The Growing Mountain of Manga – Early Summer 2015 Purchases

I keep getting behind in my intent to post here, but I still find time for the hobby itself at least! During my (sadly now over) summer break, I was able to catch up on some reading. I made two major manga orders and this entry covers the first order. I’ve already made a considerable dent in these books. However, I recently replaced my old TV with a shiny new one and have fallen prey to streaming anime on Hulu Plus, so I haven’t dived into my second mountain of manga yet. All in good time!

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  • Shuuten Unknown 4 – Loved every page of this. I can’t believe this series is already ending in the next volume. I can’t take it! Hold me. My autographed print should be professionally framed soon–the framer is pretty popular, so the wait time is somewhat long.
  • Koi no Charade – This manga is an interesting contrast from the other Renaissance Yoshida manga I’ve read from Opera magazine/Edge Comix imprint. Those manga purposely suffocated you in massive amounts of text and detailed, erratic art. But Koi no Charade is sparse with both of those factors, yet manages to be stifling in its own way. Those are all good things btw–it made for an interesting “love story.”
  • Karappo Dance 1 – This manga has an odd relationship, so don’t take that part too seriously. The main guy is a police officer who somehow doesn’t understand what “stalking” is (oops) and this understandably ends his previous relationships. For example, he shows up outside the work of his newest interest uninvited, asking people about her while in full police uniform. I still thought it was amusing enough and has a nice, imperfect budding romance. It’s cute how much the main female character is into male idol culture and the guy participates in that. They both have their eccentricities, but only one is illegal!
  • Hon no Koi Nado 3 – Last volume! This is a good pick for a slow romance story where the romance part is secondary to character development. I’ll read this mangaka again.
  • Kamijou-sensei no Oyome-san – I admittedly only read a few pages and was bored to tears at the complete lack of personality in the lead. I need to try again if I can avoid the coma.
  • Neko no Te wa Karinai!
  • Ohayou Rakuen-kun (Kari) – Collection of the Rakuen-kun material from the Rakuen magazine.
  • Frau Faust 1 – Another magic series from the mangaka of Mahoutsukai no Yome. This one is published in Itan.
  • Lemon Roman – I’ve had this mangaka on “the list” before as a possible purchase, but they never made the cut until this point. After this manga, I plan on going back to read some more. It starts out with the “girl transfer student into a formerly all boys school” plot. Except the girl is very tall, incredibly muscular, and not traditionally feminine (much to the disappointment to the boys). She becomes friends with the cute “idol” of the school and there’s a bit of romance. Without writing a whole entry on the manga, I just liked her outlook on the whole thing. She likes who she is. It was a cute, funny, and warm story.

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  • Nodoka no Niwa 2 – I really enjoy Akiyama Kaori’s romance manga. She’s one of the few mangaka that I’ve read only for a couple years to already rise to the top of my most anticipated releases. This particular manga is developing well. The romance feels like a slow, sweet burning sensation. I feel the hole left by Okazaki Mari’s & manga being soothed and filled just a little bit. It’s my favorite currently serialized romance.
  • Sumika Sumire 3 – Oh boy, annoying new character alert.
  • Sensei Kunshu 5– This manga is getting bold. Not a bad thing.
  • Neko to Watashi no Kinyoubi 8
  • Takane to Hana 1 – Cute, hyper story about a high school girl who meets a successful, but odd business man. It’s one of those storylines where the rich guy loves how unimpressed the girl is with him and all his shiny things. The characters are very expressive. When I bought it, I didn’t realize this mangaka also drew the fun Furou Kyoudai. A second volume came out recently and it was just as fun. I want more.
  • Marry Marry Marry 1 – Katsuta Bun’s style is so fanciful in this manga. It’s great. Even then, it doesn’t compare to the whimsical nature of one of the main characters. The male lead reminds me of the manic pixie dream girl trope. He blows into the life of a nondescript young woman, convinces her to marry him, then disappears regularly for his music gigs. When he comes back (unannounced), they go on wacky adventures in her Mini Cooper. It’s kinda a weird relationship, but the manga is worth reading for the art alone.
  • Kozou no Sushi – This is a collection of Katsuta Bun’s oneshots.
  • Liar x Liar 7 – Oh snap–is something actually going to happen between the siblings?  Dammit, we have to wait until next February to see! Such long waits in between volumes.
  • Dame na Watashi ni Koi Shite Kudasai 6 – It seems we’re at a turning point.
  • Ore Monogatari!! 8
  • 5-ji kara 9-ji made 10
  • Koi to Gunkan 7 – Oh god, it’s getting rough in here. There’s only one volume to go. Help everyone ;_;
  • Shitsuren Chocolatier 9 – Final volume! It was a good, satisfying end that fit snugly with the story progression to that point. I’ve read too many bad/lackluster endings lately that I really appreciate this basic thing! Another great series from Mizushiro Setona.
  • Kirara no Hoshi 13 – Final volume! What’s next for Morinaga Ai?

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  • Docchi mo Docchi ~Yakkai na Ikemen~ New Docchi mo Docchi volume! Still love these guys and it looks like there’s more to come in the future. This volume had nice developments in their relationship and making it feel very supportive and “official.”
  • Eureka (Yureka) – I frankly wasn’t expecting this to be that great based off the mangaka’s earlier work. Something about it still tugged at me (old man *cough*) and now I stand corrected. Her art style is perfect for this kind of dark, brooding, supernatural story. I really enjoyed the fact that there was minimal exposition, yet the story felt solid. It’s one of the better BL fantasy/supernatural manga I’ve read in a while.
  • Sankaku Mado no Sotogawa wa Yoru 2 – This manga is getting creepy and the art is darker and sketchier to match that. Good series. SuBLime has a good digital release of this series.
  • Tsurugi to Kiri 2 – A continuation of Kuku Hayate’s series about two assassins. This volume focuses on them forming (and admitting to having) a relationship. I love her style. I need to buy the latest volume of Meteora.
  • Hana wa Saku ka 5 – The end! It’s a pretty satisfying conclusion to a lovely story. It’s been a good ride with strong developments along the way. This volume is very thick btw.
  • Kimi ga Boku no Subete 2 – I had to reread the first volume because I forgot what was going on. Now I need to read this volume before this process repeats itself.
  • GUSHMania EX – Oyaji – My favorite theme for BL. I think this is the second time this theme has been used for GUSHMania EX
  • GUSHMania EX – Seme x Seme – Perhaps my second favorite theme for BL. It has a nice Docchi mo Docchi story. I love my Docchi boys.

I still have another new pile of books to go through and an increasing number of licensed series to tackle!

15 responses to “The Growing Mountain of Manga – Early Summer 2015 Purchases

  1. Wow, I didn’t expect Shuuten Unknown to be that short going by her previous titles. And Lemon Roman sounds interesting.

    • Shuuten Unknown’s story setup certainly makes you think the story will be longer. However, it’s avarus and they don’t do longer stories, so I’m guessing it’s the publisher behind this. I hope she gets to write longer stories in the future. It’s a strong point of her work.

      Lemon Roman was fun. Short, sweet, and light fare. It’s the more typical avarus series.

  2. What a pity about Shuuten Unknown. I hope the ending isn’t too rushed. What do you think, from what you’ve seen so far in vol. 4? Will the ending be terrible, or will it be pulled off okay-ish?

    And another question, if that’s okay: does Tsurugi to Kiri have an actual plot, or is the assassin setting just a backdrop for the typical yaoi storyline?

    • Oops, sorry, just one more: is Neko no Te wa Karinai! an oyaji and/or reverse harem romance, or…? It’s in the romance set, I know, but since the mangaka’s Konno Kita, I had to ask.

      • Neko isn’t romance. It got grouped there because there was nowhere else to put it and it fit size-wise! I haven’t fully read it yet, but from what I remember, it’s about a cross-dressing boy who leaves home after fighting with his dad. He ends up at an employee dorm with all the older guys pictured and it explores their personal stories. So it’s more slice of life style.

    • I don’t think the ending will be terrible because I have faith in Sugiura. It should end “okay” enough, but it might be strained to finish up everything. The story felt like it could have been much longer, so that’s kinda a waste of her talent. We’ll see. If it is terrible, I’ll be sobbing about it as soon as I read it, I’m sure.

      Tsurugi to Kiri has a light plot, but it is mostly a vehicle for the BL content. That said, I’d classify a large percentage of BL like that and this story pulls it off better than most “light fare.” The tanks are only 160 pages, so only so much is accomplished, but the setting feels nice and cohesive.

      • Thanks for the reply!

        Actually, regarding BL, this is something I’ve been wondering for a while: why does olden-day BL have 100x more plot compared to modern-day BL? I mean, back then there was such a thing as BL with lots of volumes and an actual plot, like Sugiura Shiho’s manga, some of Hagio Moto’s works, Honoo no Mirage, Yami no Kodou (though it’s ongoing, it was started years ago, right?), and so many others. But now… Do you know what changed in the Japanese readers’ tastes that made it no longer lucrative to write BL with plot as opposed to what we see today? Or was it never lucrative anyway, and mangaka and/or publishers just became more money-minded and realised writing one-volume romances was a more profitable use of their time and effort?

        • It’s pure speculation admittedly, but I doubt long-running BL series ever sold THAT well and now publishers are looking to maximize their footprint on the whole market/maximize profits, so little niche things like long running BL epics aren’t supported. So it’s like you said, I think their business model relies on oneshots and short stories.

          If I think about it, there’s practically no long running BL series that I follow that makes it to high volume numbers. Aitsu no Daihonmei just hit volume 10, but those tanks are kinda skinny. It’s common to have series like Docchi mo Docchi extended due to popularity (seemingly one volume at a time), but they weren’t necessarily planned that way originally (and thus not numbered by volume). I really, really want to read the next epic like Koori no Mamono no Monogatari (even if the BL was squashed out of that particular one), but I’m not sure when/what publisher will let that happen.

          • Well… I guess we’ll just have to make do with BL-subtexty plotty manga like 07-Ghost, Uragiri and 1001 Knights, then. Such is the fate of those with non-mainstream tastes!

            (What about Yuuutsu na Asa and Hana wa saku ka, though? They went on for a while, though I guess that was because of Hidaka Shoko’s popularity. And it’s not like either of them had much plot…)

            • Yeah, it seems the days of the BL epic are past. Yuuutsu na Asa is a longer series, but I was arbitrarily thinking of series with 10+ volumes being very rare. Even then, those two series are good examples of medium length that isn’t terribly common either. I’m more used to something like Canis that just started its third series/fresh subtitle instead of just being called “volume 4.” I guess it makes it easier for new people to adopt a series if they see “volume 1” instead of “volume 8.”

  3. Uhmm… which one is “GUSHMania EX Oyaji” ? They both looks the same, so I don’t know which one….

  4. I’m loving this strong dollar. I had to back down out of the imported market a few years back because the exchange was so bad that I saved a ton of money just buying manga domestically. So happy I can buy mountains of manga again xD

  5. I used to read manga at a comic shop . Paying like 5 usd per hour, get to read as many manga as I like. Your collection seems to of romance manga. very nice !!

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