Hatenkô Yugi, “Unprecedented Game” • Minari Endo • Tokyopop (2006–ongoing) • Square Enix/Ichijinsha (Monthly G-Fantasy/Comic Zero-Sum, 1999–ongoing) • 8+ volumes (ongoing) • Shôjo, Drama • 13+ (language, occasional graphic violence, mild seual situations)
Hunter x Hunter Manga
Buddy story involving the travels of Rahzel, a young, impulsive sorceress (her powers mostly involve blasting things), and her companion, Alzeid (a bishônen former military man with a dark past). From the outline it may sound like a Slayers-esque adventure, but the series isn’t really in the fantasy genre; the heroes wear modern-day clothes and wander through nondescript towns encountering thugs with guns and knives. The plot takes a long time to get moving, focusing on the main characters’ pointless bickering before eventually turning to the angst of Alzeid’s backstory. The character art is pretty but the setting and stories are dull, over-relying on fights with random goons.
The End • Shohei Manabe • Tokyopop (2005–2006) • Kodansha (Afternoon, 2001–2002) • 4 volumes • Seinen, Science Fiction, Suspense, Action • 16+ (language, violence, nudity)
Read Naruto Manga
Shirou is a young man in a rut, working a boring job as a construction worker, until a naked girl falls out of the sky and stirs up his life. The mysterious Lucy disappears as suddenly as she arrived, and Shirou learns that he intentionally wiped his own memories and must find a bunch of old “friends” in order to make sense of his past and reunite with Lucy. Making things difficult are some homemade zombies and psychotic telepaths, which soon send the story down the path of violence and near horror. Among all the action, Shirou and his buddies don’t seem too surprised that people are dying and strange technology is blowing up their apartments. Dead End has the feel of a dream, with the promise of answers hidden somewhere in its pages; for the most part, though, it’s simply action with no moral compass. The talented artist’s unpretty art matches the disaffected characters and grim urban settings.