Alphabetical Index of Kodansha Manga Reviews

Tokyo Alice Volume 1

Tokyo Alice is superficial fun and an excellent example of how digital-only releases allow for more diverse types of manga titles in the US market. In this case, it’s a story of a group of young women looking for love (whether they realize it or not) in the big city, told by Toriko Chiya. Josei manga (aimed at adult women instead of girls) has been a tough sell in English, although I’m always glad to see more of them. Fu […]

Read more

My Brother the Shut-In Volume 6

The final volume of this digital-only manga series illustrates just how much the premise changed from what I liked about the first book. My Brother the Shut-In volume 6 by Kinoko Higurashi is mostly about Tamotsu, the brother of the title. You might have guessed that, but I was much more interested in the story of Shino’s life, of how her brother’s decision to spend four years in his room affected her. She’s almost an afterthought in this volume, with […]

Read more

Kiss Him, Not Me Volume 14

And here the series ends, although with more qualities in keeping with its unique premise than many other shojo manga series I’ve read. Usually, a last shojo volume has a couple of chapters showing the main couple getting together, a flash-forward to show their wedding and/or happy future life, and then a bunch of side stories checking in with the supporting cast couples to fill out the book. Kiss Him, Not Me volume 14 has many of those elements, but […]

Read more

Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Volume 7

I was about ready to give up on Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju. It wasn’t what I wanted it to be and seemed to have gotten bogged down in some gangster junk. Then I re-read the series before reading volume 7, and I realized that there were many more connections than I remembered, bringing new depth to the story. This is a series that rewards paying attention to detail as the story sprawls over three generations. The most important […]

Read more

Cells at Work! Volume 5

Now that the premise has become a bit repetitive, Akane Shimizu is changing things up a bit by creating a through plot in Cells at Work! volume 5. An ordinary cell is bored and resentful of the attention immune cells get. He rescues four baby germs and hides them, but they turn out to be lactic acid bacteria, a kind of bacteria that live in the digestive system and aid the body. Although they’re helpful, they’re still outsiders, so they […]

Read more

Cells at Work! Volume 2

I had no idea the topics inside the human body were going to be as varied as they are in Cells at Work! volume 2 by Akane Shimizu. The first book was mostly respiratory related, with allergies and flu and such. In this volume, though, we get food poisoning, heat stress, and a two-part battle against creepy-looking cancer cells. The various types of white blood cells continue to be personified with different character quirks. The chapter on food poisoning focuses […]

Read more

Cells at Work! Volume 1

I may have enjoyed Cells at Work! so much because, when I first read it, I was getting over a winter cold. That made the exploration of the body’s defense system by Akane Shimizu even funnier to me, particularly when the giant missile labeled “Sneeze One” appears in a glorious two-page spread. The cute young lady on the front cover is a red blood cell, responsible for moving packages of oxygen around the body. She’s new, so she keeps getting […]

Read more

Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Volume 5

After spending most of books 2-4 on flashbacks to the 1940s-50s apprenticeship of two young rakugo artists, Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju volume 5 wraps up that story tragically. (Rakugo is a monologue storytelling performance.) We find out what happened to the talented but erratic Sukeroku and how his fellow apprentice Yakumo wound up with his daughter Konatsu. Just as Yakumo has come to new understanding about the nature of connection and the need for other people in one’s […]

Read more
1 2 3 4 9