I couldn’t get the formatting to work, so I divided this post and added another title!
Magic Teacher, by Rui Sekai and Kyou Kitazawa
The actual title (I Got Fired as a Court Wizard so Now I’m Moving to the Country to Become a Magic Teacher) is way too long, and pretty much sums up the plot so far. But I love the trope of the older, quietly powerful mage put in charge of a class of delinquent but brilliant students. This first volume introduces a cute middle-aged mage, his adorable (also middle-aged!) female student teacher, several disdainful and aristocratic faculty members, and an assortment of students with wonderfully ridiculous goals and talents.
Thunderbolt Fantasy, by Gen Urobuchi and Yui Sakura
This is a manga adaptation of one of the most unusual recent Japanese series; a saga set in China, written by Gen Urobuchi (of Madoka Magica and Fate/Zero fame), and “animated” by Pili, a Taiwanese puppet theater. For a puppet show, it is surprisingly intricate. And violent—my anime-watching group called it “Murder Puppets.”
So far, the new manga follows the first season of the serial closely, though the costumes are less spectacular. The plot has everything you might want in a fantasy—ancient sects guarding magical items, loyalty, betrayal, sword fights to the death, and an ancient evil awakening. It requires an enormous cast of heroes and sorcerers, both male and female. It also offers, not one, but two enigmatic and powerful young men who may or may not be on the side of righteousness. The one on the cover of Volume One is called (appropriately) “Enigmatic Gale,” but for now his name is Gui Niao.