I’ve seen a few people post about the new manga they’ve acquired in the past months, now that they have a bit of time to read, and it’s inspired me to… go on a shopping spree. I do order manga fairly regularly but I usually just continue with series I’ve started. Often source material of anime that I really enjoyed and want to see how the story continues.
In my last purchase though, I mixed up continuing series with some volume 1s of manga I was curious about but hadn’t actually read. I think there is a great market for a subscription box that sends you a handful of volume 1 manga each month according to your preferred genres. Or maybe there’s something like a manga exchange program. Where you can find people and send them a bunch of volume 1s you don’t want to keep and in exchange for a bunch of theirs.
I’m getting excited and off track as usual. What I actually wanted to talk about is the manga I got recently and what I thought about it. Here’s a small selection of mini reviews!
Devils and Realist
I actually bought up to volume 8 but I am currently reading volume 4. I may be one of the few people that enjoyed Devils and Realist. I have no clue why, I thought the anime was delightful! But one of my readers did mention that the anime felt rushed and sort of shallow which is to be expected with how condensed it was compared to the manga. That’s all it took, I immediately bought a bunch of volumes.
So far, the manga and the anime are pretty much the same. Maybe not exactly identical but I couldn’t really tell you any differences either. The humour comes off better in the anime since timing and delivery are important to these types of jokes but it’s not like they don’t work in the manga. Once again, I find myself enjoying this and I’m really psyched about getting to the parts that were not adapted.
Way of the House Husband
I actually reviewed volume 1 of this series when I first got it (at which time it was the only one available). I did enjoy it a lot but I had a few concerns for what the future may hold. Mostly I feared that the repetitive nature of the humour would work well in a single volume but start to wear thin very quickly. In fact I wasn’t sure it could hold up to a second volume at all, despite the fact that these books are extremely quick to read.
I’m actually really happy to report that, I still don’t know! You see, volume 1 had basically the same joke over and over, Tatsu gets mistaken for a yakuza (reasonably so) misunderstandings and hilarity ensues. Well, that joke isn’t really used any more. Once or twice as a running gag with the cops but that’s it. The series evolved with it’s character.
Everybody knows Tatsu in his neighbourhood now and they are no longer afraid of him so the humour is more a mix of fish out of water hi-jinks and Tatsu being surprisingly talented at domestic arts in an almost surreal way. There’s also a much stronger emphasis on supporting characters who are all eccentric and interesting in their own right. In many ways, it’s a fell good Slice of Life and I consistently enjoyed volumes 2 and 3.
Bungo Stray Dogs
I really loved the last season of Bungo Stray Dogs and it’s convinced me to finally read the manga. I’ve been trying to catch up to the show so I can continue the story but sadly volume 14 is the last one I can find in English and it’s pretty much exactly where we left off:
The manga and anime are very similar. I would say the anime is in fact more fleshed out as it dipped into the light novels to fill up the run time and those are some of the best arcs I have watched.
As such, I find it difficult to recommend the manga over the anime but if you enjoyed one, you will most likely enjoy the other. There are little single page gags throughout the manga that are very fun to read and really keep with the spirit of the characters.
Yuri is My Job
I’ve been on a bit of a Yuri kick lately and I was very eager to get my hands on this one. I’m not sure why. I’ve read a lot of Yuri and Shoujo-ai manga and I have had my share of disappointments. Not this time! I actually did the very stupid move of trying to unglue the back cover to see if there weren’t some pages I may have missed. I just wanted to read more. Once I finish what’s on my nightstand I will do a second round of manga orders and the rest of Yuri is My Job will definitely be on there.
I have to say, out of all the manga I have read recently, this is the one I can most clearly see as an anime. Even more so than series I have watched as animes! It just has a very cinematic rythm to it. You can see where the scene cuts go where episodes would start and end and even where commercials should be if those things still existed. I’m not sure if it’s been optioned yet but someone would get on creating an adaptation. I would watch it.
Also I liked the series. It was cute and funny. Not much actual Yuri in volume 1 but that didn’t matter.
Ran and the Gray World
I actually just finished this last night and Oh Boy is it pretty! The art style really speaks to me. I took a picture of a random page but of course that does not do it justice even one little bit. (Have I mentioned I’m the world’s worst photographer…I am!)
In essence, Ran and the Gray World is a modern fairy tale. I only throw the word modern in there because it’s clearly happening in contemporary times. But it is full of magic and sorceresses and mythical creatures, along side mean school bullies and kind teachers and slightly creepy millionaires. The themes are also classical coming of age and learning to accept your parents as well as the world around you. There is a lot to unpack and a single volume only gave me a small taste.
It’s well written, with minimum exposition which leaves you scrambling to find your footing in the first chapter but that’s part of the fun and fits in with the story. As far as story construction and just actual writing goes, this may be my favourite. In contrast with My Job is Yuri, I have a feeling this one would be very tricky to adapt and I’m not sure there’s a need as it’s a wonderful manga. I really liked it a lot. I don’t want to give away too much but if I do finish the entire series, maybe I’ll do a general review.
I did a complete review of BL metamorphisis so if you are interested please feel free to go read it. The very short version is, I liked that one as well. I am incredibly lucky with my manga picks lately!
I have always been vocal about my love of anime as a medium and I think it will always be my preferred vehicle for fiction. This said, I’ve gotten into the habit of just blowing through a volume (or two) of manga before going to bed and I’m really enjoying the ritual. I have an unfortunate attachment to physical manga which I am trying to get past. have been reading Shonen Jump online and it’s fantastic. The experience of reading is the same bit it’s a but clearer and images can be zoomed in. It’s also a 10th of the price if not less and it doesn’t clutter up my house. But I like the clutter and looking at my overstuffed bookcase makes the house feel homey.
Like I said I am working on it.
I also got a bunch of older series to read, namely Noragami, Pandora hearts, Boccanno, Adrenaline, Promised Neverland and MHA Vigilantes. If ever you want me to do a second post summarizing my experience with those titles, let me know, I’ll be happy to oblige!