Honey So Sweet, Vol. 4 | By Amu Meguro | VIZ Media – It’s hard to believe this charming series is already halfway over! Onise’s friend, Futami, makes good on his promise to confess to Nao, and after he’s rejected is surprised to find that Onise is still willing to be his friend. Awesomely, Onise had completely trusted Nao the whole time, and then he sings a song of friendship. No, really. After he and Nao achieve first-name status, the focus shifts to fleshing out their friends. I welcomed the opportunity to learn more about Yashiro, who has been lonely her whole life and who clung to her ne’er-do-well boyfriend until she realized she deserved something more. I really appreciated that he wasn’t depicted as pure evil and did care enough about her to let her go. Whether she and Misaki will eventually become a couple is up in the air, but I suspect the answer is yes. – Michelle Smith
Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 22 | By Julietta Suzuki | VIZ Media – Kamisama Kiss continues towards its conclusion and benefits from the increased focus. This volume finds everyone in the Land of the Dead, having followed Kirihito there as he searches for Akura-Oh’s body. Tomoe thinks he’s going to be able to kill him, but he can’t, and later helps the lost spirit of a little girl, which seem to be signs that his heart is softening towards humans and that he, therefore, will eventually succeed in becoming one. Meanwhile, Nanami has been hiding the fact that she’s only got six months to live, and we get a great (though lamentably brief) scene where Mizuki is prepared to sacrifice someone else just to save her. She stops him, of course, and finally tells Tomoe what’s going on. He’s upset that she didn’t rely on him, but claims there’s a way to save her. Three volumes to go! – Michelle Smith
Kuroko’s Basketball, Vols. 3-4 | By Tadatoshi Fujimaki | VIZ Media – Seirin has steadily progressed through the Inter-High qualifiers, but now they must play two tough opponents on the same day. First, they face off against Seiho, who took them out of contention the prior year, and it was great to see the second-year characters get the chance to shine as they got payback. Seirin next advances to the match against Shutoku, a team with one of the Miracle Generation players on it. It’s a super-exciting game, in which Kagami gets perilously close to the “I can win on my own” line until Kuroko snaps him out of it. One of the great things about these two-in-one editions is that one volume-ending cliffhanger is nullified, but the buzzer-beater cliffhanger at the end of volume four is inescapable. Argh! Now I am good and hooked. – Michelle Smith
Of the Red, the Light, and the Ayakashi, Vol. 4 | By nanao and HaccaWorks* | Yen Press – After an event-filled third volume, this new book seems to be spinning its wheels a bit, I’m afraid. This is always the difficulty with adapting visual novels, which fans buy knowing that there will be piles and piles of dialogue, only some of which may be relevant to the plot. Focusing on what interested me, then, the revelation that Tougo’s mother was abducted by a man in a fox mask right in front of him puts a chilling spin on current events. And I always enjoy seeing the two cute yet slightly insane yokai girls, who get a side-story cameo here and I wish did more. As for the main plot, I’m hoping things will pick up in the next book. – Sean Gaffney
The Prince in His Dark Days, Vol. 1 | By Hico Yamanaka | Kodansha Comics – I always do enjoy it when the first volume of a new series sets a mood, but it can be difficult when that mood is ‘horribly bleak and depressing.’ Atsuko is poor, her father is drunk, she’s doing compensated dating and it is suggested she’ll be doing prostitution soon. Luckily, she’s kidnapped by a group of rich young men, at first because the family heir wants to dress up in her clothing, and secondly when said heir disappears, and they ask her to dress up as him for a while. Most series with that premise would play it for laughs, but this is dead serious, and even the young hot bodyguards have tragic backstories and hidden secrets. A good start, but I’d hate to binge read something this heavy. – Sean Gaffney
Readterest saysOctober 12, 2016 at 9:54 pm
For me, I down right dislike when the theme is too dark, for example, like in the The Prince in His Dark Days you mention above. I have the feeling that the author is trying too hard to gain sympathy, which usually doesn’t work well. It does not make the story feel clean for me.
Thanks for the post, anyway!