Tempest’s Spoils of War… uh… Borders, actually

Posted on Sep 18 2011

With the recent demise of Borders stores across the nation (world?), the opportunity arose for cheap manga. And where there is cheap manga, there is Tempest nearby. I can smell a manga sale from 34.8 miles away.

Despite the sad circumstances, I celebrated by spending way over my budget. And I will spread the wealth by sharing what I bought with you all. In other words, expect reviews in the future.

I’ve listed my purchases in alphabetical order to make it easier to keep track at home (like you would).

Chronicles of the Grim Peddler

First up is a Chronicles of the Grim Peddler by Lee Jeong-A, a Korean manwha and standalone piece that caught my eye a few years back. It’s a re-telling of some favorite Grimm fairy tales with an even more grim twist. The artwork is beautiful, even if the stories are the same old stuff Disney showed you when you were small.

The three familiar stories are Sleeping Beauty, Hansel & Gretel and The Little Mermaid, with a last story called The Endless Fairytale. The character of the peddler who introduces these tales promises to be interesting and mysterious, so I look forward to reading it.

Clover complete omnibus

Then I got CLAMP’s classic Clover and – I know, I know, I swore off CLAMP, but you guys this is the OMNIBUS. And it weighs a BRICK. And I got it for a DOLLAR. So, I can forgive CLAMP long enough to spend a dollar on a classic.

Clover takes place in a world that is sort-of Steampunk, but not really. The main characters are Kazuhiko, a former black-ops agent, and Sue, a girl in a cage. I….’m not kidding. I don’t know anything more about the series except A DOLLAR OH MY GOD and that my friend swears it’s her favorite series, so I trust her.

Kashimashi volume 1 omnibus

I finally broke down and bought Kashimashi ~Girl Meets Girl~, the volume 1 omnibus. The reason why this is a big deal for me is because I have been questing to find a yuri series I can actually tolerate. I’ve tried several – and suggestions are appreciated. But one suggestion kept popping up: Kashimashi. My big problem with this series is that it’s not actually a yuri.

The story goes as follows: Hazumu is a boy (see the problem yet?) who confesses to the girl of his dreams, who turns him down. Then Hazumu goes for a hike and gets hit by a flying saucer that destroys his body. The aliens feel bad and rebuild him, but… as a… girl. Why? No reason. Now that he’s a girl, the girl he likes is suddenly interested. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, because I’ve seen some cracky anime before, but 1) that’s just plain stupid and 2) THAT’S NOT YURI. Baaaahhhhh. Anyway, look forward to a video review on that as soon as I choke down the remaining 17 chapters.

Kyo Kara Maoh!

So you know how I wrote an article on going to Borders and NOT buying yaoi? Well, I cheated a little and bought volumes 2-8 of Kyo Kara Maoh! If you haven’t read the series, I recommend it for a good laugh. Volume 1 was surprisingly engrossing and I couldn’t wait to borrow more from my friend. Now I don’t have to.

Kyo Kara Maoh! is another Alice-in-Wonderland-style piece where a person falls down the rabbit hole (gets sucked down a toilet) and winds up in another world. Yuri, the protagonist, is quite suddenly declared demon king of this world that reminds him of super-European Disneyworld and through a series of mishaps he accidentally winds up engaged to his rival, Wolfram. It’s a rather light-hearted series, though it deals with serious topics like war, bigotry and ridiculous amounts of fangirling from the mostly-male cast.


I bought what I believe to be the entire series of Rasetsu on the basis that it reminded me of a straight-version of Tokyo Babylon. Girl who works as an onmyouji dealing with demons and ghosts? Oh, hey, strong female lead-character? I’m sold.

However, it proudly shines its Shojo Beat badge by making the character totally boy-crazy! OMG, it wouldn’t be a girls’ manga without some contrived romance, so, like, awesome. To be fair, the series explains from the start that Rasetsu is being stalked by an evil demon who will claim her soul on her 20th birthday if she doesn’t find true love by then. Her 18-year-old brain seems to think this means she needs to find a boyfriend ASAP. So we’ll see how that goes… for 8 volumes.

Spice & Wolf volumes 2 and 3

Finally, the last casualty in my binge on Borders is volumes 2 and 3 of Spice & Wolf in all their naughty, shrink-wrapped excellence. It’s easy to tell exactly what this title is selling just by looking at the front page: the furry girl is all stretched out, posing sexily on a bed. Thankfully, I’ve already read the first volume so I know it’s about so much more than that.

Lawence is a shrewd businessman in a European-esque setting that still manages to make itself completely Japanese (it MUST take place in Kyo Kara Maoh!’s universe). Holo, the wolf-spirit of the harvest has gotten tired of how humans care nothing for tradition now and has run away with Lawrence. The most interesting thing about the series is that these two are characters you never find in anime: Holo is perhaps the proudest creature in the world and Lawrence couldn’t care less about interpersonal relationships that don’t benefit him in some business way. Together they work on fooling other humans and surviving as merchants and… maybe find romance? I don’t actually know.

Look forward to reviews of these titles in the near future in no particular order. For now, I’m going to throw all the books into one neat pile and throw myself onto them.

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  • K1NG_IC3 September 19, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    Good to see I wasn’t the only one who had the idea. For mangas that cheap, might as well buy stuff you wouldn’t normally pick up! I did the same and got 5: http://alt4geek.blogspot.com/2011/09/20-5-new-mangas-thanx-borders.html

    I passed on buying yaoi…I am kind of disappoint in myself.

  • Zero Gravity September 26, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    I have read NONE of those until I read to Wold and Spice. I find it to be much more filling then the anime.
    I never buy Manga that isn’t on sale, so I can only image what your budget was, and how much over it you went.
    It is indeed sad that Boarders closed.

    Nonetheless, good haul!

    • Tempest Wind October 2, 2011 at 11:16 AM

      Ehehehehhh…. if I include the non-manga books and a blanket I bought, my total came to around $140…. give or take a bit. ^^;; Way more than I ever usually spend on anything ever.

  • Kayarath September 27, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    I also went to Boarders to take advantage of said close out and was planning on writing an article about it until you beat me out on it! Oh well, what I got was different from your stuff though…

    • Tempest Wind October 2, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      Oh, don’t let me stop you, Kay — I’d love to know what spoils you got from your war!

    • Asterose October 3, 2011 at 11:20 AM

      Yes, by all means post your hauls and reviews too! There’s nothing wrong with two different looks at even the same series, so by all means review those as well as different works. It’s been ages since I picked up manga…I’m disappointed now that I didn’t stop in at Borders even though I’m pretty much broke. $1 manga? Being able to try out some interesting new series? Oh man oh man oh man, WHY did I not go out?!

      The Grimm series is extra intriguing since I quite enjoy fairy tales and fun costumes. Clover is indeed a classic and KKM! wasbig for a reason-I may well ask to borrow some of these from you, Tempest dear. Manga raid!

      Sad face about lack of enjoyable yuri though ;-;

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