Category Archives: Manga Reviews



Monster: The Perfect Edition Volumes 1 and 2

Monster originally ran from 1994-2001 in Japan, and Viz serialized it in English from 2006-2008. Those volumes, out of print, have been in demand for two reasons. First, author Naoki Urasawa is now better known in the US, winning a couple of Eisner Awards for 20th Century Boys and gathering a great deal of critical praise for Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka. Plus, Monster may become an HBO TV series. So Viz has done the smart thing. They’re reprinting Monster in […]

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Prophecy Volume 1

Sometimes reviews work! I hadn’t taken notice of Prophecy until I saw Ash Brown’s review, which made it clear I would find the topic fascinating. The figure on the cover of Prophecy is “Paperboy”, a vigilante who covers his head in newspaper when he goes online to promise revenge through underground video postings from internet cafes. All his victims were previously brought to public attention online, whether a company that caused a number of food poisoning cases or a guy […]

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Barakamon Volume 1

I had the wrong impression of Barakamon. I’d heard it compared once too often to Yotsuba&!, which I adore, but I suspect that’s just because there’s a smart-alec kid co-starring. The tone is very different. In my opinion, a better comparison to Barakamon would be Green Acres: high-powered city guy moves to the country and learns the virtue of relationships with a variety of rural character types. Handa is a talented calligrapher who’s been overcome by the stress of competitions […]

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Drug & Drop Volume 1

Following up on their re-release of Legal Drug, Dark Horse next week puts out the CLAMP sequel Drug & Drop. It’s just like the first series (although promised to continue, unlike the aborted first run), with the addition of “many crossover references to the CLAMP universe.” That’s what drove me away from their work previously — I got enough of that when I read superhero comics — but I admit, it’s fun to see Watanuki from xxxHOLiC requesting the boys […]

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The Garden of Words

story by Makoto Shinkai; art by Midori Motohashi A boy in his first year of high school takes shelter on days when it rains in a park gazebo. He sketches shoes and dreams of being a designer of ladies’ footwear. His family is moving apart without him, with his mother spending her time with a younger boyfriend and his big brother moving in with his girlfriend. On those mornings when he goes to the park, he has company — an […]

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Happy Marriage?! Volume 9

Chiwa has been attacked recently by someone unknown. It could be someone from her husband’s family company who wants to get rid of him and take control. It could be his ex-girlfriend, president of a rival company. Either way, it provides some important drama to give this series by Maki Enjoji, which has been spinning wheels for a while, a jump start. It also shows how Chiwa is different from his previous entanglements — Hokuto cares about what happens to […]

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My Love Story!! Volume 3

I continue to adore this cute and happy series by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko. Even when events become exaggerated — as here, where the young couple go picnicking and end up trapped in the wilderness after falling off a cliff — the love between gorilla-ish Takeo and fairy-ish Yamato is inspiring and heart-warming. Their innocence is adorable. Yamato’s friends assume that the two have lied to their parents so they can spend the night together, but the sincere young couple […]

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A Bride’s Story Volume 6

It’s an anniversary for Amir and Karluk, the couple married in the first volume of A Bride’s Story. He’s only 12 years old, and he’s proud to still be growing taller. That leads to the need for new clothes, which drives the couple to a family council, as they struggle with how much he wants to be treated like a man and how much he still needs to be taken care of. The couple’s feelings clash, but at the root, […]

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