Why have there been barely any manga threads?

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I'm not a terribly big reader of manga myself (one current title, a couple-few I've been reading retroactively), but it's been under-represented so far esp. considering how much epic/plain great stuff comes out of Japan. What up, ILC?

Leeefuse 73 (Leee), Thursday, 13 May 2004 17:56 (fifteen years ago) link

I know at least some of us read some of it -- Martin's mentioned it (but what hasn't Martin read?), I know, and I'm a big fan of a couple of series, if not a manga fan as such -- but I suspect the under-discussion is in part the lack of emotional investment most comics fans would have in it from the "stuff I grew up with" perspective. That could be my age, in part, but it's only fairly recently that manga's been commonly available in this country, consistently and with a variety of titles ... and it still isn't available at newsstands, by and large. I love Lone Wolf & Cub, but I'm never going to have as much to say about it as I am the Flash or Spider-Man or Captain America, cause I just don't have any history with it.

Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 13 May 2004 18:09 (fifteen years ago) link

I had my brief anime phase, and I still like some of it, but manga just never interested me for some reason. I've picked up some of the ones that looked familiar from watching anime (Neon Genesis Evangelion, etc.), and the small b&w pages seemed a little lifeless in comparison to the videos I was first exposed to.

Also, I don't know if it's the exaggerated art style or just the manga I've seen, but there does seem to be a much greater "kiddie" focus.

That said, I do want to check out Helsing (although want to see the anime even more).

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 13 May 2004 19:08 (fifteen years ago) link

That Wolverine: Snikt! series was horrible, but I loved the art. Is there much manga with similarly realistic art?

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 13 May 2004 19:17 (fifteen years ago) link

I think it's like with American comics, in that the highly visible stuff tends to have a specific focus, and be of a specific type, but that that isn't representative -- like we were talking about with American comics, you've got your Archies and Batmans that anyone can find, but then you've got all the other stuff lurking. With manga, the TV show tie-ins are probably the most visible -- Shonen Jump, the newsstand magazine, is part of that (they reprint Dragonball Z, Shaman King, Yu-Gi-Oh, et al), but they've been making an effort to publish more sophisticated stuff, too.

Lone Wolf & Cub is the thing to check out, for my money; you can get the volumes for, what, $9.95 from Dark Horse, I think? And they really don't have to be read in order, I don't think, so you can skip over (or flip through in store) the first handful. There are other titles more manga-versed posters could mention, I'm sure.

I haven't read the manga, but the anime for Hellsing is very cool. Slow-paced at times, since you've got the ongoing metaplot + the smaller plots resolved in each episode, and those latter are less interesting -- but that's less noticeable if you watch a bunch of episodes at once.

Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 13 May 2004 19:31 (fifteen years ago) link

I know a couple people with all of the dvds, so that can be part of my Great Week Off between jobs next month (that will be dedicated to comics, books, movies, and drinking exclusively).

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 13 May 2004 19:38 (fifteen years ago) link

Throw in some Gameboy, and that is like my dream day off :)

Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 13 May 2004 19:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Did I say "books"? I meant "videogames". Seriously, if I'm going to put the necessary effort into this new job, I'm going to have clear my mind of all concerns involving Hitman 2 and Knights of the Old Republic.

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 13 May 2004 19:46 (fifteen years ago) link

How does the manga of Lone Wolf & Cub fit in with the movies?

Normally the art and stories by Clamp, like X, are good, but more oriented towards a female market I think. Ruroni Kenshin is classic, and I liked what I read of Blade of the Immortal (The art is that is very good, and not typical manga style (very bloody).) I've never really been that excited by most manga, and I think the main reason is because the cute-ness of the art can be a bit disconcerting, and because it is very gender-specific. Blowing up mecha things for boys and giggling love-stuff with winged knights for girls

Jocelyn (Jocelyn), Thursday, 13 May 2004 19:50 (fifteen years ago) link

I've got a few of the Lone Wolf & Cub movies lined up in my queue ready to be rented, but haven't seen em yet -- the comics, though, are basically short stories, resolved fairly quickly ... more quickly than a feature-length movie anyway. So I assume the movies aren't based on specific issues, or if they are, that they combine some of the stories together. Not sure yet though.

Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 13 May 2004 19:52 (fifteen years ago) link

The movies are very violent, but classic. Banned in the UK as video-nasty until the late 80s. My SO has all of them and convinced me to watch them. Avoid "Shogun Assassin" it's the first two films spliced together very poorly.

Jocelyn (Jocelyn), Thursday, 13 May 2004 19:57 (fifteen years ago) link

I liked what I read of Blade of the Immortal (The art is that is very good, and not typical manga style (very bloody).)

"Typical" manga stylee = bloody! (If I'm allowed to generalize from just LW&C and BotI (also, Akira, Nausicäa, even Phoenix.))

But yeah, Jordan, if you want more realistc/less superdeformed art, Blade of the Immortal would be a good pickup. It still has big foreheads/smallish mouths, but with less gigantic eyes. And also, incredibly over-the-top violence (e.g. one guy's body gets cut up along manji lines).

Mostly I started this thread because last night Ogami Itto finally found out what was in the Yagyu letter! But hasn't bothered telling me! I'm eXxXcited CAN'T YOU TELL!!!

Leeefuse 73 (Leee), Thursday, 13 May 2004 20:09 (fifteen years ago) link

And Tep, the nostalgia factor makes a lot of sense here on ILC (even though it doesn't really apply to me since I didn't read comics as a wee lad), and also, more generally, the availability stateside.

Beyond that, I've also noticed just how involved and/or HUGE various manga touchstones get, which is no doubt daunting. Yeah, the Dark Horse trades of LW&C are $10, but what, there are 26 volumes? Each of the six volumes of Akira is about 500 pages; 12 volumes of Phoenix; 12 issues of Ghost in the Shell wherein Shirow creates and explains in painful detail the mechanics of his own brand of technology/metaphysics/and so on; &c &c.

However, and I suppose I'd also like to talk about manga conventions (I mean traditions/usual things done in manga, not the dress-up/nerd things I go to). Even given the immensity of a single volume of what-have-you, there's not as much to read if you compare it with US/UK comics on a panel-by-panel basis (at least the majority of what I've read). A lot of progressing establishing shots/panels for that "cinematic feel," which I attribute to LW&C's influence (which itself was inspired by Kurosawa) over much of what I've read.

Leeefuse 73 (Leee), Thursday, 13 May 2004 20:21 (fifteen years ago) link

That's certainly true of everything I've read, yeah -- and I think it's part of the reason for the vastness of the collections, because it makes for really slow pacing sometimes. (Even something like Ranma 1/2, essentially a sitcom with kung fu, moves at a plodding pace if you read it in issues, and the Death of Superman stuff where a single fight lasts multiple issues would not be out of place here.)

A couple computers ago and long lost now I had an undergraduate paper I wrote for a linguistics class, on the differences between "paralinguistic conventions" (all the stuff that is neither dialogue nor "just" art, like sound effects, speed lines and other motion effects, panel placement, blah blah blah) between American and Japanese comics. I don't remember enough of it to even remember if it was any good, but there you go; a big part of the unacknowledged problem of my generalizations, of course, was that I had to depend on the Japanese comics that were imported to the States being reasonably representative of Japanese comics in general. I was surer then than I am now of that being the case.

Back to the hugeness though: that probably is an issue, although in LW&C's case at least, it's more like "lots of stories about this guy" than it is "lots of issues making up a big story." There are tons of volumes, sure, but only because they've all been collected -- Fantastic Four would seem just as daunting if that were the case there, and if anything FF relies more on knowledge of continuity and previous history.

But that's just Lone Wolf & Cub, I don't think that's the case for Akira and the rest.

Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 13 May 2004 20:38 (fifteen years ago) link

I looked at Lone Wolf & Cub at the store today, it does look cool. I would have gotten the first one except I had already spent way more than I was planning on.

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 13 May 2004 21:49 (fifteen years ago) link

I remember back in the mists of time (i.e. the early 90s) when Manga seemed impossibly alien and exotic to me. The only Manga titles I was aware of at the time were Epic's "Akira" reprints and Eclipse's (or was it First?)"Lone Wolf & Cub". Both in "Prestige Format" and far too dear for my pocket-money to stretch to. Both since devoured and adored....

David Nolan (David N.), Thursday, 13 May 2004 23:15 (fifteen years ago) link

First reprinted the Lone Wolf and Cub stuff in the US. It was great. Western comic sized goodness. The DH reprints seem a little puny in comparison.

Matt Maxwell (Matt M.), Friday, 14 May 2004 00:09 (fifteen years ago) link

Wow, this is a really good discussion. The manga section at my bookstore is THREE TIMES the size of the graphic novel section and I wonder if they really do sell that much manga. I was at Book Expo last year and one of the girls from the Slave Labor booth told me that magna is really, really popular. I just thought, "You can't be serious."

I've only read a few titles but I'm always put off that there are so many volumes for each story/title; like it's a soap opera. I also agree with the comment about the stories looking gender-specific (blatant sexist example: Akira for boys, Sailor Moon for girls...) I wonder: Is manga targeted more toward children in Japan?

I flipped through Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix, vol. 1 yesterday evening in my bookstore and was initially put off buy the "cartoony" drawing. When you read Berserk and Nausicaa, it all looks veyr realistic. In this, animals rolling down hills looked like furry pinwheels with eyes poking out. You know what I mean? It just looked silly. I hear so many wonderful things about the series, though, and I want to read it. Maybe I'll read some Lone Wolf and Cub first.

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Friday, 14 May 2004 11:44 (fifteen years ago) link

I dunno. I've found that most of the art in manga is largely uninteresting (though there are some exceptions) and the writing is generally TERRIBLE. I don't know whether that's a byproduct of being translated or not. And I watched anime as a kid (at least the stuff that made it over to the US), so I'm familiar with the style.

To be sure, I think that there's an awful lot of crap in US comics as well...

Lone Wolf and Cub was always interesting (probably because they avoided the BESM thing altogether) and I've heard good things about Blade of the Immortal (but the writing put me off). I read some of Akira when it made it over here in the late 80s, but just never got into it.

If folks want to recommend manga that isn't simply second-rate action SF with fan service, please feel free to.

Matt Maxwell (Matt M.), Friday, 14 May 2004 15:47 (fifteen years ago) link

The Battle Royale manga is certainly very good, although I don't know if I'd call it better than the movie or the book ... my girlfriend, who doesn't like manga in general, likes Uzumaki, which is a horror comic she says is similar to the Ring[u] movies -- I haven't read it yet, so I don't know in what respects. These aren't necessarily my number one recommendations, I just realized we hadn't really talked about manga horror yet, or "J-Pop horror," as it's billed sometimes.

The manga adaptations of the Star Wars trilogy (I don't know if they've done this for the prequels) are at least worth flipping through; they're better than most American movie adaptations, whether in comics or novels, but one of the results is that there are no surprises ... you're just looking at the movie panel by panel. It's simultaneously cool and a little boring.

LW&C is still my main recommendation, I think. I have a soft spot for the ridiculous unrequited-unadmitted love comedies -- Ranma 1/2, Love Hina, Maison Ikkoku -- but not soft enough that I actually think other people would like them :)

Tep (ktepi), Friday, 14 May 2004 16:03 (fifteen years ago) link

Japan has a quite a few underground/alternative comics.

Chriddof (Chriddof), Friday, 14 May 2004 16:19 (fifteen years ago) link

I think what looks like bad writing actually is due to translation -- the dialogue sounds the same in both LW&C and BotI (mostly in the slangier commoner's dialogue), and it turns out the same guy did the translation.

Amy, don't be put off by the cutesy style in Phoenix! Keep in mind that Tezuka drew it in the '60s. I would consider stuff like the animals cartwheeling in a line with injokes, because he also draws himself in the comic, usually to ridicule himself. One gets used to this style, and as you get on with the story, you'll see that it's extremely serious (though now without its deftly light touches) -- far from vapid silliness.

Leeefuse 73 (Leee), Friday, 14 May 2004 19:52 (fifteen years ago) link

four months pass...
MORE MANGA SUGGESTIONS PLZ!

My local shop is trying to dump a bunch of manga trades (50% off!) - are there any things in particular I should be on the lookout for? (FYI - he has no Lone Wolf & no Phoenix.)

(Actually, the owner's dumping a LOT of TPBs sunk-cost stylee - I snagged the Brubaker / Lark Scene of the Crime TPB, AND the Essential Howard the Duck!!!!)

David R. (popshots75`), Thursday, 7 October 2004 12:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Like I said, I'm not a huge manga guy, but if they were cheap I wouldn't mind getting some Helsing and Evangelion, and maybe Battle Royale.

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 7 October 2004 13:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Uzumaki. Japanese horror along the lines of Ringu and Ju-On (The Grudge), about a town "infected by spirals" (various bizarre supernatural things begin to happen with increasing frequency, all of them relating somehow to the spiral shape, including people who inexplicably turn into giant snails). It's strange, it's not at all the reasonable style of horror Americans have gotten used to, and you have to read at least the first two volumes for things to really pick up, but it's weirdly compelling and creepy.

Battle Royale, which I think is still coming out; the manga adaptation of the book that spawned the movie about the kids forced to kill each other or be killed themselves.

Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 7 October 2004 13:09 (fifteen years ago) link

Blade of the Immortal! Ultra-violent period samurai thingy where they talk like young punX0r turks! Really gorgeous artwork (sometimes the guy leaves his pencils uninked -- phw0ar).

http://www.math.ucla.edu/~brodsky/blade/art/mangabon/mangabon11.jpg

(It's color but damn I love this cover.)

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Thursday, 7 October 2004 13:18 (fifteen years ago) link

Uzumaki sounds really cool, Tep.

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:03 (fifteen years ago) link

It's a lot of fun -- there's a movie, too, but I really can't decide if I like it. I think I wouldn't if I hadn't read the comic first -- the pacing has to be very different in the movie, and it's not like they have huge-budget special effects for turning people into snails.

Tep (ktepi), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:27 (fifteen years ago) link

Maybe I'll give Japanese comics another shot with Uzumaki and What's Michael.

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:37 (fifteen years ago) link

uzumaki seconded - the movie blew my mind, the comic more so. if you're looking for fun manga pr0n taboo has some out of nowhere 'WHA???' plottwists and it's portrait of a people torn between nymphomania and crippling neurosis is topnotch (basically it's an emo comic)(david boring without the apocalypse).

cinniblount (James Blount), Thursday, 7 October 2004 14:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Maybe I'll check out Uzumaki as well.

Grab What's Michael? if it's available. And I don't think you can go wrong w/anything by Tezuka (AstroBoy, that white lion one). The only problem I have with Manga is that the only books from a series available are the odd numbers. Always. Has anyone else ever noticed this? The complete set is never in stock....

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Thursday, 7 October 2004 16:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Ha, I usually only notice that "1" is never in stock (see Lone Wolf & Cub).

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 7 October 2004 17:00 (fifteen years ago) link

Ha, I noticed that my local Borders only HAD "1" for Lone Wolf & Cub!!!

David R. (popshots75`), Thursday, 7 October 2004 17:09 (fifteen years ago) link

four weeks pass...
I read Uzumaki vol. 1 last night, both I and my girlfriend really liked it. It has fantastically eerie imagery, I could see the movie being pretty scary.

Are there just 3 volumes, or is it still going?

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 4 November 2004 14:38 (fifteen years ago) link

Uzumaki comes highly recommended! And if you like that, you'll probably enjoy the 'Tomie' and 'Flesh coloured horror' Manga, although the 'Hino Horror' series is what's blowing my mind at the moment.. especially volumes 7+8: 'The collection Vols 1+2'...

Watch this space for more Manga threads.. its all Ive been reading for the last 8 years or so.. and i have much to share..

(Uzuamki is only 3 vols BTW)

droid, Thursday, 4 November 2004 16:46 (fifteen years ago) link

three months pass...
I saw the movie version of Uzumaki last night. I don't think I've ever seen a more direct translation of comic art style to film, which was v. impressive. However, I felt like I was watching a trailer for the comic - the movie just touched on a few key scenes and images from the books and then ended suddenly. I think that I would have gotten into it a lot more had I not read the comics first.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 20:55 (fifteen years ago) link

I read Inu-Yasha occasionally, any Rumiko Takahashi stuff is usually good.

jel -- (jel), Wednesday, 2 March 2005 19:57 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't know, since practically all manga (that we get over here anyways)is made into anime, I'd pretty much always prefer to just watch that. Higher production values (color, usually, uh, "crisper" drawings I guess, no terrible english font that has been lazily pasted over the original text, ect).

For whatever reason I've also sometimes found it hard to follow manga, just like, what's going in the story, which character is which (that can be a big problem), real basic stuff.

I don't think I've really read any highly though of stuff though, like Nascaa or Akira. And the one exception I can think of is Azumanga Diaoh, casue they didn't really work in the animated format, since it's more a collection of strips than a continuous narrative.

Occam, Wednesday, 2 March 2005 20:07 (fifteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
That Wolverine: Snikt! series was horrible, but I loved the art.

nihei tsutomu!! :D
his opus magnum "blame" is getting published in the us now. no characters or story to speak of, all nightmarish atmosphere & cyberpunk zombie mayhem

f_z_ff_ (FE7), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 23:25 (fourteen years ago) link

http://www.mangareviewer.com/bios/tn/tn.htm

f_z_ff_ (FE7), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 23:37 (fourteen years ago) link

Sweet.

Seriously, if I'm going to put the necessary effort into this new job, I'm going to have clear my mind of all concerns involving Hitman 2 and Knights of the Old Republic.

-- Jordan (j0rdanc0h3...), May 13th, 2004.

I never finished either of these games. :( I guess I can blame any poor performance at my job on this.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 23:38 (fourteen years ago) link

My impression is that there's bucketloads of really good older manga that hasn't been translated and that it's hard to weed out the good translated stuff (and I think a lot of the good translated stuff isn't even commercially available, like the things Same Hat! Same Hat! translates) from the tripe genre knockoffs (not that all the genre stuff released here has been tripe). And despite 20+ years of efforts by people like Schodt, the situation we have now still doesn't really give us a handle on the state/scope of the Japanese industry past and present. (Maybe we need more Matt Thorns to show us English speakers the way?) Plus, there's the series fear that Leee mentions up top and the value for the money problem of the cinematic approach (I think the same comics for us are easily two or three times more expensive than they are in Japan-- I get sad occasionally when I go to a Japanese bookstore here in the States and see the rows and rows of tankoubans available priced at five bucks or less a piece) and that adds up with the unfamiliarity problem... There's just too much out there (especially in fan translation) and it's too hard to get a handle on. I was pleased when the TCJ boards started belatedly bigging up the 20th Century Boys guy-- more of that needs to happen before non-Japan-obsessed message boards start really talking about this stuff.

Chris F. (servoret), Friday, 28 October 2005 02:47 (fourteen years ago) link

Theres bucketloads of old/avant garde/experimental stuff coming out from a host of different publishers at the moment.. theres LOADS of good stuff out there for anyone willing to stick their neck out, and not just in Genre manga. Theres a lot of oldies and Garo type material being published as well..

BTW - value for money wise, Manga beats American comics hands down as long as you dont buy single issues. TP's usually cost about 10 euro, and best of all - they have no ads!, which I find a huge annoyance when I read western comics these days. Obviously deluxe titles like a 'buddha', or much of Dark horse's output is a bit pricier, but its hard to find better value for money than a volume of 'Samurai Executioner' or 'Iron Wok Jan' for 10 quid!

droid, Friday, 28 October 2005 09:44 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm sure I'd be more inclined to read manga if I ever found any with art that appealed to me and had stories that interested me.

Matthew C Perpetua (inca), Friday, 28 October 2005 09:50 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm more or less with Matthew here. I may just be narrow minded or culturally biased or some crap like that, but the vast majority of manga have that very similar look that I find singularly unappealing, and I have only very rarely (to date) been able to get past that. Most often, with work that looks very different from the prototypical norm. Most especially, "Lone Wolf and Cub" looks fantastic and has loads of great storytelling ideas, but even there the stories themselves got so repetitive that I gave up on it pretty quickly.

Austin Still (Austin, Still), Friday, 28 October 2005 12:17 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm more likely to be okay with the art. It's the subject matter of the stories that bores the hell out of me. I've yet to find any manga with subject matter even remotely appealing to me.

Matthew C Perpetua (inca), Friday, 28 October 2005 12:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Get some Tezuka! Or Phoenix at least. The art is charming, and the stories are positively gripping -- if your regular meal (like me) is the usual DC gruel, then it'll be a treat.

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Friday, 28 October 2005 13:29 (fourteen years ago) link

I can't say too many good things about the first 5 Phoenix books -- Actually, I'm so hungover, I can't say anything about them at all. Sorry.

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Friday, 28 October 2005 13:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Is Phoenix being published as a series now? I did read that one "Story of the Future" trade-- that was pretty great (and yeah, Tezuka's cutie-pie characters are hella charming). Care to give some examples of what you're talking about, droid? The Push Man, the book about the author's prison experiences, Sexy Voice and Robo, Hideshi Hino's stuff... What else?

Chris F. (servoret), Saturday, 29 October 2005 08:05 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, 5 volumes of Phoenix are out now, and coming out every some months.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Saturday, 29 October 2005 09:10 (fourteen years ago) link

In fairness, 98% of all comics are about subject matter that I find totally boring, so it's not exactly a problem with manga, per se.

Matthew C Perpetua (inca), Saturday, 29 October 2005 14:08 (fourteen years ago) link

I think manga cover a far wider range of stories than any other comics industry on the planet, and even the limited and necessarily commercially-oriented selection that have been translated give a pretty good idea of that. Just look at the best-known Osamu Tezuka works that have been translated:
Astro Boy - robot adventures for kids
Phoenix - perhaps the most profound and ambitious comic ever
Black Jack - surgical adventures
Buddha - the story of the Buddha
Adolf - the intertwined stories of people called Adolf (one of them Hitler)

And that's just a tiny fraction of one person's output! I was reading earlier of a fishing series that ran to over 60 volumes and sold something like 20 million copies, and I was quoting an artist who claims "At least half of manga tell stories of men and women and their everyday lives."

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Saturday, 29 October 2005 14:44 (fourteen years ago) link

A sample:

http://koti.phnet.fi/otaku/historia/m_phoenix.jpg

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Saturday, 29 October 2005 14:50 (fourteen years ago) link

the bloke who wrote Lone Wolf And Cub etc also does Golfing stories. the mind boggles.

have started buying Samurai Executioner (4 so far, 10 in total) and one volume of LW&C (i'd been putting this off because, well, it's 10,000 pages long and i've read the first 12 issues of the old (viz?) release and was scared that the first two or three books would just be things i'd already seen. thankfully that doesn't seem to be the case (because the americans shied away from the nudity?)) only 27 more (and 160 quid) to go!

have read all of akira in single issue form. have a complete set of individual issues of Nausicaa but have never got past series 2 (despite 3 attempts).

koogs (koogs), Monday, 31 October 2005 18:58 (fourteen years ago) link

I read all of Kenshin a long time ago, I recommend it, esp. the point where the anime branches off into silliness due to artistic disputes and the manga stays the course.
I just couldn't get into Buddha, I could never get past the style of the comic clashing with the style of Buddhist art that I've seen.
Not manga, but I'm currently watching Bleach and it's very very good. It has to do with ordinary teenagers becoming death gods (a bit like a Sin Eater) who must then battle hollows (damned souls) who seek to devour the souls of the newly dead. I also like the soundtrack quite a bit.

jocelyn (Jocelyn), Monday, 31 October 2005 19:08 (fourteen years ago) link

Can anyone explain some of the weirder manga conventions, like randomly depicting adult characters as child-size, flipper-armed versions of themselves?

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 31 October 2005 20:01 (fourteen years ago) link

Doesn't that generally happen when they lose their temper? I've gathered that it's a sort of expressionistic approach to showing that what's happening is a childish tantrum.

Austin Still (Austin, Still), Monday, 31 October 2005 21:16 (fourteen years ago) link

It's called super-chibi and I don't like it, generally.
They also have this convention that your blood type determines your personality (a bit like astrology) so if you look at character guides they'll often list the blood type. This puzzled me for the longest time.
http://www.issendai.com/rpgs/takemywings/bloodtypes.htm

jocelyn (Jocelyn), Monday, 31 October 2005 21:27 (fourteen years ago) link

Holy Batspank!
A bloodtype condom vending machine.
http://japanvisitor.com/jc/im/blood-type-1.jpg

jocelyn (Jocelyn), Monday, 31 October 2005 21:29 (fourteen years ago) link

Everything here is great:

http://ponentmon.com.hosting.domaindirect.com/new_pages/spanish/princ.html

Lodsa Spanish translations. More English stuff on the way.

droid, Tuesday, 1 November 2005 14:56 (fourteen years ago) link

People who are put off by spiky-haired kids and general jap silliness should check out Nodame Cantabile - the story of a classical music student who loses his drive and direction but rediscovers his love of music through an odd girl his piano teacher introduces him to. Very fresh setting, and quite a sweet love story.

Jacob (Jacob), Wednesday, 2 November 2005 04:23 (fourteen years ago) link

Tezuka was aiming at young boys with Buddha, so I've read, though the style seems no harder to access than something like Phoenix. But then, I am an unsophisticate.

Leeeeeeeeeee (Leee), Wednesday, 2 November 2005 04:28 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm surprised more hasn't been said about Hellsing... granted it's released with incredible slowness, but the art is fantastic. I used to buy it when I lived in Japan, even when I couldn't understand it. The anime is top notch too (though it diverges from the manga towards the end, and does not improve upon it), and it might be continued at some point (if the manga ever finishes).

Laura H. (laurah), Wednesday, 2 November 2005 18:44 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Tezuka is so great. I just finished this mini-series called "Barbara" about a hippie girl finidng refuge with a hip young author who subsequently turns mad after being put through weird satanist rituals.

Baaderonixx weaves a daisy chain for... SATAN!! (baaderonixx), Thursday, 24 November 2005 14:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Ooh, not just an excuse but an obligation to hype the new section of my Japanese arts site, about manga. It's small (43 pages, I think) and not terribly impressive, but this is just a first draft of course. http://www.japanese-arts.net/comics/comics_index.htm

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Thursday, 24 November 2005 19:25 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
In an effort to overcome my prejudices, I took "Phoenix" and the first three volumes of Astro Boy out of the library today. I will read them as soon as I'm done with the booky-novel I'm reading. Ironically, that is Murakami's "Dance Dance Dance."

Austin Still (Austin, Still), Friday, 9 December 2005 02:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Haha - you are me! I am just starting 'Dance, Dance, Dance', while reading Tezuka stuff on the side!

Baaderonixx weaves a daisy chain for... SATAN!! (baaderonixx), Friday, 9 December 2005 09:59 (fourteen years ago) link

fourteen years pass...

Can anyone recommend some not-too-obscure manga, well-drawn, for an 11-year-old? She’s into Harry Potter (obviously) so something adventurey would be good. Thanks!

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 24 January 2020 15:17 (two months ago) link

(I say well-drawn because she’s interested in copying the illustrations and sketching herself…)

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 24 January 2020 15:19 (two months ago) link

Phoenix? Astro Boy? Buddha? Basically Tezuka is what I'm saying.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 24 January 2020 15:37 (two months ago) link

It's not adventurey at all but Yotsuba is fantastic - it's about a 5-year old girl trying to understand things

Piven After Midnight (The Yellow Kid), Friday, 24 January 2020 16:03 (two months ago) link

That sounds intriguing! In the end my local store had a well shit selection so I ended up getting Lumberjanes and Adventure time

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 24 January 2020 21:36 (two months ago) link

both very good!

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 24 January 2020 21:58 (two months ago) link

I read Paradise Kiss - which i would say is a bit too mature for an 11 year old, but it’s good for an older teenager. It’s very well known but I’d never heard of it, ended up buying it after a glowing recommendation from the friend who got me into Kyoko Okazaki. Similar focus on fashion, but different plotwise - it’s all about a young woman’s coming of age and deciding who she wants to be in the world. The collected edition (by Vertical) clocks in at over 800 pages (!) but I read it over maybe five days. Really liked it, will almost certainly reread plenty over the years. What the fuck is that ending though?

steer karma (gyac), Sunday, 26 January 2020 21:57 (two months ago) link

following. my 8yo has gotten really into graphic novels but she finishes them so quickly. mangas seem longer generally? so far she loves the Hereville books, Zita Spacegirl, the old Sfar Sardine books, the Shanower/Skottie Young Oz books, the Wings of Fire books, but those are all Western graphic novel style and they take about a minute and a half to read.

Mordy, Sunday, 26 January 2020 22:18 (two months ago) link

Some manga my 9-year-old is into:
Little Witch Academia
Witch Hat Atelier
My Neighbor Seki
Yotsuba

na (NA), Sunday, 26 January 2020 23:26 (two months ago) link

My Neighbor Seki is more comedic and episodic but it’s pretty funny. Witch Hat Atelier is a strong recommendation, the art is great. They’re into My Hero Academia as well but I’m not sure how I feel about that one.

na (NA), Sunday, 26 January 2020 23:27 (two months ago) link

I don’t have kids so can’t speak to age appropriateness but two series that comes to mind are Planetes and A Bride’s Story

rob, Sunday, 26 January 2020 23:57 (two months ago) link

also try Amulet
https://kids.scholastic.com/kids/books/amulet/

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 27 January 2020 03:08 (two months ago) link


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