japan

A-
Across the Nightingale Floor

Across the Nightingale Floor starts with classic fantasy tropes: a young man thrust from a sheltered existence discovering new powers; a young woman made a drudge who falls in love with the prince. What makes it fresh is the Japanese spin: not only is the setting inspired by feudal Japan, but the ch ...

A
Library Wars: Love & War, vols. 1-13

Library Wars: Love & War is, quite simply, about fighting against censorship and the banning of books. In this fictional near-future Japan, the Media Betterment Committee was formed about 30 years prior to protect the population from unsavory materials. Unfortunately, the MBC took things to a wh ...

B
Happy Marriage?!

Happy Marriage?! (Hapi Mari in the original Japanese) is the Japanese Manga version of a Harlequin Presents novel. Executive Hokuto Mamiya must marry humble “office lady” Chiwa Takanashi to please his nepotistic corporate chairman grandfather, who loved Chiwa’s grandmother. Chiwa accepts so sh ...

A-
Nodame Cantabile

Brilliant in piano and violin, Chiaki Shinichi aspires to be a conductor, but his career will be limited as long as his fear of travel traps him in Japan. After he breaks with his professor and his girlfriend on the same night, he gets drunk and wakes up in the squalid apartment of his next-door nei ...

B-
Midnight Secretary

Kaya Satozuka becomes the secretary for Kyouhei Tohma, a director at Tohma Corp and a secret vampire. Kaya’s competence wins her the secretary gig, but it’s her strangely delicious blood that makes Kyouhei fixate on her. Since blood becomes more delicious when a woman is aroused (convenient!), s ...

A
Tramps Like Us

The plot premise of Tramps Like Us - a career woman adopts a homeless younger man as a pet - is farfetched. But just make your peace with it and read on, because this manga is captivating. It will shatter your stereotypes of graphic novels as only for YA or male audiences. Tramps Like Us is an adult ...

B
Kimi Ni Todoke: From Me to You

Lighthearted and cheerful, Kimi Ni Todoke: From Me To You stars an awkward high schooler named Sawako Kuronuma whose resemblance to a creepy horror movie character has derailed her social career. (It’s hard to make friends when rumor states that eye contact with you can curse a person with diarrhe ...

C+
The Gilded Fan

Every so often a book comes along that seems like it’ll just pull you in…and it doesn’t. You open it up, read the first few pages or chapters, and then look at your TBR pile and go, “Nah. I’ve got plenty of other things to read that actually interest me.” It’s not that this book is bad ...

B
The Scarlet Kimono

There was a thread on the message boards a while ago asking “Where have all the historical sagas gone?” Well, I’ve found one, and it’s pretty darn good. The Scarlet Kimono is a sweeping adventure story in the mold of 1970s and 80s sagas. It has a lot of what I liked about those books, but av ...

A
Memoirs of a Geisha

Once in awhile there comes a story so completely transporting that, from the exhilarating experience of reading it, you emerge almost wordless. A review cannot fully describe what is indescribably beautiful. But I will say this: Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha is among the handful of works that ...