Sweetness & Lightning Volume 8

The girls are growing up in Sweetness & Lightning volume 8. Kotori has to start thinking about what she’ll do after school, while Tsumugi has begun elementary school. Tsumugi has well learned the pleasure of sharing food with others, but when she tries to share her school lunch, her motivations are misunderstood. That’s ok, because she and her father and Kotori can make their own version at home. More serious is how Kotori has learned that some people don’t want […]

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Kiss Him, Not Me Volume 13

As I mentioned in my review of the previous volume, Kae is now dating. However, this installment gets back to wacky fan behavior, as she keeps forgetting about her boyfriend when offered cool events to go to featuring her favorite anime. That’s a challenge many people have, learning how to consider another person’s feelings when entering into a relationship. The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to change established patterns of behavior, particularly when it comes to hobbies. […]

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Takane & Hana Volume 2

There’s a telling author’s note early on in Takane & Hana volume 2, in which Yuki Shiwasu reveals this is her first serialization, and she finds it “fun to get to explore deeper story lines.” The chapters of the first volume were created as one-shot stories, while here, she’s had to change her approach to thinking of it as a series. That explains why there’s less humor here and more of a retreat to traditional shojo romance elements. Hana is […]

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My Brother the Shut-In Volume 2

I was surprised to see how the original premise of My Brother the Shut-In fell by the wayside in this second digital-only volume by Kinoko Higurashi. We’ve moved away from Shino’s conflicts, with her concerns about taking care of her family and her worries about her friends disappearing. Instead, the focus here is on getting her brother Tamotsu a job. I still enjoyed reading it, particularly the surprisingly useful job-hunting advice, but it’s a different type of series than I […]

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Behind the Scenes!! Volume 5

Word has just come out that the end of this series by Bisco Hatori is in sight in Japan, and no one will be terribly surprised. It’s an entertaining series, but not a particularly memorable or remarkable one. The plotlines here in Behind the Scenes!! volume 5 indicate a certain amount of casting around for purpose. The first chapter even has some of the characters asking the leader of the special effects group why they’ve taken a particular job, that […]

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Say I Love You Volume 18

Shojo manga series have the best conclusions. They’re formulaic, of course, usually jumping us just enough forward in time to see the lead couple have their happy ending, then spending the rest of the final book checking in with the various side characters and showing us their futures and (usually) pairings. Say I Love You volume 18, the last in the series, is no exception. As I noted the last time I reviewed this series, author Kanae Hazuki has already […]

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Takane & Hana Volume 1

I’ve found my next frothy romance manga to enjoy — Yuki Shiwasu’s Takane & Hana is ridiculous from the start but has a fun sense of humor, as the leads tell each other off while getting glimpses into each other’s very different lives. Hana is 16, a high school student, but as the book opens, she’s been dolled up for a marriage meeting. She doesn’t want to be there, but her gorgeous, spoiled, seven-years-older sister, who’s supposed to be taking […]

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SP Baby Volume 2

What an unfortunate time to be publishing a series with so much “humor” dependent on sexual harassment and treating women as property. Thankfully, the series is over with this volume. I didn’t think it was possible, but our “lead”, Tamaki, becomes even more of an object in SP Baby volume 2. Her crush and neighbor faces off with her boss while she’s sick, basically handing her off while she blushes and dithers. Her boss, called master, continues to grab and […]

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