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oppa 26-10-2004 10:26 PM

Manga that should be read
Sorry for the generic title, but I'm not in the most "open" state of mind to come up with something really accurate. The purpose of this thread is two-fold:

First, it's just a place to list manga, preferably uncommon "below the radar" kinda manga that is good enough to mention, and deserves at least an initial reading. We all know the "popular" and "good" stuff, but there are tons of manga that go almost unnoticed that turns out to be a great read. Of course, I'm still limited to what gets licensed or scanslated, but meh, gotta start somewhere.

Second, this forum is SO dead. I prefer manga over anime, in general (for many reasons that need not be discussed at this moment) and having a dead manga forum hurts me deeply. So, even if I'm the only one here posting, I'll just use this thread to post new (to me) manga I come across, that, as the title states "...should be read."

I figure a short unspoilerific synopsis along with your brief thoughts on the manga, and maybe a short "TO THE POINT" review (if the manga is complete) would be good for the posts. Specifying the genre of the manga would help to.

If at all possible, do not discuss any of the mangas in this thread. Either dig up an old thread regarding the manga, or create a new one. This is just so we can keep this thread "pure" with just suggestions on unknown mangas. I won't be a anal though, so post what you will if you believe it's relevant. I could careless.. especially since I'll probably be the only one posting here anyway *sigh* (prove me wrong with intellegent suggestions!!)

Well, that's that. My first suggestions will follow this initial post.

EDIT: Hmm, for genres, I guess it's best to have a set list of one's to be used, so as to not confuse people with 5 different words/phrases that all lead to the same genre. Therefore, I'll just write down as many as I can think of here, and continue to edit it as more come up (feel free to list any not on the list). I'll define the few that may seem abstract, but the majority should be self explanatory.

Science Fiction
School - More of the setting, but prevalent enough to be a genre I think

Content - Basically, what to expect while reading the manga.. in terms of the images it contains... can be better explained be reading the following categories:

Ecchi/Fan Service
Mature - Nudity, Adult Situations, Violence or Language (General levels or adjectives for these would be Mild, Not-Graphic, Graphic, Extreme.. and so forth).

oppa 26-10-2004 10:42 PM

Deep Love
My first entry will be one that I came across very recently. The title is:

Deep Love by Yuu Yoshii & Yoshi

Genre: Shoujo, Drama, Mature - Nudity, Adult Situations (Not Graphic)

Um.. my future synopsis' and reviews will by my own words, but due to my inability to think creatively and thoughtfully, this one will just steal the synopsis from the scanslater's forum. Pardons!

"Based on Yoshi's hit novel series, Deep Love depicts the struggling life of Ayu, a 17 years old high school girl who believes neither in a future nor the happiness it could bring her. By selling her body as a teenage prostitute, she's trying to justify her existence, which is as bleak as her heart: it's void of joy, sorrow, love. It's not until her encounter with a kind-hearted old lady that Ayu begins to realize the true meaning of happiness..."

Plus, that synopsis is really good and, in short, gives a very thorough guide to what Deep Love is about.

Only one volume has been scanslated, but the amount of story that this single volume covers is amazing. Although some parts of it seem rushed, it's just the authors way of displaying the important aspects of Ayu's story, instead of dawdling on certain areas for too long (i.e. typical shounen romance comedies).

WARNING: This manga is not for kids. Though it is not graphic, it does have it's share of nudity and adult material and plenty of implications to adult situations. Don't let this turn you off though. The adult material isn't there just for lame fan service.. it can be considered a necessary evil to tell Ayu's story.. as tragic as that may sound.

All in all, check this one out. I haven't enjoyed many shoujo mangas, but I am enjoying this one. Due to the nature of this manga, I will not provide any links, but it is scanslated by Kotonoha. Well, maybe just one link. :p

oppa 28-10-2004 11:55 PM

Compared to the first entry, here's one that's alot more upbeat:

Yotsubato! by Kiyohiko Azuma

Genre: Comedy

Yotsubato! is a simple, but wacky story of a 6 year old girl who moves out of the country and into a "normal" city life with her father. Kiyohiko Azuma was the mangaka behind Azumanga Daioh, and if you enjoyed Azumanga Daioh, you will definitely love Yotsubato!

It incorporates the same type of humor, just among different characters (tho there are some similarities). Yotsubato! doesn't use the 4-panel comic strip format but is in normal manga fashion. In either case, I actually found Yotsubato! to be more hilarious then Azumanga Daioh, and Yotsuba is one of the cutest manga characters around (and incredibly funny).

Currently, there are 2 volumes scanslated from Momotato Daioh. Here you go. :p

orochi X 29-10-2004 01:42 AM

Well I definately enjoyed Azumanga Diaoh, hmm I did a quick Google search on Yotsubato!, well the main girl from Yotsubato! looks just like Chiyo from Azumanga Diaoh but with green hair. I guess I'll check out this manga and see how it is.

oppa 01-11-2004 03:57 AM

Tokko - Devil's Awaken
Hmm, how about something with action:

Tokko - Devil's Awaken by Fujisawa Tooru

Genre: Action, Mature - Extreme Graphic Violence

Tokko is short for Tokushu Kouannbu (Special Public Safety Division) and this is a subdivision under Tokki which is short for Tokushu Kidou Soutatai (Special Riot Investigation Division). These translations were taken from HnGo.

5 years ago: The Machida Incident. An incident that brutally slaughtered and dismembered families in 185 households, including the parents of Shindou.
Today: Graduation. Shindou has now become an investigator for Tokki. He has spent the past years working his way up to take revenge and fight out the truthe for what had happened to his parents.
Enter Tokko - A small division of members who exhibit strange behavior and seem to hide behind a veil of mystery.
What happened during the Machida Incident? What exactly is Tokko's objective? Who are these quirky members of Tokko? And most intriguingly, what will Shindou's relation with Tokko be in the future?

Haha, I tried to be "mysterious" in my synopsis.. dunno if it came off well. Beh, it doesn't matter. Anyway, that's the gist of it. I chose to write up about this one for no specific reason. There isn't much of Tokko out so far, but I find this one strangely appealing. I guess the way the mangaka is unfolding the story's mystery is working really well on me.. it's piqued my curiousity. Plus, swords in today's time is tight.. heh, gotta read to understand that :p

Fujisawa Tooru - if that name seems familiar to some, that would be because he is the mangaka behind GTO. Of course, the material is vastly different between these to mangas.

As to how many volumes have been scanslated.. um, that's not easy to answer. The chapter order, and some of the content, between the tankoubons (graphic novels) and the chapters in Afternoon KC (serial magazine) are a bit different. For more information, check the projects page for Tokko from HnGo.

HIkaru no Go Transaltions is scanslating the serial magazine while AnimeWaves is scanslating the tankoubons. Here once again is your best friend. :D

oppa 03-11-2004 10:26 PM

This one isn't very new, but I recently got into it since it's anime counterpart recently began showing.

Beck by Harold Sakuishi

Genre: Shounen, Music, Comedy, Drama, Mature - Mild Nudity

This story revolves around Tanaka "Koyuki" Yukio. He's your average, normal, unknown, bland 14 year old middle school kid. He has no drive, no aspirations.. basically no goals.

That is, until he is reunited with an elementary school friend, Ishiguro Izumi. One day, they go out and Izumi has Koyuki listen to a song from one of her favorite bands, a very popular rock group named Dying Breed. The events that unfold after this moment change Koyuki's life in ways he never imagined.

When I watched this anime, I instantly got into it. The laid back pace, along with hitting all the important points without dawdling around made it quite the interesting watch. But, the manga still managed to impress me, even after watching 3 eps of the anime.

As the series goes on, it's quite apparent that Sakuishi either enjoys American rock, or has done alot of research because there are MANY references to American rock throughout the series.. references from the 60s to almost the present. I'm a huge fan of 60's and 90's rock, so I suppose I had a bit of a bias towards this manga.

The story is basically a "rise to fame" story. Many of the hardships for bands in the music world, though somewhat exaggerated, are displayed in this manga. The humor is great too. Especially the scenes that involve Saitou-san (pwahaha, I still laugh when I think about it).

So far, 19 volumes have been scanslated by Mangascreener.

oppa 05-11-2004 01:37 PM

Open Sesame
I suppose it was inevitable for me to post a manga from this genre... heh, had to happen eventually:

Open Sesame by Kawakata Kaoru

Genre: Shounen, Romance, Comedy

Danjou Yamato recently moved to Tokyo due to his family. He came from the countryside, where he was well-known, especially for his boxing skills. Where he came from, he was a boxing champion. Now in Tokyo, he's had to switch High Schools, and of all schools, he ends up at one that used to be an all girls high school (but is now co-ed).

Not only that, but the girls at this school literally reign supreme. As he finds out on his first day, the girls have a significantly higher amount of power and command then do the boys.. especially since the boys are well outnumbered. Of course, Yamato can't possibly accept that.

Here begins his battle for "male pride" against the girls at his new school, especially when confronted with the schools "Four Queens" and the mysterious girl that seems to know him from his past, who leads all the girls... Mogami Maki.

Wow, for something I'm writing kinda out my ass cuz it's so fuggin early in the morning... that came out nicely (if I do say so myself.. which I do..).

Anyway, this manga isn't partcularly spectacular, nor original. You've got all the basics for a shounen romance comedy: A harem of girls, a childhood friend, a girl who seems to have a mysterious past with the main character, a high school setting, and of course, fan service.

The art is acceptable, but hardly great. Many of the features on the characters are similiar.. hell, at times, only the hair differentiates the girls. The personalities and the characteristics are not that original either.. nor does it vary enough to really contrast itself from other series' in this genre.

Well, I seem to be bashing this manga more then praising it, huh? The sole reason why I post this manga is because of the main character himself, Yamato. I've read my share of romance comedies, and I've nearly hated most of the main characters. The whole teenage angst and indecisiveness and "why the hell can't you just say what you think ya fuggin pussy" kinda main characters get a bit tiresome. Not that there haven't been some great manga that had this type of main character... but that doesn't keep me from hating the damn guy for most of the manga.

But I digress... The point here is that Yamato ain't a loser. He's decisive (more so then others), he's not weak (duh, he's a boxer, and a good one to boot), and he's not afraid to talk smack with the chicks. Basically, he's "cool." That's why I feel this manga deserves a reading. He's not your usual main character in this genre, and that greatly appealed to me from the moment I started reading Open Sesame.

As I said, it's a bit of the same 'ol, but it's still a fun read. It defintely makes me laugh, and the story is just interesting enough for me to want to read the next chapter asap.

Currently, there are 8 volumes scanslated by AnimeWaves.

EDIT: Haha, of all my posts, I choose to write the most on this manga.. I should stop posting w/o sleeping.. I think I ramble too much. :p

oppa 09-11-2004 08:53 PM

Mahou Sensei Negima
I haven't been reading many new (to me) manga lately, so I'll dig up an older one just because I likes it... hahahha:

Magister Negi Magi (Mahou Sensei Negima) by Akamatsu Ken

Genre: Shounen, Comedy, Action, School, Magic, Ecchi

Upon graduating from his school for wizards, Negi Springfield was sent to an all girls school to become a teacher, as part of his continual wizard training. Here, he will continue to work hard in his course to become a master wizard. Sounds simple?

Not in the least. Negi finds out very quickly how difficult it is dealing with 31 (yes, thirty-one) mid-teen girls. Not only that, he must not reveal his magic to anyone.. a task that becomes much harder then it seemed. Many challenges await Negi during the path he has chosen, and many unlikely allies and enemies will be born from this course.

What can I say? I was a sucker for the humor in Love Hina and had to check this one out when it hit the States. Although I'm not big on the magic/fantasy type manga, I just can't turn down anything by Akamatsu :P .

This manga is fun. The humor is good, especially if you're a fan of Love Hina. The story is solid, and shows promise. There is a bit of romance but I left it out of the genre listing because it's light. The comedy side of the typical romance/comedy is still apparent, and still just as humorous. And, how can you beat a harem of 31 girls! Although only about half of them get consistent screen time, nearly all of them show up periodically and are not just thrown in the background.

Magister Negi Magi is licensed by Del Ray. 3 volumes have been released in the US so far.

oppa 17-11-2004 02:07 AM

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas owns me. Therefore, this is all I can offer:

Happiness by Usamaru Furuya

Genre: Drama, Mature - Mild Nudity

Notice: GTA has nothing to do with this manga. I just noted it because, due to GTA, my recent manga readings have declined. Why? I just said, GTA: SA owns me. In conclusion, this synopsis is stolen from Kotonoha because, once again, GTA: SA owns me.

"Takuya Watanabe leads a miserable life. As a victim of bullying, he always has to take fright at his peers' cruel pranks and corporal violence. One day, he encounters Ruka, a mysterious girl who seems to suffer the same fate. Together, the two teenagers make a murderous pact."

Yea, I'm lazy. But, that is a good synopsis.

Anyway, this manga is... interesting. It's just a one-shot, so don't expect too much from it, but even so, it tells quite a dark tale. I want to use the word "dismal" yet, that may not be true of this manga. Instead, I'll leave it with this question:

As Takuya Watanabe, how would you find happiness?

This one-shot manga was scanslated by Kotonoha.

oppa 19-11-2004 08:32 AM

GTA: SA still owns me, but somehow I decided to finally read this one.

Dogs by Shirow Miwa

Genre: Action, Mature - Mild Nudity and Violence

Mihai. Badou. Naoto. Haine. This is the story of four "Dogs." Each with their own story, and all forced to live either by the blade or by the gun. Individual stories that inadvertantly entwine.

I tried out the "mysterious" synopsis again... I think it went over better. Heh, but then, it was alot shorter. Anywho... the four characters in this short manga are, more or less, not involved with each other. Each "Dogs" story is one or two chapters long. There are cameos among the characters and by the volumes end (yes, only one volume long), we can see a beginnings of sorts that may involve them all. BUT, who knows?

This volume seems incomplete, and it damn well probably is, but there is no more. It showed promise and the artwork is very well done. But alas, this is all we can hope for.

There is another short chapter called Dogs - Hardcore Twins. This one is set in the same town, but involves two different characters, named Luki and Noki (yes, they are twins... that was hard to guess, huh?). I'm not sure if this came before or after Dogs but the story takes place after Dogs, so I'd say it's best to read this one second.

As I stated, there is only one volume available on scanslation by Manga Translation. The single chapter of Dogs - Hardcore Twins was also done by the same group.

oppa 24-11-2004 08:36 AM

The Hating Girl
Not much new on my plate lately, so I'll go with the one that stands out the most... and stand out it does...

The Hating Girl by Rokunishi Hoji (I think)

Genre: Shounen, Romance, Comedy

Yamada Ryouji recently transfered to a new school. There, he sees a very peculiar girl by the name of Torii Asumi. Although she acts like a normal girl, talks like a normal girl, thinks, dresses, eats, sits, stands, walks, runs, moves, plays... all like a normal girl; she is still a bit peculiar. Why? Because she has an ARROW STICKING THROUGH HER HEAD.

A-yup. That's exactly as you read it. This manga isn't particularly impressive in it's writing or it's art... nor does it have extremely touching and deep romantic moments... nor incredibly outlandish or hilarious humor... but daaaamn, she's got a fuggin' arrow sticking through her head. I just had to check it out.

Disregarding that teeny lil issue, the manga is ok. I haven't started many mangas lately but I wanted to write about something, and well, this is it. If there was more then half a volume of it out, I may have had a more meaningful post, because there are moments in the manga where it could actually show some promise. Unfortunately, only a handful of chapters has been scanslated, though I believe there are 5 total volumes finished in Japan.

1 volume has been scanslated by Zombie Scanslations. Note that each chapter is only 8-9 pages long.

oppa 28-11-2004 05:03 AM

Parfait Tic
Ooooh, a change of pace as well as an attempt at something different.

Parfait Tic by Nanaji Nagamu

Genre: Shoujo, Comedy, Romance

Kameyama Fuuko is a normal 15 year old girl. She leads a normal, teenage life... until 2 boys move into the apartment room above her. Enter Ichi and Daiyo: Both boys' parents had to move to China due to business reasons, and have opted to live together... in the apartment room above Fuuko. Of course, that's not all. Not only does Fuuko find out that are Ichi and Daiyo are her next door neighbors, but they are also the same age as her AND have enrolled in the same high school as she had (which begins the next day). What is to become of Fuuko's "normal" lifestyle now?

Yep. This manga is definitely for girls. *Ahem* But, a friend of mine... a male friend, I should specify... recommended this one to me since I was running low on "new-to-me" manga and, well, um... yea, so I checked it out.

Now, as for the "something different" comment I made at the beginning of this post. I like to read as much of the manga as I can before I post about it here, but I've opted to post about Parfait Tic now, with only a little bit read. I wanted to post something here but, as my previous post mentioned, I haven't had much on my plate lately. So, I will make additional comments in this post as I read more Parfait Tic in the future (if more comments are warranted).

Now back to the manga... Hey, I like it. This is probably only the 3rd shoujo manga I've ever read (Fruits Basket and Marmalade Boy being the other two) and I'd say my track record for shoujo titles has been pretty solid thus far. Given that I've only read 3 shoujo mangas, my assumptions on certain elements of shoujo is a bit general. Having said that, it seems a common personality trait for the main female character in shoujo mangas is... being a ditz? Or should I say, being a bit stupid? At least, that is how they are perceived by some of the other characters. Kinda like how a big trait for shounen lead male characters is indecisiveness or kindness (more the latter, I guess, cuz indecisiveness isn't really a personality trait, but I thought it was worth mentioning).

But I digress. Again, back to the manga at hand. As I said, I've only read a few chapters, but it really is entertaining. Fuuko's antics are what entertain me the most, and probably the biggest reason why I'll keep reading.

12 volumes and 4 chapters have been scanslated by Manga Project. As of now, I have only read 1 volume and 2 chapters. (Ha... strange I could write so much while having read so little... heh heh).

EDIT: I just realized that this manga might not be very "under the radar" to be posted in this thread, since I'm not that familiar with shoujo titles (hardly as much as say, shounen titles), but... oh well, it stays!

Um... I suppose this edit doesn't have much of a purpose, but... oh well, it stays too! :P

oppa 01-12-2004 05:16 AM

Sing "Yesterday" For Me
Something I found recently that stood out due to it's art style.

Sing "Yesterday" For Me by Toume Kei

Genre: Shounen, Romance, Comedy

Uozumi Rikuo recently graduated from college. He works at a corner convenience store and just lives his life at the steady pace he's been comfortable with. Suffice to stay, he has very little aspirations and seems content with his ever-slow, yet ever-moving life. That is, until he meets a strange girl with a pet crow. With this catalyst - past, present, and future decisions begin to change Rikuo's placid lifestyle.

Hmm... re-reading that synopsis, I think it might not capture what this manga really is about. Bah, I'm too lazy to edit it and it kinda sounds cool anyway so.. uh.. I think I'll move on before I get even more confusing. Err, that last line was probably confusing.. hmm... moving along now...

The content in this manga is normal. The story is a slight detour from typical romantic comedies but is nonetheless along the same lines as usual. The thing that stands out is the art. Not extraordinary in itself, but it's the inking that caught my eye. It seems more like it was inked with charcoal or something thereof. Although some of the pages, like the cover or inserts may have been from that, I doubt the main parts were charcoaled in any way (though that's just a presumption).

I can't quite make intellectual comments on it since I don't know that much about the "terms" for art or what-not... just what I see and this looks different then the usual mangas I read. I see thicker and more solid blacks and a larger variety of shadings. Suffice to say (damn, I used that phrase twice now, bleah), I like it. For one, it helps with the mood and ambience of the manga as well as bringing more life into the art, especially the backgrounds.

Anyyyyyway, that's enough of my pseudo-art examination. I just liked the art and the content is good enough to keep following so I can see some more of the art. Works out nicely, eh?

1 volume has been scanslated by Inane. Yes yes, they do more then just friggin' "I am Uber Ninja Boy! Sexy-no-Jutsu!!"

oppa 06-12-2004 09:24 PM

This one reminds me alot of Anne Freaks. Not so much content but just that it's daaaarrrk. Morbid, even. The mood, the atmosphere.. so eerie. I love it.

Goth by Otsu-ichi & Kenji OOIWA

Genre: Suspense/Thriller, Mature - Extreme Graphic Violence, Nudity

Kamiyama Itsuki could be a normal high school student. On the outside, he seems to talk about typical things as a normal high school student would. Yes, all would be normal if it wasn't for his "hobby." Itsuki shows great interest in murders... the stranger it is, the more interest he has for it. One could even call this an obsession. Then there's Morino Yoru. She too seems to have an interest in this "hobby," but those around her would not consider her normal even on the outside. Is this the reason why Itsuki has found an interest in her? What is it about Yoru that piques Itsuki's curiosity? Where possibly could this "relationship" head?

Um.. I think I babbled on a bit, but I think I covered the gist of it. To be honest, I only checked this one out because it was a short read. Just one volume. Suffice to say, I really enjoyed it. I wouldn't say I'm a "big" fan of dark manga or dark anything, but the psychological aspect of this manga really kept me in. Although I feel it told a thorough yet compact story, this is one of the few times I would actually say I'd want some more. I feel fairly satisfied and complete with this manga, but still... I found the two characters quite interesting, especially on how they played well off each other, and makes me want more of their story told.

Oh well, at least I had a feeling of completeness. I'm surprised a short manga as this, given the material, could make me feel that way.

One volume (all there is) has been scanslated by Kotonoha.

oppa 12-12-2004 07:48 AM

Mintna Bokura
I been reading alot of shoujo lately. I think it's unhealthy... but I can't stop.

Mintna Bokura by Yoshizumi Wataru

Genre: Shoujo, Comedy, Romance

Minamino Noel just transfered to Morinomiya Junior High School. Noel had just one purpose for transfering: to bring his twin sister back to their old junior high school. Why? Because his sister, Minamino Maria, went to Morinomiya because she fell in love with someone at that school, and Noel just didn't like that. Noel and Maria grew up as twins normally do: Hanging around together all the time and dealing with whatever life threw at them... together.

Of course, there is one catch. Morinomiya only had room for one female student to enter and board on campus, therefore Noel decided to become a girl to achieve HIS goal.

Sounds a bit corny and out there, huh? I will tell you straight out that this is a romantic/comedy that far surpasses anything I've read, in terms of the "relationships" that occur. "Girl meets guy and story follows girl and guy?" Nothing of the sort. The crazy, rollercoaster relations that occur in this manga is quite different from any I've read. Not only that, although Noel is the primary main character in this series, Maria is big enough to be one as well. I'd say both are the main characters, and therefore the relations that occur around each of them make these relations even more hectic.

This is all quite entertaining really. There is an ample amount of comedy in this series. It's more of a COMEDY/romance then anything. And I will say that I laughed quite a lot reading it. Trying to keep up with all the relations while laughing all throughout... very very entertaining.

I recently read Marmalade Boy and loved Yoshizumi Wataru's comedy style. To me, it was somewhat unique as is Takahashi Rumiko is for shounen. This was the main reason why I checked out Mintna Bokura, and I enjoyed it much more then Marmalade Boy (tho it was still good). Alot less teen angst and overdrawn out drama, and much more "to-the-point" stories and great comedy. Gotta love it.

The volume count is a bit confusing. From my limited research, I believe there were 6 total volumes to this manga. But, the group that scanslated this, Manga Daisuki, used Spanish volumes to do so and there were 18 volumes in the Spanish translation. It would appear that the Spanish company cut up the 6 volumes into 18, but that's just an educated guess. Anyway, these were done by Manga Diasuki and the series is complete.

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