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Oct 18, 2015
"I look up into the clear blue morning sky. It makes my eyes hurt. And suddenly, I feel something nostalgic underfoot. It's the dawn of a new day, and the first thing I do is step in some shit."

Asano Inio's serial debut Subarashii Sekai is an interesting anthology of loosely linked short stories about people caught between prolonged adolescence and adulthood, trying to resist the pressures of a fast-paced society as they stand in the midst of their failing aspirations and relationships.

Protagonists include a college dropout, a bullying victim, and other characters that many readers will be able to relate to on some level. At read more
May 3, 2015
If you have read or watched Bakuman., you might have learned a thing or two about manga. But while the series is quite insightful as far as the actual creating process from character design to storyboard to inking is concerned, it doesn't feel all that more realistic than other Shōnen Jump titles. After all, Ashirogi Muto make their big breakthrough while still in freaking high school. Granted, Bakuman. doesn't shy away from the truth that luck is a critical determinant on the way to publication. But in the end, it's a story fueled by the love of shōnen manga, and as such comes with a read more
Mar 13, 2014
Determined to do whatever it takes to cover his ailing little brother's medical bills, Yuki and his friend Tetsu get caught trying to break into the local yakuza family's office. Hyodo, leader of the Seidoukai, however, is surprisingly willing to let them go unpunished and, what's more, even offers to take care of the hospital bills from now on. He has only one condition: Yuki, without fail, has to show up at the office once a week. Yuki accepts the offer - and his duties at the office turn out to be meaningless. Sitting around and playing chess, Yuki can't help but start to ask read more
Aug 28, 2013
There's Boys' Love, which is manga focusing on gay male relationships written by women, for women.

There's Bara, which is manga focusing on gay male relationships written by gay men, for gay men.

And then there's Kinō Nani Tabeta?, which a slice of life manga focusing on something else entirely written by a female author and currently being published in a seinen magazine featuring two people who merely happen to also be a gay couple.

Lampshaded by the fact the title translates to "What did you eat yesterday?", Kinō Nani Tabeta? is essentially Food Porn: The Manga. This is achieved by the story being mostly centered on and read more
May 18, 2013
Lasting from 1912 to 1926, the Taishō era, sandwiched between the modernizing Meiji era and the militaristic first half of the Shōwa era, is a relatively interesting episode of Japanese history. The influence of Western culture still grew, and until everything crumbled again under the pressure of the economy and the conservative right, liberal ideas flourished, and people from more and more walks of life were enabled to partake in the decision making process.

Period piece or not, starting a review on a Boys' Love manga with a history lesson might seem a little ostentatious. But knowing Japan was caught between tradition and modernity during the read more
Feb 12, 2013
"You're friendly to everybody.
But the truth is you're not interested in anyone."

Sakurai Kazuaki is 37 years old and addicted to work. It would, however, be wrong to say he is a workaholic since that might imply he actually enjoys what he does. The truth is that he spends fourteen hours at the office each day for no other reason than feeling compelled to. Almost needless to say, his relationships don't last very long. And as much as he'd like to take up gardening as a hobby, he's painfully aware that he lacks not only the necessary leisure, but is also not exactly blessed with a read more
Sep 24, 2012
What makes a good basketball player? There are many attributes to consider here, but most of them amount to the same thing: athletic ability.

Kuroko Tetsuya lacks it. He's small, he's slim, he cannot dribble, he cannot shoot, and he has no stamina. In fact, everything about him is so incredibly unremarkable that he is practically invisible both on court and off. Thus, he considers himself "a supporting actor, a shadow", one whose goal it is to help another one achieve greatness, or, as he puts it, "to make the brightness of a light stand out".

Originally the rumored phantom sixth man of the "Generation of Miracles", read more
Sep 14, 2012
"If the four fingers on my hand represent animals and the thumb represents plants, humans would be here, at the tip of the middle-finger, farthest away from the heart. The closer to the palm of the hand, the simpler the creature. Around the wrist, all the blood vessels come together, right? About there are fungi and microorganisms. It's hard to distinguish between plants and animals at this point. But high up the arm, past the shoulder, close to the heart, there are still things beyond those."

These things are called "midori mono" - Green things -, or "mushi", a slightly misleading term, given it translates to read more
Jun 18, 2012
The first thing worth noting about nakedyouth are the visuals which are impressive. Not being an anime expert, my initial hunch was that real backgrounds were filmed and traced over but in fact, everything is the result of masterful computer animation.

The natural scenes - birds flying across the sky, rays of sunlight filtering through trees - are stunningly beautiful and rich in detail. While the movements of the human body are animated realistically as well, the characters themselves look overly two-dimensional compared to the scenery, which creates an interesting contrastive effect. In short, the visuals are reason enough to watch this.

That said, nakedyouth is an read more