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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Romance and Comedy

Looking for a story that will warm your heart and make you laugh?

Fruits Basket - 
Tohru Honda was an orphan, living with her grandfather, when one day fate kicked her out of the house and she was forced to take up residence in a tent in the forest. Little did she know that the land she was staying on belonged to the Sohma family, a clan of beautiful and mysterious people. After stumbling upon the teenage squatter, the Sohmas invite Tohru to stay in their house in exchange for cooking and cleaning. Everything's going well until she discovers the Sohma family's greatest secret: when hugged by members of the opposite sex, they each turn into their Chinese Zodiac animal!
Merupuri -
All high school freshman Airi Hoshina ever wanted was to someday live in a cozy home with a loving husband, and find joy in the little things in life.  As a result, she makes it her daily mission to get to school on time because school legend has it that the longer one's non-tardy streak is, the better boyfriend one will find.  But just when her daily routine is working like clockwork, an occurrence of fairytale proportions threatens to disrupt her grand plan.

On the way to school one morning, Airi loses her mirror - one that had been passed down to her through generations - and suddenly finds herself in a bizarre situation.  Never in her wildest dreams did she expect Aram, a little boy from a magical kingdom, to have emerged from the mirror in the short time it took her to track it down!

Mixed Vegetables - 
Hanayu Ashitaba is the daughter of the celebrated Patisserie Ashitaba, but all she wants to do is to be a sushi chef. Hayato Hyuga is the son of the prestigious Sushi Hyuga, and all he wants to do is be a pastry chef! It's love and leftovers in the Oikawa High School Cooking Department as these star-crossed gourmands do their best to reach their cuisine dreams!

Hanayu knows that it will break her parents' hearts if she defects from the bakery to become a sushi chef.  But if she marries into a sushi family, they'll have to understand her decision.  Now she just has to get Hayato Hyuga interested in her, and what better way than wow him with her cooking skills?

The Lizard Prince - 
Canary is the princess of the kingdom of Linaria.  Her father, the king, has promised her hands in marriage to Heath, the handsome prince of the kingdom of Gazania.  Canary isn't crazy about this, because Heath has a bad reputation.  The Prince has his own reservations, and gets his brother Sienna to pose as him on their first date, convinced he'll drive her away.  But the plan backfires when chemistry ignites between the two.  The only problem is Sienna's been under a spell, which turned him into a lizard. And once he's done posing as his brother, he reverts back to that form!  Will love really conquer all in this mixed up triangle?

The Palette of 12 Secret Colors - 
On the island of Opal live the world's most colorful birds.  The birds have attracted a school for aspiring "Palettes" - wizards who have the ability to borrow color from one object and paint its qualities on to another.  Young Cello has the potential to be a great Palette, but she just can't seem to control her power.  As the end of freshman year approaches she's on the verge of failing, so she's going to need all the help her bird Yoyo can provide.

- Ryan

Friday, August 20, 2010

Twilight Interview with a True Blood Vampire Diary...

Ha ha ha!  Take that Google search!  On to business...
Need some new blood to add to your vampire collection?  Check out the following manga for some interesting twists on the genre.
Vampire Knight - 
Cross Academy is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy's dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!

Yuki Cross has no memory of her past prior to the moment she was saved from a vampire attack ten years ago. She was adopted by the headmaster of Cross Academy, and now works alongside Zero to guard the Academy's secret. Yuki believes that vampires and humans can coexist peacefully, but her partner has different ideas...

Black Bird - 
There is a world of myth and magic that intersects ours, and only a special few can see it. Misao Harada is one such person, and she wants nothing to do with magical realms. She just wants to have a normal high school life and maybe get a boyfriend.

All that changes one day when Misao is attacked by a demon. Her childhood friend Kyo suddenly returns to save her and tend to her cuts--with his tongue!

It turns out Misao is the bride of prophecy, whose blood gives power to the demon clan who claims her.

But most demons want to keep her power for themselves--by eating her! Now Misao is just trying to stay alive...and decide if she likes it when Kyo licks her wounds.

Chibi Vampire -
Karin is a cute little girl who also happens to be a vampire...with a twist. Once a month, she experiences intense bleeding from her nose--we're talking gushers! In other words, she's a vamp with blood to spare, so rather than stealing blood from humans she actually gives her blood to them. If done right, this can be an extremely positive experience that benefits the "victim" as much as the vampire. The problem is that Karin never seems to do things right!

Lunar Legend Tsukihime - 
After a near-death experience, second year high school student, Shiki Tohno gains an unusual ability; death perception.  No, that is not a typo.  Shiki is able to see "death lines" on everything.  If he traces these lines, he can dismember anything.  There are vampires, too.  :)
Trinity Blood - 
In a dark and distant future, Armageddon has giving rise to the fabled Second Moon--and a perpetual war between the vampires and the humans!

Esther is a nun in the city of Istavan. When she crosses paths with Abel Nightroad, a priest sent from the Vatican to combat the local order of vampires, the two form a holy alliance to battle the most evil of threats.

In this gorgeous, gothic-action series--part of the super-popular Trinity Blood franchise--the very survival of the human race is at stake!

- Ryan

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rack Pick: Hack/Slash

 Ever wonder what happens to the last girl standing in every slasher movie once the credits roll?  In the case of tough-as-nails goth gal Cassie Hack, the action's just beginning!

After being faced with no choice but to dispatch her own murderous mother, Cassie has made it her mission to hunt down and kill- sometimes several times over- those sinister psychos with supernatural evil on their side.  Along for the ride is her partner Vlad, a hulking oddity whose monstrous visage masks a naive soul.  Together they traverse America's backroads, making allies (a veterinarian, a stripper, and a weird hairless dog) and enemies (demonic rock stars, possessed teddy bears, secret societies...) with every blood-soaked, entrail-strewn issue!  There's lots for fans of comics, camp, and horror flicks to love here- including guest appearances by the Reanimator and the Suicide Girls- as well as the occasional emotional moment.  Cassie is a hopeless misfit with a dirty job, but Hack/Slash's heavy gore and gleeful trash mask a hidden heart of friendship and self-discovery.  There's a reason this title has been steadily gaining in popularity since its debut in 2004!

Hack/Slash recently made a noted move from struggling publisher Devil's Due to Image.  Here's a story for you: creator/writer/cover artist Tim Seeley took out a loan to pay his artists to whom Devil's Due still owed money, erasing his old publisher's debt before moving to his new one.  Classy move!  Image is rereleasing the hefty Omnibus collections, starting with Volume 1 this week- a great place for new readers to start!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This Week's Picks

New Avengers #3
How do you take a group of experienced super heroes and make them feel useless?  Try opening up a trans-dimensional rift and light the sky on fire.  Follow up by sprinkling demons from an unknown dark dimension upon Manhattan.  For that extra bit of amazing, be sure to take Iron Fist and set him up for a head to head battle against an enemy as epic as Shou-Lao.  Savor the flavor, my friends, savor the flavor.

Batman Beyond #3
It's Batman of the Future vs Hush!  What else do you need to know?  This series captures the conflict between young Terry McGuiness and his bat-mentor, Bruce and distills it with the return of one of the original Batman's most dangerous enemies.  As Terry would say, this comic is way shway.  Yes, I said it and no, I won't apologize.

DV8 Gods and Monsters #5
This is one of those comics not enough people are reading.  It doesn't matter if you haven't read any of the original DV8 series (I haven't), this is a must read.  Brian Wood continues this 8 issue series by escalating the hatred between Sublime and Evo.  Check it out and it'll have you clamoring for more.

- Ryan

Reviews By Kids For Kids!

Marvel Super Hero Squad
Independent Reading level: 3rd grade
Entertainment for: super hero lovers

I like it because it has heroes and villains and every time the superheroes win and sometimes the villains get captured. The villains are trying to get the infinity fractals to try to get powers. But the infinity fractals have weird powers, and when they touch it weird things happen. Sometimes they get fat. Sometimes they switch bodies. All the fractals have different powers.

It’s cool and funny.

The fractals are all around superhero city hidden and the villains are trying to find them to get powers.

They have a video game and comic book and cartoon and toys and posters!

Review By: Gryphon Nichols (age 5, boy)

Tiny Titans
Independent Reading level: Early Readers K-2
Entertainment for: everybody!

I like Tiny Titans because it is a good book. It is really funny and cute. There are a bunch of funny things in it. It’s about the tiny titans (all the superheroes have kids) and robin doesn’t have a dad so batman is his dad. They do different things everyday but they don’t go on missions. They are all friends and they have a clubhouse and a pet club. They do silly things together.

It’s kind of like the Teen Titans cartoon except when they are smaller. 

Review By: Phoenix Nichols (age 6, girl)