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As many of those reading could probably tell based on the content I put out, I am not a huge manga reader. It is only recently that I have found myself consistently reading something as opposed to just throwing on some anime or YouTube. One would think it would be a bigger part of my media diet, but no, not really. However, call it a new year’s resolution or whatever, but I wanted to diversify my reading portfolio a bit more.
As it so happens, the Books-a-Million near my house was having a summer sale on manga, so I decided to treat myself a bit and pick out some volumes. Most of it is first volumes, some for newer series, and some for series that have been out for a while, but since I am currently out of school still, I have plenty of time to read and figure out what to continue or not.
Crazy Food Truck by Rokurou Ogaki – Vol. 1
I actually read about this one on the always amazing Mechanical Anime Reviews from fellow blogger Scott, and well, based on the plot description, it certainly earns its title. Gordon runs a normal desert wasteland food truck until one day a girl named Arisa shows up. She has a big appetite and an even bigger problem: an armed militia who is hunting her down.
My impression of this manga is that it is going to be in a similar vein to series like Spice and Wolf or Girls Last Tour, where the focus is half the adventure and half the inward reflections of the characters. If that ends up being the case, this is going to be a series that I both love and hate. Love in the sense that it will be really good, and hate in the sense that it is new and only the first volume is available right now.
Uzumaki by Junji Ito – Vol. 1-3
If I have not said it before, horror is not really my go-to genre. This is not because I think horror as a genre is bad, but because I tend to have a pretty weak constitution when it comes to being scared. Still, even out of context, Junji Ito’s art is horrifying in a way that feels incredibly detailed. The story of Uzumaki is one about a cursed town and the residents who try desperately to fight back.
While I have heard people call this one of his best works, I have also heard that it is one of the better entry points into Ito’s works as a whole. Either way, I’m excited to see where Uzumaki takes me. Hopefully not to another dimension, lol.
X-Gender by Asuka Miyazaki – Vol. 1
This is by far the series I know the least about, which is why I felt a bit more drawn to it than usual. For those who are unaware, X-gender is an identity that exists in a similar space to non-binary (though there are probably some cultural differences which I am not aware of atm).
The manga is also apparently autobiographically, describing the life of Asuka Miyazaki as they make a discovery in their early 30s: being attracted to women. As someone who has only been out for less than a year, I was curious to see how their story would unfold. Also, the art style just looks really cute, so there is that.
My Solo Exchange Diary – Vol. 1-2
So…no one was gonna tell me that My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, has a sequel? Wow…
In all seriousness, though, I had no idea that this even existed. When I saw it in the store, my eyes automatically blinked because I thought there was something wrong. The original one-shot was one of my favorite things I read that year, most of which was not manga.
The series is supposedly a direct continuation of the original, with it also being autobiographical, and detailing events that have happened since the success of her original work. Even as I am writing this post, my head is just kind of filled with the thought of being able to read more from one of the most expressive and personal authors that I have read to date.
Burn the Witch by Tite Kubo – Vol. 1
While I certainly would not call myself a Kubo fan, Bleach was my favorite out of the big three, and his sense of aesthetic is really solid. Burn the Witch is apparently set in the same universe as Bleach and follows two witches who are working for a branch of the soul society in London.
I honestly do not know how much else I can say about the series without spoiling anything for myself. My expectations are pretty low, but hopefully, Kubo can make me presently surprised.
Orient by Shinobu Ohtaka – Vol. 1
Continuing the list of series that I have little to no expectations for…
Orient only breached my radar recently because of its anime adaptation. However, most people who watched it seemed to agree that it was pretty bad. Ohtaka did create one of my favorite series in Magi: The Labrinth of Magic, though, so I am certainly willing to give it a try. The story revolves around a society in which demons rule and the samurai that fight them have been outlawed. However, young Musashi has been blessed with a special power that might give humanity a fighting chance.
Not going to mince words, compared to the charm and diversity that made up Magi’s universe, Orient sounds pretty ordinary. This is not to say it cannot be good, but I also will not be surprised if this is a series I end up dropping pretty quickly.
I Hear the Sunspot by Yuki Fumino – Vol. 1
This is another series that came to my attention through another blogger whose original post I, unfortunately, cannot seem to find, but which was also featured in this post on Anime Feminist. The story follows Kohei, a college student who is going deaf, and Taichi, also a college student who offers to take notes in exchange for lunch. As the two grow closer, their relationship begins to change, and questions about the future seem to arise.
On top of being one of the more well-regarded queer romance stories of the past few years, the title also drew me in, as the prospect of hearing a sunspot draws such a strange visual in my head.
Kaguya-Sama: Love is War by Aka Akasaka – Vol. 1
At this point, what is there to say about the series that has not been already? The anime’s first two seasons were both fantastic, and it hit a new stride in season three with its well-executed visual comedy and storytelling.
The anime for me is an easy 85-90+/100, but my experience with the manga is non-existent. It could be better, but it could also be significantly worse. I suppose only time and actually reading the thing will tell.
What manga have you picked up recently? What are you most excited to read? Least excited? Let me know in the comments.
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