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  #31  
Old 02-07-2009, 02:51 PM
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Third: Challenge: name some series that are a) good, and b) less than 10 volumes. Bonus points if less than 5. I cannot get interested in 20+ volume series that are still ongoing. Your shit is not that interesting to read, author guy.
Any manga published by Vertical?

Well, other than The Guin Saga, obviously.

I think all of the manga that were published in Pulp were less than ten volumes.
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  #32  
Old 02-07-2009, 02:57 PM
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Third: Challenge: name some series that are a) good, and b) less than 10 volumes. Bonus points if less than 5. I cannot get interested in 20+ volume series that are still ongoing. Your shit is not that interesting to read, author guy.
Out of my list, Azumanga (4, or one huge omnibus,) Planetes (5,) Nausicaa (4 or 7, depending on the edition,) Mermaid Saga (4,) One-Pound Gospel (4,) Nakahira's Street Fighter manga (6 total,) Chrono Crusade (7,) and Midori Days (7, IIRC.) Death Note and Phoenix are 12 volumes. Rumic World volumes are completely standalone.

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As far as the sexual exploitation, how is it different from everything that has ever come from Japan albeit much more mildly? At least it's not, say, I''s. I gave the first volume of that a shot after a friend said they liked Video Girl Ai and, ugh. Now that is objectionable.
Everything drawn by Katsura is objectionable, and VGAi (the first story) only gets a pass because its story and characterization are good enough to overcome his incredibly blatant ass-fetish. The last two VG stories, DNA2, I''s, and Shadow Lady are all in-your-face, creepy fanservice, and the less said about Zetman, the better.
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  #33  
Old 02-07-2009, 03:01 PM
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Someone get Vigour in here: I can't be the only Devilman defender in this thread.

On to the recommendations:

Berserk: Dude uses a sword as long as he is tall to slice demons in half. Also the artwork is gorgeous.

One Piece: The best shonen action series ever. End of discussion.

Golgo 13:
...

Vagabond: If you like samurai, action, or beautiful art you have to read this book. Seriously, Takehiko Inoue is a complete genius. Probably the best pure samurai series since Lone Wolf and Cub (which also comes recommended). Also, checkout Inoue's other series (both of which deal with basketball) Slam Dunk and Real.
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  #34  
Old 02-07-2009, 03:05 PM
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Berserk: Dude uses a sword as long as he is tall to slice demons in half. Also the artwork is gorgeous.
I almost recommended this for the "flashback" arc, but.. the anime is better for that (and has awesome crazy soundtrack). The rest of Berserk is all ultraviolence and demon rape. There might be an interesting story in there, but I was too turned off to go looking.
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  #35  
Old 02-07-2009, 03:16 PM
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Vagabond is a fictionalized account of the life and times of Miyamoto Musashi, starting from when he was a snot-nosed nobody and gradually building the story of how he learned the esoteric Art of swordsmanship and became the greatest badass in Japanese history. And the artwork is absolutely gorgeous.
Still true!


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Death Note and Phoenix are 12 volumes.
Death Note is only six and a half volumes if you know better.
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  #36  
Old 02-07-2009, 03:17 PM
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There are people here who don't like Devilman, Violence Jack, or Berserk?

What the hell, guys?
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  #37  
Old 02-07-2009, 04:00 PM
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It's actually going to be back in print in the US soon as well, thanks to Yen Press saving it from the purgatory of ADVs manga department.
Yay! I hope they pick up where ADV left off. I do not want to wait!

I love Yakitate!! Japan so goddamn much. It's one of those manga where the characters are in constant contests, but it's bread baking contests! And the bread is so good people regularly flip out crazy style about it. Once the bread was so good people died!

I also really like the Pokemon Adventures manga (aka the one where an Arbok got cut in half in a battle). They only released the issues through the Yellow game in the US, but I've been able to get the other volumes in english from Singapore off of ebay. I like it enough to go to those extremes!
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  #38  
Old 02-07-2009, 04:15 PM
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The Hour of the Mice is 2 volumes and entertaining. As mentioned before, Kurogane is 5 and also excellent.

But in general I tend to go for longer things.
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  #39  
Old 02-07-2009, 04:31 PM
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There are people here who don't like Devilman, Violence Jack, or Berserk?

What the hell, guys?
Again, I think there are things to appreciate about Devilman, and I sort of admire just how batshit insane Violence Jack is. I like Ninja Scroll (like, not love), I can enjoy violence, and I can look past cartoon sex, but I mean, the first issue of Violence Jack is all about some kind of traumatic kickball rape-hand-job session? Every girl is getting raped all the time? I like reading about what crazy things Go Nagai came up with, sort of, but when I actually have to see a dog rape a quadruple-amputee chick, I just have to step back and ask if there's something better I could be doing with my life.
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  #40  
Old 02-07-2009, 04:47 PM
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Someone get Vigour in here: I can't be the only Devilman defender in this thread.
You rang?

Even if you go beyond the sensational aspects (Satan has rockin' tits! Go Nagai will kill both kids and pets!) Devilman is just good comics. Go Nagai knows just how much time he can spend inside Akira's head without wrecking his balls-out pacing. At times, his pencilwork visibly strains to explode off the page (check out some of the later transformation sequences, when Devilman is less an action hero than some cthonic nightmare force.)

The only bad thing I can find in Devilman is that later mangaka learned the wrong lessons from his gonzo style. When you look at a six-thousand volume blood-and-tits title like Gantz, you're seeing something that has more in common with One Piece than Devilman. Devilman took a shit on commercial viability and editorial control so Go Nagai could see how far he'd take a superhero title (and was rewarded it's a pity that so many later creators only saw that tits and blood equal mazoola in the bank.

I guess you either like that kind of thing or you don't.

Moving on, I've recently discovered an unlicensed title called Vinland Saga, done by Makoto Yukimura, the same dude who gave us Planetes. He serves up equal portions of historically accurate horror (if you have no stomach for mass rape and murder, fucking avoid this) and his own pathologically unsentimental brand of theistic humanism.

It's about the rise of Canute as told through the eyes of a company of Dane mercenaries, including its ruthless-yet-sympathetic captain and a deeply traumatized teenager who lives only to kill him. Historical figures such as Leif Erikson and Thorkell the Tall play backup.

My love of Hajime no Ippo is well documented. If you're not reading this, you'd better have a damn good reason.

Special Achievement for Unintentional Hilarity EDIT: The best worst manga I have ever read is the various incarnations of Grappler Baki. I got introduced to this series through the batshit insane business practices of Gutsoon! Entertainment, and I was hooked early. Hanma Baki is the illegitimate product of the union between a business magnate and the world's single most dangerous organism, which just so happens to be a Japanese martial artist name Yuujiro. Big Y, as I call him, is too strong to be killed by bullets, age or the Hantavirus. At one point Baki speculates that his dad could even beat HIV with his karate.

Yuujiro is one of the less fantastic characters in Grappler Baki. There's also the British assassin who has a turbocharger in his heart, Che Guevara, a caveman named Pickle and a kung fu master over 140 years old.

The "best" story moment? When Muhammad Ali, Jr. is punished for his attempts to steal away Baki's yamatonadeshiko girlfriend by being subjected to horrific beatings at the hands of three main characters. Then his dad beats him up.
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  #41  
Old 02-07-2009, 05:02 PM
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yeah, vinland saga is as burly as hell, a dude punches a horse off the ground

read it
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  #42  
Old 02-07-2009, 05:06 PM
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burly as hell
That's a phrase with legs. I feel I shall appropriate it.
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  #43  
Old 02-07-2009, 05:27 PM
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I love me some good manga, but I don't have time to write essays right now, so here's a quick list of things I think are Good, on no order:

Mushishi. Nausicaa. Battle Angel Alita. Victorian Romance Emma.
Yotsuba&. Planetes. Maison Ikkoku. Here Is Greenwood.
Eden. Blade of the Immortal.

Bonus guilty pleasures: Urusei Yatsura, Ah My Goddess, Genshiken.
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  #44  
Old 02-07-2009, 05:30 PM
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I love me some Grappler Baki. How can you not love a series where the main character spends an entire volume fighting an imaginary, man-sized preying mantis? Favorite moment? After all the build up to the Ali Jr. and Baki fight it ends with a single swift kick to the balls.

Some fan translation recommendations:

Anything by Mitsuru Adachi: Why haven't any of his series been brought over? (Yes I know Viz brought out two short story collections but that was years ago and they're out of print.) Adachi's stories almost always deal with a High School boy, a girl he likes, and his sport of choice (Baseball most often). Adachi rises above the cliches of his plots with deft characterization and great art (especially his layouts). Just go download the first few volumes of H2, you won't regret it.

Worst:
I'm only a couple volumes into this one but I'm already hooked. It's the story of high school toughs punching the hell out of each other but it's paced more like a Yakuza film than a Shonen fight series. The art is clean and the designs (both characters and clothing) are very good.

Witches: Oh God, so pretty! A series of short, dreamlike and, as mentioned, gorgeously illustrated stories about witches and magic. Highly recommended.
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  #45  
Old 02-07-2009, 05:31 PM
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Man I got here late. Oh well, here's some of my recommendations that I haven't seen mentioned yet:

Bakuman: ongoing shonen manga about two kids trying to make it big drawing shonen manga.
Tsukihime: superb adaptation of the game. Still ongoing, only up to 7 volumes I believe.
Hellsing: Gun porn and great artwork. Vampires and nazis doing crazy shit. 9 volumes and ongoing.
Hidamari Sketch: slice-of-life 4koma of people going (X'____'). 4 volumes and ongoing.
Maison Ikkoku: yea it was mentioned already, but it's that good. 15 volumes.

Edit: Damn, almost forgot Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. Even though it only really gets on its legs starting with Part 3, this is pretty much the only long-running "muscle-y men" kind of shonen series I enjoy. And by long-running, I mean 63 volumes and ongoing.

Last edited by UnChocolate; 02-07-2009 at 06:06 PM.
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  #46  
Old 02-07-2009, 06:20 PM
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One Piece: The best shonen action series ever. End of discussion.
Air Gear
20th Century boys
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  #47  
Old 02-07-2009, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
As far as the sexual exploitation, how is it different from everything that has ever come from Japan albeit much more mildly? At least it's not, say, I''s. I gave the first volume of that a shot after a friend said they liked Video Girl Ai and, ugh. Now that is objectionable.
"Other series have been even more horrible" is not really a strong defense. "But officer! Other people were going way faster than me!"

I would personally posit that seeing the Gundam thing in Sgt. Frog as mere satire is the surface reading, since that's how I took it initially. It wasn't until I noticed just how consistently, blatant and pervasive it was over the course of the series, and how much cross-merchandising between the two series there is in Japan, that I realized it was actually a deeply cynical form of advertising.
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  #48  
Old 02-07-2009, 06:27 PM
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death note
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  #49  
Old 02-07-2009, 06:31 PM
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Air Gear
No.


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Originally Posted by demonkoala View Post
20th Century boys
Not a shonen action series.
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  #50  
Old 02-07-2009, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef View Post
Cromartie High. Read it. I can't describe it accurately, no matter how hard I try.
It is amazing.
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  #51  
Old 02-07-2009, 06:41 PM
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Not a shonen action series.
I was just making additional suggestions while agreeing on Onepiece.
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  #52  
Old 02-07-2009, 07:29 PM
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Everybody derdes Sgt. Frog, but that's only because nobody's ever read it, and they'd heard it sometimes depicts panties.
I dunno, I followed it for about 14 volumes, and finally just got bored with it. Actually, I only got the 14th volume because Books-a-Million was having a 3-for-2 sale. I think I got it with Honey and Clover and Sand Chronicles.
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Bonus guilty pleasures: Genshiken.
This is a guilty pleasure?

Also, I learned the great news about Yen Press and Yotsuba&! about half an hour ago. Which would happen right after I get caught up through the scans!
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  #53  
Old 02-07-2009, 07:53 PM
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The last two manga series I finished were 20th Century Boys, which I liked enough to merit the creation of a thread on this very forum, and Living Game, which was a sweet story about a young couple trying to make a living in the post-bubble economy of early 90s Japan. Both were good! 20th Century Boys is just on the verge of coming out in the U.S., so get it while it's hot!

A lot of the other stuff I would recommend is already in this thread, so yeah. I really think everyone should read Nausicaa though, so that gets another nod from me. And Yotsuba&!. And Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, but that will never, ever get published here.
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  #54  
Old 02-07-2009, 08:05 PM
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OK, so instead of just quibbling with others' choices, here's what I have on my shelves. I've owned far more manga than this, but after whittling down my collection these were the essentials:

- Urusei Yatsura super-jumbo collected volumn
- Battle Angel Alita & Last Order
- Azumanga Daioh
- Short Cuts
- Akira
- Nausicaa
- Strider Hiryu
- Golgo-13

Actually, I don't know that those are the essentials, just ones I kept for whatever reason. I got rid of a several books I didn't really want to give up. If you have shelf space and money, I recommend these as well:

- Maison Ikkoku
- Blade of the Immortal
- Appleseed 1 & 2
- Dominion: Tank Police 1 & 2
- Welcome to the NHK
- Cromartie High School

Series whose incomplete-in-English status annoys me:

- Urusei Yatsura
- Legend of Mother Sarah
- Yotsuba&!
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  #55  
Old 02-07-2009, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by demonkoala View Post
I was just making additional suggestions while agreeing on Onepiece.
Oh, sorry: I thought you were quibbling about One Piece's status as the greatest shonen series.

Air Gear and 20th Century Boys are both great as well.
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  #56  
Old 02-07-2009, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Air Gear
Man, even with JOHN OMAHA in it, I don't know. Hell of a lot better than all of the US Comic cameos so far, though that isn't saying much.

Also, Welcome to the NHK was depressing. D:
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  #57  
Old 02-07-2009, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Parish View Post
- Akira
- Nausicaa

Actually, I don't know that those are the essentials, just ones I kept for whatever reason.
Those plus also 20th Century Boys are definitely the essentials.

On a related note, the new volume of Pluto comes out this month! Unfortunately, I inadvertantly spoiled a major part of the story by flipping through the magazine it's serialized in while in a Ramen shop. If I had remembered that Pluto was in that magazine I never would have opened it. Ah well. If anything knowing the spoiler just makes me more excited to figure out why the hell that happened.
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  #58  
Old 02-07-2009, 08:47 PM
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Question: Is Pluto done? Also, when is his new manga coming out?
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  #59  
Old 02-07-2009, 08:57 PM
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Question: Is Pluto done? Also, when is his new manga coming out?
I don't know if the next volulme is the last one or not, but I avoid that sort of information. It seems like it could end soon though. When the final volume of Death Note came out I didn't realize it had already ended in serialization until a friend who reads jump accidentally mentioned it.

BILLY BAT has been serialized since last October, but there's no tankobon yet and I don't follow manga magazines anymore. I honestly don't know much about it. It seems like some kind of a spin on American classic comic characters, but I don't know what it's like.
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  #60  
Old 02-07-2009, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nunix View Post
I almost recommended this for the "flashback" arc, but.. the anime is better for that (and has awesome crazy soundtrack). The rest of Berserk is all ultraviolence and demon rape. There might be an interesting story in there, but I was too turned off to go looking.
Er, quite definitely on the violence, but the rape thing was only at the end of the flashback arc when Griffin went all demon and Guts went nuts.

Heh.
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