Slice of life mangas inspire nostalgia, joy and can reignite gusto for life. But I love when they include paranormal activity because navigating life and the supernatural combine laughter, happiness, and terror. Mieruko-chan reminds me of Kimi Ni Todoke and one of the shorts in the Tales of Terror from Tokyo and All Over Japan anthology series. The one with the guy who ignored ghosts that were literally hanging onto him. Miko’s sweetness and her adamant refusal to acknowledge the creepy things she sees is endearing. I sympathize with her because I’d go the same route and probably less effective too. Mieruko-chan Volume 3 balances the horror and hilarity with the unfolding mystery, and I am excited for what’s next.
Pure and Akira’s story comes to an end in the final yuri manga volume. Strawberry Fields Once Again Volume 3 wraps up Pure and Akira’s relationship in saccharine sweet beauty despite the confusing parts of the story. However, the story deserved another volume or two for clarity and more time for backstory and side characters. Plus, I’m not sure about the implication of love and disability.
There are unavoidable challenges in life, but there are those that people and society force on us. It’s refreshing to see stories that center people often pushed to the fringes. I Cannot Reach You looks at the first pangs of love between best friends Yamato and Kakeru. It’s a challenge for teens to express their feelings already, but fearing ridicule and rejection based on archaic heteronormative and gender roles is a fear no one should experience. I Cannot Reach You Volume 2 is a sweet BL romance manga that focuses on the buildup before a relationship.
Reign of the Seven Spellblades’ second installment still stands out as an impressive story. The world-building is stunning as usual, and the stakes are rising for all the characters.
The stories, for the most part, are adorable and bear similarities to stories such as Grimms’ Fairy Tales. They instill a sense of morality and cautionary tales within each enchanting story.