May's Commentary: I apologize for my absence these past several weeks but I have been reading some terrific manga series that are worth tracking down and reading. Here is my brief list:
Monster by Naoki Urasawa: Dr. Kenzō Tenma is a young Japanese doctor working in Düsseldorf during the 1980s when he ignores the order of his hospital director and saves the life of Johan Liebert, a young gunshot victim. About to be fired, Tenma's career is saved when all of his supervisors mysteriously die. Fast forward nine years and Tenma is still a successful surgeon until he encounters a criminal who is being controlled by Johan. Realizing the enormity of his error for the saving the life of an evil "monster", Tenma embarks on an one-made crusade to right this wrong and investigate Johan's past by uncovering dark secrets from East Germany's past. Suspenseful, dramatic and full of neat twists and turns, this manga series is bound to delight those who love reading mystery thrillers.
Oishinbo by Tetsu Kariya: A playful combination of the Japanese word for "delicious" and "one who loves to eat", this food and cooking series will appeal to anyone who loves watching the Food Network, and especially the original Iron Chef TV series. The series features culinary journalist Shirō Yamaoka and his partner Yūko Kurita who must come up with the "ultimate" menu. Complicating matters is Shirō's father who has been employed by a rival newspaper to come up with the "supreme" menu. Comprehensive knowledge about the production and processing of food as well as varying cooking techniques makes this series a must read for all foodies.