Alphabetical Index of Other Manga Reviews

Ballad of a Shinigami Volume 1

by Asuka Izumi; story by K-Ske Hasegawa You may know the term “shinigami” from the popular Death Note series, where the death god is black and goth and scary. Ballad of a Shinigami, based on a light novel series (translated in the U.S. by Seven Seas) and later anime, turns that concept on its ear by featuring a young girl, all in white, as the messenger of death. Except few people actually die in this book — instead, they’re affected […]

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Emma Volume 8

While the main Emma series concluded with volume 7, this volume continues visiting Kaoru Mori’s Victorian world, telling tales of some of the supporting characters. The first two chapters are a flashback to Kelly and Doug Stowner as young marrieds. (Kelly was, later in her life, Emma’s employer.) They’re debating visiting the Great Exhibition, for which the Crystal Palace was built, but the expense will be difficult for them to manage. She’s harshly practical, but the way the two of […]

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The Name of the Flower Volume 2

Chouko’s feeling lonely because Kei has locked himself away, writing. So she joins up with an odd little college reading club in The Name of the Flower volume 2 by Ken Saito. They’re all astounded by how pretty she is, so they instantly go out drinking, and various club members tend to grab at her to keep her from leaving. The behaviors in this volume, unlike the first, reinforced for me that this story took place in a different country […]

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So I Need to Lose 15 Pounds

When I heard about this book, in which manga artist Shiho Torii accepts her editor’s challenge to lose 15 pounds in five months, I thought it sounded perfect for me. I love manga, and I’ve been meaning to get in better shape. Unfortunately, while the concept is promising, So I Need to Lose 15 Pounds itself is terrible. First, there’s the cartooning itself. I’m ok with simple art, but the illustrations here are so minimal as to make me ask […]

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Apothecarius Argentum Volume 2

by Tomomi Yamashita The shojo fantasy about a princess and her poisonous healer continues in a surprising fashion. (I reviewed volume 1 last year.) Instead of developing their romance explicitly, the story chooses instead to develop and deepen her character, making her more mature and appealing. Much of this development is accomplished through flashback. Young Soda, who wants to be Argent’s apprentice, reminds the older healer of his childhood days with Princess Primula. Argent doesn’t want anyone around him, since […]

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The Lapis Lazuli Crown Volume 1

Miel Violette comes from a family of magicians, but she’s not good at magic. Her super-strength serves her just fine… until she meets a prince in disguise after clocking him with her purse. Becoming involved with him shows her that there might be reason to improve her skills in The Lapis Lazuli Crown volume 1 by Natsuna Kawase. The title comes from the idea that lapis lazuli is “associated with intelligence, insight, and good judgment”, a nice symbol for a […]

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Venus Capriccio Volume 1

by Mai Nishikata Takami’s something of a tomboy. Although tall and pretty, guys dump her because she’s not traditionally feminine. Her best friend is Akira, a boy two years younger who’s also a gifted pianist. Akira’s music is Takami’s comfort; no matter the problem, listening to him play makes her feel better. Now that he’s (barely) in his teens, Akira wants to go out with Takami. She’s used to thinking of him as a friend, not a lover. The more […]

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Deux Yaoi: A Sampling — Kiss All the Boys, Take Me to Heaven, Two of Hearts

Two of Hearts by Kano Miyamoto Haruya, a formerly acclaimed novelist, is in a slump. He lives by the coast and pays the bills by writing magazine articles. He and his editor are also sleeping together. One day, he spies a teenager trying to wash his clothes in the ocean. He takes pity on him and invites him in for a meal and a shower. This is a typical adoption-style storyline common to yaoi. It’s obvious from early on that […]

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