Genshiken Volume 8

I had thought that this was the last volume in the series by Kio Shimoku, but there will be at least one more. However, this book did provide the focus on Ogiue I was looking for. The aspiring manga artist suffers severe guilt over her explicit yaoi because of an incident that happened five years ago. At the urging of her friends, she’d drawn yaoi featuring a student in their class. When he and others found out about it, he […]

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Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs Volume 2

I do love this series by Yukiya Sakuragi. I know it’s predictable and flawed — it’s almost a case study in the way it infantilizes its two-dimensional heroine — but it makes me so happy to read it. How can you not enjoy being reminded of how dogs make people happy? After getting hired at the pet shop in volume 1 to take care of the dogs, now Suguri has to learn to sell them in volume 2. Except for […]

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Kitchen Princess Volume 1

by Natsumi Ando; story by Miyuki Kobayashi; adaptation by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir An orphan girl is a great cook with an amazing sense of taste. As a young child, her life was saved by a boy who left behind only a silver spoon with the crest of a prestigious school. Now, she’s worked hard to get into the school to try to find him. I was expecting fun things from this series, because I love cooking. Sadly, I […]

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Genshiken Volume 4

It’s a time of change for the fanboys and -girls who make up the club dedicated to manga, anime, gaming, cosplay, and porn. Saki, the non-otaku who only hangs around because her boyfriend belongs, almost burned down the school by accident at the end of last volume, resulting in the club being put on suspension. To make it up to the members, she agrees to participate in a costume contest. There’s also the problem of them being locked out of […]

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Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs Volume 1

It’s a standard manga premise — young girl doesn’t know what to do with her life, stumbles into something she’s good at and starts becoming an adult as a result of the experience — made palatable through the many pictures of very cute dogs in Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs by Yukiya Sakuragi. Suguri is, to be blunt, a cheerful idiot. When a dog pees on her, for example, she laughs and says, “Oh, that always happens.” The story begins when […]

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Yakitate!! Japan Volume 4

Just when I thought this competition manga by Takashi Hashiguchi had settled into a steady routine — naive country boy with innate gifts for baking bread rises to each challenge, creating a new twist on whatever type of baked good he’s assigned — the author shakes things up with the latest volume. It opens with two digressions. The first features the store manager telling the trainees how he became a master baker. It’s an over-the-top high school satire of young […]

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Naoki Urasawa’s Monster Volume 1

In Monster, Naoki Urasawa turns the usual expectation of good and evil on its head. Dr. Tenma is a brilliant Japanese surgeon working in Germany. He’s a rising star due to his skills, and he’s engaged to the daughter of the chief of the hospital. She’s got his advancement all planned out so she can be the wife of a rich and powerful man. He’s got bigger concerns, though — his risky operation on an opera star brought the chief […]

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Earthlight Volume 1

It’s high school teen drama… in space! I’m not sure what to say about Earthlight. I want to like it, but it’s not quite there for me. The artist, Christopher Schons, is great with near-future technology, and he’s also good with creating expressive figures in the kids, so that’s not it. The writer, Stuart Moore, crafts excellent scenes and is good at introducing story events and characters efficiently, even if most of the people are predictable types (but still likable). […]

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