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Manga Recommendation Thread


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KingofAllCosmos
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No. 26842 Posted: May 31 2011, 19:51:55
Subject: Manga Recommendation Thread
[quick quote] [quote]

I'm making this thread so that people can share their thoughts about any manga that they think is good or interesting or whatever. Really, this thread exists because I wanted to have a convenient place to rant and rave about manga that I think other people should read. And it's kinda a pain creating discussion threads when only a handful of people read any given series.

Also, the Comics section of this forum gets no love.
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Monsoon
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No. 26843 Posted: May 31 2011, 20:41:30 [quick quote] [quote]

Alright.  I'm mostly into shounen and seinen manga, so be warned.  Three quickies:

Pluto

Naoki Urasawa, master mangaka of Monster and 20th Century Boys, takes multiple Astro Boy storylines and themes from the 1950s and '60s and rewrites them into a detective thriller.  Lots of robots wondering if they're human and if what they're feeling are real emotions.  Great stuff. 

Liar Game

One of the most interesting and hilarious premises for a competition/sports/wtf manga.  Let me just say this: the ending to the Musical Chairs tournament is one for the ages.  Yeah, you read that correctly.  I'm actually a little behind on this one.  I should remedy this. 

Bloody Monday

An awesome, edge-of-your-seat spy thriller about a Japanese DARPA-esque organization trying to stop terrorists from unleashing a deadly virus in Tokyo.  The team's secret weapon: a high school student who leads a double life as a master computer hacker.  Bloody Monday has a sequel manga called Zetsubou no Kou that's also pretty intense. 
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本屋
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No. 26844 Posted: May 31 2011, 20:52:53 [quick quote] [quote]

Original post by KingofAllCosmos
Really, this thread exists because I wanted to have a convenient place to rant and rave about manga that I think other people should read.h


This is why you need a manga blog for me to stalk.

Also Aishiteruze Baby. Great series about a playboy who is suddenly tasked with raising his 5-year-old cousin.
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Nodarg
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No. 26845 Posted: May 31 2011, 21:09:29 [quick quote] [quote]

I haven't read a whole lot of manga, but Gantz is a pretty good seinen manga imo.  It's got lots of action, gore, and drama, has some neat sci-fi elements, and pretty detailed artwork to boot.  I caught up with the current releases within a week of starting it this past semester (which is saying a lot for me).  It's definitely hard to put down once you pick it up.

Also, I've been meaning to read more of Pluto ever since I read a little bit of it at a bookstore way back when it first started getting published in America.

Also, for those of you who are interested, I'm reading One Piece now...
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KingofAllCosmos
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No. 26847 Posted: May 31 2011, 22:19:34 [quick quote] [quote]

Original post by キュア♪本屋
Original post by KingofAllCosmos
Really, this thread exists because I wanted to have a convenient place to rant and rave about manga that I think other people should read.


This is why you need a manga blog for me to stalk.

Haha, maybe. I recently got a tumblr, and I don't really know what to do with it. Maybe it'll be half art-blog and half unintelligible-rant-blog. I dunno. We'll see.

Original post by Nodarg
Also, for those of you who are interested, I'm reading One Piece now...

YESSSSSSSSSS. YES YES YES. HOW FAR ARE YOU. ACTUALLY MAYBE YOU SHOULD TAKE IT TO THE ONE PIECE THREAD. NO WAIT DONT. THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THAT THREAD.

Oh, and Liar Game. I stopped reading it awhile back (a year ago, I think...), but maybe I'll catch up with it? I dunno, how amazing is that musical chair arc?
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Monsoon
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No. 26848 Posted: May 31 2011, 23:27:48 [quick quote] [quote]

Original post by KingofAllCosmos
Oh, and Liar Game. I stopped reading it awhile back (a year ago, I think...), but maybe I'll catch up with it? I dunno, how amazing is that musical chair arc?

It made up for the weak shit before it.  Trust me.  I almost stopped reading the series during the Contraband game (which I never quite 100% understood), but Musical Chairs is worth it. 
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KingofAllCosmos
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No. 26849 Posted: Jun 1 2011, 00:36:59 [quick quote] [quote]

Hey, hey, my turn. And I'll take my time, thank you very much.

Goodnight Punpun

Goodnight Punpun is a seinen manga that revolves around Punpun, an adolescent boy who is depicted as a crudely drawn bird(?) in an otherwise photorealistic, modern-day Japan (see image, right). This manga is at once a coming-of-age story, a family drama, a dark comedy, a supernatural thriller, a tragedy, a romance. Inio Asano has woven an intricate story that transcends genre and never fails to be terribly poignant. It's a triumph! A triumph of manga and of storytelling!

I discovered this manga earlier this year or late last year, and, at eight volumes and counting, it's been a fantastic read so far. It's the second work of Inio Asano's that I've read (the first, Nijigahara Holograph, which for me was good but not amazing), but now I'm convinced this man is a genius. The way he manipulates the medium is astounding. Punpun, as the manga has progressed, has gone through several image changes that reflect his passage through elementary school, middle school, high school, and so on. At one point, he had taken on the form of a tetrahedron. A tetrahedron. Yes. Despite the simplicity of Punpun's various character designs, Asano manages to convey a startling amount of emotion with a minimal number of brush strokes coupled with Punpun's internal monologue. Punpun rarely speaks, but every thought--whether trivial or hopeful or desolate or ugly--is known to the reader.

The characters...  Few of the characters of Goodnight Punpun are, strictly speaking, likable people. However, there is nonetheless a solid cast, each character with their own hopes, convictions, weaknesses, and failures. Some even have their own personal deities. There is the titular Punpun who often lets himself be thrown around according to the will of those around him, Shimizu who is a bit slow in the head and believes in what appears to be a Poop Jesus (yes, Poop Jesus), Aiko who pines for a life other than the one she's been dealt. There is Punpun's mother, father, and uncle, each struggling against crippling loneliness to varying degrees of success. Characters meander in and out of the story seemingly to Asano's whim, and, on the re-read, I get the vague sense that everyone and everything will be, in the end, connected, but I still cannot figure out how and why. I wait on every chapter with a sense of anticipation and of dread.

As a warning, this manga is no easy read. Sometimes it will make you laugh at the absurdities of everyday life, and at other times it will make your heart clench and your eyes water because of its unsettlingly intimate commentary on the loneliness of humans. Goodnight Punpun is "not a manga you read to escape reality... it's a manga you read to fight reality!"
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adamant
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No. 26853 Posted: Jun 2 2011, 13:07:47 [quick quote] [quote]

Original post by KingofAllCosmos

Oh, and Liar Game. I stopped reading it awhile back (a year ago, I think...), but maybe I'll catch up with it? I dunno, how amazing is that musical chair arc?

Now would be a really good time to catch up.  The mangaka is taking a break.
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Monsoon
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No. 26854 Posted: Jun 3 2011, 08:43:27 [quick quote] [quote]

Original post by soul
Original post by KingofAllCosmos

Oh, and Liar Game. I stopped reading it awhile back (a year ago, I think...), but maybe I'll catch up with it? I dunno, how amazing is that musical chair arc?

Now would be a really good time to catch up.  The mangaka is taking a break.

This is true, and I hadn't realized it until I tried to catch up only to realize that I was already caught up.  The mangaka has some kind of brutal illness that seems to happen all too often for mangaka.  Editors probably working them too hard....

EDIT: I was a big fan of Gantz for awhile, but I stopped reading after the battle with the statues.  Something about a giant monster made of breasts killing one of the Osaka guys with orgasms seemed a little over the top. 
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Nodarg
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No. 26855 Posted: Jun 3 2011, 17:44:28 [quick quote] [quote]

Original post by Monsoon

EDIT: I was a big fan of Gantz for awhile, but I stopped reading after the battle with the statues.  Something about a giant monster made of breasts killing one of the Osaka guys with orgasms seemed a little over the top. 


Haha, I guess I kinda always expect Gantz to surprise me in some way or another, so it didn't bother me that much.  Also, I think a lot of the things going on in Gantz are supposed to be "ridiculous". Slight spoiler for Gantz below:
Spoiler:
I never really thought the Osaka people were too over the top in a bad way, because a lot of those people weren't "normal" in the first place, so when they get put in these kind of crazy situations, stuff like that isn't completely unrealistic (to me anyways).

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KingofAllCosmos
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No. 26857 Posted: Jun 4 2011, 18:29:45 [quick quote] [quote]

Yeah, Gantz is pretty much composed of events that are supposed to be "shocking" anyway, so, I dunno, I usually end up accepting anything and everything as fair game in Gantz. Really, a sex-addict who gets Snape killed because of his vice is pretty characteristic of the manga.

If there's anything that I found weird and out-of-place, relatively speaking,

Spoiler:
it was that whole vampire thing. And it seemed like Kurono's brother was just thrown in there for no particular reason other than to introduce the existence of vampires.

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KingofAllCosmos
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No. 26858 Posted: Jun 4 2011, 20:57:20 [quick quote] [quote]

Original post by soul
Now would be a really good time to catch up.  The mangaka is taking a break.

Heyyyyy, speaking of manga that are on hiatus!!!!

Wild Adapter

Written and drawn by Kazuya Minekura (of Saiyuki fame), so you can expect a guy-to-girl ratio of about 5-to-1. Maybe even more. Aaaaaand if you must know, every now and then (like, one time) it's blatantly gay. That aside, Wild Adapter is a great, film-noir-esque crime drama with a great, heavy tone and atmosphere. Of course, with any crime drama, you'll get more or less the same roles and archetypes--the hard-boiled detectives, sleazy crime syndicate bosses, the well-meaning prostitutes, et cetera. And then you have the enigmatic Kubota and the naive Tokito. Between these two and the rest of the cast, the character interaction is probably what I enjoy most about Wild Adapter.

Vagabond

This deserves a post of its own. Maybe I'll get around to it, unless Sollosi wants a go.
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KingofAllCosmos
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No. 26895 Posted: Jun 12 2011, 00:01:09 [quick quote] [quote]

Hokenshitsu no Shinigami

Basic premise (stolen from MAL because story descriptions are soooo boring to write): "Hades-Sensei is no ordinary middle school nurse. In fact, many students believe he is a shinigami. His excessive friendliness and eagerness to win his students' affection does little to offset his terrifying appearance. But, fortunately for this middle school, Hades-Sensei is an expert at extracting "byouma", demons of disease, from possessed students!"

Hokenshitsu no Shinigami currently runs in Shounen Jump, and only half of the published chapters have been translated so far, guhhhhh (40 out of 80+). The setting and story are pretty interesting so far, but the characters are really what I enjoy about this manga. There's a solid cast, and each character has his own well-defined personality with a variety of quirks, which is consistent with the genre. Everyone is so fun and charming and hilariousssss. But, given the situation, they can show a surprising amount of depth, especially Ashitaba and Itsuhito-sensei in the fortune teller arc... If I had to compare Hokenshitsu to another manga, I guess it reminds me a lot of Eyeshield 21 in terms of the characters and comedy and art style. Yeah, and, as everyone knows, that manga was so amazinggggg.

But, anyway, everything about this manga is so endearing. I think I've already fallen in love with it.
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Monsoon
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No. 27269 Posted: Sep 5 2011, 09:25:17 [quick quote] [quote]

I'll get this thread fired up again, with the new schoolyear for you college people starting again.  The few that I'm posting here should come as no surprise....

Slam Dunk

One of the bestselling manga in Shonen Jump history (only behind Dragonball and One Piece using some metrics) and for my money one of the greatest pieces of sports fiction ever told.  Through the stunning art and panel transitions of Takehiko Inoue, Slam Dunk tells the story of Hanamichi Sakuragi, a juvenile delinquent that joins his high school basketball team because of a crush on a schoolgirl basketball fan, shows a surprising talent for the sport, and develops a love for the game. 

In addition to great basketball action, Inoue does a stellar job of explaining the rules and finer points of basketball to a largely basketball-ignorant audience.  The characters, even a few minor players on teams that Shohoku plays early in the series, get face time and character development that draws you deeper into the struggle.  The manga is a little slow-moving and drawn-out (there are only six or seven complete games in a 33-volume manga, for chrissakes), but every chapter is pure gold.

Death Note

This manga is so good and so successful that you probably have already read it.  High school student Light Yagami (born on February 28th, 1986 just like other awesome people) finds a shinigami's lost notebook (the titular Death Note) Snape kills anyone whose real name is written within. 

Light decides to use the Death Note as a means to punish evildoers, and eventually the storyline evolves into a thriller pitting Light and his Death Note against a team of master investigators trying to solve the mysterious, unexplainable deaths.  Death Note caused a huge splash when it first was serialized, and is extremely popular worldwide (and for good reason).  If you haven't read it yet, get on it. 

Onani Master Kurosawa

This manga starts out almost disturbing and off-putting, but eventually turns out to be genuinely moving.  A middle school third-year named Kurosawa has an unusual hobby - sneaking into his school's girls restroom and masturbating every day after classes.  An unpopular girl catches him in the act and proceeds to blackmail him into getting revenge on girls that have wronged her. 

Eventually, OMK turns into a manga about troubled teenagers struggling with self-esteem and changing themselves.  The ending (i.e. the fate of the main character) was also awesomely unexpected.  If you aren't extremely put off by the manga's premise, this is one worth checking out. 
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KingofAllCosmos
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No. 27274 Posted: Sep 6 2011, 02:12:48 [quick quote] [quote]

HEY, just finished reading Onani Master Kurosawa. I kept passing it on MangaTraders and MAL, but I only got around to reading it now.

Anyway, it was really good. I ended up sympathizing with Kurosawa to a considerable extent. ...Maybe not so much the masturbation aspect but more of his actions and motivations in the latter half of the manga. For example, that feeling you get when you've made a negative judgment about someone you don't know very well, but then this person betrays your expectations or turns out to be a decent person--surprise along with a little guilt and regret and embarrassment. I dunno, I guess all I'm saying that reading OMK ended up being a personal experience, in spite of the subject matter. The other characters were fleshed out pretty well, too. Oh, also, no over-the-top, tragic backstories. This is a good thing.

I think the writer took a very humanist approach with the story and characters, which was nice. He doesn't really point fingers or condemn anyone for being who they are, but he does push the idea that people must take responsibility for their actions and that we all have the capacity to change ourselves (spoilers?). Kurosawa had, to put it lightly, an abnormal compulsion, but he was never presented in a way that made me hate him. Maybe that varies from person to person, I dunno. I guess he does kinda rape girls in his mind, but whatever...? His character development is really what you read this manga for.

I have some minor issues with the writing style and art style... I feel like like both are a little unpolished. But I do like how the artist draws hands and arms. His (I assume) loose, pencil lineart gives way to some organic shapes. Just putting that out there.

Thinking on it, I feel Onani Master Kurosawa shares some thematic elements and some stylistic choices (in the writing) with Tatami Galaxy, so if you liked OMK, try watching Tatami Galaxy. Uh, I guess I'm talking to you, Sollosi.
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