You already know what I’d pick if I lived within shopping distance of Midtown Comics, but what if I was entirely dependent on the kindness of Diamond for my weekly comic fix? (Which I am!) Let’s take a look at the ComicList.
The eighth volume was customarily enjoyable. As Yaginuma follows his group of young, would-be astronauts, he’s starting to fold some romantic elements into the narrative. There’s something very heartening about seeing Asumi confronted with the notion that there are some potentially wonderful things on Earth in addition to the promised wonders of the stars. Things we learn about brash, bossy Kei go a long way to soften that character’s rather stereotypical edges, which is a welcome development. Overall, this volume creates some additional spokes to the core cast’s shared dream, and they give added depth to that core dream by making it more complex and conflicted.
An interesting side effect of this shift in the content is how it reframes the relative success of Yaginuma’s illustrations. I very much enjoy the vulnerability he gives to his character designs, but that very vulnerability plays against their increasing emotional maturity. It’s not exactly a troubling counterpoint, but it does trigger a weirdly parental response to the notion of Asumi in love: “She’s too young for romance! She’ll always be too young!” I’m not sure if the counterpoint is entirely intentional, and I’m not sure if it will ultimately but successful, but it’s definitely an interestingly discordant note in a generally coherent presentation.
In other shopping choices, Viz offers the 58th volume of Eiichiro Oda’s Once Piece, which I covered in this week’s Bookshelf Briefs, along with the fourth volume of Kaori Yuki’s Grand Guignol Orchestra (also Viz) and the 13th volume of Hiroki Endo’s Eden: It’s an Endless World! (Dark Horse).