Alphabetical Index of Tokyopop Manga Reviews

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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Alichino Volume 3

I flipped through Alichino volume 3 by Kouyu Shurei. I can’t say read, because I can’t keep the characters straight and I have no idea what’s going on. It sure is gorgeous to look at, though, with beautifully detailed, gothically inspired pretty people arguing about souls, death, and revenge. I only picked it up because I thought it completed the series, and then I’d have the whole set. Imagine my surprise to read the short interview with the author at […]

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Instant Teen: Just Add Nuts Volume 1

Natsumi is a fifth-grader eager to grow up so she’ll have a sexy body like those she sees in magazines. Her neighbor and best friend, Asuma, laughs at her efforts to hide his feelings for her. When she eats magic nuts, given out on the street corner as samples, she wakes up to find her dream has temporarily come true: she’s physically a well-built teenager. Natsumi is remarkably oblivious to herself and her surroundings. One day, she’s turned away from […]

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Peach Fuzz Volume 1

Nine-year-old Amanda selects a ferret as her first pet. Mom is concerned about the danger; it seems that ferrets like to nip until they’re trained not to. Amanda talks her mom into it, with the understanding that she’ll have to return the pet if it bites her. Peach views Amanda’s hand reaching into her cage as a five-headed monster attacking her, so of course, she bites back. Based on the premise, Peach Fuzz should have been more enjoyable than it […]

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Comic Party Volume 1

Any fan who’s ever been to a convention will recognize the setting of Comic Party, complete with all the clichés. When Kazuki doesn’t get into his chosen art school, his friends Mizuki (a cute girl) and Taishi (a geek) take him to an anime, manga, and gaming convention in order to help him find a focus for his creativity. Inspired, Kazuki prepares to put together a comic and debut it at a show. Taishi directs him by showing him this […]

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Suki

Suki, contrary to first guess, isn’t the name of the young girl on the cover; she’s Hina. Instead, it’s from the phrase “Suki, Dakara Suki” (“I like you, that’s why I like you”). That kind of simple acceptance is a hallmark of Hina’s naiveté in this short CLAMP series. Hina lives alone with only two teddy bears for company. One snowy night, her new substitute teacher moves into the empty house next door. She’s thrilled to have a neighbor who […]

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Planetes

Planetes by Makoto Yukimura is the story of garbage collectors in space, those responsible for picking up leftover junk floating around. Yuri is trying to get over the freak death of his wife years earlier. He’s quiet and distracted, putting up with the desolation of the work by losing himself inside his head. Hachimaki is still young, dreaming of making enough for his own ship one day, and not realizing how prying simple questions can be. Fee is their driver, […]

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Fruits Basket

Tokyopop promoted Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket as its “most eagerly-awaited manga series”, and sales figures and top rankings have borne that out. With its blend of comedy, romance, fantasy, and drama, all expressed in an attractively mainstream art style, there’s something here for everyone. An eternal optimist, Tohru Honda is proud of taking care of herself, even though she’s been living in a tent after her mother’s death. She’s on the property of the Sohma family, a rather unusual group […]

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