manga bookshelf

A Certain Magical Index, Vol. 1

By Kazumi Kamachi and Kiyotaka Haimura. Released in Japan as “To Aru Majutsu no Index” by ASCII Mediaworks. Released in North America by Yen Press. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve read this one in fan translation. Twice. This was before it was licensed, and there was a very good reason for that: I never, […]

Gou-dere Sora Nagihara, Vol. 1

By Suu Minazuki. Released in Japan as “Gou-dere Bishoujo Sora Nagihara” by Hakusensha, serialized in various Young Animal spinoffs. Released in North America by Yen Press. I tend to try to read a lot of Volume 1s that are released by manga companies, even if the premise makes me sort of rear back a bit. […]

Black Rose Alice Vol 2

Black Rose Alice Volume 2 by Setona Mizushiro If you had asked me where Black Rose Alice was headed after reading the first volume, I would not have replied “slice of life reverse harem story about vampires running a cafe” and yet that was what ended up happening in the second volume. I thought that […]

Higurashi: When They Cry, Vol. 26

Story by Ryukishi07; Art by Karin Suzuragi. Released in Japan as “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Saikoroshi-hen” by Square Enix, serialized in the magazine Gangan Joker. Released in North America by Yen Press. As the readers of Higurashi plowed their way through the series, they gradually began to notice that the protagonist was changing before […]

Vinland Saga, Vol. 5

Creator: Makoto Yukimura U.S. publisher: Kodansha ISBN: 9781612624242 Released: October 2014 Original release: 2010-2011 Awards: Japan Media Arts Award, Kodansha Manga Award Makoto Yukimura’s award-winning manga Vinland Saga, an epic and thoroughly researched work of historical fiction, has quickly become one of my favorite series currently being released in English. I was very happy when […]

Ani-Imo, Vol. 1

By Haruko Kurumatani. Released in Japan by Kodansha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Aria. Released in North America by Yen Press. The inside color pages of this book helpfully reveal that the title is short for “Big Brother Becomes Little Sister, Little Sister Becomes Big Brother”, which should help to explain why Yen went for […]

Boogiepop Returns: VS Imaginator, Vol. 2

Author: Kouhei Kadono Illustrator: Kouji Ogata Translator: Andrew Cunningham U.S. publisher: Seven Seas ISBN: 9781933164236 Released: October 2006 Original release: 1998 Boogiepop Returns: VS Imaginator, Part 2 is the third volume in the Boogiepop light novel series written by Kouhei Kadono and illustrated by Kouji Ogata. It is also the third out of four Boogiepop […]

Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, Vols. 1-2

By Satoshi Mizukami. Released in Japan by Shonen Gahosha, serialized in the magazine Young King Ours. Released in North America by Seven Seas. (This review contains spoilers.) I reviewed the first half (i.e., Volume 1) of this series when it was digitally released by JManga a while back, but want to revisit it. It’s a […]

Ranma 1/2, Vols. 9 & 10

By Rumiko Takahashi. Released in Japan by Shogakukan, serialized in the magazine Shonen Sunday. Released in North America by Viz. This particular omnibus is very illustrative of the perils and pitfalls of being a Ranma fan, both in terms of its ongoing tendency towards “everyone is terrible, comedy trumps everything”, and in terms of the […]

The Legend of Bold Riley

Creator: Leia Weathington Illustrator: Vanessa Gillings, Jason Thompson, Marco Aidala, Konstantin Pogorelov, and Kelly McClellan; Chloe Dalquist and Liz Conley Publisher: Northwest Press ISBN: 9780984594054 Released: June 2012 The Legend of Bold Riley is writer and illustrator Leia Weathington’s first graphic novel. Published by Northwest Press in 2012, the volume is a collection of related […]

Ajin: Demi-Human, Vol. 1

Author: Tsuina Miura Illustrator: Gamon Sakurai U.S. publisher: Vertical ISBN: 9781939130846 Released: October 2014 Original release: 2013 It was the cover art of Ajin: Demi-Human, Volume 1–a creepy image of disconcerting skeletal figure–that first sparked my interest in the series. When I learned that the manga was at least in part about immortals in addition […]

Attack on Titan, Vol. 14

By Hajime Isayama. Released in Japan by Kodansha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Bessatsu Shonen Magazine. Released in North America by Kodansha Comics. The cover to this volume features Levi (surly), Hange (insane grin) and Erwin (pensive) at a bar, looking for all the world like they’re about to tear the reader of the book […]

The Pillow Book of Sei Shōnagon

Author: Sei Shōnagon Translator: Ivan Morris U.S. publisher: Columbia University Press ISBN: 9780231073370 Released: December 1991 Original release: 11th century I’ve recently developed a particular interest in Heian-era Japan and literature. The Pillow Book of Sei Shōnagon is an important eleventh-century work that provides a glimpse into Heian society, especially that of the court and […]

No. 6, Vol. 9

Creator: Hinoki Kino Original story: Atsuko Asano U.S. publisher: Kodansha ISBN: 9781612627946 Released: October 2014 Original release: 2014 Released both in Japan and in English in 2014, No. 6, Volume 9 is the final volume of Hinoki Kino’s manga series No. 6, an adaptation of a series of science fiction novels written by Atsuko Asano. […]

Übel Blatt, Vol. 0

By Etorouji Shiono. Released in Japan in two separate volumes by Square Enix, serialization ongoing in the magazine Young Gangan. Released in North America by Yen Press. After finishing this first omnibus, you can absolutely see why Übel Blatt was licensed, and why I think it will do very well over here. The plot is […]