Alphabetical Index of Other Manga Reviews

Mangaman

This dynamite concept didn’t quite come together for me, although I’ve been anticipating Mangaman since it was first announced. The idea — a manga-styled character transfers universes to the “real” world, where what he considers normal is perceived as freaky — is terrific and playful, but the execution tries to combine too many elements, and the result winds up short-changing some of the themes. Artist Colleen Doran is certainly well aware of and capable of drawing in the stereotypical manga […]

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Wandering Son Volume 1 and Anime

Guest review by Ed Sizemore ***Warning: This Review Contains Spoilers*** Shuichi Nitori and Yoshino Takatsuki are mirror images of each other. Both are in fifth grade and have just recently transferred to a new school. They are classmates who sit next to each other and quickly become good friends. Both share a secret. Shuichi is a feminine-looking boy who dreams of being a girl. Yoshino is a masculine-looking girl who dreams of being a boy. Wandering Son by Takako Shimura […]

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Future Lovers

I’ve found the best yaoi series. Future Lovers by Saika Kunieda is so good that I can recommend it without reservation to manga readers (except those put off by the concept of a male/male love story, because that romance does include a physical component). It’s a shame that Aurora’s Deux imprint is now defunct, although these books are still easily available. Kento has just been dumped by Yukie. He proposed to her, but his approach was practical, not romantic, and […]

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The Story of Lee

I liked the idea behind The Story of Lee, but the execution wasn’t as successful as I hoped. It seems like it should work well — it’s the story of a Chinese girl in Hong Kong who gets involved with a visiting Scot (to the horror of her traditional father), written by a Scot living in Japan (Sean Michael Wilson) and drawn by a Japanese living in London (Chie Kutsuwada). If anyone should understand cross-cultural stories, this team should. But […]

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AX: Alternative Manga Volume 1

I am very glad anthology collections like AX: Alternative Manga exist, but I don’t care much for actually reading them. It’s an important book, and it’s a good thing that this kind of material is being translated into English, to give a more diverse portrait of what kind of manga is being created, but the male-centric viewpoint of many of them is off-putting, and I don’t find these stories particularly enjoyable or enlightening. That’s probably because I don’t find it […]

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A Drunken Dream and Other Stories

Guest review by Ed Sizemore As the title indicates, A Drunken Dream and Other Stories is a collection of short stories spanning the career of Moto Hagio. Hagio is considered one of the pioneers, not only of shoujo manga, but also the boys love genre (non-explicit, romantic stories of boys/young men) and by extension yaoi (explicit, romantic stories featuring men). This book serves as an introduction to both Hagio and her body of work. Drunken Dream contains a wide variety […]

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My Darling! Miss Bancho Volume 1

by Mayu Fujikata This cute school story is great “brain popcorn” — something entertaining that only occupies your attention while you’re reading it. No nutritional value, no lasting effects, but enjoyable while it lasts. The first thing you need to know is that “bancho” means something like “gang boss” or “chief”, since it’s untranslated throughout the book. And it’s key to understanding the situation in My Darling! Miss Bancho. Whoever defeats the current bancho becomes the new one, ruler of […]

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Stolen Hearts Volume 1

Those attracted to manga for its air of exoticism will find this cute shojo romance especially entertaining. In Stolen Hearts by Miku Sakamoto, Shinobu works as a kimono model, demonstrating some very attractive fabrics and patterns, while finding love with the scariest boy in class. After an accidental encounter, Shinobu is dragged to the kimono shop run by Koguma’s grandmother. Koguma is tall, silent, and has a dangerous reputation. He’s also named after a cuddly bear cub, providing a hint […]

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