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Book Spotlight: Everyday Scenes From A Parallel World
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Beautiful Scenes From a Fantasy World
Background Illustrations and Scenes from Anime and Manga Works
Paperback
Edited by PIE International
Publisher: PIE International; Bilingual edition
Release date: February 1, 2018

Everyday Scenes from a Parallel World: Background Illustrations and Scenes from Anime and Manga Works from PIE International is a collection of art that displays ordinary life in extraordinary beauty. Works from 39 artists capture the eye and heart. It is no wonder that manga and anime are so popular all over the world.

More below.

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Manga Review: Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind
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Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind
Story and Illustrations by Hayao Miyazaki
Translation by David Lewis & Toren Smith
Lettering & Retouch by Tom Orzechowski
Viz Media
Release Date: November 6, 2012 (Hardcover, Box Set)

Tackling a review of the manga version of Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind is an ambitious undertaking for any writer, but especially this one, given my love of Hayao Miyazaki‘s entire catalogue, especially his lesser-known efforts as a mangaka. The manga’s storyline is a lot more complex than that presented in the feature-length film version. The characters are deeper and Miyazaki is allowed to give full rein to the themes that are a constant in all of his films.

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Anime Review: Student Council’s Discretion (Seitokai no Ichizon)
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Student Council’s Discretion (Seitokai no Ichizon)
Series directed by: Takuya Sato (1st series), Ken’ichi Imaizumi (2nd series)
Written by: Aoi Sekina, Jukki Hanada, Reiko Yoshida
Cast: Mariko Honda, Takashi Kondo, Misuzu Togashi, Yuka Saitou, Yuki Horinaka, Ai Shimizu, Haruka Tomatsu, Kazutomi Yamamoto, Mami Kosuge, Mamiko Noto, Ryoko Shintani, Takahiro Sakurai
Production: Kadokawa Pictures
Broadcast: Currently Streaming on Crunchyroll

Based on a light novel series written by Aoi Sekina, Student Council’s Discretion, or Seitokai no Ichizon, is a funny romp through the idiosyncrasies of anime and manga fandom, as well as the foibles of its own sometimes deeply flawed characters.

A prestigious private school named Hekiyou Academy is the setting for this self-effacing high school comedy, where members of the Student Council are elected by means of popularity contests. Kurimu Sakurano is the current President of the Student Council, along with Chizuru Akaba, the Council’s Secretary, Vice-President Minatsu Shiina, and her sister and Council Treasurer, Mafuyu Shiina. Rounding out this stellar cast is one male member, however: Ken Sugisaki, who acquired the coveted Student Council “Blue Chip” seat for Vice-President by being the top academic scorer on campus.

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Viz Media Releases Deluxe Edition Of ‘Uzumaki’
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Getting a little tired of zombies and walkers? Maybe you want something different to supplement your need for scream? Viz Media may well have the answer to your dark desires.

Just in time for Halloween, the San Francisco-based company has released Junji Ito‘s masterpiece of dark horror, Uzumaki, in a Deluxe Edition. The three-in-one volume hardcover edition, which contains 12 pages of new full-color interior artwork, is now available under the Viz Signature imprint.

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Comic Review: Tokyo Babylon, Book One
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Tokyo Babylon, Book One
Written by CLAMP
Art by CLAMP
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Cover Price: $19.99

For the uninitiated, CLAMP is a wildly successful, all-female group of manga creators from Japan. They’ve produced hits such as Cardcaptor Sakura, Angelic Layer, Chobits, and Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE. Tokyo Babylon is one of CLAMP’s earliest titles that ran from 1990 to 1993. Just a warning to parents up front: this comic deals with occult themes and includes a possible adult-teenager homosexual relationship. If that kind of stuff gets your tighties in a bunch, then you may want to snatch this manga away from young, impressionable eyes. Relax, this isn’t a porn book; it’s not yaoi. In fact, the homosexuality part is only talked about. Mostly jokingly. I think.

Tokyo Babylon follows the story of Subaru, a 16-year-old who moonlights as something of a ghostbuster. He’s what’s known as an onmyoji, a Japanese occult-sorcerer type, who investigates a variety of supernatural mysteries. His family, the Sumeragi, have protected Japan from evil spirits since ancient times. The other two main characters in this story are Subaru’s twin sister, Hokuto, and their friend Seishiro the veterinarian.

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