Category Archives: Manga Review Projects

Manga Review Project: Crunchyroll’s Scum’s Wish

Scum's WishTitle: Scum’s Wish
Author: Mengo Yokoyari
Genre: Seinen, Drama, Romance
Publisher: Crunchyroll (US) / Square Enix (JP)
Original Magazine: Big Gangan
Read: (Digital simulpub, back-issues premium members only)
Currently Available: 4 volumes, ongoing

Most experience unrequited love a time or two (or three, or four…) in life. Whether it’s longing gazes going unreturned, hopeful texts going unanswered, or a frantic confession turned down, unresolved feelings, especially as a teenager, can prove difficult to deal with. At first glance our main couple in Scum’s Wish has seemingly hit the jackpot; Mugi is the kind and considerate boyfriend of any girl’s dreams, while Hanabi’s cute and friendly personality draws admiration from both other boys and girls. Unbeknownst to anyone else though, Mugi and Hanabi hold one mutual secret: They don’t really want each other.

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Manga Review Project: Crunchyroll’s Princess Jellyfish

Princess JellyfishTitle: Princess Jellyfish
Author: Akiko Higashimura
Genre: Josei, Drama, Romance
Publisher: Crunchyroll (US), Kodansha (February 2016) / Kodansha (JP)
Original Magazine: Kiss
Read: (Digital simulpub, back-issues premium members only)
Currently Available: 4 volumes, ongoing

My Crunchyroll Review Project has been a bit of an unintended hiatus for the past couple of months, but one big announcement from last month’s Anime Expo has brought it back with a bang: Princess Jellyfish! A josei manga focused on a group of otaku women in an apartment building and their encounters with a “Stylish” girl — who unbeknownst to them just so happens to be a boy — Princess Jellyfish has been a license request since the anime adaptation ran back in 2010. Not only was the series picked up for digital release by Crunchyroll last month, but Kodansha USA also plans to release the series in 2-in-1 print omnibuses beginning in February 2016. Understandably English-speaking fans were thrilled to finally have access to the series, with Crunchyroll quickly making the first four volumes available digitally. Does this long awaited josei title live up to the hype?

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Manga Review Project: Crunchyroll’s Star Light Woman

Star Light WomanTitle: Star Light Woman
Author: Rie Kanou
Genre: Seinen, Drama
Publisher: Crunchyroll (US)/Futabasha (JP)
Original Magazine: Manga Action
Read: (Digital simulpub, back-issues premium members only)
Currently Available: 15 chapters, complete

Coming up as manga fans, we tend to hear the well-known comparison to US comics: “US comics are all about super heroes! Manga has so much more diversity!” In truth, manga has its own set of “super hero” tropes (see: the most popular shounen/boys’ manga) that are just as popular if not more so than their American counterparts. Still, the “manga equals not super heroes” distinction is a quick way to generalize, and I admittedly don’t normally read manga expecting a superhero story. This month though, Crunchyroll gives us just that, but a super heroine story, in the form of Rie Kanou’s Star Light Woman.

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Manga Review Project: Crunchyroll’s Mysterious Girlfriend X

Mysterious Girlfriend XTitle: Mysterious Girlfriend X
Author: Riichi Ueshiba
Genre: Seinen, Romance, Comedy
Publisher: Crunchyroll (US)/Kodansha (JP)
Original Magazine: Afternoon
Read: (Digital simulpub, back-issues premium members only)
Currently Available: 92 chapters
This review is part of my Crunchyroll Manga Review Project.

Selecting this month’s Crunchyroll manga to review was bit harder than prior months; “I want something different,” I thought. “Something to broaden my manga horizons,” I pondered. A few dissatisfied clicks later, and there sat Mysterious Girlfriend X, seemingly too extreme for my tastes. A bit of background is useful here: Back in Spring 2012, Mysterious Girlfriend X was “that” anime — the drool anime. It took one of our most well-known and well-loved tropes, the high school romance, and dampened it with drool — oddly viscous, overly realistic, slimy drool. I barely made it through the first episode and vowed never to go back; every anime fan has her limits, and apparently I’d found mine. My reaction to starting the manga for the Project was mostly the same, if not worse. Still, I pushed through the first few of the chapters currently available on Crunchyroll — about 2 volumes — and now I’m left to wonder, is there more to this series than meets the eye?

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Manga Review Project: Crunchyroll’s Buffalo 5 Girls

Buffalo 5 GirlsTitle: Buffalo 5 Girls
Author: Moyoco Anno
Genre: Josei, Romance, Drama
Publisher: Crunchyroll (US)/Cork, Inc (JP)
Original Magazine: Cutie Comic
Read: (Digital simulpub, back-issues premium members only)
Currently Available: 11 chapters, hiatus
This review is part of my Crunchyroll Manga Review Project.

An unexpected hiatus from my Crunchyroll Review Project in January, but we’re back in action this month with a josei title from none other than Moyoco Anno. Anno has gotten a good bit of love in recent years; we’ve gotten Sakuran, In Clothes Called Fat, and Insufficient Direction all from Vertical, and Crunchyroll’s catalog also includes Anno’s Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen. Many of Anno’s stories focus on the trials and tribulations of women, and this month’s Buffalo 5 Girls is no exception. Sick of their bleak lives working as prostitutes in a brothel, Candy and Suzy suddenly find themselves thrown together and making a run for it — with the local sheriff and a couple of bounty hunting brothers not too far behind.

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