March’s Mini Manga Haul (2021)

A local book shop had a really nice manga sale this month—Buy One Get One Free—to celebrate the arrival of Spring and it allowed me to indulge in some unexpected manga buying, a glorious activity I haven’t done in quite a long time.

Since it was such a phenomenal yet rare deal, I went ahead and snagged the first two volumes in a fluffy shōjo romance series that I had never heard of until I found it at said book shop, and the sale also gave me the opportunity to snag the first two volumes in a seinen serial authored by one of my favourite creators, which has been on my wishlist for the better part of three to four years! The last two volumes are single, intro instalments in two titles that have been calling out to me during my prior few bookstore visits, so I finally decided to just go for it while I could.

There is only manga from this stack that didn’t come from the sale as it’s part of a gorgeous Deluxe Edition re-release that I pre-order the living daylights out of as soon as I’m able to do so (which means as soon as the pre-orders for the volumes become available online).

Anyhoo, you can check out my loot down below! If you see something that catches your interest, I’ve linked their AniList pages via the titles. They are shared in alphabetical order.

Banana Fish Volume 1 by Akimi Yoshida (バナナフィッシュ): A shōjo, crime thriller about a dude named Ash Lynx who’s quite the pretty boy with a violent streak. A runaway that was brought up as the adopted heir and sex toy of Dino Golzine, Ash has reached the rebellious age of seventeen where he forsakes Dino’s dark kingdom. However, when the heinous secret that eventually led to Ash’s older brother’s demise in Vietnam suddenly falls into Dino’s hands, giving him an opportunity to keep his adopted kid in check. Meanwhile, an innocent and naïve Japanese photographer arrives in town and makes Ash’s acquaintance, thus altering his future in ways neither one of them anticipated.

I tried watching the anime when it first simulcasted years ago, but I couldn’t get into it. The story is actually something that I would typically gravitate towards, and the animation style is really cool, so I’m a bit baffled by why it couldn’t hold my attention. My guess is that is had strong Yaoi vibes, and that’s not really a genre I pick up too much. Plus, I’m going to chock it up to poor timing as well. Either way, when I saw the manga at the store, and only the first volume was available there, I took it as a sign to give it a second shot albeit in a different medium. Fingers crossed that it sticks this time!

Berserk Deluxe Edition Volume 7 by Kentarō Miura (ベルセルク): This seinen, dark fantasy, sword and sorcery iconic series follows a lone swordsman and former mercenary who’s on a blood-thirsty mission to get vengeance against the bastard that betrayed him and all they had built together, in a nutshell.

This is the series that I keep ahead of with my pre-orders. The Deluxe Editions are absolutely gorgeous, and I don’t ever want to risk falling behind on getting them or having them go out of print on me (this has happened in the past). It’s become one of my most favourite manga in existence for so many reasons, so I keep at the top of my High Priority list.

Blue Giant Omnibus Volume 1 by Shinichi Ishizuka: A seinen drama series that revolves around a third year high school guy named Miyamoto Dai. He has a beautiful passion for Jazz and enjoys playing the saxophone in Kawahara, whether it’s raining or sunny, daytime or night-time. His dream is to become the world’s best saxophone player, regardless of his talent and the kind of luck that life tosses his way.

I love anime and manga that centres on music and this series sounded really uplifting to me. It’s one I’ve been eyeing for a few months, so I’m really happy that I was able to get the first instalment, which is an omnibus with two volumes in it.

Love in Focus Volumes 1 & 2 by Yōko Nogiri (蓮住荘のさんかく): This shōjo, drama romance story follows a young teen named Mako who’s got a passion for photography. When a tragedy breaks her heart, she uses her passion as a means to distract her from the complexities of the emotions that follow. When her childhood chum, Kei, invites her to attend his high school where they have a rather prestigious photography club, she accepts willingly. Upon arriving, she meets a new muse and mentor, who shall help her finally heal.

This is the romance manga that sounded like it’s going to be super sweet and cute. Plus, I’m starting to embrace my hobby of photography so reading about someone taking solace in the things they’re passionate about to deal with some serious heartbreak or tragedy is appealing to me on an emotional level. I should have a First Impressions for this up later this week.

Vinland Saga Volumes 1 & 2 by Makoto Yukimura (ヴィンランド・サガ): A seinen, historical fiction, epic fantasy series that follows a dude named Thorfinn who was regaled by stories of a land to the west. However, when he learns that the Vikings that raised him are responsible for murdering his father, he works hard to become a badass warrior hellbent on vengeance as well as the glory of finding that land in the west known as Vinland.

Yukimura’s Planetes is one of my favourite sci-fi serials. I read the manga before watching the anime and it was an excellent experience. I want to do the same thing with Vinland Saga where I read at least some of the manga before I dive into its anime adaptation. Besides, I’ve a feeling I’ll end up binging the TV series when I get around to it eventually.

Even though this is a pretty modest manga haul, I’m rather delighted by it. I found some awesome gems and, honestly, the sale was such a welcome joy! Hopefully another two or three years won’t pass by between my manga loot shenanigans.

Have you read any of the manga listed here? If so, what did you think of them? If not, do any sound appealing to you?

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2 thoughts on “March’s Mini Manga Haul (2021)

  1. I liked Love in Focus, but I thought it could have used a couple more volumes to make it more well-rounded. Vinland has been on my bookshelf for a while now, just haven’t gotten to it.

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