Upcoming 5/4/2011

It’s ComicList time! First, go take a look at the Manga Bookshelf crew’s Picks of the Week, then peruse the latest installment of Bookshelf Briefs, in which I gush about an arriving shôjo volume that makes me as happy as another makes me sad.

This week also brings the fourth and final volume of Nobuaki Tadano’s Eisner-nominated 7 Billion Needles (Vertical). I’ve enjoyed this series throughout its run, mostly for the evolution of its heroine, Hikaru, a grieving teen who’s forced out of her isolated state by the arrival of warring interstellar entities Horizon and Maelstrom. Their destructive, survival-of-the-fittest squabbling puts the people around Hikaru in danger and forces her to acknowledge the fact that she cares about them. Emotionally speaking, the conclusion is essentially Hikaru’s victory lap, her chance to prove how far out of her shell she’s come. In an odd way, that lowers the finale’s stakes and forces Tadano to inflate the science-fiction mayhem to almost incoherent levels.

It’s easy enough to ignore the twaddle about weaponized evolution, though, as Hikaru is still compelling, even though her personal journey is pretty much over before the story begins. She’s held the series together this long, and it’s nice to see her put the things she’s learned into action, even if that action doesn’t make much sense at all.

The only thing not covered above that I look forward to reading is the eighth volume of Karuho Shiina’s consistently delightful Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You (Viz). The good shôjo arriving this week certainly overpowers the bad.

What looks enticing to you?