Favorite Licensed Manga from 2017
I’m not good at ranking things, so I’ll put the manga into groups that I feel are appropriate. I didn’t read as much manga as I thought I did, so my list will be pretty short. Overall as I look at what I read, nothing really blew my hair back and turned me into a series fanatic. All of the manga on this list were new license releases for 2017.
Manga I Enjoyed
- “Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight” by Rin Mikimoto — a rather typical shoujo manga about a girl, Hinana, who reluctantly falls in love with Kaede, an ex-boy-band idol turned TV/movie star . I like that the main female character, Hinana, is always suspicious of the Kaede’s intentions and I’m a sucker for shiri ai gags.
- Land of the Lustrous — I love the creativity of it.
- “Queen’s Quality” by Kyousuke Motomi — This is the direct sequel to “QQ Sweeper”. I’m a sucker for Queen and Queen’s Knight type stories. I like this series for the supernatural stories and I like the main male character’s suffering.
- “Anonymous Noise” by Ryoko Fukuyama — This is a love triangle story about high school students trying to make it big as rock bands. Typically I don’t like stories about bands, the joy the characters show playing the songs and the over-the-top teenagers-in-love angst keeps me coming back for more.
- “Children of Whales” by Abi Umeda — This is a lovely and sad dystopian fantasy. I love the detail in the drawings and the world building in the first volume.
- “The Full-time Wife Escapist” by Tsunami Umino — This is an electronic only release. I like this manga because it explores the reality of the marriage “contract” and dives to everyday adult realities, like choosing dental care options, which I’ve encountered and know very well.
- “Beasts of Abigail” by Aoki Spica — It’s a about a girl who somehow becomes a dog-girl who gets thrown into a prison school for dog-people and her struggle keep the secret that she’s human while spunking her way to Alpha Dog. It sounds totally ridiculous, but the characters that inhabit this world hooked me. I love the drama and humor, plus the artwork is super frilly.
Meh, Let’s see how the next volume is
- “Frau Faust” by Kore Yamazaki — This is supernatural manga based loosely on the idea behind Faust. Mostly, it’s a vehicle to find parts of the demon Mephistopheles while presenting a series of supernatural stories in the same vein as “Magus Bride”. The main problem is that I don’t like Faust so I don’t care about the mystery of her story. However, I do like the world presented and I liked the supernatural stories. I felt momentum by the end of the first volume, so I want to see if the series picks up in the second volume.
I’m Too Old for this Manga
- “Red Riding Hood and the Big Sad Wolf” by Hachijou Shin — Kids will like this gag retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.
- “Waiting for Spring” by Anashin — Too many basketball boys in a very typical shoujo.
- “Lion and Bride” by Mika Sakurano — My review here. This is also an electronic only release.
Manga that Sent me into a Dish-Breaking Rage
- “Wake up Sleeping Beauty” by Megumi Morino — I can’t really blame my rage on the manga itself. Rather it’s the adaption that made me fly into a rage. Basically it’s partially translated and it’s inconsistent about what is left in Japanese. This weird translation approach totally killed the English adaptation, which killed the pacing, which brought me out of the story, which made me want to burn this book. If I find the Japanese version in a used bookstore, I will buy it so I can assess the actual story without an amateur, unedited adaptation getting in the way.
I read a few more series than this, but those that I left out didn’t leave a strong impression on me, so I didn’t feel it worth my time to write about them.
Next up, I’ll list the new manga series I’m looking forward to reading in 2018.