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Featured image for Review: TSUKIYOMI MOON PHASEBackground image for Review: TSUKIYOMI MOON PHASE

Review: TSUKIYOMI MOON PHASE

 Sadly I've mostly come to dread vampire manga.  That's not because they are frightening, but because more often than not they are just bad ...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: GODCHILDBackground image for Review: GODCHILD

Review: GODCHILD

 It's once again time to look at some spooky manga, and it's been too long since we looked at a manga from the unofficial queen of spooky sh...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Reivew: K-ON!Background image for Reivew: K-ON!

Reivew: K-ON!

I guess it was inevitable that I would have to cover one of those 'cute girls doing cute things in a cute after-school club' stories for thi...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: HONEY AND CLOVERBackground image for Review: HONEY AND CLOVER

Review: HONEY AND CLOVER

It's September, which means it's time for The Manga Test Drive to go back to school with a month of manga about schools. ( After all, it's s...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: MASTER KEATONBackground image for Review: MASTER KEATON

Review: MASTER KEATON

Let's wrap up this year's Old School Month with an old-school adventure from one of manga's most notable creators. MASTER KEATON ( Masuta Ki...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: CRUSHER JOEBackground image for Review: CRUSHER JOE

Review: CRUSHER JOE

Let's go all the way back to the 70s for some rare old-school sci-fi manga. CRUSHER JOE ( Kurassha Jo ), based on the novel series by Haruka...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: DESCENDANTS OF DARKNESSBackground image for Review: DESCENDANTS OF DARKNESS

Review: DESCENDANTS OF DARKNESS

Let's continue with an old favorite for manga-boom-era fujoshi.  But does this one still hold up? DESCENDANTS OF DARKNESS ( Yami no Matsuei ...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: BLACK JACKBackground image for Review: BLACK JACK

Review: BLACK JACK

Once again it's Old School Month, and I can't believe it's taken me this far into the pandemic to talk about this particular series.  BLACK ...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: DIVE!!Background image for Review: DIVE!!

Review: DIVE!!

 Swimming events are always some of the most popular events at the summer Olympics.  If only this series understood anything about its appea...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: NINJA BASEBALL KYUMA!Background image for Review: NINJA BASEBALL KYUMA!

Review: NINJA BASEBALL KYUMA!

We move on from the world's most popular sport to Japan's favorite sport: baseball.  There are no shortage of baseball manga to choose from,...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: DAYSBackground image for Review: DAYS

Review: DAYS

Since this month marks the start of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, we'll be taking a look at a series of sports manga this month (which will almos...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: LOVE ROUND!!Background image for Review: LOVE ROUND!!

Review: LOVE ROUND!!

 Let's wrap this month up with another one-shot from one of modern BL's most popular creators. LOVE ROUND!! ( Rabu Raundo!! ), by Hinako Tak...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: KIREPAPABackground image for Review: KIREPAPA

Review: KIREPAPA

 Well, it's time to dig once more into my inordinately large pile of bad BL and fish out another example to take to task, and this one even…

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: THE CONDITIONS OF PARADISEBackground image for Review: THE CONDITIONS OF PARADISE

Review: THE CONDITIONS OF PARADISE

Of course, we can't talk about queer manga without looking at least one modern-day yuri title, now can I? THE CONDITIONS OF PARADISE ( Rakue...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: AGE CALLED BLUEBackground image for Review: AGE CALLED BLUE

Review: AGE CALLED BLUE

It's Pride Month once more, so once again we're looking at some of the manga queer stories to be found within manga.  Of course, that includ...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: INTERSPECIES REVIEWERSBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: INTERSPECIES REVIEWERS

Merry Month of Manga: INTERSPECIES REVIEWERS

 Well, I guess I would have to reckon with this series someday, so I might as well take advantage of this month's theme and do so now. INTER...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: RADIANTBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: RADIANT

Merry Month of Manga: RADIANT

Well, since I talked about Beyond the Clouds I might as well cover the other recent fantasy manga with French origins. RADIANT, by Tony Val...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: HETEROGENIA LINGUISTICOBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: HETEROGENIA LINGUISTICO

Merry Month of Manga: HETEROGENIA LINGUISTICO

There's a lot of fantasy manga out there, but this is the first one not to focus on a traditional hero's narrative or even fantasy food, but...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: THE SACRED BLACKSMITHBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: THE SACRED BLACKSMITH

Merry Month of Manga: THE SACRED BLACKSMITH

Nothing's more disappointing than a series with squandered potential, and this is just one of countless examples.  THE SACRED BLACKSMITH ( S...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: ORFINABackground image for Merry Month of Manga: ORFINA

Merry Month of Manga: ORFINA

It's time to take a look at another failed fantasy manga from CMX, although this one is less about fairy tale romance and more about epic ba...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: BLACK CLOVERBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: BLACK CLOVER

Merry Month of Manga: BLACK CLOVER

Weekly Shonen Jump doesn't dabble too much in fantasy these days, and the most recent example is...divisive, to say the least. BLACK CLOVER ...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: DRAGON GOES HOUSE-HUNTINGBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: DRAGON GOES HOUSE-HUNTING

Merry Month of Manga: DRAGON GOES HOUSE-HUNTING

 What's the bigger fantasy here: a gentle dragon who only wants a house of his own, or the very idea of being able to afford to buy or…

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: BEYOND THE CLOUDSBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: BEYOND THE CLOUDS

Merry Month of Manga: BEYOND THE CLOUDS

Thankfully, there are more recent fantasy series that is not only appropriate for kids, but also legitimately good all on its own. BEYOND TH...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: PRINCESS PRINCEBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: PRINCESS PRINCE

Merry Month of Manga: PRINCESS PRINCE

Once upon a time, if you wanted a fairy-tale-style shojo fantasy, you had to settle for books like this. Thank goodness for progress.  PRINC...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: MUSHOKU TENSEI: JOBLESS REINCARNATIONBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: MUSHOKU TENSEI: JOBLESS REINCARNATION

Merry Month of Manga: MUSHOKU TENSEI: JOBLESS REINCARNATION

Isekai fantasy manga are all too often power fantasies for their readers, and sometimes those power fantasies can go in some obnoxious or da...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: LOUIE THE RUNE SOLDIERBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: LOUIE THE RUNE SOLDIER

Merry Month of Manga: LOUIE THE RUNE SOLDIER

  LOUIE THE RUNE SOLDIER ( Maho Senshi Riui ), based on the light novel series written by Ryou Mizuno and character designs by Mamoru Yokota...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: KONOSUBA: GOD'S BLESSING ON THIS WONDERFUL WORLDBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: KONOSUBA: GOD'S BLESSING ON THIS WONDERFUL WORLD

Merry Month of Manga: KONOSUBA: GOD'S BLESSING ON THIS WONDERFUL WORLD

It's a miracle! A modern isekai manga that neither bored nor infuriated me! KONOSUBA: GOD'S BLESSING ON THIS WONDERFUL WORLD ( Kono Subarash...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: MOURYOU KIDEN: LEGEND OF THE NYMPHBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: MOURYOU KIDEN: LEGEND OF THE NYMPH

Merry Month of Manga: MOURYOU KIDEN: LEGEND OF THE NYMPH

Once again I found myself staring down another Tamayo Akiyama manga.  Could it possibly fare better than the likes of Zyword and Hyper Rune...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: SLEEPY PRINCESS IN THE DEMON CASTLEBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: SLEEPY PRINCESS IN THE DEMON CASTLE

Merry Month of Manga: SLEEPY PRINCESS IN THE DEMON CASTLE

Finding a modern fantasy manga that has nothing to do with light novels is hard enough.  Finding one of those that's a comedy is rarer still...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: THE DUNGEON OF BLACK COMPANYBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: THE DUNGEON OF BLACK COMPANY

Merry Month of Manga: THE DUNGEON OF BLACK COMPANY

 Today's review exists because someone said "you know what a dungeon-crawling fantasy needs?  CAPITALISM!" THE DUNGEON OF BLACK COMPANY ( Me...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: RESTAURANT TO ANOTHER WORLDBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: RESTAURANT TO ANOTHER WORLD

Merry Month of Manga: RESTAURANT TO ANOTHER WORLD

 When it comes to fantasy manga these days, it seems that the only thing more popular than sending random Japanese people to alternate world...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: THE DEVIL IS A PART-TIMERBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: THE DEVIL IS A PART-TIMER

Merry Month of Manga: THE DEVIL IS A PART-TIMER

 You know, we see so many stories about people travelling (by choice or by death-induced force) to other worlds.  What you don't see as ofte...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: THE LIZARD PRINCEBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: THE LIZARD PRINCE

Merry Month of Manga: THE LIZARD PRINCE

It's been too long since we've covered a CMX manga on here.  They always had shojo fantasy series that were always interesting, even if they...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Merry Month of Manga: DRAGON HALFBackground image for Merry Month of Manga: DRAGON HALF

Merry Month of Manga: DRAGON HALF

This month marks the ninth anniversary of The Manga Test Drive.  It's honestly kind of fantastical that I've been doing this for so long, mu...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: DEMON SLAYERBackground image for Review: DEMON SLAYER

Review: DEMON SLAYER

 The 2010s was a sterling decade for Weekly Shonen Jump as far as content was concerned, with a steady and fairly diverse selection of big ...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: BOBOBO-BO BO-BOBOBackground image for Review: BOBOBO-BO BO-BOBO

Review: BOBOBO-BO BO-BOBO

The 2000s produced a lot of Weekly Shonen Jump 's bigger (and longer) hits, but for every hit there were duds like this. BOBO-BO BO-BOBOBO, ...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: YU-GI-OH!Background image for Review: YU-GI-OH!

Review: YU-GI-OH!

People forget this particular series started out as a Weekly Shonen Jump series, but is it worth remembering over 30 years later? YU-GI-OH!...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: DR. SLUMPBackground image for Review: DR. SLUMP

Review: DR. SLUMP

 Once again we're looking at a month of Weekly Shonen Jump titles, starting with one of the oldest titles from the magazine to ever see prin...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: VOICES OF A DISTANT STARBackground image for Review: VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR

Review: VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR

A romance set against the backdrop of space sounds epic, but stories like this prove that it can be intimate and longing as well. VOICES OF ...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: SATURN APARTMENTSBackground image for Review: SATURN APARTMENTS

Review: SATURN APARTMENTS

 Of course, not every sci-fi work is so old, so storied, so action-packed.  Sometimes it's more about just trying to live your life while li...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: ASTRO BOYBackground image for Review: ASTRO BOY

Review: ASTRO BOY

 This month we're going to look at some science fiction manga, and if we're going to do that we might as well start with the sci-fi manga th...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: YOU'RE MY PETBackground image for Review: YOU'RE MY PET

Review: YOU'RE MY PET

 Of course, just because a romance is strange does not mean it is inherently bad or that the manga itself is lacking, as today's example pro...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: PRIMITIVE BOYFRIENDBackground image for Review: PRIMITIVE BOYFRIEND

Review: PRIMITIVE BOYFRIEND

Normally we here at the Manga Test Drive spend February looking at bad romance manga, but after this last year we need something of a break ...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: TOKYO BABYLONBackground image for Review: TOKYO BABYLON

Review: TOKYO BABYLON

 Since we have been mercifully spared the anime adaptation of this series until the spring, now's the time to talk about one of CLAMP's most...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Review: SUKI: A LIKE STORYBackground image for Review: SUKI: A LIKE STORY

Review: SUKI: A LIKE STORY

 Well, it might have gotten off to a slow start, but it's January, which means it's time for yet another CLAMP Month.  This one is going to ...

The Manga Test Drive

2020 In the Rear View Mirror (and Holiday Giveaway Winner)

 First of all, I have to thank everyone who participated in this year's Holiday Review Giveaway.  I've never gotten so many responses in the 8 1/2 years I've…

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Holiday Review: THE ROSE OF VERSAILLESBackground image for Holiday Review: THE ROSE OF VERSAILLES

Holiday Review: THE ROSE OF VERSAILLES

Yeah...anyone who has been reading this blog for a while or follows me on Twitter knows that this review has been a long time coming.  After...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Holiday Review: SPY X FAMILYBackground image for Holiday Review: SPY X FAMILY

Holiday Review: SPY X FAMILY

The holidays are a time about gathering with family and loved ones, something that's a lot harder to do this year, so why not read a manga t...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Holiday Review: ENIALE & DEWIELABackground image for Holiday Review: ENIALE & DEWIELA

Holiday Review: ENIALE & DEWIELA

Speaking of making great art this year, there are few mangaka making art as great as Witch Hat Atelier creator Kamome Shirahama.  This year...

The Manga Test Drive

Featured image for Holiday Reviews: KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF EIZOUKEN!Background image for Holiday Reviews: KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF EIZOUKEN!

Holiday Reviews: KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF EIZOUKEN!

We've spent most of this month honoring some of the best (and worst) art that manga in 2020 had to offer.  It's only fitting then that we lo...

The Manga Test Drive