Yotsuba&!, vol. 2
by Kiyohiko Azuma
ADV Manga, $9.99
The second volume of Yotsuba&! continues with short stories about odd little girl with green hair and her circle of fmily, neighbors and friends. It's nearly as charming, insightful and funny as the first volume--and just nearly only because it's not quite as fresh. Azuma brings the whole package to the table, not only telling fun stories, with with a level of craft that is nearly perfect as well--for example, he knows just when to put in detailed, well-rendered backgrounds, and when to get them out of the way. This is about as much precious fun that you can have in a comic without a monkey.
Rating: 4 (of 5)
Telepathic Wanderers, vol. 1
by Yasutaka Tsutsui & Sayaka Yamazaki
This initial volume introduces us to Nanase, a beautiful young woman who is blessed--or is it cursed?--with the ability to read people's minds. She thinks that she is all alone in her abilities, until on a fateful tarin ride she meets a young boy named Norio, who is also a telepath but seemingly more powerful; and Tsuneo, a Psychic who can see events in the future. Tsuneo has a dire prediction: the train will crash, and only the three of them will survive! The 16+ age recommendation in well-earned here; as an attractive young woman, Nanase can read the minds of all of the males she encounters, and Tsutsui plays it up for full salaciousness. Yamazaki's art is very strong and realistic; his characters are instantly recognizable and he has strong storytelling skills. The back cover blurb proclaims Tsutsui to be "Japan's Isaac Asimov"--I wouldn't go that far based on what's here, but he does set up a strong premise and tell an interesting story.
Rating: 3 (of 5)