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Return to Spring Manga Minis!

The groundhog saw his shadow this year, so we’re having a return to spring Manga Minis this month! We’ve got a new series review from Square Enix Manga alongside an exclusive preview of Tokyopop’s Free Comic Book Day offering! Stay tuned below for our impressions of Far Cry: Cull the Herd’s Prelude issue and more great manga volumes.

Doomsday with my Dog Volume 4 (Yen Press)

It’s time for Haru and his master’s trip across Japan! This volume includes a variety of regions from the nation as the group makes their national journey. From Hokkaido to Niigata, there’s a lot of Japanese history to explore in this volume. I enjoy this series for its deep dives into philosophy and Japanese cultural folklore, and this one has it all.

Now that this series established its footing in the last volume, there’s plenty of antics to have with the canine cast. Like the previous chapters, these new stories utilize a mix of 4-koma panels and longer narrative styles. (The different Shiba Inu and Tanuki tales are a highlight in this batch.) Here, however, everything gets segmented into Japanese cities with each chapter. It makes the cultural significance and associated gags more interesting, as they turn into brief lessons as well.

The final story in this volume is a tearjerker (to be expected at this point), where Haru asks Anubis’ ladies to write a love letter. However, this turns into a will and a wish for his master to live a happy life when he dies. With the manga tackling this theme in previous volumes, I love how it nails the “memento mori” concept. As this is currently the last volume for the series, it does end up becoming a fitting closer to the series. (Though it doesn’t look like it’s over just yet, we will see!)

Doomsday with my Dog is a solid comedy series, and a great pickup if you want something silly yet cerebral. But also get the tissues ready, just in case!

Rating: 4 out of 5 UwUs

Victoria’s Electric Coffin Volume 1 (Square Enix Manga)

David Douglas is a criminal slated for execution on death row. After he dies, he is reborn thanks to medical prodigy Victoria Frankenstein. Now known as Eins, he grapples with his new identity as “The Electric Coffin”, an experiment from Dr. Frankenstein. As he models himself to be the hero he could never be in his past life, how will the world react to an electrified corpse?

I enjoyed how Victoria’s Electric Coffin excellently debuted its story. Eins’ backstory gets explored through flashbacks, and everything is clearly not as it seems. However, there’s enough breadcrumbs to keep me satiated until the next volume. The main and supporting cast get enough screen time as well. In particular, the main duo develops their relationship even in the first volume. While the first chapter has predictable plot beats, the relationship between doctor and creation is an intriguing one. An interesting ethical dilemma with the question of “what is a man?” also gets some pages devoted to it.

Eins’ character design feels a bit too humanoid for my liking, but a later rival makes up for it. (It helps that Victoria’s rival character creates an entertaining dynamic with the duo as well.) I wouldn’t mind seeing a progression in Eins’ physical body decaying, but there’s much more to explore. It’s a series that pairs well with The Apothecary Diaries, and I’m glad Square Enix picked up both. This is a refreshing take on a beloved classic!

Rating: 4 out of 5 UwUs

A Man & His Cat Volume 10 (Square Enix Manga)

I’m continually amazed at how A Man & His Cat elevates the series’ storytelling while retaining its slice-of-life charm. While the 4-koma gags are still present, there’s a surprising maturity from each of the characters showcased. It’s frequently a manga I recommend universally, and this new installment is no different.

This volume continues to highlight Teruaki Kuju’s character development as he works with Fuuyuki Kanda to rescue a kitten from an abandoned living space. The crew calls the scrawny Siamese cat Siam, and Fukumaru takes an immediate hate towards him. (Fukumaru continues to get used to the multiple kitties Kanda and his friends adopted in previous volumes.) Will Fukumaru tolerate another cat in the household? (Also, how many cats can Mr. Kanda adopt? Legally, I mean.)

Teruaki has some personal trauma himself as he struggles to play the piano when in the presence of Geoffroy Lambert and Kanade Hibino. In addition, he also tries to reconcile with Kanda’s son Hosinari, which leads to one heck of a cliffhanger.

What makes this arc delightful is how the cats play a huge role in the development of both feline and human conflicts. Fukumaru actually gets stressed enough from the housing situation which warrants another visit to the vet. However, it’s Fukumaru’s fighting with Siam that advances the story and helps Teruaki snap out of his traumatic habits and try to better himself. Siam also deals with abandonment issues in a very real manner, and even Mr. Kanda’s loving demeanor is misinterpreted by the adoptee. There are real emotions that get explored in these chapters, and the middle had me tearing up at the resolution.

All in all, this is another perfect entry in a near-perfect manga series!

Rating: 5 out of 5 UwUs

Exclusive Impressions! Far Cry: Cull the Herd FCBD Issue (Tokyopop)

Finally, we’re ending things with a prehistoric bang! While I haven’t played the Far Cry series in its entirety, the media surrounding the games are always interesting. Thanks to Tokyopop, I was able to get an exclusive look at Far Cry: Cull the Herd’s Free Comic Book Day issue before its general release on May 4.

This issue follows Antón Castillo (the main villain of Far Cry 6) and his sister Valeria, who are working in Yara in the late 1960s. It’s here where they’re whisked away to an unknown time by the ominous Batari. She herself seems to be in a predicament, wrapped in flames during the opening pages only to be inexplicably resurrected (for now).

This prelude issue delves into the backstory of the two characters, so we’re seeing a more noble Antón this time around. I liked the sibling dynamic between him and Valeria, and I’m definitely intrigued to see how they humanize one of the more diabolical villains in the franchise.

No spoilers, but if you enjoyed Far Cry 6 (or even some of the older Far Cry games *hint hint*), you should definitely pick up this prelude issue on Free Comic Book Day this year. There’s a lot to love, and the potential is there for an intriguing elseworlds story. And again, this offering is free if you can scoop up a copy, so you’d better do so to support your local comic shop!

There you have it for our Return to Spring Manga Minis! Anything you’re reading that you want our resident manga minis nut to check out? Sound off in the comments below, and stay tuned for more manga news here on Miso!

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Katamaris

Katamaris

During the day, Elisha is an aspiring businessman, but at night, he's a wacky freelance writer. Born into the world with a fleeting knowledge of rhythm games, he loves shonen manga and still wants Pushing Daisies to have some closure. For any manga/anime/video game inquiries, please contact him at edeograc (at) gmail.com
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