manga bookshelf


Sword Art Online, Vol. 5: Phantom Bullet

By Reki Kawahara and abec. Released in Japan by ASCII Mediaworks. Released in North America by Yen Press. I had wondered at the end of Fairy Dance how the series would justify there being more MMORPGs and not just having the entire virtual genre banned due to massive deaths. Well, Phantom Bullet answers that – […]

A True Novel

Author: Minae Mizumura Photographer: Toyota Horiguchi Translator: Juliet Winters Carpenter U.S. publisher: Other Press ISBN: 9781590512036 Released: November 2013 Original release: 2001 Awards: Yomiuri Prize for Literature So far, only two works by Minae Mizumura have been translated into English. The first was the Yomiuri Prize-winning A True Novel. Originally published in Japan in 2002, […]

Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?, Vol. 3

By Fujino Omori and Suzuhito Yasuda. Released in Japan as “Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darou ka?” by Softbank Creative. Released in North America by Yen On. The thing that struck me most about the third volume of this light novel series was how tightly paced the whole thing is. The […]

Cosplay Basics

Cosplay Basics by by Yuki Takasou, Rumine, and Kashiko Kurobuchi This is an English translation of a Japanese book that provides an introduction to cosplay with chapters on tips, shopping, and costume construction, interspersed with short manga chapters showing a seasoned cosplayer showing a newbie the ropes. A magical girl character is used as the […]

A Certain Magical Index, Vol. 4

By Kazumi Kamachi and Kiyotaka Haimura. Released in Japan as “To Aru Majutsu no Index” by ASCII Mediaworks. Released in North America by Yen On. The early Index novels tend to follow an unfortunate pattern, which luckily goes away as the series goes on. The odd-numbered books, for some reason, are significantly better and more […]

The Summit of the Gods, Vol. 5

Author: Baku Yumemakura Illustrator: Jiro Taniguchi U.S. publisher: Fanfare/Ponent Mon ISBN: 9788492444403 Released: July 2015 Original release: 2003 Awards: Angoulême Prize, Japan Media Arts Award Baku Yumemakura’s novel The Summit of the Gods (which, sadly, hasn’t been translated into English) was published in Japan in 1998 and would go on to win the Shibata Renzaburo […]

The Manga Revue: Ultraman

Ultraman made his television debut in 1966, defending Earth from the dual scourge of aliens and giant monsters. What began as a 39-episode series soon blossomed into one of Japan’s most prolific franchises, yielding dozens of sequels, spin-offs, movies, video games–and now a manga, which has been running in Monthly Hero’s magazine since 2011. Today’s column […]

Kiss of the Rose Princess, Vol. 5

Kiss of the Rose Princess Volume 5 by Aya Shouto I find myself enjoying this series more and more, mostly because with each new volume my suspension of disbelief grows, and I just kick back and enjoy the ridiculousness of this reverse harem fantasy manga. This volume did a good job balancing out which knights […]

Black Bullet: Those Who Would Be Gods

By Shiden Kanzaki and Saki Ukai. Released in Japan by ASCII Mediaworks. Released in North America by Yen Press. One of the more difficult things about reading modern Japanese manga and light novels is a certain tendency to follow what’s popular and throw things in that appeal to a certain audience – even if they […]

The Science of Attack on Titan

Author: Rikao Yanagita Illustrator: Maru Fujishima Translator: Ko Ransom U.S. publisher: Kodansha ISBN: 9781632361851 Released: June 2015 Original release: 2014 Hajime Isayama’s ongoing manga series Attack on Titan has become a worldwide phenomenon, spawning multiple spinoff manga series, anime, live-action films, games, and other media and merchandise. The franchise has been such a resounding success […]

Assassination Classroom, Vol. 5

By Yusei Matsui. Released in Japan by Shueisha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump. Released in North America by Viz. One of the things that makes this such an interesting manga is the tension between the standard cliched ‘teacher takes a class filled with losers abandoned by teachers and makes them care about […]

The Manga Revue: A Brief History of Manga

I’m taking a break from shojo romances and shoot ’em ups this week and reviewing Helen McCarthy’s A Brief History of Manga, a slim introduction to the medium’s history, stars, and influential series. A Brief History of Manga By Helen McCarthy Ilex Press, $12.95 A Brief History of Manga is an odd duck: it’s too short and impressionistic to be […]

After School Nightmare, Vol. 5

Creator: Setona Mizushiro U.S. publisher: Go! Comi ISBN: 9781933617473 Released: October 2007 Original release: 2006 After School Nightmare by Setona Mizushiro is a manga series that I honestly find disconcerting, so much so that even though I also find it compelling, I could never bring myself to read past the first few volumes until recently. […]

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

By Hirohiko Araki. Released in Japan as “Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken” by Shueisha, serialized in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump. Released in North America by Viz Media. It’s striking how much of JoJo’s, particularly this first arc, has been embedded in anime fandom in general. I was unfamiliar with the arc till reading Viz’s […]

Maid-sama!, Omnibus 1

Creator: Hiro Fujiwara U.S. publisher: Viz Media ISBN: 9781421581309 Released: August 2015 Original release: 2006-2007 Maid-sama! is an eighteen-volume manga series created by Hiro Fujiwara. The series was initially licensed for English translation by Tokyopop, which released the first eight volumes of the manga between 2009 and 2011. More recently, Maid-sama! was rescued by Viz […]