manga bookshelf


Mushishi, Vol. 7

Creator: Yuki Urushibara U.S. publisher: Del Rey ISBN: 9780345505590 Released: May 2009 Original release: 2006 Awards: Japan Media Arts Award, Kodansha Manga Award Mushishi, Volume 7 by Yuki Urushibara was originally published in Japan in 2006. It was the first volume of the award-winning manga series to be released after the first of several anime […]

The Manga Revue: Idol Dreams and Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun

Happy New Year! (Is it too late to extend that greeting to readers?) For my first column of 2016, I dove into my pile of unread books and chose two that I’d meant to review last year. The first is Arina Tanemura’s Idol Dreams, a body-swap comedy about a thirty-something office lady; the second is Izumi Tsubaki’s Monthly Girls’ […]

Honey So Sweet, Vol. 1

By Amu Meguro. Released in Japan as “Honey” by Shueisha, serialized in the magazine Bessatsu Margaret. Released in North America by Viz. In general I try to avoid reading back cover copy when I get a book, as it frequently tends to spoil the entire volume, particularly with manga titles. That said, I wouldn’t have […]

Vinland Saga, Vol. 7

Creator: Makoto Yukimura U.S. publisher: Kodansha ISBN: 9781612628035 Released: September 2015 Original release: 2012 Awards: Japan Media Arts Award, Kodansha Manga Award I honestly believe Makoto Yukimura’s Vinland Saga to be one of the best manga series currently being released in English. An epic tale of revenge, idealism, and the tremendous cost of violence, Vinland […]

Of the Red, the Light, and the Ayakashi, Vol. 1

By nanao and HaccaWorks*. Released in Japan by Media Factory, serialization ongoing in the magazine Comic Gene. Released in North America by Yen Press. I’ve spoken before about how it can sometimes be difficult to review a new volume of a shoujo romance whose basic premise is ‘girl in high school likes guy, feelings ensue’, […]

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Part 1: Phantom Blood, Vol. 3

Creator: Hirohiko Araki U.S. publisher: Viz Media ISBN: 9781421578804 Released: August 2015 Original release: 1988 Although I had been previously aware of the manga series for some time, my real introduction to Hirohiko Araki’s multi-generational shounen epic JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure was in 2012 through the standalone spinoff Rohan at the Louvre. I then proceeded to […]

Emma, Vol. 3

By Kaoru Mori. Released in Japan in two separate volumes by Enterbrain, serialized in the magazine Comic Beam. Released in North America by Yen Press. The entire first half of this omnibus gives the reader the opportunity to watch a giant other shoe dropping, and the back half then shows the shoe’s impact, with horrible […]

Saki, Vol. 1

By Ritz Kobayashi. Released in Japan by Square Enix, serialization ongoing in the magazine Young Gangan. Released in North America digitally by Yen Press. Variations on a theme is one of the cornerstones of writing, and it’s just as true for manga. While it’s always nice to see something that no one’s ever done before, […]

Honey So Sweet, Vol. 1

Honey So Sweet Volume 1 by Amu Meguro I always look forward to checking out new Shojo Beat series, but I was wondering before I picked up this title if it would be a bit TOO sweet. Once the characters and backstory got set up, I enjoyed this volume. The volume opens up with a […]

The Devil Is A Part-Timer!, Vol. 3

By Satoshi Wagahara and 029. Released in Japan by ASCII Mediaworks. Released in North America by Yen Press. After Sariel proved to be a rather creepy and awful villain in Book 2, I was not going to be surprised if another archangel showed up to make trouble for Maou and company, and sure enough, Gabriel […]

Oishinbo, A la Carte: The Joy of Rice

Author: Tetsu Kariya Illustrator: Akira Hanasaki U.S. publisher: Viz Media ISBN: 9781421521442 Released: November 2009 Original release: 2005 Awards: Shogakukan Manga Award At well over one hundred volumes, Oishinbo is one of the most successful and long-running food manga in Japan, winning the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1987. Written by Tetsu Kariya and illustrated by […]

Dorohedoro, Vol. 17

By Q Hayashida. Released in Japan by Shogakukan, serialization ongoing in the magazine Hibana. Released in North America by Viz. Despite all its violence and loving depictions of chopped-up corpses, Dorohedoro has always had a loose relationship with actually killing characters off, given that there are several deus ex machinas in this universe able to […]

The Best and Worst Manga of 2015

After a two-year hiatus from blogging, I donned my critic’s cap again in 2015. I’ve enjoyed writing my quasi-weekly column, but composing a year-end list reminded me why I stepped off the reviewing treadmill in 2012: mediocre books! This year yielded a veritable bumper crop of so-so manga, titles that were competently executed but otherwise […]

Yowamushi Pedal, Vol. 1

By Wataru Watanabe. Released in Japan in two separate volumes by Akita Shoten, serialization ongoing in the magazine Weekly Shonen Champion. Released in North America by Yen Press. This upcoming year will see a bit of a renaissance in sports manga, a genre that has always had difficulty catching hold of readers in North America. […]

Sword Art Online, Vol. 6: Phantom Bullet

By Reki Kawahara and abec. Released in Japan by ASCII Mediaworks. Released in North America by Yen Press. In general, I am not a fan of the theory that the writer does not control their characters and that they do things that are unexpected. Yes, the plot and characters can go in a different direction […]