Peach Fuzz Volume 1

Nine-year-old Amanda selects a ferret as her first pet. Mom is concerned about the danger; it seems that ferrets like to nip until they’re trained not to. Amanda talks her mom into it, with the understanding that she’ll have to return the pet if it bites her. Peach views Amanda’s hand reaching into her cage as a five-headed monster attacking her, so of course, she bites back. Based on the premise, Peach Fuzz should have been more enjoyable than it […]

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Hana-Kimi

This modern comedy of gender roles by Hisaya Nakajo, subtitled For You in Full Blossom, is populated with androgynously cute teenagers sporting beautiful faces framed with sprays of bangs. Mizuki has returned to Japan to pursue her dreams, even if it means pretending to be a boy. She’d been living in America, but after seeing Izumi Sano compete in the high jump, she developed a crush on him. Now she’s attending the same boys’ school he does. Her outspoken, “foreign” […]

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Comic Party Volume 1

Any fan who’s ever been to a convention will recognize the setting of Comic Party, complete with all the clichés. When Kazuki doesn’t get into his chosen art school, his friends Mizuki (a cute girl) and Taishi (a geek) take him to an anime, manga, and gaming convention in order to help him find a focus for his creativity. Inspired, Kazuki prepares to put together a comic and debut it at a show. Taishi directs him by showing him this […]

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The Walking Man

Although manga, The Walking Man is published in a form more typical to collections of art comics, with jacket flaps and thick, crisply white paper. That suits its subject matter well, positioning it to an audience who can appreciate a series of reflective encounters beautifully illustrated by Jiro Taniguchi. (Also suited to that audience, it’s been flipped, so that it reads left-to-right.) Each chapter covers one of the man’s walks, showing us what he sees. In the first, he’s just […]

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Imadoki!

Yû Watase is best known for her two fantasy series, Fushigi Yûgi and Ceres: Celestial Legend. Although it takes place in a more normal school setting, Imadoki! (Nowadays) still has quite a fairy tale air about it. Tanpopo is so eager to check out her new Tokyo school that she jumps her bike over the gate, crash-landing into a boy tending a dandelion. In contrast to her outgoing energy, he’s reserved but caring, bandaging her injury the same way he […]

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Suki

Suki, contrary to first guess, isn’t the name of the young girl on the cover; she’s Hina. Instead, it’s from the phrase “Suki, Dakara Suki” (“I like you, that’s why I like you”). That kind of simple acceptance is a hallmark of Hina’s naiveté in this short CLAMP series. Hina lives alone with only two teddy bears for company. One snowy night, her new substitute teacher moves into the empty house next door. She’s thrilled to have a neighbor who […]

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Paradise Kiss

Paradise Kiss brings a heavy dose of fashion to a manga coming-of-age romance by Ai Yazawa. Yukari is a student cramming for her upcoming college entrance exams. A group of fashion students pick her up on the street because of her moody look and rename her Caroline. They’ve created a studio in the hopes of merchandising their fashions, and they need a model for their creations. Influenced by the glam movie Velvet Goldmine, each of them has their own look. […]

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Planetes

Planetes by Makoto Yukimura is the story of garbage collectors in space, those responsible for picking up leftover junk floating around. Yuri is trying to get over the freak death of his wife years earlier. He’s quiet and distracted, putting up with the desolation of the work by losing himself inside his head. Hachimaki is still young, dreaming of making enough for his own ship one day, and not realizing how prying simple questions can be. Fee is their driver, […]

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