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Apr 10, 2019
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Tank Tankuro is historically important as a 1930s pre-war "manga", an early pioneer of story-driven manga, and an inspiration for Astro Boy and Doraemon, but the medium has come a long, long way since then. Pick this up for historical interest and the insightful essays bundled with the English print version, because the comic itself has little entertainment value.

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Tank Tankuro is a "superhero" of sorts, but is basically just a weird guy in a ball who fights weird enemies... like a sumo wrestler in a tree and a big monk with a bell. Tankuro initially read more
Feb 28, 2019
I really want to say that I love this series because I can relate to Kabi-sensei's struggles, but I think it's more correct to say that Kabi-sensei made me relate to her struggles. I felt myself empathizing with Kabi-sensei while reading her earlier work, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, feeling sorry for her as she described her depression, anxiety, and sexuality.

But with My Solo Exchange Diary, it was so much more intense. This series isn't at all structured like My Lesbian Experience, which had a well-defined beginning, middle, and end all centered around her lesbian experience. In fact, My Solo Exchange Diary doesn't have much read more
Feb 25, 2019
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This series really showed what Masuda-sensei could do... and what he couldn't do. The endearing characters of Jitsu wa just didn't show up here, and what we got was an average sports series that got axed.

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I'm not giving this series a 6 because it was cancelled (Masuda-sensei wrapped up SO WELL on such short notice). I'm giving it a 6 because it was going downhill and becoming a boring slog... which is probably why it got axed.

Compared to his previous work Jitsu wa Watashi wa (one of my favorite seres), Masuda-sensei really tried something different with Shuukan Shounen Hachi, switching from read more
Feb 25, 2019
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A short, charming slice-of-life story about daily life with a GIANT SPIDER. A solid read and definitely worth the time, but there are far better series in the genre.

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The quickest way to get a feel for this manga is just to read it. It's so short that you might as well read the series rather than this review, and I really recommend that you do! Despite how this review sounds, I think this series is worth reading.

Giant Spider and Me is a cookie-cutter iyashikei/"healing" series, much like Hakumei and Mikochi, Aqua/Aria, and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou. These slice-of-life series all show slow-paced read more
Feb 15, 2019
Short:
2001 Nights is hard science fiction done right. Its interconnected stories are endlessly creative, painting a picture of a future that seems both fantastic and realistic. The universe that Hoshino constructs isn't just the best in manga sci-fi, but one of the best in science fiction in general.

Absolutely phenomenal.

Longer:
Anime and manga have had a very long and tight relationship with science fiction, from Astro Boy and Gundam to Gurren Lagann and Steins;Gate. Yet few series have tried tackling the more Western (Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein) genre of "hard" science fiction, which takes a more realistic approach to storytelling, even if the end result is about something read more
Dec 4, 2018
Short version:
The Scientific Boys Club is a wonderful, "modern" sci-fi fairytale about a woman and three old men achieving their pipe dreams... and a drunk guy.

Long version:
Imagine grandpa tells you about the time he flew to Mars on a ship he built with two of his old buddies and a drunkard, based on some completely bogus theory. That's total nonsense, right? But what if it /were/ true?

That's the point of Spirit of Wonder: Scientific Boys Club.

It's a very feel-good story, not just because of the slow pacing and realistic characters, but also because it grants the unrealistic wishes of these characters. Windy's scientific theories were read more
Oct 10, 2018
Moteki (Manga) add (All reviews)
Short: On the surface, Moteki is a hilarious comedy about a virgin loser trying to get with women. A little deeper, it's an honest and raw story about discovering oneself and finding happiness.

Longer: I've read three of Kubo-sensei's works: Again!!, Moteki, and 3.3.7 Byooshi, and they're all fantastic. She really likes main characters who fit the "loser" stereotype in one way or another. In 3.3.7 Byooshi, it's a country hick in the big city. In Again!!, it's a loner. And here in Moteki, it's virgin* loser Fuji who has no self-confidence.

It's hard to talk about Moteki without bringing up Welcome to the NHK, another redemption read more
May 8, 2018
Preliminary
Short version:
Tsuruta's rough-looking art is absolutely beautiful, and more than makes up for the slow and sometimes complete lack of story. Buy the physical release to get the best experience!

Long(er) version:
This series feels like a cross between two Ghibli movies: It has the biplane-flying ocean setting of Porco Rosso, and a mysterious, legendary island like in Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Going a little further with this comparison, I could say it has the laid-back, almost whimsical attitude of Porco Rosso and the sense of wonder and imagination that drives Laputa.

These are the things that made me read and later buy a physical volume of read more
Dec 27, 2017
Preliminary
Short:
If you like the principal from Prison School, you'll like Cherry Teacher. It's a great ecchi comedy.

Long:
Cherry Teacher is about a male teacher at an all-girls school, and the ensuing funny ecchi things that happen! Sounds horribly generic, huh? But unlike the hesitating, teasing panty shots of so many manga series (Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san, for example), Cherry Teacher goes all in on the comedy and all in on the perversion. Every scene isn't just about the ecchi -- they're all hilarious.

In some sense, Cherry Teacher parodies everything about the ecchi genre. From stalkers to hot springs to peeping up girls' skirts at the bottom of read more
Dec 3, 2017
Short version: Voynich Hotel is a comedic slice-of-life series that excels at not taking itself seriously, and ends up being a lot of fun to read.

Medium version:
Voynich Hotel is a slice-of-life in a weird setting, much like Aria or YKK. But instead of focusing on the imaginative world of Neo Venezia, Voynich Hotel emphasizes the characters. The backstories of Elena and Taizou aren't tough to figure out, but they comes out one piece at a time, revealed through actions instead of straight-up exposition. In the meantime, these two go through the motions of a normal daily life, but in the midst of witches, zombies, and read more