Alphabetical Index of Kodansha Manga Reviews

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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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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Real Account Volume 6

And here’s where the series descends fully into exploitation and fan service. Real Account volume 6 begins with a new game, but instead of being interesting commentary on how we communicate on social media, it’s an excuse to make all the characters look as horrible as possible. Spoilers follow. The Flamer Festival requires revealing embarrassing personal information in order to get plenty of comments from observers. The players aren’t giving juicy items out fast enough, so to shake things up, […]

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Sweetness & Lightning Volume 3

The charming cooking manga continues by looking at how food helps in times of stress. In Gido Amagakure’s Sweetness & Lightning volume 3, it’s exam time — which means that both teacher Kohei and student Kotori are working hard, so there’s no time for their joint cooking lessons with Tsumugi. Midnight snacks consist of comfort foods, like custards and noodles. Tsumugi wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to join her father in eating, so he learns […]

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Real Account Volume 3

Now that’s odd. In this volume, Real Account changes lead characters suddenly. I liked the beginning of this series, where Ataru gets pulled into a social media virtual world where actions have real-world consequences: survive the games, or you die, and so do all your followers. He’s driven by his desire to get back to his younger sister, Yuri, who believes in him. In the second volume, the life-or-death game involves revealing messages you’ve deleted, particularly those that show the […]

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Kiss Him, Not Me! Volume 11

I was disappointed with Kiss Him, Not Me! volume 11 because it didn’t have enough of what I read the series for. I like the fan behavior and the various goofy activities the cast engages in for their love of anime and related pop culture. This installment, instead, is all ridiculous action sequences. When this storyline began in the last book, Kae had met again her childhood friend Takeru, now an established voice actor for her favorite anime series. There […]

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Kiss Him, Not Me! Volume 10

I thought, by this point, the series would have settled down to a comfortable familiarity, but by introducing a new character, Kiss Him, Not Me! volume 10 adds an interesting dimension to the gang of fans. Kae finds out that a long-lost childhood friend is now a key voice actor in her favorite anime. She used to defend Takeru from bullies when they were young, and he craves her protection again now, to help him manage the stress of a […]

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Say I Love You Volumes 10-15

I let a bunch of volumes of Say I Love You stack up, and coincidentally, it was right when the series took an interesting turn. The previous book, volume 9, was more of the high school love story that I was enjoying, but with these books, author Kanae Hazuki begins treating these kids as the adults they’re about to be. It’s fascinating to see the characters grow and the series transition from love story into meditations on growing up and […]

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