Alphabetical Index of Other Manga Reviews

Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu Volume 2

With a simple structure for this series — we saw in volume 1 how each chapter consists of a simple Japanese dish solving a problem by being so delicious — there’s a risk of it growing monotonous. Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu volume 2 avoids that by introducing new characters. One is a classically sympathetic type, while another is an antagonist with a secret. The European medieval soldiers that dine at Nobu worry about a new church deacon in town, since he […]

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Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu Volume 1

Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu is a charming, relaxing series about how good Japanese food is. Adapted by Virginia Nitouhei from a light novel by Natsuya Semikawa and character designs by Kuriri, it’s the story of a time-traveling izakaya (Japanese tavern). Two German soldiers in a fictional medieval city stumble across a new pub with delicious chilled ale called “Whatsontapp”. The chef prepares something different every time, but it’s always what the audience loves but didn’t know they wanted. The various food […]

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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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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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