Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku Volume 2

We’ve lost most of the office setting I enjoyed in volume 1, but the various fannish activities and the humor that comes with them are entertaining enough I didn’t care in Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku volume 2 by Fujita. There’s a continuing sequence, running through multiple chapters, where Hirotaka and Narumi go on a real date to an amusement park, where they bet each other they won’t behave as fans. They’re not very good at that. We also […]

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Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu Volume 1

Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu is a charming, relaxing series about how good Japanese food is. Adapted by Virginia Nitouhei from a light novel by Natsuya Semikawa and character designs by Kuriri, it’s the story of a time-traveling izakaya (Japanese tavern). Two German soldiers in a fictional medieval city stumble across a new pub with delicious chilled ale called “Whatsontapp”. The chef prepares something different every time, but it’s always what the audience loves but didn’t know they wanted. The various food […]

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My Solo Exchange Diary

My Solo Exchange Diary is the sequel to the much-awarded My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness by Nagata Kabi. It’s a collection of short chapters — twelve, labeled as diary entries, each 10-14 pages — about living alone and becoming a comic creator as a career. To start, I should reveal that I couldn’t make it through My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness. It’s not very visually interesting — mostly background-less sketchy figures — and I found the constant “my life is […]

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Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku Volume 1

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku by Fujita is something of a rarity still in the US — it’s a manga starring adults in an office setting. It’s a comedy about nerds in their workplace and romantic lives, which I tried because I like seeing more mature characters in manga than the usual school-age kids. Narumi has been hiding her fandom, because guys keep dumping her for liking yaoi. (She won’t date another otaku, because they’re “creepy”.) She bumps into […]

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Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? Volume 1

What Not Love But Delicious Foods Make Me So Happy! does for Tokyo restaurant reviews, MAKIHIROCHI’s Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? does for neighborhoods in the city. Kichijoji is regularly voted the most popular neighborhood, but the Shigeta twins help their clients find other, better-suited places to settle down. I should find a manga about the details of where to live in Tokyo off-putting or less interesting, given I’ve never been to Japan, but the stories of various […]

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Tokyo Alice Volume 1

Tokyo Alice is superficial fun and an excellent example of how digital-only releases allow for more diverse types of manga titles in the US market. In this case, it’s a story of a group of young women looking for love (whether they realize it or not) in the big city, told by Toriko Chiya. Josei manga (aimed at adult women instead of girls) has been a tough sell in English, although I’m always glad to see more of them. Fu […]

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My Brother the Shut-In Volume 6

The final volume of this digital-only manga series illustrates just how much the premise changed from what I liked about the first book. My Brother the Shut-In volume 6 by Kinoko Higurashi is mostly about Tamotsu, the brother of the title. You might have guessed that, but I was much more interested in the story of Shino’s life, of how her brother’s decision to spend four years in his room affected her. She’s almost an afterthought in this volume, with […]

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Horimiya Volume 9

I’ve enjoyed reading the volumes between my last review and this one, although I didn’t have much to say about them. Much of the uniqueness of the premise, with the kids being their authentic selves only when they were together, out of school, was forgotten as we got perfectly fine but more typical stories, like one about competing at the sports festival. Miyamura even cut his hair and quit wearing his fake glasses as the couple revealed themselves to their […]

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