Manga Mysteries #MangaMonday Recommendations

There are a whole bunch of manga mystery stories. Here are a very small selection that I think you should check out if you have the chance!

The Kindaichi Case Files by Kanari Yozaburo and Sato Fumiya

Kindaichi

This is wildly out of print, but because most of the stories are self contained within each volume, it’s well worth picking up if you find a volume here and there. This is essentially a series featuring the young detective Kindaichi who solves murder mysteries; very much scenarios like you’d find in Agatha Christie novels. Kindaichi is an unassuming youth, but has great powers of perception. The stories are more about the mysteries, than they are about the characters, so if murder mysteries are something you like to read I would definitely recommend checking this one out. Published by Tokyopop.

Utsubora: the Story of a Novelist by Asamiko Nakamura

Utsubora

This is a recently in-print manga, so you should still be able to get your hands on it. This is a beautifully illustrated josei series about a novelist who has some relationship to a young woman who has recently commit suicide by jumping to her death. The mystery is subtly woven in an art house style manga. After you’ve read through it and revealed all of the secrets, you will definitely want to pick it up again. This is one of those mysteries that you get more out of every time you pick it up — which says a lot for a mystery! Definitely would recommend checking this title out. Mature Content. Published by Vertical.

Young Miss Holmes by Kaoru Shintani

Young Miss Holmes

This is exactly what it sounds like, a series about a “miss” Holmes. This miss is the niece of the famous detective, who like her famous uncle has a nimble mind and keen observation skills. This is normally a type of series that I don’t like, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. For one, the art in it is beautiful! I would recommend it for that alone. But also, this takes on the concept that miss Holmes is not her uncle’s helper, but her uncle’s competition. She is a tenacious child who wants to best her uncle at solving crimes. They often appear simultaneously at the conclusion, but have come to the correct conclusion in a different way. It’s a delightful read, but recently out of print, so pick it up when you have a chance! Published by Seven Seas.

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Quick Thoughts On : Ajin Demi-Human (vol. 1-8) / story by Tsuina Miura, art by Gamon Sakurai

ajinAjin Demi-Human, volume 1-8 (ongoing) / story by Tsuina Miura, art by Gamon Sakurai.

Translated from the Japanese by Ko Ransom.

Published by Vertical, 2014

Originally published as Ajin, in good! Afternoon magazine (Kodansha, Ltd.), 2012-

9781939130846 (volume 1)


From GoodReads:

High school student Kei Nagai is struck dead in a grisly traffic accident, but immediately revives to learn that he may not be like every other human. Instead, he may be a mysterious, almost immortal being, granted not only the powers of rejuvenation, but the abilities to see supernatural beings. Scared, he runs away, and is aided in his escape from society by his friend. Unfortunately for Kei, the manhunt is on and he will soon be caught within a conflict between mankind and others like him as they prepare to fight a new war based on terror.  Continue reading

Manhwa #MangaMonday Recommendations

Funny, how despite being the person who sets up these themes, they seem to spring up on me! Ack!

Today’s #MangaMonday recommendations are for manhwa. So, not manga at all… this really should have been called #ManhwaMonday. Manhwa in its simplest definition are comics coming out of South Korea. There’s more to that definition, but I’ll talk about that at some later point.

I actually have a pretty size-able collection of manhwa in my collection, but it’s something I pick up rarely to read. I think I only read 2 or 3 titles last year. And, I rarely buy manhwa. I used to pick it up because I didn’t notice the difference between it and manga, plus it was published and promoted as manga… so as a new reader, the difference wasn’t clear.

But now as a seasoned reader, I will say that because manhwa can look so much like manga that it actually shows its differences more clearly. It comes from a completely different country, so of course the stories, art, scenarios, and iconography will be different. In my opinion, this difference is one of the main reasons you or I as a manga reader should be reading them. It challenges, and hones your understanding of another comic form.

So, here are a few titles that I recommend you check out:

Pig Bride by Kook Hwa Huh and SuJin Kim.

pig 1This is a short 5 volume manhwa that I would equate to a shojo fantasy romance. At the tender age of 8 a young boy, and son to a powerful family, finds himself lost in the forest. He is found by a girl in a pig mask, who’s mother threatens not to let him leave if he doesn’t marry her daughter. He is forced into this marriage, and then sent back to his family. But, at the age of 16 this girl which he remembers from his dreams now has appeared and is ready to start their married life together.

At 5 volumes, this series is packed with unexpected twists and turns, and is a treat to read. Plus, because it’s so short, it shouldn’t be too hard to collect. Continue reading

Manga Review : Alice 19th / by Yuu Watase

alice 19Alice 19th, Volumes 1-7 (complete) / by Yuu Watase

Translated from the Japanese by Lance Caselman

Viz, 2003-2004.

Originally published as “Alice 19th”
by Shogakukan, Inc., 2001

9781591162155 (volume 1)


Verso (volume 1):

Alice Seno is a seemingly shy and meek girl who always seems to be outshined by her older sister Mayura. One day, Alice has an encounter with a mysterious and magical rabbit girl, and her life is turned upside down. Alice discovers that certain words have power, and that she has the potential to be master of a set of sublimely powerful words called the Lotis Words. But power always comes with a price, and the price may turn out to be Alice’s sister Mayura.

*also, I copied this image off of GoodReads. My copy has the correct spelling of “story” (not “sroty”) on the cover. If you’ve got a first edition of this manga, I’d love to know if it was sent out with this spelling error… because that’d be hilarious! Continue reading

Gaming Manga #MangaMonday Recommendations

Today’s topic is “Playing Games in Manga.” It’s a popular and frequent topic in manga. Not only that, it is also a popular hobby for many manga readers.

I grew up playing games. And though, I wouldn’t call myself a gamer, I still end up playing games with friends and family on an almost weekly basis. As for video games, I think my first experience was when my father bought me my own game for the Atari 2600. Which game? Only the Best game ever!!

Okay, so maybe this is a good example of when games are better left inside the pages of comic books… [I still like it though]

Here are my recommendations for game-centric manga! Continue reading

Valentine’s Day Manga #MangaMonday Recommendations

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

This week’s #MangaMonday Recommendations topic is about Valentine’s day, I of course could do nothing else but recommend *shōjo manga. I’m following up from last week where I recommended short shōnen manga, by including short shōjo series in this post!

Besides being extra short, these series also feature the cutest pure-love-type boy-girl relationships. Whether you’re in love, or not, these series are sure to make your heart go doki doki!

Several of these titles are out of print, so might be a bit harder to locate. But, since they are short, shouldn’t take much to complete!

 

The Heiress and the Chauffeur, volume 1-2 by Keiko Ishihara

Set in Taisho era Japan, an heiress and her servant must never cross the boundaries of their station in life. They can never touch. And they certainly can never fall in love! Continue reading

Light Novel Review : Genshiken : Return of the Otaku / by Iida Kazutoshi & Kio Shimoku

genshikenGenshiken : Return of the Otaku / by Iida Kazutoshi & Kio Shimoku

Based on the manga by Kio Shimoku

Translated from the Japanese by Katy Bridges, 2010.

Del Rey Manga/Kodansha Trade Paperback Edition, 2010

Originally published in Japan as Genshiken : Hairu Ranto no Yabo~Return of the Otaku, 2008

223 pages

978-0345516275

Stars: ★ / 5


From GoodReads:

The deafening whack-whack-whack of a helicopter above campus is the first indication that the balmy tranquility of the Genshiken Club is about to be disturbed. The chopper brings handsome Ranto Hairu: transfer student, scion of a powerful Japanese conglomerate, and newly named chairman of the on-campus club organization committee.

Hairu has strong ideas about the kind of clubs that deserve to survive (earnest, industrious) and the kind that don’t (arty, frivolous), and he’s a big fan of brute force. For Madarame, Kousaka, Ohno, and the others, the idea of losing their cherished club is the ultimate nightmare—but it’s only the first of many.
 
Fortunately, the Genshiken boys and girls have a few tricks of their own, including a certain swordfighter summoned from ancient times who could prove very handy Continue reading

Short Shōnen Manga #MangaMonday Recommendations

I’ve mentioned in my previous #MangaMonday Recommendations post that this is going to be a regular feature: every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, I am going to recommend you manga based on a specific theme. I had also asked if anyone was interested to participate with me and recommend manga using the same themes through their own social media channels. I had enough replies that I’ve posted the upcoming topics on my blog. You can find them under the “challenges” menu at the top of any page, or go to: https://mangahoarder.com/mangamonday-recommendations/

Please join us!

 


Today’s #MangaMonday Recommendation is for short *shōnen manga series and standalones. This topic was inspired by a comment I received on one of my YouTube videos recently. (If you have any other suggestions for future topics, please feel free to leave a comment below!)

When you think about shōnen manga, what series comes to mind?

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Novel Review: Strange Weather in Tokyo / by Hiromi Kawakami

strange weatherStrange Weather in Tokyo / by Hiromi Kawakami

Translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell, ©2012

Published by Portobello Books, ©2014

Originally Published in Japan in 2001 under the title センセイの鞄 (Sensei no kaban) by Bungei Shunju, Tokyo

978-1-84627-510-4

Stars: ★★★★ / 5

 


From GoodReads:

Tsukiko is in her late 30s and living alone when one night she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, ‘Sensei’, in a bar. He is at least thirty years her senior, retired and, she presumes, a widower. After this initial encounter, the pair continue to meet occasionally to share food and drink sake, and as the seasons pass – from spring cherry blossom to autumnal mushrooms – Tsukiko and Sensei come to develop a hesitant intimacy which tilts awkwardly and poignantly into love. Continue reading

Manga Review: Flying Witch, Volume 1 by Chihiro Ishizuka

31172294Flying Witch, volume 1 by Chihiro Ishizuka

Translated by Melissa Tanaka

Published by Vertical Comics, ©2017

Originally Published in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine, Kodansha Ltd., ©2013-

978-1-945054-09-9 

Stars: ★★ / 5

 

Flying Witch is a slice-of-life shounen manga about a 15-year-old witch, Makoto Kowata, who has left her home (with her black cat familiar); as is the “right-of-passage” custom to become a fully-fledged witch (think Kiki’s Delivery Service). I loved the characters in this series – they are so fun, quirky and just like-able. I particularly love the way the characters react to Kowata upon learning she is a witch and even more so, Kowata’s naivety in adjusting to her new surroundings. I think a lot of people will really love this cute, calm, and cheerful slice-of-life manga.

BUT… there are some major issues with it for me.

Continue reading