Love Stage!! Volume 6

The cliffhanger set up in the previous volume, with Ryoma and Izumi trapped in the wilderness, isn’t played out as significantly as I hoped in Love Stage!! volume 6. However, the second half recalls a key part of Izumi’s personality that I’d almost forgotten about, one that puts the boys into a charming situation. First, though, the boys are missing, and everyone’s worried. The couple gets a sex scene, but emotionally, we spend more time with the older Shogo (Izumi’s […]

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Ooku: The Inner Chambers Volume 12

Another year, another volume. (It’s like an early Christmas present!) But as Fumi Yoshinaga’s alternate history gets closer to the modern era, and the opening of Japan to the rest of the world, events move faster and more dramatically. Even with the delay between volumes — beautifully detailed historical interactions take time to draw — I had no problem catching up in volume 12. The thorough cast of characters pages help, but so does the universality of the main story. […]

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Master Keaton Volume 8

Master Keaton volume 8 has the usual mix of chapters typical to the series — some period Cold War adventures where Keaton has to stop an assassination; some heartstring-tugging family mysteries, where Keaton has to reunite relatives who have misunderstood each other; some life-or-death struggles, where Keaton’s military training is all that keeps the stubborn alive. But the chapter that stood out to me most in this collection was the one where we find out how he became an insurance […]

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My Love Story!! Volume 7

It can be difficult to keep a love story going once it gets more than a handful of volumes under its belt, particularly if you (correctly, in this case) don’t want to break up the main couple. Kazune Kawahara (writer) and Aruko (artist) in this volume of My Love Story!! are exploring another possibility, which provides a valuable contrast to the happiness of Takeo and Yamato. Takeo’s best friend Sunakawa is good-looking, so he gets plenty of attention from girls. […]

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Anne Happy: Unhappy Go Lucky! Volume 3

When I read the first volume of this series, I thought it was cute and silly. It’s still aiming for that, but now, the fan service is overwhelming the entertainment value for me. For instance, the non-student nature of the supposedly responsible adults is indicated by giving them boobs as big as their heads. That may be to distinguish them from Botan, one of the core trio of girls, who in spite of her medical worries, lack of exercise, and […]

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Everyone’s Getting Married Volume 2

Everyone’s Getting Married is my favorite current manga romance, because it’s entertaining for me to see love among adults instead of schoolmates. It’s a cliche’ for the woman to want to get married before the man does, but I still like seeing Asuka and Nanami fall in love in spite of their different opinions on their eventual future. In Volume 2, Asuka admits her feelings for him, telling a friend she’s “going to try to persuade him to see things […]

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Idol Dreams Volume 3

In Idol Dreams volume 3, author Arina Tanemura spends more time with the adult Chikage, providing a nice balance to the previous volume. Chikage finally has the phone number of the guy she’s had a crush on since high school — thanks in part to her younger self. She even gets a date with him, but she’s so nervous she drags along Tokita, the guy who’s made her whole transformation possible. That’s him on the cover. Tokita, like the reader, […]

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Ten Count Volume 2

While Ten Count volume 1 established the characters and premise — OCD, germ-phobic guy meets a therapist who wants to help him — volume 2 remembers that it’s a yaoi manga and concludes with an explicit sex scene. Shirotani has quit coming to work, and his co-workers are concerned. Kurose, the counselor, told Shirotani that their work together is over, which sent Shirotani into a downward spiral. This volume opens with a dramatic re-meeting and some key revelations about how […]

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