After a girl’s night out with some of my close friends, I couldn’t help but pop into a nearby used book store before heading home. And, by “pop into” I mean quickly scourer the clearance and manga section twenty-five minutes before the store closed. I’m glad I did because wow, this shop had a bunch of out-of-print manga titles that I’ve been looking to add to and fill gaps in my collection. The pictures below were taken with my cell phone, it’s not a smart phone but the camera takes decent enough photos for today’s purposes.
From Far Away by Kyouko Hikawa 《Volume 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5》
Synopsis from Viz Media: On her way home from school one day, Noriko is unexpectedly plunged into a strange and extraordinary fantasy world. Her troubles compound exponentially when she is rescued and befriended by a handsome young man by the name of Izark. He may be brave and courageous, but inside Izark lurks the darkest evil imaginable. And according to an ancient prophecy, Noriko possesses the power to unleash that evil. Now, inexorably bound together, these two unlikely allies must navigate a world both wondrous and hostile.
I became aware of this series from fellow manga blogger; Mangahorder. The bookshop that I went to actually had a ton of this series, which is really awesome because this is out-of-print! I just might have to return soon and buy the rest of what they had there. I’ve heard this series has some amazing world building and the romance has a lot of depth to it, so I’m really looking forward to reading the first few volumes and doing a write up on my first impressions.
Kodocha by Miho Obana《Volume 9 & 10》
Synopsis from Anime News Network: Sana Kurata, a child actress, faces many problems in her classroom, including a major one – her bullying classmate, Akito Hayama. Sana’s outgoing and friendly nature leads her to work towards correcting all of the problems around her. Her ‘meddling’ irritates Hayama but at the same time captivates him, just as Hayama’s gloomy nature irritates Sana and compels her to change him. As these two opposites attract each other, they face many hardships which bring them closer to a mutual understanding.
I started buying Kodocha at a book store chain called “Borders” at Tokyopop’s $9.99 USD cover price, which means it was a very long time ago. I still have a few gaps to fill in this series and also I have to buy volume one again because when I was in Middle School I was too nice and let someone borrow it and they never returned it to me. Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading this shoujo series, I remember it being really funny but also have some deeply dramatic moments that aren’t only based about romance. There’s a lot in here about what it means to be part of a family and make friends. I’ve been told the anime adaptation of this is really good, but for now I’ll stick with collecting and reading the manga series.
Kingyo Used Books by Seimu Yoshizaki《Volume 1, 2 & 3》
Synopsis from Viz Media: This manga bookstore has a thousand stories to tell. A businessman discovers how his childhood memories can brighten his day. An art student finds inspiration. An archer hits a surprising bull’s eye. A housewife rediscovers romance. A teenager discovers his true self in the pages of a manga magazine. Welcome to Kingyo Used Books, a place where people find their dreams in manga.
The premise of this manga sounds like it’s going to be right up the alley of anyone that love manga. I’m really looking forward to reading the first four volumes that were released by Viz under their SigIkki imprint. Hopefully one day Viz will pick this series back up because I love manga like this, I believe mangahorder coined the term “Meta-manga” to describe this sort of manga. Go check out her blog posts and videos, she’s super knowledgeable about manga and is also learning Japanese!
Sarai by Masahiro Shibata《Volume 2 & 3》
Synopsis from Anime News Network: In the world of Sarai, mass flooding has wiped out Japan. Due to an abnormal genetic trait people in this land rarely live past 16, and when they do, they become hideous monsters. Order in this world is almost non-existant. One of the last forms of protection left are the warrior maids, bodyguards for hire. They will do literally anything for the client, and are hired as protective slaves. Sarai Kannagi and her partner, Flicker, are two of these. In their adventures they fight humans-transformed-into-giant-rock monsters, hairy arctic people, and other abominations of the future barren world.
Since this was published by ComicsOne, this series is extremely out-of-print. I used to have volume one a very long time ago; I was definitely too young to be reading this, but it perished in the past when my childhood home flooded. I want to collect as many ComicsOne titles as I can find because there’s just something fascinating about this early English language manga publisher, even though this is one of the series that they didn’t even come close to fully releasing. There are a total of nineteen volumes and ComicsOne only published eight, and since this never had an anime adaptation or was ever very popular I doubt another publisher will translate and release the rest. I’m still happy to have it in my collection now though and plan to write my thoughts once I get around to owning all of those aforementioned eight volumes.
Cross by Sumiko Amakawa 《Volume 1 & 2》
Synopsis from Tokyopop: A young Catholic priest named Amakusa Takara, uses his gift of holy powers to exorcise demons … and on occasion the Devil himself. He’s blessed and cursed with the ability to produce the ‘sign of the cross’ on his forehead to banish demons back to Hell. Only thing is … the process brings him close to the brink of insanity and physical pain. A woman called Shizuha is capable of producing the ancient writings of the ‘Scripture’ on her body, and therefore she is targeted by demons and cults alike. She asks Takara for assistance when her parents become part of a cult out to nab her. Shizuha becomes attracted to the young priest and wishes to protect him in return…
I’m always interested to see how Japan depicts Christianity, especially Catholicism. Sometimes the results are edifying and sometimes not so much… But still I seek out the Japanese perspective of what Christianity is. So of course, one evening a good year or two back I was browsing through e-bay lots of manga and this series stood out to me because of the fact that the main character is a Catholic priest. After looking up a bit more information about this series I saw that one of it’s themes is psychological horror and I really wanted to buy it but I couldn’t seem to find decent quality volumes on e-bay at the time, and so I waited. Then, finally I saw it at a local used bookstore in like new condition.
That’s one kind of thrilling things about being a collector of any media; is that sometimes you just have to be patient and you’ll find that thing you’ve been looking for, even if it’s somewhere unexpected. Patience is a virtue!
I’ve heard a lot of great things about Berserk, so I decided to pick up one of Miura’s one shots. The art looks gorgeously detailed, I’m looking forward to reading this.
Have you read and/or added these manga to your collection? Do you think I got some really good deals on any of these tiles or have you seen any of these titles at a lower or higher price anywhere else?