Jul 31

In search of a new manga series to read or to recommend? Check out the titles below!


Karneval 2-in-1, Volume 1 by Touya Mikanagi:

Nai has spent his entire life living in the woods with a young man named Karoku, who he thinks of as a brother. Because of this, Nai is an extremely naive thirteen-year-old boy. When Karoku disappears, Nai ventures out to find him, but the only trace of Karoku is a bracelet in a “big, red puddle.” Not even realizing that Karoku could be dead, Nai sets out to find him. He’s quickly kidnapped and taken to Lady Mine, which is where the story opens. She recognizes the bracelet for what it is: an ID bracelet of Circus, an elite organization that hunts down wanted criminals. Nai is rescued by Gareki, a thief who heard Lady Mine talking about the value of the bracelet. Gareki plans to just use and lose the kid, but Nai reminds him of his own younger siblings and he finds himself helping Nai stay out of trouble, which proves to be quite the task, as he looks for Karoku.

Yen Press’ omnibus includes the first two volumes of Karneval, bonus comics, and a sneak peak of the next omnibus (to be released July 2015). In the included volumes we follow Nai and Gareki as they become more and more involved with the government agency Circus and the band of characters that come with them. Karneval is a josei comic that will appeal to teen readers who enjoy action-packed stories and who can get beyond the occasional absurdity of Nai’s naivete.

The Devil is a Part-Timer! 1 by Satoshi Wagahara:

It’s hard being a Devil King on earth, especially when you’re stranded with no magic in modern day Tokyo. There are bills to be paid and a part-time job at McDonald’s doesn’t pay all that well. And as if that wasn’t enough, the hero responsible for banishing the Devil King Sadao Maou and his general Shiro Ashiya to earth has tracked them down and is bent on destroying them both.

For readers in search of a humorous but action packed read, look no further than Volume 1 of The Devil is a Part-Timer. The shenanigans of Maou, Ashiya, and Emilia as they struggle to adjust in a magicless world, that isn’t suited to their epic battle of good and evil, are ridiculous and hilarious. Plans for world domination through being promoted to a fast food manager? How could that plan not work?

A Silent Voice 1 by Yoshitoki Oima:

Shoya is constantly on the run from boredom. He’s a risk taker and a daredevil. He’s also a bully. When Shoko, a girl who can’t hear, enters his elementary school class, she becomes his new favorite target for keeping boredom at bay. He and his friends torture her for months, until Shoya goes too far and Shoko is forced to leave the school. Six years later, their paths cross again, but can Shoya make up for his past mistakes?

This is a pretty powerful manga about the consequences of childhood bullying. Volume 1 starts with Shoya and Shoko meeting again for the first time in six years. Shoko running away from Shoya segues into a flashback of elementary school, which is what makes up the rest of this first installment. It will be interesting to see how this manga progresses. As it stands, this would make a great conversation starter about bullying, the bystander effect, and disabilities.

Non Non Biroyi 1 by Atto:

Welcome to Asahigaoka Branch School. With only five students enrolled and a bus that only comes through every five hours, it might be the smallest and most isolated school in all of Japan. But that doesn’t mean that Asahigaoka lacks adventure. Sharing one class with students ranging from first grade to eighth grade is an adventure in and of itself.

There’s no real over arching story-line outside of the characters and their relationships. Instead each chapter places the girls in different situations: being the new girl adjusting to the difference of life in a big city vs the country, having a first crush, trying to out-smart a crafty rabbit, and the struggle of trying to relate to each other despite their age differences. It’s really a manga about dealing with life and growing up. This would be a great title to put into the hands of younger teens!

Jun 12

Title: March: Book Two
Author: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
Illustrator: Nate Powell
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Publication Date: January 20, 2015

March: Book Two continues the story of Congressman John Lewis’ experience during the Civil Right’s Movement. As the tension around the country grew, the violence and language used against the Nashville Student Movement and others participating in the Civil Right’s Movement intensified. A large portion of this graphic novel focuses on the Freedom Rides. The juxtaposition of the Freedom Riders’ experiences with Barack Obama’s inauguration is just as, if not more, powerful than its use in the first volume. The struggle and perseverance of the Freedom Riders, the students of the Children’s Crusade, and the countless men and women who wouldn’t back down made an everlasting change on the United States. That’s not to say that everyone agreed with how their goals should be achieved. While many supported the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, this graphic novel doesn’t skirt around the fact that others questioned non-violent protests and wanted to defend themselves or react with violence in turn.

This outstanding graphic novel trilogy continues to be one that should be in all high school and public libraries.

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