Once in a while, I want to gush over manga, too.

Today’s releases will bring to a close the first volumes of 3 AM Dangerous Zone and Natsuyuki Rendezvous and Volume 2 of Bitou Lollipop. *Insert angelic “Ahhh” here* This means progress right? Right?

While the first two stories are almost polar opposites of each other, in everything from art style to story-telling, they do have one thing in common: A solid first volume ending on a high note.

With 3 AM Dangerous Volume 1, we followed our aspiring illustrator Momoko, as she struggles at her new job in a pachinko designing office; recuperates from the sight of a co-worker’s hairy buttocks; goes through a weird break-up/make-up sort of deal with her ex-boyfriend who is “tool” enough to say, “You only come here for my bed!” but not enough to keep it a secret forever until they have little tool babies and he goes through some sort of mid-life crisis… *runs out of breath*

Chapter 4 left off with her cutting tool-of-an-ex Tamotsu out of the picture and rushing off to make dinner plans with cute-like-a-teddy-bear-but-not-your-average-hairless-bishie Tagaya-san. Bravo, Momoko! Bravo! We understand that sharing a table with a bowl of oyakodon isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but at least now he knows you’re available!

Download Ch.5/ Read Ch.5 Online

As for Natsuyuki Rendezvous, well, what can I say? I get so emotional whenever I think about how much Shimao is suffering having to watch his wife being chased after by another man, especially one as emotionally vulnerable as my beloved Hazuki. When Rokka first kissed Hazuki, I was a bag of mixed emotions. Always, always, the question that pops up in the back of my mind is: What about Shimao?

Shimao in the "could have taken advantage of her but too honest to do it" position.

Being a much older woman, there’s a lot at stake for Rokka, and after all the times she’s fought off Hazuki’s advances, we know it can’t just be horniness. (Or is it?) (No, no, no.) I really do think she’s starting to fall in love with him. Maybe if I was a few years younger, I’d be really grossed out by the 8 year age gap…but, hey, people mature physically, emotionally, and sexually at different ages, and the naive prejudice I had against older women/younger men relationships seems to have been blurred by the onset of old age.

Our last chapter left off just when Rokka and Hazuki were about to get down n’ dirty. However, the ever-present Shimao decides complicate matters by going ape shit, Poltergeist-style.


Ch.5/ Read Ch.5 Online

And last but not least, we have Bitou Lollipop. While I’m an ardent Iketani fan, I can’t say I’m really invested in the Madoka x Tomoyo pairing. Oh, sure, it’s cute, but that’s not why I read this manga.

I read it because of this guy:

Come on now, you crazy Tomoyo fangirls. I know you’re angry at Ono for fooling around with Tomoyo’s mother, but can’t you see he’s in love with the woman? If sex with Rumiko-san was just to satiate his overly active teenage hormones, then why does he keep calling her after they’ve broken up? Why does he get angry whenever Madoka mentions his feelings for her?

DDL Ch.9 here./ Read Ch.9 Online

Message to our Readers:

Lypi: Best pho ever has to contain ox tail & knuckles stewed for hours. I was a major ramen fan for the past 25 years of my life, but now, at 26, I have been converted.

Lilly: Hahaha. You’re so damn evil. I actually think it feels so much better when the person they’re intended for can’t understand what you’re saying. BTW How would you say, “You eat goats!” in Cantonese? Oh, but I do have a story to tell about our new Administrative Assistant…but that will have to wait until our 3/30 release. I swear it’s not because I want to keep everyone in suspense, but if I blurt it out now, I might not have anything interesting to tell next week!

chili: Haha. You have a knack for saying the most awkward things and giving me moments of suspended disbelief as I try to collect myself to reply. But at the end of the day, we (me and Stilletto) pulled lots to see whether we really wanted to have you belly-dance for us while we were sipping coffee, and the answer is, “Heck yes!” And don’t worry about being a rude leecher. (You aren’t.) I was really surprised that it took two years to put out Teke Teke Rendezvous, but it has come, and more will be following it shortly. Just you wait!

xlilim: Good luck on midterms! Don’t forget to tell us how it went!