Sarah's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Anime UK News, Project-Nerd Reviews: 234
8.2Avg. Review Rating

10
10 Dance #1

Jan 19, 2019

10 Dance is a must-read for anyone whos enjoyed manga and anime about competitive dance (on or off the ice!) and the lives of the artists who devote themselves to being the very best.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
10 Dance #2

Mar 28, 2019

The pleasure in reading 10 Dance is that this is definitely manga for grown-ups. Theres a ve-ery slow burn going on in the nascent relationship between Suzuki and Sugiki and even though Inouesatohs love for dance shines through on every page, the interest doesnt lie in whether the protagonists are winning their way to the top from contest to contest but in the way they value their art. In so many other Boys Love manga, they would have fallen into bed together by now…but the mangaka's interests lie in portraying a relationship that grows from both men's burning need to dance, where the holds and steps act as a metaphor for feelings yet to be articulated or acknowledged. I can't wait to see where Inouesatoh will take Suzuki and Sugiki next.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
10 Dance #6

Feb 26, 2022

While its good to see the flamboyant Suzuki and the cool prince of ballroom Sugiki dancing together once more (as well as with their partners) its hard not to feel that the onward momentum of the story (10 Dance!) has been lost under a wealth of details, many of which are, frankly, irrelevant. The mangaka seems to be marking time and not picking up on which storylines need foregrounding. I can only hope that the next volume will get back in the groove and bring us what was promised.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
10 Dance #7

Oct 15, 2023

10 Dance is quite unique and worth treasuring for that fact alone, worth reading just for the art and the mangakas illuminating thoughts about what makes a dancer exceptionally gifted when interpreting the music. But the on-off relationship between the two leads will either convince you – or not – and the amount of ‘noise' (the endless comments from all the other characters, no matter how minor, as they observe or interfere) ultimately acts as a distraction rather than moving the story on.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
A Man & His Cat #1

Feb 18, 2020

Read the first pages of A Man & His Cat #1 at the publisher's website here.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
A Man & His Cat #2

Aug 15, 2020

As with the first volume, Square Enix have used good quality paper and included four colour images at front and back, including one very cute 4-koma page of the cats owner in cosplay. The translation by Taylor Engel continues to give us Fukumarus meowy voice very convincingly: Fukumaru Furry Flurry P-P-P-P-Punch!!!(attacking his own reflection in the mirror, because). Its another nicely produced volume which any cat owner or enthusiast will be happy to own and dip into! I can only hope that in subsequent volumes Umi Sakurai can keep the delicate balance between gentle humour and sentiment just right. Fukumarus personality (more than a little tsundere) will probably go a long way to ensuring his story stays the right side of the line.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
A Man & His Cat #3

Mar 14, 2021

A Man & His Cat delves deeper into Fuyuki Handas past as a concert pianist as his life with Fukumaru continues and the focus of the story shifts onto another man and his mother's cat.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
A Man & His Cat #4

Oct 8, 2021

I imagine that by now, Fukumaru and his gentle, kind-hearted ‘daddy' have found many fans in the English-reading manga community and, like me, they'll be looking forward to the next volume which is due out in December 2021. The cover art suggests that that black Maine coon is going to play a larger role in Fukumaru's life…

View Issue       View Full Review
8
A Man & His Cat #5

Jan 25, 2022

Bubbling under is the music-related story of young Moriyamas problems with the group he plays guitar with hopefully that will bear fruit in the next volume from Square Enix Manga (which is due out in June 2022).

View Issue       View Full Review
8
A Man & His Cat #6

Jul 13, 2022

There's never a dull moment in this latest instalment of the adventures of M. Kanda and his beloved cat Fukumaru if youre enjoying these delightful tales of music, musicians and their pets, then you wont want to miss this one!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
A Man & His Cat #7

Nov 7, 2022

The volume ends with another unexpected arrival: a somewhat dishevelled and strange young woman. Who is she and what does she want?

View Issue       View Full Review
9
A Man & His Cat #8

Jul 11, 2023

Our review copy from Square Enix Manga was supplied by Turnaround Comics (Turnaround Publisher Services).

View Issue       View Full Review
8
A Man & His Cat #9

Oct 11, 2023

Our review copy from Square Enix Mangawas supplied by Turnaround Comics (Turnaround Publisher Services).

View Issue       View Full Review
7
A Strange and Mystifying Story #1

Nov 17, 2017

If youre looking for a well-drawn, appealing urban fantasy BL with believable, relatable characters, then start here with A Strange and Mystifying Story. Just dont expect it to show all its strengths in this first volume; it gets much better later on!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
After We Gazed at the Starry Sky OGN

Aug 29, 2023

After We Gazed at the Starry Sky delivers a sympathetic story of two very different people brought together by their love of the night sky. However, theres obviously a lot more to their story than these first chapters, so Yen Press will hopefully bring us the sequel in due course.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Again!! #1

Mar 19, 2018

Its early days in this twelve-volume series, but if Imamuras story continues in this vein, it will make for an engaging read.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Allen: Son of Hellcock #1

Dec 5, 2015

Allen: Son of Hellcock is a great, fun read. The characters come to life and seem to pop off the page through beautiful, expressive art, and the imaginative storyline and silly characters are full of life and sarcasm;these things fill theHellcockworld.It's a bizarre combination of past and present, modernity and medieval, and that is a central part of what makes this particular comic so fascinating.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Barbarities (2023) #1

Feb 15, 2023

This first volume of Barbarities is all about setting the scene and establishing some fascinating characters in their world. The second volume (due out in April 2023) promises to hike up the tension and the political intrigue and then some!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Battle Angel Alita: Holy Night & Other Stories #1

Feb 20, 2019

All the ingredients that go into making Gunnma/Alita such a successful, gritty and exciting piece of cyberpunk storytelling are here: the rusting industrial landscapes; the merging of human brains and machines; the massive mecha and the lawless Wild West-style atmosphere that permeates this future society.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Battle Angel Alita: Mars Chronicle #1

Mar 6, 2018

Battle Angel Alita: Mars Chronicle has obvious appeal to all Alita fans as it delivers a fascinating revelation of her early life. Told in a gritty but compelling way, this dystopian SF tale of the red planet makes a great page-turner that will also appeal to readers who are new to the series.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Be My Love, My Lord #1

Oct 17, 2022

The translation for Tokyopop is by Christine Dashiell and makes for a fluent, enjoyable read.As with most of the other titles in Tokyopop's LOVE X LOVE range, Be My Love, My Lordis being published in digital first of all, with a print version to follow, in this case in March 2023.

View Issue       View Full Review
6
Beyond the Clouds #1

Apr 3, 2020

(Online cover images for Volume 1 have the subtitle ‘The Girl Fallen from the Sky' but Kodansha are using the subtitle ‘The Girl Who Fell from the Sky' on the print editions. A digital edition is promised but not yet available. )

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Billy The Pyro #1

Jul 9, 2014

These are questions that I'm sure will be answered in future issues. Billy the Pyro is definitely a series to pick up and read and I'm hoping that future issues will be just as well done as this one.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Blue Period #1

Nov 12, 2020

Im looking forward to seeing where Yatoras new obsession with art takes him in the next volume. He makes a sympathetic protagonist and Yamaguchi has already introduced enough intriguing characters, some sympathetic, like Mori-senpai, others far less so, to show us that his way forward into the world of art is not going to be an easy one.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Blue Period #2

Apr 23, 2021

In the second volume of Blue Period Tsubasa Yamaguchi delves deeper into the mindset of Yatora as he struggles to find his voice and style as an artist. There are some painful realisations for the young would-be artist to face up to, as well as for two of his fellow students: Ryuji/Yuka and Yotasuke. Recommended.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Blue Period #3

Jul 27, 2021

Blue Period has some really important and meaningful things to say about expressing yourself in the creative arts and about the place of inspiration versus craft. If youre studying art or just making art for your own pleasure, many of Yatoras moments of soul-searching will ring true and inspire sympathy. Maybe some of the advice that hes given by his teachers will help unlock your talents?

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Blue Period #4

Sep 11, 2021

The tensions and self-doubts plaguing Yatora and his fellow students in the lead-up to their first examination are nail-bitingly portrayed. But a whole volume dedicated to one single examination? Happily, theres humour and empathy as well, making this fourth volume of Blue Period an unexpectedly rewarding and inspiring read.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Blue Period #5

Dec 14, 2021

Looking back at Yatora in Volume 1, its fascinating to see now how hes changed. Yamaguchi portrays a very different young man at the beginning: his expression is self-confident but detached, hes rocking the bleached hair and pierced ears delinquent look. Making his own art strips away all those outer defences hes erected to protect himself; the Yatora in these chapters is vulnerable, filled with self-doubt yet able to talk honestly with Yuka for the first time. No wonder he says as he sits down to paint, My brush feels light today.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Blue Period #6

May 2, 2022

And so the Exam Arc comes to an end and its been quite a journey for Yatora and for the reader too. Yamaguchis unique graphic style has brought her characters to vibrant life and I, for one, cant wait to follow them into the University Arc that starts in Volume 7 (due at the end of May).

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Blue Period #7

Jul 8, 2022

As Blue Period starts a new story arc, Tsubasa Yamaguchi explores the vital question: ‘can creativity be taught?' through Yatora's experiences. It doesn't sound as if it's going to grab the attention, but thanks to Yamaguchi's storytelling, engaging characters and quirky approach, it makes for vivid reading. Don't skip this volume!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Blue Period #8

Sep 27, 2022

This eighth volume of Blue Period from Kodansha is again translated very ably by Ajani Oloye and reads well. No colour pictures, sadly, although the front and back cover art is superb and the mangakas splash pages are as witty and fun as in the other volumes. Volume 9 should already be out, although the delays continue with the physical editions. All in all, this volume delivers another fascinating look at the life of a group of young artists, trying to realize their dreams and become the best they can be in their chosen fields.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Blue Period #9

Jan 12, 2023

Volume 13 came out in Japan recently and instantly shot to no. 2 on the weekly manga sales; no mean feat when Tokyo Revengers was at no. 1! In the meantime, Kodansha are playing catch-up; volumes 10 and 11 are also available in digital print and volume 12 is due at the end of January, although here in the UK, weve had to wait longer for the physical volumes to make an appearance.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Blue Period #10

Jan 18, 2023

Volume 11 is already available in digital (and should be available in the UK in print) and takes a rather different turn which is foreshadowed right at the end of this volume as Yatora, desperate for cash, looks for a temporary job.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Blue Period #13

Aug 17, 2023

Weve now almost caught up with Japan; Volume 14 came out in July (2023) but wont be available in English until March 2024. Disappointingly, this volume has no colour pages (the mangakas colour work is always a treat) but theres a fun extra comic at the end: The Daily Routine of the TAs. This takes the reader inside the world of the TUA Teaching Assistants and the sometimes difficult path they have to tread between the students and the professors. Ajani Oloye is the translator again and, as always, provides a very readable translation as well as useful and interesting translation notes at the end.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Boarding School Juliet #1

Nov 11, 2018

If you enjoy this first volume, you can read ahead as Kodansha have also been issuing the series in digital form. The translation is by Amanda Haley and flows nicely although there are none of the usual (and helpful) Translation Notes weve come to expect from Kodansha. Included at the end are four pages of Early Design Work (Im guessing for the anime). And you can currently watch the anime streaming on Amazon Prime.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Candy Color Paradox #1

Apr 2, 2019

Entertaining, amusing, even touching at times, Candy Color Paradox is a welcome addition to SuBLime Mangas Boys Love collection and is highly recommended.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Charmed: Season 10 #1

Oct 15, 2014

The TV series might have ended, but the Halliwell sisters and their foes live on in these well-drawn and surprisingly familiar comics. Charmed: Season 10 #1 gives me hope that this next season will continue what has long been a favorite show for a lot of people. Thebookis still able to surprise fanswith new characters, interesting plot lines, and wry humor. It's definitely a series to catch upwith if you haven't already and a great start to the new series if you're up-to-date with the Charmed Ones.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Cherry Magic! #1

Mar 16, 2020

Cherry Magic! is a pleasant surprise, a gentle and cute romantic comedy told with a light touch; theres something rather endearing about two 30-something salarymens mundane lives being transformed by a sprinkle of magic.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Cherry Magic! #4

Apr 25, 2022

The translation is again by Taylor Engel and brings out the differences between the main pair well. There are also helpful translation notes. The lettering by Bianca Pistillo is vital for conveying when Adachi (and Tsuge) are hearing the inner thoughts of other people, rather than their voices. Square Enix's edition is, like the earlier volumes, printed on good quality paper and has a cute ‘cherrygram' colour page at the front. Hopefully we won't have too long to wait for Volume 5 as it's currently scheduled for July 2022!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Cherry Magic! #5

Sep 3, 2022

So theres much to like in this charming, amusing and sometimes touching story of two salarymen unexpectedly finding love at the office although theres a development at the end of the volume thats going to cause big problems for Adachi and Kurosawa. Well just have to wait till January 2023 to find out in Volume 6 what happens next!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Cherry Magic! #6

Jan 31, 2023

This is an important volume in the development of the relationship of Adachi and Kurosawa and it makes for a sympathetic and believable (in spite of the cherry magic) portrayal of a same-sex couple realizing how much they mean to each other.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Cherry Magic! #7

Jun 24, 2023

Square Enix Manga brings us another attractively presented volume in this feelgood Boys Love series, well translated by Taylor Engel and lettered by Bianca Pistillo. As in previous volumes, theres a colour page at the beginning, a preview and an extract from the first chapter of the next volume due out in August 2023, although as this volume was a little delayed, that date might change as well as a 2-page Bonus manga about Adachi and Kurosawas New Year.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Chis Sweet Adventures #1

May 4, 2018

This a delightful little book thats best to dip into or share with a younger reader. I say share because, even though Im keen to recommend manga titles that readers under eleven will enjoy, the lettering here is not very large and, in places, a little difficult to read due to the size of the panels. This is not, however, a major problem, and wont deter young and keen readers.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Confessions of a Shy Baker #1

Nov 22, 2022

This is the third Boys Love manga Im reviewing this month by male mangaka and all three of the titles feature different aspects of what it means to be gay in contemporary Japan. Two of the three have a Teen (13+) rating, although, if Im honest, I dont think this title will appeal to a young teen audience (unless theyre keen on cooking low-calorie sweet treats)!

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Cryptocracy #1

Jun 20, 2016

Cryptocracy holds a lot of promise. It's beautifully written and doesn't hold back, with a creative story that is familiar but not like reading the same thing for the millionth time. It makes itself out to be different by fusing elements across genres and taking a look into the lifestyles of the rich and famous" but not the Hollywood type. These rich and famous are as deadly as they are, well, rich and famous, and given that the whole point of Cryptocracy is that there's some serious tensions that are growing between the nine families that control the world, it's probably not going to go well" or end well.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Cut-Over Criteria OGN

Feb 10, 2023

The manga has been translated for Tokyopops LOVE x LOVE LGBT+ list by the ever-dependable Christine Dashiell; theres a nice little extra couple of pages Undercover Story by the mangaka (and, of course, she represents herself as a koala). The e-book is available now and the physical edition will follow in April 2023.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Dear NOMAN #1

Mar 2, 2021

Dear Noman makes for a gentle supernatural read and falls on the subtle side of scary for those seeking out ghostly chills with a light sprinkling of shojo-ai to add a little spice.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Dear NOMAN #1

Feb 28, 2021

Dear Nomanmakes for a gentle supernatural read and falls on the subtle side of scary for those seeking out ghostly chills with a light sprinkling of shojo-ai to add a little spice.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Deko-Boko: Bittersweet Days OGN

Mar 21, 2022

The first volume Deko-Boko Sugar Days delivered a charming, feel-good story of the blossoming love between two childhood friends, enlivened by many cute chibi panels and amusing expressions.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Descending Stories #1

Aug 21, 2017

Descending Stories brings the world of a unique performance art and the complicated relationships of its performers to life through mangaka Haruko Kumotas distinctive art and engrossing story-telling.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Double #1

Sep 25, 2021

A genuinely intriguing, amusing first volume of this new ongoing manga series from Tokyopop which will appeal to anyone whos ever been involved in acting, amateur or professional and to all who are keen to know what goes on in the filming of a drama TV series.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Double #2

Nov 25, 2021

The second volume of Double confirms that this is a unique and mature exploration of the insecure world of acting with fascinating glimpses of life on a film set seen from the actors point of view. Tokyopop are to be applauded for bringing us a seinen series that makes for compelling reading through believable and flawed characters trying to stay true to their art.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Double #3

Jan 16, 2022

Even though these chapters are crammed full of events as we watch Takaras struggles to adjust to the major developments in his life, this feels like a transitional volume and its not until the final image that we sense that something has changed. Itll be a wait, though, until the fourth volume (due out in summer 2022) to discover exactly what that is and how it will impact everyone close to Takara including Yuujin.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Double #4

Mar 16, 2022

This is a rich and rewarding volume, full of revelations about the characters and the art of theatre itself. The rehearsal scenes where the cast and director discuss the process of bringing the play to life and how they approach their roles make for utterly compelling reading, even though probably not many of us in the West are familiar with the play theyre working on. Sadly, were all caught up with Japan now when it comes to the release of complete volumes and as a live action series has recently been announced, its quite possible that the mangaka will be involved in the script process. So, it could be a while until we find out what happens when Hiryuuden opens to the general public!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Emma Dreams of Stars #1

Jan 10, 2022

Emma Dreams of Stars is an intriguing and entertaining account of a woman determined to make her way in a masculine-dominated profession. It's bound to appeal to fans of French and Japanese food!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Eniale & Dewiela #1

Dec 21, 2020

It will be fun to see where Shirahama takes her quarrelling winged heroines next and whether over-keen exorcist Donovan is hot on their trail again in the next collection of stories, due out in February 2021. It looks as if theyll be paying a visit to London and Big Ben . Is nothing sacred? I cant wait to find out!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Frau Faust #1

Sep 27, 2017

This is a treat for all readers who already love The Ancient Magus Bride, revealing Kore Yamazaki to be a skilled writer of contemporary fantasy who just happens to have chosen to tell her stories through manga (thus adding a rich extra dimension to the telling).

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Given #1

Feb 20, 2020

Given is published by SuBLime, so yes, its Boys Love, but its main themes are about love and loss, and what it means to be in a relationship, enhanced by the powerful metaphor of communication through music and playing together. Its as much about discovering your own creativity as discovering your soul-mate. The translation by Junko Goda captures the idle banter between high schoolers (and university students) convincingly, as well as Mafuyus difficulties in expressing himself. The story benefits from the mangaka's subtle touches of dry humour (Uenoyama often ‘sees' Mafuyu as a wide-eyed puppy) and the inclusion of her 4-koma pages at the end is a real bonus. This is one of the few manga that proves Boys' Love can tell a compelling story that will appeal to readers outside the usual target audience, creating memorable characters and illustrating them with accomplished and striking images.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Glitch (2023) #1

Sep 26, 2023

Given the age rating (Teen) this would make a great addition to a secondary school library, especially as it taps into the 'young cast investigate a local mystery' genre very effectively. Also, for those interested in the depiction of non-binary characters, Minato, the elder sibling uses 'they' and 'their' pronouns; early on, their mother says to them, "If you don't like the new school, you don't have to go which sets up questions in the reader's mind, suggesting without saying that Minato has maybe encountered prejudice in an earlier school. But the main issue Minato currently faces is their lack of a sense of direction!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Go For It, Nakamura! OGN

Jul 20, 2018

Through Nakamura's heated imagination, Syundei manages to gently " yet affectionately " parody several of the over-used tropes of BL whilst at the same time creating a refreshingly believable and relatable central character. Highly recommended.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Go For It, Nakamura! #1

Jul 20, 2018

In the Afterword, Syundei treats us to a brief but insightful breakdown of each chapter and the history of this collection (Nakamura began online in 2014, then was published by the enterprising BL magazine OPERA). One comment Syundei makes about Chapter 4: This story came about because I was thinking How can I sneak girl characters into a Boys Love manga?raises the thorny issue regarding the total absence of female characters in some BL works (or their inclusion only as love rivals or neglected fiances). But this isn't that kind of story and feels all the more natural as a depiction of growing up. Through Nakamura's heated imagination, Syundei manages to gently – yet affectionately – parody several of the over-used tropes of BL whilst at the same time creating a refreshingly believable and relatable central character. Highly recommended.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Golosseum #1

May 22, 2018

Golosseum makes its entrance in true WWE larger-than-life style. Its violent. (Warning: dont read if youre fond of tigers.) Which element will win: the political satire, the historical mystery or the desire to just draw some really epic suplexes? (I know which one my moneys on…)

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Graineliers #1

Jan 6, 2018

The combination of beguilingly attractive art and an intriguing story concept will appeal to readers in search of something truly ‘different'. Recommended.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk #1

Feb 1, 2016

Fans of Zenescope's Grimm Fairy Tales will fall easily into the universe created in this issue, losing themselves in the fun (and sometimes borderline insane) characters, the hijinks, and the heist plot throughout. Beautifully drawn and well written, this steampunk edition of a favorite comic will draw readers both old and new. It's got guns, a vibe reminiscent of Borderlands and westerns, and it's all-around tons of fun–a definite read for anyone who was a fan ofGrimm initially and an easy story to fall into for readers that maybe aren't quite as familiar with Zenescope's series.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Hard-Boiled Stories from the Cat Bar #1

Jun 22, 2021

In spite of all its narrative complications, Hard-Boiled Stories from the Cat Bar is a fascinating, if frustrating seinen read and will keep readers turning (and turning back) the pages. I'm really interested to see what this promising mangaka, Yourei Ono, comes up with next.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Heaven's Design Team #1

Nov 22, 2020

If youre interested in all kinds of creatures, youll be attracted to this for the factual side as well as the underlying story but if youre just looking for a new manga series, this fast-moving, funny and imaginative re-working of the creation myth is definitely recommended!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Heaven's Design Team #2

Jan 13, 2021

If, like me, you enjoyed the first volume of Heavens Design Team, Im happy to report that theres no falling-off of quality in the second; the level of craziness is ramped up and theres some fascinating information about why fire-breathing, flying dragons wouldnt actually work.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Heaven's Design Team #3

Jun 14, 2021

Praise yet again to translator/letterer JM Iitomi Crandall for their fluent translation, both of the lively conversations between the designers and all the factual material in the encyclopedia. The cover illustration (like the others in the print versions) uses a fluorescent orange (to match the bright neon green and yellow of the earlier volumes) and the catalogue cover illustration featured here doesn't really do it justice! This print edition originally appeared in Kodanshas digital-first range, so you can read ahead digitally, if you dont want to wait for the next print volume (six volumes, ongoing) to find out what the designers get up to next!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Hirano and Kagiura #01

Nov 28, 2022

Leighann Harvey again delivers a very readable translation of a text thats almost exclusively the day-to-day banter of high school boys. Yen Press has delivered an attractive volume that matches the others in the ongoing Sasaki and Miyano series with four colour pictures at the start, showcasing Harusonos skilful use of radiant colour. This is a delightful first volume thats bound to please the fans of her main series but also makes a good starting point for new readers; it certainly pleased me!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Hirano and Kagiura #02

Mar 31, 2023

Nothing is resolved at the end of this volume and there just seem to be even more obstacles put in Kagi-kuns way. As for Hirano, Hanzawa and Sasaki, they have final exams and their futures to worry about as they move into the third year. This beautifully drawn spin-off series continues to prove itself both an amusing yet touching look at everyday life in an all-boys high school.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Hirano and Kagiura #03

Aug 2, 2023

Volume 3 is another nicely produced volume from Yen Press which will sit well alongside the others in the series, with Shou Harusonos attractive cover art and four inspiring colour pages inside. The translation is again by Leighann Harvey who offers, as usual, helpful translation notes and the lettering is by Carolina Hernandez. Weve almost caught up with Japan now (the fourth volume is already out and appears to be due out from Yen Press in December 2023).

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Hitorijime My Hero #1

Jan 18, 2019

Hitorijime My Hero is a welcome addition to the (slowly growing) range of BL manga available in English translation. Its laid-back tone of voice and distinctive graphic style make it a fun read but there are some dramatic and emotional moments as well. Its only the first of eight volumes in an ongoing series and if youve watched the (excellent) anime series on HIDIVE, youll be aware that there are dark clouds massing on the horizon. Setty is a really endearing main character and youll be rooting for him as the problems start to build up.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Hitorijime My Hero #2

Mar 20, 2019

The Translation Notes from Anne Lee are again not only helpful to explain cultural references but fun to read as well. The opening colour page is attractively painted in muted pastel shades that complement the palette used on the cover. And the mangakas Thrilling and Suspenseful Afterword will amuse anyone whos ever had been under pressure to make a deadline.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
I Cannot Reach You #1

Apr 17, 2021

There are some yonkoma at the end of the book as well as a small extra chapter: Popsicle and the mangakas Afterword which says, “I'd be so happy if we could meet again in Volume 2.” Luckily for us, Yen Press have this scheduled to be released in June (2021).

View Issue       View Full Review
9
I Cannot Reach You #2

Jul 12, 2021

I Cannot Reach You is a slow burn of a story, taking its time to depict the agonies of indecision, jealousy and self-doubt that both its protagonists are experiencing as they struggle to make sense of their changing emotions.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
I Cannot Reach You #3

Feb 2, 2022

BL readers who want to see the main pair get together and are impatient with a slow burn might lose interest in I Cannot Reach You. However, for readers who are invested in the characters (and theyre really well drawn, both graphically and in the way the story unfolds) this reaches a level of painful intensity that demands some kind of resolution or confession. Then, darn it, this volume ends on yet another nail-biting cliffhanger so I, for one, cant wait to see what happens next in Volume 4 (due out in April from Yen Press)!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
I Cannot Reach You #4

May 23, 2022

All in all, this makes for another engaging, heartfelt volume in which we get to know Yamato and Kakeru better (even as they get to know each other more) as well as the people around them. Where it spins it wheels a little is that were really not very much further on at the end than we were at the beginning. Bring on Volume 5, please, Yen Press!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
I Cannot Reach You #5

Dec 30, 2022

Still Teen-Rated (13 upwards),I Cannot Reach You continues to offer an engaging and sympathetic view of the pitfalls of crushing on your best friend yet doesnt delve too deeply into the problems that can arise when that friend is the same sex as you.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
I Cannot Reach You #6

Jun 1, 2023

If youre looking for a hot and steamy BL romance, this isnt the title for you but for a heartfelt and beautifully observed manga about ordinary young people finding their way in life (with some genuinely touching insights) this cant be bettered at the moment (except, possibly, by the equally charming yet moving Skip and Loafer).

View Issue       View Full Review
9
I Hear the Sunspot #1

Sep 14, 2017

Given the recent popularity of the anime film A Silent Voice, the sensitive topic of hearing impairment has been much to the fore. I Hear the Sunspot is a very different work but just as worthy of your time for its characterization and bitter-sweet depiction of a nascent relationship. And the artwork is gorgeous. Recommended.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
I Hear the Sunspot: Four Seasons #1

Jun 21, 2023

The ongoing theme underlying these stories is that of Kohei's loss of hearing and by extension, how having to adapt to living with a disability feels.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
I Think Our Son is Gay #1

May 27, 2021

I Think Our Son Is Gay delivers an entertaining and feel-good read and the Teen rating means it will make a good addition to the LGBTQIA+ shelf in senior libraries.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
I Think Our Son is Gay #2

Dec 4, 2021

Perhaps, most touching of all is the mangakas afterword in which he reveals that he came out to his own mother between the publication of the first and second volumes of the manga. It seems to have gone all right!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
I Think Our Son is Gay #3

Jul 24, 2022

Even though I still have some reservations about the way OKURA is conveying his story, its good to have LGBT+ manga from mangaka who identify as gay and this series would make a very useful addition to a secondary school library, alongside the currently best-sellingHeartstopperby Alice Oseman.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
I Think Our Son is Gay #4

Dec 3, 2022

Square Enix Manga again brings us a very attractive trade paperback edition with good quality paper and a colour page at the front. The translation is again by Leighann Harvey and with Lor Prescotts lively and varied lettering, both make an excellent job of putting the humour of the series across. Weve caught up now with Japan at four volumes, although new chapters can be read online in Japanese.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
I Want to Be a Wall #1

Jan 10, 2023

Any good love story starts at the beginning: Where and how did the lovebirds meet? Was it love at first sight? And most importantly, was there a spark? For Yuriko and Gakurouta, their initial meeting was nothing to write home aboutafter all, matchmaking services arent unheard of. But a chance second encounter on the street revealed that as an asexual woman and gay man, they might have much more in common than they initially assumed. And in that moment, they felt not a spark but something better: the seed of a friendship, ready to take root and bloom.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
I Want to Be a Wall #2

Jan 29, 2023

We've had longer to get to know Yuriko and Gakurouta and understand them better as they embark together on their marriage of convenience. And Honami Shirono brings some interesting and valuable insights into what being asexual means for Yuriko. However, with a disturbing development right at the end of this volume, we're left on a cliffhanger, wondering if everything's going to be all right.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Intrepid #0

Apr 15, 2014

I'm looking forward to seeing how this story develops. It was an excellent first issue, not too cluttered and not too sparse, a great balance of story via a narrator and interaction via character voice. The art was beautiful as well, and I think that it could develop into something really awesome. Keeping this on my to-read list for future issues!

View Issue       View Full Review
6
IXth Generation #1

Jan 12, 2015

It seems as though IXth Generation has a lot of potential and a lot of possibilities that could come from the characters and the storyline — it's creative, interesting, and I still absolutely love the naming conventions for the characters. It's a cool blend of fantasy and science-fiction, and in a genre that's been rehashed over and over again, this is new and refreshing and, despite its pitfalls, has definite possibilities. This is one to keep up on and hopefully the universe will be expanded on and the characters will see a little more personality in upcoming issues.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Kigurumi Guardians #1

Sep 16, 2017

Kodansha gives us a handsome trade paperback edition with a colour plate and an excellent translation (as always!) from Alethea and Athena Nibley, as well as two pages of helpful translators notes at the back.The second volume which is due out in October and I, for one, can't wait.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Knight of the Ice #1

May 14, 2020

So, if you enjoy the world of competitive ice skating (and loved Yuri!!! On Ice, which, incidentally, this predates by four years) youre going to love this, even if it has a hetero couple at the centre of the narrative. Theres a need for entertaining, grown-up josei manga like this and Yayoi Ogawa is just the right mangaka to deliver an amusing and endearing story, which bowls along at a lively pace, yet takes enough time to develop the characters in a satisfying way. Theres ten more volumes to look forward to.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Kowloon Generic Romance #1

Aug 16, 2022

Kowloon Generic Romance is one of those rare manga that, while being hard to categorize, is a fascinating and captivating read. There are images which will give readers a genuine frisson and the ingenious way the mangaka is revealing the story will make them very eager to grab the next volume as soon as it comes out (November 2022)!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Kowloon Generic Romance #2

Jan 1, 2023

This is such a rich, layered and intriguing story that it repays several re-readings; Jun Mayuzuki is one of those rare mangaka who manages to combine a distinctive and detailed graphic style with the ability to create fascinating characters and keep the reader turning the pages. The good news is that Volume 3 is due out in April 2023 from Yen Press. Highly recommended!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Kowloon Generic Romance #3

Jun 15, 2023

This series goes from strength to strength, mixing intriguing yet sympathetic characters with a growing sense of unease and mystery, everything engagingly depicted in the bustling walled city that Jun Mayuzuki evokes so effectively. Is it a timeslip science fiction? Is it a murder mystery? Or is it just its own unique yet addictive self (the best kind of reading that defies categorization but makes you keep turning the pages)? Volume 4 is due out in July 2023, so dont miss it if youve become addicted too!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Kowloon Generic Romance #4

Jul 29, 2023

This fourth volume of Kowloon Generic Romance is filled with hints and clues that might be red herrings as to what is really going on in the Kowloon where Reiko Kujirai, Kudou and Maomay are living and what Dr. Hebinuma and his clinic might have been dabbling in. But tantalizingly, it poses more questions than it provides answers. In the meantime, it's impossible not to grow more attached to the cast of bewildered characters even to the smiling, fork-tongued doctor who conceals many secrets of his own.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Kowloon Generic Romance #5

Nov 19, 2023

This is a rich volume, full of significant little hints as well as some big, dramatic scenes and Jun Mayuzuki's skills in creating and developing wonderfully complex characters are seen here to the full, both in her intricately detailed art and in the way the story is unfolding.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Last Unicorn #1

Oct 28, 2014

The Last Unicorn isan incredible adaptation of an already famous and well-known novel (not to mention the outstanding 1982 film) and a must read for anyone who has experienced the story. If you haven'texperienced the storyalready, then this comic is certainly a great way to do so. Despiteits adaptation acrossdifferent mediathroughout the years (including a soon-to-come Broadway play), The Last Unicorn isrequired for fantasy and comic fans everywhere.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Let's Go Karaoke! #1

Jun 1, 2022

Lets Go Karaoke! is a little gem; a really well-constructed story with fascinating chalk-and-cheese characters brought together by the desire to make music (or not have to endure being given a painful tattoo by an over-eager boss).

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Like Two Peas in a Pod #1

Jul 26, 2021

Gorou Kanbe is one of the new to English translation BL authors from MAG Gardens BL list that Tokyopop have been featuring in their new LGBT+ LOVE x LOVE list. All her three titles (Like Two Peas in a Pod, Dont Call Me Dirty and Dont Call Me Daddy) are unusual, entertaining and perceptive pieces of graphic fiction. Her characters are really engaging, flaws and all; shes skilled at creating genuinely funny moments and heart-breaking ones as well. Highly recommended.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Living-Room Matsunaga-San #1

Jun 9, 2020

The first volume of Living-Room Matsunaga-San ends tantalisingly, tempting us to read on and find out what happens next for Meeko. If you cant wait for the next print volume, you can, of course, go digital and carry on reading straight away!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Lost Lad London #1

Jun 21, 2022

Lost Lad London will appeal to all readers who enjoy a taut and twisty murder mystery with an art style that looks more like a Western graphic novel (appropriate for a story set in 21st century London?) and compelling characters. Volume 2 is scheduled for August 2022 and I cant wait to see what Shima Shinya has up her sleeve as the plot thickens!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Lost Lad London #2

Sep 11, 2022

Theres sadly only one more volume to go (January 2023) in this well-written and stylishly drawn mystery but I hope that Yen Press will bring us more from this gifted mangaka. Shima Shinya is definitely a talent to watch!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Lost Lad London #3

Jan 26, 2023

In spite of the (minor) reservations Ive mentioned, this is still a gripping read and Id have loved for it to have continued for another volume; the characters Shima Shinya has created feel very real and I wonder if she might consider returning at some stage with another London-based case for Detective Inspector Ellis to solve Id definitely want to read that! (Failing that, I'd be really keen to read GLITCH, her latest series – big hint.)

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Loved Circus OGN

Sep 7, 2022

Considering everything that the four central characters go through, Loved Circus is surprisingly upbeat and by the end, delivers an unexpected yet emotionally satisfying conclusion. This title is not for everyone but it's one of those rare manga that repay reading several times because of the mangaka's skill in creating a story peopled by characters you really come to care about.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Lullaby of the Dawn #1

Oct 18, 2023

Theres a one-page amusing bonus comic at the end entitled: The Room Where You Cannot Leave Until You Say One Hundred Things You Like About Your Partner. Volume 2 is already available in e-book format, with Volume 3 following in December 2023; the series in ongoing in Japan, with Volume 4 already available. Recommended for fantasy fans and for BL fans who enjoy a slow-burn romance!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Lullaby of the Dawn #2

Oct 24, 2023

There are two brief bonus stories at the end (of a more light-hearted nature).The translation for Tokyopop is by Riley Keenan and again delivers a smooth reading experience. As usual with Tokyopop LoveLove releases, this appeared first in digital form in September 2023 and the paperback will follow in January 2024. Volume 3 is due out (digitally) in mid-December 2023 and hopefully, well get Volume 4 in 2024.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Mae #1

May 12, 2016

A clash of characters in the first issue seems to suggest further conflict will erupt in the future. It leaves the reader wondering, what happens if Mae disappears and goes off with Abbie? There're a lot of unanswered questions in the first issue, but I'm confident they'll be answered in the future. Gene Ha truly delivers with this imaginatively dark comic, leaving a lot open to interpretation and leaving readers wanting more. This one teems with mystery and intrigue at what exactly Abbie's been doing and how Mae is going to fit into this whole scheme.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Manner of Death #1

Jun 4, 2023

Manner of Death first appeared in 2017 as a novel by Thai author Sammon. Adapted to a popular Thai TV drama, the BL murder mystery now reaches us in a manga version by Yukari Umemoto. The series is ongoing with two volumes released so far in Japan; Yen Press will be bringing out Volume 2 in September 2023. As the plot thickens, Bun and Tan have in spite of Buns best intentions developed feelings for each other. After a series of disturbing revelations, this first volume is left dangling on a cliff-hanger, so roll on September when we can find out what happens next!

View Issue       View Full Review
6
Manner of Death #2

Oct 7, 2023

At the end of the day, Manner of Death works well as a BL manga when depicting the evolving relationship between Bun and Tan but is much less successful as a murder mystery.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Midnight Society: The Black Lake #1

Jan 22, 2016

It's a great title for anyone who's looking for a strange, scary read to pick up. It's filled with creatures that are familiar fare but are clearly more deadly than most media makes them out to be; characters that are intriguing and have their own (sometimesvery dark) pasts, and a great, cohesive storyline that isinformative and fun to follow.Midnight Society: The Black Lake is a fantastic read, great for the horror fan craving a little something new.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Minato's Laundromat #1

Dec 4, 2023

Volume 2 is slated for March 2024 from Yen Press, so its not long to wait to see where Yuzu Tsubaki takes Minato and Shin next. I have hopes that the tantalizing glimpses that were afforded in the last chapter are signs of interesting developments in their friendship.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Mob Psycho 100: Reigen

Jan 24, 2021

This is a must-read for Mob Psycho 100 fans " and newcomers to the series could happily read it as a standalone too.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Monster and the Beast #1

Jul 19, 2019

Sometimes amusing (Liam really is a cad!) sometimes touching, Renji has caught my attention with this different and attractively drawn take on the classic trope. The first volume ends on a tantalising cliff-hanger and I cant wait to find out what happens next when the second volume is released in the autumn.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Monster and the Beast #4

Jul 2, 2023

Yen Presss print edition matches the earlier three volumes well and is translated again by Taylor Engel with lettering by Chi Bui. There is a glossy colour illustration at the beginning and two little bonus stories: Someday in the Future and One Steamy Night.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Moriarty the Patriot #1

Oct 6, 2020

As I write this review, Moriarty the Patriot (the anime TV series) is about to make its debut in the Autumn 2020 Season and Im sure this will bring many more readers to the manga. The trailer does a very effective job in evoking late nineteenth century London and well be covering this new anime in our Season Preview.

View Issue       View Full Review
6
Moriarty the Patriot #2

Jan 5, 2021

If youve been following the TV anime, youll know that it's moved far past these chapters and the predominantly dark tone of the series has managed to obscure the more clunky moments of the manga. (On purpose?) No sign of MI6 so far!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Mr. Villain's Day Off (2023) #1

Aug 15, 2023

In spite of the short chapter format which can sometimes not work well over a whole volume for some mangaka, this is dare I say it? a charming introduction to the potential destroyer of the world as we know it and his disarming passion for pandas. The delightful little sketches between chapters and the splash pages are an added bonus, as are the two colour pages.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Mr. Villain's Day Off (2023) #2

Nov 16, 2023

If youre looking for an escape from reality for a little while in these difficult times, then this is the ideal tonic and its not too long to wait for Volume 3 which is due out in February 2024.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
My Boy #1

Apr 20, 2018

An unconventional friendship develops between two lonely individuals.My Boydelivers in its first volume a sensitive and beautifully drawn story that will make readers think about the pressures of modern life on adults and children alike.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
My Boy #2

Jul 28, 2018

Takano weaves a compelling but disturbing narrative in which none of the adults motives can be seen as wholly selfless. Mashuu is particularly well observed, although, perhaps a little young and unworldly for twelve in the way he is depicted. But by making him (and his classmates) children in the final year of grade school, poised between childhood and the coming of puberty and the teenage years, the mangaka is underlining the fleeting beauty that fades and changes as children grow into their adult selves.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
My Boy #3

Mar 21, 2019

The translation for Vertical Comics is again by Kumar Sivasubramanian and does an excellent job of conveying the dialogue very naturalistically (although I, personally, would prefer Japanese honorifics to be preserved).

View Issue       View Full Review
8
My Boy #4

May 22, 2019

My Boy continues to intrigue and beguile as the two-year gap in the narrative and change of point-of-view character provide a welcome change of focus. But the underlying question remains: why is Satoko so attached to a boy eighteen years her junior? The friendship is evidently important to both of them but can it be allowed to continue within the constraints of contemporary Japanese society?

View Issue       View Full Review
8
My Boy #5

Oct 7, 2019

Kumar Sivasubramanian continues to deliver a very readable, flowing translation for Vertical Comics which suits the mangakas style well as there are plenty of interior monologues for the three main protagonists of this volume. And the cover is lightly dusted with glitter which is a delightful and appropriate touch; are the warmer shades of amber and gold in the artwork indicative of happier moments to come, perhaps…? Or an impossible dream? This volume confirms how compelling this story is turning out to be and I'm now impatient to see where the mangaka takes the story in Volume 6.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
My Boy #6

Jul 30, 2020

If youve been following this unusual slice-of-life story, you wont be disappointed by the latest instalment to be translated into English. Even though it seems at first glance that this volume is just a series of meetings, theres a great deal going on below the surface of these ordinary peoples lives and Hitomi Takanos skill is in making them so relatable through her art and her portrayal of her flawed but fascinating characters.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
My Boy #7

May 3, 2021

It's Volume 7 and My Boy is still very readable, with not a panel wasted in pushing the story forward and keeping readers eagerly turning the pages. There's a constant sense of awareness now that it's treading a very narrow line between what's acceptable and not acceptable in society " as the fact that Satoko turns to Shoji for legal advice demonstrates.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
My Boy #8

Jan 7, 2022

The ninth volume (due out in March 2022) will be the last and it will be fascinating to see what kind of resolution Takano will offer her readers. The implications throughout the volumes have been that certain people are soul-mates, no matter what difference there might be in age between them, and like Platos incomplete, divided humans, they will search for their other halves so they can become whole. But will the mangaka allow her characters a happy ending?

View Issue       View Full Review
8
My Boy #9

May 26, 2022

And so, My Boy brings its main characters to a place of resolution from which, its implied, they can move forward in a positive and life-enhancing way. This was, maybe, not the ending we were hoping for and its open-ended final chapters imply the possibility of a sequel. However, at present, Hitomi Takano is writing a josei manga (not yet available in translation) with the intriguing title Gene Bride, so I dont envisage that happening any time soon.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
My Clueless First Friend #1

Mar 14, 2023

All in all, My Clueless First Friend deals with a difficult subject bullying in an ingenious yet sensitive way. Takada and Nishimura are realistically portrayed and its difficult not to empathize with them. Its good to find another of those rare titles thats judged suitable for all ages, so this would make an excellent addition to a primary (or elementary) school library.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
My Mate is a Feline Gentleman #1

Aug 7, 2023

Even though Yen Press have presented My Mate is a Feline Gentleman as a one-volume release, it turns out its actually the first of a four-volume series by Arata Asanae. And according to Yen Presss catalogue, the next volume UK Arc Over is due out in December 2023 and takes the main characters to the United Kingdom!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
My Summer of You #1

Jul 13, 2021

The sequel promises to tell us more about Wataru and Saeki, now university students, passing another summer vacation together. I can't wait to to see how Nagisa Furuya develops their relationship in the next (and final?) volume, due out in November 2021 from Kodansha.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
My Summer of You #2

Apr 18, 2022

My Summer of You delivers a second atmospheric volume charting a slowly evolving relationship taking place against another hot Japanese summer. Hoping we wont have too long to wait before the third volume comes along

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Never Let Go #1

Oct 31, 2023

I have to admit that when I first saw the cover (which is undoubtedly very pretty) my heart sank a little as I feared it was going to be one of 'those' stories with a passive, weepy uke. But I was wrong; the first chapter (or 'distance') plunges the reader straight into a tense high-school classroom situation.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
New York, New York (2022) #1

Mar 31, 2022

N.B. The 2003 date in the copyright line refers to the later Hakuensha 2-in-1 edition, not the original version from c. 1995.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
New York, New York (2022) #2

Aug 30, 2022

The sharp swerve away from LGBT+ slice-of-life in late 20th century New York in Volume 1 into serial killer cop drama in Volume 2 may prove too great a tonal shift for some readers. Others will relish the skilful plotting and exciting yet disturbing drama that plays out in this volume. Either way, New York, New York delivers a fascinating glimpse into the range of shojo manga at the end of the last century; it was published in Hana to Yume which also brought out Fruits Basket, Angel Sanctuary and Descendants of Darkness (amongst other popular other 90s titles).

View Issue       View Full Review
6
Ogis Summer Break #1

Mar 27, 2023

The publishers blurb promises A sweet love story about overcoming differences and accepting yourself for who you truly are but I struggled to find much sweetness or acceptance in this volume. I hope that the second volume (due in August 2023) will deliver greater insight into these two young men and their awkward relationship.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Orphan Black #1

Feb 25, 2015

I enjoy comics that are based off of another established media, and Orphan Black #1 does an excellent job of transposing information " as a fan of the TV show, this is definitely a series that I'll continue to follow. It's a unique view into an already established universe, offering a plethora of background information that is somewhat unattainable through TV.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Our Colors OGN

Jun 15, 2022

It's really heartening to be able to welcome the relatively recent appearance of manga like Our Colors by openly gay mangaka such as Gengoroh Tagame and Okura (I Think Our Son is Gay) that reflect on their own experiences of coming out in the hope that their work will spread greater understanding and, above all, offer reassurance and understanding to young people wondering about their own sexuality.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare #1

May 16, 2019

Our Dreams at Dusk is only four volumes in length (and Seven Seas will bring all four out in 2019) but the mangakas considerable skills as a graphic storyteller are evident from the first page as we are plunged into the living hell of Tasuku's school life. Yet it's not a depressing read. There are some truly heart-wrenching moments but also some breathtaking images. The town of Onomichi is almost a character in its own right, depicted in loving detail. Above all, the story offers a compelling vision of hope for a future where we can be accepting of one another and welcome and celebrate difference. Tasuku has embarked on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance, thanks to the mysterious and elusive Someone-san – I can't wait to see where it will lead him.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Travel Guide #1

Aug 28, 2021

This is a charming and lively travelogue, in which we follow the growth of a relationship against the backdrop of changing landscapes and cultures with all its ups and downs. Im really looking forward to the second volume (coming later this year) in which the travellers go to Finland, Germany and Italy!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Travel Guide #2

Nov 19, 2021

So which country will Mitsuki and Asahi visit next? Surely theyll be making their way to the United Kingdom soon? You can keep up with the next chapters in Japanese at the Mag Comi website but lets hope that Volume 3 will appear before too long. (This review is of the digital edition but if you prefer a paper copy, that currently is scheduled to be released on February 22nd 2022.)

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Travel Guide #3

Sep 17, 2022

This is another fun-to-read volume in Mone Sorai's lively series, with plenty about the food of the countries visited as well as little snippets of history and culture. It also presents a realistic and believable portrait of a same-sex relationship navigating the ups and downs of living and travelling together and stands out from many other LGBTQIA+ manga in this respect. Recommended (and, given its Teen rating, accessible to younger readers).

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Travel Guide #4

Sep 19, 2023

Last but not least, given that this is a Boys Love series, the LGBT elements presented are all to do with making a single-sex relationship work and are explored in a realistic and convincing way. More Sonai is to be congratulated for presenting the problems that her likable and sympathetic couple encounter as they get to know each other better away from their home environment as well as the pleasures of travelling together and seeing the world.

View Issue       View Full Review
6
Penguin & House #1

Apr 14, 2022

Volume 2 is out already from Kodansha and there's a third to come at some stage.

View Issue       View Full Review
6
Penguin & House #2

Jul 28, 2022

And if youre interested in how to make Boba Tea from scratch, theres a whole chapter in which Pen and Hayakawas friend Ota have a go with cassava root; its a time-consuming, laborious process. Do they succeed? Youll have to read the book to find out!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Phantom of Idol #s

Sep 24, 2023

Weve almost caught up with Japan now as Volume 7 came out this summer and isnt scheduled by Kodansha until April 2024. But theres plenty to enjoy in these two volumes of one of the most likable manga about the entertainment industry around at the moment and also theres the splendid sight of Niyodo in a suit for fans of the reluctant star!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Phantom of Idol #1

Jan 9, 2023

If youve watched the recent anime TV series (HIDIVE Summer 2022) youll know that its based on these two volumes with some overlap into Volume 3 which is due out now-ish, and will also (I hope) introduce new material and develop the story of this likable idol duo thats really a trio. Id recommend the manga over the anime series which, although good in parts, lets itself down with not enough budget for the 3D versions of the songs and peters out at 10 episodes. But the manga (already up to six volumes in Japan) delivers believable and relatable characters in a wry and entertaining look at the world of idol culture that will appeal to readers who enjoy stories (like IDOLiSH7) set in the hothouse world of popular music.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Phantom of Idol #3

Feb 8, 2023

Even though this is the mangakas debut series, the standard is consistently high; even if some of the panels are rather over-busy, Hijiki Isoflavone really delivers on the characters expressions, bringing the whole cast to life in an involving way for the reader. Isoflavone is good at story-telling too and is not afraid to shine a rather harsh and sometimes unforgiving light on the fickle world of showbusiness for aspiring idols. But if that makes the series sound rather too serious, it manages to weave in genuinely funny moments (no easy thing) without unbalancing the narrative. Judging by this volume, Phantom of the Idol is going from strength to strength and I looking forward to reading Volume 4 (due out on February 14th).

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Phantom of Idol #4

Apr 28, 2023

Phantom of the Idol continues to deliver a different and entertaining look at the world of the idol on (but mostly off) stage. Niyodo, probably the most apathetic and unmotivated idol ever depicted in manga, is a constant joy to watch as he muddles through and the cookery show with Setouichi is genuinely funny.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Ran and the Gray World #1

Feb 18, 2019

Ran and the Gray World gets off to a terrifically energetic and exuberant start, with a likable (unquenchable) young heroine, an imaginative treatment of its fantasy elements and some exceptional artwork. I cant wait to see where it goes in the ensuing six volumes (the series is complete)!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Ran and the Gray World #2

Mar 14, 2019

Ran is a magical girl unlike any other and its going to be fascinating to see how Aki Irie makes her evolve and how this exciting mangaka nurtures and develops the seeds of several intertwining plots that shes cleverly planted in this volume.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Raygun #1

Mar 23, 2016

Raygun #1 is beautifully illustrated, with all characters, panels, and settings coming across clearly. The characterization of Matthew comes across effectively and effortlessly in each page, displaying a boy who has been through a lot and still wants to come out fighting. Secondary characters don't have nearly as much interaction or dialogue but the players are clearly laid out"the bully, the sidekick, and our antihero. Overall, Raygun is a quick, interesting read, with real-life bases, and looks to be a promising series as we follow Matthew and the hunt for the weapon whose incredible powers have yet to be unleashed on the world.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.4
Robyn Hood (2014): 2015 Holiday Special

Dec 7, 2015

Overall, Zenescope's Robyn Hood Holiday Special: Reprieve isentertaining, the characters and monsters alike pop off the page, and the issue is filled with heartwarming moments " even when Robyn's being a total badass while fighting ice monsters and Krampus himself. It goes to show that even someone like Robyn, a girl that's been faced with such hardship and firmly believes that Christmas is cursed, can see past the darkness and uncertainty that shrouds her life, even if just for an evening. The moral of the issue is sweet and genuine and the pages carry a little something for everyone " action! adventure! sarcasm! destruction! " a true holiday tale for even the grumpiest of readers.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Sasaki and Miyano #1

May 15, 2021

Sasaki and Miyano is very much an episodic, slice-of-life school story but after a slightly predictable start in which BL fanboy is in constant denial about being in a BL relationship (this joke can get old very quickly) it settles down into a better rhythm and starts to develop its characters in a very engaging way. But dont believe the BL means Boys Life label that was attached to it in some quarters this is very much about relationships as well as day-to-day life.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Sasaki and Miyano #3

Aug 15, 2021

Now that weve reached the third volume of Sasaki and Miyano the series is revealing itself as a slow-burn, with no promises as to whether this senpai/kohai friendship will develop any further or not. But slow-burn, when handled with skill by the author, is much more rewarding for readers as it allows time to get to know the central characters really well.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Sasaki and Miyano #4

Nov 17, 2021

Sasaki and Miyano is ongoing in Japan at seven volumes so far however, with the TV anime series imminent in early 2022, senpai Sasaki and his kouhai Miyano will soon become even more widely known (the TV anime effect!). Im hoping that this likable series will get as sympathetic an anime adaptation as Memeco Arii's Hitorijime My Hero and Kanna Kiis Seaside Stranger.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Sasaki and Miyano #5

Apr 27, 2022

Volume 9 is launching in July in Japan. Volume 6 is scheduled for August 2022 from Yen Press, so hopefully, we won't have to wait too long to see a special image promised by the mangaka in her afterword!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Sasaki and Miyano #6

Aug 27, 2022

Were going to have to wait till February 2023 to find out what happens in Volume 7 but fans of Sasaki and Miyano need not despair as Yen Press are bringing us the first volume of the spin-off Hirano and Kagiura in November 2022, followed by the novel in February. Yen Press, youre spoiling us!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Sasaki and Miyano #7

Feb 20, 2023

Perhaps its no coincidence that the double-page image of Sasaki and the third years at graduation includes bouquets of flowers and Sasaki and Miyano are together at the centre, looking more like a bridal couple than two high school students. Is this a dearly wished-for fantasy, perhaps? Because now that Sasaki has graduated, hell be off to university and his life will be very different. Will the nascent relationship survive the inevitable changes that lie ahead? Well just have to wait for the next volume to find out

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Sasaki and Miyano #8

Jun 9, 2023

Eight volumes in and still a Teen rating but if the mangaka carries out her tease in the afterword, will the college years volumes achieve a Mature rating and some steamier scenes? Whatever happens, well be rooting for a happy outcome for these two that weve grown to know and love.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Sasaki and Miyano #09

Oct 3, 2023

Leighann Harvey continues to provide a sound and convincing translation (including a short page of translation notes) and Carolina Hernandez delivers a wide variety of lettering to bring out all the different forms of communication, including texts, Line etc. As weve caught up with Japan, theres no indication of when Volume 10 will be out yet. Has it run its course? It depends on what mangaka Shou Harusono wants to do next, I imagine

View Issue       View Full Review
6
Sasaki and Miyano Official Comic Anthology OGN

Nov 27, 2023

This anthology will appeal to Sasaki and Miyano fans as an extra but inevitably, from a story point of view, it adds nothing that we dont already know, it just offers some light embellishments on the central theme and characters.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Sating the Wolf (2023) OGN

Aug 25, 2023

It's a sympathetic but not world-changing read as apart from the initial reveal about Noah it's a variation on the 'bad boy' Omega pairs up with a cute Alpha theme, dressed up in different costumes. It can also be interpreted as a metaphor for the problems faced by couples from different nationalities or religions who have to face opposition to their relationship in their own community. The protagonists might have tails and ears but the problems they encounter are those faced by mixed couples/marriages among humans. All in all, this is a warm-hearted, positive fantasy with an underlying message of tolerance.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Send Them a Farewell Gift for the Lost Time #1

Nov 14, 2023

This story might seem quite ordinary on the surface; break-ups happen all the time. But it repays several readings as there's some subtle writing (and drawing) conveying the characters' complicated feelings and reactions. By the time you reach the bitter-sweet last chapter (and the bonus content) it's impossible not be moved. This is one of those rare Boys' Love manga where the sex scenes not only feel earned but are well drawn to reflect the characters' feelings. Recommended.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Sensei's Pious Lie #1

May 19, 2022

Its not clear exactly how the mangaka will go on to develop her themes throughout the next three volumes to come (all 2-in-1) but this volume ends with Minako asking Misuzu a leading question. My hope is that not all the male characters will end up portrayed as villains and not all the women will be shown to be victims or constantly trying to compete with each other. (Are these students ever going to get their final qualifications and graduate? Nobody seems to pay attention in class or do a shred of homework. Just saying) Volume 2 is due out in print in July.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Seven Days: Monday - Sunday #1

Jan 8, 2020

This manga offers a relatable introduction to BL and its examination of what it means to be in a relationship unfolds in a sweet yet thoughtful way.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Shadows House #1

Jul 22, 2022

Whether you've watched the TV anime series or not, Shadows House makes for a fascinating read. It reminds me a little of the tales of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston, set in an old house of great character in which time sometimes has no meaning. Shadows House is imaginatively conceived and manages to exude a sinister and compelling atmosphere that draws the reader in while at the same time, charming us with the growing friendship between Emilico and her mistress Miss Kate.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Shadows House #2

Dec 14, 2022

Shadows House is a compelling read for those who love a 19th c. gothic mystery with a chilling touch of the supernatural: it will appeal to fans of Black Butler, Pandora Hearts and The Duke of Death and his Maid. I cant wait for Volume 3, due out in March 2023!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Shadows House #3

Apr 6, 2023

The attractive Yen Press edition again contains eight detailed colour pages, four at the front and four at the back. The translation is again by Taylor Engel who provides a clear and very readable version, capturing the different voices well, helped by Lys Blakeslees lettering. Volume 4 is due out from Yen Press in July 2023.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Shadows House #4

Aug 11, 2023

As the faces and their Shadows begin their integration process into the ways of Shadows House, tutored by the older Star-Bearers, Kate determines that she and Emilico will become Star-Bearers too. Shes already under suspicion but, given her superior soot abilities, she might just be able to outwit those that are watching her. John and Shaun are potential allies but the others might not be so easy to persuade to join her. Volume 5 is due out in November 2023 so readers (like me) who are very eager to find out what happens next will have to be patient until then!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
She Likes to Cook, and She Likes to Eat #1

Nov 1, 2022

The translation for Yen Press is by Caleb David Cook and reads well. Informative translation notes at the back explain many of the dishes and their ingredients that Nomoto prepares; some, like miso, potstickers (gyoza) and daikon radish will already be familiar to most readers, whereas it's helpful to know more about others such as ganmodoki ('a fried tofu fritter made with vegetables') and traditional New Year's Day foods.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Snow Fairy (2023) #1

Dec 17, 2022

This charming and warm-hearted Boys Love romance, set against the snowy landscapes of the far north of Japan, makes just the right kind of comforting reading for winter. The digital edition is available now, with the paperback to follow in April 2023.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
SOTUS #1

Feb 27, 2023

The way the story unfolds in this first volume of SOTUS sometimes feels a little forced but that might come from it being adapted to manga-form from its origins as a novel. In spite of these awkward moments, it makes for an interesting read – but I hope it will develop the nascent relationship between the two main characters because otherwise, there's not much to hold the attention.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
SOTUS #2

Jul 8, 2023

As a reader who hasnt watched the Thai TV series this is based on (or read the original novel by BitterSweet) and who finds the whole hazing plot bizarre, I like the second volume much more than the first. The Boys Love theme underlying the action is still understated (it gets an OT rating) but the attractive art by Kei helps to convey whats really going on in the characters hearts and minds.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
SOTUS #3

Oct 1, 2023

I haven't watched the TV series, but this implies it offers a completely different view of Kongpob to the one presented in the manga! If you're looking for relentless seduction, you might be disappointed.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Spy x Family #1

Jun 10, 2020

With a few light-hearted Bonus pages at the end of the first volume and credits to the mangakas team, this entertaining and decidedly non-PC spy caper merits several re-readings, as theres plenty of neat little hints and touches that are worth looking out for. Ongoing at four volumes, its brought to the West by VIZ Media as part of their SHONEN JUMP list.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Spy x Family #2

Sep 3, 2020

As well as the official bonus, theres also an extra story at the end of Volume 2. Extra Mission 1 turns out to be designed for readers unfamiliar with the manga from its run on Shonen Jump as an introduction to the series. The Forgers go on an outing to Aqualand (Loid is desperate to convince the nosy neighbours that they really are a normal family unit who enjoy trips together) but, of course, nothing goes according to plan. If you like penguins, youre in for a treat because penguins are involved

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Spy x Family #3

Dec 4, 2020

If you're an Anya fan, you won't be disappointed as the youngest member of the Forger family has plenty of opportunities to react in her splendidly idiosyncratic way " and, for once, her unique telepathic abilities prove an advantage, rather than leading to yet more misunderstandings.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Star-Crossed!! #1

May 13, 2021

If youre looking for a light-hearted and fun gender-swap manga, then youll enjoy Star-Crossed!! Junkos experience in writing same sex and shojo romcoms, coupled with her attractive* character designs makes this an undemanding but amusing read.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Super Morning Star #1

Nov 24, 2023

All in all, this is a heartfelt BL that stands out from the crowd and art that makes its two protagonists come vividly alive on the page (and not just when Kaido is in Super Sentai mode!).

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Super! #1

Aug 5, 2014

Super! issues #1-3 are available in stores and on Comixology.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Tales of the Kingdom (2022) #1

Sep 5, 2022

In the first volume of Tales of the Kingdom, the mangakas spare, elegant graphic style brings grace and beauty to her evocation of a far-distant fantasy land. Seeds of wonders and tragedies to come have been sown but it's too early to tell how they will develop although, given the artwork, it will be a pleasure to turn the pages!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
That Blue Sky Feeling #1

Sep 1, 2018

Are the feelings Noshiro is developing for Sanada stronger than friendship? Why are they so painful? It will be interesting to see where Okura takes Noshiro, Sanada and Ayumi in the second volume (not due out from VIZ until Spring 2019).

View Issue       View Full Review
8
That Blue Sky Feeling #2

Apr 18, 2019

This is quiet, realistic slice-of-life fiction about growing up with an aptly straightforward translation from Jocelyne Allen that suits the authors style really well.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
That Bulletproof Kid #1

Feb 26, 2016

Please note Project-Nerd Publishing is a division of Project-Nerd, LLC. All reviews are handled in a professional manner with an honest and unbiased breakdown of the materials.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese #1

Nov 26, 2019

This manga earns its Mature rating with some realistic and explicit scenes. However, unlike several recent BL titles, these encounters are always earned theyre there because they tell us about the shifting relationships between the characters and the power dynamics involved. And Setona Mizushiro who has a very distinctive and easily recognizable graphic style amplifies and intensifies the impact of these scenes with her skillful portrayal of the characters emotions in their facial expressions. The pictures speak even without the dialogue, but when enhanced by the dialogue (or the characters' thoughts) they convey so much more to the reader. Even though shes produced other engaging (though non-BL) work since this title (Black Rose Alice, Shitsuren Chocolatier) this is probably her most intense and compelling love story. Like 10 Dance by Inouesatoh, this is manga for grown-ups: nuanced, bitter-sweet (with more bitter than sweet here) and difficult to put down. There are so many subtl

View Issue       View Full Review
9
The Gay Who Turned Kaiju #1

Nov 26, 2022

Kazuki Minamoto offers no easy answers to Takashis predicament and thats what makes this such an unusual and convincing read. Recommended.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
The Girl From the Other Side: Siil, a Rn #1

Mar 15, 2017

At the end, we are promised that Volume 2 of A tranquil fairy tale about those human and inhuman is coming soon. But this volume ends on a nail-biting cliffhanger which is far from tranquil. The Girl from the Other Side is an unsettling yet strangely beautiful manga that will haunt you long after youve finished reading.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
The Girl From the Other Side: Siil, a Rn #2

May 30, 2017

An engaging follow-up to the exquisitely drawn first volume which even though not quite so successful still manages to enchant and chill in equal measure.

View Issue       View Full Review
6
The King's Beast #1

Feb 9, 2021

A promising start to this gender-swap fantasy, then, but with only three chapters, its a little difficult to tell how the story and the central servant-master relationship/romance is going to develop and whether it will distinguish itself from so many others in the same vein. Perhaps after Volume 2?

View Issue       View Full Review
9
The Other World's Books Depend on the Bean Counter #1

Aug 17, 2022

The Other World's Books Depend on the Bean Counter is a refreshing breath of fresh air in the ubiquitous isekai genre, brought to vivid life by Kazuki Irodoris attractive and accomplished artwork. Recommended!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
The Other World's Books Depend on the Bean Counter #2

Sep 15, 2022

Theres only a third volume out in Japan in this ongoing series and thus far Yen Press havent yet given us a date for it so one can only hope we wont have to wait too long as this volume ends abruptly on a dramatic cliffhanger!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
The Other World's Books Depend on the Bean Counter #3

Jun 13, 2023

There are only three novels in the isekai series by Yatsuki Wakatsu that the manga is based on, so with Volume 4 of the manga already out in Japan (no date yet given by Yen Press), we may well be reaching the end of the story soon. (Given the popularity of the manga, I cant help wondering if Yen Press is going to bring us the light novels too)

View Issue       View Full Review
8
The Poe Clan #2

Nov 17, 2022

The ability of the vampire story to enthrall us is as potent today as when Bram Stoker first published Dracula. However, beautiful as the artwork is, I would argue that the storytelling, which flits from one viewpoint to another, never settling for long enough to establish a connection with the reader, has dated. As has the rather awkward juxtaposition of old-fashioned comedy caricatures (mostly the servants and lower-class criminals) with the beautiful, immortal boys and girls, even in the swinging London sections. (I'd guess this influence might have come from British media exports of the late 1960s and early 1970s: Bond films, The Prisoner, etc.). All in all, though, this is a fascinating glimpse into the origins of some of the shojo tropes still current today (though far less, I would argue, the shonen-ai side, defined here by the publisher's blurb as young men in love). Its good to be able to note that Moto Hagio has recently been inducted into The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Ra

View Issue       View Full Review
9
The Red Thread (2023) #1

Oct 13, 2023

The translation for Yen Press is by the ever-reliable Emma Schumacker with lettering by Chi Bui and contains a colour illustration at the front. This seems to be the first of the mangakas works to be published in an English translation; the second volume is due out in January 2024 and the series is ongoing in Asuka CIEL. And Im really interested in seeing where Lazysheep takes Pharm and Dean next (theres a cute ‘original story special chapter adaptation' at the end of this volume called Nostalgic Times about In and Korn getting to know each other better at an amusement park). The Red Thread is a definite recommended new BL title from Yen Press!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
The Snake Who Loved a Sparrow OGN

Dec 7, 2022

Even though this is a story of an inter-species relationship, it has a timeless feel, like a Japanese folktale and the relationship between Shirat and Komazu is touchingly portrayed, showing us that people from very different backgrounds can learn to understand one another and even fall in love, with a little give and take on both sides.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
The Snake Who Loved a Sparrow #1

Dec 7, 2022

Even though this is a story of an inter-species relationship, it has a timeless feel, like a Japanese folktale and the relationship between Shirat and Komazu is touchingly portrayed, showing us that people from very different backgrounds can learn to understand one another and even fall in love, with a little give and take on both sides.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
The Summer Hikaru Died #1

Jul 21, 2023

We knew, as its reputation preceded it, that The Summer Hikaru Died was going to be one of the best manga reads of 2023 and this first volume proves to be a chilling page-turner. I prefer my horror to be subtle and this delivers exactly my kind of slow-burn narrative. The next volume is due out in October 2023 from Yen Press and the series is ongoing at four volumes in Japan.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
The Wicked + The Divine #1

Aug 18, 2014

It's stunning, beautiful, and interwoven with music and mythology. The Wicked + The Divine promises to be an incredible story, and I'm really looking forward to what creatorsKieron Gillen,Jamie McKelvie, andMatt Wilsonhave in store for us. With characters that pop off the page and seem to be larger than life, the seriesisexplosive and powerful, both in narrative and artwork. Only two issues in means that you have plenty of time to catch up on this stunning comic. Issues #3and #4of The Wicked + The Divine will be available on August 20th and September 17th, respectively.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
The Witch and the Beast #1

Dec 9, 2020

The Witch and the Beast – Kodansha Comics – read a free extract here!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
The Witch and the Beast #2

Jan 18, 2021

The Witch and the Beast is not a comfortable read but to say so is to compliment mangaka Kousuke Satake on the genuine chills that their story generates in the reader. This time theres a real sense of the otherness of the world through which Ashaf and Guideau move. Magic and necromancy are a powerful and compelling combination in the hands of the right storyteller and the questions raised: When does love turn to obsession? What does necromancy really involve? are explored in unexpected ways that will linger in the reader's mind long after they've reached the end of the book.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
The Witch and the Beast #3

Mar 15, 2021

And now I cant wait to see what happens to Helga and Guideau in Volume 4. Will Helga change Guideaus deeply entrenched hatred of witches? This third volume is proof that Kousuke Satakes dark fantasy is going from strength to strength, delivering a supernatural tale that is quite different from the others.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
The Witch and the Beast #4

May 4, 2021

This volume ends on a significant cliff-hanger, so hopefully we wont have to wait too long for the fifth volume to see where this will lead!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
The Witch and the Beast #5

Aug 16, 2021

Having come this far with the two unlikely travelling companions, its going to be difficult to resist following them into the land of the vampires in Volume 6 and, most of all, seeing exactly how Ashaf is going to teach Guideau that very important lesson.

View Issue       View Full Review
6
The Witch and the Beast #6

Aug 17, 2021

Doubly frustrating is the fact that a good quarter of this volume is taken up with Chapter 0: Witch and Whim a one-shot (and, it seems, Satakes first published manga) which is set in a medieval-ish fantasy world and introduces the theme of the pretty but playfully wilful witch that the mangaka goes on to develop in The Witch and the Beast. The bonus is P.S. Beyond Death a rather dour little story about Necromancer Phanora Kristoffel (Volume 2) granting the wish of a bereaved daughter in the Be Careful What You Wish For tradition.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
The Witch and the Beast #7

Jan 2, 2022

The Witch and the Beast is still compulsively readable and thats also thanks to Kevin Giffords fluent translation for Kodansha. Volume 8 is due out in February 2022, so we wont have long to find out if Ashaf and Guideau have been outmanoeuvred once and for all by the fearsome Queen of the Night.

View Issue       View Full Review
6
The Witch and the Beast #8

Jul 15, 2022

However, if youve been following this arc, youll really want to read this volume to find out what happens in the final acts of Four Levels Below and to appreciate some dark and powerful graphic evocations of a vampire court at war with itself.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
The Witch and the Beast #9

Feb 6, 2023

Volume 10 was originally scheduled for February 2023 from Kodansha but now only in digital version and it may be quite a while before Volume 11 appears as, sadly, mangaka Kousuke Satake has gone on a two-month hiatus, due to ill health. In the meantime, perhaps therell be more news of the promised anime TV series.

View Issue       View Full Review
5
The Witcher: Ronin OGN

Jan 7, 2023

I can't honestly recommend this to manga readers already well versed in yokai folklore although if you're interested in The Witcher spinoffery, then that's a different matter. If you're new to the world of kappa, tengu and nekomata, then you might well find this diverting but the story never really transcends the 'Geralt meets the yokai of the day' format.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
The Yakuza's Bias #1

Jun 28, 2023

The Yakuzas Bias comes to the West in a handsome trade paperback edition from Kodansha with a splendidly embossed, metallic cover. The translation is by Max Greenway and deals expertly with the fan-based terminology and the sinister yakuza exchanges equally well; the four pages of translation notes at the end are especially welcome. Nicole Rodericks lettering covers the many different exchanges seamlessly, from smartphone texts to song lyrics, not to mention the dialogue between different groups (again, yakuza). Theres also a nice mangakas afterword/thank you. Volume 2 is due out in mid-August 2023. For a ‘gag' manga that began in a very modest way online, this has grown into a work that is so much more (without losing its sense of affectionate parody).

View Issue       View Full Review
8
The Yakuza's Bias #2

Sep 17, 2023

Max Greenway delivers another excellent translation for Kodansha and the translation notes at the end are really helpful, especially in explaining terms from K and J-pop fandom. Theres a colour page at the front and the cover art has metallic embossing again to enhance the snazzy showbiz look (a great cover design for Kodansha from Phil Balsman). Volume 3 is tentatively scheduled for January 2024.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Tomb Raider (2016) #1

Feb 20, 2016

Seeing Lara Croft translated to the page is neat and just as much of an adventure story-wise as the games have been, and fans of Tomb Raider shouldn't hesitate to pull it this week, as it'll pick up where the 2015 game left off. It's a quick read and the start of an intriguing storyline, with the promise of more action and adventure to come.

View Issue       View Full Review
7
Tomorrow, Make Me Yours #1

Jan 30, 2022

Tomorrow, Make Me Yours is translated for TOKYOPOP by Christine Dashiell who gives us, as always, a fluent translation. It makes a pleasant but undemanding BL read – and is currently available as an e-book; the physical edition is due out in May 2022.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Toritan: Birds of a Feather #1

Aug 23, 2020

The first volume of Toritan is a fun read and a good introduction to Kotetsuko Yamamotos work, showcasing her sense of humour and her gift to create attractive yet believable characters.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Twilight out of Focus #1

May 17, 2023

Jyanome skilfully captures the heady highs and lows of first love in Twilight Out of Focus as well as the genuine excitement generated when a group of like-minded young people work together on creating a film. The two threads mesh seamlessly together, delivering a story that repays several readings all brought to life by the mangakas sensuous, striking art.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Twilight out of Focus #2

Jul 17, 2023

This series is proving itself to be one of the best BL series around at the moment; beautifully drawn, with a believable, sympathetic (although far from flawless!) cast or characters, all bonding through a mutual love of making films.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Twilight out of Focus #3

Nov 9, 2023

Twilight Out of Focus is all about the characters and one of the most touching things about this volume is that Jyanome leaves you in no doubt as to how attached Mao has become to Hisashi and how vulnerable this makes him feel.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Victorie City #1

Dec 31, 2015

Victorie Cityis created and written byKeith Carmack and illustrated by Vincent Nappi

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Wandance #1

Sep 23, 2022

Wandance is an ongoing series currently at eight volumes in Japan; the second volume is already out from Kodansha, with the third due in October 2022. After such a lively beginning, itll be fascinating to see where Coffee takes his two protagonists in the world of freestyle dance.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Wandance #2

Nov 12, 2022

Theres plenty to like in this second volume which presents a sympathetic portrait of a high school student trying not to let his stutter dominate his life as, inspired by his pink-haired classmates moves, he makes his first foray into the world of dance. The next volume takes us to the competition and ramps up the tension!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Wandance #3

Feb 17, 2023

The star of the show is definitely Coffees striking dance art which goes from strength to strength and will appeal to anyone whos a dance fan but Kabo is a sympathetic and relatable protagonist (just as Yatora is in Blue Period) and much of the appeal of the story is watching him grow in self-confidence through expressing himself through dance.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Wandance #4

Mar 8, 2023

Wandance continues to dazzle with its street art-style and the impressive way Coffee captures the atmosphere of the dance battles. Volume 5 is not currently on Kodanshas website but Amazon have a date of 23rd May 2023 so we shall see

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Welcome Back, Aureole OGN

Mar 17, 2023

This quiet and well-observed manga falls more into the slice-of-life category than romance; even the mangaka herself says in the afterword, Thank you for letting me write a slow and steady love story with too-few love scenes. So if you were hoping for something spicier, the Teen (13+) rating means this just isnt that kind of Boys Love. But its a sympathetic and touching portrait of a childhood friendship that has the potential to mature into something far more enduring; the final chapter is called Two Years Later and keeps the reader guessing until the final page.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Welcome Back, Aureole #1

Mar 17, 2023

This quiet and well-observed manga falls more into the slice-of-life category than romance; even the mangaka herself says in the afterword, Thank you for letting me write a slow and steady love story with too-few love scenes. So if you were hoping for something spicier, the Teen (13+) rating means this just isnt that kind of Boys Love. But its a sympathetic and touching portrait of a childhood friendship that has the potential to mature into something far more enduring; the final chapter is called Two Years Later and keeps the reader guessing until the final page.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Welcome to Showside #1

Oct 30, 2015

Welcome to Showside will entice fans of the shows that it arereminiscent ofSteven Universe and Adventure Time, and readers will find themselves waiting eagerly to see what happens next, whether it be simply the next panel or if it's the next issue. It is an excellent feat in art and a great comic all-around, an awesome addition to anyone's collection.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Witch Hat Atelier #1

Apr 29, 2019

Witch Hat Atelier plunges the reader into Cocos world and enchants and alarms the reader in equal measure; this first volume blends inspiringly magical art with a fascinating story and comes highly recommended.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Witch Hat Atelier #2

Jul 9, 2019

This accomplished second volume of Witch Hat Atelier continues to enthral and delight; its fascinating to watch Coco meet new challenges and new people. Shes one of the most engaging young heroines Ive met in fantasy for a while and I recommend this series for fantasy readers of all ages (Kodansha suggest 10 upward…)

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Witch Hat Atelier #3

Aug 27, 2019

One very small negative point: Im not sure I like the rhyming blurbs on the reverse covers. They dont quite work for me…although the final line but ignorance is innocences curse is very pertinent to Cocos dilemma. But it's a minor complaint. This third enthralling instalment of Kamome Shirahamas exquisitely drawn manga reveals just enough of the rapidly thickening plot to keep the reader impatient to read what happens next!

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Witch Hat Atelier #4

Dec 21, 2019

Another volume of this involving fantasy will keep Coco's fans on the edge of their seats – but also impatient to wait for Volume 5 (not due out until February 2020) to find what happens next!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Witch Hat Atelier #5

Apr 27, 2020

This volume concludes with a rather cute page by the mangaka explaining more about the different hats of Witch Hat, followed by a double-spread trailer for Volume 6 in Summer 2020. I, for one, cant wait to discover what awaits Coco in the depths of the Great Hall upon the base of the deep sea.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Witch Hat Atelier #6

Oct 7, 2020

(This July, Witch Hat Atelier was joint winner with Taiyo Matsumoto's Cats of the Louvre of the Will Eisner Best U.S. Edition of International Material -Asia award. And it's just been announced as winner of this year's Best Manga at the Harvey Awards!)

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Witch Hat Atelier #7

May 14, 2021

Winner of the Eisner and Harvey awards in the USA, Witch Hat Atelier is still one of the most readable and imaginative fantasy manga available in translation. Shirahama has become very skilled at balancing the humorous moments (Olruggios frustrations with wealthy client Lord Cladd at Mistcall Castle deliver some nice character moments for Olruggio fans) alongside the darker moments of pure horror, most significantly the revelations about the damage that has been done to Qifrey. After a revelatory conversation in the final chapter, the mood lightens as Coco and the girls gather to watch the passage (shooting) stars and Coco is excited as the others tell her about Silver Eve, the upcoming festival of magic.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun #1

Sep 26, 2020

This manga is a charming but hectic account of the days (and nights) in Matsumotos household that will appeal to pet-lovers everywhere who are bound to recognize the antics of their own pets in some of the behaviours lovingly recorded by the mangaka. An anime TV series starts in October 2020. This series began (and continues) on Twitter New Chapters Every Sunday (details given at the end of the volume).

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Yokai Rental Shop #1

Nov 15, 2017

Inevitably, as in Pet Shop of Horrors and xxxHOLIC (CLAMP), two earlier manga series dealing with supernatural shops, theres a slight danger of he/she got what they asked for when it comes to granting the customers wishes and thats where the twist in each tale comes, because, as with CLAMP, the customers are not always the victims they perceive themselves to be but may be harbouring secret desires and feelings that could prove to be their downfall. If you like either of these series (as I do), youll enjoy Yokai Rental Shop even though its very much its own story; theres none of CLAMPs evasive (and sometimes downright frustrating) hinting and lack of closure. Shin Mashiba moves the story along at a satisfyingly swift pace, each chapter delivering another surprising reveal. The series is only four volumes in length (unlike her earlier popular supernatural series Nightmare Inspector which runs to nine) so expect everything to proceed at a brisk pace!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Zodiac Starforce #1

Aug 10, 2015

Starforce isn't 100% original in its content, but it has pulled together what looks to be a promising storyline with interesting characters, each distinct in their own personalities and motivations. I'm interested in seeing where this goes and will definitely be keeping up with it as the issues come out. It'll be a bright, happy addition to my comic collection.

View Issue       View Full Review

Reviews for the Week of...

December

November

More