Uncontested races

I’m sad to announce that there won’t be any Previews-related polls this month. The boys’-love category offered a clear winner, and there weren’t enough dubious debuts to populate that slate. But here are the two books that might have “won” those contests, both of which will be dutifully pre-ordered and reviewed.

About Love, written by Narise Konohara, illustrated by Tomo Ootake, Digital Manga Publishing, originally published as Koi ni Tsuiete by Souryuusha, one volume:

Wedding co-ordinator Asaka could never forget his very first clients. When he meets up once more with that very same client, the man who spends his life arranging weddings for others unexpectedly learns a few things about love himself. Heartwarmingly bittersweet, this is the eagerly awaited English-language debut of mangaka Tomo Ootake!

I know nothing about how eagerly anticipated Ootake’s debut is or isn’t, but that cover is so pretty and expressive that it almost makes me cry. Plus, wedding planner manga! A dream fulfilled!

Love Hina Omnibus Volume 1, written and illustrated by Ken Akamatsu, Kodansha Comics, originally serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shounen Magazine, originally published in English by Tokyopop:

When Keitaro Urashima fails his entrance exams to get into Tokyo University for the second time, he’s officially an unemployed and uneducated slacker. To make things worse, his parents have kicked him out of his house. Fortunately, his grandmother owns the fabulous Hinata Lodge and has agreed to take Keitaro in as caretaker. What he doesn’t know is that the lodge is actually a girl’s dorm and he’s the only guy around! Most guys would kill to live with five sexy ladies, but if Keitaro’s not careful, this job will kill him.

I know this series probably counts as a classic in terms of licensed manga, but I just never bothered with it. Now, Kodansha gives me a cheap-ish chance to introduce myself to this well-liked harem comedy. And I seriously didn’t want to run the risk of having to read the Tokyo Mew Mew omnibus. Cat-ears give me hives, unless they’re on an actual cat.

I’ll go through the rest of the month’s highlights tomorrow.