Manga Log

Lots of pantyshots, lots of tentacles, lots of blood, lots of…well, you get the picture. Set before the main events of the VN, Full Metal Daemon Muramasa:Minagoroshi tells the story of a (very unlucky) girl whose peaceful life in a small island is destroyed when she rescues a group of castaways who turn out to be criminal musha—one of them an infected running away from none other than Minato Kageaki. It’s got the hopelessness and violence you’d expect from a situation where he is involved.
He saves the heroine and gets his ass kicked right off the bat and spends a lot of time trying not to die from poisoning…the usual, really. Meanwhile, we see the main heroine going through all circles of hell and becoming a murderer…also the usual, really. The whole thing is only 6 chapters long, and I don’t have much to say about it other than like, “that time when he armored up with Muramasa was cool” and “the story was ultimately kinda mid”, though it's not like I expected much out of it. It was nice seeing Kageaki and Muramasa again, if anything.

A Drifting Life is an autobiographical manga by Yoshihiro Tatsumi. I know next to nothing about manga from that time period, but it was a very interesting read, even if I didn't recognize the names and works being thrown around (with the exception of, like, Tezuka).
Besides providing a picture of the manga industry and general life in postwar Japan, it's also a very compelling story in general— watching his personal struggles, as well as his doubts and growth as an artist, along people that were evolving and straining against a new storytelling medium, was an amazing experience. I feel like it really changed the way I look at manga.

I often just jump into manga without reading the synopsis, so it was kind of surprising to discover Konya mo Nemurenai involved a young boy accidentally summoning a demon! That said, it's definitely a romcom first and a story about demons second. It's very short at just about 19 chapters, but I loved the main couple's relationship, seeing them grow into each other was very cute. It's such a fun read overall!

What if Rika was older than Mion? And what if they were gay for each other? Hinamizawa Bus Stop, based on the stage play that would eventually become the Higurashi sound novels we all know and love, is quite...insane, to say the least. It's interesting seeing the general concepts in that earlier stage—how strange to think the Satoko we know started out as Mion! As a standalone work, it's kind of meh, but you're probably not reading this manga unless you're already a Higurashi fan, so.

The stories in PTSD Radio can be kind of hit-and-miss. Honestly, the best ones are the so-called real stories, that supposedly happened to the mangaka and his assistants...well, things like that happen sometimes, I guess. If I had to say, the one thing this manga does best is capture the sense of isolation that comes from supernatural happenings. Even being in the middle of a city, having a cellphone that can call anyone anytime, there's not anything you can do if a cursed spirit decides to go after you, is there?

ai

I have never seen the falling snow, but I imagine it feels just like this manga. Toumei na Ai no Utsuwa(The Transparent Vessel of Love, according to mangadex) centers around a terminally-unlucky man who meets a supernatural creature that feeds on negative emotions. It's very melancholic and romantic, I really loved it! It also made me cry a lot, but I am famously a crybaby...

cat

Have you ever loved a painting so much you wished you could live inside it? This manga made me feel that same pull. Cats of the Louvre is a magical, whimsical manga, following a group of humans that work at the Louvre and the human-like stray cats that secretly live in the museum's attic and come out at night. There's just something about being in a normally-crowded place after closing hours...a feeling like there's more to this world than meets the eye—as the characters very soon find out! The presentation feels lavish, storybook-like, and at just two volumes, it's short like a dream.

I'm pretty sure Amuro and Me is the first Gundam manga I've ever read, which is kind of funny. Anyway. The story, set in 1981 and based on the author's life, follows an elementary schooler who loves Gundam, and occasionally talks to an imaginary Amuro who helps him out.
The art and story are both super cute, and very relatable (as a kid, I used to imagine that characters from TV shows and such were my friends and "hang out" with them, ;p). It's such a heartwarming little manga, I really loved it.

ent

While looking for more manga about visual novels a la 16-bit sensation, I came across Eroge no Taiyou. The titular character, Kanda Taiyou, is a young hard-line businessman who loses everything after getting framed and fired from his job and gets picked up by the owner of a rag-tag eroge company.
The writer previously worked as an eroge developer, so there's many bits of insight about the process here and there, as well as the story of how his company went under. RIP.
It's obviously quite racy, sometimes hilarious, and sometimes genuinely heartwarming—which, to be honest, is also how I would describe a lot of eroge.

shibito

A boy who's surrounded by the paranormal starts being followed around by the silent ghost of his recently-deceased childhood friend—the premise of Shibito no Koe wo Kiku ga Yoi is pretty straightforward. The manga is very episodic, with each chapter telling a little horror story centered on the main cast. Some of them are a bit iffy, some are so bizarre they end up being funny, and some are genuinely good concepts that stayed with me. The art style has kind of a cute, retro feeling, and it reminded me of Kazuo Umezu at times.

garden

Drawn in the art style that I've come to associate with strange,dreamy, saccharine 90s romances, Himitsu no Hanazono(The Secret Garden) reads like a classic, run-of-the-mill shoujo—but the love interest turns out to be a girl! It's only one volume, so it's a short read. It's quite a bit dramatic, but also very romantic and sweet—and a neat little piece of yuri history.

doll

In a strange city, there lies a doll shop, selling "plant dolls" that live off of love and warm milk—Dolls is an episodic manga, with each chapter telling the story of a doll and her owner. I always seek out media about dolls, and this manga is one of my favorites in that "genre". The art is beautiful, almost dream-like, and the stories vary from tragic to creepy,from funny to sweet. It really "gets" what I like about dolls, as a concept, and that's the highest praise I can give.

sea

Sea You There and Us was quite a surprise for me. The art was beautiful, with some truly breathtaking moments. The story reminded me a lot of my own childhood, so even the simplest, least dramatic parts ended up being very emotional for me. The tragedy hit hard, even if I could see it coming. Even if I think the end wasn't as strong compared to the rest of the chapters, it's still a beautiful, heartfelt manga about childhood,grief, and moving on.

gogo

Focusing on the so-called weird children that stand out in the small world of an elementary school, GOGO Monster is a beautiful, surreal manga that also feels very sincere. It reminded me a bit of Nijigahara Holograph(though it's definitely not as violent).

triangle

The first chapter of An Easy Introduction to Love Triangles (To Pass the Exam!) didn't hook me when I first tired reading it a few months ago, but I'm glad I gave it a second chance. Polyamory is a very uncommon theme in Yuri, so this was quite refreshing, besides being a genuinely sweet little romance. I didn't expect it to like it as much as I did,so it was a nice surprise.

dream

Two people who couldn't stay together, but also couldn't stay apart—The Ends of a Dream is a beautiful and heart-wrenching love story about two women meeting and leaving each other across their lives. Definitely one of my favorite yuri manga.

relationship

How do We Relationship was very different from what I expected (in a good way). The characters and their relationships are messy, and there's some truly heart-wrenching moments. I don't think I've ever been this invested in a relationship drama. Brb I'm gonna go gnaw on my arm in a corner until the next volume is out

yuri espoir

It took me a while to jump on the Yuri Espoir train, but boy, I'm glad I did. The art is absolutely gorgeous (those sparkly eyes!), and the one-off character stories interspersed with the more dramatic main plot make for a really nice combination.

aoi uroko to suna no machi

I've recently revisited one of my favorite manga, Aoi Uroko to Suna no Machi. The simpler,delicate art is very charming. The mistery in the quiet seaside town gives the story a hint of magic that wasn't lost in my second read.

girls last tour

I loved Shimeji Simulation a lot, so I knew I had to check out Girl's Last Tour(well, there's also the fact that my friend rec'd it to me back when the anime adaptation came out, and I said I'd get to it eventually. It took a few years but I did!) The backgrounds gave the manga a very nice, lonely atmosphere. I kept hoping for a different ending until the very last second, but that would've been cheap imo, so I'm glad we got the ending we did.

Chi Elda - Chobits