Manga Mentions 10.09

Black Jack Vol 1: Even though I've read every bit of Astro Boy, the Phoenix saga, and the epic Buddha, there's still so much more Osamu Tezuka for me to enjoy! Tezuka's classic renegade surgeon Black Jack used to be difficult to find in English, but now Vertical is publishing beautiful editions of this cool series. This first volume contains the origin of Pinoko (the little girl who lives with Black Jack who has a past too complicated to describe here), and a great assortment of wild transplant stories with lots of gross detailed medical illustrations!

Black Jack Vol 2: These new editions are pretty thick (printed on excellent heavy stock paper), but I had to continue with the next volume right away, which includes more of Black Jack's interesting past, such as the story of his facial scars and skin grafts. Pinoko decides she wants to go to school, Black Jack treats a killer whale, and one plot about a broken needle in a patient's bloodstream is filled with more disgusting detailed artwork!

Kaze Hikaru Vol 14: I still enjoy this series, especially because of the exhaustive historial research that went into it (evidenced by a bonus feature on ancient Japanese hairstyles!), but I have to admit that things are getting a little boring plot-wise, since everyone is just sitting around. There's a new character named Goro who sees through Kamiya's disguise as a boy, and Kamiya gets some serious training from Okita, but there needs to be a battle or something!

Nana Vol 1: I've already read the equivalent of the first several volumes of Nana in Shojo Beat magazine (before it was cancelled), but I couldn't resist picking up a few volumes on PaperBack Swap. Of course, I wanted to start over from the beginning, and I'm glad I did, since some scenes definitely seem longer (and less censored) than they did in the magazine! The first volume contains fantastic background stories about both Nana's before they meet.

Nana Vol 2: It doesn't matter how many times I've watched the movie (though I still need to see the anime!), I still enjoy the magical moment when the two Nana's meet on the train, then eventually get their apartment together by fate. This volumes ends with the arrival of Nobu and Nana's singing on top of the table (such an awesome scene), and I can't wait to keep reading, even though I know what's going to happen.