Parent Teacher Conference

We’ve reached the halfway point in Eikichi Onizuka’s two-week excursion to his hometown of Shonan, and as always, the great teacher is giving life lessons with his fists more often than with his books. From restoring broken trust and giving the youth of today hope, to taking on delinquents, gangsters, and more, the GTO does it all!

In GTO: 14 Days in Shonan volume five, Onizuka continues to help foster care child Seiya through his heart-breaking situation with his neglectful mother and abusive father-in-law. Taking down both a gunman and a giant monster of an assassin, Onizuka one again puts himself on the frontlines for the sake of the kids who have no one else to believe in. But the real star of this volume is a certain unlucky vice-principal, who while in the middle of his search of Onizuka, redeems himself ever so slightly by changing his curriculum and “hair-style” after witnessing some fresh see-food.

Toru Fujisawa’s GTO has been a namesake in manga for more than a decade, and 14 Days In Shonan is continuing that legacy.  With a successful anime and numerous live-action adaptations over the years, the GTO franchise remains recognized around the world for its intense action, emotionally charged and compelling characters. Few manga brands have changed the landscape of  manga publishing as this, and GTO: 14 Days in Shonan teaches readers that stories do not need martial arts hijinks to make stand-out shounen manga.

Fashion Forward

Ai Yazawa’s beloved series Paradise Kiss captures all the drama, enthusiasm, and sense of collaboration of “High School Musical”—only in this case, the talented kids are fashion design students and they’re putting on a fashion show. Yazawa, an internationally top-selling author of shojo manga, was also an aspiring designer and a student at a top fashion school in Japan, so readers get a real insider’s look at the world of fashion and the creative, passionate—and often eccentric—people who dedicate themselves to it.

Paradise Kiss 1 opens as Yukari is rushing to a college exam cram course. Yukari is a serious, straight-laced high school senior, but she’s started questioning whether there’s more to life than just taking tests and succeeding in school. On this particular day, she’s kidnapped by a group of fashion design students who ask her to be their model in the upcoming runway show.At first, Yukari refuses, because she thinks the design students are airheads and flaky, and she’s too busy with her studies. But then George, the complicated and charismatic lead designer of the group, turns on the charm, convincing her to be in the show and also to take a good, hard look at her life.

Ai Yazawa’s gorgeous drawings and lively dialogue (in a new translation) combine to create a cast of endearing, quirky, and very human characters. Readers of all ages will relate to Yukari, George, Miwako, Hiro, Arashi, and the others as they struggle to find their unique identities and make the tough choices necessary to becoming an adult.

The Wine Frontier

Get ready to be whisked away from the culture and complexity of French and Italian wines, and let this palatable manga help you drink in the innovative new tastes of American wine, and other wines of the new world. The Drops of God is the only manga about wine in US, and The United States itself is at the forefront of this special volume, with wine from Australia also sharing the spotlight. Showing off new kinds of wine, and an entire new world not present in previous volumes, There’s a lot to savor in Napa Valley and Australia, and The Drops of God: The New World will take you through every sip.

The competition is more intense as ever. Set some time after their confrontation for the 2nd apostle, Japanese wine enthusiasts Shizuku Kanzaki and Issei Tomine once again collide in a head to head, palate to palate global hunt for a heaven sent wine. This time, their battle brings our two wine connoisseurs, and their lovely female assistants, to the far reaches of wine’s new world. From Napa Valley, California to the Australian outback, there, through a whole lot of thought and even more drinking, they see that there are more sides to wine, and to them, than just what southern Europe has had to offer.

Not only has The Drops of God sold over 500,000 copies worldwide, in recent years it has become one of the most important wine publications around.  It’s the most influential wine publication in Asia, single-handedly more than doubling the sales of wine in that region. Needless to say, this comic knows its wine, and The Drops of God makes it accessible to any reader. And this volume showcases excellent domestic wines, painting a beautiful picture of America’s wine country, it lets the world know that our wine, like our comics, are every bit as sophisticated and impressive as our French counterparts.