Alphabetical Index of Kodansha Manga Reviews

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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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 […]

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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 […]

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