Alphabetical Index of Tokyopop Manga Reviews

Aria Volume 1

Kozue Amano’s Aria volume 1 introduces the glorious water world of Aqua. (We know it better as Mars, now flooded and renamed.) Akari is a gondolier in training in the tourist city of Neo-Venezia. Those in her profession are called undines, after the mythological water spirits, and her joy and grace cause her to live up to the inspiration. As the book begins, it’s autumn, and Akari’s appreciating the signs of the changing season. Her open, deep eyes express her […]

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The Kindaichi Case Files: The Undying Butterflies

The Undying Butterflies is the latest volume, the seventeenth, in the recommended Kindaichi Case Files mystery manga series. It opens with a day at the beach for Kindaichi, Miyuki, and Reika, a young singer who’s previously appeared in the volumes Death TV and Playing the Fool. The sleuth finds himself juggling time alone with the two young women in a sequence that could have appeared in an Archie comic, in which the authors do a good job combining tenderness and […]

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Happy Mania Volume 9

Now that the series by Moyoco Anno is winding down, things are happening rapidly again. Volume nine opens with Shigeta getting the news that Takahashi is getting married. Fuku expects her to be shocked, but Shigeta is the calmest I’ve ever seen her in this series. Takahashi’s faux-fiancee is the freaky one here. She hears “congratulations” and thinks “they’re plotting against me.” She refuses to leave, even when Takahashi tries to break up their non-existent relationship. Artistically, there’s a lot […]

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Happy Mania Volume 8

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about this series by Moyoco Anno, last covering volume two last month. I admit, the intervening books didn’t grab me as much as the first couple did, but I still want to find out if man-crazed Shigeta ever calms down and finds happiness. Volume eight opens with a recap of her motivations in an amusing visual parody of the samurai genre. She’s mid-20s, she wants true love but doesn’t know what it is, […]

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Fool’s Gold Volume 2

I read Fool’s Gold volume 2 when it came out, several months ago, and I didn’t have much to say about it. It continues the story from volume 1 in expected fashion. Hannah, the previous queen bee, isn’t coping well with Penny usurping her place as Miss Popularity, so she’s scheming and manipulating. The boys identified as pyrites (the false gold of the title), who are now without girlfriends, are beginning to get suspicious. Keeping up with her ever-growing girl […]

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Tokyopop OEL — Able to Create a Satisfying Ending? (Includes Dramacon 3 Review)

I’ve been thinking lately, as Tokyopop’s OEL series come to their ends, about whether these young creators have been given the help and support they need. Tokyopop claims shared copyrights on these works, for which one presumes they had some input into them. (The suspicious say that it’s just a way to manipulate creators unaware of their business choices and take more profit and control.) However, judging solely by the way I’ve found the final series volumes severely disappointing, the […]

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Happy Mania Volume 2

My, Moyoco Anno’s Happy Mania moves quickly. In the first volume, Shigeta’s problem is “why can’t I get a boyfriend?” Now, after a failed fling with a DJ, she’s loudly insisting she doesn’t need a man and she’s “going to live for work.” Once she gets a job, that is. She’s still depending on nice-guy Takahashi, though, to help in times of crisis (which with her is every other day) and to take her out and cheer her up. Then […]

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Tokyopop Takes: INVU 4, Metamo Kiss, Return to Labyrinth

INVU Volume 4 by Kim Kang Won I was a bit concerned, since the previous books came out five years ago, that I’d be lost trying to pick the series back up. Surprisingly, I wasn’t. I jumped right back into this high school drama (the only Korean manhwa I follow). The “story so far” page was a big help, but it could have been much improved by including captioning the art shots with the character names. The storylines are easy […]

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