Drawn to Manga: May 2016

This special edition of Drawn to Manga will focus on a relatively new category of books for our library system: Light Novels.

What is a light novel? They are Japanese novels that may (but not always) include illustrations and tend to be geared toward young adults (but again, not always). Many light novels have been adapted to anime and/or manga like the Sword Art Online series and All You Need Is Kill.

A Certain Magical Index

A Certain Magical Index, Vol. 1
By Kamachi, Kazuma
Illustrator Haimura, Kiyotaka
2014-11 – Yen on

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 Touma Kamijou has the worst luck imaginable… Sure he’s a citizen of Academy City, a scientific marvel of the modern world where superhuman abilities are artificially cultivated and commonplace, but when it comes to paranormal talent, Kamijou’s been classified a Level Zero-a loser, basically. Oh, he does have one trick up his sleeve (literally), but even that’s more trouble than it’s worth.

When Kamijou encounters a delusional young girl convinced she’s a nun and raving about being chased by evil sorcerers, he’s eager to send her on her way and get back to failing his studies. Fate, it would seem though, has other ideas, and he suddenly finds himself caught up in a supernatural intrigue with a girl named “Index” at the center.

Science and magic collide in this first volume of one of the most popular light novel series ever penned.

 

Attack on Titan Before the Fall

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall (Novel)
By Suzukaze, Ryo
Illustrator Shibamoto, Thores
2014-09 – Vertical

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 Before the fall, and before the trials of “the Titan’s son” Kyklo, a young smith by the name of Angel Aaltonen grappled with the giants as only a craftsman could.

The first of the three-part “Before the Fall” light novels, whose second and third installments have been adapted into a manga of the same name, this prequel of prequels details the origins of the devices that humanity developed to take on the mysterious Titans.

 

Battle Royale

Battle Royale: The Novel
By Takami, Koushun
Translator Oniki, Yuji
2009-11 – Viz Media

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 In an alternative future Japan, junior high students are forced to fight to the death L to R (Western Style). Koushun Takami’s notorious high-octane thriller is based on an irresistible premise: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan–where it then proceeded to become a runaway bestseller–“Battle Royale” is a “Lord of the Flies” for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world. Made into a controversial hit movie of the same name, “Battle Royale” is already a contemporary Japanese pulp classic, now available for the first time in the English language.

A group of high school students are taken to small isolated island and forced to fight each other until only one remains alive If they break the rules a special collar blows their heads off.

Koushun Takami’s brutal, high-octane thriller is told in breathless. blow-by-blow fashion. “Battle Royale” is a contemporary Japanese pulp classic now available for the first time in English.

 

This may sound familiar! They made it into a movie called Battle Royale.
Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime

Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime, Volume 1
By Nomura, Mizuki
2010-07 – Yen Press

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 For self-styled “book girl,” third-year high school student Tohko Amano, being the head of the literary club is more than just an extracurricular activity with minor perks. It’s her bread and butter… literally! Tohko is actually a literature-gobbling demon, and instead of the less palatable option of water-soaked bread, she opts to munch on torn out pages from all kinds of stories. But for Tohko, the real delicacies are handwritten stories. And to satisfy her gourmet tastes, she’s employed (aka. browbeaten) one Konoha Inoue, an underclassman who has retreated from writing novels after his experiences with getting published at an early age. So day in and day out, Konoha scribbles away to satisfy Tohko’s appetite. But when, one day, another student comes knocking on the literary club door to seek advice on writing love letters, will Tohko discover a new kind of delicacy to whet her voracious appetite?

 

All You Need is Kill

All You Need Is Kill
By Sakurazaka, Hiroshi
Translator Smith, Alexander O.
2009-07 – Viz Media

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 When the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally–the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?

 

This may sound familiar! They made it into a movie called The Edge of Tomorrow.
Check out more Light Novels in our collection or at your local library!

The Strain is back on FX!

The Strain

Eeeeew!

This Sunday FX will air the fifth episode (season 2) of The Strain, based on Guillermo del Toro’s novel trilogy and comic book series.

If you missed season one, I’ll give you a quick recap. The Strain follows CDC scientist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his companions as they uncover the truth behind a mysterious “viral outbreak” that has claimed the lives of a Boeing 767 full of passengers. As the virus continues to spread across New York City, Eph and his team discover the threat is far more supernatural and considerably more dangerous to the human race. (Psst, it’s vampires.)

Season 2 continues the epic battle between the Master and the human race. Our heroes have injured the Master, but he has a plan to Continue reading

Banned Books Week

This week (Sept 21st-27th) is celebrated as Banned Books Week. Libraries across the nation are recognizing their patrons’ freedom to read whatever you want, regardless of controversies surrounding certain titles.

Celebrate the freedom to read with these activities:

  • Read a thought-provoking book, e-book, magazine or newspaper.
  • Take a child to story time at the library.
  • Join a lively book discussion at the library or in the community.


Top 10 Challenged Books for 2013

Out of 307 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. Continue reading

Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

Indie comics icon Jamie Hernandez, co-creator of Love and Rockets, will be adding his beautiful artwork to the deluxe edition of Junot Diaz’s critically acclaimed novel, This is How You Lose Her.  According to the product description, Hernandez will provide an illustration for each of the stories featured in the novel.  Anyone familiar with Diaz and Hernandez will instantly realize that this is a perfect union.  The deluxe edition of This is How You Lose Her will be released later this year.

Wrinkle in Time GN

For those of you, like me, who missed the opportunity to read some childhood classics, Hope Larson has done us adults a wonderful favor. Larson has adapted Madeleine L’Engle’s book A Wrinkle in Time into a graphic novel, available at a branch near you!

Wrinle in Time GN

Maid Machinegun

Maid MachinegunIt’s published by Del Rey Manga, but Maid Machinegun is a novel not a manga title — although it does have illustrations by Suzuhito Yasuda. And even though it’s a novel, it explains how maid cafes work and takes the reader through the streets of Akihabara to Comiket — so it’s kind of nonfiction-y, except for the end which is surreal.

Anyway, Aaliyah is a clumsy maid in a small maid cafe in Akihabara. Her goal is to become the best maid she can be, but she’s a little insecure and her clumsiness has more to do with her than her character. She’s eager and she has big plans for her cafe — except the new-hire Kiriya-san keeps annoying her.

Maid Machinegun is meta. It’s a combination of Aaliyah’s diary and message board postings where we follow her misadventures combined with chunks of non-fiction like how to behave at a Maid Cafe (no cameras!), a real interview with a maid from Cafe Mai:lish, and a glossary in the back. Aaliyah is awesome and I always love coming away from a novel with the feeling that I’ve learned something — even if it’s about the variations of moe.

Put a hold on Maid Machinegun here.