Alphabetical Index of Tokyopop Manga Reviews

The Stellar Six of Gingacho Volumes 1 & 2

The Stellar Six of Gingacho by Yuuki Fujimoto, a story of deep kid friendship, provides different appeal to different age groups. For the young, it’s a gang of buddies they want to be part of having fun; for the older, it’s a nostalgic reminder of days when all that mattered was loyalty and time spent together, before difficult decisions and hard emotional choices interfered. As the opening statement reads, “Back then… we weren’t afraid of anything.” Volume 1 introduces the […]

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The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko Volume 1

It’s always a pleasure when you hear someone recommend a book, you try it, and you like it, perhaps even more than they did. But thankfully, that’s what happened when I tried The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko. Kanoko is adorable, to start, with a rounded bob haircut, glasses, and an extreme dislike of her age group. Each chapter features her indulging in her favorite pastime: watching her classmates and recording their feelings and actions. She treats them as her […]

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Aria Volume 6

During the busy year-end/new start period, sometimes all I’m looking for is a bit of escapism, a read to take me away from mundane tasks and into another world, even if as far-reaching as imagining a job as a gondolier on another planet in the future. Those kinds of stories give me a break from worries, the best kind of manga to read. The message of Kozue Amano’s Aria, made all the more poignant by the slow release schedule of […]

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The Dreaming Collection

Queenie Chan‘s atmospheric boarding school mystery The Dreaming has been reprinted in a single-volume bind-up of the three previous books. This re-release puts a new edition of the story on the shelves while the upcoming movie is being funded and entering production. Regardless of the motives, this single-volume edition is a superior way to read this suspense-filled tale. (And the original intent of the author; the publisher requested it be released in three separate books, which required some editing and […]

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Suppli Volumes 4 & 5

When Suppli volume 1 came out three years ago, I tried it. And even though I am always looking for josei manga (aimed at women, not girls) and although Suppli was well-recommended, it didn’t click for me at the time. I think I was too afraid of the protagonist’s fear, the idea of being alone with nothing but an unrewarding job, to want to read about it for entertainment. Now that Tokyopop has returned to the series with an omnibus […]

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Sgt. Frog Volume 18

I haven’t read a Sgt. Frog book since 2006, when I gave up after volume 12. At that point, I’d grown tired of the series by Mine Yoshizaki, finding its comedy repetitive. Yet I was glad to get a chance to check in with it again, because I remember liking it in the early days, and with so much time passed, I was sure it’d be fresh again. After a pointless flashback about super-rich Momoka comes the kinds of stories […]

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Aria Volume 5

When I’m feeling out of sorts, nothing calms like a new volume of Aria by Kozue Amano. It’s the manga equivalent of a hot cup of tea and a sit-down, a lovely mediation on appreciating the quieter aspects of life. The series had some unexpected delays, but that means it’s timely — in this volume, Akari, the apprentice gondolier (undine), is beginning her second autumn on the water planet, just as fall has firmly fallen here in the U.S. The […]

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I.N.V.U. Volume 5

At this point, I’m reading this series out of nostalgia, since it’s the oldest manga series I’m collecting that’s still running. It started in 2003, when the first three books by Kim Kang Won came out, with volume 4 following four years later, and then after another two years, here we are with volume 5. Goodness knows that the story isn’t worth six years of patience. The events are stereotypical soap opera, and the characters are types instead of three-dimensional. […]

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