Your and My Secret Volume 1

Momoi is a lovely girl with a violent temper, poor impulse control, and a grandfather who thinks he’s a mad scientist. Uehara has a crush on her anyway, but since he’s sensitive and shy, nothing is likely to result from his attraction to her. Until they both wind up under one of grandfather’s crazy machines… and they swap bodies in Your and My Secret by Ai Morinaga. Momoi as a boy becomes someone to look up to, someone who excels […]

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Sin City

Man oh man, what is Frank Miller’s fascination with male genital mutilation? Yes, Sin City was exactly what I expected: heaping lumps of testosterone-soaked sexism portrayed in visually interesting ways. What I didn’t expect was how often my husband and I laughed at the overwrought voiceovers. I hated the text, but I enjoyed the film. Although when it was over, he asked me if I’d seen A Clockwork Orange. I said yes, why? He responded that this felt like what […]

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Case Closed Volume 3

I’m a little lost. At the end of volume two, the kids Conan was forced to go to school with were threatening to investigate his deserted home. (I say “forced” because even though he has the mind of an almost-adult, he looks like a six-year-old.) I took this to be a hint toward the next storyline; apparently, it was just a joke, since volume three opens with Conan, Rachel, and her dad on a cruise ship, returning from an island […]

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Case Closed Volume 1

Jimmy Kudo, high school junior, idolizes Sherlock Holmes and solves mysteries for the police department in Case Closed, a long-running manga action comedy by Gosho Aoyama. After trailing bad guys to a mysterious meeting, he’s knocked out and poisoned. Although the villains meant to kill him, they instead turn him physically into a six-year-old boy. He winds up working with an incompetent private investigator, the father of the girl he has a crush on, while a mad scientist tries to […]

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Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances

Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances by Masami Tsuda attracted me because of its lead character. Yukino is top of her class in just about everything until Soichiro, a similarly over-achieving boy, comes to her school. She learns to deal with her jealousy of him and her own growing self-awareness of the motivations driving her success. Their rivalry becomes love within a few books, after which the story turns to their friends, which is where I began losing track of […]

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The Sandwalk Adventures

In this scientific fantasy, two mites living in the follicle of Charles Darwin’s eyebrow tell each other myths about the creation of the world, involving a motley collection of humorous gods. It’s sort of a cosmic game of telephone, taking events and making them bigger and different in the retelling over generations. For some unknown reason, Darwin is able to hear one of them, Mara, when she speaks. Their resulting conversations about how life came to be touch on myth, […]

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Tokyopop vs. Viz

David Taylor puts into words something I’ve been wondering myself: does American manga have a “Big Two”? (link no longer available) When it comes to the superhero-oriented direct market (often erroneously referred to as the “mainstream”), the big two publishers are DC and Marvel. It used to be, when it came to manga, the big two were Viz and Tokyopop. Now jump forward to the beginning of 2006, and for me I think it is a bit of a stretch […]

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CSI: Bad Rap

A rising punk rap superstar knocks a heckler out, killing him, on his way to a rock oldies concert at a Vegas casino. There’s some rivalry between local groups just breaking big, and the obnoxious rapper gets knocked off quickly, as many readers may have been rooting for. CSI: Bad Rap is written by Max Allan Collins with art by Gabriel Rodriguez and Ashley Wood. While investigating, the team finds more related murders, as well as encountering a company producing […]

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