Tallies for June 2011

It’s time for the results show, just like on American Idol or Dancing with the Stars! Well, partly, because only one poll depends on popular votes. So the other half is more like when Tom Colicchio decides who gets knifed on Top Chef, except I’m not an icon to the bear community. (I don’t honestly think Colicchio is either, and how would Andy Cohen know if Colicchio is or not? I just don’t see him doing exit interviews at the Green Lantern.) Anyway, thanks to your votes and input, I’ve managed to complete my Previews order.

First up, we’ll discuss this month’s Boys’ Love Blind Date. Now, as I strongly suggested, I eliminated Only Serious about You, as it sounds exactly like something I’d really enjoy, so no vetting was necessary, and I just ordered it. While A Fallen Saint’s Kiss would probably offer valuable insights into adult novelties, the power dynamics might negate that value by making me wish for death. A similar problem taints Private Teacher, and it doesn’t even sound smutty, so why risk it? This leaves Mr. Tiger and Mr. Wolf as this month’s choice. Characters with animal ears don’t do a single thing for me as a reader (see also: angel wings), but there does seem to be a likelihood that this book may be funny and/or cute.

Moving on to the infinitely more dangerous, fully crowd-sourced Dubious Manga Selection, it is my duty to report that the majority of comments were in favor of Mardock Scramble. This is actually kind of a relief. I can’t honestly imagine any way that Tales of the Abyss won’t be crushingly boring, and reports indicate that Bloody Monday is actually pretty good, as these things go. There’s a giddy, frightening uncertainty to Mardock Scramble. It could be interesting and provocative. It could be dull and formulaic and pandering. It could be so deliriously awful that I may require hypnotherapy to recover from the reading experience. I just don’t know, and that’s the fun of these polls, at least for me.

To wrap things up, I noticed an omission in my Previews overview post:

Gate 7 vol. 1, written and illustrated by CLAMP, Dark Horse Comics, item code JUN11 0039: I have a mixed history with CLAMP titles, but I’m kind of high on them at the moment, still coasting on my overwhelmingly positive reaction to Cardcaptor Sakura. Here’s the skinny on Gate 7:

“Chikahito Takamoto has always read about the beauty and mystique of Japan’s ancient capital city, Kyoto. Now, two years into high school, he’s finally visiting there for real. But wandering the grounds of Kyoto’s legendary Shinto shrine of Kita no Tenmangu, he chances upon a mystery that his guidebooks didn’t prepare him for – two handsome men and an attractive woman, all strangely-garbed, wielding powers…and fighting monsters! The two men treat poor Chikahito with suspicion – but the girl seems to like him. They aren’t worried about what Chikahito’s just seen, because they have the power to erase his memory…except for some reason, that power doesn’t work! And why does the girl kiss him before sending him away? One thing’s for sure: Chikahito is going to be seeing a lot more of these three strangers…”

Hardly untraveled territory for CLAMP or a hundred other mangaka, but I’m hoping for lots of lovingly drawn scenery and some gender-neutral romantic geometry. These do not seem like unreasonable expectations.