Alphabetical Index of Viz Manga Reviews

Case Closed Volume 3

I’m a little lost. At the end of volume two, the kids Conan was forced to go to school with were threatening to investigate his deserted home. (I say “forced” because even though he has the mind of an almost-adult, he looks like a six-year-old.) I took this to be a hint toward the next storyline; apparently, it was just a joke, since volume three opens with Conan, Rachel, and her dad on a cruise ship, returning from an island […]

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Case Closed Volume 1

Jimmy Kudo, high school junior, idolizes Sherlock Holmes and solves mysteries for the police department in Case Closed, a long-running manga action comedy by Gosho Aoyama. After trailing bad guys to a mysterious meeting, he’s knocked out and poisoned. Although the villains meant to kill him, they instead turn him physically into a six-year-old boy. He winds up working with an incompetent private investigator, the father of the girl he has a crush on, while a mad scientist tries to […]

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Boys Over Flowers Volume 1

Tsukushi is a middle-class student at an ultra-elite high school in Boys Over Flowers. Her schoolmates are dropped off by chauffeurs and carry designer bags costing thousands of dollars, while she works part-time just for spending money. The school is run by a clique of cool, rich, and handsome students who ostracize anyone who displeases them. Tsukushi’s innocently good heart manifests through her huge, round eyes (resembling out-sized marbles) and her braided pigtails. She feels everything intently, allowing the inequities […]

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Hikaru no Go

This competition manga features a student learning to play go and appreciate all the tradition that comes with it. Although firmly within the expectations of its genre, the characters are so likable, the art so well-done, and the competition so compelling that it’s an addictive read. Story is by Yumi Hotta and art by Takeshi Obata. Fujiwara-no-Sai was an instructor of the Emperor a thousand years ago until a rival Go teacher’s cheating drove him to suicide. Sai’s yearnings to […]

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Tokyo Boys & Girls Volume 1

Author Miki Aihara created the first manga I got involved with, Hot Gimmick, so I was a guaranteed customer for her next project, Tokyo Boys & Girls. This series doesn’t have the flair or uniqueness of that one, but it’s a decent read. Mimori is a cute fifteen-year-old entering high school and wishing for her first boyfriend. She’s spunky, standing up to teachers and trying to do the right thing regardless of what people think. She quickly becomes friends with […]

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Hot Gimmick Volumes 1-12

Hot Gimmick by Miki Aihara is the manga that made me a devoted proponent of the format. At the time, it was exactly what I was looking for — a girl-centered story that emphasizes emotion and character development, with fascinating plot twists and clear, expressive art. Unfortunately, the treatment of the characters and the end of the series are so disappointing as to erase the enjoyment of the beginning, and now I recommend people avoid it. The protagonist, Hatsumi, is […]

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Hana-Kimi

This modern comedy of gender roles by Hisaya Nakajo, subtitled For You in Full Blossom, is populated with androgynously cute teenagers sporting beautiful faces framed with sprays of bangs. Mizuki has returned to Japan to pursue her dreams, even if it means pretending to be a boy. She’d been living in America, but after seeing Izumi Sano compete in the high jump, she developed a crush on him. Now she’s attending the same boys’ school he does. Her outspoken, “foreign” […]

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Imadoki!

Yû Watase is best known for her two fantasy series, Fushigi Yûgi and Ceres: Celestial Legend. Although it takes place in a more normal school setting, Imadoki! (Nowadays) still has quite a fairy tale air about it. Tanpopo is so eager to check out her new Tokyo school that she jumps her bike over the gate, crash-landing into a boy tending a dandelion. In contrast to her outgoing energy, he’s reserved but caring, bandaging her injury the same way he […]

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