Illustrated by Sana Takeda
Twins Milly and Billy have some polar-opposite parents - their father is open, honest, and loving; their mother, Ipo, is cold, chain-smokes, and cares only for her plants. Despite the lack of love they might have felt, the two have grown up, gone off to college, and returned to run a fairly successful restaurant that's surviving during COVID precautions. The biggest blight on their lives is the house across the street, where their elderly neighbor was murdered, and the plant life has taken over the structure. No one seems to be interested in buying the place in its current state, so Ipo forces the twins to help her get the place back into shape, including taking care of the supernatural entities that still haunt the space.
It's cruise time! Lloyd has been given orders to relax and enjoy some time off, which he takes as serious as any other assignment. Yor is employed as the Thorn Princess as a bodyguard for a woman and her infant son who are trying to escape the underworld of Ostania. There are tens of assassins on board trying to get to Yor's charges, and she has to constantly fend off attacks while not blowing anyone's cover. Anya and Lloyd explore the ship, and the super-spy tries not to think about why there are so many hidden cameras and listening devices all over the ship. He and Anya enjoy some good food and shopping while Anya tries to steer him clear of Yor at all times.
Hanako, Nene, and Kou team up with Aoi to try to stop the school’s First Mystery from aging everyone. The mystery is a young girl who is exceedingly fast and loves candy, so Nene devises a clever way to trap her. But in the process, Kou learns a terrible thing about the future from Hanako and he’s determined to stop it from happening. While Kou's older brother and the mysteries support Kou’s resolve, some are not sure if he will be successful. Afterward, Nene gets her first love letter, but Hanako-kun shatters her dreams by pointing out the letter is really for her friend instead. Nene is then plagued by creepy hands that pop up from all sorts of surfaces and even start appearing in her photos. Hanako-kun discovers they disappear once they’re touched, but they don’t stay that innocent for long.
Illustrated by Kyle Strahm
Twig is late for his very first day of his new job as a Placeling, and he just might destroy the planet because of his error! Twig is tasked with placing a jewel but nothing goes right, and the light in the jewel is gone. Now, he has to journey across the world to find the way to light it up again, and he has a very short amount of time to do it in. With his trusty friend, Splat, Twig gathers components and meets new creatures, some more helpful than others, in a journey that is part self-discovery and
Sanko and Avekian have a new ship, the Moja, but it has no furnishings. Their helpful doggo interface has found them what is basically a floating interstellar IKEA, and the three set off shopping. While picking out all manner of comfort, Shimada Death catches up with them and explains the nature of the Fleshbots who help run the store. Sanko theorizes that there has to be a place on board where the robots go to “die”, which is probably full of bones. Sanko and Shimada go check it out and find enough for their mutual benefit. Sanko narrowly escapes being blown up with the shopping ship but makes it back in time to make his favorite Meapswich - meatball spaghetti sandwich. In another part of the Galaxy, Hajime Damemaru, another powerful being, is pursued by Photosfere, the dastardly corporation running most of the galaxy.
Kana tells Shinichi more about her unique power to be able to sense when people are "different," and she wonders why Shinichi gives off that feeling to her. Shinichi desperately wants to tell Kana everything, but Migi threatens to cut her down if he does, so he waits until Migi is asleep. Kana doesn't really believe Shinichi and wants some proof, but she also wants to hone her skills to be able to pick out Shinichi from the other monsters. Shinichi warns her not to as she might be putting herself in danger chasing after monsters. Migi and Kana both sense a large gathering of parasites and find several at a gathering for a local politician delivering a speech about protecting the Earth. Migi zeroes in on the monsters and they're all shocked to find out that one of the parasites is the candidate himself!
Illustrated by Kimitake Yoshioke
Iori has just moved to a seaside town to attend university. Luckily, he has an uncle with a dive shop in the town, which means he has a place to stay. What no one warned Iori about was the dive club, a super intense group of (mostly) guys who host lots of drinking competitions and play lots of drinking and other games that rely on losing clothing. Iori gets sucked in to their competitiveness, even though he desperately wants to avoid this type of college experience. He’d rather go to class, meet cute girls, and be low-key. But, two straight nights of drunkenness and arriving to class mostly naked already has Iori starting down the path to a bad reputation.
Ryō has to deal with the fallout of having a popular YouTuber out him as transgender. At first, many people at school are supportive, but that quickly diminishes as classmates start asking inappropriate questions about Ryō’s body and sexual attraction. Ryō skips school for a couple of days to do some soul searching while Jin and Itsuka plead with Tsubasa to take down the video. Ryō returns to school and announces to his whole class who he is and apologizes for his silence. No one is more hurt than Chika, Ryō’s crush, who admits she thought they were closer friends. Meanwhile, Tsubasa has an intimate night with a woman, and she posts a photo online that goes viral. This causes Tsubasa's fans to question Tsubasa and criticize them for potentially lying to garner views and profits. The "Boys" create a new shirt supporting Tsubasa and their right to some privacy.
This autobiographical manga presents Asuka's journey of self-discovery with their gender. In Japan, X-Gender is a term for nonbinary, but even these umbrella terms are not helpful enough to help Asuka navigate the LGBTQ+ community or to find a girlfriend. Asuka also provides some introspection and analysis as to why having a period is so emotionally disturbing to them as it reminds them of their female anatomy. Throughout the manga, Asuka tries to go on dates, participate in speed-dating events specifically for LGTBQ+ folks, and navigate friendships and attractions.
Illustrated by Jon Sommariva
While panhandling in the subway one day, Luz is bumped onto the train tracks and saved in part by her friend Bee, but mostly a stranger named Paco. Paco turns out to be an orphan just like Bee and Luz, so Bee invites him back to their hideout: a trailer in a junkyard. There, he meets Felix, Gracie, and Justin. Paco asks them all if they wish for a better life, and when they say yes, he and a fairy whisk them away to Neverland! Paco has brought them into the middle of a war between the Neverlanders and the pirates from Otherland who want to harvest the magic from the island.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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