What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 13

What Did You Eat Yesterday? isn’t my favorite manga series because every chapter has yummy-sounding (or eye-opening) recipes for home-cooked Japanese meals. It’s not my favorite manga because of the relationship struggles and small victories the two leads experience as they deepen their life together. It’s my favorite manga because, as in volume 13, it’s about two middle-aged people building a life together and what it means to be an adult. So few comics deal with that time of life […]

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A Bride’s Story Volume 9

Following on from the previous book, we continue with the story of Pariya’s engagement in A Bride’s Story volume 9. (That’s her on the cover, expressing her feelings through the symbolism of bread designs in her typically brash manner.) I suspect many readers can identify with her. She cares strongly, but she doesn’t know how to express herself in a culturally appropriate fashion. She’s got a friend who seems to naturally know how to say the right things, making people […]

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Idol Dreams Volume 5

When it came out last year, I criticized the previous volume of Arina Tanemura’s age-changing fantasy for not giving us enough of the older version of the character. Idol Dreams volume 5, after wrapping up a competition between the singers, which means plenty of glamour shots of the cute girls in pigtails and short skirts, gives us more with the adult Chikage. However, the storyline isn’t about her. It’s about her patching up the relationship between her friend Tokita and […]

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Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma Volume 25

It’s been quite a while since I tried Food Wars — the last book in the series I read, I think, was volume 16 a year and a half ago. I checked out Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma volume 25 because the publisher was nice enough to send it to me, and at least I could tell what was going on. That’s thanks to the main content being two cook-offs, which are the best part of the series. There are […]

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Shortcake Cake Volume 1

The concept behind Shortcake Cake by suu Morishita (alias for writer Makiro and artist Nachiyan) had promise, but I couldn’t keep the characters straight, because none of them are particularly distinctive. Ten lives two hours away from high school, so she moves into a boarding house to avoid the commute. Her friend Ageha already lives there, as do these stereotypical guys: * Riku, the flirtatious charmer who doesn’t understand why he instantly crushes on Ten * Chiaki, the cute boy […]

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Ao Haru Ride Volume 1

This charming schoolgirl shojo gets its title, Ao Haru Ride, from author Io Sakisaka’s vision of her story as a portrait of the characters on a ride through their youth. That age, according to her, is about feeling overwhelmed most of the time. In Ao Haru Ride, Yoshioka doesn’t like boys, except for Tanaka. She thinks that he’s different for being gentle, among other reasons, and when he shows her small kindnesses, she develops a crush on him. Then he […]

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Horimiya Volumes 3-4

And now we’ve reached the point where the series settles down into a more typical groove in order to maintain for the long term. (The most recent book out is number 11.) They’ve introduced the friends, with each having someone to talk to at school, and the trio on the cover of volume 3 are the student council members. Those characters expand the social circle while providing some people to speculate on what the two leads, Hori and Miyamura, are […]

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Takane & Hana Volume 4

I thought, if you give something enough time, it can grow on you, but each new volume of Takane & Hana just reminds me how far it’s fallen from the potential I saw in the first book. Take the latest, volume 4. Hana and her friends are finishing up a vacation trip with the guys, conveniently summed up by one of the girls on the first page: “Their group was so random! I mean, a Japanese heir, a rich Italian, […]

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