Alphabetical Index of Other Manga Reviews

Slumbering Beauty Volume 1

Creator Yumi Unita is best-known in this country for Bunny Drop, an adorable manga about a single father that turned creepy when he decided to get involved with his adoptive daughter once she grew up. Thus, when Slumbering Beauty was announced, I was concerned about what might be part of this manga. I shouldn’t have worried. I could really get into Slumbering Beauty, because it was weird from the start. Schoolgirl Yoneko likes to sleep, and she’s really good at […]

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Dreamin’ Sun Volumes 2-4

I’ve been catching up on Dreamin’ Sun by Ichigo Takano, and reading a whole bunch of it may not have been the best choice. I like Shimana, the confused young lady at the center of the story, but too much at once just reinforces how indecisive she is, particularly when it comes to who she’s crushing on now. In a way, though, that’s part of the fun. None of the characters know what love is or whether they’re in love, […]

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Dreamin’ Sun Volume 1

There’s a lot that’s familiar to the manga reader in Dreamin’ Sun volume 1 by Ichigo Takano, but it’s good-hearted and comfortable enough that I didn’t mind. Kameko has run away from home because her mother died, her father remarried, and the new baby takes up all their attention. She trips over a drunk guy in a kimono in the park who’s been locked out, and he offers her a place to stay. This, amazingly, is not creepy. It helps […]

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My Brother’s Husband Volume 1

Gay characters have been portrayed in manga in a variety of ways. The best-known approach takes place in the yaoi genre, which concentrates on physical interactions and is aimed at women. My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame is the opposite, focused on normalizing a gay relationship to those who are uncomfortable with the idea. Yaichi is raising his daughter Kana alone. In this way, the book starts as a domestic fantasy, like Yotsuba&! or Bunny Drop, with a cute kid […]

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Rock and Roll Love

The artist who calls herself Misako Rocks has reissued her quasi-autobiographical Rock and Roll Love (previously released by Hyperion in 2007). It’s about her trip to the US as an exchange student, where she meets a guy in a band. Because she’s basing the story on her own life, the telling is unstructured and wandering. She decided to learn English and go to America because she had a crush on a pretty-boy rock star she saw on TV. It’s hard […]

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Nijigahara Holograph

Continuing Fantagraphics’ program of bringing notable manga to English in deluxe presentations — titles so far include important historical shojo The Heart of Thomas and Moto Hagio’s Drunken Dream as well as the cross-gender series Wandering Son — their newest release is Nijigahara Holograph. Author Inio Asano isn’t new to U.S. readers; his previous works Solanin and What a Wonderful World! were released by Viz four years ago. Nijigahara Holograph has the same strong focus on character, but with much […]

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The Strange Tale of Panorama Island

I’m not sure where to start in describing this historical erotic fantasy manga. The Strange Tale of Panorama Island is for adults, certainly, with a bunch of (mostly female) nudes. It’s been anticipated since its announcement in 2009. That article gives some important basics that take on new context after reading. It’s true, the book is reminiscent of The Great Gatsby… if Gatsby were a Lovecraft character, willing to work out all the details of faking a death in order […]

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The Heart of Thomas

Continuing their pattern of bringing out significant manga in substantial hardcovers, next month Fantagraphics will release The Heart of Thomas, an important work in the history of shojo. It’s by Moto Hagio, whose A Drunken Dream and Other Stories was published by them two years ago. The Heart of Thomas is one of the first “boys’ love” manga (shonen-ai, which doesn’t have the sexual content of yaoi), originally published in 1974. Thomas is a boy at a German boarding school […]

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