Alphabetical Index of Viz Manga Reviews

Honey So Sweet Volumes 1-2

As its title suggests, Honey So Sweet is a lightweight confection, an adorable bundle of teen romance between mismatched types that stands out because of the speed of its plot developments. Amu Meguro presents the story of Kogure, a shy girl just starting high school. She’s stunned when a delinquent, Onise, suddenly requests a conversation with her, gives her a bouquet, and asks that they date. She says yes out of fear, but as their story develops, we learn a […]

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Idol Dreams Volume 2

Arina Tanemura’s magical girl story for adults thankfully is as enjoyable in the second volume as it was in the first. By playing with both versions of Chikage, the adult and the teen (both now, as she transforms, and then, in her memories), Tanemura expands the kinds of stories she’s able to tell, keeping the material fresh. For instance, this book starts with Chikage’s friend Tokita remembering how horrible his school days were. (Tokita is the one who provides the […]

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Master Keaton Volumes 5-6

The Master Keaton series has hit its stride with these volumes, now that the title character has settled into a groove as a globe-trotting adventurer. He mentions, at times, his theory of culture development or his love of academia, but he now seems resigned to his investigation work, where his skills as a former special forces soldier come into play. Some of the stories have also gotten longer, which allows for more development of characters and plots, a welcome change. […]

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Library Wars: Love & War Volume 15

When Viz launched Library Wars: Love & War in English in the summer of 2010, I appreciated the premise, of an organized force of librarians who form an army to defend the right to read and defeat government censorship. However, the series became much more focused on its dippy heroine and her crushes (typical of its shojo genre) than the science-fiction exploration of the premise I hoped for, so I stopped reading with volume 5 in 2011. I checked back […]

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Master Keaton Volume 3

I was concerned about this in my review of volume 2, but Master Keaton volume 3, aside from a couple of brief nods to archaeology, has turned Taichi Hiraga Keaton into a globe-trotting adventurer, which makes the stories more generic and seemingly more of their time. Several times while reading through the encounters in this installment, I found myself thinking, “oh, yeah, that was a thing we were concerned about in the 80s, wasn’t it?” In one two-parter, Keaton serves […]

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Master Keaton Volume 2

I talked, in my review of the first volume, about how Master Keaton is an older series. I knew going in that there would be an air of “that was then” reading it. Yet it surprised me how many of the stories in this second volume were also looking backwards within their own texts. For example, the first story involves insurance investigator Keaton helping with the undercover sale of a medal from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The former owner’s widow […]

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Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma Volumes 9-10

The quarterfinal matches of the Fall Classic cooking competition continue and conclude in these volumes. The showdown began in volume 7 and extended into the previous book, where the contest between our hero Soma and the molecular gastronomist began; she presented her bento box there. Here, in Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma volume 9, we see Soma’s entry, a twist on a seaweed bento, using some of the fancy cooking science techniques. Although technologically advanced, Soma’s dish is focused on […]

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Shuriken and Pleats Volume 1

The concept of Shuriken and Pleats — schoolgirl ninja — is short but interesting. Sadly, the execution is slow and obvious. Author Hino Matsuri is best known for the popular Vampire Knight series, which I don’t remember being this patchy in plotting. The young female ninja is Mikage, whose older master wants to adopt her and take her back to Japan with him. There, she plans to enroll in school, but she quickly finds herself protecting a younger man, part […]

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