Kiss Him, Not Me! Volumes 6-8

Now that we’re firmly into the run of Kiss Him, Not Me!, the series about a yaoi fangirl with four potential boyfriends and a potential girlfriend, it’s settled down into typical harem antics, only with a fannish twist. Volume 6 continues from the previous book, with Mutsumi planning to confess his feelings to Kae. His determination spurs everyone else to realize they should do the same. As he tells them, “You’re all free to do whatever you want.” That is, […]

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Kiss Him, Not Me! Volume 5

As if having four guys and a girl after Kae wasn’t enough, in Kiss Him, Not Me! volume 5, we meet the older brother of strong-and-silent Mutsumi. He’s a student teacher in the kids’ school, and he decides he’s interested in Kae as well, although there’s a strong implication that it may be just to annoy his brother, or that he enjoys manipulation. First, though, the gang goes on a treasure hunt based on a map found in the history […]

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Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun Volumes 1-2

It’s a tad self-referential, but Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun by Izumi Tsubaki is surprisingly playful and funny. Chiyo confessed to a classmate that she had feelings from him, but since he’s a manga artist, he gave her back an autograph, thinking she was a fan. He’s behind on deadlines (when is a manga artist not in comics?) so he takes her to his home to help ink backgrounds. It turns out he (under a pseudonym, of course) draws flowery shoujo stories […]

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Sweetness & Lightning Volumes 1-2

Sweetness & Lightning combines two favorite types of manga series: the uncertain single father raising a child (as in Bunny Drop or Yotsuba&!) and learning more about food and cooking, complete with recipes (as in What Did You Eat Yesterday? or Food Wars!). Inuzaka is taking care of his little girl, Tsumugi, after his wife died. He doesn’t know how to cook, so he feeds her pre-made boxed meals, but he worries about nutrition and whether he’s doing the right […]

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A Bride’s Story Volume 8

When A Bride’s Story began, it was the story of Amir, a woman in an unusual marriage (because her age was considered advanced for wedding in her culture). Now, volume 8 focuses on another difficult bride, Amir’s friend Pariya (first seen in the second book). I’ve always liked Pariya, because her struggle is based on not fitting in. She’s too direct and plain-spoken for her culture, with interests outside the typical domestic sphere. Which makes her a problem for her […]

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Yotsuba&! Volume 13

Although Yotsuba&! volume 13 came out this past spring, this time of year feels better suited to the series for me, since it’s as warming and comfortable as a cup of cocoa. And waiting an extra six months or so is nothing, since it’s been three years since the previous volume. Any new Yotsuba&! is a gift. Her wide-eyed, accepting attitude to the world and the new experiences she has, as portrayed by author Kiyohiko Azuma, is a tonic. In […]

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Behind the Scenes!! Volumes 1-2

Bisco Hatori (best known for Ouran High School Host Club) brings out a rollicking story of a shy young man finding room for his talents when he meets the right group of college friends in Behind the Scenes!!. The twist in this series is the media connection — the Art Squad handles props, costumes, and special effects for all the campus groups who want to make movies. Ranmaru is your typical manga protagonist. He’s an unassuming but high-strung country boy, […]

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Everyone’s Getting Married Volume 3

Everyone’s Getting Married is such an engrossing soap opera! The concept is basic — two people like each other, they enjoy being together, but they think they want different things in life and have different ideas of commitment — which makes it instantly involving and sympathetic. What older reader hasn’t been in a similar situation at some point? In volume 3, in a gender twist, Asuka’s career takes off while Ryu has a romantic conflict from his past pop up. […]

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