Yen Press April Releases Out Tomorrow

Out tomorrow in comic shops are most of Yen Press’ April releases.

Black Butler Book 9 cover Highschool of the Dead Book 6 cover Durarara Book 2 cover
Black Butler Book 9 High School of the Dead Book 6 Durarara Book 2

The best-known is Black Butler Book 9, a Victorian horror fantasy involving the immensely handsome servant of the title fighting bad guys. In this volume, the Queen has requested a banquet for a mysterious guest and other exotic visitors. This series seems to feature the kind of ridiculous exaggeration where official courtesans introduce themselves with a swordfight, only to be placated with gourmet cream puffs.

Also with its fans is Highschool of the Dead Book 6, a fanservice title with busty zombie fighters. Students battle to stay alive, this time in a shopping mall. (Shades of the classic film!)

Durarara Book 2 is fun to say, and it’s full of crazy character types. This volume promises gang fights and a headless motorcycle rider.

Higurashi When They Cry Book 18 cover The Betrayal Knows My Name Book 3 cover Black God Book 16 cover
Higurashi When They Cry Book 18 The Betrayal Knows My Name Book 3 Black God Book 16

Higurashi When They Cry Book 18 finishes up the “Atonement Arc”; future volumes will be double-sized omnibus editions. This one has a murder plot revealed in scrapbooks, which makes me wonder why anyone would put such evidence down in print? Not a great jumping on point, but there’s paranoia, insanity, and hey! The cover has a fight with a cleaver and a baseball bat!

The Betrayal Knows My Name Book 3 is oversized, both in format and length. It’s another supernatural revenge story with beautiful boys and a historical bent, involving something called “the Zweilt”.

Still to come (next week?) is Black God Book 16, a battle manga involving supernatural guardians of the universe. This one’s interesting because it’s created by Koreans for a Japanese audience (so it’s still right-to-left).

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3 Comments

  1. About Higurashi :
    This one has a murder plot revealed in scrapbooks, which makes me wonder why anyone would put such evidence down in print?

    The scrapbooks were written by somebody who was investigating the conspiracy (and mysteriously disappeared after entrusting them to the protagonist). While a lot of the contents are thought-provoking and would explain many mysteries, it’s not exactly hard evidence. Especially as, according to this new volume’s blurb, there are other sets of scrapbooks (apparently written by the same person) with completely different theories about what the heck is happening.

    I mean, yeah, it’d be a bit silly if the culprit was just writing their murder plots on random scrapbooks, but this series is cleverer than that.

  2. Thanks for cluing me in on that. I’m coming in late to a lot of these series, so I’m intimidated by how much story has gone before.

  3. If that may help, I’ll add that Higurashi has a very interesting storytelling gimmick : each of the “arcs” is very accessible and (mostly) self-contained, because it retells the basic same events (with some slight variations) from a different perspective. So, for example, while the existence of the scrapbooks is something we only learn of in the Atonement arc, the reader would have known of their author’s disappearance ever since the first arc. The protagonist of the Atonement arc was a supporting character (and/or a potential culprit) in most of the other arcs, and so on.

    All of this progressively gives the reader more clues to understand the puzzle-like plot… but it’s a very difficult challenge. (The final Arc, yet to be published, explains nearly everything, in case you’re completely lost.)

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