Full Metal Alchemist

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Title: Fullmetal Alchemist

Author: Hiromu Arakawa

Summary: Edward and Alphone (Al) Elric have been cursed ever since they tried to bring their mother back through transmutation. Edward has as an advanced-metal arm (automail) and leg, while Al is trapped inside a hollow suit of armor. The land they live is dominated by a military presence, ruled by the State Alchemists. When Ed is recruited, he and Al are drawn into a whirlpool of danger and discovery.

The Philospher’s Stone has the ability to make anyone the strongest person on earth – the catch is that it requires the death of hundreds of humans. The seven humunculi (the results of failed transmutations) are after the stone, as well as a mysterious Ishbalan named Scar. No doubt that Edward has joined the military at the right time: the country’s on the brink of another war between the Ishablans and the Military, the homunculi control the strongest people in the country like puppets, Scar’s on a killing spree, and Ed simply cannot get people to stop calling him short. Looks like it’s going to be another tough day for the Full Metal Alchemist.

Who will like this book?: It’s shonen (but I like it and I’m a girl). It’s kind of like action/fantasy. As depressing as the summary is–it’s a rather sad plot–there is a rather large amount of humor in it as well. Great for the violence & magic/alchemy lovers, and people who enjoy really in depth and twisting plots and historical metaphors, in this case World War II. (Note: Definitely not recommended it if you’ are strictly religious or don’t like stories that question or critique traditional Protestant/Christian ideas.)

If you like this, try this: Inuyasha, D.Gray-Man, Trinity Blood, Trigun, Phantasy Degree, Spiral, Black Cat, Hellsing.

Recommended by: ZZ, resident of Fairfield and avid reader

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xxxHolic

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Title: xxxHolic

Author: Clamp

Summary: Kimihiro Watanuki has always been able to see spirits. When one day he is drawn to a mysterious shop, he meets the “Space-Time” Witch Yuuko. He is “given” a job there and finds out that Yuuko is willing to do deeds in return for something of equal value.  Not everyone can see the shop, and not everyone always gets what they want…as they are more twisted than they think. To add to the mystery, there’s Doumeki, who has been able to kill evil spirits, but cannot see them, and Himawari–Watanuki’s crush–who isn’t as innocent as she seems.

Who will like this book?: People into spirit/sci-fi stories and a little bit of mystery. It’s just as good as the other Clamp titles and if you read Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, it’s cool to see how these two link up, those it’s not necessary to read both to understand. It’s actually very funny and can be a light read at times.  It’s also a long series, so the plot develops more slowly, and some of the chapters may seem like fillers or mini-stories, but they’re all related. There’s also a lot about the Japanese culture, so if you’re into that, it’d be good to read the pages of culture explanations at the end.

If you like this, you should try: Anything by Clamp –Tsubasa, x/1999, legal drug, magical knights, etc. Also Tokyo Mew Mew, E.S., Dorothy of Oz, and D.N. Angel.

Recommended by: ZZ, resident of Fairfield and avid reader

Hunter X Hunter

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Title: Hunter X Hunter

Author: Yoshihiro Togashi

Summary: In order to find out about his father, Gon must first get a Hunter’s license, which requires going through various difficult trials. Thousands of applicants try out and only two or three make it per year. On the way, Gon meets up with Killua, the youngest son of a famous family of assassins, Kurapica, whois the last of his clan, and Leorio, a smart businessman. Together they face the trials, tricky competitors, and mortal danger. But the Hunters Test is only the beginning of the long journey the group must endure to find what they are looking for.

Who will like this book?: It’s aimed at males, but can be enjoyed by anybody. You have to enjoy a good fighting story with a fantasy touch.

If you like this, try this: Bleach, Naruto, D.Gray-man, Fullmetal Alchemist, and other Shonen-style manga. This is rated Older Teen (16+)

Recommended by: ZZ, resident of Fairfield and avid reader

Ranma 1/2

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Title: Ranma 1/2

Author: Rumiko Takahashi

Summary: Ranma Saotome was your average guy until he fell into a cursed hot spring. Now whenever dowsed with hot water, he turns into a girl! Only cold water can change him back. Even worse, he just found out that he’s been engaged to a ill-tempered tomboy named Akane Tendo. Add in some crazy suitors, a panda father, a psychotic principal, some deadly cooking, and the Tendo school of martial arts, and you’ve got Ranma 1/2.

Who will like this book?: People into fighting, but not just boxing or sparring. Wacky martial art styles and weird twists are common, so you’ve got to be up for anything. There is romance too, and some nudity. This is rated Older Teen (16+)

If you like this, try this: Negima!, Inuyasha, Cowoy Bebop, Trigun.

Recommended by: ZZ, Fairfield resident and avid reader.

Her Majesty’s Dog

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Title: Her Majesty’s Dog

Author: Mick Takeuchi

Summary: Amane is by no means an ordinary school girl. She’s actually the heir to her psychic family who has run away. Her koma-oni Hyohei is also no regular transfer student. He’s a demon dog whose duty is to protect Amane. But with spirits popping up and demons trying to take her out in broad daylight, how long can Hyohei and Amane keep their identities secret? And worse, Hyohei is starting to develop feelings for Amane, but she’s already engaged to another man!

Who will like this book?: If you want a new spin on a romance, or if you’re into dog demons, this is the one to read. There’s plenty of action and some great dialogue, but you need to take the time to read them all carefully since they tend to have little important bits here and there.

If you like this, try this: Inuyasha, Ceres Celestial Legend, Yurara

Recommended by: ZZ, Fairfield resident and avid reader

Othello

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Title: Othello

Author: Satomi Ikezawa

Summary: Yaya is a shy girl with a big secret, and she doesn’t even know it! She has an alternate personality! When she shes her reflection, her other side – Nana – comes out. Nana couldn’t be any more different than Yaya: She’s loud, outspoken, and makes sure justice is done. So when her ‘friends’ start showing their true sides and with classmate Moriyama showing interest, Nana increasingly becomes the main attraction in a twisting tale of love, values, and of course, justice!

Who will like this book?: Aimed at the female audience, this is for anyone who likes an unusual love story with some spicy action and great lines.

If you like this, try this: Phantasy Degree, Ultra Maniac, Happy Hustle High.

Recommended by:ZZ, resident of Fairfield and avid reader.

Immortal Rain

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Title: Immortal Rain

Author: Kaori Ozaki

Summary: As a new assassin, Machika Balfatin has the ambitious goal of taking down the mysterious Methuselah, the only man ever to have escaped her grandfather’s grasp. However, when she finally meets the immortal, she finds herself in more trouble than she can handle. Once the word’s out that the Methuselah is on the move, every assassin, scientist, and greedy aristocrat want their hands on him. But when given the opportunity to take his head, Machika can’t bring herself to do it and takes on the duty of protecting him. She learns his name, Rain Jewlitt, and of his tragic past.

Who will like this book?: You don’t have to be an avid manga reader to like this story. With a good dose of action, violence, wit, and romance, it’s a great quick read, with a warning to those who can’t stand sad parts or intense violence. It is rated Older Teen (16+)

If you like this, try this: Negima!: Magister Negi Magi, Mar (Marchen Awakens Romance), DN Angel, Inuyasha, Ranma 1/2

Recommended by: ZZ, resident of Fairfield and avid reader