Review – Hana ni Arashi volume 1

art by Luka Kobachi

Hana ni Arashi volume 1
Story & Art: Luka Kobachi
Originally serialised online @ Sunday Webry
Published by Shogakukan, 2018
Copy purchased from eBookJapan

There’s something about you
That takes my blues away
Life’s nothing without you
I can’t get through the days
I’ll never be cynical
‘Cause you wouldn’t have it
I believe in miracles, I believe in magic
-‘Unicron Loev’, by Raleigh Ritchie, 2016

What is it?: Nanoha and Chidori are two perfectly healthy teenage schoolgirls, spending time with their friends, running a literature club, going to class and hanging out together. They’re also secretly dating, sneaking bits of public affection out wherever they can.

From this core concept we get a series of short, sweet chapters, exploring the duo’s secret relationship with warmth and humour.

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Review – The Bride was a Boy

art by Chii, design by KC Fabellon

The Bride was a Boy
Story & Art: Chii
Translation: Beni Axia Conrad
Adaptation: Shanti Whitesides
Lettering & Retouch: Karis Page
Cover Design: KC Fabellon
Editor: Jenn Grunigen
Sensitivity Reader: Casey Lucas
Published by Seven Seas
Copy purchased via ComiXology UK

I won’t cry, I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
-“Stand by Me”, specifically as covered by Florence + the Machine (we’ll get to why that version at the end), 2016

What is it?: Originally presented as comic essays online, The Bride was a Boy is the collected, edited, and expanded autobiographical account of Chii’s life with her boyfriend (now husband), leading up to their engagement and marriage. This is all framed around Chii’s transition, both as a matter of fact account of how she started transitioning, early dysphoria, her sex reassignment surgery, and the process of having her legal status in Japan changed to female, and as a way of educating the reader as to correct terminology and information about transitioning and the trans experience, as it is to her.

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