Prophecy Volume 3

My hopes for this series raised in volume 1 weren’t completely fulfilled. Instead of thoroughly exploring the nature of computer crimes and behavior online, Prophecy volume 3 follows up on the manhunt started in volume 2, focusing on more human motivations of loyalty. It’s certainly a more dramatic way for Tetsuya Tsutsui to wrap up the series in this book, and it makes for a tighter character arc, but I liked the themes of how growing computerization are affecting society […]

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Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma Volume 5

The food competition series continues with the results of the breakfast cook-off from volume 4. The students, after being up all night, have to successfully serve 200 plates of an egg dish to breakfast buffet customers. Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma volume 5 once again provides cooking education along with its challenges. To satisfy a customer, a chef has to take into account how a dish will be served in order to keep it attractive in appearance and consistent in […]

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My Neighbor Seki Volume 2

My Neighbor Seki volume 2 is just as cute and funny as the first volume by Takuma Morishige, and that consistency is a good thing. Yokoi is still distracted by the weirdly creative things Seki does with, on, and to his desk during class, but this installment expands their world a bit with the introduction of a new character and different settings. The first chapter features a “lucky laugher” game. I’m not familiar with this piece of Japanese culture, but […]

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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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My Neighbor Seki Volume 1

My Neighbor Seki volume 1 by Takuma Morishige is something truly unusual — a refreshing read that celebrates curiosity, creativity, and imagination. It’s the kind of series that would never be created over here, but not because of weird cultural reasons or fan service or any of the other manga stereotypes. I can’t see someone here putting out a successful series about subtle battles with authority, about doing your own thing on your own. In this country, it would be […]

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Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma Volume 4

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma volume 4 resolves the danger nice country girl Megumi faced in the third volume. Bad boy protagonist Soma has challenged the judge/instructor who threatened to expel her to a cook-off. For some reason, the former graduate judge is stubbornly refusing to reward creativity or initiative until overruled by his boss and forced to participate in the contest. That raises the stakes, since if Soma can’t rescue Megumi, he’ll also be out of the prestigious school. […]

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Meteor Prince Volume 2

Meteor Prince volume 2 concludes the short series by Meca Tanaka. The alien prince, Io, has in this volume developed an only-in-manga tic — whenever he touches his crush, Hako, he’s struck by lightning. That’s in keeping with the goofy humor of this story, but it’s also a convenient plot twist to keep things from getting too physical too quickly. Hako is in love for the first time, and an inability to touch means the story says romantic, not salacious. […]

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Meteor Prince Volume 1

As portrayed by Meca Tanaka, Meteor Prince is silly comedy, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Hako is the Queen of Bad Luck, known for having things fall on her. A naked guy falls out of the sky and says he’s an interstellar prince and she should be his queen. They’re made to mate with each other, soul mates according to his culture. She refuses, saying humans need to be in love first, so Io hangs around to learn what […]

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