Alphabetical Index of Yen Press Manga Reviews

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun Volumes 7-8

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun because volume 6 wasn’t quite as funny as I hoped, but I’m glad to see that these recent installments bring back the balance and comedy I was looking for. The series is a collection of four-koma (panel) strips, grouped into chapters of 12 or so pages around the same subject. The premise is a high schooler, Nozaki, who is a professional manga-ka, and most of his friends either help […]

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No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular! Volume 10

It’s been quite a while since I checked in on No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular! — I last reviewed volume 4, and now here we are at volume 10. I’d gotten a bit tired of the cringe factor in constantly seeing Tomoko get humiliated or embarrassed, but I thought it might be interesting to check back in to see how an episodic comedy kept itself going this long. The strategy used […]

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Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun Volume 6

In trying to catch up with Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun, I found it helpful to keep Volume 4 at hand, because that’s the book that has the cast’s character profiles at the back, and I tend to get the various male supporting characters confused easily. The young women are much more distinctive: there’s viewpoint character Sakura, the nice girl who tries hard and crushes on manga creator Nozaki; Seo, who’s athletic and mean but sings beautifully; Kashima, the androgynous prince who’s […]

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Kiniro Mosaic Volumes 1-2

I don’t normally read a lot of 4-koma manga (collections of four-panel strips), because I find them too fluffy and inconsequential. I do like Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun, because it’s got a good amount of in-jokes about making manga, and I appreciated the best-known, Azumanga Daioh. Too many, though, just want to copy that last title by showing a group of girls, each with a mildly distinctive characteristic, and lots of school uniforms. Kiniro Mosaic by Yui Hara has a premise […]

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Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun Volumes 1-2

It’s a tad self-referential, but Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun by Izumi Tsubaki is surprisingly playful and funny. Chiyo confessed to a classmate that she had feelings from him, but since he’s a manga artist, he gave her back an autograph, thinking she was a fan. He’s behind on deadlines (when is a manga artist not in comics?) so he takes her to his home to help ink backgrounds. It turns out he (under a pseudonym, of course) draws flowery shoujo stories […]

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A Bride’s Story Volume 8

When A Bride’s Story began, it was the story of Amir, a woman in an unusual marriage (because her age was considered advanced for wedding in her culture). Now, volume 8 focuses on another difficult bride, Amir’s friend Pariya (first seen in the second book). I’ve always liked Pariya, because her struggle is based on not fitting in. She’s too direct and plain-spoken for her culture, with interests outside the typical domestic sphere. Which makes her a problem for her […]

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Yotsuba&! Volume 13

Although Yotsuba&! volume 13 came out this past spring, this time of year feels better suited to the series for me, since it’s as warming and comfortable as a cup of cocoa. And waiting an extra six months or so is nothing, since it’s been three years since the previous volume. Any new Yotsuba&! is a gift. Her wide-eyed, accepting attitude to the world and the new experiences she has, as portrayed by author Kiyohiko Azuma, is a tonic. In […]

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Anne Happy: Unhappy Go Lucky! Volume 3

When I read the first volume of this series, I thought it was cute and silly. It’s still aiming for that, but now, the fan service is overwhelming the entertainment value for me. For instance, the non-student nature of the supposedly responsible adults is indicated by giving them boobs as big as their heads. That may be to distinguish them from Botan, one of the core trio of girls, who in spite of her medical worries, lack of exercise, and […]

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