Danielle’s Reading Diary
With the release of volume 2 of Ooku in December, I can declare that no other comic I read in the past year meant as much to me as as a fan of both manga and Fumi Yoshinaga.
Kaoru Tada writes the contemporary romantic comedy shojo playbook in Itazura Na Kiss (1991-1999) but unlike many of her imitators, her characters always seem genuine even when they find themselves in fairly contrived “only in a shojo manga” situations.
Jun Mochizuki takes fairy tale symbols and logic and puts them through some kind of psychedelic wash in Pandora Hearts. The results are fairly confusing, if surprisingly compelling.
Today I take a look at the latest releases of two Viz Signature titles — Dogs: Bullets & Carnage and Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit.
Although there’s nothing particularly remarkable about Ryoku Tsunoda’s yaoi offerings, I always find her titles a pleasurable, even comforting, read.
Today I look at 2 very different manga titles released in November — Crimson Shell (one-shot by Jun Mochizuki) and Jormungand vol 1 (by Keitaro Takahashi).
Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture, by Masayuki Ishikawa, is one of the rare examples in manga of an outlandishly original concept — boy can see germs with the naked eye — which is actually executed quite smartly.
Today I look at the concluding volume of Saemi Yorita’s Brilliant Blue, which cements this title’s status as a charming, thoughtful yaoi series.
Hero Tales may be of special interest to North American manga readers — it is drawn by Hiromu Arakawa (of Full Metal Alchemist fame) and written by Huang Jin Zhou (who is perhaps not an actual person but a “unit comprised of Hiromu Arakawa, Genco and Studio Flag” according to bakaupdates.com…whatever that means). However, the use of a Chinese name for the “author” makes sense since the story takes place in a fictionalized historical (Chinese) Empire.
Beast Master, by Kyousuke Motomi, is one of the few contemporary shojo manga titles I know of that was created by a male artist. How does it stack up as a shojo work?
Kaim Tachibana returns to the basics of the yaoi genre in the appropriately entitled Boys Love. While she doesn’t subvert a number of traditional yaoi tropes, she does depict a relationship not bound by some of the usual “rules” of yaoi.
I discuss three manga volumes with appropriately spooky themes — you’ve got your ultimate undead!fighter!, your fanservice-y vampires, and your bishonen zombies (a very *special* kind of undead). So there’s a little something for everyone!
Today I examine Inio Asano’s (also the creator of solanin, which was reviewed for this site by the very talented Melinda Beasi here) short story collections, What a Wonderful World. Just released last week by Viz, these works are required reading for those of us who are avidly following the maturing manga market in the U.S.
I continue covering Halloween-y books in my own little unofficial countdown to the best holiday of all. Today I take a quick look at the second volume Svetlana Chmakova’s Nightschool.
The eighth volume of Matsuri Hino’s Vampire Knight offers one of those rare moments in shojo / shonen manga, where the original playbook is thrown out entirely, and the title as a whole is entirely the better for it.