Don’t Be Cruel: Plus+

Don’t Be Cruel: Plus+ is a one-off collection of side and bonus stories featuring characters from the main yaoi series by Yonezou Nekota (also published by SuBLime Manga). I must have read Don’t Be Cruel at some point, because I vaguely remembered that it was about two schoolboys. The fun-loving, playboy one blackmails the studious one into having regular sex with him, but (typical of yaoi) they really have feelings for each other, although they aren’t willing to admit it […]

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Ten Count Volume 4

I imagine those who have trouble with the lack of consent on view in previous volumes of Ten Count have given up by now, but those who’ve stuck it out are rewarded in volume 4 by finally finding out what made Shirotani a germophobe. The title comes from Shirotani’s list of tasks he can’t stand to do, things like shaking hands without his gloves on. It was established as a starting point for a kind of aversion therapy, but therapist […]

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Master Keaton Volume 11

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about the Master Keaton series — the last I covered was volume 8 last year — because it’s not your typical manga series. Each volume is best approached as a short story anthology, held together by most (but not all) of the chapters having an appearance by Taichi Keaton, insurance investigator (and former special forces soldier, which helps when someone tries to kill him, which happens more often than you’d expect). By this […]

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Dreamin’ Sun Volume 1

There’s a lot that’s familiar to the manga reader in Dreamin’ Sun volume 1 by Ichigo Takano, but it’s good-hearted and comfortable enough that I didn’t mind. Kameko has run away from home because her mother died, her father remarried, and the new baby takes up all their attention. She trips over a drunk guy in a kimono in the park who’s been locked out, and he offers her a place to stay. This, amazingly, is not creepy. It helps […]

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Kiss Him, Not Me! Volume 11

I was disappointed with Kiss Him, Not Me! volume 11 because it didn’t have enough of what I read the series for. I like the fan behavior and the various goofy activities the cast engages in for their love of anime and related pop culture. This installment, instead, is all ridiculous action sequences. When this storyline began in the last book, Kae had met again her childhood friend Takeru, now an established voice actor for her favorite anime series. There […]

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Golden Kamuy Volume 1

My favorite type of manga is shojo romance, but the extent to which I enjoyed Golden Kamuy volume 1 shows how valuable it can be to break out of one’s usual reading patterns. This historical action-adventure by Satoru Noda was a thrilling introduction to a pair of intriguing characters. Sugimoto, a hard-bitten veteran of the Russo-Japanese War (1905), is trying to pan for gold in order to help his comrade’s widow. He was a hero, with a reputation that he […]

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Kiss Him, Not Me! Volume 10

I thought, by this point, the series would have settled down to a comfortable familiarity, but by introducing a new character, Kiss Him, Not Me! volume 10 adds an interesting dimension to the gang of fans. Kae finds out that a long-lost childhood friend is now a key voice actor in her favorite anime. She used to defend Takeru from bullies when they were young, and he craves her protection again now, to help him manage the stress of a […]

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My Brother’s Husband Volume 1

Gay characters have been portrayed in manga in a variety of ways. The best-known approach takes place in the yaoi genre, which concentrates on physical interactions and is aimed at women. My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame is the opposite, focused on normalizing a gay relationship to those who are uncomfortable with the idea. Yaichi is raising his daughter Kana alone. In this way, the book starts as a domestic fantasy, like Yotsuba&! or Bunny Drop, with a cute kid […]

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