Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu Volume 8

I haven’t written about this series in a while, but I’ve kept enjoying it. It’s a quiet pleasure, particularly as we continue to rotate through moments in the life of its recurring cast of customers and guests. The Japanese restaurant continues to serve basic dishes from that cuisine to medieval Europeans through its unspecified magical location. Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu volume 8 shows us several milestones in the lives of those vsitors: Former soldier Hans has quit his job in the […]

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What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 16

What Did You Eat Yesterday? volume 16 continues in the consistently appealing mode of this Fumi Yoshinaga series: small stories about mature life experiences, all revolving around making food. For example, Shiro is going to meet his boyfriend Kenji’s family — his mother and two sisters — for the first time (although the two have been together for a number of years). They’re eating out together at an unagi (eel) restaurant. Although the meal is perfectly pleasant, it’s tempered by […]

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A Man and His Cat Volume 4

Umi Sakurai continues to build out this world, balancing moments of substantial emotional depth with scenes of cute cat behavior with universal appeal. A Man and His Cat volume 4 follows up from the previous volume. Hibino’s resentment towards Mr. Kanda, from the days when they were both concert pianists, is explained. Thankfully, they get new chances to interact, now that Kanda has retired from the stage, when they meet in the pet store and Kanda begins helping Hibino with […]

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Mr. Bride Volume 1

Mr. Bride volume 1 by Natsumi Shiba establishes a simple premise as a way of getting two people together in an “opposites attract” situation. Hayami is a successful career woman who’s a slob at home. Co-worker Yamamoto discovers the mess and cleans up for her. The two end up rooming together, complicated by their feelings for each other. She needs someone to take care of her, and he appreciates being allowed in her presence (and benefits from her greater earning […]

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Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Volume 10

The Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju series concludes with volume 10. It came out almost three years ago, and this volume — along with some of the others in the series, apparently — may be currently out of print. But I still wanted to talk about it because as a wrap-up, it’s beautifully in tone with the theme of the series. I’ve enjoyed reading about these practitioners of rakugo (monologues/ storytelling) because the manga stories combine personal drama with […]

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My Darling Next Door Volume 1

I found My Darling Next Door a comfortable read, with familiar characters and situations. (It’s by Rukana, and it’s a digital-only release from Kodansha.) Ririka is a high school girl who lives with her divorced father, cooking for them both and taking care of the house. She meets their new neighbor, Hino, a single man new to the workforce and not long out of university, and invites him over for dinner. Dad offers to keep feeding him in return for […]

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That’s My Atypical Girl Volume 1

I was curious about That’s My Atypical Girl volume 1, a digital-only manga release with story by Sohachi Hagimoto and art by Renji Morita, because of the premise, in which an aspiring manga creator meets a dedicated fan of his work. Yokoi is an unsuccessful manga artist because his stories are gloomy and he doesn’t draw very well. He lives cheaply and survives by drawing sexy fan comics. Saito, the fan, shows up at his apartment one day and just […]

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Monster and the Beast Volume 3

This is around when a manga series has to find something beyond the original concept with which to continue. Monster and the Beast volume 3 by Renji accomplishes this by separating the two leads and promising more information to come about one’s past. At the end of volume 2, Liam (the man on the run) has gotten on a ship to another continent, accidentally leaving Caro (the shy demon who has feelings for Liam) behind. That’s quite the cliffhanger. Liam […]

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