Candy Color Paradox

Isaku Natsume’s Candy Color Paradox reinforced for me that I’m not a yaoi fan, because I really liked the aspects of this SuBLime manga that had nothing to do with sex or the relationship between the leads. It’s a classic story of “co-workers, forced together, spat as cover for their true feelings”, only with two guys. Satoshi, a news writer, was supposed to be working on the political beat, but at the last minute, he’s sent to the “stakeout team” […]

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Ao Haru Ride Volume 4

Now that the series has some longevity to it, we get the dramatic flashback. The premise of the series is that Futaba and Kou were interested, then separated, then reunited. When they meet again, Kou behaves differently, and in Io Sakisaka’s Ao Haru Ride volume 4, we finally find out why. Family flashbacks show why Kou gave up being a top student, why he seems estranged from his brother (a teacher at their school), and why he changed his name. […]

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Ao Haru Ride Volume 3

Io Sakisaka’s Ao Haru Ride volume 3 brings the students back to the school setting (after the retreat of volume 2) and introduces a new conflict. After having her eyes opened to what friendship should mean in volume 1, Futaba is challenged by a passing comment made by new friend Yuri. Yuri likes Kou, it turns out. Futaba doesn’t want to hurt or compete with her friend, particularly since she’s unsure how deep her feelings for Kou go. Can she […]

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Behind the Scenes!! Volume 6

When I talked about the previous volume in this series, which came out last year, I was about ready for it to end. (Volume 7, the last, is due out later this year.) I enjoyed Behind the Scenes!! volume 6 more than I did volume 5, but I think the length is about right, with no need to extend further. One thing that helped was re-reading 5 before diving into 6. Although I couldn’t tell you the detailed differences between […]

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Everyone’s Getting Married Volume 9

Unlike my usual practice, this discussion of Everyone’s Getting Married volume 9 will not avoid spoilers. It’s the final volume of the series, anyway, and the happy ending is given away right there on the cover. When we left our troubled couple of Asuka and Ryu at the end of volume 8, she had just declared her intention to break up with him, since he was working for several years in the US and she thought she was distracting him […]

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Orange: The Complete Collection

After giving up on Ichigo Takano’s Dreamin’ Sun, I thought I’d try their Orange, because I was intrigued by the time travel aspect. (There’s a mini-boom in these “what if I knew then what I know now” manga, including Again!! and Erased.) Naho is a 16-year-old high schooler who gets a letter that says it’s from herself ten years in the future. It tells her not to invite new student Naruse to walk home with her and her group of […]

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Ao Haru Ride Volume 2

Ao Haru Ride is the current shojo series I’m most invested in. Volume 2 continues its air of melancholic and uncertain young love by moving its leads, Futaba and Kou, into the same school class. Futaba has taken the lessons of the first book to heart, trying to create a friendlier air in her classroom, but she doesn’t have the popularity or leadership to do so. Refusing to give up, and inspired by wanting Kou to think well of her, […]

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Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? Volume 5

Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? volume 5 keeps the series, about finding young women the perfect apartment, fresh in two ways. Author MAKIHIROCHI continues to find different reasons and challenges for the house-hunters, while we see more about what the real estate agent twins are doing for their own living space. The first chapter presents a young woman moving out on her own for the first time, accompanied by her mother, who finds fault with everything. Can the […]

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