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Manga Received- 11/2010  Next Month / Last Month
In order to provide timely reviews, we prefer to receive Advance Reader Copies of books when possible. Send books to Gayle Surrette / Editor c/o SFRevu 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

Dungeon, Monstres 3: Heartbreaker (Dungeon: Monstres) by Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim (Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing November 2010 / $12.99) - Product Description: In the first title story, the supremely talented (especially with women) and outrageous Carlos Nine gives us the complete low-down on the sexy and dangerous killer Alexandra that the young Dungeon-keeper fell for so heavily. In the second, Killoffer ("676 Apparitions of Killoffer") also focuses on a spicy girl, daughter of a prominent character.

(Source: Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing)

7 Billion Needles, Volume 2 by Nobuaki Tadano (Vertical 23 November 2010 / $10.95) - Product Description: Modern day Japan is the stage for a new form of hard science-fiction, as author Nobuaki Tadano revisits one of the genre's Grand Masters, Hal Clement, in his debut work 7 Billion Needles.  Loosely inspired by Clement's golden age title Needle, 7 Billion Needles follows the life of a teenage girl whose quiet boring days are dramatically changed when her body is possessed by an alien life form caught up in an intergalactic manhunt.

In this second volume of 7 Billion Needles, Hikaru is briefly lulled into a sense of normalcy. As strange as "normal" might seem to her now, "happy days" are much more welcomed than the surreal days she experienced with Celistial. Having wasted Maelstrom in a massive battle she has been freed from the voices in her head(-phones) and is now moving on with her life with new found resolve.

So when she gets an opportunity to formally exorcise her personal demons, which come in the form of painful memories of her deceased father, Hikaru takes the first ferry to the Izu Islands to pay her final respects. When she and her friends arrive and make their way around Hikaru's ancestral home, they all quickly realize that they were not alone making this trip. Not only is Maelstrom still around and possibly more determined than ever to defeat Celestial, but Celestial was never in Hikaru's headphones at all... He was in her blood all this time! Making her bond to him almost as deep as her connection to her family... (Source: Vertical)

Ayako by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical 30 November 2010 / $26.95) - Product Description: Long considered as one of Osamu Tezuka's most political narratives, Ayako is also considered to be one of his most challenging as it defies the conventions of his manga by utilizing a completely original cast and relying solely on historical drama to drive the plot. Ayako, pulls no punches, and does not allow for gimmicks as science-fiction or fantasy may. Instead Tezuka weaves together a tale which its core simply focuses on a single family, a family that could be considered a metaphor for a rapidly developing superpower.

Overflowing with imagery of the cold war seen through Japan's eyes, Ayako is firmly set in realism taking inspiration from a number of historical events that occurred over the American occupation and the cultural-revolution which soon followed. Believed to be Tezuka's answer to the gekiga (dramatic comics) movement of the 60's, Ayako should be considered one of the better early examples of a seinen (young adult) narrative to be published.

Initially set in the aftermath of World War II, Ayako focuses its attention on the Tenge clan, a once powerful family of landowners living in a rural community in northern Japan. From the moment readers are introduced to the extended family, it is apparent that the war and American occupation have begun to erode the fabric that binds them all together. The increasing influence of political, economic and social change begins to tear into the many Tenge siblings, while a strange marriage agreement creates resentment between the eldest son and his sire.  And when the family seems to have completely fallen apart, they decide to turn their collective rage on what they believe to be the source of their troubles—the newest member of the Tenge family, the youngest sister Ayako. (Ages 16+) (Source: Vertical)

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