My Neighbor Seki Volumes 5-6

It’s interesting to see how Takuma Morishige’s My Neighbor Seki, based on a classically simple premise, has changed over its run. Previously, Rumi used to observe the crazy things Seki did during class, narrating to the reader in a way that added stories and context to his activities. Seki operated in his own, individual world. That was entertaining enough. But as the stories have continued, Rumi and Seki began interacting, and the stories occasionally wander away from their two desks. […]

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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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Chi’s Sweet Home Volume 12

Chi’s Sweet Home volume 12 concludes the cute cat manga series with a lengthy exploration of what “home” means. From the beginning, Chi has been troubled by memories of her time with her mother. The kitten doesn’t always understand her wants, but she feels something’s missing, although she enjoys her life with little boy Yohei and his parents. As this volume opens, Chi and her mother come face to face. Yohei immediately sweeps up his pet/friend and runs away with […]

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Master Keaton Volume 2

I talked, in my review of the first volume, about how Master Keaton is an older series. I knew going in that there would be an air of “that was then” reading it. Yet it surprised me how many of the stories in this second volume were also looking backwards within their own texts. For example, the first story involves insurance investigator Keaton helping with the undercover sale of a medal from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The former owner’s widow […]

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Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma Volumes 9-10

The quarterfinal matches of the Fall Classic cooking competition continue and conclude in these volumes. The showdown began in volume 7 and extended into the previous book, where the contest between our hero Soma and the molecular gastronomist began; she presented her bento box there. Here, in Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma volume 9, we see Soma’s entry, a twist on a seaweed bento, using some of the fancy cooking science techniques. Although technologically advanced, Soma’s dish is focused on […]

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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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Shuriken and Pleats Volume 1

The concept of Shuriken and Pleats — schoolgirl ninja — is short but interesting. Sadly, the execution is slow and obvious. Author Hino Matsuri is best known for the popular Vampire Knight series, which I don’t remember being this patchy in plotting. The young female ninja is Mikage, whose older master wants to adopt her and take her back to Japan with him. There, she plans to enroll in school, but she quickly finds herself protecting a younger man, part […]

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Master Keaton Volume 1

Naoki Urasawa is a modern manga master, well-known here for his works Monster, 20th Century Boys, and Pluto. That reputation means we get the pleasure of seeing his earlier, more adventure-oriented stories in Master Keaton. Urasawa was the artist here, with story by Hokusei Katsushika and later, Takashi Nagasaki. Originally published beginning in 1988, this series is being released in deluxe, oversized volumes (matching the Monster re-release) with color pages. Viz is calling the series “post-Cold War detective suspense” — […]

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