Dr. Slump Vol 18: I’ve been reading Dr. Slump since around 2005, and I’ve really enjoyed Senbei and Arale’s crazy adventures (plus I thought it was cool to get into characters that just about anyone you meet in Japan will know!). Overall, this series was a little too long, but I still loved this final volume, which managed to introduce some new characters at the last minute (Biker Boy riding his motorcycle with his bare butt showing was hilarious)! Most of the book is filled with another Penguin Gran Prix, but the end is still really touching, including just about every character from the entire series. I’m going to miss them!
Kaze Hikaru Vol 12: Although I’m a big fan of this series, this volume was pretty much filler. I enjoyed the emotions expressed about Yamanami’s seppuku from the last volume, and there’s a semi-interesting plot about Soji’s old love Sae, but generally not much happens (there’s also a re-introduction to the whole story which is kind of a re-run). Of course, the artwork is still stunning, though! I’m hoping the next volume will get some more action or romance going.
Hikaru no Go Vol 15: Finally something interesting is happening in this story, although I think 15 volumes is way too long to make it to this point! Sai (the Go master spirit that haunts Hikaru) disappears, and Hikaru travels around to several historic sites in Japan looking for a way to get him back. Even though Hikaru has become a Go expert, without Sai he wants to give up the game! I hope it doesn’t take too much longer to get Sai back in the story, or at least start explaining why he was there in the first place.
Monster Vol 13: I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with this series, so I decided to kick it into high gear and read two volumes this month. I’m always amazed at how seemingly unimportant new characters are introduced with full background stories, such as the criminal who helps Tenma escape from jail. Eva has some interesting flashbacks about her former marriage with Tenma, and a new lawyer enters the picture to help Tenma’s cause.
Monster Vol 14: A lot of stuff is revealed at last in this volume, so I read it cover to cover in record time! Thanks to some childhood flashbacks, we get to see what went on at the Red Rose Mansion, as well as it’s connection to those creepy children's books. I was pretty shocked to see Johan dressed as his sister Anna, which is making the gears in my brain start to turn. The entire series has finally been published, so I’m going to focus on Monster for a while (just a few more volumes to go)!