced ‘fooly-cooly’) are also in. As well as! Death Note  : Relight 2 (highly recommended), the first three Bakugan DVDs, a couple more Dragonball Z movies, the 2001 OVA of Spirit of Wonder, and the complete series of the French-Japanese animation, The Mysterious Cities of Gold (which came out in 1982, when Carrie Bradshaw was in high school).

A picture of some new DVDs we’ve bought

newdvds

(they’re not catalogued yet, but will be soon)

Stuff (for the teen age)

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

New Anime

More new anime has arrived (I mentioned it earlier but now it’s in the catalogue). We have the final disc of the Mushi-Shi series, which is a slow series but well worth watching in its entirety; volumes 1 to 7 of Fullmetal Alchemist; volumes 1 to 3 of Ranma 1/2; and the final three discs in the infinitely awesome Samurai Champloo series, which is now all in the YA area.

Here’s a complete list of anime based on a manga series held by the library. Here’s a list of anime movies, and here is a list of anime television series.

New anime

Yes! More new anime, and it’s on the catalogue so you can reserve it now. We have the first fourteen DVDs of Bleach : Agent of the Soul Reaper, which is pretty exciting (it’s very good) (website) and My-HiME : My Otome,  which can be read about on Wikipedia (or through the official website in Japanese).  Both series should be available from next week.

Some of the others we will be getting are mentioned in this previous post.

(All of the Samura Champloo series will soon become available through the library, although probably as an adult DVD only.)

New Anime we will get soonish

We (the library) have purchased some new anime series. But they’re not quite ready for the catalogue yet! They are in the building though. (DVDs and CDs aren’t entered into the library catalogue until they’re ready to be issued. Books are catalogued as soon as they’re ordered.) They shouldn’t be too far off, and then you can reserve them.

These are the anime we’re getting (links lead to the v. handy Anime News Network):

Ranma 1/2  – all seven series.
Fullmetal Alchemist 
Bleach
(intended for the adult DVD collection, but we hope to wrangle some YA copies.)

Good news.

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