The Emperor’s Lady-in-Waiting Is Wanted as a Bride, Vol. 1Imperial culture had no issue with Lyse being a female knight in her first life, but she then reincarnates as a minor noblewoman in the neighboring kingdom of Olwen, where residents disdain her proficiency with a sword and mock her as the “boar girl” for once saving an official’s life. Now a lady-in-waiting at Olwen’s palace, Lyse gets dragged into a magical mystery with connections to her first life when an imperial delegation arrives for a visit. As you can guess, there’s a sweet romance and some really funny moments. The story also explores potential complications of reincarnation. You see, thanks to the longevity of imperial nobles and the relatively small time gap between Lyse’s death and rebirth, she can run into to people she knew in her first life. Moreover, Lyse’s memories mean she knows a lot more about the empire than a native of Olwen would normally would, which leaves her constantly struggling to avoid casting suspicion on herself. I had a lot of fun with this volume and eagerly await the next one. ~ jeskaiangel The Emperor’s Lady-in-Waiting Is Wanted as a Bride is published by J-Novel Club.
Uncle from Another World
Unexpectedly sweet and uncommonly endearing for a series with a purposely dull and unattractive look, Uncle from Another World plays with isekai and anime tropes in its story of a man awakening after spending half his life in a coma, and moving in his with nephew, Takafumi, who discovers that those 17 years old were actually spent in an fantasy world. But Takafumi’s uncle is clueless, creating this wondrously humorous dichotomy between what he experienced and what “reality” was actually like in the other world, including his total misunderstanding of a tsundere companion, this despite knowing “more than [his] fare share about adult romance” from having watched all of Evangelion. This volume is an absolute trip, at once depressing and encouraging, and will absolutely be in the wheelhouse for readers who entered their nerd fandom around 2000 or before. ~ Twwk
World Piece, Vol. 1World Piece is the beginning of a new venture for VIZ distributing work by western creators; and one myself, I’m here for it! The differences abound right from start: While usually been able to distinctly see common tropes and/or themes based on genre for most manga I’ve read up to this point, I did not detect the same in World Piece, and that’s not a bad thing. It was very refreshing because I did not know what to expect nor had I read something like this before—it felt almost completely original! (I will say the story world did remind me a little bit of the Star Wars prequels, which is a plus in my book because I liked the sense of nostalgia.) Lucas is a character I quickly found myself rooting for because he literally holds the earth in his hands and I want Earth to be protected. Ha! Yes, the storyline has the main character activating an artifact that shrinks the earth to the size of a ball. I think the oddest thing, though, is how Earth never takes damage. I agree with a side character that shouldn’t he (Lucas) be protecting it from damage rather than possibly bringing damage by using it as a weapon of protection. It was a little hard for me to wrap my mind around that aspect, but I would say it was the only part with which I struggled. I’m definitely curious to see how this story continues to unfold! If you’re looking for a sci-fi adventure with a basketball twist and an original story, I recommend volume one of World Piece. ~ Laura A. Grace World Piece is published by VIZ Media.*
My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong, As I Expected, Vol. 11Wataru Watari’s series is so special in part because of the rapid-fire thoughts from Hachiman’s head to which we’re privy, sometimes shaded with hints of sadness or drama, but most usually with humor. In volume eleven, which finds him and the girls arranging a chocolate-making workshop for Valentine’s Day in response to requests of their club, however, the tone begins to change, with the story starting to veer toward its conclusion, and featuring writing far more dramatic in nature than in most of the past releases. The shift is a bit challenging, not because the writing isn’t strong enough to support it—Watari’s poetic approach is as apt to conflict as it is to humor—but because the author remains keen on keeping things close to the vest, including what each of the members of the trio is hoping for and what “something genuine” genuinely looks like, creating the confusion that the series is as known for as it is romance, and making perhaps a bit too much out of what is ultimately a bunch of teens just learning to grow up and deal with their emotions. The event of this volume also feels a bit haphazard, a way of just throwing everyone together at once in a scenario that isn’t particularly meaningful, with maybe the author expressing as much through sentences that feel especially meta: “‘Yeah, although it hasn’t really made much sense as an event…It felt like just a bunch of different people thrown together…'” Still, with how well these “characters thrown together” are written, even an underwhelming V-Day focus and some confusing dialogue aren’t enough to throw this classic series too off course. ~ Twwk My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong, As I Expected is published by Yen Press.*
Sword Art Online Progressive Barcarolle of Froth, Vol. 2In volume two of Progressive Barcarolle of Froth, Kirito and Asuna continue their journey up to the 100th floor of the SAO tower. It starts off right where volume one ended, with the couple sailing off on a strong gondola made after their fight with the king bear. They find fallen elves up to no good, and in their pursuit of them, end up in the dark elf stronghold, a beautiful castle nestled on a small island full of snow, and meet up with Asuna’s friend Kizmel. Eventually, the two battle the fallen elves with the help of the dark elves, and then continue up past the fourth floor of the tower. I have the same minor issue with this volume as I did the previous, which is the unnecessary fanservice of Asuna (and in this volume, Kizmel as well). The artwork is otherwise great, as I enjoy that the artist breaks barriers with objects or characters sort of “stepping into” other panels. So you might see Kirito’s arm halfway into a different panel during an action scene—and there is a great one at the end! Seeing the relationship develop between Kirito and Asuna is also lovely; they receive focus since the manga doesn’t focus on too many characters, though I admit I was a little lost in the story at times. Still, I’m enjoying this series, and if more volumes are added, count me in! I will certainly be watching the anime, too, so I can catch up on SAO Progressive. I’ve been won over. – Samuru Sword Art Online Progressive Barcarolle of Froth is published by Yen Press.*
One Week Friends, Vol. 3
Reader’s Corner is our way of embracing the wonderful world of manga, light novels, and visual novels, creative works intimately related to anime but with a magic all their own. Each week, our writers provide their thoughts on the works their reading—both those recently released as we keep you informed of newly published works and older titles that you might find as magical (or in some cases, reprehensible) as we do. *Thank you to Yen Press and Viz Media for providing review copies.