Sean, Anna, and Michelle take a look at recent releases from VIZ and Kodansha!
The Demon Prince of Momochi House, Vol. 2 | By Aya Shouoto | Viz Media – This manga suffers a bit in comparison to the overwhelmingly excellent Kamisama Kiss, since they are so similar in plot and sometimes character design, but I did enjoy this volume because it gave more hints of the troubles associated with Aoi’s attachment to Momochi House. He’s been at the house since he was a young child and can’t leave. In a reversal of the rescue the trapped princess trope, Himari is more and more determined to free him. There’s a bit of humor as yet another super cute ayakashi shows up. This manga is good for light and fluffy reverse harem demonic fun. – Anna N.
Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 19 | By Julietta Suzuki | Viz Media – Now that we’ve mostly resolved the love story of Nanami and Tomoe, it’s time to try to figure out where to go next, as clearly the series is popular enough that it can’t just end. And so we get the resolution of the dugong plot, with Nanami’s ‘normal’ friends learning about her deity status, and seemingly OK with it. As for Kurama, I liked that his slowly getting closer to Nanami is not getting in the way of him still being a basic jerk—this transformation is slow, and thus more realistic. As for Mizuki, I’m not sure if this will actually stick, but he certainly seems to have come into his own when charming the mermaid with self-image issues. I sense the series is being dragged out, but so far I’m OK with that. – Sean Gaffney
Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 19 | By Julietta Suzuki | VIZ Media – This latest arc—a school trip to Okinawa—started so tamely that I had zero memory of it when I started this volume. And yet, it ended up being significant for two supporting characters! With Nanami mostly sidelined by having her energy drained by Kirihito, Mizuki and Kurama set out to rescue their classmate, Ami. While Kurama ends up revealing more of himself to Ami than he has to anyone else, sowing the seeds for a presumed future relationship, it’s Mizuki who quells the wrath of a lonely mermaid by promising to be her husband. I 100% believe he would’ve honored his word and stayed with her, but when she sees how much he cared for Nanami, the mermaid (Unari) lets him go. In a way, this volume feels like it’s dealing with Nanami’s other potential suitors, clearing the slate for the final arc about Kirihito. We shall see! – Michelle Smith
Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Vol. 14 | By Shinobu Ohtaka | Viz Media – The first half of this volume wraps up Hakuryu’s arc, and the thought that he’s meant to be a darker version of Alibaba is not going away, from his murder here right down to his hasty confession to Morgiana (who I think is far too overwhelmed with new and confusing emotions to answer any confession right now). The second half sticks with Aladdin, as he finds that there’s a difference between being a Magi and actually learning and using magic, so he goes to a manga Hogwarts to try to get the basics from the ground up. Since he needs to conceal his true nature, this is harder than it seems. I can do without Aladdin (and the author’s) boobies obsession, but otherwise this is another excellent volume. – Sean Gaffney
My Little Monster, Vol. 10 | By Robico | Kodansha Comics – I love the smell of plot guns in the morning. Haru’s past, and his effortless academic excellence, have been on reader’s minds since the first volume. Now we get a long arc showing how he and Yuzan got to be the way they are, and how Shizuku likely has far more in common with Yuzan than she expected. It can be very frustrating to see someone like Haru in your life, and Shizuru needs to get past that – and I’m sure she will. Unfortunately, she doesn’t here, and Haru is likely going to react badly to this. Adding to that the beta couple, Natsume and Sasayan, also not really going anywhere (mostly due to Natsume’s ongoing issues), and it’s possible this series may end with no romance at all! Somehow I doubt that, though. – Sean Gaffney
My Love Story!!, Vol. 6 | By Kazune Kawahara and Aruko | Viz Media – We’ve been slowly watching Takeo learn how to be a good boyfriend over the course of this series, and now we get to see him learn how to be a good big brother, as his mother is finally giving birth. (Speaking of which, seeing how Takeo’s father courted his future wife and proposed is possibly the funniest moment in the entire book.) After this there’s some cute Valentine’s Day shenanigans, but the more intriguing thing is the promise of more Suna in the next volume. He remains a difficult character to grasp, deliberately so—indeed, he has trouble grasping himself. He knows he hasn’t found the love that Takeo has, though. Will new girl be able to get through to him? – Sean Gaffney
My Love Story!!, Vol. 6 | By Kazune Kawahara and Aruko | VIZ Media – Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly love My Love Story!! more than I already do, we get this adorable volume. First, we spend a bit of time with Takeo’s parents, Yuriko and Yataka, learning how they met and how Yuriko can’t help but try to take care of other people, just like her son. (Also, I absolutely love that Yataka was attracted toYuriko for being reliable, confident, and hard-working!) Next, pregnant Yuriko is admitted to the hospital, and panicked Takeo is gently steered in the right directions by calm, kind Sunakawa. And, ultimately, the family welcomes big, strong daughter Maki—there’s a great panel in which Takeo magnanimously declares that he’ll allow Sunakawa to marry her—and Takeo begins to think that he might like to have a career helping people. He’d make a fabulous fireman. Also, I would read that manga! So much love for this series. – Michelle Smith