Alphabetical Index of Tokyopop Manga Reviews

Off*Beat Volume 1

Tory’s a really bright kid with some really strange hobbies. He documents everything in his notebooks, and he’s obsessed with the new neighbor, Colin, another 15-year-old who moved in at midnight. Tory convinces his mother to switch him to Colin’s school, necessitating a two-hour commute from Queens to Long Island every day. There, Tory breaks into the guidance counselor’s office to find out more about the boy he’s fixated on Tory eventually gets to know Colin by using his perfect […]

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Erica Sakurazawa — Her Works

(This overview was originally published in The Comics Journal #269.) Earlier this year, Tokyopop announced a promotional push called “Manga After Hours”, an attempt to market some of their more mature female-oriented titles to “chick lit” buyers. Some of the first titles in this line are the works of Erica Sakurazawa. From 2003 to early 2004, six of her books were released. Although manga publishers do cross-promote based on creators — a recent volume of Maison Ikkoku shipped with a […]

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Chobits Volume 1

In the future shown in Chobits, persocoms are girl-shaped computer companions. A geek’s fantasy, they look just like real girls, except for their metallic ear casings, and they’ll follow their owner’s every command. Hideki is a typical sad-sack student struggling to pay his bills, so a persocom is far beyond his means. When he finds one in the trash, it seems like his wish has come true. As the premise suggests, there’s a lot of teasing to this series. Hideki […]

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I.N.V.U. Volume 1

One morning, Sey is woken by moving men. Her mother has decided to go to Italy to work on her novel, and she’s rented out their house. Sey will be living with her mom’s friend Meja, a happy homemaker who’s always wanted a daughter. And here comes the element that sets I.N.V.U. apart from other teen manga romances: Meja does have a daughter, Hali, but Hali has to pretend to be her dead brother Terry to keep Meja from having […]

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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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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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Legal Drug Volume 1

The newest series by fan-favorite art studio CLAMP features pretty boys working at a drugstore. Rikuo saved Kazahaya’s life when he almost died from exposure in the snow. In Legal Drug, the two now share an apartment, work together, and demonstrate the kind of “he’s so frustrating!” relationship that hints at deeper feelings of unrecognized attraction. Their boss, a psychic, sends them off on extra jobs to find mysterious artifacts, aided by Kazahaya’s ability to see visions based on memories. […]

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The Kindaichi Case Files

I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed a good mystery read until I tried this series. Each book is a stand-alone “fair play” case in which the reader can match wits with the detectives. The series is reminiscent of a grown-up Encyclopedia Brown with an older cast, more serious crimes, greater emotional motivation, and spooky overtones. Hajime Kindaichi is an under-achieving troublemaker with a gift for deduction and a grandfather who’s a famous detective. His best friend, Miyuki Nanase, is […]

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