Tokyo Ghoul comes to an end, Vampire Knight comes back to life, and Attack on Titan keeps on truckin’ in August’s new manga releases. This month also sees the launch of some interesting new action and comedy series, and for those who prefer something a little quieter, the one-volume She and Her Cat, based on Makoto Shinkai’s debut anime short.
She and Her Cat, by Makoto Shinkai and Tsubasa Yamaguchi
She and Her Cat is a beautifully drawn, quiet little slice-of-life manga about a single woman living alone in Tokyo with her cat. The story is told from the cat’s point of view, and there’s a lot that he doesn’t understand, but he definitely enjoys watching his roommate go about her business—coming and going from work, cooking her dinner, and not answering her cell phone… Clearly there’s more going on than meets the cat’s eye. This one-volume manga is adapted from Shinkai’s first film, a five-minute short that he hand-distributed on CDs, and that led to his first professional animation job.
Tokyo Ghoul, Vol. 14, by Sui Ishida
August brings us the final volume of this remarkable series, which has been much more than a standard supernatural-action story—it encompasses a mystery, a coming-of-age story, moments of tenderness and humanity, moments of extreme brutality, double-crosses, remarkable characters, and surprising twists. Half-ghoul Ken Kaneki faces off with the ghoul hunter Arima in a final battle, while the war continues on other fronts as the story sweeps to a finish. Don’t worry about missing your Tokyo Ghoul fix, though: The sequel, Tokyo Ghoul: re, launches in October, and the novels Tokyo Ghoul: Days, Tokyo Ghoul: Void, and Tokyo Ghoul: Past will pass the time while you wait.
Vampire Knight: Memories, Vol. 1, by Matsuri Hino
Hey, speaking of sequels, here’s more Vampire Knight! The original Vampire Knight was set in a school that tried to help vampires and humans coexist, with a teenage girl named Yuki Cross standing between the two groups and at the apex of a triangle between two vampire guys, Kaname and Zero. Kaname rescued Yuki from a vampire attack when she was a young girl and is therefore, according to the immutable laws of shoujo manga, required to be her one true love, even though he’s a vampire; Zero is a vampire who’s also a vampire hunter and is (of course) a gentle soul under his rough exterior. The original series went on for 19 volumes, but Hino is back for more in Vampire Knight: Memories, which includes stories about Yuki and Zero, Yuki and Kaname, and Yuki’s children.
Attack on Titan, Vol. 22, by Hajime Isayama
It’s hard to say much about this series at this point without spoiling it—actually, that’s been true since volume 1—but if you’re a hard-core Attack on Titan fan, it’s good news that another volume is on the way,. And if you’re not—well, read this—there’s still time to catch up. At this point, there have been a number of twists and turns in the story, including some real surprises, but Eren Yeager is still at the heart of all the bone-crunching madness. Isayama originally planned to wrap up the series after 20 volumes, so presumably the end is fairly near.
Nirvana, Vol. 1, by ZOWLS and Sayuki
Inspired by the memory of her late mother, Hitose Yachiyo devotes herself to helping others, until a plane crash transports her into an alternate world filled with mystical creatures. In this world, where reincarnation and fate play an important part in the inhabitants’ lives, Hitose is a goddess—but all she really wants is to get home again. When this license was announced, Seven Seas production manager Lissa Pattillo described the series as “a real shounen/shoujo mix in a rich fantasy world inspired by Buddhist and Hindu mysticism.”
Kigurumi Guardians, Vol. 1, by Lily Hoshino
Lily Hoshino has a lot of fun with the magical-girl genre in this series about high school girls who save the world—with the help of magical guys in giant animal mascot costumes. A light, funny read, perfect for the end of summer!
Absolute Duo, Vol. 1, by Takumi Hiiragiboshi and Shinichirou Nariie
Koryo Academy is one of those peculiarly Japanese high schools where the students spend more time battling with supernatural weapons than studying algebra or chemistry. In fact, at Koryo Academy the weapons are forged from the students’ very souls. Our hero, Kokonoe, doesn’t have a weapon—he has a shield. Fortunately, students at Koryo Academy team up with a partner, and Kokonoe’s partner is an awesome fighter. She’s also a girl—and they have to share a room. Awkward! This manga is adapted from a series of light novels, and there’s also an Absolute Duo anime.
Nisemonogatari, Part 2, by Nisioisin
Nisioisin’s series of novels about life among teenage siblings in an uneventful country village continue with the story of “Tsukihi Phoenix,” which stars the lead character Aragi’s younger sister, Tsukihi, and features the sequence (much commented upon in the anime) in which Aragi brushes his other sister Karen’s teeth.
What new manga are you reading in August?