Manga Triple Threat Speed Reviews
I thought I would try a new format for some quick reviews here, and I just caught up with some of my favorite mangas that I would like to continue to hoist on people. One of the tricks with long running manga titles is that by the time I'm reviewing volume 26 or something I feel like I might be repetitive on the selling points if I did a longer review.. Still, I would like to chat a bit about them, partially just to share and just in case new readers haven;t heard about these titles.
So, let's get this started!
To Your Eternity Vol 12
To Your Eternity is one of those series that occupies a nice sub-genre niche that friend and co-podcaster Nicole and I have dubbed as 'Soul Crushing'. Yoshitiki Oima's masterful storytelling and ability to create grounded, unique, and relatable characters is always impressive, but perhaps not as impressive as her ability to utterly destroy you emotionally with what she does with those characters.
This volume is the end of part one of the series, which is something I was not expecting at all. It's the end of a particular period in the development of our main character Fushi, and the culmination in a lot of major sub-plots and character arcs as well as the pay-off for some beautifully telegraphed ideas. Virtually every character in this damn volume cries, be it due to pain or joy, and if you aren't feeling any of that emotional payoff and get at least a little misty by the end you are a soulless monster.
I have spoken.
And holy crap, there's an entire 'Part 2' that will go on for who knows how long. Do yourself a favor and get onboard this unique fantasy story that's prioritizes the discover of what it means to be human.
Witch Hat Atelier Vol 6
Kamome Shirahama's ever expanding fantasy world takes a different path to empathetitc storytelling, deciding not so much as to crush you with a barrage of emotions but instead to lift you (and the characters) up despite the hardships they must face. Even despite the grave repercussions of the events of the past volume and the potentially graver foreshadowing in this volume, our cast of young witches come together to help each other in new ways that are entirely heartwarming and life affirming. And boy, more of that please.
Also, if you love the world of Harry Potter but are continually disappointed and angry at J. K. Rowling's continual stream of bullshit, I can't recommend checking this series out enough. There's a constant focus throughout where they deal with issues of mental health as well as representation of people with various disabilities. This volume introduces the new character of Beldaruit who requires a mobility aid, and previous volumes focused on a character who was colorblind while another dealt with severe anxiety issues.
Plus, I maintain that Kamome Shirahama's artwork is some of the most beautiful comic art being published today.
Just buy the damn series already.
Witch's Printing Office Vol 2
This comedy series follows a young woman who has been sucked into a fantasy world and instead of searching for the spell to send her home she decides to have the spell come to her. She creates the Magic Market (Magiket), an annual convention where the wizards and mages of the world come to buy and sell books. She creates a comicon.
The volumes are comprised of mini-stories, and this one starts out with a young aristocrat who runs away from home and ends up at Magiket, only to be sucked in by the proliferation of Boys Love novels featuring different gods from warring pantheons. We get a tale of a sentient magic sword, the first time a demon lord attends Magiket (and has the longest lines and most respectful monster guests), a wayward wizard, and more.
The series is just a fun twist of the usual fantasy tropes through the lens of fan conventions and printing, and so far it's been a delight.