Yen Press is really taking advantage of having their magazine online. Back in January we got the debut of a new manhwa in color, Milkyway Hitchhiking, and now this month we get, not only a new Japanese title, but we get it in color! Highschool of the Dead is a zombie title that combines brain munching with fanservice, and it’s made to be put into color. Finally, a new title in the Japanese section that isn’t about little girls being cute! Is it a good addition to the magazine? You’ll have to read on to find out!
Milkyway Hitchhiking – Milkyway arrives in a town where there is a crazy woman who eats all the food left out for stray cats, usually before the cats, and especially Milkyway can get any. Aggravated, Milkyway tries to find out why she’s doing it, and the answer is a depressing, but understandable one. This chapter shows a real downside to putting a title in color, at least for me when the title is about cats. Blood smears are for Zombie titles, not stories about cats. Just sayin’.
Witch and Wizard – Whit’s and Wisty’s powers continue to grow. A flippant remark and wave of her drumstick and Wisty changes their weasely classmate into a weasel! A return to court almost gets them out, but another uncontrollable show of their powers sends them back, marking them now as extremely dangerous, and making them eligible to be hanged. They only have a ghost of a chance of escaping now. I’d really like to get out of the mental hospital/torture/experimenting storyline. It’s not really interesting, and isn’t going anywhere. And the drama just doesn’t do it for me. The appearance of The One Who Is The One, also gives a sense of hypocrisy, as he tries to eliminate all people with magical powers, when he himself obviously possesses the same.
Aron’s Absurd Armada – After finally deciding to go after treasure, like all good pirates should, Aron and his crew have their first encounter with a sea monster. When the monster grabs Gilbert, it’s up to Anton to save him. (No one else wants to get involved. Lots of good moments in this chapter, other than the sea monster. Anton and Gilbert are none to pleased when they find out where Aron’s money comes from. Vincent the cook can’t catch a break, even on New Years, and it’s no surprise to learn what Robin’s hobby is.
Daniel X – Daniel is talking to Judy, the girl at the Holliswood Diner, when No. 5’s goons attack. They have an Ant-lion that’s been trained to go after Daniel. Daniel transforms into an Elephant-spider, and not only defeats the Ant-lion, he turns it against the goons. Even though he leaves damage in his wake, no one seems to remember seeing the fight, including Judy, leaving Daniel to ponder what just happened. It seems pretty obvious to me though. It was just another scene for No. 5’s program. And after Daniel’s luck with girls with the last alien, I’m starting to have my doubts about her too.
Jack Frost – No-Ah is cut off from Jack and the others by Ethan, who has a little present for her. Her father. Ethan proceeds to torture him in front of No-Ah until she agrees to go the the East District with him. Meanwhile, Jack is fighting Avid again. Yeah, a whole chapter watching one character getting his bones snapped one by one, not high on my list. I certainly hope having No-Ah go to the East District will go somewhere, but some how I don’t, as I foresee a flashback with Avid coming.
Yotsuba&! – Jumbo comes over, and Yotsuba and her father show him the pictures from the hot air balloon adventure. Then he gives Yotsuba a book about animals with stickers in them that she then sticks all over her blocks. Then there is the big fight to stay awake, which Yotsuba inevitably loses. If you’re a parent, you know what a bad idea it is to give a child a book with stickers, as they inevitably end up on tables, TVs, and books NOT meant to have them. Take note relatives and friends without kids who think that sticker book looks sooooooooo cute.
K-On! – It’s the New Year, so that means New Years cards and a trip to the Shrine. Then it’s the fight to get Myo over her shyness by making her work in a maid cafe. Things get serious for Aka-meow, as Valentine’s Day approaches, and she doesn’t know if Myo likes sweets! Well, at least the series is hitting new holidays instead of being an exact repeat of previous chapter set at the same time.
Highschool of the Dead – This is a new title for Yen Press, and actually a surprise that it’s been put in the magazine. The first volume was released last month, but the incentive to read it in Yen Plus is of course, that the chapters are in color. The first chapter starts with three high school students, Rei Miyamoto, Takashi Komura, and Hisashi Igou fighting off zombies of their classmates and teachers to try to find some safety, which they do in the Astronomy Club room. Then it’s a flashback to how they came to be where they are. I had already heard about the anime of this title, and the fan service that runs rampant. And it does in the manga as well. The story is also your typical zombie plot. One zombie appears, bites a teacher, who quickly dies and turns, and starts the zombification chain reaction. But despite these things, I actually enjoyed the first chapter. By the end I really wanted to know what happened next, so I’m looking forward to the next issue. The coloring looks good. I may finally have a good reason to read the Japanese side. I’ll have to see how things go with the story though. It can be either very good, or very bad.
It was another decent issue of Yen Plus. Highschool of the Dead was a real pleasant surprise. I really expected not to like it. Now, if I could get just some cat action from Milkyway Hitchhiking, some actual plot movement in Witch and Wizard and Jack Frost, I’d be a really happy subscriber!