Ghost in the Shell Vol 1: Now that I've watched all of the Ghost in the Shell movies and anime series, it's time to move on to the original manga that started it all! I was lucky enough to find the uncensored version (now published with short racy scenes removed), presented as a high-quality, thick paperback with both color and B&W artwork (which is detailed and beautiful as expected, and Motoko looks fantastic). It's been so much fun to recognize scenes that inspired the animation, including the basic plots of the first two films. The dialogue has a little more humor, but the plot is still wonderfully complex (Masamune even explains certain details in notes at the end of the volume). This volume was so incredible that I can't wait to continue with the next Ghost in the Shell manga!
Appleseed ID: Although I've finished all four volumes of Masamune's other masterpiece manga, I snagged this supplemental volume on PaperBack Swap. In this case, "ID" stands for Illustration and Data, so this book is mostly filled with full page drawings (many in color) of Deunan and Briareos in stylish poses, along with pages of detailed information about the history and political climate of the Appleseed world. There's also a nice bonus manga short story, which truthfully is more interesting than the data sections, but this volume is still a worthwhile read for any Appleseed fan.
Nana Vol 8: This part of the story is getting into what was covered in the Nana live action sequel, but it's much more interesting and in-depth in manga form! The main plot point is Hachiko's pregnancy with Takumi's baby (this is such a soap opera!) and deciding what direction her life with take. Although Hachiko is usually the narrator, the other Nana takes over for a few chapters, so we get to read about her feelings of love and friendship as well.
Honey & Clover Vol 3: Lots of time passes in this volume, so we get to see the gang sell Christmas cakes and view cherry blossoms, while Hagu is confused over her feelings for Morita (who secretly carves her a broach which she grows to cherish). As always, the best part of Honey & Clover is Takemoto's narration, which always makes me sigh with melancholy goodness.
Mahoromatic Vol 2: As long as I can keep up with this series via PaperBack Swap, I suppose I'll continue with it, even though my taste in manga has strayed away from this style a little. I still laughed a lot as at all the racy scenes though, especially at the malfunctioning robot crab at the beach who thinks its mission is to remove bikinis!