Alphabetical Index of Kodansha Manga Reviews

Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? Volume 5

Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? volume 5 keeps the series, about finding young women the perfect apartment, fresh in two ways. Author MAKIHIROCHI continues to find different reasons and challenges for the house-hunters, while we see more about what the real estate agent twins are doing for their own living space. The first chapter presents a young woman moving out on her own for the first time, accompanied by her mother, who finds fault with everything. Can the […]

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Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Volume 9

As the series prepares for its conclusion (volume 10 is the final one), the characters in Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju volume 9 contemplate the pending retirement of Yakumo, the last rakugo master. Yakumo and an old friend, a gangster, begin the volume with a garden stroll while they reflect on how much things have changed. It’s a mood I can empathize with more and more. It’s wonderful that so many people value Yakumo’s work and want to tell […]

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Tokyo Alice Volume 6

When Tokyo Alice began, it was about a shopaholic and her friends looking for love. As the series by Toriko Chiya continued, the romantic ups-and-downs have taken more focus, but Tokyo Alice volume 6 gets back a bit to shopping as the four women decide to go to Hawaii together. As the book opens, Fu is on a hot spring weekend with her boyfriend, psyching herself up for the first time they’ll be intimate and goofing things up by being […]

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Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? Volume 2

When I wrote about Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? volume 1 — the digital-only manga series by MAKIHIROCHI about finding single women the right neighborhood and place in which to live — I found it “formulaic but effective.” However, I had a slight concern that the series might become repetitive as a result. Volume 2 avoids that problem by expanding what we know about the continuing characters. The first chapter follows the pattern, with the sister real estate […]

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My Boy in Blue Volume 1

A schoolgirl falls in love with a policeman in My Boy in Blue, a silly, slightly off-putting romance by Maki Miyoshi. Sixteen-year-old Kako gets dragged to a singles mixer in order to fill out the numbers. She’s supposed to pretend to be a young-looking 22-year-old student (which is complicated by the typical shojo art style, which makes her look about eight). The organizer, jealous of her youth, tries to force alcohol on her, but a stoic, intimidating guy drinks it […]

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Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku Volume 2

We’ve lost most of the office setting I enjoyed in volume 1, but the various fannish activities and the humor that comes with them are entertaining enough I didn’t care in Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku volume 2 by Fujita. There’s a continuing sequence, running through multiple chapters, where Hirotaka and Narumi go on a real date to an amusement park, where they bet each other they won’t behave as fans. They’re not very good at that. We also […]

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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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