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Hey there 🙃

          I usually have a list of what I read on my main profile. However, I decided to compile my thoughts for each manga I read, as well as post my hauls and activity for the month of November 🍁 

          I hope to encourage people to check out series that they either might've missed or heard of in passing. Whether it be in the form of an informed review, a quick pitch, random pieces of trivia, or a general warning: I try to be an advocate of exploring genres in order to acquire/enhance personal taste. With this in mind, please feel free to share/comment on what manga caught your eye!


. . . 

WEEK 1 (Nov. 5 - 11)


     + 365 Days to the Wedding, Vol 1
         Written & Illustrated by Tamiki Wakaki

          Like with a majority of my reads, I went into the series blind. I never heard of the author's works or knew of the anime's existence. However, I am a SUCKER for any romance/slice of life series, so I had to give it a shot. The cover features the story's protagonists and coworkers Rika, a loner cartophile with a cool-like demeanor, who suddenly proposes to Takuya, her quiet desk neighbor that recently took in an injured stray cat.

         Rika and Takuya's workplace, a travel agency, is experiencing a branch expansion and looking for a potential branch manager in their midst. Luckily for them, Management is narrowing their search down to bachelors. For them, begin a fake engagement is their only hope maintain their single lifestyles: Takuya doesn't want to risk losing his cat while Rika would rather be reading maps than interact with people. 

          As for the story, it was relatively easy read. There was minimal drama, with more time establishing Rika and Takuya's behaviors and thoughts on their fake engagement. And while I do enjoy RomCom series, it wasn't a total overtake on my senses. I wished there was more drama to move things farther down. There was a moment of brief confrontation that I hope gets more and more juicer as its mentioned. However, This is the first volume in the series out of 10, so I know I shouldn't have high expectations right out of the gate. For now, I can see myself watching either the Anime or Live Action adaptations of this series until more volumes get published.

     + Golosseum 
         Written & Illustrated by Yasushi Baba

           Golosseum offers readers an alternative universe where Global Peace has been achieved through the use of Peacemakers, a device that renders all firearms and weapons useless. Global leaders, including Presidents Putinov and Quintone, seek to use Peacemakers and other synthetic weapons to play a bigger part on the Global Stage. The only thing that stands between these Peacemakers and their genetically enhanced wielders, the Czernobogs, are the use of hand-to-hand combat and physical throws. 

          I would definitely recommend this series to fans of Baki, especially since there is no in-print English translation (YET). It offers healthy portions of action sequences, dynamic panel designs, and references to Western culture (primarily wrestling). Major props to Baba for creating a Hulk Hogan rip-off that is engaging and fun to voice during my reading!

          I found volumes 1 & 2 while out thrifting one day. I was drawn to its movie poster-like front covers and bright colors. I ordered volume 3 through work, and I was pretty bummed out that the later half of the series is no longer available to order (at least at my job 💀). And while I do plan to finish the series, I decided to track its availability and buy accordingly. Please note that publishers look at digital sales in addition to in-print sales. In the event that digital manga gains traction and sales, publishers may consider a physical publication. At the end of the day, it's all about publication rights and consumer patterns. 

     + Virgin Love, Vol 1
         Written & Illustrated by Tina Yamashina

          Virgin Love is a Romance Shoujo series that follows 26-year-old businesswoman Shoko Shoji and five other singles as they spend a year in a shared house (think if Tinder decided to hold a social experiment). Shoko, despite having accomplished much in her career, has never had the chance/used her busy lifestyle as an excuse to go out and date. And to add sugar into this tea, our heroine is a virgin who has fantasized about romance and the ideal man. She and her acquaintance (admirer) Tanaka head into the Love House on a quest of self-discovery and romance. 


          Something that I enjoyed from this volume is its take on love, and how it's being displayed to the reader. Tanaka's admiration of Shoko, Shoko's ideal romance and partner, and the expectations that the Love House and its occupants have, are all depictions of love that can happen to someone in life. Shoko's view on love is one of a hopeless romantic, and since I share some of her views, I can only cheer her on as I read through her (and Tanaka's) endeavors of love, life, and misfortune. Looking forward to seeing how volume two concludes the series' First Encounter. 

     + Akane-banashi, Vol 2
         Written by Yuki Suenaga and Illustrated by Takamasa Moue
         Rakugo Advisor: Keiki Hayashiya

          Akane-banashi was a series that I had wanted to get my hands on since it's Japanese release back in February 2022. I read that it was highly acclaimed by Tatsuki Fujimoto (Chainsaw Man) and Eiichiro Oda (One Piece) and was enamored by its art style. What really drew my attention was the world of Rakugo, and how this duo is able to reach modern audiences. Rakugo is a theatric form of Japanese storytelling that involves the Rakugoka (the performer) using a paper fan and cloth as props to demonstrate their skills in storytelling, comedic timing, voices, and more to the audience. The stories told by Rakugoka are performed sitting down, and are often long and comedic that hold a significant theme/lesson throughout it. 

          For Background: Akane's Story (English translation of the title) starts with the expulsion of Akane's father and other Rakugoka from the prestigious Arakawa School of Rakugo. Akane admires her father and believes that he was wrongfully denied the highest rank a Rakugoka could receive: Shin'uchi. Years after the event and under the guidance of her father's master, Akane begins her apprenticeship as a Rakugo through trial performances and lessons from the other upperclassmen. 

          Volume 2 of this series picks up where Volume 1 left off: Akane and Kyoji, a passionately serious pupil who's training Akane, are about to perform at a senior living center. Kyoji challenges Akane to perform Rakugo in a way that ANYONE could be entertained. This leads Akane to have an epiphany on stage: the use Makura (audience banter preceding the show) and other social skills like Last Eye Contact and flattery can help gauge and lure her audience into her performance. 

           Sprinkled throughout the volume are themes of Education. While Akane was undergoing Rakugo training, she began slacking off on her formal studies (Kyoji immediately flips). During a meeting with her Home Room teacher Iwashimizu, Akane was confronted by the claim that Rakugo may not be an ideal career choice. In response, Akane and her childhood friend Jumbo convince her to go a performance at a club. Akane also attends the performance of her fellow pupil Koguma for an impromptu lesson. 

           This series is a wonderful Coming of Age story that brings to light the traditional art of Rakugo. Rakugoka, like Mangaka, project the essence of a story through their unique style of communication. I’m looking forward to the next volume of Akane-banashi, especially now that the series has introduced a fresh cast of quirky Rakugoka. 

     + Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family, Vol 1
         Original Story by TYPE-MOON and Illustrated by TAa
         Food Direction: Makoto Tokoma (under Makoto Tadono)

           I became a fan of the Fate series this past summer, during my trip to AnimeExpo. Two roommates I had attempted to explain the series’ timeline without hurting my head (they failed). However they did advise one thing: Just start playing, you’ll get it eventually. 

           Simply put: Mages, called Masters, wage a hidden war amongst themselves using their Servants, spiritual manifestations of a historic figure in Human history, in order to acquire the Holy Grail. The Grail has the power to grant any wish that the Mage desires. This manga follows the cast of the Fate/Stay Night timeline of events. And while I love the complexity of a Historical Fantasy/Adventure manga, a Slice of Life series that includes iconic franchise characters doing EVERYTHING BUT HARM EACH OTHER is just so nice 🙃 

           I watched the anime for this series before picking up the first volume. I fell in love with its simplicity and how wholesome the cast of characters are. The meals featured in each story not only look appetizing, but they are used to unite our cast together under a shared meal. I haven't had a chance to make a meal from this series (YET) but I want to find the time after the Holidays to have a proper attempt. I'll be sure to add a pic of it here when I decided to do it!

     + Hellsing, Vol 1 (Second Edition)

         Written and Illustrated by Kohta Hirano

Hellsing was an experience.

           I remember watching part of the original Hellsing anime run from the 90's back in high school (including Hellsing Abridged 💀). Collecting the series was a toss up for me, since there was only a Deluxe Edition out at the time. However I had to make room on the shelf for this second edition tankobon release from Dark Horse

. . . 

WEEK 2 (Nov. 12 - 18)

I didn't spend a lot of time on reading Manga this week 😶 


           I spent a majority of my week studying the descriptions of DENPA/KUMA titles for AnimeNYC! I met the owner Ed at Anime Expo this past summer and I was thrilled when he let me work his booth (as well as a pass for the weekend 🤙🏻). I can't thank Ed and the rest of the team at DENPA/KUMA for having me help them sell their wonderful manga. I got to see a bunch of cosplays in between sales, and I managed to remember to take a few pics! Here are a few of my favorites throughout the weekend:





. . . 


           Because I was so excited, I didn't think to snag all the DENPA/KUMA titles that were available that weekend 🥲. Part of me justified it by being happy others were able to get their hands on these titles, and I didn't leave that weekend completely empty handed 👀 The booth was divided in two for the publishers, so I had the chance to check out titles at my leisure (thanks to Andrea from KUMA and all the customers that came out!). My coworker Akili and members of our Manga Book Club are HUGE BL fans, and I knew I needed to make them proud and come back with new titles to share ✌🏻

           Of all the titles I read this weekend, I personally enjoyed reading The Ruthless Commander and his Reincarnated Warhorse. This Historical Isekai BL follows our protagonist suddenly waking up as a wild horse and saving the land's ruler from a bear attack. Impressed by this horse's understanding of the human language and bravery, the ruler decides to take this horse in as his Warhorse. SPOILER ALERT: THE DUDE AND HORSE DON'T BANG. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. PLEASE GIVE THIS UNORTHODOX YAOI ONE SHOT A CHANCE AND TELL KUMA TO KEEP PUBLISHING QUIRKY TITLES LIKE THIS.

. . .

WEEK 3 (Nov. 19 - 25)


          To alleviate the stress of Holiday Shopping (aka MY JOB), I decided to pick up some titles that I've been needing on my shelves for completion sake: the B&N Edition of Blue Lock, Volume 13 of Chainsawman, Sakamoto Volume 10, Like a Butterfly Volume 2, the first Innocent omnibus, and Chobits Volume 3 (Tokyopop Single). All these titles (except Chobits since singles are Out of Print) were available at Barnes & Noble despite having release dates in November (a good tip for any Manga collector ✌🏻). I've been looking forward to Innocent specifically, since I saw it in a video from Anime Collective a while back. 


          Innocent is a Historical manga retelling of the life of Charles-Henri Sanson, the Royal Executioner during the French Revolution. In this beautifully drawn manga by Shin-ichi Sakamoto, Sanson is dreading the day that he gets thrusted into the family trade, vowing to end their cursed lineage with his life. I highly recommend this romanticized historical piece, as well as Sakamoto's other work recently adapted in English #DRCL. It's a revamped version of Bram Stoker's Dracula including a dark academia-type twist, a dynamic and digitally unique art style, and polarizing panels that will haunt with you for days 💀

and finally... 

. . . 

WEEK 4 (Nov. 26 -  Dec. 2)



          Shout out to Mike at AceFitGaming for pointing me to the right direction towards finishing this staple piece in my collection! He's currently doing a run of One Piece Odyssey on his Youtube channel, so I'd appreciate y'all giving him some support ✌🏻 I started my journey collecting each volume of One Piece individually around the start of the Covid pandemic. For me, this was one of the first shelves I envisioned in my collection, so I'm looking forward to expanding it with more figures, volumes, and art books ✌🏻

. . . 

This sums up my November! If you've made it this far, thanks for your time ✌🏻 

I've begun my readings for December and am updating the page as I go. Purchases might not be a priority with the holidays taking much of my time both at work and in my personal life. I'm going to commit to reading what I couldn't in November and updating this blog when necessary. Please leave a comment, shoot a DM, and follow my page for future Manga Blogs and other projects 👀

Or you can follow me on one of these here for more:

twitter: @kev_from_wrk
reddit: u/kev_from_work
discord: kev_from_work

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