Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku Volume 5

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku. It’s not a manga series that inspires a lot of “must read now” emotion in me, but it’s probably the one that I can most relate to, as it’s about a small group of adult friends being geeky and fannish. Hirotaka and Narumi began by pretending to date, as she was afraid no guy would be able to tolerate her fandom behavior. By now, though, they’re […]

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Saving Sweets for After-Hours Volume 1

Saving Sweets for After-Hours has an intriguing premise that tries to pack in too much and retreats to the conventional. It’s by Kanae Sato and released digital-only by Kodansha. Reika looks like a model and runs a department at a company that makes desserts. She is feared by her staff because of her bossy personality and gossip that she’s into S&M… but secretly, she’s a 32-year-old virgin. Who also writes a popular blog featuring sex stories. One of her subordinates […]

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A Bride’s Story Volume 12

With a new installment due out next month, it seemed an excellent time to catch up on the volumes out since I last talked about how much I like this series. (The last book I covered was volume 9 in 2018.) This most recent is A Bride’s Story volume 12, which came out in September 2020. As anthropologist Mr. Smith retraces his tracks before contemplating returning home, that’s an excuse for author Kaoru Mori to check in with the variety […]

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Cat Massage Therapy Volume 1

These days, the only kinds of manga I want to read are soft and fluffy ones. (The state of the world has left me feeling fragile.) Thankfully, there are plenty. One odd little sub-genre that works very well for me is not just cat manga, but cats doing jobs. After I Am a Cat Barista, the next one I enjoyed was Cat Massage Therapy. This one is a bit simpler in concept than the Barista book. Basically, the cat does […]

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A Man and His Cat Volume 5

A Man and His Cat volume 5 was much more dramatic than I expected — or maybe wanted. I like this series by Umi Sakurai because seeing a lonely older man and an overlooked cat find each other was comforting and cozy. While this volume follows up the theme of the previous book about allowing oneself to rely on friends, the actual events were somewhat nerve-wracking. Another cat that Fukumaru recognizes from the pet shop is lost and hurt. When […]

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Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu Volume 9

I’m impressed that as the Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu series has continued, our knowledge of the recurring cast has allowed for stories that move beyond delicious food to more subtle explorations of family and political motivations. Although the delicious food is still present, making my mouth water as I read. In volume 9, those stories include some humanizing moments for Gehrnot the tax collector. He almost has a reunion with his brother, the traveling actor, and he helps some warehouse owners […]

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What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 17

There’s a cute chapter in What Did You Eat Yesterday? volume 17 that has a lot happening. Ultimately, it ends with Shiro taking care of Kenji in a variety of ways, which I found heartwarming. Kenji, now managing the hair salon, feels as though he has to go out drinking with his good customers as part of the business. (Apparently, this is a thing in Japan, with author Fumi Yoshinaga making a comment about clients wanting to drink with their […]

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Yotsuba&! Volume 15

It’s been three years since the previous volume, but one of the many charms of Yotsuba&! volume 15 is that it feels timeless. Yotsuba’s wonder at the world, her interest in creating and exploring and learning new things, is soul-restoring. I want to feel like that, and for the amount of time I’m reading this, I do. There’s one chapter where she and friends take a trip to the shore to collect rocks, and it’s all about riding in the […]

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