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Author Topic: Whatcha been reading?  (Read 9440 times)

Offline DarkKanti

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Whatcha been reading?
« on: January 13, 2006, 09:27:30 PM »
Alright.  This is a thread for the discussion of manga you've been reading lately (by lately I mean within the last few weeks).  Name what you've been reading, describe it a bit and give either a recomendation or a warning.

Hajime no Ippo.  This is a boxing manga and probably one of the longest running manga of all time spanning over 70 volumes so far, with many more to come.  It contains the adventures of Ippo through his debut match to his winning of the Japanese title and beyond.  Be there for the awe-inspiring victories and heart breaking defeats, as Ippo and the rest of the Kamogawa gang fight their way to the top.  This is definitely recomended as it is probably one of the best mangas out there.  I mean it.  There are very few out there that can even compare to this.

Eyeshield 21.  I've been reading alot of sports manga lately, and this is probably one of the weirdest.  I honestly never thought I'd read a manga about American Football before, but here it is and is it ever entertaining.  Enter Sena, a small cowardly 1st year high schooler, however Sena has one secret weapon that no one can take away from him...  Speed.  When quarterback and captain of the 2 man American Football club sees Sena in action, he "persuades" him to play for the team under the alias, "Eyeshield 21," a Notre Dame hero of American football who has even left the pros choking on his dust.  Will these rag tag underdogs make a team in time for the Christmas Bowl?  Why don't you check it out and see for yourself.  This is definitely a recommended title.

Ichigo 100%.  Blah.  Stay away.  For the love of god, stay away.  It's the same damn joke over and over again.  While it starts out just the same as all of the other harem manga out there it never seems to progress any, just like all the other harem manga out there.  You definitely need to stay far far away from this title as reading may cause brain damage.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 09:30:11 PM by DarkKanti »

The Nihon Review Presents 2006: A Year in Review

Offline Tamashii

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Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2006, 09:56:28 PM »
Side Commentary

I like it how all sport mangas have the lead role have some "special" ability. It almost makes me cry. Where's the antihero? Where's the protagonist that can't play ball, that can't throw a punch, that can't do anything? That's the story I want to hear. I'm tired of the superheroes, the false "star of the show" sentiment, the pathetic "let us admire him!" Hajime no Ippo (anime), Hikaru no Go...many great titles have this terrible disease, a disease that is necessary by nature just for the sake of audience sympathy; I mean, everyone needs a hero to look up to, to root for. The great sport titles have managed to save themselves by exposing the weakness of the characters, and that's what has made Hikaru no Go brilliant and Hajime no Ippo sensational. In general, I want a renaissance. I want there to be a movement for manga that have characters like 20th Century Boys--the ordinary, the unspecial, the unlucky--but with a sport twist. Unfortunately, Eyeshield 21, and any other new sports manga, probably will not provide. We're blind. We can't see our own pretensions, the unrealistic motifs completely invisible to our minds. Manga-ka's will continue to write trash. And the public will follow, reading the trash, making the money, improving the economy, and starting the whole cycle again: by then we've got "Eyeshield 21.....Part Two!"


And for the record, I have not read any manga for the past few months.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 10:01:41 PM by Tamashii »

Offline DarkKanti

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Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2006, 10:17:43 PM »
Well, in all fairness, you used Hajime no Ippo as an example of the anti-hero type, and I think Sena from Eyeshield 21 and Ippo are actually quite a bit alike.  Sena has natural speed the way Ippo has natural power.  Sure, Ippo still needs to practice, but so does Sena, and in a way I think Sena might be a little more of an anti-hero.  Throughout the manga it's made fairly clear that he's a total loser (not to mention extremely short), and he has a girl protecting him from bullies and whatnot.  One of the reasons he's so fast is because he's always been running around doing favors for such bullies (the way Ippo originally gained power was from working on his family fishing boat).  Now, I'm not saying Eyeshield 21 is as good as HnI or Hikaru no Go, but I think it's good in its own sense.  Yes, it does fall into a couple of shounen stereotypes, but it's a fun manga.

The Nihon Review Presents 2006: A Year in Review

Offline Kurier

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Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2006, 10:20:52 PM »
BLAME! Vol. 2 - Very good, a little more is explained then in the first (if you have read BLAME! before, you know that there is very little dialogue, well Vol. 2 had more). We finally figure out what Killy's Gun is (and can do), and who/what the overlordish figure that everyone is afraid of actually is. A lot of action in this volume, and in like the first it is done in graphic detail. Read the BLAME! series, it is beautiful.

DeathNote vol. 2 - If you are a fan of thrillers, DeathNote is for you. Vol. 2 finally reveals the look of L (Probably one of my favorite Manga characters to date, next to Light, Ha!). The NPA is in trouble with the amount of people, so they force L to join them in person. A plan is set in motion, and Light strikes back. Saying anymore would give some stuff away, so I will just say "Read DEATHNOTE!!! Now!"

Um...I don't do Scanlations (with the exception of Naruto) so I usually read manga in strides of 2-3, in spans of a month to several months (money well dries up, you know).
I fell off the wagon and now I can't stop.

Offline Tamashii

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Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2006, 10:34:38 PM »
I did not use HnI as the anti-hero type. Read my post closely. "Hajime no Ippo (anime), Hikaru no Go...many great titles have this terrible disease."

No matter how the lead role "acquired" his skills, it still does not break the fact that he has them. A character with an outstanding quality, a quality that is enough to make him obviously superior, even with drawbacks such as height, is considered the "typical" hero. Why? Because this one trait, the quality of speed, is a storytelling device. If anything, it is a distraction to the truth. If a manga was intended to explore the nature of sportsmanship, or to study a certain model of character, then why is it necessary to use false storytelling devices such as "incredible speed" or "incredible skill?" And if a manga does not contain any intellectual, or human, impact, then it is not worth the read--at least that's how I see it. Otherwise, it would be just a typical run-off-the-mill story, like those movies that you go to the theatre, throw away $8.50, and forget about. "Typical" heroes are the ones who are chained down by these devices, they may be in another shape, such as longer legs or better vision, but they are all essentially the same. Therefore, there is no true inherent difference between Sena and say, Ippo (based on this assumption that both characters retain this state of being and remain static; clearly I have not read Eyeshield 21).

What is a "fun" read? Is it similar to watching porn? Well, that's fun (serious). What are you trying to get out of your time spent reading these titles? These are rhetorical questions that are not strictly directed at you, as they apply to me as well (e.g. World of Warcraft). I have a general paranoia towards "art" that is not art, or at least, should be art. I see Manga as an art, same with anime. That is the line is drawn between "fun with video games" and "fun with intellectual material." It sounds elitist, yes, but that's how I see it. I do not think reading a manga for "fun" is worth it unless I get something out of it, such as an insightful lesson, or an interesting theme. Video games are different because they are strictly meant to entertain. [went off course a bit there with the video games...just didn't want you to miscomprehend.]

Offline DarkKanti

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Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2006, 10:36:23 PM »
@ Kurier- I absolutely love the artwork in Blame!  It's so gritty and detailed.  The second volume was so much better for the first as well.  The first was overly hard to follow, because there was almost no dialouge.  Honestly, I don't think any other manga out there could get away with this little dialouge, and still be this good.

I also picked up the second and third volume of Death Note, which is a very engrossing series as well.  Although, I've read the scanlations so I know what's going to happen, but it's still really interesting to read through the past chapters.

Edit- @Tama-  Oh well.  If you're looking for some great insight then Eyeshield 21 really isn't the place to look.  I've honestly never gotten why people thought anime and manga was "Art."  I always found it to be a form of entertainment.  If it entertains me I'll keep watching/ reading it, if it doesn't I'll toss it aside.  Now does this mean, I won't read/watch insightful stuff?  Not at all.  The insightfull things make me think and that in itself is entertaining to me, so it'll be worth my time.  It's just a difference of opinion, but oh well.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 10:41:54 PM by DarkKanti »

The Nihon Review Presents 2006: A Year in Review

Offline Tamashii

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Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2006, 11:17:48 PM »
I think that Manga is more art than Anime, not only in that its inherent attributes are "black and white art" but also in that it is more focused on being a painting of many words instead of a picture-for-a-boner, which is what anime is becoming lately. It's hard to say that anime, in general, is "entertainment" when it comes to the titles like Grave of the Fireflies and Angel's Egg, where there is clear intent to be artistic.

Offline Panzyo

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Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2006, 02:30:34 PM »
Quote from: DarkKanti
Hajime no Ippo.  This is a boxing manga and probably one of the longest running manga of all time spanning over 70 volumes so far, with many more to come.  It contains the adventures of Ippo through his debut match to his winning of the Japanese title and beyond.  Be there for the awe-inspiring victories and heart breaking defeats, as Ippo and the rest of the Kamogawa gang fight their way to the top.  This is definitely recomended as it is probably one of the best mangas out there.  I mean it.  There are very few out there that can even compare to this.


Where would one go about getting this? I have a few of the Geneon DVD's under the name of Fighting Spirit, but I haven't seen the manga translated. I want to read it a lot though.


Anyway, I've been reading Dolls. It's a story about creatures called Plant Dolls. They look and act like beautiful little girls. They're incredibly expensive and can only be purchased by those whom the dolls have taken a liking to. The dolls are to be given milk three times a day and a sugar cookie once a week. If the diet isn't followed, there are, well, some rather disturbing consequences.
When you get right down to it, it's a lot like Petshop of Horrors only with Dolls. It tells the tales of many people who have come into possession of a Plant Doll and how it makes or breaks their lives.
Currently I have three volumes and I've read one and a half. If I were to rate it so far, I'd give it a 7 or 8, I believe. It's a good read if you like this sort of thing.


Also, I just finished up reading Confidential Confessions. It's got many different tales with no constant characters, and all the tales are kind of "taboo" you might say. The tales have topics like suicide, sexual harrassment, rape, drug abuse, prostitution, etc. A few of my friends thought it was kind of creepy, but I bought them anyway. Honestly, it's six volumes of pure excellence. The only real problem I had with it is that all the characters with troubles are female. I mean, guys have problems too. I suppose the author (a woman) just wrote about what she can understand, and by that I mean girls. So I suppose that's admirable. If I were to rate this, I'd give it a 9, maybe a 10.


Well, I've been reading other things, but I'm too lazy to write about them. So that's all for now.

Offline DarkKanti

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Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2006, 04:23:54 PM »
Quote from: Panzyo
Where would one go about getting this? I have a few of the Geneon DVD's under the name of Fighting Spirit, but I haven't seen the manga translated. I want to read it a lot though.


Unfortunately, Hajime no Ippo's manga remains unlicnesed.  So there are no translated versions available for purchase.  However, there are places on the internet you could find it for download.  If you're interested, give me a pm and I'll give you a couple of links to where you could download them.

The Nihon Review Presents 2006: A Year in Review

Offline dheu

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Re: Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2006, 05:22:14 PM »
Awwwww. Eyeshield 21. To be honest, I love it not because of Sena, the main character, but because of the supporting cast. Specifically, Hiruma, who is absolutely hilarious and evilly manipulative. He's really the only character that sold the series to me, because I don't normally like sports manga that much for the exact reasons that Tama said ages ago. Typically, they center around some sports superhero that everyone else has to depend on and who's brilliant just because he's the main character.
 
I disagree with you throwing Hikaru no Go into that category, though, Tamashii. While it's true that Hikaru has the seed of talent already inside of him, he still has to work hard to improve his understanding of Go throughout the series, and he does make sacrifices in order to do so.
 
Other series I've been reading lately (holy crap, it's a lot.... so I'll just describe the ones that I recommend.):
 
Eyeshield 21.
Volumes read: 9
Not much more I can say about this one that hasn't already been said. Suffice to say, this is my favorite sports manga, and the only one I've kept reading this long. It's absolutely hilarious without sacrificing any of the drama of the typical sports manga.
 
Ghost Hunt.
Volumes read: 4
For some reason that I don't even really understand, this series has hooked me. The plotline revolves around a ghosthunter named Kazuya Shibuya (nicknamed "Naru" for an amusing reason) and the newbie part-timer Mai who works for him. They go around to different places hunting ghosts (obviously). The characters are interesting (and amusing), the plotlines are always intriguing, and I like the artwork. Best of all, the books that this series is based off of were written by Fuyumi Ono, the brilliant mind behind the Twelve Kingdoms novels. Now, if only the novels of both series were translated into English! >:O
 
ES (Eternal Sabbath).
Volumes read: 1
Only one volume is out right now, but this is another series that's hooked me. ES follows a mysterious young man (codenamed ES) with what amounts to psychic powers. A typical plotline, you think? It's the execution that makes ES special. From what I've seen, since it is only the first volume, it has the same kind of atmosphere as Monster. In other words, it has a realistic, gritty feel even despite its topic. ES is a fascinating character: a person who is able to slip into others' lives and then out again, a person who is vaguely amoral but who is compassionate towards humans... much like a person who likes ants might be towards an ant farm. I'm really looking forward to more volumes of this series.
 
Monster.
Volumes read: 4
Tenma, a brilliant doctor, hunts a boy whose life he saved... and who, years later, is now a serial killer. I love this one so far; it's an excellent manga thriller. The characters are realistic, and the pacing doesn't stop. There's just so much going on that I can't wait to read each volume.
 
From Far Away.
Volumes read: 11
This bittersweet shoujo manga has a plotline that has been done almost to death: girl (Noriko) gets sucked into foreign world and has a destiny to fulfill. When I picked it up, I wasn't expecting much beside a brief diversion to keep me occupied for a little while, until volumes of other manga came out. Now, eleven volumes later, I have to say that this is my favorite fantasy manga, because it is refreshing in terms of execution. It's a well-developed world that Noriko lands in (through a strange sequence of events that still kind of confuses me, but hopefully means there will be no painful departure from the new world in the end of the series). Instantly, this story is different, because unlike most manga of this type, she doesn't understand the language. Instead, she has to learn it. Throughout the series, Noriko is fully aware of how dependant she is on the people around her, and she does everything that she can to alleviate that, although she has no special powers (well, one power so far). Her attitude is believable, and endearing without being unrealistically cheerful. This is only an example of the superb characterization in this manga. I've babbled way too much, by now, but this just seems like a very underrated manga. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys shoujo.
 
Blade of the Immortal.
Volumes read: 15
Well, this one goes without saying. Except I'm saying it... so.... Ahem. This series has a gorgeous art style, with beautiful fight scenes, and very strong characters who are neither entirely evil nor entirely good. This is always a plus on my side, because I love realistic characters and (except for rare cases) absolutely despise the typical Hero stereotype.
 
Violinist of Hameln
Volumes read: 13
Hamel wields a massive "violin" ("isn't it a bass?" some characters wonder) that produces magical music. Accompanied by his band of faithful (hah!) followers, he heads for the North City, the location of a number of really evil and powerful demons who want to destroy humanity. I really love this series. The anime series was the most tragic, depressing thing I have ever seen, hands-down. There is still that huge tragic air hovering over everything, but the manga lightens it up a lot. Hamel, supposedly a Hero who protects humanity, is actually a money-grubbing prankster who likes to torment his comrades. He and the other Heros are hilariously incompetent at times, and the reactions of those around them to their idiocy is priceless. But there is plenty of serious stuff, too, with tragic character backgrounds and destinies, which rounds out the story nicely. I definitely recommend this to anyone.
 
Land of the Blindfolded.
Volumes read: 7
This is another shoujo series. Occasionally when she touches people, Kanade can see their future. And whenever Arou touches someone, he can see their past. Together, these high school students try to help the people around them, whether or not those people can even appreciate or understand what they're doing. This is another underrated manga. It has the same feeling about it as Fruits Basket, as in the girl that manages to help everyone. But I like it better than Fruits Basket, surprisingly, because the helping isn't a one-way thing.
 
Hot Gimmick.
Volumes read: 11
This is kind of a controversial manga, from the discussions I've had over it. You'll either like it or hate it. It has a few soap opera elements to it. That said, I really like the characters, so I can't help but like this series. Even when Hatsumi is an idiot. -_-
 
I think those are the main ones that I'm currently reading that I'd recommend. There are a number I've finished that I'd recommend too.... but I'm all recommended-out right now. Whew!

Offline Pachinko

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Re: Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2006, 07:19:13 PM »
I need some more, actually...

My friend has been letting me borrow Mars and Hot Gimmick.
They are both quite good, and it is very worth buying.
I'll stick with borrowing, though.~

Offline Tamashii

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Re: Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2006, 10:07:44 AM »
I don't see 20th Century Boys on that list, dheu. That makes me sad. Though I do see BotI, interesting. You like seeing people get cut up? ( :P joke joke)

Offline dheu

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Re: Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2006, 10:52:36 AM »
Quote from: Tamashii
I don't see 20th Century Boys on that list, dheu. That makes me sad. Though I do see BotI, interesting. You like seeing people get cut up? ( :P joke joke)
Well.... you do know what I do for a living.... :woo:  (<--- that is officially my favorite smiley ever)
 
I've actually never read 20th Century Boys, shamefully. I've always meant to, but I've never picked it up. Maybe it's time I did.
 
Anyway, that was just a really small selection of what I've read lately. And I forgot to add Death Note on there, and a bunch of other series. *sigh*
« Last Edit: August 05, 2006, 10:55:21 AM by dheu »

Offline genki sakura

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Re: Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2006, 06:54:17 AM »
The only thing right now that I've been keeping with...sort of...is Fullmetal Alchemist...I've kinda just strayed away from reading Naruto (I probably will catch up with it eventually...). I'm sure many of us already know what the story of FMA is so I won't be repetitive. After a while it veers in a completely different direction from the anime and (obviously) there are quite a few characters that aren't in the anime (waii! Mei is adorable; Ran Fan is cool; Ling is *sigh*).

The Furher's also more of an evil crazy person, imo...plays a little bit of mind games....makes the Military subplot interesting...

And I could go off on a tangent about the presence of EdWinry and Royai in the manga ...but I won't...moo.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2006, 06:57:37 AM by genki sakura »
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Offline DarkKanti

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Re: Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2006, 02:37:47 PM »
Has anyone else picked up the Halo graphic novel that recently came out?

There's a short comic by Tsutomu Nihei in there that's pretty awesome.  It's only 14 pages long and there's no text, but the artwork and action definately make up for it.  There's also three other comics in their by other people (a few americans and I believe one french guy) that are also worth a look.

I've also been reading the Shounan Junai Gumi that was recently released by Tokyopop.  It's the prequel to the GTO series and anyone whose watched the anime or read the manga might be interested in checking this out as it is hilarious.

The Nihon Review Presents 2006: A Year in Review

Offline Kuma

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Re: Whatcha been reading?
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2006, 04:47:25 PM »
I wasn't as fond of Shounan Junai Gumi as I thought I'd be.  It was funny at times, but the artwork is very amateurish, the humor is waaay too sophomoric, and the plotlines are kind of cliche.  Maybe my expectations were too high.  I'm still buying the rest of it, because it can only get better and if it sells well, we may see a release of Rose Hip Rose.
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