Alphabetical Index of Vertical Manga Reviews

Prophecy Volume 3

My hopes for this series raised in volume 1 weren’t completely fulfilled. Instead of thoroughly exploring the nature of computer crimes and behavior online, Prophecy volume 3 follows up on the manhunt started in volume 2, focusing on more human motivations of loyalty. It’s certainly a more dramatic way for Tetsuya Tsutsui to wrap up the series in this book, and it makes for a tighter character arc, but I liked the themes of how growing computerization are affecting society […]

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My Neighbor Seki Volume 2

My Neighbor Seki volume 2 is just as cute and funny as the first volume by Takuma Morishige, and that consistency is a good thing. Yokoi is still distracted by the weirdly creative things Seki does with, on, and to his desk during class, but this installment expands their world a bit with the introduction of a new character and different settings. The first chapter features a “lucky laugher” game. I’m not familiar with this piece of Japanese culture, but […]

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My Neighbor Seki Volume 1

My Neighbor Seki volume 1 by Takuma Morishige is something truly unusual — a refreshing read that celebrates curiosity, creativity, and imagination. It’s the kind of series that would never be created over here, but not because of weird cultural reasons or fan service or any of the other manga stereotypes. I can’t see someone here putting out a successful series about subtle battles with authority, about doing your own thing on your own. In this country, it would be […]

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Prophecy Volume 2

Clearly, Prophecy is not a series you can dip in and out of. I hadn’t paid enough attention to the specifics of some of the disaffected men introduced in volume 1, so I found myself wanting to reread both books as soon as I finished this new volume. However, there’s also a change in focus that means that much of volume 2 deals with different situations and characters than the first book did. The first scene, for example, effectively portrays […]

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What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 6

It’s so entertaining reading more about Kenji and Shiro’s relationship as it continues, with key moments involving food. Meals are such important family moments, and I love the emphasis on preparation and sharing of home cooking as a carrier of deep feeling, as well as the conversations the two men have over dinner. My favorite scene of the entire series so far occurs in this volume, as the two spend time with another gay couple at a pickup baseball game. […]

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Prophecy Volume 1

Sometimes reviews work! I hadn’t taken notice of Prophecy until I saw Ash Brown’s review, which made it clear I would find the topic fascinating. The figure on the cover of Prophecy is “Paperboy”, a vigilante who covers his head in newspaper when he goes online to promise revenge through underground video postings from internet cafes. All his victims were previously brought to public attention online, whether a company that caused a number of food poisoning cases or a guy […]

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The Garden of Words

story by Makoto Shinkai; art by Midori Motohashi A boy in his first year of high school takes shelter on days when it rains in a park gazebo. He sketches shoes and dreams of being a designer of ladies’ footwear. His family is moving apart without him, with his mother spending her time with a younger boyfriend and his big brother moving in with his girlfriend. On those mornings when he goes to the park, he has company — an […]

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What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 5

This blend of cooking advice, home meals, and everyday personal interactions by Fumi Yoshinaga continues to impress and entertain. The first chapter of volume 5 illustrates this mix, as Shiro and his housewife friend have shared a deal on cabbage. She’s comfortable with him, since they have bargain-hunting in common, but her husband sees him first as a gay man, then as a person, as can be seen by his clueless attempt to pair Shiro off with another friend just […]

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