Manga Bites – Catching up on the regulars plus some new ones

tBP’s Manga Digest!

Asuka06 cover
I haven’t been posting chapter snippets on the regulars in quite a while. So yeah, woe is me! It’s time to do some catch up (I know this is a stale phrase you find me repeating quite often lately, xD *is shot*). And what’s featured up front? Well, fans of KKM would immediately squee because Yuri and Conrad were on the cover of ASUKA issue #6. For those who doesn’t know, KKM stands for Kyo Kara Maoh (今日から㋮王!), a light novel series by Takabayashi Tomo, that was adapted into an anime series and comes in a manga adaptation as well.

Let’s see, aside from image spamming, what else will suffer from my random babbling on this belated post (belated because *gasp* Issues # 7 of both ZEROSUM and ASUKA are coming my way in a few days (/^o^)/ ).

  • Amatsuki Vol.11
  • Pandora Hearts – Retrace XLIX (49)
  • Kuroshitsuji – Chapter 45
  • Vampire Knight – Chapter 61
  • Darker than Black~Shikkoku no Hana – Chapter 18
  • D.Gray-man – Chapter 194
  • Random picks from ASUKA issue #6 (n_n)

Amatsuki Vol.11 – Special Edition Cover
Amatsuki v11 - cover
I got this volume sometime back. It came with a bonus booklet that has got a couple of extra omake and some other write-ups about the manga. I was too lazy to scan those but include the short omake from the main volume itself which btw, cover chapters 61 – 67. Yes, that’s 7 freaking chapters in total and I still wonder if Kuchiha is alive or mentally dead. Aw, poor Bonten…not quite himself somehow. And if you haven’t read up to the current point in the manga, I won’t spoil any further than saying that with the psycho-mastermind on the loose, things aren’t looking so safe for some of our leading characters, be it in the virtual world or in the present world. Look what happened to Kuchiha! 😦  At least Kon and Toki are both surviving.

On a side note, the special edition slip cover isn’t as nice as the normal edition’s one which I thought had a much more appealing illustration.

Color page
Amatsuki v11 - Color page

Omake (click on the image for a bigger reso)

Pandora Hearts – Retrace 49

I’m suppose to be chatting about chapter 49 but I can’t stop anticipating Chapter 50 already. Woah! Liam is a contractor too, huh?! Am wondering what chain does he wield. Seeing Lily down in the dark depths of the mansion searching for the seal isn’t a surprise at all as Vincent is sure to make use of the opportunity for the Baskervilles to get a piece of the action. But how will both of them fare against the *headhunter*?

One of the best part of the chapter is seeing Break letting go of that stoic facade and finally telling Sharon that he’s blind albeit after much *encouragement* from Liam. But did Sharon really get it that Break is blind. Break looked so sweet there. Alice is so full of moe in the chapter as well. Gil’s reaction at being uncomfortable with women gawking at him was so hilarious.  Oz-kun’s interaction with Creepy dude is just as amusing. Mochizuki-sensei did a splendid job in blending in the comedic moments against a brooding, dark atmosphere that’s enveloping the precarious situation our lovable  characters are caught up in.

So Isla and Reo seems to know each other rather well. Perhaps Reo was placed in the Nightray’s household as a spy but Isla probably didn’t think Reo would become so loyally attach to Elliot. I’m pretty sure the mad creepy Isla has everything to do with the orphan kids dying and letting the *headhunter* loose for some kind of experiment relating to the *abyss*.

I wonder if that’s Miranda or Lottie in one of the panels on page 42. Maybe that’s Lottie, but if it’s Miranda than that adds quite a twist…she being alive and all, making sure Vincent is still under her spell, doing Glen’s bidding. And the headhunter, could be her chain…so to speak. She’s also a Barma which means she’s connected to Isla as well. But of course, that’s just me and my speculations. Holding my breath until Retrace 50 comes out…oh wait, I’ll turn blue. 😆

**Credits: Scanlated PH 49 images courtesy of TheBlackAbyss

Kuroshitsuji – Chapter 45

To be honest, the current ‘cluedo’ arc hasn’t been going any where over the last few chapters. I’m wondering why is the mangaka dragging the plot? It just feels like the initial build-up has lost the reader’s suspense. This chapter introduces a nary looking character who is supposedly a priest but doesn’t look like one. Furthermore, he’s wearing Sebby’s suit. Don’t want him too! Give Sebby’s suit back!!! So then, the search for fresh clues recommence once again but this time under the direction of Mr. Priest. Will they uncover the identity of the murderer(s) come next chapter?! Will Sebastian return? Golly, I hope the next chapter will be bring back some excitement that seems to be missing lately.

**Credits: Scanlated Kuro45 image courtesy of BleachAsylum

Vampire Knight – Chapter 61

Yuki is still a meh! heroine. At least, Kaname’s background revelation is getting somewhere, finally. Hopefully, we’ll get to see some more development there now that Kaname has somewhat reveal his true self to Yuki. Aside from that, it appears that the mangaka is trying to appease pairing fans by giving each of the pairings alternating fan-service moments in the last chapter and in the current chapter. I must admit I’m really disappointed with such a ding-dong direction. I thought we’re getting somewhere with the uneasy atmosphere stemming from the *deaths* at the party and the unstable truce between hunters and vampires….so what’s happening with it now. Let’s hope we’re not stuck with another bout of character’s angsting about their longings, self denials, what not mode.

Darker than Black ~Shikkoku no Hana – Chapter 18

Having seen DTB2 anime made reading Shikkoku no Hana much more exciting. That’s because I don’t just see it as a separate storyline unconnected to the events in the anime. I still think it has some relevance to what eventually happens to Hei and Yin later on. Like in the last chapter, we have some reveal of the dramatic changes to Section 4 that may have led to Misaki being relocated to a distant outpost as seen in DTB2. Anyway, this chapter sees a certain faction already making use of the black flower to create artificial contractors that they can command like drone soldiers. Azusa is still in a comatose state. Harvest is in hiding. The Indian Doctor and the old scientist appears to be working on their own now which explained a bit why Hei agrees to co-operate with them for now. But Dr. Nishijima is certainly getting a little too greedy. I want to see Hei *pwn* him. Nuff said.

**Credits: Scanlated DTB images courtesy of SimpleScans

D.Gray-man – Chapter 194

Kanda’s backstory flashback is over and we’re getting back to the present again. Kanda definitely has a traumatic relationship and past with Alma. The best thing is that Allen gets to witness it all courtesy of Wisely who deservedly gets a raging punch from Allen, though he’s really just trying to wake Kanda up. XD

Allen’s knock out punch broke the dream-state situation both Kanda and Allen got caught in but the emotions and hatred resulting from recalling Kanda’s memories inadvertently woke Alma. He looks like a level 4 akuma now but appears to have some kind of conscience. Everyone else is now in trouble of being absorb by the dark mass of energy that Alma has generated. The Earl is certainly enjoying the show. Oh ya, Ling appears with Timcanpy at the end. What can they do to help Allen and the others? Next chapter please!

**Credits: Scanlated DGM194 images courtesy of IEM

Now, here are some of my random picks from ASUKA Issue #6:

Kyo Kara Maoh by Takabayashi Tomo

Not only does KKM gets featured on the cover, it’s getting colour pages as well.

Chapter 56 is all about Conrad and his adventures on earth while he was chosen the be the guardian of Yuri’s soul, watching over baby Yuri. Cute! but I’m not really into the manga though.

Ayahatori Shoukanjou by Mika Kajiyama

Double page spread in colour, advertising Ayahatori’s Vol.1 release.

Another colour page from Chapter cover

About a young girl who has inherited the ability to summon some pretty bishies from the feudal era and the first beautiful bishie she summoned is Ono Kamachi… XD. Oh so shoujo! I’m reading this for laughs, mind you. It’s a bit like the next one, Barajou no Kiss also about a girl who can summon 4 dashing bishies…err, knights.

Barajou no Kisu by Shouto Aya

Chapter 22 cover page

A rather Mitsuki-centric chapter though Tenjou tries to get his fair share of cosy time with a not so appreciative mistress. xD

Migawari Hakushaku no Bouken by Seike Mimori

Richard on the cover of Chapter 13

Migawari is one of my favourite new picks. It’s such a funny read especially when gender-bending, cross-dressing is involved. The heroine, Mirelle, is the pretend Count which the manga title refers to. She had to impersonate her twin brother in order to save his skin and rescues his tarnished image, after he allegedly elopes with the Crown Prince’s fiance. xD Richard is the suave and handsome knight who’s assigned to protect her. But of course, beneath the comedy and fluffiness lies a developing story of betrayal and intrigue in the royal household… and that is what made me read this.

Of course, I love how Mirelle blushes furiously after being mercilessly teased by Alfred, who happens to be the Crown Prince. Lol!

Samurai Drive by Koju Fujiko

Samurai Drive is one of the new manga series that I just started checking out. Boys with swords in a school setting, two of them apparently were acquainted in their past lives…as Samurais *chuckles*


Trinity Blood by Kiyo Kujo

Chapter 50 cover page in colour

Trinity Blood is another manga adapted from a light novel series that I picked up again after not following it for a while. It’s still running in ASUKA.

I still don’t like Esther’s character much. She reminds me of Yuki, the naive heroine from Vampire Knight.

And finally, we have…

Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru (aka Uraboku) by Hotaru Odagiri

Chapter 37: Yuki on the cover
Well, I read all 7 volumes of the manga and that shows you my interest in Uraboku. I have to say that after watching the anime which is currently airing, I still prefer the manga. The progression of the story is so much better where as the anime is somewhat dragging. It makes me wonder if they are going to cover all seven volumes or just up to volume 4. I don’t see the other two male Zweilt guardians in either the OP or ED.

Anyway, Chapter 37 introduced another two new characters. I guess Yuki is going to meet some new family members soon.

There’s some cosy “brotherly love” moments between Hotsuma and Shusei too xD

With the anime still ongoing, Uraboku is getting lots of *pimpage* in ASUKA issue #7.

Special mention:
Psychic Detective Yakumo by Kaminaga Manabu & Oda Suzuka

This is another manga series I like. It’s not that the premise about a guy who has the ability to see spirits and supernatural beings is new or anything, but I like the words ‘detective’ and ‘psychic’ in the title. The manga currently serialized in ASUKA, is also an adaptation from a light novel series of the same name. The good news is that it is  getting an anime adaptation too and guess what…Daisuke Ono is voicing the titled character. Yay! For more info on the anime, check out ANN’s page and the official website here.

Credits: Yakumo Image courtesy of AsukaWeb.

Thus endeth Ayu’s rambling Manga Bites round-up.

Note: All images posted are scanned by Ayumikat unless otherwise stated.

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