Archive for the ‘Manga of the Month’ Category

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Manga of the Month: Princess Jellyfish

August 14, 2015

Princess Jellyfish (海月姫) by Akiko Higashimura

narutaki_icon_4040 Ah, to be out on your own and among friends. Well, sort of. The women of the Amamizukan apartment house are a group of NEETs being supported by their parents and bound together by sisterhood (no men allowed!), geekery, and a rejection of trendy culture. But aspiring artist and jellyfish otaku Tsukimi inadvertently upsets the balance after bringing home the way-too-fashionable Kuranosuke.

Kuranosuke enters the house after helping Tsukimi rescue a jellyfish from a neglectful petstore. He is a cross-dresser, which Tsukimi doesn’t realize until the next morning, upsetting the balance even further. To top it off, once Kuranosuke meets the women of the house he gains a brash desire to pull Tsukimi and her friends into the real world.

The unlikely and unconventional friendship between Tsukimi and Kuranosuke is the crux of the series. These are two characters with a lot of complex issues to work through from their pasts on the way to who they want to be. They both feel the loss of their mothers keenly. Tsukimi is hiding away and Kuranosuke is hiding in plain sight.

The depiction of women geeks and groups comes from a place of clear understanding and doesn’t veer into fetishization. Likewise, Kuranosuke’s cross-dressing is thoughtful and his reasons for it are explored.

Throw in Kuranosuke’s brother who falls in love with Tsukimi after an impromptu makeover; the political spotlight that Kurnosuke’s family occupies; and the ensuing redevelopment project of the neighborhood, and you have a series that will tickle your funny bone and pull at your heart.

~ kate

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Manga of the Month: Mao no Kyoushitsu

July 1, 2015

Mao no Kyoushitsu (魔王の教室)
by Miki Yoshikawa

hisui_icon_4040 I remember when I first discovered Miki Yoshikawa. I randomly stumbled on Yankee-kun to Megane-chan and I started reading it on the name alone. I really grew to love her comedic sensibilities, sexy characters of both genders, and ability to keep her series feeling fresh and vibrant. I was a little disappointed to learn that despite being an assistant to Hiro Mashima she did not really have a fanbase in the English speaking world. Jump ahead to 2015 and her latest work, Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, had its own TV anime, a US manga license, and enough of a fanbase to get Cruchyroll to bring her over for Anime Expo. In honor of the new found love for this manga-ka I decide to shine the spotlight on one her overlooked short works that people might have missed.

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Manga of the Month: Prophecy

June 5, 2015

Prophecy (予告犯) by Tetsuya Tsutsui

narutaki_icon_4040 Prophecy is a cat-and-mouse story of the vigilantly group Paper Man and the cyber-crimes unit of the Japanese police. Those Paper Man targets escalates from people spewing vitriol on messageboards to politicians in a complex plan of revenge and retribution.

Paper Man broadcasts videos prophesizing who they will dole out vengeance on. They frequently target those whose crimes are either unable to be punished by the law or those who have skirted it. With each passing act becoming public, more people tune-in and champion Paper Man. The path that led the men to form Paper Man unfolds over the course of the first volume as we watch them gain traction in the public eye of the present.

As the same time, we are following the newly formed police unit that focuses on the Internet-related crime as they try to take on the growing Paper Man threat. The team, lead by Ms. Yoshino, are quick thinkers with resolute determination but even they can’t fully keep themselves from becoming fascinated by Paper Man’s story.

Prophecy explores Internet fame and anonymity, power, and romanticizing the vigilantly in the new world of cyber-crime. Tetsuya Tsutsui presents a suspenseful story that deftly tackles a current-world technology but the heart of this tale of revenge is quiet and simple.

~ kate

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Manga of the Month: Fate/Strange Fake

May 1, 2015

Fate/Strange Fake (フェイト/ストレンジフェイク)
by Ryohgo Narita and Shizuki Morii

It was only a mater of time before I got a proper Type-Moon manga in the Manga of the Month. (I did Take Moon but that is a total joke manga). The only problem is most of the manga based on Type-Moon properties are lesser adaptations of the works they are based on. The Tsukihime manga is far better than the infamous anime but that is faint praise indeed. I enjoy the various Melty Blood related manga but I’m not sure I would put any of them in this section any time soon. Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA is Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA. Yeah. So it is nice to get a full-fledged Type-Moon related manga in here without any guilt.

I will admit that I have only read the first chapter as of writing this post but given Fate/Strange Fake’s pedigree, what I saw of the chapter that has been translated, and the additional information I know let me be fairly confident in making it a Manga of the Month. Just in case it does all fall part in the end I will apologize in advance but so far so good.

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