sumofparts: picture of books with text 'books are humanity in print' (books)
[personal profile] sumofparts
Sort of a mid-year update. It's been a while since I read some of these so I've just written short impressions but feel free to ask about any of the books.

33. Alentejo Blue by Monica Ali
34. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
35. The New Moon's Arms by Nalo Hopkinson
36. Valmiki's Daughter by Shani Mootoo
37. Skim written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
38. Henry Chow and other stories edited by R. David Stephens (white)

Alentejo Blue by Monica Ali
This was a well-written book but ultimately disappointing because it just didn't feel like it was going anywhere. Judging from the Goodreads reviews, this was a departure from Brick Lane, which I'll still try eventually.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Like other posters on the comm, I enjoyed this book but it was not without its flaws, which I think everyone else has covered pretty well.

The New Moon's Arms by Nalo Hopkinson
I liked the book but I don't feel everything gelled very well for me. I did like how the main character wasn't always the most sympathetic.

Valmiki's Daughter by Shani Mootoo
Gorgeous writing and evocative descriptions but similar to The New Moon's Arms, something didn't quite click for me. Still, I'd definitely try this author's other books.

Skim written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki.
Very detailed and beautiful drawings that really capture the story. Equal credit should be given to author and illustrator.

Henry Chow and Other Stories by various authors, edited by R. David Stephens
Enjoyable but uneven collection of short stories for teenagers. I liked the different story settings and character perspectives. From the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop.

tags:
a: ali monica, a: hopkinson nalo, a: mootoo shani, a: mariko tamaki, i: tamaki jillian, w-e: stephens r david, short stories, fantasy, lit fic, young adult, coming of age, graphic novel, bangladeshi-british, latin@, dominican-american, caribbean-canadian, jamaican, trinidadian, asian-canadian, chinese-canadian, japanese-canadian, glbt, women writers
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
I stopped counting books when I realised it was making reading feel like a chore. While I've read a lot of manga I realised I'd never read any novels by Japanese people, so I decided to make a special effort to do so.

Under the cut:
Meanwhile by Jason Shiga
Aya by Margauerite Aboue
The Manga Guide to Databases by Mana Takahashi
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
Twelve Kingdoms: Shadow of the Moon by Fuyumi Ono
Harboiled and Hard Luck by Banana Yoshimoto

Read more... )
ext_48823: 42, the answer to life, the universe and everything (Default)
[identity profile] sumofparts.livejournal.com
1. Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai
2. Mr. Muo's Traveling Couch by Dai Sijie (translated by Ina Rilke; white)
3. Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup
4. Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O'Malley
5. The Circle of Reason by Amitav Ghosh

Read more... )

tags: a: selvadurai shyam, a: dai sijie, w-t: rilke ina, a: swarup vikas, a: o'malley bryan lee, a: ghosh amitav, chinese, french, indian, canadian, sri lankan, novel, fiction, graphic novel, young adult, china, india, toronto, sri lanka, glbt, mysteryr
[identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com
Visually stunning, mythic, disturbing comic about a tiny, brave little black girl named Lee, who descends into the underworld beneath the swamp to save her father from a lynch mob, and her best friend from a swamp monster. Volume two continues her quest in a world in which spirits, monsters, and adorable anthropomorphized animals enact American myths and American history.

Jeremy Love said in an interview, "I’ve always been interested in the mythology of America. The south, in particular, seems like a haunted place. You have this region that is covered with blood but produces so much beauty. I never really felt connected to African mythology until I started reading Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle Remus tales. Seeing how elements of African mythology were interwoven with American folklore was the spark. What led me to the Uncle Remus tales was Disney’s Song of the South, a film I’ve always had mixed feelings about. I felt I as an African American creator could reclaim that mythology.

I thought this world would be the perfect place to stage an epic fantasy tale. I could mash up elements of the Civil War, blues, African mythology, Southern Gothic and American folklore and show how they form a tapestry that is the American South."

If you can deal with the sometimes horrific and violent content, made about ten times more disturbing because so much of it deals with real history, not to mention real racist imagery, this is an extremely powerful and satisfying work.

I especially recommend it if you're even passingly familiar with African-American history, folklore, and folk songs. I don't think you have to catch all the references to appreciate this, but it adds a lot if you do. In volume two, for instance, a character is introduced early on, and then named a little later. He works as a character even if you've never heard of him before, but I actually exclaimed aloud with delight when his identity was revealed.

Bayou Vol. 2

In case this may sway someone to read this, the mystery character is below the cut. (CAPS not mine - that represents a huge font.)

Read more... )
[identity profile] livii.livejournal.com
13/50: Chicken With Plums by Marjane Satrapi
Well, it was beautifully drawn as always - I love the style - and witty and funny and sharp. But the story was just completely uninteresting to me. Nasser Ali was a giant asshole, it seems, and I just couldn't care about his plight with music, and women, and blah, when he had a family to take care of, and his suicide seemed so empty and pointless. Sometimes it's interesting to read about a very unlikeable protagonist; this was not one of those times. On the plus side, it was short.

14/50: Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama
Finally read this one, and mostly really enjoyed it. Obama has a great many interesting and insightful stories to tell; he has led a fascinating life. His observations on race and culture are meaningful, and thought-provoking. I especially enjoyed reading about his trip to Kenya, meeting his family and seeing the land and people there. I do think it was too long, however - easily could have been cut down and made more powerful by not meandering. It took me a while to get through some parts, as they were quite slow. Overall, though, it was awesome to read such a personal, honest, emotional work by the current sitting president of the United States!

15/50: Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
FANTASTIC. Ceremony is the story of Tayo, a half-white, half-Native American young man who has just returned to his reservation from WWII. The novel is perhaps more like a dream; there are myths, chants, side-stories, and diversions scattered throughout, and the story is not strictly linear. Tayo struggles with his identity, with his family's tragedies, with the effects of being a prisoner of war, and with his relationship with the land and the loss of that land. He also learns how to heal himself, about the importance of tradition but also change, and most importantly about the lie that everyone, aboriginal and white, is living (while white colonization and theft is rightly called out in this book, there is a greater theme of witchery causing the whole world to lose its way, and the book does not so much blame as expose). There are fabulous recurring motifs, exceptional descriptive passages, and a variety of interesting, sympathetic characters. This review doesn't really do it justice, honestly. It is a very dense read, however; there are no chapters, and the spacing and such is done deliberately. It took me a while to read this, but in part, that was because I felt I had to really consider and absorb each piece of it. I was taken aback, somewhat, by the brutal violence at the end, but really, that was my own fault - I forgot that the book was, inherently, centered around the history of violence and loss. Two thumbs up, three if I had another one.
[identity profile] puritybrown.livejournal.com
44: Swami and Friends by R. K. Narayan

Although it was his first novel, I'm not sure I would have chosen to begin my exploration of R. K. Narayan's work with Swami and Friends -- I was rather hoping to read his retelling of the Ramayana one of these days -- but I just happened to stumble on it in a charity shop, for the princely sum of €2. So I snapped it up, and I greatly enjoyed it. It is one of those books that one hesitates to call "a children's book" because although the protagonist is a child, there are lots of glimpses of the adult world and adult sensibilities peeking through the narrative, and it could be enjoyed as much by adults who can see the wider significance (or lack thereof) of Swami's little dramas as by children appreciating a story about their peers.

It put me in mind of the William books, which were staples of my childhood. Swami and Friends was first published in 1935, and Just William was published in 1922, so it's possible that Richmal Crompton was an influence on Narayan, though I wouldn't want to put money on it; quite likely anyone writing about young boys at that period would produce a story with a similar sort of atmosphere. Like the William books, Swami and Friends is very funny, but there's a more serious side that the William books lack; Swami is growing up in an India struggling for independence, and at one point he gets caught up in a patriotic demonstration that turns into a riot. Yet, Swami being only ten years old, this riot is no more important in his eyes than the fact that he has to miss cricket practice because of Scout drills after school. It's that shift in perspective to a child's-eye-view that makes Swami and Friends so charming and effective.

45: Emiko Superstar written by Mariko Tamaki with art by Steve Rolston
I loved Skim, which was written by Mariko Tamaki with her cousin Jillian Tamaki, so I had high hopes for Emiko Superstar. And it's good; not as good as Skim, but still clever and entertaining. Like Skim, the main character is a slightly geeky Japanese-Canadian teenage girl who longs for something more than her boring, mundane life. The "something more" comes in the form of the Freakshow, a local performance art night positively custom-designed to appeal to teenagers. Emiko is at first intrigued, then scared, then drawn in by the Freakshow; the wildness of it is seductive, even if it has its unsavoury side. Meanwhile, she's got herself a job babysitting for an outwardly-perfect suburban couple, but there's more going on with John and Susan than meets the eye.

Emiko Superstar is part of DC's ill-fated Minx line of short graphic novels aimed at teenage girls. I have mixed feelings about the Minx line; some of the titles were good, and they were all obviously well-intentioned, but they often came across as slightly thin and underdeveloped, as if they needed either twenty more pages or six extra months of rewrites and redraws to get up to snuff. None of the ones I've read were bad, exactly, they were just... flat. Uninspiring. Emiko Superstar is one of the better ones; it doesn't feel flat, and it doesn't feel uninspiring, but by comparison to Skim it's a bit wordier, a lot less subtle, and a great deal more predictable. Where Skim was the kind of work where every word and every line seems to bring with it a meaning behind the obvious meaning, Emiko Superstar pretty much all happens on the same level. It's a well-constructed, well-told story that doesn't have much in the way of depth or layers. Still, I did enjoy it.

(tags: a: tamaki mariko, w-i: rolston steve, a: narayan rk, india, graphic novel, young adult, children's books, japanese-canadian)
[identity profile] puritybrown.livejournal.com
30. The Greatest of Marlys, Lynda Barry

I used to say that I didn't like slice-of-life comics, that they were boring and self-indulgent and awful; and I didn't understand why so many cartoonists did them when they were so difficult to make interesting. Well, now that I've read The Greatest of Marlys, I think I can see why: because when Lynda Barry does it, it's awesome, which gives you something to aim for.

The strips in this collection were originally published in Barry's Ernie Pook's Comeek over a number of years; they're about an eight-year-old girl called Marlys, her brother Freddie, her teenage sister Maybonne, and her cousins Arna and Arnold, who live in the same suburban neighborhood (later, in the same house) at some unspecified period that feels to me like the late 1960s. I have to confess, I didn't much warm to Marlys at first. The first crop of strips in the book are from Arna's POV, and next to Arna's quiet, self-effacing personality, Marlys appears brash and egotistical and spiteful. I gradually grew to like her because Arna obviously liked her (though, in the way of family, they bicker and fight a lot, and in the way of children, Arna once claims she hates Marlys), and after I'd read enough of the strips where Marlys herself takes centre stage, I came to love her. She is brash and egotistical and sometimes spiteful; she's also arrogant and a tattle-tale and a know-it-all, but she's boundlessly creative, full of energy and curiosity and love of life, and very loyal and compassionate to the people she loves.

Barry captures the perceptions and experiences of childhood so beautifully it makes my heart hurt. The simplicity of her drawings belies their sophistication, how they show us how Marlys and the other children see the world; the strips were published over a long enough period that Barry's style changes and develops, her line growing thicker and thinner, the drawings sometimes highly detailed, sometimes deliberately sketchy. The sheer versatility she displays is amazing, even within the highly circumscribed format of the black-and-white four-panel strip she uses for most of the book. And the writing! My God, the writing! Here's a sample from one of my favourites (it's Arna speaking):

Up the street, on the dirt part of the road, was the house of Louis Cheek and his sister Sandra Cheek. None of us ever liked them because they had bad tempers, so "big deal" is all we thought when Louis told us they were moving away... I want to tell you that none of us even knew what moving away was until we all walked over to Louis's house and seen it was totally empty. My brother and Marlys boosted me up through the window so I could go inside and open the door. Mainly I noticed a smell. The smell of Louis and his sister. And seeing stuff on the floor, like a blue curler and some matches. It gave me the shivers. And even though we never liked Louis, we didn't think that it was any fair that we would never, for the rest of our whole entire lives, get to see him again... And even though a bunch of different families lived in that house later on we still called it Louis Cheek's house. That was the real name of it, and since we were there the longest, we made the rules.

There's so much to love about this book. I've barely scraped the surface of it. It's the kind of book to read when you feel a need to fall in love with life again.

(tags: a: barry lynda, i: barry lynda, graphic novel)
ext_13401: (Default)
[identity profile] hapex-legomena.livejournal.com
Bayou written and illustrated by Jeremy Love

in short: Bayou is a webcomic presented by Zuda, a DC imprint. It presents the story of Lee Wagstaff, a young black girl in the south of the 1930s. When a white playmate of hers is snatched up by a monster from the nearby swamp, her father is accused of kidnapping. Now, it is up to Lee to brave the fantastical and terrifying world of the bayou to rescue her friend and save her father's life. It can be read for free here.

in which it is all about me: I can't read it on my computer (laptop or desktop, it doesn't matter) because the flash always crashes my browser. Seeing as I am a mature adult, I am able to calmly accept this fact and would never dream of throwing anything resembling a tantrum over this. Instead I wait patiently for the next volume with a heart that is light and free.

actual analysis: I ♥ this so much. I love its creepifying horror, its lush magical realism, how it's very much grounded in its setting and how Love uses it to enhance his story rather than bog it down. And, of course, I love Lee Wagstaff. Lee is brave and impetuous with a big mouth and more self-sufficiency than someone so young should have, and yet is still so very much a little girl. She's plucky, without any of the annoying precocious implications.

The bayou is a mirror of the world Lee lives in where the symbols and the metaphors and the shared memory of racism has become so dense that it takes on physical form. So Lee is chased by things like literal Jim Crows. This isn't the type of fantasy story where escaping into a fantasy land means escaping real world implications, and I love it for that.

The first volume is really just the introduction of the story and I'm really itching for more.

This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.
[identity profile] puritybrown.livejournal.com
23: Sleepwalk and other stories by Adrian Tomine

I'm a big fan of Adrian Tomine's comics -- I adored Shortcomings, loved Summer Blonde and was intrigued and impressed by 32 Stories. Sleepwalk collects (as far as I can tell) all the short stories from his magazine Optic Nerve that weren't collected in Summer Blonde and 32 Stories, and although Tomine's drawing craft is as impeccable as ever, and his ability to observe and capture small, awkward moments is on view here as much as ever, these stories feel like... well... offcuts. Offcuts from a superior carcass, but offcuts nonetheless. They're not bad -- they're pretty good, actually -- but they suffer in comparison to the rest of Tomine's work. The art is not quite as crisp, and the stories are not quite as strong. Some of them are excellent -- "Lunch Break" packs a considerable punch, and "Supermarket" has a nicely done conclusion that isn't exactly a "twist" (that would imply that it had a plot, which it doesn't, in the conventional sense of the word) but is still unexpected. But more of them just feel a bit lopsided, a bit pointless, a bit too word-heavy -- more like illustrated short stories than comics, and not particularly brilliant short stories at that. Sketches or exercises rather than complete stories.

I moderately enjoyed this, but I would recommend it only to people who already like Tomine's work and are somewhat completist; if you don't like Tomine, this collection is not going to change your mind.
[identity profile] sweet-adelheid.livejournal.com
My [livejournal.com profile] 50books_poc year ends on January 31, and although I have still been reading, I've gotten slack with posting reviews. So here's an 8-book catchup post.

#40 - Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jill Tamaki Read more... )

#41 - Tales from Outer Suburbia, by Shaun Tan Read more... )

#42 - Papunya School Book of History and Country by the Papunya School community Read more... )

#43 - Kampung Boy, by Lat Read more... )

#44 - Not Meeting Mr Right, by Anita Heiss Read more... )

#45 - The Wheel of Surya, by Jamila Gavin Read more... )

#46 - Swallow the Air, by Tara June Winch Read more... )

#47 - Love poems and other revolutionary actions, by Roberta (Bobbi) Sykes Read more... )
[identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com
You need the soul of Chengiz Khan to survive a June afternoon in Delhi.

The streets are empty save a few hard-core urban warriors.

I am hunting for a book… Life seems to depend on it.


In this graphic novel in which precisely observed sketches of city scenes mix with indie-style caricatures and the occasional (often hilarious) bit of colored clip-art, a set of hapless intellectuals, one-theory-to-explain-everything fanatics, and vaguely alienated young people wander through Delhi, searching for used books, a cooler persona, true love, enlightenment, sexual potency, and a cup of tea.

There’s very little plot – it’s basically Slacker: Delhi - but I didn’t miss it, I was so charmed by the meticulous detail of the setting, Banerjee’s hipster sense of humor, and all the shout-outs to places and things I recall from my childhood: Phantom (The Ghost Who Walks) comics, used bookshops selling beat-up Perry Mason mysteries, mutton biriyani, Connaught Place, hippies (That morning Angrez Bosch arrived from Rishikesh, armed with advanced knowledge of energy pyramids), the call to prayer broadcast on loudspeakers, outdoor tooth-pullers, mango shakes: every page held a new hit of familiarity.

Corridor: A Graphic Novel
[identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com
This illustrated history of Chinese emperors is rather hectic and hard to follow if you’re as ignorant of Chinese history as I am, as it’s a 180 page book which begins with the invention of fire and concludes with the Qing Dynasty. Nevertheless, it’s an entertaining introduction to a vast history.

Rather than attempting a summary, I will simply excerpt some of my favorite bits:

In particular, he [Shennong] is remembered for tasting hundreds of wild herbs in order to find remedies to treat his people’s illnesses. In the process, he suffered from poisoning, even to the extent of being poisoned 70 times on a particular day. Eventually, he tasted a lethal wild herb which tore his intestines apart, and it became known as duanchangcao*

*Herb that tears the intestines apart.



It may be said that the Qin Dynasty was destroyed by eunuch intervention.


This two-panel comic sequence should give you an idea of the “1000 years of history in 15 minutes” flavor of the book:

Panel 1: Emperor Gaozong (peeking into temple to meet Wu Zetian): “Dear, come back to the palace with me.”

Panel 2: Wu Zetian (with sheaf of papers): “I’ve drafted the 12 Guiding Principles for administrative, military, economic, social, and cultural affairs.”

Emperor Gaozong (holding hand over eyes): “I’m weak in health and have contracted an eye disease. You may decide any good policies.”

I note that there is a companion book, Infamous Chinese Emperors, which I sadly don’t own.

Compiled and Illustrated by Tian Hengyu. View on Amazon: Great Chinese Emperors - Tales of Wise and Benevolent Rule
[identity profile] puritybrown.livejournal.com
20: Talking to Strangers, written by Fehed Said, art by various artists

God, I love Fehed Said. I first noticed his name when I read The Mammoth Book of Best New Manga, which included "The Healing", a gorgeous short story written by him with art by Shari Chankhamma. He and Chankhamma also collaborated on "The Forgotten Incident at San Sabian", which appeared in the second Mammoth Best New Manga, and on the graphic novel The Clarence Principle, which I mentioned briefly here (while I was reassembling my thoroughly blown-apart mind), and more fully and coherently at the Forbidden Planet blog.

The keynote of all of those works was surrealism; not flashy, weirdness-for-the-sake-of-weirdness surrealism but true surrealism, with every story being driven by the illogical logic of dreams. The same is true of Talking to Strangers, which features six amazing stories with gorgeous art by five different artists, spanning a wide range of genres from allegory to science fiction to real-world drama. Even the stories with no overtly fantastical elements have a dream-like feel, a sense of significance clinging to every word and every line, a sense that at any moment a leaf could turn into a butterfly that recites poetry, and that would not seem strange at all, only fitting and right.

Slightly spoilery comments on the individual stories follow. )

These stories are gobsmacking in a few ways: they're consistently good, which is very rare in anthologies, especially comics anthologies for some reason; they span a wide range of tones, styles, genres and themes; and they are, for want of a better word, chewy. They give me things to think about, ideas and images and metaphors that stick in my mind. They have substance, and that substance isn't where I'm used to finding it, or the kind of substance I'm used to finding. What I'm getting at here -- and I've been aware of this since I read The Clarence Principle -- is that Fehed Said's stories come at life from such a fresh and unexpected angle that they leave me blinking and slightly stunned. I love it when a writer can take me by surprise like this.
[identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com
In a steampunk version of 1897 Texas, singing “tutors” for a giant computer called Cathedral (because it’s housed in one) try teach it self-awareness. The computer was built by Europeans on land belonging to the Latino/a “natives;” many years later, Latina tutor Glory and Sumner, the white son of one of the inventors, fall in love. Their romance becomes even more complicated than it would be anyway when Cathedral finally breaks through to sentience… and wants to incarnate in a human body. And then wishes become reality and it all gets very complicated.

The best elements of this comic are the atmosphere – Texas steampunk with people of color! – and the art, which is stylized, expressive, and often quite beautiful. The characters are more sketches than fully-realized personalities, and the story, particularly toward the end, devolves into a lot of confusing rushing around back and forth from the real world to virtual reality.

If my description sounds appealing to you, you should enjoy this. I did, despite its flaws.

Though Cathedral Child stands on its own, there is a sequel of sorts, though it sounds more like a loosely related story set in the same world: Clockwork Angels
[identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com
A classic epic fantasy with some excellent worldbuilding, striking art, and even more excellent cracktasticness, but characters whom I never quite warmed up to.

What was once one united vaguely medievaloid fantasy European kingdom split into three warring kingdoms long ago. In yet another war, both king and crown prince of one kingdom were killed, leaving no one to rule but bookish, war-hating, 13-year-old Prince Asta. Since he doesn’t want to rule and nobody else wants him to rule either, a contest is held to find the possibly mythical Key To The Kingdom.

Asta is one of the contenders. I forget why exactly. He’s accompanied by warrior “Badd” Baddorius, a heroic lecher. Leticia, an aristocrat girl Asta’s age, also sets out, as do Prince Fairheart (yes, really) and several people who will later prove unimportant.

It becomes apparent by the end of the first volume that the true history of the land, which involves dragons and dragon-tamers, is both key to the quest and much more complicated than everyone thinks. The unraveling of this is by far the most interesting part of the story, and one I won’t spoil here.

My big problem with the manga was that I didn’t much like or care about any of the characters. I kept reading because the plot was compelling, but I’m more of a character reader than a plot reader. Though I did enjoy the sorcerer who, since his lower body was burned off by dragons, surgically joined his upper body to an entire giant lizard. He later shows up, after his lizard drops dead, with dog AND dinosaur grafts. There was also this classic speech:

“Look at this... It's [Spoiler A’s] left arm. He cut off his own arm and gave it to me. [Spoiler B]... You have to eat it."

And so the two manga classic tokens of affection, the gift of a body part and “I love you! Here, feast upon my flesh!” are combined.

Key to the Kingdom, The - Volume 1
[identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com
This manga is an adaptation of the very long children’s fantasy of the same name by adult mystery author Miyabe. Her dark, psychological mysteries are well worth reading, but if this manga is representative of the novel, she’s yet another adult writer who fell on her face when she tried a children’s book.

Average junior high school boy Wataru loves video games. Other than that, he has no personality, and neither does anyone else. When he crosses paths with a mysterious transfer student, he is popped into a world which is a cross between a clichéd video game and a clichéd fantasy novel, full of clichéd monsters that he can kill and guarded by a clichéd bearded and robed wizard. The art is a cross between clichéd shounen and clichéd fantasy D&D illustration. The translation is annoyingly slangy.

I did not like this one little bit… until toward the end, when it took a sudden left turn into dark adult Miyabe territory, and introduced a possibly promising plot twist. I don’t think I’ll continue the manga in any event, but has anyone read the novel? Is it better?

View manga on Amazon: Brave Story Volume 1

View novel on Amazon: Brave Story

Some of Miyabe’s excellent mysteries: Shadow Family, All She Was Worth
[identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com
Popular schoolgirl Chiko finds a lost cell phone in a subway station, and answers it when it begins to ring. A mysterious voice tells her that someone is going to die in ten minutes in front of the train station, but if she can get there in time, she can save the person. Run!

Soon Chiko is tearing all over Tokyo, accompanied by her jaded classmate Bando, desperate to save even one person before their time runs out. But, like the somewhat similar and also very good X-Day, by Setona Mizushiro, what seems like the set-up for straight-up horror is actually a story about loneliness, connection, and community.

Despite some rather implausible moments, and I mean even given the premise, this manga tells a compelling and affecting story. The understatedly romantic nature of the connection between the two girls is enhanced with sensual pin-ups of the two of them between each chapter.

Complete in one volume. By the creator of Anne Freaks, which I haven’t read.

View on Amazon: Line

X-Day (Volumes 1 & 2)

Anne Freaks Volume 1 (v. 1)

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