Alphabetical Index of Viz Manga Reviews

Beast Complex

The single volume Beast Complex collects six stories by Paru Itagaki, the creator of Beastars. They’re set in her world where anthropomorphized carnivores and herbivores try to co-exist, in spite of one type of being wanting to eat the other. It’s a potent metaphor. Characters are constantly under threat because of what they are, not what they choose to do, although these tales make it clear that everyone has choices. Each story puts one of each type of creature into […]

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Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book

That subtitle is a little misleading, as this is more of a scrapbook with comic strips included. Tokyo Fashion by Nodoka has 44 suggestions on “how to look stylish when you’ve got zero time to think about it!” (Plus, four for men, although they’re weirdly specific.) Each tip is accompanied by a couple of outfit drawings and a short (3-4 panel) comic strip in which the protagonist takes advice from her cat. Of course, the usefulness of any style advice […]

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The Way of the House Husband Volume 1

The Way of the House Husband is based around a funny concept, although I found the execution of some of the early chapters oddly timed. The title character used to be a high-ranking yakuza, a man with a killer reputation, so fierce that anyone who saw him was frightened into submission. Now, he takes care of the house. While still wearing a suit and button-down shirt, under an apron, and shades. The art by Kousuke Oono is the appeal for […]

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Ao Haru Ride Volumes 5 & 6

It’s that time of the series by Io Sakisaka — it’s too soon for things to settle down (since the series overall runs 13 volumes), and the first mystery has been revealed, so let’s introduce some rivals for the attention of the members of our core couple. That will provide more chance for misunderstandings and pining internal monologues of the “why would he do that?” sort. Ao Haru Ride volume 5 starts with great romantic promise. Futaba and Kou make […]

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That Blue Sky Feeling Volume 1

That Blue Sky Feeling is a different kind of manga series. It’s about two schoolboys, one of whom is thought to be gay, but it’s not an explicit romance or BL (boys’ love). Instead, it’s about friendship and learning to think about others, regardless of how like you or different from you they are. It’s a likable coming-of-age story that reflects how amorphous lines have become these days, written by Okura and illustrated by Coma Hashii. Noshiro is the excited […]

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Candy Color Paradox

Isaku Natsume’s Candy Color Paradox reinforced for me that I’m not a yaoi fan, because I really liked the aspects of this SuBLime manga that had nothing to do with sex or the relationship between the leads. It’s a classic story of “co-workers, forced together, spat as cover for their true feelings”, only with two guys. Satoshi, a news writer, was supposed to be working on the political beat, but at the last minute, he’s sent to the “stakeout team” […]

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Ao Haru Ride Volume 4

Now that the series has some longevity to it, we get the dramatic flashback. The premise of the series is that Futaba and Kou were interested, then separated, then reunited. When they meet again, Kou behaves differently, and in Io Sakisaka’s Ao Haru Ride volume 4, we finally find out why. Family flashbacks show why Kou gave up being a top student, why he seems estranged from his brother (a teacher at their school), and why he changed his name. […]

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Ao Haru Ride Volume 3

Io Sakisaka’s Ao Haru Ride volume 3 brings the students back to the school setting (after the retreat of volume 2) and introduces a new conflict. After having her eyes opened to what friendship should mean in volume 1, Futaba is challenged by a passing comment made by new friend Yuri. Yuri likes Kou, it turns out. Futaba doesn’t want to hurt or compete with her friend, particularly since she’s unsure how deep her feelings for Kou go. Can she […]

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