Kaguya-sama: Love Is War Volume 1

Two cynical kids, the smartest in their class, are convinced that every couple has an imbalance of power. They like each other, but since neither wants to lose at anything, neither will be the first to admit their feelings. That’s the premise of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War volume 1 by Aka Akasaka, that “the one who falls in love first loses!” The chapters revolve around the two scheming to force or trick the other into admitting interest. I found it […]

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The Young Master’s Revenge Volume 1

Meca Tanaka’s previous series, Meteor Prince, was a goofy take on “love with a supernatural creature” manga. Here, she tackles the “we knew each other as children and now meet again” genre with similarly silly results. The Young Master’s Revenge stars Leo Tachibana, returning to Japan to start high school. The decade he spent out of the country, he fixated on revenge on Tenma, whose family has suffered a decline. While Leo’s father’s fashion business has since made them rich, […]

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My Brother the Shut-In Volume 1

I haven’t had much chance to explore Kodansha’s digital-only manga releases, and I’m not sure why I decided to start with this one, other than that it dealt with a situation we don’t often see here. But I enjoyed the story, in part because it’s unusual, and I’d like to see more. My Brother the Shut-In is about high school student Shino, who enjoys her time with friends and her after-school job. She tells everyone she’s an only child because […]

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SP Baby Volume 1

I thought the short, silly SP Baby would be a fun read. After all, I liked the similar Flower in a Storm, which also combined romance with comedy violence. But SP Baby never came together for me. I should have paid attention to the creator. Maki Enjoji was also responsible for Happy Marriage?!, a silly, smutty shojo with sex about an arranged marriage with a dippy lead girl. That approach to characterization continues here. Tamaki needs to find a full-time […]

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Astra Lost in Space Volume 1

I had hopes for Astra Lost in Space, based on the premise, about a class trip set in the future with space travel. When an accident occurs, the group of students has to figure out how to survive and get back home. It’s a classic setup with lots of promise for character development and exciting adventures. I anticipated something that fans of classic manga science fiction like They Were 11 or Twin Spica might enjoy. Unfortunately, what I got in […]

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Flying Witch Volume 3

Flying Witch volume 3 doesn’t differ appreciably from the first book in the series. That’s its strength — calm, lightweight stories about everyday life with just a soupçon of magic to make things interesting. Not too scary or different, though, just relaxing. The kids go to a witch cafe where they’re waited on by a ghost. Another patron is a fox — drawn adorably! — an encounter which helps Chinatsu’s mother write children’s books. The kids garden and eat what […]

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Everyone’s Getting Married Volume 7

As indicated at the end of volume 6, the couple of Asuka and Ryu face an even more challenging obstacle than we’ve previously seen: Ryu is being asked to work overseas for some years. It’s a major career advancement, but how will the two cope, and will this change his objection to the idea of marriage? I won’t spoil Everyone’s Getting Married volume 7, because much of the fun of this series is seeing what happens next, but I will […]

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Slumbering Beauty Volume 1

Creator Yumi Unita is best-known in this country for Bunny Drop, an adorable manga about a single father that turned creepy when he decided to get involved with his adoptive daughter once she grew up. Thus, when Slumbering Beauty was announced, I was concerned about what might be part of this manga. I shouldn’t have worried. I could really get into Slumbering Beauty, because it was weird from the start. Schoolgirl Yoneko likes to sleep, and she’s really good at […]

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