Lenni Reviews: “I Am a Cat Barista” Vol. 2, by Hiro Maijima

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This volume is more tales of Hachi and his café as he helps people with what ails them. This time, we meet a new character, Tama; an anthropomorphic dog who is a friend and comes to work with Hachi. While they dole out advice and comfort to their customers, Hachi shares his backstory and how he came to own a café in the first place.

This is a quick read and very touching. Someone was definitely cutting onions around me while I was reading because I’ll admit, I got teary-eyed. This is a series where everything is dreamlike and kind, leaving you feeling pleasantly at ease. I know this won’t be the type to have many volumes since there’s only so long you can keep this interesting, but I plan to enjoy it while it lasts. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “A Man and His Cat” Vol. 1, by Umi Sakurai

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

A cat languishing in a pet shop resigns himself to never getting adopted due to many people coming to look at him and making cruel comments. But then an older gentleman comes in and immediately pics him to take to his forever home.

This manga is so sweet. Maybe I have a soft spot for touching animal stories but this is a perfect cozy read if you like cute animals and slice of life manga. Mr. Moriyama is a nice guy who dotes on Fukumaru; who is just a squishy sweetheart and they have the best interactions. Very heartwarming and perfect if you are in the mood to say “AWWWWWWWW!!” repeatedly. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” Vol. 18, by Tomohito Oda

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

After some more short stories from the Cultural Festival, Komi and Manbagi are still civil while both wanting to date Tadano. So, they try to impress him during a group outing to karaoke.

This volume feels like too many different quickies and left me with a choppy experience. The art and writing are still on point, the situations are relatable and cute, but man, it felt so scattered. I’d like more of a cohesive story even though I still love this series. the usual pacing of one longer story and several smaller once is so much better. Still great, though! 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Came the Mirror & Other Tales” by Rumiko Takahashi

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

This is a collection of short comics from the legend that is Rumiko Takahashi. If anyone is unfamiliar with her work, this is a decent sampler of her range. We’ve got some horror, comedy, slice of life, magic, angst, all good stuff. The art is her classic style and fits well in all the different genres, not to mention we have a story about the author as the last installment.

I’d recommend this to a newbie to her work more than an oldie like me who was a teenager when Ranma 1/2 was new in the us. I appreciate it because I love her work but I feel a new person would enjoy this. 4.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” Vol. 17, by Tomohito Oda

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

While the school cultural festival continues, Rumiko realizes she’s not the only one with feeling for Tadano and her friend Shoko is now her rival.

I’m gonna do a bit of a spoiler here but, I love that this volume doesn’t descend into the mean girl, in-fighting trope and these two friends just talk it out and agree not to let this affect their friendship. This also means Shoko is gaining more confidence and talking more instead of writing down notes. Following along since volume one with all these cute stories makes this milestone very satisfying and a natural progression. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” Vol. 16, by Tomohito Oda

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

In this volume, there is the Sports Festival and Cultural Festival. We also have some side stories with the parents but the main conflict here is Manbagi’s crush on Tadano and her realization Shoko has feelings for him, too.

I like that we have Shoko talking more. She’s still quiet but her progress is showing. This volume could have benefitted from putting the side stories either at the very end or the beginning. I found them to be an interruption from the main story instead of being a cute break and it messed with the flow. I still enjoyed it because this series is fantastic but this was something I noticed. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Way of the Househusband” vol 6, by Kousuke Oono

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

In this volume:

  • Tatsu helps another woman with the house budget
  • Tries to get on a “Women’s Association”
  • Goes on the hunt for a collectible for his wife
  • Takes care of someone’s dog
  • Helps a shop owner update his establishment

Something about this volume pops more than the previous ones. The short stories are so cute and have all the right callbacks when they’re needed. The art is on point and we get a few glimpses into Tatsu’s past. I hope we get more of that. I’m dying to know how Miku got Tatsu to leave his life of crime behind. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu” by Junji Ito

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This manga has real life stories about Ito becoming a cat owner against his will because his fiancée wants them.

This is really funny, especially coming from Ito. If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you know I’m a fan of his work so it comes from a place of love and experience when I say it’s fucking hilarious and terrifying to see Ito’s style in every day situations. This was fun to read and if you’re a cat owner, there are some familiar situations here. 4 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” Vol. 15, by Tomohito Oda

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

In this volume we meet a new character, Isagi, who wants to be Student Counsel President but is very blunt, doesn’t like people, and does not like to be touched. But Komi has been tapped to be her campaign representative.

I’m gonna start calling Komi by her first name, Shoko, for awhile because her other family members are appearing more often in these volumes and it can get confusing if you’re reading the reviews.

Watching Shoko and Isagi try to win this election is funny. Two people with communication issues trying to win over the school will have some obvious setbacks. In addition, there’s a dinner party at the Komi household where it’s clear Shoko’s feelings for Tadano. How this will factor in with Rumiko having a crush on him as well, we’ll have to wait and see. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Summer of You” Vol 1, by Nagisa Furuya

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Wataru Toda loves movies. While browsing the DVD racks in a store one day, he meets a classmate Chiharu Saeki; and they bond over a mutual love of films. But when Saeki confesses he has a crush on Toda, the dynamic changes and Toda has to sort out his feelings while the pair are on a summer mission to visit filming locations of the movies they love.

This is one of those manga that’s drawn so soft, you can just cozy up to it and read it with a smile. It’s pretty low angst and our main pair are really sweet. It’s a bit of a slice of life manga and isn’t graphic at all. If a teen wanted some LGBT friendly stories to read, this is a sweet one. If there is more, I wouls want to read it. 3.9 out of 5.

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