View Full Version : Manga

09-29-2012, 01:23 PM
Well, gauging from the responses in the chit chat room there isn't a huge demand for a manga discussion here....but I guess we'll just see where this goes.

First a bit of background. Waaay back in 2010 I was up late sitting on the living room floor hunched over my coffee table inking some pages and the tv was keeping me company. Adult Swim was showing a viewers choice Death Note anime episode. I would occasionally look up and try to absorb what was happening but couldn't make out what was going on. (It was this crazy scene with Light and "L" in a helicopter closing in on some gangster that was under the influence of the Death Note or something like that).

I was stunned...because out of context the scene was so perplexing. Later I noticed they were showing the Death Not live action movie at the college theatre so I went with some friends and we loved it. I started reading manga and watching the anime simultaneously. Really soaking it in.

Then it ended.

I had never really read a manga or watched anime before. Previous to this I had a pretty snotty attitude about it. Visions of pervy animal people and cosmic or sorcerous school girls and giant robot suits just made me completely brush it all off.

Though after Death Note ended I had to fill the void it left in my comic reading and decided to give One Piece a chance. It blew my little frigging mind....but was there was too much of it I did'nt think I would ever catch up with it. SO I gave Naruto a chance, loved it, and quickly caught up with it and the rest is history...I read as much manga now as I do American comics.

In short giving manga a chance was like going back to square one and discovering comics all over again.

After becoming cynical with the rehashing and abuse of my favorite American comic characters and the repackaging of the same ideas it was refreshing to take a break and soak in these new takes, new ideas, and images.

Sooooo... I am open to suggestions of manga that you have enjoyed....point me in the right direction and lets discuss.

Comix Obsession
10-03-2012, 02:14 AM
Good going on kicking this thread off. I'll start by copying and pasting my post from previously - as it's full of my recommendations.

I'm not going to link to any online scans of manga because whilst I don't completely agree with it I also don't want them to get taken down because it is a good way to read stuff I would otherwise have to spend a fortune on just to see if I like it (Lone Wolf & Cub, for example, will cost me around $30/40 just for the first book). However, I do recommend you all look at Vinland Saga. It's a historical Viking-based manga, but it's definitely manga, with a fairly typical (from what I've read in others) young chap assassin warrior type, and a smart, cocky leader. It reminds me of One Piece, but it's not quite as quirky. Amazing art.

Right, what I've read, and bare in mind that I just turned 30 and didn't discover any of these until a couple of years ago:

Dragon Ball - I started reading this online and the translation was excellent. I was sad to find that the translation was fan done, and not as in the books. I went and bought the first volume, and whilst the translation is fine, it feels a bit out of date. The fan translation was much funnier, actually. Either way, I had no idea how adult and clever Dragon Ball is. Amazing stuff, really! At 28 I could appreciate it, and I really always thought it was just for younger audiences. I've not read much, maybe only the first few books (online), but I love it.

One Piece - A manga that I feel a little too old to read, but at the same time I don't care. I've not read a lot of this, either, but I started buying the first few books and then put it on hold for a while and never picked it back up. But what I have read is amazing, and I can see why it's so hugely popular. Monkey D Luffy, the main character, is hugely likable and one of the greatest lead characters I've read in a long time. I can't believe the creator started this when he was just 17, it makes me feel both hugely impressed and horribly jealous.

Neko Ramen - I live in Asia and have access to a pretty huge Kinokuniya book store (which you have in the US but we don't have in the UK as far as I know). Kinokuniya has a huge comics section, with a tonne of Western comics, as well as one of the best Manga stocks I've ever seen. Every now and then I find myself wandering to the shelves to have a look, and this one caught my eye. It's a pretty crudely drawn comic strip about a Ramen chef who happens to be a cat. It's great, and if you can pick it up I highly recommend it. It's full of throwaway gags, and if you want to see how newspaper strips are done on the other side of the World it's a hugely entertaining way to find out.

Lone Wolf & Cub - I've only read some of this online, but I know why it's considered a classic and hugely important. I love Samurai movies, and this really is like all my favourite parts of a samurai movie in book form. I'd like to read more, I'm just incredibly lazy with this slow-paced stuff, despite loving it.

I have plenty more I'd like to read, if I wasn't so lazy. I really need to change my habits, I think picking up a good comic and spend some time reading would reward me far more than the crap I watch on TV just to pass the time.

Incidentally, has anyone seen this?


I really wish we could turn this thread into an 'comics you love that aren't so well known' thread - I have so many comics I'd love to talk about with you guys.
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10-03-2012, 11:55 AM
I just finished Bakuman and it was pretty good...I can't wait to see what those guys do next. Takeshi Obata's art really speaks to me...its so fun. You should check out Hello Baby he really lets loose on that one. I think his angles/compositions are great.

I will probably start Lone Wolf and Cub next. I might get samurai overload though reading both that and Vagabond.

11-20-2012, 04:56 PM
Awesome. Looks like Naruto is coming to an epic closing.

Aaron Walther
11-21-2012, 01:26 AM
My absolute favorite manga that I've read in recent years is Peepo Choo (http://www.vertical-inc.com/books/peepochoo.html).

It's written and drawn by an American who moved to Japan to draw manga. It's beautiful because it's short (only three volumes) and delves deep into the culture clash between Japan and America that only somebody living in both worlds could do.

It's pretty great.

11-21-2012, 02:26 AM
Sorry, but when I read "Peepo Choo" all I could picture was Pokemon in Mexico :p

Aaron Walther
11-21-2012, 03:40 AM
Haha, yeah. Peepo Choo is the name of a shit spewing, nonsense talking, dancing cartoon character that an American boy from Chicago is obsessed with. Through a series of events, the kid gets to go to Japan and is shocked to learn that most Japanese people don't give a shit about anime.

The other protagonist is a young Japanese Yakuza who is obsessed with being a true gangster like in American rap videos.

Entertainment ensues.

The book is about identity, how we see ourselves vs. how others see us.

11-21-2012, 09:35 AM
Love/hate with manga I think.

Outgrew most of it pretty quickly. Especially as I read more and more American/Euro comics. I don't feel the storytelling tradition is as strong in Manga. Just some godawful storytelling at times.

Shonen tend to be like mainstream american comics. Go on forever and just get dumb after awhile.
Naruto, Bleach, 0ne piece, prime examples.
Berserk is still going...

Full Metal Alch had the good sense to end. Still went a bit long. But overall, a good read. FMA:Brotherhood anime is pretty fantastic. Death note, also went on too long.

Pluto is good. (re imagining of Astroboy)
Vagabond of course.

Uzimaki is fantastic.
Various Ito shorts are neat.

They do have alot of slice of life comics that are good.

"After becoming cynical with the rehashing and abuse of my favorite American comic characters and the repackaging of the same ideas it was refreshing to take a break and soak in these new takes, new ideas, and images."

Try other stuff honestly.
A few American comics that come to mind, that are not Big 2. most pretty recent.
I kill Giants, Mind the Gap, The Manhatten projects, The RedWing, Rachel Rising, Atomic Robo, Invincible, Fables, Y:the last man, Echo, Saga, Criminal, Incognito, Fear Agent, American Vampire, I,Zombie, Locke &Key, Planetary.

Stuff like that, makes it really hard to really enjoy most manga I see. Storytelling, and craftsmanship is just on another level.

11-21-2012, 12:50 PM
The only manga I read is One Piece. I try to read Naruto, but it's hard to do when I keep rolling my eyes.

02-05-2013, 11:29 PM
One Piece has reached a lull but Naruto has been incredible lately...hands down its the best hero/battle comic available IMO