Alphabetical Index of Other Manga Reviews

My Brother’s Husband Volume 1

Gay characters have been portrayed in manga in a variety of ways. The best-known approach takes place in the yaoi genre, which concentrates on physical interactions and is aimed at women. My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame is the opposite, focused on normalizing a gay relationship to those who are uncomfortable with the idea. Yaichi is raising his daughter Kana alone. In this way, the book starts as a domestic fantasy, like Yotsuba&! or Bunny Drop, with a cute kid […]

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Rock and Roll Love

The artist who calls herself Misako Rocks has reissued her quasi-autobiographical Rock and Roll Love (previously released by Hyperion in 2007). It’s about her trip to the US as an exchange student, where she meets a guy in a band. Because she’s basing the story on her own life, the telling is unstructured and wandering. She decided to learn English and go to America because she had a crush on a pretty-boy rock star she saw on TV. It’s hard […]

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Nijigahara Holograph

Continuing Fantagraphics’ program of bringing notable manga to English in deluxe presentations — titles so far include important historical shojo The Heart of Thomas and Moto Hagio’s Drunken Dream as well as the cross-gender series Wandering Son — their newest release is Nijigahara Holograph. Author Inio Asano isn’t new to U.S. readers; his previous works Solanin and What a Wonderful World! were released by Viz four years ago. Nijigahara Holograph has the same strong focus on character, but with much […]

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The Strange Tale of Panorama Island

I’m not sure where to start in describing this historical erotic fantasy manga. The Strange Tale of Panorama Island is for adults, certainly, with a bunch of (mostly female) nudes. It’s been anticipated since its announcement in 2009. That article gives some important basics that take on new context after reading. It’s true, the book is reminiscent of The Great Gatsby… if Gatsby were a Lovecraft character, willing to work out all the details of faking a death in order […]

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The Heart of Thomas

Continuing their pattern of bringing out significant manga in substantial hardcovers, next month Fantagraphics will release The Heart of Thomas, an important work in the history of shojo. It’s by Moto Hagio, whose A Drunken Dream and Other Stories was published by them two years ago. The Heart of Thomas is one of the first “boys’ love” manga (shonen-ai, which doesn’t have the sexual content of yaoi), originally published in 1974. Thomas is a boy at a German boarding school […]

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Young Miss Holmes Casebook 3-4

Seven Seas’ decision to release this series by Kaoru Shintani in double-sized omnibus form seems even smarter now, since the first half of this book is taken up by one long story, that of “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. It’s one of the classic Holmes stories, but frankly, all I remember of it is that it includes a giant dog. That’s on display here, so I’m satisfied. It’s a fun reread, and the manga design suits the character types well, […]

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Young Miss Holmes Casebook 1-2

It could have gone horribly wrong, but by inserting a cute little prodigy into classic Sherlock Holmes cases, I found the mysteries taking on fresh enjoyment for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I ordered Young Miss Holmes blind. I was hoping for a mystery manga series, since there aren’t as many of those as I’d like to read, but any time a series is promoted based on its young female lead, there is the potential for all […]

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Mangaman

This dynamite concept didn’t quite come together for me, although I’ve been anticipating Mangaman since it was first announced. The idea — a manga-styled character transfers universes to the “real” world, where what he considers normal is perceived as freaky — is terrific and playful, but the execution tries to combine too many elements, and the result winds up short-changing some of the themes. Artist Colleen Doran is certainly well aware of and capable of drawing in the stereotypical manga […]

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