Author Topic: Manga  (Read 2077 times)

Re: Manga
« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2018, 09:30:49 PM »
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Hunter x Hunter yet. Probably the best Shounen series ever written (in my opinion of course). The world is whimsical on the surface, but the more that's revealed about it the more nightmarish it becomes. Deceptively grim-dark.

The characters are also phenomenal- the main cast, villains, and even most of the minor characters are all exceptionally well written. They have great characterization without the need for extensive backstories to explain their motivations in minute detail (One Piece suffers from this a bit) and they are all unique from eachother, both in their personalities and designs. Also has one of the best villains in fiction (up there with Griffith for me).

Admittedly the start is a touch slow, but once the plot gets going and they've explained the magic system then its incredible. Poetic, imaginative, thrilling and fun.



Mister Six

  • Half-masted, bass-boosted, sling-backed
Re: Manga
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2018, 05:42:26 AM »
Gantz

I'm about two thirds of the way through. It had elements of The Prisoner to begin with and while there is still that key element of a grand mystery, it's become increasingly larger and larger in the scope while drifting away from what first made it interesting to me. It's initially quite nihilistic in terms of social criticism and while those elements remain, they're more simplistic and largely ditched for massive destructive battles and graphic violence. I am struggling to keep up with all the characters but that's not necessarily the fault of the work as much as my casual reading when I'm pooped before bed. Despite these criticisms, I have really enjoyed it for the most part. There are sometimes interesting sci-fi moral and philosophical ideas in there. The art is frequently superb and there are some nuanced characters in among the tropey stuff. This is probably what I expected manga to be like, albeit a bit darker. It seems that the author either lacked inspiration to develop the initial concept from a narrative point of view, so he just decided to make everything exponentially more outlandish. Crazier weapons, more sexualisation, insane monsters, grander scale but it's by no means more interesting, or that much worse. Berserk at its best feels profound and poetic, Gantz at its best feels like a gateway to better stuff for teenagers.

Yeah, it's relentlessly teenage (right down to the main character losing his virginity to a Lara-Croft-inspired, big-titted bird in the third or fourth arc just before she gets killed by a giant Buddha statue or summat and nihilistic, but that was kind of the appeal for me. Lovely and grubby and grim.

It does go on too long, though, I think. Seems to do what a lot of popular mangas do (in my eyes) which is start off strong then turn into never-ending super fights across multiple chapters with ever more OTT monsters and villains as the artist gets a bit exhausted and the editors push to string out the story further. Hellsing went the same way, I recall.

By the end of it I was skimming through chapters just to get to the talky bits, which seemed to come every four or five issues. The ending felt like the author was exhausted. Still has its moments, and some truly, disturbingly memorable imagery right up to the end though.

That story where a vengeful alien tracks the hero down while he's at school and powerless was great though.

Anyway, I fancy giving Battle Angel Alita a crack after the exuberant write-ups in the film's thread. Does that sustain, or peter out too?

samadriel

  • WHA' HAPPEN?
Re: Manga
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2018, 07:17:58 AM »
You might get a bit tired of the sequel series, Last Order, which ends up following the 'endless big fights' formula you mention, but the original books don't overstay their welcome.

Mister Six

  • Half-masted, bass-boosted, sling-backed
Re: Manga
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2018, 12:14:35 AM »
Lovely, ta!

Re: Manga
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2018, 12:04:25 PM »
Yeah, totally agree about Gantz. Got more juvenile as it went on but I quite enjoyed the much maligned final arc even if it wrapped up a little too quickly.

Started, discarded or burned through:

Grand Blue - far too much juvenile for me, too much college bro shit.
Gyo - Junji Ito horror thing, a little Lovecraftian/Bloodborney fish horror, OK.
Tomie - another Ito thing about an undead demon girl kind of thing, I sacked it off, pretty dull high school stuff for the most part.
Phoenix - I slightly regret deleting this because the art is comforting and reminds me of my childhood but the dialogue is too cartoony for me.
Dead Tube - excessively edgy crap bordering on hentai.

As I suspected, I have an incredibly low tolerance for manga and the tropes I suspected would appear at every turn.

That said, I have had made a start on a few things which seem really great, I just need to make a choice about which one to commit to first:

Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou - wonderful slice of life thing about a robot girl who runs a countryside café in a decaying world, beautiful atmosphere and tone, proper death bed reading.
Lone Wolf and Cub - looks amazing, but I have a few similar things on offer.
Vagabond - including this, which also looks fantastic, but may be just a little too similar in tone to Berserk for now.
Vinland Saga - as above and as below
Kingdom - which also looks fantastic and I'm delighted to have a brilliant backlog here.
Battle Royale - seems considerably more fucked up than the film, which suits me, might well try and this after YKK for a palate dirtier.

Chriddof

  • Things start to happen!
Re: Manga
« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2018, 07:09:21 PM »
As I suspected, I have an incredibly low tolerance for manga and the tropes I suspected would appear at every turn.

If you want something completely divorced from the usual manga tropes, then check this out:

Ding Dong Circus and other stories, 1967 - 1974 by Sasaki Maki

Reads more like those bizarre one-page "comic jams" you got in US underground comics of the time (such as Zap Comix), only by one single person and expanded to "stories" of multiple pages. That link includes a sample of the book.


Re: Manga
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2018, 08:06:39 AM »
Thanks for that, it seems much more left field than much of what I've flicked through so far in the medium. I will definitely come back to it once I've worked my way through what I've got so far.

On that note, I've read the first volume of Monster and I am all in. Wow. I'm not really into murder mystery or thrillers but this has gripped me completely. Great characterisation and dialogue already and a fantastic premise. It's by the guy who did 20th Century Boys so I'll definitely be giving that a go, too. I really like the clean, unfussy artwork, too. It's all in service to the story and characters, rather than pure aesthetic thrills, which helps keep up the pace and tension. Big recommendation.

Re: Manga
« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2018, 09:48:31 PM »
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou - wonderful slice of life thing about a robot girl who runs a countryside café in a decaying world, beautiful atmosphere and tone, proper death bed reading.

This is truly the stuff of life. Reflective, reverent of nature, inspiring, loving, kind. It's a lot of what I find I miss in the day to day of work and commitments which often leave me little time or emotional energy or patience to appreciate the small, beautiful moments. It's worse the older I get and the more responsibility I have, my relationship with myself and the universe is crowded out by occupations and the busyness of the mundane. This is a moment of real peace and joy. I'll read this many times before I die and I'll recommend it many times more.

Default to the negative

  • outspoken diva
Re: Manga
« Reply #38 on: September 21, 2018, 11:12:04 AM »
I just finished reading the first three volumes of the dark fantasy/dystopian/occult series Dorohedoro and on the strength of those I am willing to recommend it. If it maintains this level of quality then it will easily become my favourite manga. It’s as gritty and grotesque as you could want from a seinen, while also being hugely imaginative and frequently surprising. The comic relief characters are actually likeable and funny, unlike in, say, Berserk, where the ‘humour’ is provided by those godawful chibi panels with Isidro and Puck. However, the artwork in Dorohedoro seems to be divisive among readers. I personally love it and find it well suited to the surreal, squalid world it depicts.

Another nice thing about it is that the action scenes are quick and concise. There are no boss fights which go on for 40 pages. At least, there has been nothing like that in the first three books. The violence is often played for laughs, like in this ludicrous sequence:





Re: Manga
« Reply #39 on: September 21, 2018, 02:55:32 PM »
Lone Wolf & Cub is grrrrrrrrreat and though it is not manga but an English-language comic inspired by the same period and written by a Japanese-American, Usagi Yojimbo is absolutely gorgeous and brilliant. Put me down for anything basically Edo-related.

Space ghost

  • The manay, joost the manay
Re: Manga
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2018, 06:08:01 PM »
This is truly the stuff of life. Reflective, reverent of nature, inspiring, loving, kind. It's a lot of what I find I miss in the day to day of work and commitments which often leave me little time or emotional energy or patience to appreciate the small, beautiful moments. It's worse the older I get and the more responsibility I have, my relationship with myself and the universe is crowded out by occupations and the busyness of the mundane. This is a moment of real peace and joy. I'll read this many times before I die and I'll recommend it many times more.

if you like YKK, then have a look at Aria

« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 06:26:32 PM by Space ghost »

alan nagsworth

  • meat suite marathon!
Re: Manga
« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2018, 09:08:42 PM »
Just burst out laughing having a think about Ranma 1/2 then. God it's good.

I'm a total novice with manga but I trust your judgement so I'm giving this a go, ta!