Manga Review: Venus in Love by Yuki Nakaji

Venus in Love, Vol. 01 (Venus in Love, #1)Venus in Love, Vol. 01

by Yuki Nakaji

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The story of Suzuna, a young woman and her group of friends as they begin university & fall in love. This is a perfectly nice series, but I gave it such a low rating because the translation is horrendous! It could be that the directness of the story could have been difficult to translate. I have a hard time believing that it was intended to be so straight-forward. Japanese is NOT a language that works like that! I think it was probably supposed to be more subtle; but, the subtleties didn’t work in the English language. Why do we have to be so boorish?

Because of the translation, you don’t get drawn into the story; completely impedes the “flow”. However, I have read this a number of times. Why? It’s actually because it is so easy to put down. The illustrations are charming, and it seems that every few panels there is a scene and story change. It packs a great deal of story into 8 short easy-to-read volumes. [There are more volumes out there, but CMX closed before it released any more… that’s all we got!]

So, not one I’d recommend, because there are definitely better English translated manga out there. Plus, this one is out of print so…you know.
But definitely one I like to read when I need something light & airy that won’t stay with me when I go to sleep. Sometimes you just need to read “fluff”!

I think I’d like to read the Japanese version someday to see if I’m actually right about it though. I just can’t fathom that Nakaji-san would have gotten away with writing so many volumes had she been so intentionally direct in her story-telling…

Manga Review: Zig*Zag by Yuki Nakaji

Zig*Zag, Volume 1 (English)Zig*Zag, Volume 1

by Yuki Nakaji

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve also read the few volumes of Venus in Love which were published in English and must admit that this one is the stronger of the two stories. There’s something about Nakaji’s style (or is it the translator’s style) that I really like — unfortunately this is another series that was left unfinished thanks to a weak North American manga market.