art by Hiromu Arakawa
Silver Spoon vol. 1
Story & Art: Hiromu Arakawa
Translation: Amanda Haley
Lettering: Abigail Blackman
Originally Serialised in Weekly Shonen Sunday
Published by Yen Press, 2018
Copy purchased at Amazon UK
Me and the farmer get on fine
Through stormy weather and bottles of wine
If I pull my weight, he’ll treat me well
But if I’m late, he’ll give me hell
-‘Me and the Farmer‘, by The Housemartins, 1987
What is it?: Silver Spoon is a Weekly Shonen Sunday series sporadically published since 2011, about Yuugo Hachiken, a directionless city kid, moving to an agricultural high school expecting an easy time where he’ll be able to prepare for entrance exams to a ‘proper’ college. Little does he know how badly he’s underestimated the hard-working world of agriculture, facing grueling physical activity and difficult studies in areas completely unknown to him! Along the way he reassesses his views on life, finds new friends, and maybe even a new future outside of traditional academia.
Silver Spoon is also one of the more recent works of Hiromu Arakawa, celebrated creator of Fullmetal Alchemist, Hero Tales, and the current manga adaptation of The Heroic Legend of Arslan, with a successful anime under its belt from A-1 pictures, and a live-action film. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also the quickest title to ever sell a million copies for Shonen Sunday’s parent company, Shogakukan. A big deal, then.
art by Aka Akasaka, cover design by Izumi Evers
Kaguya-sama: Love is War vol.1
Story & Art: Aka Akasaka
Translation: Emi Louie-Nishikawa
English Adaptation & Editor: Annette Roman
Touch-up art & Lettering: Stephen Dutro
Cover & Interior Design: Izumi Evers
Published by Viz Media, 2018
Copy purchased at ComiXology UK
I taught myself the only way to vaguely get along in love
Is to like the other slightly less than you get in return
–‘We are beautiful, we are doomed’, by Los Campesinos!, 2008
What is it?: Kaguya-sama: Love is War is an ongoing comic from Shueisha’s Weekly Young Jump magazine (and their currently defunct sister publication Miracle Jump), based around one key concept; that love is a battle of dominance, and that to be the one in power require the person not giving an inch, even to the point of not being the one to confess their feelings first!
And so we’re presented with two members of the student council at the prestigious Shuchiin Academy; Kaguya Shinomiya, the well-bred and royal-rich sheltered queen of the council, and Miyuki Shirogane, the handsome wunderkind and president of the student council. Both are hilariously vain, self-involved, emotionally stunted, and very, VERY in love with each other. But what’s a pair to do when they each refuse to be the one to admit it? Why, warfare, of course! Endless battles of the mind to give one up over the other and get their heart’s desire; a confession from the other.