Alphabetical Index of Vertical Manga Reviews

What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 16

What Did You Eat Yesterday? volume 16 continues in the consistently appealing mode of this Fumi Yoshinaga series: small stories about mature life experiences, all revolving around making food. For example, Shiro is going to meet his boyfriend Kenji’s family — his mother and two sisters — for the first time (although the two have been together for a number of years). They’re eating out together at an unagi (eel) restaurant. Although the meal is perfectly pleasant, it’s tempered by […]

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What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 14

Obviously, I’m not rushed to keep up with Fumi Yoshinaga’s What Did You Eat Yesterday? series — but since we’re at a point where we’re lucky to get one volume a year, I think I’m better off saving it to savor. Much like the many delicious-sounding meals Shiro makes for Kenji. What Did You Eat Yesterday? volume 14 came out about a year ago, and the next book (yay for continuing!) is due out May 2021. As with the previous […]

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What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 13

What Did You Eat Yesterday? isn’t my favorite manga series because every chapter has yummy-sounding (or eye-opening) recipes for home-cooked Japanese meals. It’s not my favorite manga because of the relationship struggles and small victories the two leads experience as they deepen their life together. It’s my favorite manga because, as in volume 13, it’s about two middle-aged people building a life together and what it means to be an adult. So few comics deal with that time of life […]

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Flying Witch Volume 3

Flying Witch volume 3 doesn’t differ appreciably from the first book in the series. That’s its strength — calm, lightweight stories about everyday life with just a soupçon of magic to make things interesting. Not too scary or different, though, just relaxing. The kids go to a witch cafe where they’re waited on by a ghost. Another patron is a fox — drawn adorably! — an encounter which helps Chinatsu’s mother write children’s books. The kids garden and eat what […]

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The Gods Lie

In looking over the manga I’ve read from Vertical, I’ve come to realize that they specialize in challenging works. With the exception of their two longest-running series — the heart-warming What Did You Eat Yesterday? and the weirdly comic My Neighbor Seki — the stories in Vertical releases are generally off-kilter and discomforting in some way. (Even the cat manga had some disturbing portrayals about home and family.) These are not manga you read for escapist enjoyment or light entertainment. […]

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What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 12

Now that we’ve caught up to the Japanese releases, enjoying this excellent cooking and relationship manga requires patience. In other words, What Did You Eat Yesterday? volume 12 is the only volume we’re going to get this year, since this is the only installment that came out in its home country in 2016. (I talked about volume 11 earlier this year, although it came out at the end of 2016 in the US.) Thankfully, Fumi Yoshinaga’s story of a gay […]

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What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 11

As always, this recipe manga series by Fumi Yoshinaga shares principles about cooking and eating that are universal and welcome, even if I can’t make the exact dishes. (Since the meals are based in Japanese home cooking, they often depend on ingredients, like shirodashi or mitsuba, that I wouldn’t know where to get. I usually end up looking them up on Wikipedia, since they aren’t translated or explained in notes.) But the specific recipes aren’t the point — the key […]

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Flying Witch Volume 1

Don’t be misled by comparisons to Sabrina the Teenage Witch — Flying Witch by Chihiro Ishizuka is more in the vein of Yotsuba&!, a comfortable exploration of everyday domestic life, with a country flavor and the occasional weirdness. Makoto, accompanied by her cat Chito, has come to stay with her cousins Kei, a boy about her age, and Chinatsu, a younger girl. (The mother shows up later but isn’t particularly involved.) Makoto’s a witch — although that’s handled in odd […]

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