Lenni Reviews: “The Way of the Househusband” Vol. 2 by Kousuke Oono

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Our favorite house husband, Tatsu, wants to get fit! After driving his wife crazy in the house with a hula-hoop, she suggests a fitness class. He also gets really into growing his own herbs and frequents a tag sale.

This manga is just good fun. I get that people may not like this because it’s so silly but the silliness is why I keep coming back and why I love it. Tatsu’s mobster looks are almost like “resting bitch face” making all of his unintentional shinanigans hilarious to me. All I need is more if Tatsu’s backstory and this will all be perfect! 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare” Vol. 3 by Yuhki Kamatani

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Tasuko is back to helping out at Cat Clutter but his crush, Toma, is working there as well and Toma was there to witness Shuji’s outburst outing Tasuku in the last volume. We also have a new character, Oyama, and her daughter, Mai.

Oyama is one of those people who try so hard to be accepting and understanding, they swing right back around into being inconsiderate jackasses; as if her understanding makes her superior. Mai seems to blossom when her mother isn’t around because she’s acting normal, being an example of what I think the theme of this series is, just treat people like people.

I’m noticing these volumes are getting more “screamy” as they go on. I’m waiting for a full-on brawl in the next one. But I still enjoy this series! 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare” Vol. 2 by Yuhki Kamatani

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Tasuku meets Shuji, a younger boy who wears girl’s clothing and is unsure of his gender identity. Tasuku tries to make him feel comfortable with himself and attempts to befriend Shuji.

The tail end of his volume is a sour note indeed. Without spoiling too much, I feel Shuji was an absolute jerk. Just WAY over the line. I’m going to have a lot of trouble tolerating him later on.

Other than that, I love how the message in this book is simply to treat LGBTQ people as PEOPLE; not a display, sideshow, or a pity party. A crazy idea I know (so much sarcasm here) but it’s something people unknowingly do when faced with someone different from them. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” vol. 3 by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

With the Festival of the Meteor on the way, the students are excited and busy with preparations. But Legoshi is distracted by his feelings for the rabbit, Haru, worried that his predatory instincts are behind the attraction.

I had a good chuckle at the Festival of the Meteor, which is to commemorate the meteor that killed the dinosaurs. This series is odd but so creative, I’m addicted to it.

This volume also has a side story about Legom, a chicken who sells her eggs part-time for extra money and introduces Juno, a wolf who develops a crush on Legoshi. It also introduces the town outside the school with a seedy underbelly of black-market meat. There’s some interesting world-building going on here and its awesome to see something this creative. Each volume has something that makes me impressed! There are some confusing action panels that made me stop and flip the page back to make sure I understood what was going on but otherwise, great book. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Pushback” by John E. Stith

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Dave is finally happy after restarting is life after his fiancee was killed in a car accident in which he was driving. He has a new girlfriend, a good job, but three bullet holes suddenly appear in his car and the people at his high school reunion have no idea who he is. Then strange letters and texts arrive. As the danger mounts, Dave tries to figure out who is trying to ruin his life.

I wanted to like this so bad but there is something about the writing that’s so damn dry. This guy is being (spoilers??) shot at, poisoned, hunted down, framed for crimes he didn’t commit, and he comes off as if all of this is a minor inconvenience to him. He’s just overall too chill about everything going on around him and since he didn’t care, I didn’t either. I was just killing time until the final reveal which I guess makes sense but like I said, I wasn’t that invested. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “I Know What I Am: The Life and Times of Artemisia Gentileschi” by Gina Siciliano

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Set in Rome in the 1600’s, this graphic novel details the life of painter Artemisia Gentileschi.

This is all pretty damn impressive if even half of what is here is over dramatized. If you’re into history – particularly art history – I think you’ll get more out of this that I did despite enjoying the book. There’s so many historical details, even quotes from cited sources, that I feel like it was written more for people who have more of a personal investment in art history. As it stands to me, I may have checked out and had to restart some parts because of just being presented with a glut of information, but I enjoyed it! 3.8 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” vol 2 by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

When the onstage conflict during the school play becomes too real, Legoshi struggles with his carnivore instincts as Bill, a tiger, tempts him to slip.

This volume goes back and forth as to how serious it is, which I actually like! Given the set up of predator and prey trying to coexist in peace could be all about the angst and pain but it’s just dark enough to be intriguing and provide consequences for actions but enough levity to keep it enjoyable. I give this series a lot of credit for succeeding in this balancing act so far. Highly creative and compelling even though some of the sketchy art can be a little confusing sometimes. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Firebird and Other Stories” (Being(s) in Love #5) by R. Cooper

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

This book is a collection of short stories set in the same universe as the other Beings in Love books.

The first one is “The Firebird” set in France in 1934, where a firebird, Kazimir, becomes enamored with a writer named Jacob. Kazimir is used to being the center of attention and having admirers begging to be inspired by him. But Jacob sees Kazimir as more than just an object. It’s a sweet story about finding someone who really values you.

Next is “The Warrior’s Sacrifice” set in Mexico in 1947. Mateo is a “muxe” a person assigned one gender at birth but behaves associated with the opposite gender and he gets beat up for this and left as an offering to the jaguar who protects the town; named Carmelo. Carmelo is home from WWII and keeps Mateo safe, revealing he has been watching Mateo for some time. This is a really touching story with low angst.

Next is “Hyacinth on the Air” featuring a fairy named Hyacinth, who loves to push the boundaries of what he’s allowed to say on air. Seeing as this is set in 1961, there are some pretty strict standards so he causes no end of trouble for Walter, a human who’s in charge of cleaning up after the messes Hyacinth makes. Being a fairy, Hyacinth doesn’t understand why humans are so uptight and why Walter would resist their obvious attraction. This one’s cute but out of all of them this one I found the least impactful.

The next story is “A Giant Among Men.” Set in 1982, Vietnam veteran, former police officer, and troll, Tank, is determined to make sure his friend Simon, an elf, gets home safe after the bar where Simon works is vandalized by people who hate Beings. Simon resists the help because he doesn’t want to be seen as weak but comes to realize Tank sees him as much more than a pretty elf bartender. Pretty enjoyable for what it is.

Next up is “The Imp for Mr. Sunshine.” Set in 2005, Rennet – an imp – has a crush on John, the deputy mayor. Since things tend to go wrong when an imp is present, Rennet believes this bad reputation will keep him from this crush developing into anything more. Little does he know that John has been protecting him for more than just friendly reasons. The parts where Rennet is dealing with his nature and what that means to the people around him are the best in this story.

Next, we have “A Wolf in the Garden.” Miki is a human who loves to work with exotic pants so his job in a greenhouse that’s also in a magic shop is where he’s most comfortable. One day a werewolf named Diego comes into the shop and Miki is smitten, but he knows Diego had a mate, and she tragically died of cancer. Miki does see Diego wants him but believes a wolf only gets one mate in their lives and that a man like him who’s been abandoned by his family and has strange hobbies. These two make an adorable couple and I really enjoyed this story and it was cool to see previous characters like Kazimir reappear. It makes the world feel so much bigger.

Lastly, “The Dragon’s Egg” featuring Arthur and Bertie from “A Boy and his Dragon”. Here Bertie discovers an egg that is their child and Arthur goes into full nesting mode.

This is a pretty decent collection but I have to say “A Wolf in the Garden” and “The Warriors Sacrifice” are my favorite. The others just didn’t grab me as much and made the book feel SO much longer. To get the full experience, you really have to make sure you read the previous four books so don’t just hop into this one. 3 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Komi Canโ€™t Communicate” : Vol. 2 by Tomohito Oda

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Hitohito Tadano continues to help Shoko Komi with her awkwardness and inadvertently, this earns Komi a rival, Makeru Yadano; who wants to defeat Komi in the health exams. Komi also manages to pick up another friend, Ren Yamai, who has an obvious crush on her. Well, obvious to everyone but Komi.

Remember in the first review when I talked about the horrible dark turn? Well, I thought Yamai was going to be it but although she comes off as a fucking creepy-ass stalker, the manga does keep things light and folds her into the growing group of Komi’s friends. Tadano still seems to be the one who knows her best out of the bunch though. Still loving this series. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: Whenever Our Eyes Meet…: A Women’s Love Anthology” by ASCII Media Works

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This is a collection of fourteen short stories about women in live in different types of relationships from an artist with a crush on her subject to a high school puppy love getting a second chance when they’re grown up.

While well done overall with pretty art, all the stories are SUPER short. But that’s to be expected when you get 180 pages to tell fourteen different stories. Gotta make you point quick then move on to the next one.

My favorite of them would be “Everyone’s Missing Out.” by Irua. Not many romance stories – much less LGBT ones – have characters over 30-40 years old. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of those.

Not a bad collection if you’re looking for some relatively clean, short, yuri to read. 3.7 out of 5.

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