That’s My Atypical Girl Volume 1

I was curious about That’s My Atypical Girl volume 1, a digital-only manga release with story by Sohachi Hagimoto and art by Renji Morita, because of the premise, in which an aspiring manga creator meets a dedicated fan of his work. Yokoi is an unsuccessful manga artist because his stories are gloomy and he doesn’t draw very well. He lives cheaply and survives by drawing sexy fan comics. Saito, the fan, shows up at his apartment one day and just […]

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Monster and the Beast Volume 3

This is around when a manga series has to find something beyond the original concept with which to continue. Monster and the Beast volume 3 by Renji accomplishes this by separating the two leads and promising more information to come about one’s past. At the end of volume 2, Liam (the man on the run) has gotten on a ship to another continent, accidentally leaving Caro (the shy demon who has feelings for Liam) behind. That’s quite the cliffhanger. Liam […]

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Makeup Is Not (Just) Magic

A Manga Guide to Cosmetics and Skin Care by Ikumi Rotta Learning makeup through manga is a great idea — the visuals in Makeup Is Not (Just) Magic provide a terrific format for illustrated guides and educational content. Unfortunately, the material here is too often overwhelming and off-putting, likely to turn off the new readers whom the author says she wants to help. The author tells us she was previously a beauty consultant. Now she draws manga. Makeup made her […]

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Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book

That subtitle is a little misleading, as this is more of a scrapbook with comic strips included. Tokyo Fashion by Nodoka has 44 suggestions on “how to look stylish when you’ve got zero time to think about it!” (Plus, four for men, although they’re weirdly specific.) Each tip is accompanied by a couple of outfit drawings and a short (3-4 panel) comic strip in which the protagonist takes advice from her cat. Of course, the usefulness of any style advice […]

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My Brother’s Husband Volume 2

My Brother’s Husband volume 2 concludes the short, inspirational manga series by Gengoroh Tagame. Mike is still visiting Yaichi and his daughter Kana. (Mike was married in Canada to Yaichi’s twin brother, who has passed away.) Mike’s visit has caused Yaichi to start thinking about what it might be like to be gay and to begin recognizing the stereotypes and distrust visible in Japanese culture. As the book opens, Yaichi has had a dream about Kana perhaps growing up to […]

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The Way of the House Husband Volume 1

The Way of the House Husband is based around a funny concept, although I found the execution of some of the early chapters oddly timed. The title character used to be a high-ranking yakuza, a man with a killer reputation, so fierce that anyone who saw him was frightened into submission. Now, he takes care of the house. While still wearing a suit and button-down shirt, under an apron, and shades. The art by Kousuke Oono is the appeal for […]

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A Man and His Cat Volume 3

It’s around this time in a manga series with a relatively simple premise — a widower who’s tired of life finds comfort in an older cat that no one else wanted and enjoys the basics of having a pet — that I start wondering how the author is going to keep it going with descending into mere repetition. In A Man and His Cat volume 3, Umi Sakurai tells some longer stories about pet ownership as well as delving much […]

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BL Metamorphosis Volume 1

BL Metamorphosis is a charming, low-key manga about how friendship can develop based on shared interests, regardless of how different the friends might otherwise be. It’s a lesson I’ve learned myself, and it was refreshing to see it portrayed on paper by Kaori Tsurutani in this English edition published by Seven Seas. Ichinoi is 75 years old. One day, she stops into a bookstore after she finds her favorite cafe has closed down. She wanders into the manga section, where […]

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