Kaze Hikaru Vol 11: This series continues to be one of my favorites, since it always does an amazing job of combining factual (and researched) history and culture with Shojou emotion! This volume has the story of Mabo, a boy who finally learns to speak by using the Iroha poem (awesome cultural reference!), and also contains the baffling seppuku of Yamanami (leaving behind poor Akesato), which left me in tears. Bushido seems so complex at times, but watching it lived through these characters is fascinating!
Hikaru no Go Vol 14: I'm getting a little tired of this story, but the artwork is so spectacular that I've got to keep reading it. Toya Meijin (Akira's father) gets to play Sai online (to keep Hikaru's involvement secret), and there's also an interesting game where Hikaru is challenged to "one color Go" (they have to memorize which stones are their own!). I feel like they really need to move the plot along, rather than spending page after page showing people holding stones, but I'm still enjoying it!
Appleseed Vol 2: Since I'm getting close to finishing a few series, it's fun to continue this one for a great change of pace! This volume has some great action, and there's so much detail on every page that I have to stop and study it awhile, especially since I love futuristic cities so much. Strangely, this volume kind of ends the main story (and "appleseed" has a somewhat different meaning from the movie version), so I'm interested in finding out what Deunan and Briareos do in the next volume.
Video Girl Ai Vol 12: This manga is a great example of a story that went on for too long, so I decided to just knock out the last few volumes and get it over with. The Gokuraku bad guy completely turns into a Wizard of Oz kind of character, and Moemi cuts her hair to be more like Ai, even though she doesn't have a chance at this point. The only touching scene is Yota's celebration for Ai's imaginary 17th birthday.
Video Girl Ai Vol 13: This final volume has a bunch of crazy conflict between the Gokuraku bad guy and the kind old clerk, which really seems out of left field this late in the story. The ending isn't too bad, although the brief wrap up of all the other characters is a little forced, but it took so long to get here that the finale was disappointing. Video Girl Ai is a good story overall with some excellent moments, but it would have been much better as an 8-10 volume series!