Manga Quickies (+ a Bonus Graphic Novel)

Hi friends!

Over the last two days I’ve finished a handful of manga and I don’t usually do review for manga unless I’m reviewing a couple volumes at a time, or a whole series. It just feels like not enough story typically happens in one volume to warrant a full review. But since I got through a couple volumes of various series I thought I’d go through and do some quickie reviews.

Let’s go!

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Review: Penance


Author: Kanae Minato
Translator: Philip Gabriel
Published: 2017 by Mulholland Books
First published: 2009 (Japanese)

When they were children, Sae, Maki, Akiko and Yuko were tricked into separating from their friend Emily by a mysterious stranger. Then the unthinkable occurs: Emily is found murdered hours later.
Sae, Maki, Akiko and Yuko weren’t able to accurately describe the stranger’s appearance to the police after the Emily’s body was discovered. Asako, Emily’s mother, curses the surviving girls, vowing that they will pay for her daughter’s murder.

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Review: Confessions


Author: Kanae Minato
Translator: Stephen Snyder
Published: 2014 by Mulholland Books
First published: 2008 (Japanese)

Her pupils murdered her daughter. Now she will have her revenge. After calling off her engagement in the wake of a tragic revelation, Yuko Moriguchi had nothing to live for except her only child, four-year-old child, Manami. Now, following an accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yuko has given up and tendered her resignation. But first she has one last lecture to deliver. She tells a story that upends everything her students ever thought they knew about two of their peers, and sets in motion a diabolical plot for revenge. Narrated in alternating voices, with twists you’ll never see coming, Confessions probes the limits of punishment, despair, and tragic love, culminating in a harrowing confrontation between teacher and student that will place the occupants of an entire school in danger. You’ll never look at a classroom the same way again.

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Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service


Kiki’s Delivery Service
Author: Eiko Kadono
Translator: Emily Balistrieri
Published: 2020 by Delacorte Press
First published: 1985 (Japanese)

Half-witch Kiki never runs from a challenge. So when her thirteenth birthday arrives, she’s eager to follow a witch’s tradition: choose a new town to call home for one year.
Brimming with confidence, Kiki flies to the seaside village of Koriko and expects that her powers will easily bring happiness to the townspeople. But gaining the trust of the locals is trickier than she expected. With her faithful, wise-cracking black cat, Jiji, by her side, Kiki forges new friendships and builds her inner strength, ultimately realizing that magic can be found in even the most ordinary places.

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Review: Silhouette of a Sparrow


Silhouette of a Sparrow
Author: Molly Beth Griffin
Published: 2012 by Milkweed Editions

It is the summer of 1926 and 16-year-old Garnet Richardson is spending the summer in a small lakeside town in Minnesota with her father’s wealthy and old-fashioned cousin and her daughter. When the summer is over Garnet knows she’ll be expected to get engaged to her boyfriend, get married after high school, and become a wonderful homemaker.

Her hesitancy about this future only solidifies when Garnet meets the charming flapper Isabella and they quickly form an intense and secret relationship.

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Review: The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida


The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida
Author: Clarissa Goenawan
Published: 2020 by Soho Press

In The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida, we meet Ryusei who has fallen in love with the titular Miwako and is left adrift when she takes her own life in a remote mountainside village. Determined to learn what brought her to such an end, he travels to the village where she spent her final days in a search to uncover the secrets of her past.

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Review: Animus


Author: Antoine Revoy
Illustrator: Antoine Revoy
Publication: 2018

I absolutely loved Animus…right up until the ending. But before I get into it, let me tell you more about the plot. Animus is about two Japanese kids, Sayuri and Hisao, who discover that they’re local playground is a hub of supernatural forces and is haunted by a mysterious yokai called Toothless. The story follows our two main characters as they attempt to rid the playground of its demons.

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Review: Territory of Light


Territory of Light
Author: Yuko Tsushima
Translator: Geraldine Harcourt
Publication: 1979 (Japanese), 2008 (English)

Territory of Light is the story of a young woman, recently separated from her husband, as she, along with her 3-year-old daughter, seeks a new independence and way of life. The story takes place over the course of a year, written as 12 loosely connected vignettes that were originally published in monthly installments.

Territory of Light really is an apt title for this book – our unnamed narrator and her daughter move into an apartment with windows on all sides, so that its rooms, and the stories themselves, are suffused with light. It is everywhere, both comforting and frightening.

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Let’s Talk About (Some of) My Favorite Books

Hey folks, I wanted to talk a little about my favorite books and what I think a person’s favorite books can say about them. I personally feel like a lot of the books I really like tend to reflect some aspect or another of my personality.

I bear their fingerprints.

So, some of my favorite books, in no particular order…

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