Manga Review: MIERUKO-CHAN Vol. 3 & 4 by Tomoki Izumi (2021)

Genre: Slice-of-Life Horror
Year Release in English: 2021
Source: BOOK☆WALKER

Reminder: The star rating reflects overall opinion of the series.

For some reason, I never rated Volume 3. Anyway, this continues to be a consistent delight. The ghosts are just getting scarier, the plot is starting to take shape, and the greater world of spiritualists unfolds.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Manga Review: HANGER Volumes 1-3 by Hirotaka Kisaragi (2020)

Genre: Science Fiction Shounen-Ai
Year Release in English: 2020
Source: BOOK☆WALKER

Reminder: The star rating reflects overall opinion of the series.

In a future Neo-Tokyo, it takes a super-powered drug user to take down super-powered drug users. Hajime is partnered with Zeroichi, a Hanger looking to reduce his sentence by apprehending other criminals. What ensues is a twisty thriller dealing with identity and the moral quandaries of the means justifying the ends. Oh, and a slow burn romance.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Manga Review: HAPPINESS Vol 1-10 by Shūzō Oshimi

Genre: Horror Shonen
Year Release in English: 2015-2019
Source: Azuki Manga Cafe

Sometimes you start reading a series and next thing you know, you’re several chapters in and deeply invested in the plight of the characters. Volumes don’t matter. What is structure anyway? So this review of an entire manga will be slightly different in that I will be talking about the series overall rather reviewing each individual volume.

In short, this vampire horror filled with emotions and the centering of childhood upended by supernatural happenings reminiscent of Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Manga Review: MONSTER AND THE BEAST Vol. 1-3 (2019-2020) by renji

Genre: Fantasy Shonen
Year Release in English: 2019-2020
Source: BOOK☆WALKER

Reminder: The star rating reflects overall opinion of the series.

The letter from the author at the end of volume one says, “I wanted to read a boy’s love fantasy manga about a middle-aged guy and an inhuman creature, but that didn’t exist, so I made my own.” It is the most accurate description of Monster and the Beast. Cavo is a gentle-hearted big scary boi while Liam is a gentlemen who fucks and has a sordid past for unrelated reasons. Perfect for the monster fuckers.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Manga Review: MISS KOBAYASHI’S DRAGON MAID Volumes 1-4 by coolkyousinnjya (2016-2017)

Genre: Fantasy Slice-of-Life Seinen
Year Release in English: 2016-2917
Source: BOOK☆WALKER

Reminder: The star rating reflects overall opinion of the series.

An absolutely adorable slice-of-life series about an office worker who drunkenly and unwittingly invites a dragon girl back to her house to work as her maid. I love the balance between a greater plot happening in the background with more everyday silliness as a dragon girl learns to be a human girl.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Manga Review: KASANE Volumes 1-4 by Daruma Matsuura (2017)

Genre: Contemporary Seinen
Year Release in English: 2019-2021
Source: BOOK☆WALKER

Reminder: The star rating reflects overall opinion of the series.

The girls are kissing in this one and there is nothing romantic about it. Kasane Fuchi is a very ugly girl with a secret: she inherited a lipstick from her late mother that allows her to borrow people’s faces. She wants to become an actor and you can see where this is going. Intense, gray morality to the nth degree, I’m strapped to the seat of this wild ride.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Manga Review: AZUMANGA DAIOH Vol. 4 by Kiyohiko Azuma (2004)

Genre: Slice-of-Life Comedy
Year Release in English: 2004
Source: Borrowed from Friends

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In the final volume of Azumanga Daioh, the threads and character development of the previous three come together. We get one last school trip, final exams, and finally, graduation. I did not expect to find myself having so many emotions about graduation, but there I was.

The comedic timing and pacing throughout comes from ridiculous puns and slap-stick style comedy. The way Azuma pulls in jokes from the previous entries. Seeing the students with the teachers provided some of the best overlaps in how little sense both the adults and kids have. The arc with Sakaki gets a resolution and we get more dream sequences.

Overall, an enjoyable slice-of-life that touches on the innocence of school life with a light tone and funny situations.

Manga Review: JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE PART 1: PHANTOM BLOOD by Hirohiko Araki (2015)

Genre: Fantasy Shonen
Year Release in English: 2015
Source: Viz Media Monthly Subscription

Reminder: The star rating reflects overall opinion of the series.

Overall, this first entry has vampires, English nobility, growing-up-together rivalry, betrayal, and a magic system that just keeps escalating. Fun in a way that completely lives up to its name.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Review: SOLUTIONS AND OTHER PROBLEMS by Allie Brosh (2020)

Genre: Non-fiction Graphic Novel
Year Release: 2020
Source: Borrowed from Friends

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Content warning: suicide, cancer (human and dog), hospitalization, mental illness, divorce, chronic illness.

I read the first book and immediately started the second. I genuinely feel a bit bad for people who waited seven years between volumes.

This book is equal parts humor and emotional devastation, as Brosh recounts what had transpired in her life between the time of the first book’s publishing. There’s a lot about mortality and the strangeness of children and their relationship with each other. Oh, and quite a bit of nihilism.

Still charming with a very noticeable improvement in the art, this collection of stories and essays touches on much heavier topics with the same quirkiness that endeared readers to Brosh’s work to begin with.

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