World War III is over, and nomad soldier Duenan Knute and her cyborg partner Briareos struggle to survive in the abandoned cities and demilitarized zones of the post-war wasteland, the “Badside.” Matters appear on the upswing, however, when they are found and brought to Olympus, an urban utopia and centerpiece for the reconstruction of civilization. Duenan and Bri join the Olympus police, a force that seems hardly necessary in such a paradise. But, like in most pretty pictures, perfection is an illusion, and Olympus’s peaceful facade hides a dark secret, a violent struggle between human and cyborg that could once again plunge the world into war . . . and genocide.

* Shirow is well known and critically acclaimed internationally, and is responsible for numerous classic anime/manga titles, such as AppleseedDominionGhost in the ShellOrion, and Black Magic.

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Only the most powerful warriors are able to transcend their human bodies and become something even greater—samurai. Samurai carry special souls within themselves and can travel through space as easily as walking the earth. Hachimaru has always dreamed of becoming a samurai, but he’s as weak as they come. He’s so sickly that he can’t even eat solid foods. Being too weak to leave the house may have turned Hachimaru into an expert at video games, but with enough heart, could he become a true samurai?

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Levius, now a Grade I fighter, must battle the undefeated Emperor on the greatest stage, the Southern Slam. During the preliminaries, A.J. discovers that her younger brother, Balthus, is competing and fighting his way up. His abnormal strength is mysterious and disturbing. What has he done to himself for the sake of competing in Mechanical Martial Arts?!