Quick Manga Reviews: My Girlfriend’s a Geek 4, Yotsuba&! 10, Black Butler 7
By otakuman5000 On 15 Nov, 2011 At 05:47 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarToday, I take a look at three continuing manga series from Yen Press: My Girlfriend’s a Geek, Yotsuba&!, and Black Butler. While some of these new volumes prove that a series can improve as it goes, other manga stay basically the same – and there is no problem with that.

My Girlfriend's a Geek volume 4 by Pentabu and Rize Shinba

My Girlfriend’s a Geek Volume 4 by Rize Shinba and Pentabu

The first chapter in this volume is like an endurance test for Taiga’s patience. He tries to help the poor sick Yuiko, who won’t stop talking about the doujinshi she wants to read, or her crazy yaoi fantasies about her “Sebas.” Taiga’s frustration with his fujoshi girlfriend finally reaches its breaking point when Yuiko keeps bothering him with her “otaku crap” while he’s trying to study. Yuiko fires back too, thinking that he might be cheating – turns out, he just doesn’t want this BL fanatic to know he tutors an adorable 8th grade boy. But Taiga and Yuiko get through the argument and come to a resolution that suggests their relationship is actually pretty healthy – especially when compared to Yuiko’s friend Masa, who has a volatile breakup with her boyfriend when he finds out her “sick” hobby.

It’s pretty fascinating how one manga can straddle the line between annoying and delightful, but My Girlfriend’s a Geek pulls that off pretty regularly. I think I was more frustrated by Yuiko’s antics while she was sick than Taiga was, being reminded once again that Yuiko is the exact kind of fan girl that drives me insane. But I hoped for a fight, and when it came halfway through the book I couldn’t have been more pleased. Turns out, Taiga actually does have a spine, and Yuiko knows how to act like an adult. And Masa’s problem helps her realize how understanding her boyfriend really is. With the end coming up, it’s nice to see some character growth, and I have hope for a satisfyingly tied up romance.

ISBN: 9780316178228 • MSRP: $11.99 • Yen Press • Released September 20, 2011

Yotsuba&! Volume 10 by Kiyohiko Azuma

Yotsuba&! Volume 10 by Kiyohiko Azuma

Yotsuba straddles the same line as many a little kid between cute and annoying as she drags her father into made-as-you-go games, and becomes utterly determined to make the perfect pancake – a trying process that leaves too many mess ups to eat. Later, Yotsuba shows that she might not have learned her lesson about lying, so her father decides he needs to scare the “lying bug” right out of her.

Artist Kiyohiko Azuma continues to have a great pacing with his comedy, like when Jumbo has Yotsuba eat her own poorly made pancake: first she moans, then her eyes go wide as she shivers, and finally she exclaims, “Ahhhh… That was yummy!” Yotsuba’s almost a caricature of the crazy kid from down the street, but Azuma has enough sense of the wonder of childhood that you’ll Yotsuba adorable (as long as you already like kids). With the amazingly slow pace (I believe this volume only covers two days) and the absence of an overall problem, there is literally no end in sight for this manga – but if keeps on being this funny, I don’t really care.
ISBN: 9780316190336 • MSRP: $11.99 • Yen Press • Released October 25, 2011

Black Butler volume 7 by Yana Toboso

Black Butler Volume 7 by Yana Toboso

Ciel and Sebastian finally find all the information about the missing children they need at the circus, but before they can go on with their investigation the pair is delayed by Ciel’s sudden illness. Later, having discovered the identity of the kidnapper they close in, only to discover some horrible secrets. And while this is going on, the circus has discovered the identity of their infiltrators and head to the Phantomhive mansion to destroy the witnesses, and anyone else that may stand in their way.

Toboso really ups the supernatural creepiness in this volume, as Sebatian seduces  a circus member for information, and the kidnapper is finally found carelessly killing the apparently brainwashed abductees. There are some interesting character moments as well. An old illness flares up for Ciel, and him memory briefly jolts back to a time when people who are now gone cared for him; and Sebastian is scolded by Soma for not being kind enough to his master. But these moments come at an awkward time, when the reader is more anxious to see how the current plot will turn. Still, new, disturbing revelations of what had happened to Ciel come to light. And an attack on his mansion only makes Ciel chuckle, and we get a surprising last minute twist from his supposedly useless servants. It took 7 volumes, but Black Butler is finally turning into the creepy manga I wanted it to be.

ISBN: 9780316189637 • MSRP: $11.99 • Yen Press • Released October 25, 2011

About - I am a 44 year old Gamer/Geek/Otaku who has been gaming and watching anime since the late 1970's. I am a passionate otaku who loves all types of games, anime and comics. I have been writing about games since I was a young man. I am an entertainment retail expert and an avid game collector. You can always find me playing or watching something geek related.

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