My Week in Manga: September 13-September 19, 2010

My News and Reviews

I am so incredibly excited—Experiments in Manga got a brief mention in Katherine Dacey’s Friday Procrastination Aides, 9/17/10 over on The Manga Critic.

There aren’t any in-depth reviews from this past week, but I am running my first ever contest/giveaway. Head over to Manga Giveaways: Crazy Karate Contest for a chance to win a free copy of Ranma 1/2, Volume 11: Creative Cures. I also posted my second Library Love installment, and another should be coming very soon.

Only two additions to the resource page this week. The first, Genji Press, is run by Serdar Yegulalp who was recently hired as the anime guide for Anime. He reviews books, manga, movies, and anime at his site among other interesting things. The second resource that has been added is Comics Village, the home of Manga Village.

Quick Takes

Don’t Say Any More, Darling by Fumi Yoshinaga. This is the first short story collection of Yoshinaga’s that I’ve read. The five stories include “Don’t Say Any More, Darling,” “My Eternal Sweetheart,” “Fairyland,” “One May Day,” and “Pianist.” The first and last stories were by far my favorite (as a bonus, both were music related) although the others certainly held my interest as well. Three of the stories are distinctly yaoi, one is definitely not, and the other may have overtones depending on how you read it. It’s a rather odd collection and like most story collections some are stronger than others, but I enjoyed most of it.

Hikkatsu!: Strike a Blow to Vivify, Volumes 2-3 by Yu Yagami. I enjoyed the first volume of Hikkatsu and so decided to pick up the rest of the series. The second volume feels mostly like filler to me, a way to spend the time until we can get back to the “real” plot in the third volume. Not that there’s really much of a plot. Shota has perfected his repair blow and but also learns its limitations. This is a rather silly manga series but I found it to be amusing. It’s short and sweet and I think it ended up being just the right length at three volumes.

How to Control a Sidecar by Makoto Tateno. How to Control a Sidecar is the sort-of sequel to Tateno’s How to Capture a Martini. This time, the focus is on straight and oblivious but brilliant bartender Kousaka, who didn’t even realize he was working at a gay bar for quite a while. It was only a matter of time before someone started hitting on him and he’s caught the eye of the not quite couple of Fumi and Kanashiro who used to share a boyfriend. I was happy to see Tateno deal with rape in a realistic way for the first half of the book, although unfortunately she doesn’t carry it through to the end. I’ll admit, I was also a little disappointed there weren’t any threesomes involved—the story’s premise was just asking for it.

Iron Wok Jan!, Volumes 1-4 by Shinji Saijyo. I love manga, I love food, and so yes, I love manga about food. Jan Akiyama has undergone the fiercest training since a young age, his grandfather molding him to become the best chef in Japan of Chinese cuisine. After his grandfather’s death he’s hired at the Gobancho restaurant. Jan is a cocky, arrogant bastard and doesn’t really get along with anyone. Everyone is extremely serious about their cooking and Jan’s competitive nature brings out the best and worst in people. Who would think cooking could be this intense?

Suggestive Eyes by Momoko Tenzen. This one-shot yaoi manga actually features two main couples—graduate student Megumu and his younger classmate Kina, and two of their professors, Shibata and Kikugawa. Kina reminds Megumu of his ex and after a night of drunkenness, the two end up sleeping together. Kina’s feelings are authentic, but Megumu doesn’t love him in return and wants to call off the affair. But Megumu’s feelings for Kina end up being more complicated than he expected. Elsewere on campus, Shibata and Kikugawa have been together for fifteen years; it’s nice to see an established and successful couple.

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