Bookmarked: Setting the Table

On the eve of Thanksgiving, we decided to whet our appetite for tomorrow’s dinner with a conversation about our favorite food manga. Our guests around the table today are the Manga Bookshelf bloggers: Melinda Beasi, who runs Manga Bookshelf and blogs there as well, Ash Brown of Experiments in Manga, Michelle Smith of Soliloquy in Blue, Anna N of Manga Report, and Sean Gaffney of A Case Suitable for Treatment. Bon appetit!

Michelle: I’ve thoroughly been enjoying What Did You Eat Yesterday?, especially the idea that this is everyday fare that a person on a budget might be able to make, were they so ambitious. Somehow it’s so refreshing to see someone using powder mixes! I love Shiro’s shopping trips and his sense of triumph upon scoring a good deal. My one regret is that I really can’t imagine how the vast majority of what he makes actually tastes.

Another food manga I enjoy, somewhat despite myself, is Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma. I kind of feel like I should be more bothered by the fan service than I am, but to me it seems purposefully ridiculous and not meant to titillate, but I suppose it could be doing both things at once. Anyway, this manga is basically Prince of Tennis with food. You’ve got the cocky protagonist, whose father possibly is a famous cooking ninja or something, who immediately takes on and bests his classmates at an elite culinary school. And being that it’s kind of sports manga with food, it is completely up my alley.

oishinbo1_coverAsh: I love food and I love manga, and so when the two come together in the same work I’m always going to check it out. More often than not, I end up enjoying it, too. My first food manga was Oishinbo: A la Carte, and it remains one of my favorite food series. With its food and family drama, Oishinbo is both informational and highly entertaining. Occasionally it can be controversial as well. Despite being a best-selling food manga in Japan, back in May publication of the series was suspended after its depiction of health issues in the Fukushima area. The series can be very opinionated, and at times those opinions aren’t widely held or popular. Another example is the support shown in favor of whaling. But I appreciate a work that can take a strong stance; even if I don’t necessarily agree with it I usually learn something by reading it.

Currently my go-to food manga is What Did You Eat Yesterday? Granted, it’s not just the food that particularly appeals to me about the series; I also welcome its realistic portrayal of gay life in contemporary Japan. Food frequently has an important role to play in Fumi Yoshinaga’s manga, as can be seen in Antique Bakery and Not Love But Delicious Foods among others, but What Did You Eat Yesterday? takes it to a whole new level. I know plenty of readers who don’t really enjoy the detailed food preparation and recipes found in the manga, but I’m one of those people who can happily watch cooking and food shows for hours at a time (if I actually had the time, that is) so it doesn’t bother me at all. And I especially like how the creation of a dish is shown to be a method of personal expression and communication.

What Did You Eat Yesterday 5Melinda: I’ll pipe up here to add myself to the list of folks who are rabidly consuming What Did You Eat Yesterday? There’s pretty much nothing I love more than the combination of Fumi Yoshinaga and food. As a food-lover who does not cook, I suppose I especially appreciate the fact that even food-preparation serves to move the story along in a Yoshinaga manga, so I’m never left to face my inadequacies in the kitchen alone; there’s always a little bit of human drama to keep me company. Actually, I think that’s a significant part of what always drew me to CLAMP’s xxxHolic as well. It’s not a food manga by any means, but there’s an enormous amount of food and food-preparation involved in the story. These things are inextricable from the character’s lives.

Brigid: Michelle, I’m right there with you on Food Wars. It’s so over the top that it’s hard to take seriously, and it must be said that the delicious food has the same effect on guys as on girls, although somehow it’s funnier with the guys. Anyway, it’s one of those manga I enjoy in spite of my better judgment. And the food is interesting.

I’m going to toss out a few more titles to get your reactions: Back when it first came out, I read the first couple of volumes of Yakitate!! Japan, a shonen manga about a guy who wants to create the national bread of Japan—it’s funny because Japan is a rice culture, not a bread culture—and it was sort of interesting how he had these bread-baking beatdowns with other would-be bakers. Then there’s Kitchen Princess, a super-shoujo drama about a good-hearted orphan girl, Najika, who has perfect taste, the way some people have perfect pitch, and can make really delicious, classic dishes out of cheap ingredients. This story is very much about the emotional side of food, as it’s basically a soap opera in which all problems are solved by Najika’s cooking. I also really like Toriko, the story of gourmet hunters in search of the world’s rarest and most elusive foods, just because the plants and animals the author comes up with are so imaginative. And finally, an oldie but a goodie, Iron Wok Jan, sort of a manga version of Iron Chef that’s set in a Chinese restaurant. Does anyone have any thoughts on these, or am I the only one who read them?

Michelle: I have the complete runs of Kitchen Princess and Yakitate!! Japan, but haven’t read them. I did, however, watch a few episodes of the latter’s anime and what I remember also kind of reminds me of Food Wars, in that it’s a big sports manga-ish (maybe what I really mean here is simply that it’s thoroughly shounen) and there are over-the-top reactions to food, though not so much fanservicey as wacky. Like Drops of God or something. :) I definitely intend to read both series one of these days.

Kitchen_Princess_vol01Ash: Yakitate!! Japan is a series I’ve been meaning to read, but haven’t quite got around to yet. Kitchen Princess, on the other hand, I have read. It’s deliciously melodramatic, and the food is tasty, too! I’ve actually seen more of the Toriko anime than I’ve read of the manga, but I do enjoy the series. It’s a lot of fun. As you mentioned, Brigid, the flora and fauna are incredibly imaginative. The gourmet hunters and their prey are both fantastically over-the-top. And I really like Toriko himself—he’s a powerful and skilled fighter, but he also has a respect for life and a childlike delight in food. It’s been a while since I’ve read Iron Wok Jan (it was one of my very first food manga), but I do remember some pretty epic and intense battles in that series, too!

Anna: I enjoyed the first few volumes of Yakitate!! Japan, mostly due to the horrible puns and the baking competitions. Iron Wok Jan I read several volumes of many years ago, and it had a bit of a fiercer edge to the cooking competitions, just because the main character was so intense. There was a little less humor and more over the top cooking aggression from what I remember from that series. I read most of Kitchen Princess, and I enjoyed being able to read a foodie manga in a shoujo setting, because it seems like more often when food manga comes out here, it comes with an Iron Chef-like series of shonen competitions.

I have to say that for food manga now I do prefer the works of Fumi Yoshinaga, just because her enthusiasm for food is so genuine it ends up getting reflected so well in the way her characters react to their meals. I’m a little less than enthused about Food Wars due to the fanservice, but there still is something entertaining about the combination of cooking mastery and an elite school for young chefs.

I do also enjoy food manga that are a bit more didactic or instructive in addition to the variations of battle manga. I was really glad to have the chance to read some translations of Ekiben Hitoritabi when JManga was up and running. I’ve also enjoyed a few volumes of Drops of God and Oishinbo.

Sean: I enjoy a lot of food manga, but not necessarily for the food—I’m honestly a McNuggets kind of guy. I like how it shows that anything can be adapted to fit the manga style. The titles like Food Wars and Yakitate Japan all are very much shonen fighting/training/making friends series, just about food.

Most of the seinen food manga we’ve seen consist of “talk about food preparation/eat food/exult about how delicious food is”, with close ups of amazed faces. Though Yoshinaga’s What Did You Eat Yesterday? at least does have characters, much as I don’t care for Shiro. With Oishinbo, characterization was so irrelevant that Viz could simply release seven omnibuses from all over the spectrum, with Kurita going from vaguely attracted to Yamaoka to already having kids and back depending on the food “theme.” (Also, lots of Shiros in food manga.)

As for series like Mixed Vegetables and Kitchen Princess, the food is a vital ingredient, but it isn’t the plot, like with Food Wars or What Did You Eat Yesterday? The standard shoujo romance and high school traumas take the front seat, though food may be used to advance those plots.

And josei, well, that’s Yoshinaga as well, right? Not Love But Delicious Foods?

Michelle: Oh, Ekiben Hitoritabi! I forgot about that one, but I also really liked it. Too, JManga had Gokudou Meshi, in which a bunch of prisoners had a yearly tradition of telling each other about delicious food they had eaten. I’m sad I won’t get to read more of either of those.

Kate: I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one mourning the demise of JManga–that was my go-to source for off-beat food manga! I was a big fan of both Ekiben Hitoritabi and Gokudou Meshi, in part because neither had fanservice, over-the-top battle sequences, or idiot savants whose one great gift was making awesome cakes. Of the two, I had a slight preference for Gokudou, as the script was a deft blend of slapstick comedy and culinary shop-talk, with characters waxing poetic about their last meal “on the outside,” or favorite comfort food. Ekiben unfolded at a more leisurely pace that, at times, bordered on snoozy; how much is there to say about the food at train stations? Still, Ekiben captured the feeling of train travel, and made me sad that the food options at Penn Station are so abysmal.

gourmetAnother JManga title that I loved was Kodoko no Gourmet, quite possibly the least manly-man title ever illustrated by Jiro Taniguchi. Its hero, Goro Inoshigara, is a traveling salesman who spends most of his time checking out new restaurants in each city he visits. (If he actually transacts any business during the course of the series, I missed it.) Each chapter is just a few pages long, but gives us a window into a variety of different types of restaurants, from mom-and-pop noodle joints to upscale bistros. Taniguchi does a terrific job of conveying the atmosphere of each place that Goro visits–something that frequently gets overlooked in competition-oriented food manga, where the tastiness of the food trumps all other considerations.

I’d also like to join the chorus of folks praising Fumi Yoshinaga. Though I share Sean’s opinion of What Did You Eat Yesterday?, I adored Not Love But Delicious Foods. The story consists of fifteen vignettes, each centered around a particular eatery: a Korean restaurant, a French bistro, a bagel bakery. (Call me a recovering New Yorker, but I hate to think of what passes for a decent bagel in Tokyo.) The meals are an important ingredient in every story, but it’s the conversation that really pops; Yoshinaga does a great job of demonstrating the power of wine and food in bringing people together, smoothing over disagreements, and giving people license to break mild taboos.

Still hungry? Back in 2012, Khursten Santos hosted a Manga Moveable Feast devoted to food manga; click here to view the entire archive. I also composed my own list of favorite food titles for The Manga Critic; click here for my top seven titles.

DMP Kickstarter Fails, Yen Confirms New Licenses

Johanna Draper Carlson has some commentary on Digital Manga’s Tezuka World Kickstarter, which failed to reach its goal last week. Lori Henderson shares her thoughts as well at Manga Xanadu.

Some sharp-eyed folks spotted a couple of unannounced manga on Amazon, and Yen Press confirmed it: They will publish Sword Art Online: Girls Ops in May and Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Rebellion Story in June. They also announced that they will publish Tomoco Kanemaki’s Kingdom Hearts light novel series in a single volume.

What’s good this week? The Manga Bookshelf bloggers have some recommendations.

Lori Henderson rounds up the Viz and New York Times best-sellers in one handy post.

Erica Friedman looks at the latest issue of Eureka Magazine, which focuses on “The Current State of Yuri Culture,” and she updates us on just that with the latest edition of Yuri Network News.

Help Ash Brown decide what series to write about next at Experiments in Manga.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Shinji Ikari Raising Project will end this summer.

News from Japan: Matsuri Hino wrapped up Vampire Knight a little while ago, but now she’s back with a new chapter that will run in the March issue of LaLaDX. Shueisha’s Miracle Jump magazine announced that there are now 4.5 million volumes of One Punch Man out there. Crunchyroll has a preview of Peach-Pit’s first shonen manga, Wandering Wonder World, which will debut in the January issue of Shonen Ace. Kaiji Kawaguchi (Zipang, Eagle) will launch a new series, Kūbo Ibuki (Aircraft Carrier Ibuki), in Big Comic Magazine in December.

Reviews: Streamline your reading by checking out this week’s Bookshelf Briefs at Manga Bookshelf. Ash Brown has more short takes and a roundup of a week’s worth of manga reading.

Lori Henderson on Another (Manga Xanadu)
Sarah on vol. 18 of Black Butler (nagareboshi reviews)
Anna N on vol. 2 of Black Rose Alice (Manga Report)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Bousou Girlsteki Mousou Renaiteki Suteki Project (Okazu)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 5 of Deadman Wonderland (The Fandom Post)
Damion Julien-Rohman on Gangsta (The State Press)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 26 of Higurashi: When They Cry (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Matthew Warner on vol. 5 of Inu x Boku (The Fandom Post)
Matthew Warner on vol. 4 of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (The Fandom Post)
Steve Bennett on vol. 1 of LBX: New Dawn Raisers (ICv2)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 17 of Natsume’s Book of Friends (The Fandom Post)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 25 of Pokemon Adventures (Lesley’s Musings on Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 1 of Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire (I Reads You)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 17 of Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee (The Comic Book Bin)
Ash Brown on vol. 5 of Vinland Saga (Experiments in Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 7 of Voice Over (The Comic Book Bin)

More from Masashi Kishimoto

zone00Viz has picked up Zone-00, originally licensed by Tokyopop, as a digital release.

Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto talks about his plans for the next few months, which include a Naruto spinoff that will launch in April, some other Naruto-related business, and spending some quality time with his wife and child. He will start working on a brand-new series in the summer, but he cautions fans that he is turning 40 and may not be up to the rigors of another monthly series.

Wondering what’s in the pipeline for next year? The Fandom Post shares VIZ’s April 2015 release list.

If you’re a Weekly Shonen Jump reader, you may have noticed that VIZ just added a new title to the mix, Takujo no Ageha: The Table Tennis of Ageha. In the coming weeks, VIZ will launch two more series: Ryohei Yamamoto’s E-ROBOT (11/24) and Nobuaki Enoki and Takeshi Obata’s Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment (12/1).

The Manga Bookshelf gang strongly recommend the latest volume of Takehiko Inoue’s Real, which arrived in stores this week, and preview next week’s coming attractions.

The Q2 gallery in Los Angeles threw a party to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Dragon Ball‘s publication.

In her latest House of 1000 Manga column, Shaenon Garrity explores the GEN Manga catalog.

Good news: translator Jocelyne Allen is posting reviews again, focusing on offbeat, funny, and weird manga that haven’t yet crossed the Pacific. On her nightstand: Mahoshojo Ore, a series featuring magical girl men, and Yume Kara Sameta, a collection of short stories by Natsujikei Miyazaki.

News from Japan: Ken Akamatsu, Tetsuya Chiba, and Hideaki Anno were among the manga and anime insiders who were guests at the first meeting of the Japanese Parliamentary Association for manga, anime, and games, a.k.a. Manga Giren. The Association, which is mostly made up of councilors from the Liberal Democratic Party, will promote tax breaks for the industry and work toward relaunching the mothballed International Media Art General Center.

Rei Toma, author of Dawn of the Arcana, will be launching a new series in the February issue of Shogakukan’s Monthly Cheese! Also in the works: an anime adaptation of Rumiko Takahashi’s Rin-ne, which will debut in spring 2015.

Reviews: Remember Top Shelf’s AX anthology? One of the stand-out contributions, “Rainy Day Blouse and The Umbrella,” was by Akino Kondoh. Indie publisher Retrofit Comics has just published a new collection of her stories in English, with translations by manga scholar Ryan Holmberg. Alex Hoffman has a review at Sequential Slate.

Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Ani-Emo (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 12 of Blue Exorcist (Comic Book Bin)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 23 of Full Metal Alchemist (Lesley’s Musings on Anime & Manga)
Sakura Eries on vol. 16 of Goong (The Fandom Post)
Megan R. on Lovers in the Night (Manga Test Drive)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 1-2 of Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 24 of Naruto (Lesley’s Musings on Anime & Manga)
Nicholas Smith on Naruto (Ka Leo)
Ken H. on vols. 6-7 of No. 6 (Sequential Ink)
Mad Manga on Takujo no Ageha (Cartoon Geek Corner)
Melinda Beasi on They Were Eleven (Manga Bookshelf)
Matthew Warner on vol. 00 of Ubel Blatt (The Fandom Post)

Review: Barakamon, Vol. 1

Yoshino_Barakamon_V1_TPBarakamon, Vol. 1
By Satsuki Yoshino
Rated T, for Teens
Yen Press, $15.00

Barakamon is a textbook fish-out-of-water story: an impatient city slicker finds himself in the country where life is slower, folks are simpler, and meaningful lessons abound. Its hero, Seishuu Handa, is a calligrapher whose fiery temper and skillful but unimaginative work have made him a pariah in Tokyo. His foils are the farmers and fishermen of Gotou, a small island on the southwestern tip of Japan that’s inhabited by an assortment of eccentrics, codgers, and naifs.

If this all sounds a little too familiar, it is; you’ve seen variations on this story at the multiplex, on television, and yes, in manga. (I think I liked it better when it was called Cold Comfort Farm, and starred Kate Beckinsale and Rufus Sewell.) Satsuki Yoshino does her best to infuse the story with enough humor and warmth to camouflage its shopworn elements, throwing in jokes about internet pornography, dead frogs, and bad report cards whenever the story teeters on the brink of sentimentality. The mandates of the genre, however, demand that Handa endure humiliations and have epiphanies with astonishing regularity–1.5 times per chapter, by my calculations.

From time to time, however, Yoshino finds fresh ways to show us Handa’s slow and fitful progress towards redemption. The first chapter provides an instructive example: Handa angrily dismisses his six-year-old neighbor Naru when she declares his calligraphy “just like teachers write.” After seeing Naru’s wounded expression, Handa chastises himself for lashing out at a kid. Handa never quite musters an apology to Naru, but makes restitution by joining her for a series of small adventures. The experience of swimming in the ocean, scrambling over a wall, and watching a sunset prove liberating, leading Handa to an explosive outburst of creativity punctuated by a few high-flying kicks. (Now that’s what I call action painting.) The results are messy, but the message is clear: Handa has the potential to be a genuine artist if he can connect with his playful side.

Like the story, the artwork is serviceable if not particularly distinctive. Yoshino creates enough variety in her character designs that the reader can easily distinguish one islander from another–an important asset in a story with many supporting players. Yoshino’s grasp of anatomy, however, is less assured. When viewed from the side, for example, Handa’s Tokyo nemesis has a cranium like a gorilla’s and a chest to match; when viewed from above, however, the Director appears small and wizened. Other characters suffer from similar bodily distortions that exaggerate their necks, arms, and torsos, especially when Yoshino attempts to draw them from an unusual vantage point.

Yoshino is more successful at creating a sense of place. Through a few simple but evocative images of the harbor and coastline, she firmly establishes the seaside location. She also uses architectural details to suggest how old the houses are; though locals enjoy such modern conveniences as television, their homes look otherwise untouched by modernity. Yoshino is less successful in creating a sense of space, however. It’s unclear, for example, if Naru lives a stone’s throw from Handa’s house–hence her frequent intrusions–or if she lives a mile down the road.

The dialogue, too, plays an important role in establishing the setting. Faced with the difficult task of rendering the Gotou dialect, translators Krista and Karie Shipley chose a broad Southern accent for the local population. That decision neatly illustrates the cultural divide between Handa and his neighbors, but at the cost of nuance; a few jokes that hinge on vocabulary simply can’t be conveyed by this particular adaptation strategy. (The Shipleys’ translation notes are helpful in demystifying these exchanges.) Most of the punchlines, however, need no such editorial interventions to enjoy; certain elements of city slicker/country bumpkin humor transcend culture.

My verdict: Barakamon has enough charm and energy to engage the reader, even if the story isn’t executed with enough precision or subtlety to transcend the basic requirements of the fish-out-of-water genre.

Naruto creator speaks

Shonen Jump’s latest “Jump Start” manga are Ryohei Yamamoto’s E-ROBOT and Nobuaki Enoki and Takeshi Obata’s Gakkyu Hotei. The magazine will run the first three chapters of each series.

In an interview with the Asahi Shimbun, Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto talks about how he was different as a child than the character he created:

“I was unable to do well in school and felt a strong sense of inferiority,” he said. “When Naruto said, ‘I will be Hokage,’ people surrounding him laughed at his dream. Since childhood, I also told others that I would be a manga artist but had no foundation.

“Unlike Naruto, I did not have the courage to declare that I will become a manga creator at any cost. So I would just say in my mind, ‘It may be possible.’”

Erica Friedman updates us with a new Yuri Network News post at Okazu.

News from Japan: The Osaka Prefectural Police have filed charges against 16 people, including manga-ka Rensuke Oshikiri, in the Hi Score Girl copyright infringement case. A new volume of Doraemon Plus will be released on December 1, the 80th birthday of creator Fujiko F. Fujio. A One Piece spinoff, One Piece Party, will launch in the January issue of Saikyo Jump; it will feature super-deformed versions of the One Piece cast. The next issue of Morning magazine will include a one-shot by Go Nagai, titled Kaiketsu Furo Zukin (The Amazing Bath Hood).

Reviews: Ash Brown takes us through a week of manga reading at Experiments in Manga. Three Steps Over Japan reviews the Osamu Tezuka manga Neo Faust, which has not been published in English.

Connie on vol. 2 of Castle Mango (Slightly Biased Manga)
Matthew Warner on vol. 8 of Happy Marriage?! (The Fandom Post)
A Library Girl on vols. 1-5 of Kobato (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
Connie on vol. 2 of Moon and Blood (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 2 of Neon Genesis Evangelion (3-in-1 edition) (Slightly Biased Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 1 of Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire (The Comic Book Bin)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 9 and 10 of Ranma 1/2 (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Connie on vol. 10 of Rin-Ne (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 9 of Sailor Moon (Slightly Biased Manga)
A Library Girl on vol. 1 of Soulless (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
Matthew Warner on vol. 1 of Void’s Enigmatic Mansion (The Fandom Post)

Tatsumi on Film; Anno on Instagram

tatsumiGekiga pioneer Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s work is now accessible to viewers on the big screen, thanks to Singaporean director Eric Khoo. Khoo adapted such classic stories as “Hell,” “Goodbye,” and “Beloved Monkey,” interleaving them with vignettes from Tatsumi’s autobiography A Drifting Life. 

This just in: Moyocco Anno‘s new Instagram account is pretty awesome.

Marvel’s C.B. Cebulski shares a few more details about the Avengers/Attack on Titan crossover series. Over at TCJ, Joe McCulloch looks at an earlier Marvel/manga crossover, Kazuo Koike’s Wolverine one-shot.

Lori Henderson dishes the dirt on two new licenses: Aquarion-Evol and Flowers for Chronous, both of which will be published by One Peace Books.

The Manga Bookshelf gang share their picks for this week’s best new arrivals.

What kind of manga appeals to 9-to-12 year old readers? Melinda Beasi weighs the pros and cons of three series that are frequently recommended for tweens.

News from Japan: The forthcoming Doraemon movie–Doraemon: Nobita no Space Heroes–will be adapted for the pages of Coro Coro; look for the first chapter in January 2015. Also arriving in theaters next year will be a big-screen treatment of Io Sakisaka’s Strobe Edge.

Reviews: Over at Anime News Network, Jason Thompson completes his 56-hour Naruto review marathon, tackling volumes 28-72. Closer to home, Melinda Beasi sings the praises of an oldie but goodie: Setona Mizushiro’s Afterschool Nightmare.

Matthew Warner on vol. 13 of 07-Ghost (The Fandom Post)
Ash Brown on vol. 1 of Ajin: Demi-Human (Experiments in Manga)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 14 of Attack on Titan (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Anna Call on vol. 1 of Deadman Wonderland (No Flying No Tights)
Ken H. on vols. 2-3 of Kimagure Orange Road (Sequential Ink)
Megan R. on Le Chevalier D’Eon (Manga Test Drive)
Rebecca Silverman on vols. 1-2 of Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer (Anime News Network)
L.B. Bryant on vol. 5 of No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular (ICv2)
Richie Graham on vol. 1 of Ranma 1/2: 2-in-1 Edition (No Flying No Tights)
Sakura Eries on vol. 9 of Spice and Wolf (The Fandom Post)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 22 of Soul Eater (The Fandom Post)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 10 of Ultimo (Comic Book Bin)
Jenny Ertel on vols. 1-3 of What Did You Eat Yesterday? (No Flying No Tights)
Matthew Warner on vol. 1 of World Trigger (The Fandom Post)