Manga Mentions 8.25

Honey and Clover, Vol. 4 (v. 4)Honey & Clover Vol 4: This volume focuses mostly on Yamada and Mayama, who keeps trying to protect her from romantic advances even though he won't return her love himself. Their relationship is so beautifully tragic, and Yamada's personal narrative about the bent shiso plant (which needs to be broken off at the stem so new leaves can grow) is a really moving metaphor. I love all the emotional drama in this manga!

Nana Vol 9: The two Nanas sadly grow apart due to Hachi's pregnancy and marriage proposal from Takumi, exemplified by the touching scene where their beloved matching strawberry drinking glasses accidentally break! This volume is definitely thicker than normal with lots of insight into Reira's background, as well as a bonus story on how Trapnest was formed. It's so sad to see the Nanas living apart in separate places, though!

Black Jack Vol 7: As always, this volume is filled with more fantastic stories of my current Osamu Tezuka character obsession, including a fascinating look at Black Jack's dark past as he tries to get revenge for the death of his mother! There's also a touching appearance of the girl who was the "model" for Pinoko, which shows Tezuka's skill in conveying moving emotion with simple manga technique.

Nextworld Vol 2: On the other hand, some of Osamu Tezuka's early work from the 1940s can be incredibly boring, and Nextworld is a perfect example. I read the first volume of this manga back in 2005, and I never would have bought the second, but I couldn't pass it up for free on PaperBack Swap. The alien Noah's Ark story is kind of cool, but overall I was just glad to get through the book. I'm really glad that Tezuka moved past this style!

Sailor Scout Guide / Sailor Venus: Incredibly, I was able to get all five volumes of this out of print series from PaperBack Swap, and it was fun to read the last one about Sailor Venus! The content is just like the other books (tons of frame captures, episode summaries and crazy tidbits of information), and once again I enjoyed the sappy poetry selections at the end. I really want to watch Sailor Moon again now!