New York Times Manga Best Seller List: June 7-13, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga for the week of June 7-13, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Naruto Volume 70 by Masashi Kishimoto
2. Deadman Wonderland Volume 9 by Jinsei Katoka and Kazuma Kondou
3. Fairy Tail Volume 48 by Hiro Mashima
4. Assassination Classroom Volume 4 by Yusei Matsui
5. Kamisama Kiss Volume 18 by Julietta Suzuki
6. Food Wars! Volume 6 by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki
7. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Volume 1 by Fujino Omori and Kunieda
8. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
9. Big Hero 6 Volume 1 by Haruki Ueno
10. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past by Shotaro Ishinomori

Source: The New York Times

Manga Review: “Kamisama Kiss” Volume 18

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Kamisama Kiss Volume 18 focuses on Nanami Momozono, a high school student who is now the kami at the land god’s shrine. Nanami has two familiars serving her: Tomoe the fox demon and a snake incarnation named Mizuki.

Kamisama Kiss Volume 18

Written by: Julietta Suzuki
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 2, 2015

Volume 18 sees Nanami returning to her normal life after spending time in the past in order to save Tomoe in the present. However, there’s now a major difference in her normal life: she and Tomoe are now a couple. Unfortunately, she’s so happy about being with Tomoe that she’s not bothering to study and doesn’t seem to care about her grades. Tomoe decides that he needs to study, which Mikage highly approves of. Nanami is getting excited for the upcoming school trip, but Mikage tells her that she needs to score at least an 80 percent on all her finals if she wants to go.

I have to say that I approve of Mikage trying to impose a condition on Nanami in order to encourage her to study and to improve her grades, but I thought that the 80 percent was a little harsh. Fortunately, it’s revealed that Mikage simply said this in order to encourage Nanami to study harder and didn’t intend to keep her from going on the trip if she didn’t accomplish that.

Another important development happens in this portion of the story: Mizuki decides that he wants to go to school with Nanami, too. His main reason is that he wants to be able to go on the school trip with her, and he can only do that if he’s a student. Even though Tomoe had originally transferred into Nanami’s class to keep an eye on her, he’s at least trying to take studying and learning seriously. I suspect this is due to him wanting to be with Nanami as a romantic partner instead of simply being a familiar who serves her. I really don’t see Mizuki ever taking school or studying seriously, so he could end up being a problem if he’s in class with Nanami.

Roughly the last two-thirds of Kamisama Kiss Volume 18 take place during the school trip to Okinawa. We see that Mizuki is in the class and is on the trip, and he’s constantly whining about not getting to be with Nanami because they’re in different groups. The trip starts out eventful enough when the plane encounters some turbulence, and then a freak typhoon hits. But then Nanami discovers that a weakened Kirihito is around, and this eventually leads to Ami, one of Nanami’s friends, being kidnapped and accused of stealing a mermaid’s robe of feathers. In the process of trying to save Ami, Nanami also finds herself being called upon to try to save Kirihito’s life.

Volume 18 also reveals that Nanami’s friend, Ami, has a major crush on Kurama. After Ami is kidnapped, Tomoe and the others have to reveal what they really are to Kei, a mutual friend of Nanami and Ami. That’s a development I hadn’t expected, since Nanami has been trying hard to keep the fact that she’s a land god, as well as the truth about various characters’ identities, from her friends. I guess having Ami being kidnapped in this manner kind of forced the issue for Tomoe and the others.

I was a little disappointed in Nanami early on in the volume while she was lazy about studying, she more than made up for it on the school trip when she started taking charge of the situation in order to help Ami. She had to make a difficult decision during all of that, but that decision could end up having consequences attached to it. All in all, Volume 18 kept me interested in what was going on, and I didn’t want to put it down until I had finished it. And the way the volume ends made me want to read Volume 19 in order to find out what will happen to Nanami.

Readers who have been following and enjoying the series should enjoy and be satisfied with how the story progresses through Kamisama Kiss Volume 18. Nanami and Tomoe being a couple adds a new element and dimension to the story, and I suspect there will be some kind of repercussions later on. And having Mizuki starting to go to school adds a new layer to the characters and their interactions. Suzuki has found some great ways to keep the series from going stale, yet keeping enough of the elements that grabbed and hooked readers into this series in the first place.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

New Manga Releases: June 2, 2015

Here are the new manga releases for the week of June 2, 2015. If you see any errors or omissions in this, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Ajin: Demi-Human GN 5
Assassination Classroom GN 4
Blue Exorcist GN 13
Dragon Ball Omnibus GN 25-27
Fairy Tail GN 48
Food Wars! GN 6
Kamisama Kiss GN 18
Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You) GN 21
My Little Monster GN 8
Naruto GN 70
Natsume’s Book of Friends GN 18
One Piece Omnibus GN 34-36
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign GN 5
So Cute It Hurts!! GN 1
Toriko GN 28
Voice Over! Seiyu Academy GN 11

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: March 15-21, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of March 15-21, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Attack on Titan Volume 15 by Hajime Isayama
2. Naruto Volume 69 by Masashi Kishimoto
3. Monster Musume Volume 6 by Okayado
4. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Volume 7 by Masahiro Hikokubo and Masashi Sato
5. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
6. Nisekoi: False Love Volume 8 by Naoshi Komi
7. Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 4 by Takaya Kagami and Yamato Yamamoto
8. No Game, No Life Volume 1 by Yuu Kamiya and Mashiro Hiiragi
9. Kamisama Kiss Volume 17 by Julietta Suzuki
10. Akame ga KILL! Volume 1 by Takahiro and Tetsuya Tashiro

Source: The New York Times

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: March 8-14, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of March 8-14, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Monster Musume Volume 6 by Okayado
2. Naruto Volume 69 by Masashi Kishimoto
3. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Volume 7 by Masahiro Hikokubo and Masashi Sato
4. Nisekoi: False Love Volume 8 by Naoshi Komi
5. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood Part 1 Volume 1 by Hirohiko Araki
6. Kamisama Kiss Volume 17 by Julietta Suzuki
7. Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 4 by Takaya Kagami and Yamato Yamamoto
8. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
9. Unofficial Hatsune Mix by KEI
10. Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda and Yu

Source: The New York Times

Manga Review: “Kamisama Kiss” Volume 17

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Kamisama Kiss Volume 17 focuses on Nanami Momozono, a high school student who becomes a kami at the land god’s shrine after the land god gives her a kiss on the forehead and bestows on her the power of a kami. Nanami has two familiars serving her: Tomoe the fox demon and a snake incarnation named Mizuki. Nanami has fallen in love with Tomoe, but he still seems to have feelings for Yukiji, a woman he met 500 years ago. When Nanami discovers that Tomoe has been inflicted with a curse because of a contract he made with a fallen kami in the past, she goes back in time to try to find out how to lift the curse.

Kamisama Kiss Volume 17

Written by: Julietta Suzuki
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 3, 2015

Kamisama Kiss Volume 17 sees Mikage, the land god, sending Nanami back to the past one last time so she can witness the sprouting of the seeds she’s sown by going back to the past the previous two times. When she returns to the past, she finds the fallen kami and sees what happened to Yukiji and Tomoe after she left.

This section of Volume 17 was very eye-opening to me as a reader. It allowed me to finally see the truth about what happened all those years ago with Tomoe and Yukiji, and an important fact was revealed about Nanami. When I saw what this fact was and the explanation for it, I thought that perhaps this was something I should have somehow picked up on earlier in the series. While I won’t outright say what the revelation was, I will say that this fact explains why Yukiji and Nanami have similarities in their appearance.

After witnessing what happened in the past, Nanami figures out what she needs to do in order to break the fallen kami’s curse. When Nanami returns to the present, she goes out in search of a particular object that is the proof of Tomoe’s contract. She finds it, the curse is lifted, and the end of Kamisama Kiss Volume 17 gives the impression that there’s a happy ending for the two of them. But the series isn’t over yet, so I expect that some kind of obstacle will end up disrupting the relationship that Tomoe and Nanami are starting to build here.

I enjoyed reading Kamisama Kiss Volume 17 so much that I didn’t want to put it down. All of the pieces about Tomoe, Nanami, Yukiji, and the curse fall into place over the course of this volume, and it seemed like that with each chapter, more and more was finally coming together. As a reader who’s been following Kamisama Kiss since Volume One, I was both happy and satisfied with how the story was progressing and with how the answers to so many questions were presented throughout this volume.

While I have to admit that the art style in Kamisama Kiss doesn’t really have much to make it stand out from other shojo manga series, the strength of the story makes up for that. Suzuki has created such compelling characters that the reader becomes engrossed in the story and can easily overlook the fact that the art is more on the average side.

I would recommend Kamisama Kiss to readers who enjoy shojo manga with romance and hints of supernatural elements. Longtime readers of the series will really enjoy reading Kamisama Kiss Volume 17 in order to find out the resolution to Nanami’s mission to free Tomoe from his curse.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: March 1-7, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of March 1-7, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Naruto Volume 69 by Masashi Kishimoto
2. Monster Musume Volume 6 by Okayado
3. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 1 – Phantom Blood Volume 1 by Hirohiko Araki
4. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Volume 7 by Masahiro Hikokubo and Masashi Sato
5. Akame ga KILL! Volume 1 by Takahiro and Tetsuya Tashiro
6. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
7. Kamisama Kiss Volume 17 by Julietta Suzuki
8. Nisekoi: False Love Volume 8 by Naoshi Komi
9. All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi and Takeshi Obata
10. Unofficial Hatsune Mix by KEI

Source: The New York Times