Alphabetical Index of Tokyopop Manga Reviews

Tokyopop Takes: INVU 4, Metamo Kiss, Return to Labyrinth

INVU Volume 4 by Kim Kang Won I was a bit concerned, since the previous books came out five years ago, that I’d be lost trying to pick the series back up. Surprisingly, I wasn’t. I jumped right back into this high school drama (the only Korean manhwa I follow). The “story so far” page was a big help, but it could have been much improved by including captioning the art shots with the character names. The storylines are easy […]

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Happy Mania Volume 1

I’m very glad I waited until now to read this. I’ve been curious about Moyoco Anno’s Happy Mania for years (since it came out five years ago), because it was one of the earliest josei manga translated in the US. (Josei is manga aimed at women instead of girls.) If I’d read it back, then, though, I don’t think I’d have gotten the humor or been able to approach it with the lightheartedness required. Now, with more manga under my […]

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The Voices of a Distant Star

Makato Shinkai’s The Voices of a Distant Star is one of the most unusual manga I’ve read. First, it was originally a short anime. (Many manga go the opposite way, appearing in print first before being adapted to film. This story was adapted into comic format by Mizu Sahara.) Second, it’s complete in one volume. Mostly, it takes some standard elements and uses them to tell a completely unusual story. It’s about unrealized young love that can never be, and […]

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Sorcerers & Secretaries Volume 2

The short series by Amy Kim Ganter concludes in this second volume. (I previously recommended the first book.) As it opens, Nicole has told Josh that she doesn’t want to see him any more, choosing the perceived demands of her writing over real-life friendships. She quickly learns better, that relationships help your art instead of getting in its way. Josh, demonstrating unexpected depth for someone previously chasing girls just because he could get them easily, doesn’t let her get away […]

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Divalicious! Volume 1

Divalicious! is a frothy, episodic ramble through the life of a self-obsessed teen pop star. Tina’s got it all — career, fans, a rival, and manager Shaquille. Watching her overreact to all of it is hilarious. Writer T Campbell (Penny and Aggie) covers the gamut of modern celebrity culture in content-packed chapters, while Amy Mebberson’s art more than keeps up with how over-the-top everything is. Her characters are friendly, even when they’re self-absorbed or stupid. Tina’s into every trend, whether […]

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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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Dramacon Volume 2

As promised at the end of the first book, it’s a year later, and Christie’s back at the anime convention in Dramacon volume 2. She’s still writing her comic, but her new artist, Bethany, is a lot easier to get along with. (The former artist and boyfriend has been dumped.) This year it’s Bethany’s first time at the show, and Christie’s a lot more comfortable with the atmosphere. Christie’s also seeing more realistically. The professional creator who encouraged her so […]

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Mail Order Ninja Volume 1

The writer, Joshua Elder, intends this 96-page story to be all-ages comedy “like the classic Looney Tunes cartoons”. Unfortunately, that’s not the impression the opening scene of Mail Order Ninja gives. It’s closer to a superhero comic structure, with a humorless (and fairly violent) ninja action scene being revealed to be part of a manga Timothy is reading. The action art by Erich Owen is well-done, so much so that I found the first glimpse of Timothy freakish. He’s typically […]

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