About Gundam Time – Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Vol. 4

“Better still, Ohtagaki’s newfound self-awareness has brought with it a welcome sense of the absurd impossible in the heady, edgy days of earlier volumes, and through this sense an expansion rather than a shrinking of dramatic possibilities.”

Still from Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Vol. 4

Vampire Lessons – Happiness Vol. 5

Happiness has worked until now because even in the trapping of the urban vampire-thriller it finds new ways to show the horrors of the mundane reality of growing older.

Five women standing near each other, their faces mostly concealed. This is a slip from the cover of Happiness Volume 5.

“We (Ain’t) Got Power” – Dragon Ball Z

Like every other child who grew up in the late 90s and early 00s with their attention split between videogames and anime, the announcement of Arc System Works’ Dragon Ball FighterZ filled me with an exhilaration hard to describe to anyone beyond that particular milieu but instantly familiar to my peers.

An anime character (Goku?) standing on the edge of a large hand drawn plain.

“Semi-fine Dining” – Ristorante Paradiso

Indeed, what could be more dignified than such an Epicurean lifestyle, unanchored by the heavier emotions, devoted to the pursuit of scrumptious food, high fashion, handsome men and easy pleasure before all else?

A line drawing of a man with light colored hair and a dark shirt, leaning forward intently. This is art from the romantic manga Ristorante Paradiso

“Licking Wounds” – Bungo Stray Dogs Vol. 3

Purpose gives a work direction, it gives it confidence and identity, and so is essential, but it’s no replacement for quality execution.

A dark haired man looks to the left, his hair tipped in white. A fair haired boy looks to the right, his nose leading off the page. Behind them is a spat of red, and they are illustrated in a Japanese manga style. This is the cover of Bungo Stray Dogs volume 9.

“Isolation” – The Girl from the Other Side, Vol. 2

The Girl from the Other Side is a story about people desperate to connect but incapable of doing so.

Back cover for Volume 2 of the Girl from the Other Side, Volume 2. It is scratchy black and white illustrations, vaguely woodland-like.