Sweetness & Lightning Volume 12

I don’t have a lot to say about Sweetness & Lightning volume 12, but I did want to mark the series conclusion with a few notes, particularly since it stayed consistently enjoyable until the end. The last time I talked about the food manga series by Gido Amagakure was with volume 8, where we began seeing daughter Tsumugi growing up. The previous book to this one, volume 11, was where we got some drama around the child starting to make […]

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Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu Volume 4

Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu volume 4 continues to be entertaining and delightful. I thought, with the previous book, that we’d be seeing longer stories at this point in the series, but I was glad to see I was wrong. Instead, we just see new stories with the characters we’re getting to know better, which makes it all more comfortable — particularly since you don’t need to remember their history to enjoy the chapters. In the first chapter, several previous customers come […]

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Our Dining Table

Our Dining Table was a satisfying, if not particularly memorable, bit of comfort reading. It doesn’t do anything exceptional, but the notes it hits make up a nicely blended tune. The story is quietly reassuring, good relaxation without being demanding in any way, a warm manga bath. Author Mita Ori manages to combine a boys’ love story, food manga, and a cute kid into a single-volume story. Young office worker Yutaka lives on “ready-to-eat supermarket meals and salads.” The only […]

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Cells at Work! Code Black Volume 1

Cells at Work! Code Black is a gender-swapped spin-off of the original Cells at Work! manga with a more adult approach. The red blood cell, who serves as the reader’s guide through the body, is here an uncertain young man who doesn’t like his job. The protective white blood cell is now a woman (with a ridiculously impractical costume that’s missing its front, so copious cleavage is always on display). And the topics covered are those happening in the body […]

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Fruits Basket Another Volume 1

Fruits Basket Another is the best most recent example I’ve seen of the benefits of brand extension. I read a bunch of the original Fruits Basket series, although I quit long before the end. It’s considered a modern classic, though, with lots of awareness, so Yen Press republished it in the US beginning a few years back, along with this sequel series by the same author, Natsuki Takaya. I thought Fruits Basket Another might make a good starting point for […]

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Ao Haru Ride Volumes 5 & 6

It’s that time of the series by Io Sakisaka — it’s too soon for things to settle down (since the series overall runs 13 volumes), and the first mystery has been revealed, so let’s introduce some rivals for the attention of the members of our core couple. That will provide more chance for misunderstandings and pining internal monologues of the “why would he do that?” sort. Ao Haru Ride volume 5 starts with great romantic promise. Futaba and Kou make […]

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That Blue Sky Feeling Volume 1

That Blue Sky Feeling is a different kind of manga series. It’s about two schoolboys, one of whom is thought to be gay, but it’s not an explicit romance or BL (boys’ love). Instead, it’s about friendship and learning to think about others, regardless of how like you or different from you they are. It’s a likable coming-of-age story that reflects how amorphous lines have become these days, written by Okura and illustrated by Coma Hashii. Noshiro is the excited […]

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Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu Volume 3

Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu volume 3 is another enjoyable entry in the series about modern Japanese restauranteurs serving their cuisine to medieval Germans. Reading it is a comfortable escape, with lots to tickle the imagination and tastebuds. It’s based on light novels by Natsuya Semikawa, adapted and illustrated by Virginia Nitouhei. As one might expect at this point in the series, we continue moving away from the simple “one chapter, a new situation and character, one dish” structure. We’ve begun to […]

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