The Manga Guide to Physiology

It’s been three years since the last Manga Guide, but it’s a pleasure to see the series continue with The Manga Guide to Physiology. I always learn things reading these volumes. It’s a shame, though, that this came out so close to Human Body Theater, which tackled a similar topic — how the body is put together and how it works — in a way that’s more appealing to American audiences. I found the humor there, particularly having the organs […]

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School-Live! Volume 1

The premise of School-Live! Volume 1 is amusing, but I found reading the book frustrating. It’s got too many hints, too little actually happening or explained. Four girls are living in their school after a zombie apocalypse. Thankfully, the school has a well-stocked science lab, a school store for consumer products, solar panels for power, and a full garden on the roof. Yuki is the cute, naive one who doesn’t seem to be accepting the reality of the situation. Kurumi […]

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L♥DK Volume 1

Sometimes there’s a place for a completely unchallenging formula story. They can be relaxing or comforting, as events play out as expected. That’s the best way I can describe this shojo manga. L♥DK gives us a hard-working girl who gets involved with the good-looking “school prince” due to their living situation. Aoi lives on her own, so instead of school activities, she spends her time out of class hunting for grocery bargains and cooking. Her new neighbor turns out to […]

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Ooku: The Inner Chambers Volume 11

It’s been a year since the last volume of Ooku: The Inner Chambers, but the themes of volume 11 are so powerful and immediate that I had no trouble picking it right back up. And Fumi Yoshinaga’s art is so gorgeous that it’s always a pleasure to spend time with, particularly given her facility with emotional expression. After 150 years, there’s finally a male shogun ruling the country, placed there by his strong-willed, murderous mother. Meanwhile, the doctors trained by […]

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My Love Story!! Volumes 4-6

The problem with saving the good stuff for later is that it’s too easy to get caught up with the everyday and never get back to them. Which is how I found myself three volumes behind on one of my favorite manga series. I’m impressed by how enjoyable I find this simple story, that of a mismatched student couple where she’s ideally cute and delicate and he’s so large and accidentally macho that no one can figure out why they’re […]

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Secret Volume 3

Well, that was abrupt. I had no idea this “revenge among the student survivors of a bus crash” series only ran three volumes, making this the series conclusion. That keeps it moving quickly, though, as I had hoped. And it’s about time. We’ve found out who the three murderers promised to us in the first volume were. Now, the mystery is “why did their counselor sow dissension among them by giving them a week to confess?” One of the students […]

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The World’s Greatest First Love Volume 3

Why am I reading The World’s Greatest First Love volume 3 when I so disliked the first volume? Because I found out that the series is about more than just the couple featured in the first two books. In the first chapter, new manga editor Ritsu has been given the additional responsibilities of coordinating the magazine’s schedule, which means chasing everyone to meet deadlines that they don’t follow. This repeats the pattern from the first book of Ritsu getting increasingly […]

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Love Stage!! Volume 4

Love Stage!! volume 4 continues the excellent pacing of the series written by Eiki Eiki, drawn by Taishi Zaou, and published by SuBLime Manga. The relationship between the nerdy Izumi and the famous Ryoma progresses at a sprightly pace, just as Izumi’s fated celebrity career does. In the last book, the two admitted they love each other, so now comes the requisite stumbling blocks. The first is one that is completely believable but one I don’t recall ever seeing in […]

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