They Were Eleven
by Moto Hagio
Published by Viz Media
Sometime in the distant future, hopeful students from all over the galaxy gather for the difficult entrance exams at the elite Galactic University. For the final test, they are divided into computer-generated groups of ten students each and sent off to various locations where they must survive as a group for fifty-three days without pushing the provided emergency button, which immediately summons a rescue team, resulting in automatic failure of the entire group. One group is deposited on a derelict ship, devoid of engine power and filled with dangerous explosives, which they must safely maintain in orbit for the length of the test. As the group arrives on the ship, however, it becomes apparent that there are eleven students rather than the assigned ten, indicating that one of them must be an impostor. Potential disasters pile up quickly, including an unstable orbit and the presence of a deadly disease, and in the midst of it all the group begins to suspect Tada, a young Terran (Earth descendent) with intuitive powers and uncanny knowledge of the ship’s layout, of being the eleventh member.
Tokyo Babylon (Complete Series)
Published by TOKYOPOP
Originally created in 1991 by all-female mangaka group CLAMP, Tokyo Babylon tells the story of Subaru, the thirteenth head of the Sumeragi clan, a family of onmyoji (spiritual mediums and sorcerers) who have protected Japan for hundreds of years. Just sixteen years old as the series begins, quiet and unassuming, he is already an experienced and powerful onmyoji. He shares an apartment in Tokyo with his worldly, outgoing twin sister, Hokuto, who dresses him up like a doll in her hand-picked fashions. The two have become friendly with a local veterinarian, Seishiro Sakurazuka, whose surname suggests he is related to an infamous clan of magical assassins. Despite this sinister connection, Seishiro is mild-mannered, kind, cheerfully protective of the twins and repeatedly claims to be in love with Subaru, which draws enthusiastic support from Hokuto but embarrasses Subaru terribly.
Today we debut a new recurring feature from another great manga critic, to join Danielle Leigh’s Manga Before Flowers and Michelle Smith’s Blue Moon Reviews. To crib from her Manga Recon bio, Melinda Beasi makes her home at There It Is, Plain As Daylight, where she blogs about anime, manga, books, pets, and whatever else suits her mood. Melinda is a self-professed “stumbling writer, dog-lover, fiction addict, and mac geek” with a strong background in theater and music and a passion for Banana Fish.