Review | With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun by Hidekichi Matsumoto

Welcome to the Menagerie!

With both a cat and a dog, there’s double the antics, double the fun (and double the kibble!) but while Inu and Neko coexist peacefully, they have their own distinct personalities, which play out in unexpected, charming ways during these short-form stories.

Whether you’re a dog-person or a cat-person, there’s plenty to love about these homegrown sketches of daily life shared with four-legged friends!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This collection was super cute, with short manga comics detailing the behaviors and daily escapades of the author and their cat and dog. The two animals had two very different personalities, which is very evident in each little story. These were great vignettes into the every day life of pet owner’s, especially when there are multiple pets in one home.

I do wish some of the stories had been more connected or expanded upon, but I understand that these were meant to be short often single page glimpses. Still, it was fun to read and great for anyone who deals with cats or dogs on a daily basis.

Happy reading!

Review | Manga Classics: Anne of Green Gables by Crystal Chan

Siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert were planning to adopt an orphaned boy to help out around their farm, Green Gables – instead, they got Anne Shirley. A plucky redheaded girl with a vibrant imagination, Anne turns first Green Gables and then the rest of Prince Edward Island on its ear.

Manga Classics® is proud to be the only authorized manga adaption of Anne of Green Gables by the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery, with a foreword by Kate McDonald Butler – granddaughter of the original author!

This volume presents a faithful recreation of this classic kids novel, from the Lake of Shining Waters to the Dryad’s Bubble!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I love Anne of Green Gables, it’s something I was introduced to as a child and always has that nostalgic feeling to it. I really enjoyed this retelling of it as it condensed down a lot of the key scenes and themes of the original story. The art style perfectly captured Anne and the other characters, with everyone being unique and recognizable. Sometimes these manga re-imaginings don’t lend themselves as well to classics, but this one fit perfectly.

Happy reading!

Review | Bibi and Miyu #1

When a new student from Japan shows up at Bibi Blocksberg’s school, she fits in immediately. But Bibi’s suspicious; she knows Miyu’s hiding something, and she’s determined to find out what! Bibi’s journey takes her all the way to Japan, and while learning about all the new rules and magic in this foreign land, she realizes that maybe she and Miyu can be friends after all!

I loved the sound of this manga and it instantly gave me Kiki’s Delivery Service vibes so I wanted to pick it up. The art style is vibrant and fun while still having that classic manga style. I did feel that the story moved along really quickly as it was really more vignettes of Bibi and Miyu’s adventures together.

I would definitely be interested in seeing where this series go and what other situations they get themselves into.

Happy reading!

Review | Komi Can’t Communicate Vol 1

Timid Tadano is a total wallflower, and that’s just the way he likes it. But all that changes when he finds himself alone in a classroom on the first day of high school with the legendary Komi. He quickly realizes she isn’t aloof—she’s just super awkward. Now he’s made it his mission to help her on her quest to make 100 friends!

This manga really surprised me as I didn’t really know where it was going to go. I really appreciate the fact that more mangas are coming out which feature real life issues such as anxiety. In this manga we primarily follow Tadano as he attempts to help Komi make friends after discovering she is unable to speak to people. When she tries to speak to someone else she freezes and is unable to communicate.

Tadano doesn’t always handle things the right way, but it’s obvious he’s trying to do his best in helping Komi, even though he’s a bit of an introvert himself. It’s also been set up that their school contains a number of people who perhaps don’t quite fit in at other schools, so I could see this series tackling more issues than just Kimo’s issue with communication and anxiety.

Happy reading!

Review – Kakushigoto: My Dad’s Secret Ambition Vol. 1

Kakushi Gotou is a single father with a secret: He’s a top-selling manga artist of a raunchy series that perhaps isn’t suitable reading material for his young daughter, Hime. So he does what any doting father would do—he hides it all from her, no matter the hijinks that ensue!

This was such a hilarious yet heartwarming manga at the same time. In it we follow Hime and her father, who is a manga artist that creates manga of a more adult nature. It’s immediately apparent that Hime is the center of his world and he will go to any lengths he can to protect her from finding out what he does for a living. He also wants to do everything he can to keep her from anything negative such as being bullied or not fitting in, which means he often goes to extremes. He usually drags his assistants along with him, whether they want to or not.

It was really touching to see just how much he cared about protecting his daughter, but also really funny since his antics often backfired and he had to scramble to fix it. It was a really fun read and full of both laughter and touching moments.

Happy reading!

Review: RWBY: The Official Manga Vol. 1

Experience the introductory arc of the international smash hit series RWBY in a whole new way—manga!

In the world of Remnant, monsters known as Grimm wreak havoc. They’re kept in check by Huntsmen and Huntresses, highly skilled warriors experienced in monster extermination who utilize their special abilities on the field of battle. Ruby is a ferociously talented young girl who comes to Beacon Academy to hone her skills and serve as a Huntress herself. Alongside her sister Yang Xiao Long, rival Weiss Schnee and newfound friend Blake Belladonna, Ruby leads Team RWBY, the coolest new group at Beacon!

Ruby takes her first step on the road to becoming a Huntress by enrolling at Beacon Academy, eager to take on the battery of tests, challenges and difficulties that follow. Ruby knows her talents will take her to her goal, but is she ready to clash with Weiss Schnee, haughty scion of the Schnee Dust Company?

I was super excited to see a new manga version of RWBY coming out, especially since it’s starting out where the show started. Fans of the show RWBY will recognize this story arc as it starts off at the same point, with a robbery being committed and foiled by Ruby.

This is a great introduction to the main set of characters as well as the setting and world. That being said, a lot of the action sequences were a little hard to follow in the manga format. It’s understandable as action can be hard to portray, but if I hadn’t watched this part of the show already I may not have been able to follow the action sequences and what was happening.

Still, if you’re a lover of the series, this will definitely be something to add to your collection.

Happy reading!

Review: Blue Flag Vol. 1

An unexpected love quadrangle with a dash of unrequited love as two classmates, a boy and a girl, begin to fall for each other when each of their best friends have already fallen for them.

It’s the last year of high school, and love is in the air. Romantic feelings that have been building up over years of friendship come to light. When Taichi’s classmate Futaba asks him to help her confess to his best friend, Toma, it sparks the catalyst that begins the sweet and heart-wrenching journey of their third and final year of high school.

For some reason, Taichi Ichinose just can’t tolerate Futaba Kuze. But at the start of his third year in high school, he finds himself in the same homeroom as her, along with his childhood friend and school sports star Toma Mita. But one day Futaba opens up to Taichi, admitting she has a crush on Toma and asking for his help in confessing to him! There’s just one problem—Toma seems to already have a secret crush on someone else…

I really felt that this one was a great first volume to a series. It sets up the characters well as well as establishing their existing relationships, or lack thereof. It immediately starts discussing typical status’ that happen in high school, how people end up in different cliques and how those cliques may be treated by others. While this isn’t a focus of the story, it’s important that it’s set up in the beginning to differentiate the roles.

Taichi is portrayed in a very raw way, perfectly displaying his conflicting emotions as we progress through the story. You really get to see his internal struggle as well as his growing emotions for those he’s spending time with and helping.

When you reach the end of this first volume, there’s definitely quite a lot hanging in the air that you have to wonder how all these things will resolve. It will be interesting to see where this series goes.

Happy reading!

Review: Not Your Idol Vol. 1

A psychological suspense series about a girl who has given up her life as an idol after being assaulted by a fan.

After that day, she stopped being a girl. In the wake of an assault, Nina Kamiyama, a former idol in the group Pure Club, shuns her femininity and starts dressing as a boy. At high school she keeps to herself, but fellow student Hikaru Horiuchi realizes who she is. What secrets is she keeping? The shocking drama starts. 

Typically when I read manga I reach for the ones with a fantasy or paranormal twist, but the premise of this one sounded interesting. We’re following an ex-idol who has completely changed her appearance due to an assault she suffered and the trauma and effects that come after it. There’s also the more sinister story line of her attacker possibly still being after her and a lot of discussion about sexual harassment and assault. I was not expecting the first volume to be as complex as it was, but it all flowed together well.

I’m interested to see where this series goes, especially with how the first volume ended. There’s a definite question regarding multiple people’s motives, so I’m thinking it will be a twisting series.

Not Your Idol Volume 1 is coming out on May 5th by Viz Media, so be sure to pick it up if it sounds like it is up your alley – happy reading!