Alphabetical Index of Yen Press Manga Reviews

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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Delicious in Dungeon Volume 5

Delicious in Dungeon volume 5 is something of a restart for the fantasy adventure/food manga series by Ryoko Kui. Volume 4 was all adventure, as the group finally found and fought the red dragon they’d been seeking, which meant little room for new monsters and meals in that multi-chapter story. Now, they need a new quest, and against their will, they’re given one, although it’s very similar to the previous. The lunatic magician that runs the dungeon takes Falin away […]

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Delicious in Dungeon Volume 2

Both the monsters and the story challenges become more varied in this second volume of the series. Delicious in Dungeon volume 2 provides more insight into the characters as well. Senshi, in particular, is well-developed, as we learn how he gardens vegetables in the dungeon with a clever twist. He has strong opinions about the value of hard work, avoiding the easy way, and contributing to make the community a better place and maintaining the balance of the natural (monster) […]

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Delicious in Dungeon Volume 1

Delicious in Dungeon is one of those “only in comics” concepts: it’s a food manga where the dishes all involve fantasy monsters, since our chefs are part of a party on a quest to find and kill a dragon in a dungeon. Laios’s sister Falin saved the group, on a previous trip in, by sacrificing herself. However, although she was eaten by a dragon, magic is common and workable enough that, if the group finds her body by slaying the […]

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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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