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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The World’s Greatest First Love Volume 1

I enjoy manga set in the world of manga publishing. (This is in contrast to comics about making comics, which tend to be dopey and morose.) Even when Bakuman was ridiculous about its characters, for instance, I appreciated the bits about working in such a demanding creative profession and how the industry operated. I thus had high hopes for The World’s Greatest First Love, a yaoi series from SuBLime Manga about a new manga editor who winds up working for […]

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Yukarism Volume 4

The reincarnation shojo manga series by Chika Shiomi concludes in this fourth volume, bringing the story to a quick close. I’m a bit disappointed, but I think I was expecting something different from what the author intended. I wouldn’t mind reading more stories about how someone living life today interpreted visiting a historical period, or vice versa, but it seems to me that Shiomi instead wanted to make points about the nature of a person’s essential character and how past […]

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