Upcoming 5/11/2011

After last week’s bonanza and Free Comic Book Day over the weekend, it’s tumbleweed time on the Comic List. This drove the Manga Bookshelf crew to an alternative approach to our Pick of the Week, but there are tons of relatively recent books under the microscope in the current Bookshelf Briefs.

Of course, if you depend on Diamond for your manga needs, there is a piece of good news: the seventh volume of Kou Yaginuma’s Twin Spica arrives from Vertical. This series gets better and deeper as it goes along, and it was pretty darn good to start. As a bonus, this volume is about a hundred pages longer than average, and it’s fairly packed with character development and event. Highlights include a summer visit to heroine Asumi’s home town, a training exercise set in a prison, and lots of little revelations about our quintet of would-be astronauts. If forced to identify a failing in this series, I would have to say that Kei (the gung-ho, “energetic” girl of the group) is overdue for some serious examination. She’s still functioning as bossy, easily flustered comic relief, and she needs some nuance.

Oh, and I’ve been meaning to tell you the results of my latest boys’-love blind date: like so many of us sometimes do, I’ve cast aside my usual standards in favor of looks. Yes, in spite of my aversion to BL where the “boys” is literal, I’ve cast my lot with Puku Okuyama’s Warning! Whispers of Love (DMP) based almost entirely on its lively, attractive cover. Thanks to everyone who put in their two cents!