Alphabetical Index of Viz Manga Reviews

Behind the Scenes Volume 4

It’s about that point in any manga series, where the episodic stories start giving way to more character-based insight. Bisco Hatori’s Behind the Scenes volume 4 is no exception. We’re still seeing the group of art students providing movie-making support, but here, we also get to meet the family of Ranmaru, the fish-out-of-water nominal lead character, as well as Goda’s father. The first story sends the team to buck up a director who’s collapsed under pressure and won’t show up […]

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Don’t Be Cruel: Plus+

Don’t Be Cruel: Plus+ is a one-off collection of side and bonus stories featuring characters from the main yaoi series by Yonezou Nekota (also published by SuBLime Manga). I must have read Don’t Be Cruel at some point, because I vaguely remembered that it was about two schoolboys. The fun-loving, playboy one blackmails the studious one into having regular sex with him, but (typical of yaoi) they really have feelings for each other, although they aren’t willing to admit it […]

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Ten Count Volume 4

I imagine those who have trouble with the lack of consent on view in previous volumes of Ten Count have given up by now, but those who’ve stuck it out are rewarded in volume 4 by finally finding out what made Shirotani a germophobe. The title comes from Shirotani’s list of tasks he can’t stand to do, things like shaking hands without his gloves on. It was established as a starting point for a kind of aversion therapy, but therapist […]

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Master Keaton Volume 11

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about the Master Keaton series — the last I covered was volume 8 last year — because it’s not your typical manga series. Each volume is best approached as a short story anthology, held together by most (but not all) of the chapters having an appearance by Taichi Keaton, insurance investigator (and former special forces soldier, which helps when someone tries to kill him, which happens more often than you’d expect). By this […]

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Golden Kamuy Volume 1

My favorite type of manga is shojo romance, but the extent to which I enjoyed Golden Kamuy volume 1 shows how valuable it can be to break out of one’s usual reading patterns. This historical action-adventure by Satoru Noda was a thrilling introduction to a pair of intriguing characters. Sugimoto, a hard-bitten veteran of the Russo-Japanese War (1905), is trying to pan for gold in order to help his comrade’s widow. He was a hero, with a reputation that he […]

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Behind the Scenes!! Volume 3

The wacky adventures of the group of special effects artists in college continue with just as much entertaining escapism in volume three. This time, they’ve taken over a house to film a horror story starring a creepy young boy. The problem is that the child actor is spoiled and demanding. While he’s ordering everyone around, Art Squad leader Goda is hiding from him, because he doesn’t like kids. This makes for a difficult film camp experience, but I enjoyed the […]

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Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma Volume 16

After several volumes that explored the food business, I thought Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma volume 16 was a distinct step backwards, from the exploitative fan-service cover to the repetitive plotlines. Soma’s once again facing off against a high-ranking school council member. This time the competition involves running a booth at the school festival. There are a number of rules in place (established in the previous book) that mean Soma risks leaving school if he loses. There’s nothing new here, […]

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Behind the Scenes!! Volumes 1-2

Bisco Hatori (best known for Ouran High School Host Club) brings out a rollicking story of a shy young man finding room for his talents when he meets the right group of college friends in Behind the Scenes!!. The twist in this series is the media connection — the Art Squad handles props, costumes, and special effects for all the campus groups who want to make movies. Ranmaru is your typical manga protagonist. He’s an unassuming but high-strung country boy, […]

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