Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! Volume 3

Although the premise of Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! is ludicrous — if you’re a virgin when you turn thirty, you get telepathy by touch to make up for it — there’s a sweetness to the BL series by Yuu Toyota that I appreciate. There are plenty of familiar tropes; the second volume had the group vacation trip, while in this third volume, Adachi is sick and Kurosawa, who likes him, comes over to […]

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The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame Volume 1

I became familiar with the work of Gengoroh Tagame, as so many people did, through My Brother’s Husband. That’s a well-meaning, comfortable story about a man learning not to be afraid of gay people by meeting his dead twin’s husband. Many of the chapters are almost lessons, or even in the style of a very special sitcom episode, the kind that educates on social issues. The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame of course shares the art style, with glorious images of […]

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I Am a Cat Barista Volume 1

The premise of I Am a Cat Barista by Hiro Maijima is clear from the title, but on its own, that doesn’t capture the charm and comfort of this reassuring series. Every chapter is another story where someone discovers this unusual cat café, “a place only the weariest of souls can find.” The human-sized cat barista doesn’t offer a menu. Instead, he observes and gives them what they most need. An exhausted office worker with a jerk boss who’s too […]

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Lost Lad London Volume 1

Lost Lad London by Shima Shinya sets up an intriguing mystery premise. The mayor of London is found dead, stabbed, on an Underground train. Our protagonist is Al, a University student and loner. He’s making his own way by writing papers for other students. A beaten-down detective with a variety of injuries has a history of guilt from when a wrongly charged suspect killed themselves; that case was never solved. He comes to Al’s flat while interviewing witnesses, but Al […]

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A Man and His Cat Volume 6

A Man and His Cat volume 6 continues with dramatic events. I’m more comfortable with them this time around, compared to the last book, because they happen to the humans, not the felines. The man of the title, Mr. Kanda, has performance anxiety. He used to be a famous pianist, but he can’t stand to be on stage any more. He works with another man, Moriyama, who dreams of being in a band… and his dreams are coming true. He’s […]

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Fangirl Volume 2

The second volume of the manga adaptation of Rainbow Rowell’s novel Fangirl is out now. New this volume is a change to the credits. Still illustrated by Gabi Nam, the adaptation is now credited to both Sam Maggs and Rowell. (Maggs had solo credit for volume 1.) That may be related to the promotion that this book includes “all-new scenes by Rainbow Rowell.” I’m not sure which those are — I did a page-by-page comparison for the first book in […]

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What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 18

What Did You Eat Yesterday? volume 18 is another outstanding example of my favorite manga series. It’s the story of Shiro, a lawyer, and his partner Kenji, a hair stylist, and the meals they have together. But it’s about a lot more than that — Shiro and Kenji are now firmly middle-aged (over 50), and so they deal with conversations about inheritance after one of them passes, complicated by the differences in legal status of a gay couple (as marriage […]

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Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku Volume 6

Volume 6 concludes the series Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku. And this final volume is everything a fan could want. It’s half the size, as the other English volumes each had two books’ worth of content, and this is just one. But there are color pages and an adorable flashback to the lead couple’s first meeting as school kids and character pinups and an afterword where the author, Fujita, has a few thoughts on the characters’ futures. I didn’t […]

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