One-Shot Reviews

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In both American comic book and Japanese manga industry, the term one-shot is used to denote a pilot comic created to last as one issue.

A one-shot manga tells the story in 15 to 60 pages and are usually written for contests. If lucky, a one-shot manga could be turned into a full-length manga.

The likes of One Piece, Dragon Ball and Naruto started out as one-shot mangas. Rumiko Takahashi and Akira Toriyama are noted authors who have done on-shot stories.

Think you could make a one-shot manga?

Think 15-20 pages of original artwork and story. Why 15-20 pages? Coz maybe you could send it to Rising Stars of Manga, the annual competition for manga artists living in the USA.

But before you start out coming up with your very own, consider reading up on one-shot mangas found throughout the net.

Here are some titles (picked by random among a hundred), varying in stories and art styles to inspire you as you start making your very own one-shot creation:

1/3 no Kareshi
Ako Shimaki
comedy, romance

1/3 no kareshi manga

When will Rei have a boyfriend? She’s already in third year high school but still hasn’t found luck. But wait, here comes a guy who takes an embarassing picture of her. He’s bent on exposing her unless she does the things he asks from her. It seems Kogure knows her a little too well that she does to him. Is he for real or is it all just a game for him?

Read 1/3 no Kareshi here and find out.

What’s my take?

The crisp clean drawing was the first thing that I noticed with this manga. Finding out who Kogure is makes me turn page after page. However, I find the ending to be a little too fast. There’s not enough back story to make the reader feel how much the man loves the heroine. And not much time for the heroine to fall in love with the guy. It happened too fast.

[rating: 8/10]

Sorachi Hideaki
action, comedy, romance


Mondo has liked Izayo since they were kids. But his affections have turned into nothing but humiliation for her and she vows to kill him one day. She has after all, a family of assassins. He never believed her though…until she joined his class years after.

What happens to Mondo? Read here.

What’s my take?

The drawing fits for the type of story and type of characters. The story is very interesting and funny. Although it didn’t end up with them all lovey-dovey, it’s still okay and fits perfectly. I would’ve wanted to read more and see them together just as how Mondo would’ve liked as a kid.

[rating: 8/10]

comedy, historical


Afuganisu-tan works hard everyday to have something to eat, but is plagued with bad luck and bullied by others. As she tries to stand up for herself, she begins to make friends from other nations.

Get to know them all, here.

What’s my take?

It’s half comics, half historical information. But it’s nice. I like the drawing. So cute. And the way it represents the historical information in each page makes me want to learn history through anime drawings.

[rating: 9/10]

Lynn Okamoto
action, drama


Kumiko wanted to be a Hollywood actress and left Japan to pursue her dreams. She comes back only to attend her brother’s wedding. At the hotel she stays in, a fire broke out and her stuntwoman prowess is tossed in the frontline. But helping means she could get bruises and wounds that could throw away her chances of getting an actress role in a movie.

Will Kumiko survive? Find out here.

What’s my take?

The story is okay. The drawing is clean with good backgrounds – but not pleasing all throughout. The story is something uncommon and is interesting. The ending could have been as heartbreaking as the action scenes but it’s still fine.

[rating: 7/10]

Hiroaki Samura
actions, adventure, seinen

emerald manga

Sarah, a 14 year-old maid, ran away stealing money. She is taken by Mr. Randolph and at the same time hunted by Black Rose, a legend in the town where her parents died. The old man decides to play a guessing game. with her. Would Sarah win the game and free herself from becoming one of his brothel women?

Read here and find out.

What’s my take?

I love every page of this manga. The story is fast and though does not provide enough backgrounds, knowing that the West has its own mysteries, it’s enough for me to appreciate it. I love how the entire story turns full circle at the end.

[rating: 10/10]

Hiro Mashima
adventure, fantasy, action


Demon Princess Cocona doesn’t want to be a demon anymore and seeks a powerful witch to turn her into human. All that for the love of a man who never really showed affection for her. Will it be worth the sacrifice?

Will Cocona turn into human? Read here.

What’s my take?

The drawing reminds me of a very popular manga and anime starring a boy with gum-like limbs. So that’s to say I like it.The story is nice and the drawing fits well.

[rating: 9/10]

Camelot Garden
Kaori Yuki
drama, fantasy, psychological


Ryu dreams of a lady named Claribel and wakes up in a school that is unlike any. There exists a Claribel but for some reason, this maiden is a boy. Ryu feels that he is the one destined to save Claribel from that strange world. But he’ll have to do so before he loses his memory and becomes a pawn in that world himself.

Will Ryu save Claribel? Find out here.

What’s my take?

There’s far more to the story of Ryu and Claribel in this manga. When all the things in the world their in seem strange, wait till you get near the ending for something more surprising, or even disturbing. I love this. Yuki Kaori’s drawing is topnotch.

[rating: 10/10]

White Clouds
Hisae Iwaoka
drama, seinen


An old woman had passed on, leaving a plastic water bottle and the dog Shiro to her old husband. Life was never the same, even for Shiro. And recently, Shiro had been showing signs of weakening as well.

What will happen to Shiro? Read here.

What’s my take?

It’s a heartbreaking story told in a dog’s perspective. It teaches the value of life, the pain of losing and the heartening feeling of hope in the end. The drawing may not be topnotch but it’s a contrast to the wonderful but simple story of life and death.

[rating: 10/10]

Madofuki Park
Yuusuke Murata
comedy, sci-fi


The story is set in the year 2050, in a place called Sky City Tokyo. Park, is a window cleaner for vehicles that travel in mid-air of Sky City Tokyo. This naïve cleaner becomes a hero in just a flash of his cleaner on a windshield.

How did Park become a hero? Read here.

What’s my take?

Sky City Tokyo is something to behold and dream of for the near future. Park is your typical genki hero who wants nothing but to provide for his beloved grandpa. It may not be new-sounding but at least you’d be astounded by the city scene.

[rating: 7/ 10]


A Christmas Manga

chocolate-christmas cover

Chocolate Christmas
Naoko Takeuchi
comedy, romance

Ryon spends Christmas alone since her parents are busy with their respective works (Christmas being an ordinary day after all).

But she doesn’t hate the occasion, unlike somebody she heard over the radio. A DJ named Choco. And she seems to have fallen in love at first sound with the mysterious man.

She heads on over to Panoram Studio where DJ Choco works and brings him a Christmas cake and a Happy Birthday message.


Almost a year later, Ryon lands a job in Panorama Studio. Her dream of meeting the famous DJ is within reach.

But he wasn’t what she expected.

For who would’ve thought that the lovely DJ Choco and Keiki Oohara, an upperclassman who seems to take a dislike on her, would be one person?

chocolate-christmas-ryon and keiki

Chocolate Christmas is a cute, romantic story from the same person behind Sailormoon. So one could easily expect the same romantic tension between the main couple as in Usagi and Mamoru.

Ryon is the perfect example of never-ending sweetness and naïvete. Her cheerful demeanor warms the coldest season.

While Keiki is a bag of surprise waiting to be opened. A lovely-sounding DJ at night and a crabby upperclassman by day. He breaks out of his shell when Ryon comes his way.

They complement each other’s personalities and are therefore perfect for each other.

Chocolate Christmas starts out with Ryon sending a cake to DJ Choco to show her affection (and because he asked his fans to) while both of them are alone on Christmas.

A full year after, her actions were recognized when it turned out she was the first one to bring a cake to Keiki, who believes that what she did is a sign that by the following year, they will not be alone anymore.

chocolate-christmas-ryon and keiki love

Sounds lovely?

It’s a fine read especially for those who wants to feel all lovey-dovey this Yuletide season.

The artwork of Naoko Takeuchi is also very reminiscent of her most famous work.

So wanna feel the love? Read Chocolate Christmas here.