PICK OF THE LITTER • Yuriko Suda • TOKYOPOP • 13+
Teenage Riku was raised as an orphan, and has no memories of his previous life…until one day he meets his long-lost brothers and finds out that he is from Yamato, an alternate dimension which looks like a fantasy version of ancient Japan! Dragged back to Yamato, he is asked to help his animal-eared relatives run the family store, which sells giant caterpillars, living soap bubbles, maneki neko statues, and all kinds of other magical madness. Can he balance his ordinary school life with a secret part-time job in another dimension? Although lacking much overall plot or tension, Pick of the Litter manages to maintain a breezy balance of fantasy and comedy. Riku is an almost too-perfect hero and his friendly, overprotective brothers are almost too numerous to keep track of, but there are some funny moments, as when the Yamatans leave their interdimensional teleportation door on the school roof and come back to find it covered in graffiti. The anime-style art, though slick, would look better if it were in color; the cover looks nice, but the interiors are crowded and overly screentoned. (Review by Jason Thompson – originally printed in Otaku USA magazine.)
I’m out of the country until April 18, so all the winners of “365 Days of Manga” between then and now will be announced after I get back. Please keep entering the contest, there will still be a winner a day, I’ll just be announcing them all at once!