Astra Lost in Space Volume 1

I had hopes for Astra Lost in Space, based on the premise, about a class trip set in the future with space travel. When an accident occurs, the group of students has to figure out how to survive and get back home. It’s a classic setup with lots of promise for character development and exciting adventures. I anticipated something that fans of classic manga science fiction like They Were 11 or Twin Spica might enjoy. Unfortunately, what I got in […]

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Flying Witch Volume 3

Flying Witch volume 3 doesn’t differ appreciably from the first book in the series. That’s its strength — calm, lightweight stories about everyday life with just a soupçon of magic to make things interesting. Not too scary or different, though, just relaxing. The kids go to a witch cafe where they’re waited on by a ghost. Another patron is a fox — drawn adorably! — an encounter which helps Chinatsu’s mother write children’s books. The kids garden and eat what […]

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Everyone’s Getting Married Volume 7

As indicated at the end of volume 6, the couple of Asuka and Ryu face an even more challenging obstacle than we’ve previously seen: Ryu is being asked to work overseas for some years. It’s a major career advancement, but how will the two cope, and will this change his objection to the idea of marriage? I won’t spoil Everyone’s Getting Married volume 7, because much of the fun of this series is seeing what happens next, but I will […]

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Slumbering Beauty Volume 1

Creator Yumi Unita is best-known in this country for Bunny Drop, an adorable manga about a single father that turned creepy when he decided to get involved with his adoptive daughter once she grew up. Thus, when Slumbering Beauty was announced, I was concerned about what might be part of this manga. I shouldn’t have worried. I could really get into Slumbering Beauty, because it was weird from the start. Schoolgirl Yoneko likes to sleep, and she’s really good at […]

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Kiss Him, Not Me Volume 12

I don’t have much to say about this volume except to note that, for those hanging on through the series, a major turning point occurs, as Kae finally chooses one of her suitors to focus on in a relationship. Kiss Him, Not Me volume 12 continues directly with the consequences from the previous book, in which there was a ridiculous, life-threatening fall off a cliff. I still miss the fannish behavior (and silly humor that results) that drew me to […]

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Neo Parasyte f

This is a new one on me. When I heard of Neo Parasyte f, a tribute volume to Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Parasyte manga series with stories by other manga creators, I thought it would bring back fond memories of the original. Although it’s horror, I liked it a lot when I read it almost ten years ago. With such a collection of works by fans, I would have hoped to get a feeling of communal enjoyment, of readers coming together to […]

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That Wolf-Boy Is Mine!

If you like the idea of a girl helping out a family of shape-shifters, but you aren’t interested in committing to the length of Fruits Basket, then That Wolf-Boy Is Mine! is the manga series for you. In only four volumes, Komugi discovers the secret of the school heartthrobs and shows them a new way to co-exist with humans. Komugi has moved to the country from Tokyo. Her mother has been sent away on business, so she’s going to live […]

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The Gods Lie

In looking over the manga I’ve read from Vertical, I’ve come to realize that they specialize in challenging works. With the exception of their two longest-running series — the heart-warming What Did You Eat Yesterday? and the weirdly comic My Neighbor Seki — the stories in Vertical releases are generally off-kilter and discomforting in some way. (Even the cat manga had some disturbing portrayals about home and family.) These are not manga you read for escapist enjoyment or light entertainment. […]

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