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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Silver Spoon Volumes 3-4

As suited for a series about farm life, Hiromu Arakawa is structuring these stories around the seasons, and they’re quite lengthy and substantial. The 19-part “Tale of Summer” began in volume 2, continues through volume 3, and concludes in volume 4 (which also starts up the “Tale of Autumn”). Summer is the season where Hachiken first engages in nothing but farm work, with a temporary job at his friend Mikage’s family farm during school vacation. He learns how important attention […]

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Giant Spider & Me: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale Volumes 1 & 2

In Giant Spider & Me: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale, Kikori Morino has assembled some never-fail elements — chipper girl surviving in terrible circumstances that are only hinted at, weird but adorable pet, charming domestic activities — into an odd, only-in-manga mix that brings out a smile. The cheery Nagi lives by herself in the mountains. She says hi to the birds as she heads out to gather vegetables and dreams of what she can make from her garden. Then she encounters […]

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Dreamin’ Sun Volume 7

I should have given up on Dreamin’ Sun a while ago, because it’s just spinning its wheels. Zen likes Shimana, who likes their landlord, who doesn’t seem to like women. Repeat ad nauseum with various internal monologues full of questions from Shimana, who’s gone from being cute to being vapid. Volume 7 begins with a chapter that seems to have come in from some other book. It’s finally explained by the end of the volume, but when I first started […]

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