Haikyu!! (Chapter 401)
After eight amazing years of manga, the story of our favorite volleyball bois from Karasuno and across Japan will come to an end. By the time this article has posted, the final chapter will have dropped and I will have read it. As I await the final chapter (402), I am filled with so many emotions. I know the feeling as I have gone through this same process when other series I have enjoyed have ended in the past year (Boys Over Flowers Season 2, Guardian of the Witch, etc). However, I will say that this is a satisfying conclusion to the series. If you have been watching the anime and/or reading the manga, this final arc is a culmination of everything you have seen up to now. All the growth, all the teamwork, all the character development has built up to this amazingly well done final arc. I want to end my comments on these last chapter by saying thank you, Furudate, for giving us such a joy of a series. It will be missed. -MDMRN
Haikyu!! is available from Shonen Jump.
Welcome to Japan, Ms. Elf (Vol. 4)
The heading says I read vol. 4, but actually I first re-read the previous three volumes, because I couldn’t remember what was going on. The series retains its mix of elf-and-dragon-have-fun-in-Japan sections with salaryman-and-elf-and-dragon-have-adventures-in-fantasy-world sections. This volume is a bit darker than its predecessors, focusing more on danger and intrigue in the fantasy world, and giving us the story’s most evil character yet. I’m still enjoying the series, but wondering about the tonal shift and where it’s going. This volume also contained several poorly written scene transitions that totally confused me. That said, I’ll still definitely be reading the next volume. – jeskaiangel
Welcome to Japan, Ms. Elf is available from J-Novel Club.
A Wild Last Boss Appeared! (Vol. 1)
I did some first impressions of this novel some time back, and I’m happy to report that the full volume was every bit as enjoyable as I hoped it would be and then some. The idea of a gamer going to the world of the MMO he played might be common, but having to deal with the consequences of assorted gamer actions done for entertainment as if they were actual historical events definitely creates for some interesting scenarios. The story definitely excels in its worldbuilding, and will probably appeal most to gamers who can appreciate how game mechanics and events translate over into a real scenario, and in particular how the resulting world is rather off-kilter in ways. The plot itself is more standard fare, though I do appreciate constantly getting into the main character’s thoughts and what he/she (he’s reincarnated in the body of his female player character, though this part isn’t played up for that much comedy or drama) thinks of this new world. There are also hints that some characters aren’t what they seem to be, and overall I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of this. – stardf29
A Wild Last Boss Appeared! is available from J-Novel Club.
Fairy Tail (Volume 9)
About a month ago I made a calculated risk on Twitter. I asked my Twitter followers what completed series had in digital format from previous Humble Bundles that I should read. They selected Fairy Tail. Let me tell you – it’s wildly inconsistent. The art is over the top, especially for its female characters. There is definitely fan-service far above what I normally read. However, the battle sequences are fun and while the characters aren’t super in depth, that’s okay. Fairy Tail was never going to get a Nobel prize in literature; however, after reading 9 volumes of the series, it’s been mindless fun that’s kept my attention. Honestly, that’s more than some manga I’ve read. – MDMRN
Fairy Tail (Vol. 9) is available from Amazon.
Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
Literary classics have been adapted into manga form to mixed results, which made me a bit wary for this one, which features four of Poe’s most famous works: “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Mask of the Red Death,” and “The Raven.” Thankfully, this adaptation is well done. The illustrations are fair representations for manga and do a strong job of advancing the stories forward. Meanwhile, the decisions of which wording to use from Poe are well-made; important passages are captured and the works aren’t diced to shreds. This is a wonderful way to revisit some of the master’s great works, and as an educator, I also see a powerful educational value in using these to help encourage younger readers to check out the classics or as a resource as they read Poe. Manga Classics sees the same—they’ve developed an accompanying teachers guide. – twwk
Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe is available from Amazon.
Featured illustration by 佐倉おりこ (reprinted w/permission).