Servant x Service Volume 1

Servant x Service is a 4-koma manga, a collection of four-panel comic strips. Possibly the best-known of this type in the US is Azumanga Daioh, featuring a group of girls in a school setting. Many of the genre we see published here are based around a similar premise. Servant x Service differs in that it’s a workplace comedy. The series by Karino Takatsu focuses on three new public service workers: Yamagami, whose parents gave her a ridiculous number of names […]

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Emma Volume 4

With this fourth omnibus volume of Emma by Kaoru Mori, reprinting the original serialized volume 7 and volume 8, the main storyline concludes after 52 chapters. The leads, by this point, have nearly changed places. William, after being confronted by those who think he’s wronged his ex-fiancee, Eleanor, is determined to find his true love, Emma. Instead of doing what he’s supposed to, he takes action by scooping up Hakim and setting out on a search. Emma, meanwhile, who normally […]

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My Neighbor Seki Volume 7

I thought, by this point in the series, I wouldn’t have much to say about My Neighbor Seki volume 7, but then I remembered the earlier books. Back then, Rumi watched Seki’s creative transformations of his desk. She was an observer and interpreter for the reader, putting his actions into context. Now, it’s quite a contrast, as Rumi and Seki often wind up interacting. I mentioned this when commenting on the two books before this one, but this volume takes […]

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So Cute It Hurts!! Volumes 5-6

I rarely remember what’s been going on with twins Megumu and Mitsuru between volumes of So Cute It Hurts!!, but it doesn’t matter, since author Go Ikeyamada does a great job of catching us up as the various characters talk about who’s been doing what and the various relationship permutations. As volume 5 opens, Megumu has returned from her first date with tough-guy Aoi. It’s adorable young love, and predictably proceeding slowly and comfortably (complicated by Aoi’s only-in-manga condition of […]

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Love Stage!! Volume 5

This boys’ love manga series about two young actors has now been running long enough that it’s time to flip the premise. Previously, the more experienced Ryoma was pursuing Izumi. However, events in Love Stage!! volume 5 amusingly make the opposite necessary. In volume 4, Ryoma was concerned by how pushy, abusive producer Kisaragi was getting his claws into Izumi. He’s so worried about his new boyfriend that it affects his performance. So Kisaragi “hypnotizes” Ryoma to allow him to […]

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Honey So Sweet Volumes 1-2

As its title suggests, Honey So Sweet is a lightweight confection, an adorable bundle of teen romance between mismatched types that stands out because of the speed of its plot developments. Amu Meguro presents the story of Kogure, a shy girl just starting high school. She’s stunned when a delinquent, Onise, suddenly requests a conversation with her, gives her a bouquet, and asks that they date. She says yes out of fear, but as their story develops, we learn a […]

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Real Account Volume 1

I don’t know why I have a fondness for “we’re trapped in a video game and have to kill each other!” manga, but they can be surprisingly fun as escapism. Except, usually, I don’t really identify with hardcore video game players, and they tend to overdo the fan service. (I figure that the genre exists so that readers can dream of a world where being really good at video games counts for something.) Real Account, at least based on the […]

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Idol Dreams Volume 2

Arina Tanemura’s magical girl story for adults thankfully is as enjoyable in the second volume as it was in the first. By playing with both versions of Chikage, the adult and the teen (both now, as she transforms, and then, in her memories), Tanemura expands the kinds of stories she’s able to tell, keeping the material fresh. For instance, this book starts with Chikage’s friend Tokita remembering how horrible his school days were. (Tokita is the one who provides the […]

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