RIGHT TURN ONLY!! Page Turners
by Liann Cooper, May 20th 2004
Buy It Now!
Tsubasa Volume 1
Released by Del Rey
Story & Art by CLAMP
If you didn't get your fill of Sakura and Syaoran in Card Captor Sakura, don't despair because CLAMP has brought us Tsubasa - a crossover title starring the two little lovebirds. In this alternate reality, “Princess” Sakura rules over the kingdom known as Clow and her best friend, Syaoran, is head of a nearby archaeological dig. When Sakura finally musters up the courage to visit the dig site and profess her love to Syaoran, disaster strikes after a mysterious symbol is discovered. This symbol somehow “awakens” powers within Sakura causing her memories to scatter, and renders her unconscious. In order to save her, Syaoran must travel various worlds to collect Sakura's memories before time runs out. Del Rey gives Tsubasa the same stellar treatment as its other CLAMP manga releases – informative character profiles, introductory color pages, a volume two preview, and even a glimpse of its “sister” title xxxHOLiC. With more CLAMP character appearances than you can shake a stick at, Tsubasa is the ultimate in crossover titles.
Chrono Crusade Volume 1
Released by ADV Manga
Story & Art by Daisuke Moriyama
A gun-crazy nun and an outcast demon that fight as exorcists in 1920's America - what more do you need to make an outstanding series? Not much else, that's for sure. Chrono Crusade follows the escapades of Rosette Christopher and her assistant, Chrono who exorcise demons in the name of The Magdalan Order. The Order, established to prevent demonic destruction, have their hands full with the duo since Rosette and Chrono seem to cause more destruction than they prevent. In this strong-starting first volume, we join Rosette and Chrono as they attempt to rescue the angelic-voiced Azmaria, while battling the sinister demon Lerajie. With the domestic release of the anime coming soon, don't miss your chance to get a jumpstart on Chrono Crusade's storyline by picking up the manga now.
Saiyuki Volume 2
Released by Tokyopop
Story & Art by Kazuya Minekura
High-priest, Genjyo Sanzo, and his three traveling companions - a demon-slaying youkai named Hakkai, Monkey King Goku, and water youkai, Gojyo - are on a westward journey to find the Demon Lord Kougaiji, instigator of the recent attacks by restless youkai. Together, they hope to find a way to end the epidemic of mindless, killing youkai so that the land can return to its original state of harmony. Volume two finds our heroes not just fighting the usual bands of posessed youkai but also fending off their own personal demons. Focusing on the history of Gojyo, Sanzo, and Hakkai, Goku's background sits on the sidelines this time around. First, we're given a small glimpse into Gojyo's past when supressed memories are triggered by young woman's tale. Afterwards, we encounter a flashback into the mysterious past of Hakkai when he and the gang battle against one of Kougaiji's personal subordinates - as well as Demon Lord Kougaiji, himself. Lastly,the story behind Genjyo Sanzo's inherited name and title are revealed when he faces off against an old acquaintance named "Rikudo." Tokyopop presents Saiyuki with the original wrap-around cover art and introductory color pages. Four guys able to do some serious demon damage all while maintaining their good looks - Saiyuki is a prime example of how to successfully combine kickass action with pretty men.
Hana-Kimi: For You in Full Blossom Volume 2
Released by Viz
Story & Art by Hisaya Nakajo
Mizuki's cross-dressing facade continues in volume two of Hana-Kimi. In order to be close to her idol, high-jump star Izumi Sano, Mizuki Ashiya has enrolled in the all-boys school he attends. Being his roommate, Mizuki has had to perfect getting dressed in the time it takes Izuma to use the bathroom, resist making “girly” comments, and hide her attraction for him in order to keep her secret a “secret.” But, little does Mizuki know that while she's trying to prevent Izumi from discovering that he's really a she, Izumi is trying desperately to hide that he knows Mizuki is a girl. Things get even more complicated when Izumi kisses Mizuki and an unexpected visit from Mizuki's brother threatens to expose Mizuki's gender-bending secret to everyone. Volume two of Hana-Kimi does have a bit of a bobble - on the cover (not the ugly one pictured to the right) synopsis, Mizuki's name is spelled incorrectly as “Miyuki;” however, her name is spelled correctly within the novel. By combining hilarity, angst, and wispy-haired artwork, Hana-Kimi is one of Viz's most valuable players in their “shoujo manga” lineup.
Pretear Volume 1
Released by ADV Manga
Story & Art by Kaori Naruse
For those of you who thought Fushigi Yuugi was the ultimate in shoujo harem titles, sit down and take a deep breath. By taking a kind-hearted girl, surrounding her with seven beautiful boys, and mixing them together in a retelling of The Legend of Snow White - Pretear may just snag that top spot. Himeno was just an ordinary high school girl until she decided to take a shortcut to school by way of a forest path. Along the way, she encounters a small boy who takes her into an alternate world to meet six others – known as the Leafe Knights, they are protectors of the seven life forces. The Knights inform Himeno that the world is in danger of being destroyed by the Princess of Disaster, and the only way to save it is by using the powers of the Pretear. As it turns out, Himeno happens to be the Pretear and must decide if she will join these good-looking guys to battle for the sake of all that live. However, dealing with her stepfamily is more than enough stress, and having the fate of the world placed on her shoulders is liable to send Himeno over the edge. A unique story filled with bishounen and nice artwork, Pretear is a series that shouldn't be overlooked.
Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Volume 1
Released by Del Rey
Story by Hajime Yatate, Yoshiyuki Tomino & Art by Masatsugu Iwase
Enter a world where genetically enhanced humans, known as Coordinators, and normal humans, known as Naturals, fight using giant robots in order to claim superiority over humanity. Athrun and Kira, childhood friends separated by circumstance, now fight on opposite sides – Athrun for ZAFT and Kira for the Earth Alliance. The ZAFT group, comprised of Coordinators, is determined to uncover the truth behind a rumor that says the Earth Alliance is producing Gundams. After a devastating attack on the colony Heliopolis by ZAFT, the secret Gundam facility is found and all but one of the Alliance's Gundams is taken. Amidst the chaos, it's also discovered that Kira is actually a Coordinator residing on the Earth Alliance side. A chain of events leads to Kira's recruitment as the pilot for the prototype Gundam, Strike, which eventually causes Kira to be pitted against Athrun. Del Rey has a substantial amount of extras in the back of the book including character profiles, a history of the Gundam world, translator's notes, and a preview of Gundam Seed volume two. Gundam Seed does lose some points for starting off a tad bit slow by bombarding the reader with background information and specifics, but the plot does pick up energy toward the middle of the volume. Friend vs. friend, alliance vs. alliance - Gundam Seed isn't suited for everyone, but it does prove to be a fairly entertaining read.
Suikoden III Volume 1
Released by Tokyopop
Story & Art by Aki Shimizu
Suikoden III attempts to create a more cohesive storyline than that of the game by taking specific elements from the game and combining them with alternate ideas. The first volume of the series sets up story foundation and background information on two of the main characters, Hugo and Chris. Coming from opposing groups - Hugo, a warrior of a Grassland Clan and Chris, a female knight of the Zexon Federation – the two are destined to cross paths at some point in time. When war breaks out between the Grasslanders and the Zexon Federation over a land dispute, Hugo and Chris' destinies collide. We can only expect that their meeting will incite something of an even larger scale than that of the current war. Seemingly taking the same path as its videogame companion, Suikoden III has flown somewhat “under the radar,” however, don't dissuade yourself if you haven't played the game or are unfamiliar with the world of Suikoden. To aid the reader, Tokyopop has included three pages of overview to the worlds of Suikoden I, II, & III. With 108 specific characters who live in a highly detailed realm, Suikoden III may be a bit more than you're used to, but once you dive into the world of Suikoden, you'll be happy you took the plunge.
Duck Prince Volume 1
Released by CPM Manga
Story & Art by Ai Morinaga
Contrary to what the cover may lead you to believe, Duck Prince is not a story about a prince who rules over a kingdom of rubber duckies. Rather, Duck Prince is a twist on the all too familiar tale of the “Ugly Duckling.” Possessed of thick glasses, short stature, amazing smarts, and uglier than ugly looks, Reiichi was born the paradigmatic nerd. However, after a run-in with a talking dog that leads to a freak car accident, Reiichi's world is about to change forever. Upon recovering from the accident, Reiichi discovers that his greatest wish has been granted; he is no longer an “ugly duckling,” but now a hunky, drop-dead gorgeous “swan.” Reiichi believes his newfound looks will snag him the girl of his dreams and put an end to his troubles, but his troubles are only beginning. Mainly for the ladies, but containing enough humor to entice guys with less-than-picky taste, Duck Prince is a supernatural, romantic comedy that oozes cheesy goodness.
Tokyo Mew Mew Volume 7
Released by Tokyopop
Story by Reiko Yoshida & Art by Mia Ikumi
The Mew Mews are fighting their toughest battle in this final volume of the Tokyo Mew Mew series. Now that Masaya has transformed into Deep Blue, Ichigo must make a difficult decision - fight against the one she loves or abandon her friends and do nothing? Everyone bands together to lend Ichigo strength she needs as she tries to find the last Mew Aqua that has the potential to save the planet and her beloved Masaya. However, after Deep Blue reveals a shocking secret, Ichigo realizes that even the power of the Mew Aqua may not be enough to save everyone. If you haven't been keeping up with the past six volumes of the series, starting with the last volume isn't advised since you may find yourself a little more than lost. However, if you have been following the environmental events of the Mew Mews, don't miss out on the heart-wrenching conclusion to Tokyo Mew Mew!
Mahoromatic - Automatic Maiden Volume 1
Released by Tokyopop
Story by Bunjuro Nakayama & Art by Bow Ditama
Super fighting android, Mahoro, has 398 days left until her systems cease to function. Choosing to spend the rest of her days working as a maid for a teenager named Suguru, Mahoro never hides the fact that she is a retired battle android, but she also doesn't share the painful reasoning behind her decision to become his maid. From defeating whacked-out hijackers to using her super-human culinary skills to thwart advances by Suguru's randy teacher, Mahoro proves that she is no ordinary domestic maid. It's an automatic assumption that any story with a maid in it will also come with fanservice - Mahoromatic has fanservice galore. Containing scenes with naked females, bouncy breasts, and, “Dude, your maid is HOT!” comments, Mahoromatic definitely isn't breaking any sterotypes, but man, is it fun to read.
Pita-Ten Volume 3
Released by Tokyopop
Story & Art by Koge-Donbo
Warning: Reading Pita-Ten may cause your teeth to rot and fall out due to the sheer amounts of sweetness that seep from its pages. Filled with characters that are way too cute, Pita-Ten tells the story of a boy named Kotarou and his crazy relationship with his "angelic" neighbor, Misha. Volume three brings exams, confessions of love, and a new character to the story. While Kotarou, Takashi, and Hiroshi studying hard for their middle school exams, Misha tries to understand the meaning of "happiness" in preparation for her angelic test. With the appearance of the mischeveous angel, Sasha, it's suddenly revealed that Takashi is in love with Misha's roommate, Shia. Takashi's unexpected confession is somewhat of a shock to Kotarou and drives him to reevaluate his feelings towards Misha and Shia. Pita-Ten is saccharin goodness at its best, but after reading “cutesy-wutesy” phrases on “every wevvy” page, you'll need to grab a spoon to scoop the liquefied brain back into your head. Only read Pita-Ten if you're willing to sacrifice a few brain cells in exchange for looking at some of the cutest character designs you'll ever see.
Crescent Moon Volume 1
Released By Tokyopop
Story by Red Company/ Takamura Matsuda, Haruko Iida & Art by Haruko Iida
Werewolves, vampires, foxes, and bats – oh my! Not only does Crescent Moon contain all four of these things, but it also throws in some mystery and one very unlucky, lucky girl. All her life, Mahiru Shiraishi has been cursed with bad luck; however it seems that everyone else who touches her has nothing but good luck. In addition to her “luck”, Mahiru has also been haunted by a mysterious song and strange visions. While trying to find an explanation for her condition, Mahiru runs into four strangers who call themselves the Lunar Race. The Lunar Race require Mahiru's powers to help them collect the “Teardrops of the Moon” – the only thing which can save their race from extinction. On the surface, Crescent Moon appears to be unique and entertaining read, but the storyline turns out to be as bland as white bread. If you enjoy the whole “help us collect the pieces of a magical item that will save our people” plot, Crescent Moon is right up your alley. As for everyone else - enjoy looking at the cover art since it's prettier than anything you'll find on the inside.