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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 4th, 2012 @ 3:14pm

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81 Diver
Just finished v21. This manga is awesome in every way. The art is great and stylized. The story is crazy and funny. The author deserves a lot of props for making a manga about Shougi(Japanese Chess) so much fun to read. Basically, the main character is a Professional Shougi player dropout who meets a maid who's stronger at Shougi than him and she recruits him to get revenge on this evil organization that is trying take over the world with Shougi... Yeah, this is 1 of my most favorite manga of all time.

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I am a Hero
Read the newest volume #9. Even though the series makes a plot twist into a generic genre
Spoiler: show
zombies
, I really like the main character because he's such a head case. I has an imaginary friend he talks to and is super socially awkward, but this is all juxtaposed with the fact that he has something that makes him unique.
Spoiler: show
a gun


Art is good and the story is good. Going to keep reading it and you should too.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 5th, 2012 @ 10:40pm

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Sugar-8 volumes(completed)

Pretty interesting read. The author Hideki Arai is most known for his another work called "The World is Mine"(which I'll write up on someday) and his art is very good. This manga is about Ishikawa Rin, a happy go lucky type of guy who enters the world of professional boxing. It's interesting because Rin is a natural genius at boxing who ends up losing his debut match from being too cocky. The series wraps up with him returning to the ring in style with his 2nd match. Apparently there is a sequel series called "Rin" and I'll be reading that as well.

A pretty descent series, has some MAJOR adult themes and definitely not for kids. I liked it.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 5th, 2012 @ 11:40pm

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Glaucos- 4 volumes(completed)

A short series by Tanaka Akio, artist from Shamo. The story follows a teenager named Cisse challenges the world record of free diving. The art is excellent. I really like the lines the artist uses with faces. The story isn't just about the main character trying to beat the world record of free diving, but also focuses on the philosophy behind man's need attempt free diving in the first place. It's a short read but I'd recommend it only to people who are fans of the art of Shamo.

Read Glaucos here.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 6th, 2012 @ 12:53am

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Tokyo Tribe 2- 12 volumes(completed)

Semi famous for it's anime, this manga is "The Warriors" meets Hip Hop. Various gangs or "Tribes" populate the different boroughs of Tokyo. The series follows the rivalry between Kai and Mera, two former friend who get involved within the escalating gang wars.

It's a pretty good series. I watched the anime before reading the manga and they're almost exactly the same. Author Sanata Inoue's art is stylized but a bit rough in the beginning. There is some AMAZING art in the 12th and final volume: fantastic black and white contrast. The story is good but it's funny how a lot of the rivalry and fighting between gangs happens because of simple misunderstandings. This usually leads to serious violence before both sides realized they screwed up. Inoue might be commenting on the brashness of youth culture, or maybe he just watched "The Warriors" and decided to rip it off :lol:
There is also Tokyo Tribe, a one shot volume that takes place in the same setting but has different characters.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 6th, 2012 @ 3:08pm

Time for a three-fer, all by artist Nihonbashi Youko. Her manga have aspects of Shoujo storytelling but her art style is more Shounen. I really like the way she uses thick lines in her art. All 3 of these manga are set in a school setting but with adult themes. Many of her characters deal with an inferiority complex and they have complex relationships with each other.

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Plastic Kaitaikoukou- Break up Plastic High School: 2 volumes(completed)
A love triangle story in high school starring Kurata Mitsunari, his superior brother and high school teacher Kurata Issei and rebel girl Furuya Naomi. It's a short read, which helps because it's kinda generic and not too special.

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Kyokutou Gakuen Tengoku- 4 volumes(completed)
Hiraga Shingo is a junior high school student who is sent to Goshikidaid High, a radical reform school that accepts problematic students and imprisons them until graduation. The school focuses on "freedom" but that also means it's lawless and students must run classes by themselves.

Really great story that focuses on character development. The setting of this reform school is also interesting. Fully recommend people check it out.

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G-Pen Senjou Heaven's Door- 3 volumes(completed)
Story about Sakai Machizou who resents his successful manga artist father for divorcing his mother. He secretly harbors the desire to become an author. After having a chance meeting with his classmate Hasegawa Tetsuo, a manga genius, they find respect for each other and decide to work on a manga.

I'll just stay first off, this is no Bakuman. Although the story follows 2 high schoolers who write manga, the focus is on their family relationships. Both characters come from broken homes and struggle to deal with their problems. I liked this manga a lot. Again, it's short but sweet. but that also means it's lawless and students must run classes by themselves.

Really great story that focuses on character development. The setting of this reform school is also interesting. Fully recommend people check it out.

[img]http
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 7th, 2012 @ 1:20am

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Kekkaishi-35 volumes(completed)
The fundamental gist of the Kekkaishi revolves around Yoshimori Sumimura, the next heir to the Sumimura family, as he lives as both a student by day, as well as a kekkaishi, literally meaning 'barrier master' as he utilizes barriers to defeat demons who wish to harness the power of the particular land they live around, Karasumori. As Yoshimori dwelves deeper into master the arts of kekkai to grow to be stronger and to have the ability to safeguard his childhood friend/kekkai/family rival/one-sided love interest, the mysteries surrounding the origins of Karasumori slowly deepens...(summary from mangahere)

This manga is wonderful. The world setting is unique and interesting. Things actually happen with consequence and help the characters develop. The art is very good with the designs of the Ayakashi(Japanese Ghosts/Creatures) being excellent in particular. I especially loved the ending, as it wasn't a typical "everyone wins!" happy ending.

Everyone should check this series out for themselves. There is also an anime as well.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 10th, 2012 @ 10:55pm

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Saiyuki- Journey to the West- 9 volumes(completed)

A manga series based on the famous Chinese novel Journey to the West, author Kazuya Minekura replaces the 4 main characters with pretty boy bishounen. They have to travel to stop the resurrection of Gyumaoh.(Ox King)

Yeah, first off this manga is TOTALLY yaoi bait. The main guys will talk to each other close enough to kiss, brood about their painful conflicted past and have "suggestive" dialogue. I mean, just look at this for crying out loud.
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Besides that, it's an ok series. The art work for the characters are good but the framing of action and backgrounds are pretty shitty in the first couple of volumes. The story is decent but I didn't really grab me in any way. There's an anime out for the series, as well as more volumes in a sequel series but I'm not interested enough to follow it myself.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 11th, 2012 @ 1:37am

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Light Wing- 3 volumes(completed)

An amazing high-school soccer player, Amagai Rihito, is making his debut! He intended to enter a high school famed across Japan for its elite soccer team, but a little mix-up with the school name has left him at a school with an incredibly weak team. After the initial shock of discovering this, Rihito decides that he's willing to work to help his weak team become the best in Japan. The only problem is the rest of the existing team is cold and unenthusiastic. Will his challenge to take on the whole team single-handedly break them out of their apathy?(summary from mangaupdates.com)

I recommend this but with the pretense that it abruptly ends. This is a manga that ran in Shounen Jump and was canceled prematurely due to a lack of popularity. A shame because I rather enjoyed it during it's run and even now after reading the volume releases. Because it ended early, the plot ends up moving at light speed at the end. The art is pretty good and I liked how the story was going to revolve around each teammate discovering their own specific talents. I think soccer manga have a hard time being popular because there are so many of them out there.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 11th, 2012 @ 5:27pm

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Mugen no Juunin-Blade of the Immortal- 29 volumes(ongoing)

Shaun Elliot's favorite manga, it's about a samurai assassin named Manji who's cursed with immortality. He decides to go on a quest to kill 1000 evil men to rid himself of his curse. The series follows his travels with a girl named Rin and her quest to get revenge against the Ittou-ryu group that killed her parents.

This is a good manga but NOT for kids. It's INSANELY violent and then gets REALLY, REALLY DARK. One volume is dedicated to a female character being continually tortured and raped for a week... WHICH IS NOT REALLY FUN TO READ.

The newest volume 29 was pretty good(No rape) and it had Makie, the strongest character in the series, kicking all kinds of ass. Manji's fight was also great but it took a turn for the weird, with backwards arms coming into play.

I'll continue to read this manga because the art is great and I recommend it but NOT FOR THE KIDS.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:46am

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Satanister- 5 volumes(completed)

Partake in the horror, the terror, the bloodcurdling madness of the serial killer mind, and the one who dares exterminate them! Except it's a comedy horror. Anyway, contains explict blood and gore, so you have been warned.(summary taken from rawscans)

Yeah.... it's really gory.... but also kinda funny at times. The Satanister, a nun that relies on demon-like violence, must hunt down the female serial killer Valkyrie. Accompanied by high school girl Izumi, Satanister must enter the World Championship of Serial Killers held in USA. The art is weird because the character design is kinda Shoujo(Girl) manga, but then it's juxtaposed with HEAVY violence. A short read, it was kinda interesting/enjoyable. Would only recommend it for literal "morbid curiosity."
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:13am

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Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro- Demonic Detective Neuro Nougami- 23 volumes(completed)

The series focuses on Neuro Nogami, a demon who eats mysteries. Because he has already eaten every mystery in the demon world, he comes to the human world to feast on the mysteries offered by humans (who release negative energy from their planned crimes). As a demon, he does not wish to make his presence in the human world widely known. Because of this, he makes a deal with high school girl Yako Katsuragi, who has her own mystery to solve, and together they solve crimes to feed Neuro's appetite.(summary from wikipedia)

It's a mystery manga in the vein of Conan the boy detective. Neuro's relationship with Yako is what I enjoyed the most about this series. They build their relationship of trust as they solve cases together. Naive and idealistic Yako is a good foil to Neuro cold and calculating ways. There's even a lot of funny moments between them because Neuro enjoys sadistically torturing Yako.

The art style is not the most detailed or impressive, but it's stylized enough that it didn't bother me. If anything, the design of the villains is unique and very well done. The mysteries are decent and the plot progresses nicely at a good pace until the finale.

All in all a good series. You can also check out the anime as well.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:05pm

I'm posting a lot but I still have a back log of about 20 manga to write about....

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Rin- 4 volumes(completed)

The sequel series to Sugar that I wrote about. This series was a pretty good follow up to Sugar. Genius boxer Rin Ishikawa is as cocky as ever. After beating the World Champion he sucker punches Jyouji Tateishi, another Japanese Champion boxer, on TV during a follow up interview. The story revolves around their eventual fight against each other in the ring.

This was an entertaining read, especially the complexity behind the main character. Rin only feels real joy when boxing a tough opponent who pumps up his adrenaline so he hates dealing with normal people who say they understand his feelings. This leads to him aways lashing out at others and being a "heel". He goes through a downward spiral of getting dumped by his girlfriend and then getting addicted to brothels. Rin will laughs often to cover up his sadness and loneliness. The series kinda ends without a complete resolution of some of his problems but I liked that it wasn't a fully happy ending. Hideki Arai's artwork is also great. Recommend it but NOT FOR KIDS!
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 14th, 2012 @ 3:47am

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Zebraman- 5 volumes(completed)
Shinichi Ichikawa is a 42 year old 3rd grade teacher but he gets no respect from his students, his wife is having an affair, his daughter is whoring herself out to the highest bidder and his son wants nothing to do with him. He escapes reality into his fandom for a forgotten Japanese Sentai Hero Zebraman, while lying to himself that his life isn't so bad. After wandering outside in Zebraman cosplay he runs into Crabman, a Zebraman villain, attacking a school girl. After saving her fiction and reality seem to be mixing as he's dragged into battling villain after villain from the TV show in a battle to save the city from murder and crime.

OMFG BEST NEW MANGA I'VE READ IN A LONG ASS TIME
A manga adaptation of the Zebraman live action movie(never seen it) but damn is this good. I love how Shinichi doesn't have superpowers or high tech gadgets; he's just a middle aged fanboy in cosplay. Half the time he just quotes Zebraman from the TV show and gets beat up a lot. I also loved the character development of the entire cast. Shinichi's relationship with his family drastically changes as he saves them from villains and the reveals his secret identity to them. He even has to deal with rekindling a long lost love and friendship with a student who happens to be an expert on all things Zebraman. The story telling in this manga is great. The pacing is excellent so I give the author Kankuro Kudo a lot of credit. The artwork is great, especially the framing of panels. I really liked artist Reiji Yamada range in characters, from serious to super deformed.

But yeah, I LOVED THIS MANGA. Definitely recommend it.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby kenzo » Jun 14th, 2012 @ 4:08am

The movie was a Takahashi Miike film, and they (multiple movies) were quite popular.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby kenzo » Jun 21st, 2012 @ 9:41am

Eatman is the best manga ever made.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 27th, 2012 @ 2:15am

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Green Blood- 3 volumes(on going)

A new series by Kakizaki Masamuni, artist of the famous "Rainbow" manga about 7 juvie boys struggling to survive in post war Japan. "Green Blood" follows 2 immigrant brothers living in Manhattan's famous Five Points slums in 1865. Younger brother Luke is a hard working idealist and his older brother Brad is the Grave Digger gang's pet assassin. The story follows Brad quest to find and kill their father while trying to protect Luke from harm.

I looked into this series because I really enjoyed "Rainbow." Kakizaki Masamuni is a fantastic artist and it shows in "Green Blood." Although he was only the artist for "Rainbow" I'm enjoying his job as the author of this series, as well. Volume 3 ends up wrapping up part 1 of this series and moves the story along to a new location. Some fan translations are already out and so you should definitely check it out.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 29th, 2012 @ 1:20am

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Doubt- 4 Volumes(completed)

There’s a game going around Japan called ‘Rabbit Doubt’. The premise of the game is that all of the players are rabbits in a colony, and one amongst them is randomly chosen to be a wolf that infiltrated the group of rabbits. Every round, the wolf kills off a rabbit, and every round, the group tries to figure out which of the rabbits is actually a wolf in disguise. Sometimes the kids who play this game decide to meet up in person, and Yuu, Mitsuki, Rei, Hajime, Eiji, and Haruka have done just that. Unfortunately, one of them has decided to take on the mantle of the wolf and has already killed once. Who is the wolf, and can they be stopped before everyone meets a very unpleasant end?(synopsis from Raw Manga)

Hmmmm, what a SHITTY ASS BORING manga.
I'd seen this manga around a few times but I finally decided to read it and I really wish I hadn't. The art isn't dramatic enough, which is a huge problem when you're trying to make a suspense/horror story. The setting where the game takes place is basically taken from the SAW movies. Even the twist was super predictable. Definitely don't recommend it.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby SuperYuriGagarin » Jun 29th, 2012 @ 9:40pm

I'm currently reading Jojo's Bizarre adventure.

Mother of god I don't know how to feel about this series. It oozes gay, but good god is it one of the manliest things I've ever read.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby kenzo » Jun 29th, 2012 @ 10:56pm

SuperYuriGagarin wrote:It oozes gay, but good god is it one of the manliest things I've ever read.
You mustn't have a lot of exposure to gay people, because that's usually how being gay goes.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby SuperYuriGagarin » Jun 30th, 2012 @ 12:41am

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/51 ... erco4.jpg/

Gay people wish they were this gay. It makes gay look like the straightest thing.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jun 30th, 2012 @ 10:47pm

SuperYuriGagarin wrote:I'm currently reading Jojo's Bizarre adventure.

Mother of god I don't know how to feel about this series. It oozes gay, but good god is it one of the manliest things I've ever read.


I suggest you read Steel Ball Run which is Jojo part 7. Author Araki Hirohiko decided to do a re-imagining of his characters so new readers could jump in easily. Though Part 3 is of course the most popular...

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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby SuperYuriGagarin » Jul 1st, 2012 @ 12:18am

I'm done from Part 1, to 4, the one with Josuke now.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jul 8th, 2012 @ 3:45am

Ugh, I have shit ton of updates to give. Here's a quick one.

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Ranma 1/2- 38 volumes(completed)

Being a teenage martial artist isn't easy, especially for Ranma Saotome, who went through a major transformation on a training mission with his father. After an accidental dunk into a legendary cursed spring in China, Ranma now changes into a girl every time he's splashed with cold water. That would be enough to complicate anyone's life, even without the arranged fiancée who doesn't like him (or says she doesn't) and the constant stream of rivals and suitors for both his male and female forms. What's a half-guy, half-girl to do? (synopsis from RawScans)

Just reread the entire series tonight. Many people know Rumiko Takahashi from Inuyasha but Ranma is the manga I read with my brother as we grew up. It a great series that's the perfect combination of action and slap stick comedy. My only complaint is the way Ranma 1/2 ends, which is exactly the same as how Urusei Yatsura ends. But regardless it's a great series and you should read it.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jul 8th, 2012 @ 9:23pm

I just finished reading 3 works by Yoshihiro Yamada

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Hyougemono- 14 volumes(on going)

The story is set during Japan's Sengoku Jidai (Era of the Warring States) and centers on Sasuke Furuta, a vassal of the great warlord Nobunaga Oda and a man obsessed with tea ceremony and material desires in his pursuit of a fortuitous life. Having learned from Oda and the legendary tea master Sen no Soeki, Furuta walks the way of the "Hyouge Mono." (synopsis from RawScans)

Kenzo recommended this series to me because he liked the anime. I was suprised I liked it so much because I usually hate anything that's about the Sengoku period of Japan. The best thing about the series is watching protagonist Furuta react to everything that's happening around him. Yamada's uses a simple style to draw characters, but will then exaggerated their expression of joy, sadness, shock, etc. I really like how all the warlord and generals are obsessed with obtaining rare teapots and kettles. The story is a bit political, but I would recommend you look for the anime.

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Decathlon- 23 volumes(completed)

Kazami Mankichi is an unknown athlete who shows up at the Japanese Decathlon qualifier and shocks everyone with his skills and lack of knowledge. The story follows his rise to stardom and finally to the Olympics.

An earlier work by Yamada, you can see his artwork progress through the series. Manga stories about athletes trying to become #1 are usually pretty generic and this is no exception. The main character reminds me of Ray from "Sugar" and "Ray." He's also cocky and easily effected by his feelings but unlike Ray he's not a dick. The unique thing about the story was that all the rival athletes continue to give each other advice and encouragement in the middle of their competition. A pretty feel good sports manga: I recommend it.

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Giant- 9 volumes(completed)

A towering giant of a man, Mitsugu Kyohou arrives in America to play baseball. His goal is to become a Major League player. The story follows his career as he learns to love hitting home runs and overcome his complex about being too big.

I really enjoyed this series because the story takes it's time to develop and mold the main character. We see Kyohou struggle to overcome the play style forced on him in college, rise and fall from the minors to Majors, become a base stealer to make money and return his debt; all events helped make the protagonist complex and interesting. A good sports manga.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby Lord_Xv » Jul 8th, 2012 @ 9:38pm

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title: Franken Fran
Summary
Fran can make anyone into anything, raise the dead, switch heads and bodies and give you those eyes that you've always wanted. But do you actually want them? Is it a good thing to raise the dead? Do the ends justify the means? And does Fran care? (from Ten manga)

This series is a sort of pseudo horror deal with the devil type chapters. Each chapter tends to be it's own story with most not ending well for the person asking for Fran's help. I believe it has ended and the ending of the series was limited by the way the series was. I still hope for a better ending and more chapters
would zombies attack Frankenstein's monster?
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby Lord_Xv » Jul 8th, 2012 @ 9:54pm

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Summary
Nagasawa Shiina was just your average 3rd year high schooler when her parents' company went bankrupt. In order to pay the bills, her family sells her into prostitution. At her first job, a mysterious masked man crashes the party...and it's someone she knows...

Akumetsu is the story of Hazama Shou, who defends his own view of justice in a vigilante manner while wearing a mask and calling himself Akumetsu.
(from ten manga)
An action manga with political threads in it. I did enjoy it I have to say. A little confusing before one point in the story is revealed. A story of an ubermensch with a political vendetta.
would zombies attack Frankenstein's monster?
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby dakazu » Jul 9th, 2012 @ 2:07am

Lord_Xv wrote:Image
title: Franken Fran
Summary
Fran can make anyone into anything, raise the dead, switch heads and bodies and give you those eyes that you've always wanted. But do you actually want them? Is it a good thing to raise the dead? Do the ends justify the means? And does Fran care? (from Ten manga)

This series is a sort of pseudo horror deal with the devil type chapters. Each chapter tends to be it's own story with most not ending well for the person asking for Fran's help. I believe it has ended and the ending of the series was limited by the way the series was. I still hope for a better ending and more chapters


I read 2 volumes and that was enough for me. Sounds to me like they never decided to give some back story on Fran, which is unfortunate.

Lord_Xv wrote:Image
Summary
Nagasawa Shiina was just your average 3rd year high schooler when her parents' company went bankrupt. In order to pay the bills, her family sells her into prostitution. At her first job, a mysterious masked man crashes the party...and it's someone she knows...

Akumetsu is the story of Hazama Shou, who defends his own view of justice in a vigilante manner while wearing a mask and calling himself Akumetsu.
(from ten manga)
An action manga with political threads in it. I did enjoy it I have to say. A little confusing before one point in the story is revealed. A story of an ubermensch with a political vendetta.


I remember liking the series, but also being annoyed at how preachy it got towards the end. Other than that I enjoyed it a lot. The author/artist combo of Yoshiaki Tabata and Yuki Yugo also did a series called Comic Master J; a super manga assistant that will help you complete your pages before the deadline. That series also became preachy towards the end....

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Comic Master J- 13 volumes
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby kenzo » Jul 9th, 2012 @ 4:28am

dakazu wrote:Sounds to me like they never decided to give some back story on Fran, which is unfortunate.
I know there are lots of times when people get sad or upset when a work of fiction doesn't divulge enough information about characters, or when things refuse to recount a character's back-story. And sometimes, it's honestly better when they don't. I think if we had a full episode of Cowboy Bebop where it was just a flashback of Spike's story with the Syndicate, his character would have been less interesting and less enigmatic. Some of my favorite characters are left with mysterious backgrounds like that. I love guys like Eatman who are just enigmas that act more like indecipherable forces of nature rather than people with origins with emotions and whatnot. And characters like Vash the Stampede - I actually liked a lot more before we learned his backstory with Knives on the spaceship. It's fun to wonder what's going on, and we're almost always disappointed when the curtain is pulled back.

dakazu wrote:I really like how all the warlord and generals are obsessed with obtaining rare teapots and kettles.
I like that bit too. It's actually very historically accurate. You'd be surprised how many powerful people in Japanese history were total nut-jobs over shit like that which would help them feel cultured. One of the more fascinating figures in Japanese history to me was Ashikaga Yoshimasa - one of the last of the Ashikaga Shoguns. Instead of administrating the Empire, keeping his vassals/warriors in line, and tending to matters of the state, he pissed away all his money and attention building the Silver Pavilion (Ginkaku-ji) and practicing the tea ceremony while Japan devolved into civil war all around him.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby Konanda » Jul 9th, 2012 @ 5:49pm

dakazu wrote:
Lord_Xv wrote:Image
title: Franken Fran
Summary
Fran can make anyone into anything, raise the dead, switch heads and bodies and give you those eyes that you've always wanted. But do you actually want them? Is it a good thing to raise the dead? Do the ends justify the means? And does Fran care? (from Ten manga)

This series is a sort of pseudo horror deal with the devil type chapters. Each chapter tends to be it's own story with most not ending well for the person asking for Fran's help. I believe it has ended and the ending of the series was limited by the way the series was. I still hope for a better ending and more chapters


I read 2 volumes and that was enough for me. Sounds to me like they never decided to give some back story on Fran, which is unfortunate.



If you want an episodic horror and mystery manga with some more back story you should try Nightmare Inspector: Yumekui Kenbun. It's a complete series and is 9 volumes long.

Image

For those who suffer nightmares, help awaits at the Silver Star Tea House, where patrons can order much more than just Darjeeling, tea, and coffee. Hiruko is a special kind of private investigator. He's a dream eater, a Baku. And he'll rid you of your darkest visions... that is, of course... for a price.


The story takes place during the end of the Taisho era, which gives rise to the interesting visual style and architecutre that noobie mangaka Shin Mashiba illustrates for the reader. The world being a mix of older Japanese architecture and aesthetics to it mixed with late Industrial Era technology like early gas lighting, electric trams and some British style aesthetics from around that time like stained glass windows, and Italianate style mansions and so forth.

The main character Hiruko is a Baku (a supernatural being who eats dreams) who will rid you of your most frightening and debilitating of nightmares for the right price. (your nightmare) Hiruko does this by entering his patron's dream and guiding them through it revealing the cause of their troubles and helping them deal with it, in exchange for his assistance he is awarded their nightmare (the dark and bloody ones are the tastiest) for his sustenance. However, like the old adage goes be careful what you wish for because it might just come true. Well in this case it means that the people Hiruko help usually end up worse off at the end of the chapter where there is a mini-epilogue with Hiruko and the owner of the Tea House and sometimes the patron.

For example from Chapter 2
Spoiler: show
One woman who is constantly comes in one day after having stabbed someone. See she has a recurring nightmare where there is a blank canvas and she writes "Tomorrow will be a repeat of today" with each day being as monotonous as the last until one day she writes "Tomorrow I will stab someone". Hiruko enters her nightmare and scratches out the stabbing message and replaces it with a new message that she is much happier with. At the end of the chapter it's revealed Hiruko has been doing this for the patron for quite some time and once again wrote "Tomorrow will be a repeat of today", the last page of the chapter is the patron with a knife in front of someone's home ringing the doorbell.


Now this said the series doesn't reveal much backstory about Hiruko at the beginning. The first inklings of it is in volume 2 but it is there and as the series progresses the real overarching plot is slowly revealed to the point where volume 8 and 9 mostly drop the episodic format of the series and focus almost entirely on who is Hiruko and how did he become a Baku. Although I will say the ending is well, to put it politely it leaves something to be desired and is a bit of a Mind Screw. Which is either in keeping with the surreal nature of dreams and Hiruko's existance or a clumsy ending on the behalf of a first time mangaka, personally I lean more to the former.

It is one of my favourite manga series and if you liked series such as Petshop of Horrors or early xxxHolic than you should give Nightmare Inspector a try. I will warn you that some of the chapters get very dark and disturbing though and as the series progresses the macabre and wicked atmosphere is not something that goes away or gets better.

Viz Media has localised all of it, although if you prefer an electronic version you can find it on Square Enix's Digital Manga Store.
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Re: What manga are you reading?

Postby Lord_Xv » Jul 10th, 2012 @ 12:10am

Image
title: Beck Mongolian Chop Squad
Summary
For the first 14 years of his life, Yukio Tanaka has been one heck of a boring guy. He has no hobbies, weak taste in music, and only a small vestige of a personality. He yearns for an exciting life, but his shy, and somewhat neurotic personality make him his own worst enemy. Little does he know that his life will be forever changed when he meets Ryusuke Minami, a wild and unpredictable 16-year old fresh from America, who happens to be in a rock-and-roll band named after his Frankenstein-like patched dog--Beck. (from ten manga)

I very much enjoyed this series. I enjoyed the characters, writing, the anime, and the theme of this manga. The art style is hard to get used to at first but don't let that tern you off to the series. it has ended but don't be fooled by the number of chapters, each one is about 50 pages long so even at 103 chapters it's a length of a read. Even if you have seen the anime I recommend reading the series as it goes way past when the anime ends and has a nice wrap up.
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