Sensational Shojo

There’s no better way to greet spring than with a heart-warming, flowery, and not at all threatening shoujo series. In many ways, shojo is analogous to the new year as it is full of hope and blossoming youth.

Keiko Suenobu’s Limit may be shojo, but it is not as flowery. Instead this page-turner continues to be one hell of a ride as it constantly breaks down teenage relationships with an almost shocking mix of thrills and chills, akin to the harshness of winter. And volume four is by far the most enthralling yet, reaching the series’ darkest depths yet with murder and corruption taking the spotlight.

One of the girls has been found dead. With no one owning up to her murder, everyone in this small group of broken survivors find themselves at odds with each other. Because all trust is lost, conflict begins to boil over into violence. And with two already not returning home, will the rest of the group be able to pull themselves together, or will even more perish in this horrific tragedy?

Limit will grip its readers and force them into a place where appearance means nothing and a strong will is necessary to survive, making them reflect on their own lives. With incredibly strong writing and tension dripping off each page, Limit still brings as unforgettable experience this far in. This new volume of Limit continues the trend of each volume as rewarding as it is depressing, make sure to add it to your shopping list through this summer.


Spring Break

Spring break is over and kids across the country are going back to class to prepare for finals and the end of the school term. And while we recognize that students have to return to the classroom, most people forget that educators have to return to their halls of learning eventually, too.

The greatest teacher, Eikichi Onizuka, has been on leave in his hometown for the past two weeks (and seven volumes). It was just supposed to be a break from the noise and chaos of Tokyo, but it has turned into an extended field trip at a regional children’s home, where young educators attempt to pull some emotional strings attached to the hears of troubled teens.

But trust is only one foe Onizuka has to face. In Volume 8 of GTO: 14 Days in Shonan the Great Teacher most overcome his most powerful foe yet. It’s not a kid who needs a bit of guidance to be set on the right path, a gang of yanki thugs, nor is it some power hungry administrator trying to solely get rid of the great teacher. No, this time, he has to go up against the mayor of Shonan. Will Onizuka be able to beat some sense into him before innocent teens get hurt, or will all hell break lose?

Reckless abandon is what is expected on holiday, but in this case Onizuka is looking for a more casual experience back home.

Thankfully for fans of this beloved property, 14 Days is dripping with testosterone, delivering a barrage of punches – comical and physical – to uplift lives and inspire today’s youth as the seasons begin to change.

Final Curtain Call

Paradise KissVertical does not dive into the realm of license rescues often. But there are works and authors that demand to be part of the public consciousness for as long as possible. And that was the case that was made for Ai Yazawa’s Paradise Kiss. One of the most recognized works from arguably the biggest name in shoujo, Paradise Kiss has remained a beloved series since its initial release. Due to its combination of beautiful art, well paced story telling, and conveying of emotions we’ve all felt, this manga has remained unparalleled in its category and demographic. It’s sure to remain a classic for many years to come.

The heartache and toil enrich every single page of this dramatic read, compelling readers to mainline this josei work. And if you have not sampled the work before, maybe it’s time to grab this last oversized volume, snuggle in, and experience this work for yourself. Unfortunately, yes, the beautifully illustrated outfits, the gorgeous guys and gals, and the melodrama do come to an end but it’s because of how this wonderful manga comes together that has made Paradise Kiss the manga classic that it is today.

The Yaza Arts fashion show draws close.  Can the ParaKiss team be able put the together their differences and finish their final dress in time to beat the competition?  Of course, the story doesn’t end there, not with all drama that needs to be settled. George and Yukari have always had a tumultuous relationship that always left her questioning his true feelings. Unlike Arashi and Miwako, who always seem to pull through together despite their differences regarding Tokumori. Will our heroine make it to the end of the manga hand in hand with her designer boyfriend or will they find that life has other things in store? Will Paradise Kiss make it?

So this week we lower the curtain on the third English edition of Ai Yazawa’s josei fashion hit. But like the best Hollywood hits readers can continue to experience this timeless work for years to come as all three volumes of this new omnibus collection can now be found on shelves in New York, London, and maybe eventually Milan.

Hope Springs…

HeromanInstead of waiting for spring to come, warm up your body this winter by letting the latest installment of Stan Lee’s Heroman boil your blood. This culture clashing manga will hit you with everything a shonen manga fan could wish for. Complete with the complete destruction of an alien base, some absolutely funky hair, and a robot essentially going “super-saiyan”, what more would any shonen loving manga reader want?

The third volume of Heroman is both the darkest and most thrilling book in the series yet.  After finally making peace with Joey last volume, Will gets captured by the insect invaders and becomes subject to some nasty genetic modification and brainwashing. Does the now half-Skrugg mind-warped Will mean defeat for Heroman and his compatriots or will he come to his senses and give them the edge it’ll take to bring down the invading Skrugg army once and for all? Either way, you won’t want to miss the climatic final battle between Heroman and the Skrugg commander. Worry not though; Heroman isn’t ending here as something even more devious is happening behind the scenes.

Stan Lee’s Heroman, a joint effort by top creative minds of both the east and west, is a triumphant example of all out fun. It’s not your typical east meets west story, but it is sure to entertain. The conflict is peaking and the battle against the invading aliens is at its climax, you just know that this volume is absolutely one not to miss. Bringing together what makes shonen manga so endearing and what makes the American superhero so awe inspiring, Heroman continues to be a unique and stand out entity in its genre.