Alphabetical Index of Kodansha Manga Reviews

L♥DK Volumes 2-3

I summed up L♥DK volume 1 as featuring sitcom-style contrivances to imply smutty situations, only without being funny. Volume 2 continues in that mode, throwing in every possible engineered situation to imply or force interaction between its girl and boy leads. For example, it opens with Aoi jealous of the woman embracing Shusei, only to find out it’s his sister. She wants her brother to move in with her, but seeing how he doesn’t want to, Aoi suddenly decides to […]

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Kiss Him, Not Me! Volume 3

The new character briefly introduced at the end of volume 2 becomes a new friend in Kiss Him, Not Me! volume 3, and her presence is a welcome addition for shaking up the relationships with a bit more conflict. Although Kae first met Shima at a comic convention where Shima was cosplaying, it turns out that they go to the same school. (Yay for manga coincidences! Which is actually called out in the book, amusingly.) Shima is amazing. Everyone wants […]

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Say I Love You Volume 9

It’s been a while since I’ve caught up with the mismatched couple, school prince Yamato and shy Mei, at the center of Say I Love You. I liked the emotions she expressed as she began to understand the value of friendship and feeling loved, but I wondered how the series could continue for this long (14 volumes in Japan, 11 so far here) with just them at the center. That’s a hint, since the series doesn’t stay focused on just […]

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Kiss Him, Not Me! Volume 2

I enjoyed Kiss Him, Not Me! volume 2 more than the first book, since the harem of guys are developing distinct, recognizable personalities. Fangirl Kae has four admirers, and here, they go on a series of dates in expected manga situations. First, there’s the school festival, and due to the cosplay theme, Kae gets to make outfits for several of the guys (including one who’s playing princess). They get upset at spending all their time with her in a group, […]

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L♥DK Volume 1

Sometimes there’s a place for a completely unchallenging formula story. They can be relaxing or comforting, as events play out as expected. That’s the best way I can describe this shojo manga. L♥DK gives us a hard-working girl who gets involved with the good-looking “school prince” due to their living situation. Aoi lives on her own, so instead of school activities, she spends her time out of class hunting for grocery bargains and cooking. Her new neighbor turns out to […]

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Kiss Him, Not Me! Volume 1

It’s such a pleasure to try a manga series you know nothing about and have it turn out to be hilarious! Kiss Him, Not Me! is silly but amusing, making fun of both shojo cliches and fandom. The author Junko knows the subject well, since her other works are boys’ love titles, and she talks in an end note about being an otaku. Serinuma is a chubby yaoi fangirl who spends her time at school shipping her male classmates. She’s […]

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Genshiken: Second Season Volume 6

Genshiken: Second Season has focused a lot on Hato, and volume 6 is no exception. It’s not surprising, since he’s an only-in-comics character that captures a lot about fandom, the focus of this manga. I do worry, though, that part of the reason I can’t keep the other members of the club straight sometimes is because we’ve spent so much time with him. Hato’s a cross-dresser, a fanboy who took his love of yaoi (termed BL here, which is more […]

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Manga Dogs Volume 3

And so the series ends, with more of the same. For me, Manga Dogs volume 3 demonstrates that the gag — of a school-age manga author bedeviled by three pretty boys who want to make manga but are woefully misinformed about what it takes — has run its course. As expected, the cliffhanger threat from volume 2, that Kanna’s series will get canceled under the new magazine editor, is addressed, but briefly — it was all a misunderstanding. Many of […]

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