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 (published by SuBLime) 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 […]

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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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L♥DK Volumes 2-3

I summed up L♥DK volume 1 as featuring sitcom-style contrivances to imply smutty situations, only without being funny. Volume 2 continues in that mode, throwing in every possible engineered situation to imply or force interaction between its girl and boy leads. For example, it opens with Aoi jealous of the woman embracing Shusei, only to find out it’s his sister. She wants her brother to move in with her, but seeing how he doesn’t want to, Aoi suddenly decides to […]

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Master Keaton Volumes 5-6

The Master Keaton series has hit its stride with these volumes, now that the title character has settled into a groove as a globe-trotting adventurer. He mentions, at times, his theory of culture development or his love of academia, but he now seems resigned to his investigation work, where his skills as a former special forces soldier come into play. Some of the stories have also gotten longer, which allows for more development of characters and plots, a welcome change. […]

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Library Wars: Love & War Volume 15

When Viz launched Library Wars: Love & War in English in the summer of 2010, I appreciated the premise, of an organized force of librarians who form an army to defend the right to read and defeat government censorship. However, the series became much more focused on its dippy heroine and her crushes (typical of its shojo genre) than the science-fiction exploration of the premise I hoped for, so I stopped reading with volume 5 in 2011. I checked back […]

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FukuFuku: Kitten Tales Volume 1

Missing cat manga now that Chi’s Sweet Home has concluded? Never fear, author Konami Kanata has a new series with an adorable kitten. FukuFuku: Kitten Tales has an advantage over the previous series, in my opinion: the cat here doesn’t have an internal monologue in a cutesy dialect. In that way, it’s more true to cat ownership, as we simply observe the little kitty in her everyday life. She lives with an older lady, who works to give FukuFuku a […]

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