So… since this week is a little light on content (although I’m sure we would all love Yellow II vol. 3) the team at Manga Village thought we would talk about our favorite new series from the first half of 2011.
DIGITAL MANGA PUBLISHING
Yellow II Volume 3 GN (Of 3)(resolicited), $6.95
Alex Hoffman: While there were certainly quit a few wonderful series that have come out so far this year, my two favorites are Blue Exorcist, and A Bride’s Story. Blue Exorcist is my non-critical shonen fight-fest pick of the year, and with its excellent character design, smart setting, and wonderful illustration, make it the pick of the litter when it comes to recent shonen series. My favorite “serious” title is A Bride’s Story, which is a fantastic hardcover manga published through Yen Press and written by Kaoru Mori, the author of Emma. Honorable mentions are A Zoo in Winter, another fabulous Jiro Tanniguchi book from Fanfare/Ponent Mon, and Wandering Son, which didn’t make the time cut (it came out on July 5th, which was JUUUUUST outside the window for these picks) but it definitely makes my list for the next half of the year. Seriously, you should be reading both A Bride’s Story and Wandering Son. They are fantastic.
Lori Henderson: I was surprised by a few new titles that have come out so far this year. I didn’t think I would like Replica from Digital Manga Publishing based on the short preview I read in Otaku USA, but by the end of the first volume I was sold on it. I picked up Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex from Kodansha on a whim, and really enjoyed it. It’s based on the anime, but this is an adaptation done right, so I’m definitely getting more. I’ve already pre-ordered volume 2!
Amy: My favorite new series from the first half of 2011 (it doesn’t feel like 2011 is more than half-way over!) is Blue Exorcist! I flipping love this series and can’t wait for the next volume to come out in the fall. Another series that I have my eye on this year is Ai Ore, after reading a preview chapter on VizManga.com it’s moved to the top of my want list.
Connie: My choices so far this year have to be Toradora and A Bride’s Story. Toradora was a surprise for me, since I usually dislike shounen romances, and this one was an adaptation of a novel to boot. But the characters are more interesting than usual, and the dynamic between them works surprisingly well for how many times I’ve seen the cliché (tough bossy girl who bosses the somewhat domestic boy around). The sense of humor was unusually good, too.
A Bride’s Story was just very pretty on top of being an interesting read. The unique setting of central Asia 150+ years ago, the focus on the culture, and the art to bring everything to life is just about everything I need in this book. But the characters are beginning to get interesting too, and I’m very much looking forward to the second volume.
John Thomas: The manga is slightly more comprehensible than the beautiful and stylistic anime, which is why I choose Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex as my pick for the first half or 2011. Reissue? Yes. Good stuff? Absolutely. If this is new to you, consider this reissue a gift.