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          I hoping everyone had a great start to their year so far ✌🏻 I've just about gotten back into my work flow since coming back from vacation. I haven't done much reading during my stay in Ecuador but I managed to get some time to organizing myself and how I want to tackle my collection in the New Year. For starters, I'm holding off on Manga purchases until I acquire a new bookcase. I need more space to expand my VIZ Signature/Shonen Jump titles and give more room to my Seven Seas and Yen Press titles. 

Bookshelf App Logo

          My second resolution is to update my Google Sheets and Bookshelf app for a more organized collection. Google Sheets has been useful in visually helping me see which series need attention through color coding. Though useful, I've been holding off on updating my Google Sheets since downloading the Bookshelf app on my phone. I love the app's use of your phone's camera to scan the barcode and instantly have your manga in its assigned digital book shelf. You can even track, rate and review, and follow other readers or communities through the app! I'm not sponsored by the app but I always suggest it to every customer in need of tracking their collection on the go 🤙🏻

          My third and final resolution is to set up a proper Manga reading schedule. I bought a planner with this in mind and so far it's been helpful in keeping me in track. I used to read about 5-7 manga per week, but I haven't kept up to that since October. My job has had me more focused on selling and restocking the store than to read the stacks I used to buy weekly. Now, I've assigned time to read based around my work schedule and off time. I'm hoping about 1-2 Manga per week would be an easy way to ease back into my former reading habits (plus it gives me time to window shop for a bookcase and future Manga purchases 🙃)

. . . 

Week 1 (Dec 31st - Jan 6th) 


Week 2 (Jan 7th - 13th) 


     + Emanon: Memories of Emanon, Vol 1

            Written by Shinji Kajio and Illustrated by Kenji Tsuruta

          This Manga Reading Log felt like a productive way to start the year! For starters, I had to refresh on my Manga Book Club Pick for January. Emanon is a Science Fiction Seinen manga that follows a woman with a memory and life span dating back to the creation of Life as we know it. What I loved about this story was brought out from simple small talk during a date. It's not every day that you encounter a primordial being with countless experiences and a smoking habit, but it makes for one hell of a story to tell your friends afterwards (if they believe you). 

          I haven't gotten around to purchasing the remaining volumes of the series, but I'm saying ahead of time that I wish this series was a single title release. I was happy with how the story ended and I was a fan of the Emanon's cool-like and mysterious demeanor and background. She's merely a passenger in Life, and I think that's awesome. It reminds me that every waking moment is comes and goes in the blink of an eye, and you could miss the magic in something getting lost somewhere else. I hope that the remaining volumes will expand upon Emanon's past without dragging out the story too much, but nothing beats the magic I read on that life-changing ferry ride. 

. . . 

Week 3 (Jan 14th - 20th)

One More Step, Come Stand By My Side  15 Minutes Before We Really Date

Geek Ex-Hitman, Vol 3

     + One More Step, Come Stand By My Side

            Written and Illustrated by Toryumon Takeda 

     + 15 Minutes Before We Really Date

            Written and Illustrated by Perico

     + The Geek Ex-Hitman, Vol 3

            Written and Illustrated by Ko-dai

          This week was dedicated to Yen Press apparently. I purchased these volumes shortly before leaving for Ecuador and I was eager to read Takeda-sensei's work in particular. One More Step... exceeded my expectations: originally thinking this volume was going to be a traditional Love themed anthology. Instead I was greeted with seven brilliant, twist-filled short stories that caught my attention, tugged my heartstrings, and made me admire Takeda-sensei's attention to the small details. 

          It's very hard to pick a favorite from this collection. For starters, I love the quick bursts of energy given in the stories Ain't That Nice? and A Tranquil First Night. However Paradise and When the Time Comes offer great storytelling in addition to its beautiful artwork and wonderful panel design. And then theres The Wife Whom I Loved Dearly. This story made me cry from start to finish. Takeda-sensei really demonstrated their skillset and made the pages of this beautifully crafted anthology come to life

          15 Minutes... was part of my regular dose of Romance Manga for the month. This story follows childhood friends Yuuki and Natsuha at the sprouting of their romantic relationship. After enduring years of rumors, the two decide to go out and begin thus beginning a series of first and overdue experiences between the two. What I like about this series is watching how both Yuuki and Natsuha attempt to balance their romantic relationship with how they would normally interact with each other. Moments like study sessions and outings have a lot more meaning to them now that they're involved together, and I appreciate Perico-sensei for demonstrating not only the difficulties in dating your best friend, but the moments on how the romance all happened. I'm looking forward to the remaining four volumes when the time comes! 👍🏻

          I was overall satisfied with the conclusion of Geek Ex-Hitman. Granted, I had to wait over a year in between volumes 2 and 3, but I was happy to get it once it came out and it gave me a reason to reread the series. The story is about Marco, the former "Oracle of Florence". He was a proficient assassin that gave up the lifestyle in order to pursue his dreams of being an Otaku in Japan. He is soon followed by Viviana (a Fujoshi who stans Marco), and Andre (a bespectacled Artist), and The Order (Marco's former employer setting out to find and eliminate him). 

          I had forgotten how much I loved this Manga's quirkiness. The dynamic between Marco, Andre and Viviana never fails to make me outright chuckle whenever they're get up to antics. Their dedication is top tier, especially during their Convention visit in Volume 2 and their coaster mayhem in Volume 3. I wish there was more time spent showing off the different types of Otaku, as well as more Marco/Mei/Viviana chaos. However, all good things must come to an end, and I can only hope to see more from Ko-dai in the English market 🤞🏻

. . . 

Week 4 (Jan 21th - 27th) 

Yotsuba& Vol 2 

Superman vs Meshi, Vol 2

Joker: One Operation Joker Vol. 2

     + Yotsuba&, Vol 2

            Written and Illustrated by Kiyohiko Azuma

     + Superman vs Meshi, Vol 2

            Written by Satoshi Miyagawa and Illustrated by Kai Kitago

     + One Operation Joker, Vol 2 

            Written by Satoshi Miyagawa and Illustrated by Keisuke Gotou

          Yotsuba& is an All Ages Manga from the creator of Azumanga Daioh. It's about five year old Yotsuba and her daily adventures around and with her neighbors, adoptive father Yousuke and friends. What I love about this series is that this comedy can be enjoyed by all ages. I've been able to positively relate to both Yotsuba, Yousuke and his friend Jumbo. Also Yotsuba has a quirky, bright, and impressionable personality that is so contagious I honestly couldn't stop smiling throughout my reads. 

          It was quite a while since I read the first volume of Yotsuba&, so a back-to-back read of volumes 1 and 2 was a proper refresher. I've been needing a dire need of a laugh, and reading Yotsuba's antics were definitely welcomed! My favorite chapter was "Yotsuba & Vengance" with its wholesome and funny take on what children are like mimicking things from television. This has been one of the few children series that I've been trying to curate for my job. If anyone has other Kid's Manga recommendations (both current and out of print) I'd really appreciate it 👍🏻

          The DC manga I purchased a while back were in due for a read. I started out my reading session with Superman vs Meshi, my favorite of Miyagawa's DC duo. This series is a humorous and foodie take on the DC Universe, showing us how the Man of Steel uses his powers to fight off injustices and his cravings. This series has some memorable moments, which include Superman starting a Foodie Pixtagraph account, "Double Kansas", Aquaman talking to sushi, and pretty much any panel involving Batman. (including the above ^).

          One Operation Joker went exactly where I thought it would: slowly show the Joker's descent into parenthood as he finally secures a proper daycare for the Dark Tyke. I'm honestly surprised that I didn't like this series as much as I would. Seeing an interpretation of how Gotham is without Batman was interesting, and I liked seeing Joker's character be conflicted with itself this rare case of crime fighting. 

          However, I felt that this series was missing something. Don't get me wrong, I like this series enough to continue the story as is, but I think there should have been more chaos since Gotham lost its Dark Knight. Sure there's Alfred's near-complete mental breakdown over the loss of Bruce Wayne, but even seeing those panels made me reconsider how the ending of this series will effect me. That being said, I'll be buying Volume 3 of Miyagawa's works in the next month to conclude these wacky series (though I now look forward to Batman: Justice Breaker, Volume 2 for my next DC Manga read ✌🏻).

. . . 

And that is a wrap-up for the month of January

          The last week of January hit me hard with the flu 😷 Thankfully I was able to lay back and start my planning for the month of February. I'm still in the process of trying to buy some bookshelves for my collection so I decided to catch up on my To Be Read Pile, adjust my Buying List, and draft the upcoming blog. So with that, I look forward to seeing y'all in the month of February with a new blog ✌🏻

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