Horimiya, Vol. 8 returns to the series’ lighthearted slice-of-life tone

I’m extremely happy with the newest volume of Horimiya:

Hori and Miyamura return to the forefront in Volume 8, and their interactions are absolutely adorable. After the past two volumes, this one is especially refreshing as it returning to a more typical slice-of-life storyline.

You can find my full review at Girls in Capes.

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Magical Girl Raising Project Asari Endou Yen Press US English light novel edition

Magical Girl Raising Project, Vol. 1 is basically the anime rearranged

My newest Girls in Capes review is live now:

Magical Girl Raising Project is an interesting light novel, but there’s really not a lot of innovation and few aspects of the story that set the series apart from comparable series within the magical girl or death match genres. This light novel is great for those who really enjoyed the anime, and the first volume covers the full events of the anime series; readers looking for a different or new story in the MGRP universe should look forward to the release of Volume 2 in November.

Find out why over at Girls in Capes!

Horimiya, Volume 6 takes the slice-of-life romance in a new direction

My latest review of the Horimiya manga series is live now at Girls in Capes:

Volume 6 opens with other characters, but largely explores the nuances of romance as a teen. Not all of the characters could possibly end up with a happily ever after — like another manga I’ve reviewed — yet the story reflects some very real experiences that teens have when pursuing and entering relationships.

Volume 6 covers some pretty interesting and different topics, but please note there are some mild spoilers in my review!

Yen On: Light novels upcoming from Yen Press’ new line

One of the things I was most excited to learn at Book Expo America 2014 was the launch of Yen On, a light novel initiative from Yen Press.  Yen Press publishes a lot of my favorite manga series — including Soul Eater, Soul Eater NOT!, and the Madoka*Magica franchise — and the titles they’ve announced for Yen On are all really exciting.

A light novel is a style of book in Japan designed to appeal to manga and anime consumers.  Often science fiction or fantasy and very plot-centric, light novels are sometimes serialized in magazines the way manga chapters are, and many light novels have been adapted into anime.  A few of these include Toradora!, Sword Art Online, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Spice & Wolf, and Durarara!!.

Six light novel titles to be published in 2014 were announced this year, with two from a single series (Sword Art Online) in addition to four additional titles I’ll talk about here.  You may have noticed I’ve included links to IndieBound (print books) and Bookish (digital books) instead of Amazon — currently, many titles from Hachette Book Group, which owns Yen Press/Yen On, are not available due to the Amazon-Hachette feud.  Independent bookstores as well as large chains like Barnes & Noble and Books A Million continue to keep Hachette titles in stock, which is why I’ve linked to those vendors in this article.

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