James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Reviews > By Project

Reviews in Project: Translation (416)

Nobody’s Fault

Usotoki Rhetoric, volume 3

By Ritsu Miyako  

11 Oct, 2023

Translation

0 comments

Usotoki Rhetoric Volume 3 is the third tankōbon in Ritsu Miyako’s historical mystery manga series. Usotoki Rhetoric was published in Bessatsu Hana to Yume from June 26, 2012 to March 26, 20181.

Showa Era Detective Iwai Soma and assistant Urabe Kanoko board a train on a very important mission. That mission? Ducking out on the debts Soma cannot pay.

A chance encounter with Soma’s journalist sister Miyabe proves diverting. Miyabe has a genuine case, one for which her insolvent brother’s talents could be useful: the case of the doll murderer.

Is that a doll that murders? Or a doll that is murdered? The answer appears to be yes.

Read more ➤

Blue Skies from Pain

Monster, volume 1

By Naoki Urasawa  

4 Oct, 2023

Translation

2 comments

Monster, Volume 1 is the first tankōbon collecting Naoki Urasawa’s thriller manga series. Monster was published by in Big Comic Original between December 1994 and December 2001.

Second son Kenzo Tenma sought his medical fortunes in Düsseldorf, West Germany. Brilliant neurosurgeon Tenma caught the eye of Eisler Memorial Hospital Director Heinemann. Provided only that Tenma remain a superlative surgeon while obeying Heinemann’s every directive1, Tenma is ensured wealth, status, and the hand of Heinemann’s beautiful daughter Eva in marriage.

Too bad for Tenma that Tenma has a conscience. Too bad for the world.

Read more ➤

Our Mission

Daemons of the Shadow Realm, volume 2

By Hiromu Arakawa  

27 Sep, 2023

Translation

0 comments

2022’s Daemons of the Shadow Realm, Volume 2 is the second tankōbon in Hiromu Arakawa’s ongoing modern fantasy manga series. Yomi no Tsugai in the original Japanese, it has been serialized in Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine since December 2021. Volume 2 in English translation was released in 2023.

Following an attack that killed most of the adults in the rustic mountain village of Hagashimura, young Yuru, his guardians Dera and Hana, and his two demons, Right and Left, fled to Japan’s lowlands. Although he is utterly unfamiliar with modern society or its technology, Yuru is determined to find the woman who led the attack, a woman who claims to be his twin sister Asa.

Yuru’s quest was completely successful except for two details. He did not find Asa. He was captured by members of the Kagemori household.

Read more ➤

Touched

Ogami-san Can’t Keep It In, volume 1

By Yu Yoshidamaru  (Translated by Max Greenway)

20 Sep, 2023

Translation

1 comment

The 2017 Ogami-san Can’t Keep It In, Volume 1, is the first tankōbon for Yu Yoshidamaru’s paranormal-romance comedy manga Oogami-san, Dadamore desu. It was serialized in Kodansha’s seinen manga magazine Monthly Afternoon from October 2016 to November 2019. The English translation is by Max Greenway.

Schoolgirl Ogami keeps her distance from her classmates, terrified that a slip of the tongue could reveal her dreadful secret. Ogami’s every waking moment is filled with intrusive, unwanted thoughts about es see ex. Surely, her classmates will loath and shun her if they knew what a giant pervert she was. Therefore she isolates herself.

Fellow student Yaginuma is also careful to keep his distance from his classmates. This is to protect them from his embarrassing gift. To touch Yaginuma’s bare skin is to uncontrollably blurt out one’s darkest secrets.

Of course, Ogami and Yaginuma’s paths cross.

[Obligatory this is not the ecchi manga you may be expecting” notice]

Read more ➤

Take To The Sky

Summer Ghost

By Otsuichi & Loundraw  (Translated by Evan Ward)

13 Sep, 2023

Translation

3 comments

Otsuichis 2021 Summer Ghost is a stand-alone modern ghost story. Art is by loundraw. The 2023 English translation is by Evan Ward.

Curious about a local urban legend, narrator Tomoya, Aio, and Ryu visit an abandoned airbase to see if the Summer Ghost, the ghost of a young woman, can indeed be summoned with fireworks. Their curiosity is natural. After all, all plan to kill themselves and might well become ghosts themselves.

Read more ➤

When the South Wind Blows

Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sand

By Yoko Komori  

6 Sep, 2023

Translation

0 comments

Yoko Komori’s two-volume Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sand is a coming-of-age manga. Scales was serialized in 2013 and 2014 under the original title Aoi Uroko to Suna no Machi in You. The English translation appeared in 2023.

Following the disintegration of her parents’ marriage, fourteen-year-old Tokiko and her father leave Tokyo to stay with Tokiko’s maternal grandmother in Sunanomori. Tokiko has only been to the small coastal town once before, when she was four1. Tokiko does remember one aspect of the town quite clearly: this is where Tokiko was saved from drowning by a merman.

Read more ➤

A Series of Cunning Plans

The Apothecary Diaries, volume 8

By Natsu Hyuuga  (Translated by Kevin Steinbach)

30 Aug, 2023

Translation

0 comments

2019’s The Apothecary Diaries: Volume 8 is the eighth light novel in Natsu Hyuuga’s Apothecary Diaries series. The illustrations are by Touko Shino. The 2023 English language edition was translated by Kevin Steinbach.

In which our heroes (one of whom is apothecary and occasional consulting detective Maomao) explore the exciting world of unintended consequences of clear-eyed, sensible public policy.

Read more ➤

Whispers Like Cold Winds

Counterweight

By Djuna  (Translated by Anton Hur)

23 Aug, 2023

Translation

6 comments

Djuna’s 2021’s Counterweight is a near-future science fiction novel. It was originally published in Korean. The 2021 English translation is by Anton Hur.

The once obscure island nation of Patusan has turned out to be an ideal location on which to base a space elevator. It’s a great opportunity for corporate takeover, an opportunity that LK Group has quickly seized. LK is building the elevator base and importing labor to do the job. The indigenous population has been reduced to a powerless minority in their own land. LK would assert that a rising tide lifts all boats. The indigenous boats would not agree.

LK External Affairs chief Mac can attest to local discontent. Managing it is part of Mac’s job. The great corporations and their AIs run the world. Groups like the Patusan Liberation Front are ripe for infiltration and infiltrated they are. Which has posed a minor puzzle for Mac: how did non-entity Choi Gangwu’s name end up on a PLF list and how might LK turn this curious fact to their advantage? While a mundane explanation offers itself — Choi has good reason to be disgruntled with LK — matters soon take a far more bizarre turn.

Read more ➤

Years Go By

To Your Eternity, volume 3

By Yoshitoki Oima  

16 Aug, 2023

Translation

0 comments

2017’s To Your Eternity, Volume 3 is the third tankōbon for Yoshitoki Oima’s fantasy manga. Originally published as Fumetsu no Anata e, the series has run since 2016 in Weekly Shōnen Magazine. The English translation of Volume 3 appeared in 2018.

Volume one was reviewed here. Volume two was reviewed here.

Having successfully fled the Yanome empire and escaped Hayase’s pursuit, the protean Fushi and elderly Pioran make their way to a distant community. Here, Fushi will continue its efforts to learn to be a person.

Key to the process: a boy named Gugu.

Read more ➤

Real Big Mistakes

Usotoki Rhetoric, volume 2

By Ritsu Miyako  

9 Aug, 2023

Translation

2 comments

Usotoki Rhetoric Volume 2 is the second tankōbon in Ritsu Miyako’s historical mystery manga series. Usotoki Rhetoric was published in Bessatsu Hana to Yume from June 26, 2012 to March 26, 2018. I reviewed the first volume here.

The same knack that made Urabe Kanoko a pariah in her home town gives her a job in Tsukumoya. Urabe has an infallible ability to tell when someone is consciously lying. This makes her of great use to struggling detective Iwai Soma.

Read more ➤