Love Stage!! Volume 1

It takes something special for me to enjoy a yaoi title, since I’m not a natural fan of the boy/boy sex genre. In the case of Love Stage!!, that extra element is humor in a celebrity context. The title’s story is by Eiki Eiki, it’s drawn by Taishi Zaou, and it’s published by SuBLime Manga. The premise is goofy but fun. Izumi’s parents are famous. They were filming a commercial involving a wedding 10 years ago, and Izumi, a boy, […]

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Love at Fourteen Volumes 1-2

Love at Fourteen is a poetic, quiet series about first love by Fuka Mizutani. Kanata (she) and Kazuki (he) are mature for their 14 years, taller than the others but set apart by the other kids looking up to them. They feel constrained by others’ expectations, and they don’t feel as old as others treat them. So they bond together, in similar circumstances, and begin falling in love. It’s the moments that make this manga so involving. Whether or not […]

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So, I Can’t Play H Volume 1

So, I Can’t Play H is a manga that feels familiar from the start. It began as a series of light novels (11 in all) written by Pan Tachibana and illustrated by Yoshiaki Katsurai that then were adapted into five manga volumes, drawn by Sho Okagiri, before becoming an anime series. This volume opens with a bunch of confusing mythology about a realm of Grim Reapers and their training and contracts and rules, but it’s really about a regular guy, […]

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Ani-Imo Volume 1

Ani-Imo by Haruko Kurumatani has one of those “only in manga” premises. Be sure to keep it away from parents or busybodies, because it plays with implications of incest as comedy. Youta is a caring boy. He fixes breakfast for his family, and he particularly takes care of his twin sister Hikaru (so much so that rumors swirl around their high school regarding his “sister complex” and how freaky the twins are). She’s quiet and reserved, but he finds her […]

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Emma Volume 1

I’m very glad Yen Press brought back Kaoru Mori’s maid manga Emma. The period piece combines a cross-class romance (gentleman and maid) with beautifully illustrated details of daily life, set during a time, 19th century England, that appeals to many readers, given the elaborate dinner parties and social rituals. When the series was originally released by CMX, I covered most of the volumes, so I won’t talk in detail about the plot, but I did want to note how lovely […]

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The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Volume 14

I’m so glad to get another volume of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service! (The previous book, volume 13, last appeared at the end of 2012.) Although it’s horror, it’s one of my favorite manga series, with each volume featuring creative deaths and victim quests that say something about the modern human condition. And The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Volume 14 was well worth the wait, with two unique takes on the corpse-assisting team. The first story incorporates a hypocritical, corrupt […]

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So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 1

So Cute It Hurts!! is one of those “only in manga” setups. Megumu (girl) and Mitsuru (boy) are twins. Neither has yet found true love, because she plays history games and he’s a player. He’s sporty and adored while she’s a bit of a fan-geek. He’s flunking history, so he badgers his sister into pretending to be him for the makeup test while he dresses as her. His ego isn’t affected by this at all, which is where the title […]

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Secret Volume 1

In a departure from previous series Doubt and Judge by Yoshiki Tonogai, this book doesn’t have students locked in a booby-trapped warehouse and told to kill each other one by one. Instead, they’re in their classrooms, which makes the whole thing creepier, by keeping them in the setting of daily life. A small group of students have been in counseling because they were the only survivors of a bus crash that killed many of their classmates. On the last day […]

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