Hello! I am back and not dead like my blog history suggests. This quarantine has been tough, as I’m sure it has been tough for all of you as well. I’m going to start releasing some new posts slowly to try and get back into the groove without stressing myself out too much. I thought I would start May off with a look at some new manga releases that are on my radar. There were a few of them that were delayed until July that I had to take off this list and many that are only releasing in digital format because of printing and shipping delays, so I’m sorry to all you readers that enjoy having print copies like I do. This month is kind of quiet for new releases. Seven Seas only had two listed on their website for May, but I think I’ve found some good volumes to recommend. Check them out below!
The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life – Volume 2 (May 5)
The first volume of this series came out a while ago and I instantly fell in love. It’s an adaptation of a currently running light novel series, but I honestly prefer to read it in manga form. The art is great and the story has a nice mix of magic and everyday life events that make it a more chill read than some other high-action fantasy series out there. Basically, the main character is an alchemist who constructs potions out of herbs and plants. In order to save herself from a monster rampage that destroys her town, she puts herself into a magically-induced sleep, only to wake up 200 years later to a completely different world. Now her potions are much more in demand and she sets out to craft herself a new life.
This manga is right up my alley in terms of content, art, and genre. I only had one minor issue with it which was its use of slavery as a plot device, and I can understand how that might turn some people off to the series. However, I think it was handled well and there’s a lot of compassion around their relationship as owner and slave. If you’ve already checked out volume one, then I hope you’ll give this one a try as well. If not, you can check out my review of volume one to see if you might want to jump into the series.
Beyond the Clouds – Volume 2 (May 12)
The first volume of this series came as a surprise for me. I saw it pop up on Twitter and the whimsical watercolor art really captured my attention. The series was originally released only in France from a Japanese author, and is now getting an English release. It’s an interesting origin that made me wonder what the manga could be like. Volume One was a really cute story, though very straight forward in its plot and characters. I feel like it’s much more geared towards a younger audience, but it can still hold a lot of interest for older fans.
The story follows a young boy who lives in a steampunk-esque city and dreams of journeying outside who finds a young girl in a trash pile who is missing one of her wings. He uses his knowledge of inventing and mechanics to make her a new wing and decides to help her return to her family. The art is loose and sketchy with watercolor shading that gives it a softer feel than many other manga. I had a few problems with volume one, but I’m interested enough in the setting and the premise to see how volume two continues everything. I’m hoping to see more character development and a look at the world outside the city. If you haven’t checked out the series yet, my review for volume one is posted up on the blog.
Wandering Witch – Volume 1 (May 12)
This volume was a nice surprise to see when I was looking through new releases this morning. I’ve never heard of this series before but it falls into a genre that I absolutely love, so I’m really interested in checking this out. The story follows a young witch who journeys around the world with no real destination, just learning and growing as a person and a witch as she goes. I’m hoping this will be a really cute and chill series with magic and world building and interesting people and places along the way. I doubt it will be anything like Kino’s Journey, but that’s what it sort of sounds like to me. The series is an adaptation of a light novel, which isn’t really surprising, so I’m interested to see how it turns out. The cover so far makes the art from Itsuki Nanao look really nice that I’m hoping the inside panels and pages will be great as well.
Something’s Wrong with Us – Volume 2 (May 19)
Something’s Wrong With Us is something I picked up just recently and has been a series I’ve been on the fence about ever since. The story is about a young Japanese dessert chef whose mother was framed for a murder when she was younger being dragged into a marriage to the family that framed her. It simultaneously a murder mystery, romance, and food manga that I can’t really decide if I like or not just yet. It’s definitely on the edge of being a very abusive relationship for the main character, but she’s also going in with the knowledge that there is no love between them and she has to solve the mystery of the murder her mother was framed for. I’m hoping the second volume will give me more of an idea if I’ll wind up enjoying it and will expand on a lot of the plot points introduced in the first series. My feeling is that this might become somewhat of a bad-guy becomes good-guy/romantic interest towards the end, but who knows. I’ll probably be posting a review of the first volume at some point in the future.
Nyankees – Volume 6 (May 26)
Nyankees is one of my all-time favorite series of the past year or two. It’s an amazingly action-packed and hilarious story of conflicting gangs of street cats drawn as buff young men. The character designs are detailed and very different from one another, and the fight scenes are amazingly well drawn with dynamic movement and action. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who loves cats, action manga, or yakuza-esque gang stories. The series is short, this being the last and final volume, so it’s not much of a commitment. I wound up enjoying every single volume I read and I’m really sad that it’s ending here. I’m really hoping for a nice ending that ties everything together and also provides more great fight scenes and hilarious moments. The series will definitely be forever on my manga shelf and I will continue to recommend it to people.
~~Thanks for Reading!~~
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