Final Volumes of Cute Viz Manga: Love Stage!! 7, Honey So Sweet 8

A couple of cute and fluffy romance manga series from Viz have recently wrapped up their runs. (The publisher provided review copies.) Love Stage!! Volume 7 This is yaoi, not shojo, but the emphasis on goofy misunderstandings and ridiculously dramatic incidents makes it similar to that genre. For example, young star Izumi has a stalker, so he moves in with his boyfriend Ryoma for protection. They’re loving their domestic bliss, and Izumi wants to talk all about it, but going […]

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Master Keaton Volume 12

And so the Master Keaton series ends, with one big story that takes up the last eight chapters of volume 12, wrapping up all the themes Naoki Urasawa (Pluto, 20th Century Boys) has been exploring throughout. But first, four chapters remind us of some of the character basics. In the first two, Keaton finally has a chance to become a university professor. While interviewing, though, an old colleague warns him that this faculty is only concerned with socializing, sucking up […]

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Everyone’s Getting Married Volume 6

Everyone’s Getting Married continues as an enjoyably soapy romantic read. Since I last checked into the series by Izumi Miyazono, newscaster Ryu has been co-hosting a show with his ex, the married woman he had an affair with and who convinced him marriage is a sham and something to avoid. His girlfriend Asuka is ok with that, since she’s got her own issues. Her co-worker Kamiya continues to pursue her, since they both want to get married, and he thinks […]

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Idol Dreams Volume 4

Idol Dreams is coming back! The last installment came out (in English) just about a year ago, and volume 4 is due out November 7. (It can be ordered now through your local comic shop with Diamond code SEP17 2079.) It’s the story of a lonely, reserved office worker who magically becomes a 15-year-old celebrity to get a second chance at romance. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for the series doesn’t seem to have returned. As I said in my review of […]

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After Hours Volume 1

Viz jumps into the yuri genre with this atmospheric but lightweight (so far) story of two women bonding over DJing. (Yuri is girl-girl romance, usually, in the titles we’ve seen over here, without the explicit sex scenes common to yaoi.) After Hours by Yuhta Nishio begins with Emi trying to meet a friend at a club who’s more interested in finding a guy. She’s not enjoying the noise or the people, and when she gets creeped on, she’s rescued by […]

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Sweetness & Lightning Volume 5

Continuing the series theme of “cooking is caring”, Sweetness & Lightning volume 5 takes the feelings between Tsumugi and her dad even deeper by more directly addressing the loss of Tsumugi’s mother. Suguru, a little boy in Tsumugi’s class, is acting up. His mother is in the hospital, and he doesn’t want to visit her (because it scares him, what might happen — although she’s not sick, she’s giving birth). Out of the goodness of her heart, Tsumugi invites him […]

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Delicious in Dungeon Volume 1

Delicious in Dungeon is one of those “only in comics” concepts: it’s a food manga where the dishes all involve fantasy monsters, since our chefs are part of a party on a quest to find and kill a dragon in a dungeon. Laios’s sister Falin saved the group, on a previous trip in, by sacrificing herself. However, although she was eaten by a dragon, magic is common and workable enough that, if the group finds her body by slaying the […]

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Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Volume 1

I’ve found the next good manga to fill the gaps between Fumi Yoshinaga releases. (I love her work, but since we’ve caught up with Japan, we’re lucky to get one volume a year of What Did You Eat Yesterday? or Ooku: The Inner Chambers.) Haruko Kumota’s Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju has a compelling cast of characters, stylishly drawn, struggling to keep an historic art form relevant. Rakugo is a form of storytelling, where a solo narrator performs for […]

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