Alphabetical Index of Yen Press Manga Reviews

Horimiya Volume 9

I’ve enjoyed reading the volumes between my last review and this one, although I didn’t have much to say about them. Much of the uniqueness of the premise, with the kids being their authentic selves only when they were together, out of school, was forgotten as we got perfectly fine but more typical stories, like one about competing at the sports festival. Miyamura even cut his hair and quit wearing his fake glasses as the couple revealed themselves to their […]

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Silver Spoon Volumes 3-4

As suited for a series about farm life, Hiromu Arakawa is structuring these stories around the seasons, and they’re quite lengthy and substantial. The 19-part “Tale of Summer” began in volume 2, continues through volume 3, and concludes in volume 4 (which also starts up the “Tale of Autumn”). Summer is the season where Hachiken first engages in nothing but farm work, with a temporary job at his friend Mikage’s family farm during school vacation. He learns how important attention […]

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A Bride’s Story Volume 9

Following on from the previous book, we continue with the story of Pariya’s engagement in A Bride’s Story volume 9. (That’s her on the cover, expressing her feelings through the symbolism of bread designs in her typically brash manner.) I suspect many readers can identify with her. She cares strongly, but she doesn’t know how to express herself in a culturally appropriate fashion. She’s got a friend who seems to naturally know how to say the right things, making people […]

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Horimiya Volumes 3-4

And now we’ve reached the point where the series settles down into a more typical groove in order to maintain for the long term. (The most recent book out is number 11.) They’ve introduced the friends, with each having someone to talk to at school, and the trio on the cover of volume 3 are the student council members. Those characters expand the social circle while providing some people to speculate on what the two leads, Hori and Miyamura, are […]

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Horimiya Volume 1

It’s nice to have a reliable shojo series to stick with for a while. It’s even more fun if the series has something to say beyond “cute kids fall in love”. That’s the case with Horimiya volume 1, which turns on the question of how much appearance matters. Hori is smart and popular, a model schoolgirl whom everyone wants to be. Miyamura is a loner, looked down on as a gloomy fanboy. But there’s a hint early on, when we […]

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Laid-Back Camp Volume 3

Laid-Back Camp is a wonderfully consistent series. I liked the first volume, and I like this new one, volume 3, for the same reasons. That makes it tricky to talk about, though, since it can be difficult to find something new to say. This time around, though, I’m impressed by the artist Afro’s dedication to detail, as the camping club visits a huge outdoor equipment retailer. Nadeshiko is puppy-like in her excitement and enthusiasm over everything available for camping, and […]

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Laid-Back Camp Volume 1

When things get tense, it’s really nice to have a comic to read that’s mellow and comforting. My latest discovery of a title that worked that way for me is Afro’s Laid-Back Camp. I’m not allowed to go camping, since I’m allergic to much of the outdoors, but this is a different kind of camping. Rin likes to go out by herself during the off-season, enjoying her isolation despite the cold. That makes the joy of a bonfire’s warmth and […]

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Silver Spoon Volumes 1-2

The classic “fish out of water” story, where someone with preconceptions and stereotypes learns to appreciate another lifestyle, feels fresh in Silver Spoon by Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist). That’s because so few of us these days know what it takes to be modern farmers, and it’s fascinating to learn along with this high school student. Hachiken, with no background in farming, enrolls at an agricultural high school with plenty of hands-on training. He’d previously been geared for high academic achievement, […]

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