Angel Heart: season 2, volume 1 (French) by Tsukasa Hojo
* Angel Heart is back!!!! Fans of City Hunter should definitely check out this alternate universe sequel to the manga classic. Season two picks up where the last volume of Angel Heart left off and Xiang-Ying continues her job as City Hunter, saving beautiful women from killers, criminals and others. Hojo has a gift for making stories that are simultaneously funny, emotional and as exciting as any Hollywood action flick. Can't wait for more.
Aozora Yell, volume 2 (French) by Kazune Kawahara
* Tsubasa continues to struggle to improve her trumpet playing in order to be worthy of her award-winning band. But she has a new goal: to play at the national championships. With Daisuke's support she may be strong enough to do itthough she is beginning to notice her feelings for him growing. This manga is just wonderfully sweet, in the same way Sawako (Kimi ni Todoke) is and it has all the optimism and drive that makes sports manga great.
A Devil and her Love Song, volume 10 by Miyoshi Tomori
* Shin finally admits that he is in love with Maria. But his aggressive (a little too aggressive for my tastes) pursuit of her triggers her memories of her mother's death and her abandonment issues. Maria is left silent and catatonic. I'm not entirely satisfied with the resolution of Maria and Shin's romance but the stories and characters remain engaging. Volume 11 will mark the beginning of a new arc.
From Five to Nine, volume 5 (French) by Miki Aihara
* Volume 5 shifts its focus from Junko and the monk pursuing her to her co-worker Momoe. Momoe is a hopeless otaku, far more interested in BL manga and games than any real man. But her mother wants to set her up and her co-worker, the gorgeous and somewhat predatory Arthur, wants her. It was quite hilarious to see Arthur's attempts to woo Momoe continuously fail. I'd read a series about them. By the end, however, we are back to the main characters and their unhealthy relationship.
Kids on the Slope, volume 1 (French) by Yuki Kodama
* A beautifully drawn and paced manga taking place in the late 60s and overflowing with jazz. Kaoru, a serious and anti-social exchange student, finds himself caught up and eventually befriending the class thug, Sentaru. Through Sentaru and his pretty childhood friend, Kaoru discovers friendship and jazz. I have already watched and adored the anime. I can't wait for more of the manga.
Master Keaton, volume 2 (French) by Naoki Urasawa
* I'm so glad that we can finally have Master Keaton in translation! I say this about all of Urasawa's series but it truly is a masterpiece. In this volume, Keaton tracks down a man on the run from the mob for an ingenious theft and a serial murderer/bigamist, he shows up professional bounty hunters, reunites a daughter and mother and teaches a class in the streets of Paris. And so so much more. I can't do this series justice in a few sentences. Read it. You won't regret it.
Silver Spoon, volume 2 (French) by Hiromu Arakawa
* In the second volume of Arakawa's (of Full Metal Alchemist fame) new series has the students of the agricultural school work together to make pizza, compete against a nearby technical college and work over summer break. The series is refreshing and funny, though occasionally hard on the stomach for a vegetarian like myself. Though I appreciate the frankness with which they approach the production of meat and dairy products. If you're expecting a fantasy adventure like FMA, you may be disappointed but the characters are every bit as quirky and engaging.
Slam Dunk, volume 29 by Takehiko Inoue
* This is the 6th (7th?!) consecutive volume dealing with the same basketball match, I've honestly run out of things to say about it. Rukawa has figured out what he was lacking to be the best rookie in Japan. That's all I got. But it says something about Inoue's skill as a writer that I am still on the edge of my seat and chanting Shohoku (usually in my head) as I read.