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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Makeup Is Not (Just) Magic

A Manga Guide to Cosmetics and Skin Care by Ikumi Rotta Learning makeup through manga is a great idea — the visuals in Makeup Is Not (Just) Magic provide a terrific format for illustrated guides and educational content. Unfortunately, the material here is too often overwhelming and off-putting, likely to turn off the new readers whom the author says she wants to help. The author tells us she was previously a beauty consultant. Now she draws manga. Makeup made her […]

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Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book

That subtitle is a little misleading, as this is more of a scrapbook with comic strips included. Tokyo Fashion by Nodoka has 44 suggestions on “how to look stylish when you’ve got zero time to think about it!” (Plus, four for men, although they’re weirdly specific.) Each tip is accompanied by a couple of outfit drawings and a short (3-4 panel) comic strip in which the protagonist takes advice from her cat. Of course, the usefulness of any style advice […]

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My Brother’s Husband Volume 2

My Brother’s Husband volume 2 concludes the short, inspirational manga series by Gengoroh Tagame. Mike is still visiting Yaichi and his daughter Kana. (Mike was married in Canada to Yaichi’s twin brother, who has passed away.) Mike’s visit has caused Yaichi to start thinking about what it might be like to be gay and to begin recognizing the stereotypes and distrust visible in Japanese culture. As the book opens, Yaichi has had a dream about Kana perhaps growing up to […]

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