torachan: sakaki from azumanga daioh holding a cat, with the text "I like cats" in Japanese (sakaki)
Title: Kabocha to Mayonnaise
Author: Nananan Kiriko
My Rating: 4/5

Miho and Sei are living together, but there's no passion to their relationship, which is strained by the fact that Sei is a struggling musician who mainly sits around all day drinking and watching TV instead of looking for a job. Meanwhile Miho turns to sex work to support them and is pining for her old boyfriend who was a complete asshole.

I liked this a lot. It's understated and very realistic and feels very grown up. I love the art, too. It's all outlines with minimal use of ink and tones.

I wish it were easier to get my hands on this sort of manga, but the bookstores here don't tend to stock a lot of ladies manga and most of what they do stock is BL of some sort. Ladies also gets scanned much less frequently than seinen, shounen, or shoujo, so it's hard to find online, too.

Scanlations can be found here. (I translated chapters 5-10.)

Title: Kaikisen
Author: Kon Satoshi
My Rating: 2.5/5

For generations, Yosuke's family has kept the "mermaid's egg" in their temple. Yosuke doesn't believe in mermaids and thinks the egg is just a legend, but strange things start happening when construction begins on a new resort that will the nearby island where the mermaid supposedly lives.

This was a decent enough story, but it didn't really feel that compelling. I could tell exactly where it was going to go and it just didn't feel like there was anything new and different about it. The art was okay, in a retro-looking way (it was published ten years ago, but looks like it could have been twenty or more).

Scanlations can be found here. (I translated part 3; part 4 should be posted later today, and the final part next Sunday (both by me as well).)

Title: Darling wa Gaikokujin 2
Author: Oguri Saori
My Rating: 4/5

This comes between Darling wa Gaikokujin and Darling no Ataman Naka by Oguri Saori (I wasn't able to get them in order, but it doesn't matter) and is pretty much more of the same: a mix of observations about Japan and Japanese, foreigners, and just these two people and their individual differences. I really enjoy Oguri's humor and am looking forward to reading more books in the series (if you can call it that) if I can get my hands on them. There seem to be quite a few!


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