Alphabetical Index of Other Manga Reviews

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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The Summit of the Gods Volume 3

After reading Volume 2 recently for the Jiro Taniguchi Manga Moveable Feast, I’m thrilled that I had a chance to dive right into the third volume. It’s because we hosted the MMF that the publisher provided an advance digital review copy; the book is due out in May. It’s by Jiro Taniguchi based on a story by Baku Yumemakura. For those who haven’t so recently read the gripping mountaineering mystery — involving determined climbers, a photographer in Nepal trying to […]

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The Summit of the Gods Volume 2

When I read the first volume of The Summit of the Gods, I wrote it off as men’s adventure. Sure, it was beautifully drawn, but who cares about demonically motivated mountain climbers? Now, sitting in my cozy kitchen listening to the rain fall outside, I realize that I underestimated the story. (Or I’m just at a different place — the reader matters as much as the work in determining a good match.) I now understand how the story isn’t just […]

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Wandering Son Volume 2

While I thought the first book of this series by Shimura Takako was a little slow to get started, this volume realizes the promise of the premise by showing us the daily lives of two teens with complicated identities. Shuichi (a boy who wants to be a girl) and Yoshino (a girl who wants to be a boy) have settled into a pattern of indulging their true selves together. They dress as they want to be treated and visit other […]

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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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