Cheeky Angel Volume 6

Rich, spoiled Keiko wants to be recognized as the prettiest girl in school, but she can’t compare with Meg’s magically granted beauty. While the boys are praising Meg as an angel and a goddess, Keiko fades into the background, a fate she refuses to accept. Her resulting plots are comical in their fussiness. For example, to get revenge on boys who ignore her, she has a crew that pours mud and then drives by in a car to splash them […]

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Cheeky Angel Volume 1

When he was nine years old, Megumi rescued someone he thought was a wizard, and in return, he was granted one wish. Unfortunately, Meg’s wish to be the world’s manliest man was misunderstood (perhaps on purpose), and he instead became the world’s womanliest woman. Now 16 years old, he’s gorgeous, only he’s also as aggressive as ever. This series is perhaps the world’s worst example of “be careful what you wish for”. His best friend Miki keeps telling him to […]

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Your and My Secret Volume 1

Momoi is a lovely girl with a violent temper, poor impulse control, and a grandfather who thinks he’s a mad scientist. Uehara has a crush on her anyway, but since he’s sensitive and shy, nothing is likely to result from his attraction to her. Until they both wind up under one of grandfather’s crazy machines… and they swap bodies in Your and My Secret by Ai Morinaga. Momoi as a boy becomes someone to look up to, someone who excels […]

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Case Closed Volume 3

I’m a little lost. At the end of volume two, the kids Conan was forced to go to school with were threatening to investigate his deserted home. (I say “forced” because even though he has the mind of an almost-adult, he looks like a six-year-old.) I took this to be a hint toward the next storyline; apparently, it was just a joke, since volume three opens with Conan, Rachel, and her dad on a cruise ship, returning from an island […]

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Case Closed Volume 1

Jimmy Kudo, high school junior, idolizes Sherlock Holmes and solves mysteries for the police department in Case Closed, a long-running manga action comedy by Gosho Aoyama. After trailing bad guys to a mysterious meeting, he’s knocked out and poisoned. Although the villains meant to kill him, they instead turn him physically into a six-year-old boy. He winds up working with an incompetent private investigator, the father of the girl he has a crush on, while a mad scientist tries to […]

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Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances

Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances by Masami Tsuda attracted me because of its lead character. Yukino is top of her class in just about everything until Soichiro, a similarly over-achieving boy, comes to her school. She learns to deal with her jealousy of him and her own growing self-awareness of the motivations driving her success. Their rivalry becomes love within a few books, after which the story turns to their friends, which is where I began losing track of […]

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Boys Over Flowers Volume 1

Tsukushi is a middle-class student at an ultra-elite high school in Boys Over Flowers. Her schoolmates are dropped off by chauffeurs and carry designer bags costing thousands of dollars, while she works part-time just for spending money. The school is run by a clique of cool, rich, and handsome students who ostracize anyone who displeases them. Tsukushi’s innocently good heart manifests through her huge, round eyes (resembling out-sized marbles) and her braided pigtails. She feels everything intently, allowing the inequities […]

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Genshiken Volume 1

I’d heard good things about this series by Kio Shimoku, but I found it disappointingly predictable. It’s a manga about being a fan of manga and anime, so its first strike is violating my self-referentiality rule. (In general, I find that comics about comics are more likely to disappoint me. They often indicate a lack of creativity and an author having a hard time coming up with fresh ideas, although for all I know, this is a well-respected and -established […]

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