Jennifer M. Contino

Patricide. Matricide. Suicide. That’s a mere taste of the felonious behavior assaulting you throughout this manga about Anna, a coldhearted assassin. In this installment, Anna manipulates two teen boys into helping her eliminate terrorists — you know, to make the world a safer place. Among the targets: her own dad.

For Fans of…Kill Bill and Alias.

Does It Deliver? We’ll say! This unsettling story is a frantic page-turner that’s heavy on the conspiracy.

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Emil was raised as a boy, partly because this is medieval Europe (and you could get away with that sort of thing back then) and partly to protect her after the murder of her family. Now, guided by the voice of the late Joan of Arc, Emil goes off to fight in the Hundred Years War. It’s an age-old question – if God started talking to you, would you answer the call? – and Joan Book I (two more installments follow) tackles it with a mature, deft sensitivity that’s amplified by writer-artist Yoshikazu Yasuhiko’s soft, delicate painted artwork.

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What's manga? Find out in our guide

What’s manga? Find out in our guide

A few years ago asking for manga would get you either a blank stare or a tropical fruit. Manga, a term that originally referred to comic books created in Japan, was like the underground comix of the late ’60s and ’70s: Only a cultish few were hip to the Far Eastern jive. Now, with manga series taking up whole walls in mainstream bookstores, regularly dominating the comic sales charts, and bringing in over $100 million last year alone, people are starting to sit up and take notice.

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