My Brother the Shut-In Volume 2

I was surprised to see how the original premise of My Brother the Shut-In fell by the wayside in this second digital-only volume by Kinoko Higurashi. We’ve moved away from Shino’s conflicts, with her concerns about taking care of her family and her worries about her friends disappearing. Instead, the focus here is on getting her brother Tamotsu a job. I still enjoyed reading it, particularly the surprisingly useful job-hunting advice, but it’s a different type of series than I […]

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Behind the Scenes!! Volume 5

Word has just come out that the end of this series by Bisco Hatori is in sight in Japan, and no one will be terribly surprised. It’s an entertaining series, but not a particularly memorable or remarkable one. The plotlines here in Behind the Scenes!! volume 5 indicate a certain amount of casting around for purpose. The first chapter even has some of the characters asking the leader of the special effects group why they’ve taken a particular job, that […]

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Say I Love You Volume 18

Shojo manga series have the best conclusions. They’re formulaic, of course, usually jumping us just enough forward in time to see the lead couple have their happy ending, then spending the rest of the final book checking in with the various side characters and showing us their futures and (usually) pairings. Say I Love You volume 18, the last in the series, is no exception. As I noted the last time I reviewed this series, author Kanae Hazuki has already […]

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Takane & Hana Volume 1

I’ve found my next frothy romance manga to enjoy — Yuki Shiwasu’s Takane & Hana is ridiculous from the start but has a fun sense of humor, as the leads tell each other off while getting glimpses into each other’s very different lives. Hana is 16, a high school student, but as the book opens, she’s been dolled up for a marriage meeting. She doesn’t want to be there, but her gorgeous, spoiled, seven-years-older sister, who’s supposed to be taking […]

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SP Baby Volume 2

What an unfortunate time to be publishing a series with so much “humor” dependent on sexual harassment and treating women as property. Thankfully, the series is over with this volume. I didn’t think it was possible, but our “lead”, Tamaki, becomes even more of an object in SP Baby volume 2. Her crush and neighbor faces off with her boss while she’s sick, basically handing her off while she blushes and dithers. Her boss, called master, continues to grab and […]

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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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