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  1. #1
    lews_therin_tel is offline Senior Member Long Time Member
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    Default Vaguely specified recommendation request

    I haven't been reading a lot of manga recently, so I was thinking that now eould be a good time to get some help from the community. My taste had become wider so I'm not really asking for anything specific, but I am still asking for something specific, paradoxical as it may sound.

    First of would be main-stream. I like romance, action and all that stuff, but only when there is actual development in the story. My favorite action-mangas are those that focuses less on mystical powers and power levels. Stuff like Vagabond, Battle Angel Altia and Vinland Saga are all great. They are not realistic but the fighting is more in the face than a Dragonball clone's would be.

    When it comes to romance, of all kinds, then it I want original jokes or something that really explores the characters and where the outcome isn't apparent throughout the story. I actually found myself liking I''s and Ichigo 100% despite them being of the harem genre which I generally despise (Love Hina-trauma?). I am also a big fan of Adachi Mitsuru's works, even though these are more predictable they have a certain amount of cosiness that can be hard to define. Shoujo isn't out of bounds, but I have read very little so I can't really give good examples of what aspects would constitute an awesome contribution. I've read some stuff like Skip Beat, Hana Kimi and Bokura ga Ita. They were pleasant.

    What I value most of all is a huge story, exploring themes as philosophy, humanity and moral conviction in the face of an established norm of conduct. Examples would be 20th Century Boys, National Quiz, Monster, Berserk, Xenosaga (the games), Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Homunculus. "Epic" would be a term often applied to many of these stories.

    I also love stories in the otaku-related sphere, like Genshiken, Welcome to the NHK and Otaku no Musume-san. Anything really nerdy makes me happy, simply. Things of the genre "Crazy Shit" might be nice, too. Stuff like NHK (again), Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge, GTO and Detroit Metal City.

    I want to note that I've read comparatively few tragic mangas. The one's I can think of are Happy (don't know if it ever gets happy), Alita, Ares, Berserk and maybe Nana. Give me something that makes me feel with the characters and become frustrated at the cruel world they live in. It might be goofy, it might be bloody.

    When it comes to the composition of the story I'd like it catch my attention in the beginning and have one hell of an ending. Preferably 5-40 volumes long, if unfinished; at least seven volumes available. If it doesn't fit these specifications that doesn't mean that they are unacceptable, just that it would be nice if you noted that it might begin really bad or that the ending might be a let down or the like.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    be0wulf is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Kurozuka, Saikano, and Voices of a Distant Star (manga).

    Will list more as needed.


    http://www.chunlikickedme.com

  3. #3
    lews_therin_tel is offline Senior Member Long Time Member
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    Hoshi no Koe is one of my prized possessions, being one of the few mangas I actually own in japanese. Kurozuka looks really interesting and Saikano I tried watching once, but I might have an easier time with the manga. I'll post/edit my impressions when I've read at least a bit of them.

  4. #4
    pseudorandom is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    It fails on the action front, but otherwise Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou sounds like exactly what you're looking for. If possible, give it to the end of the first volume -- if you're not hooked by then, time to pass on to something else.

    While they inhabit a personal scale rather than big ideas, Koukou Debut/High School Debut and Lovely Complex both take on that scale with all due seriousness. And are both strongly recommended for fans of Skip Beat! and Hana-Kimi.

    For a seinen romance that's almost as good as the best josei romances, Living Game. It's like Adachi grown up and thrown into the unpredictable world, and without sports.
    Today is always the most enjoyable day. Just ask Yotsuba.

  5. #5
    dizzcity is offline Senior Member Long Time Member
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    Hmm... have you tried Eat-Man yet? Action sci-fi with several twists in the tale. Sort of a cross between Nausicaa and Cowboy Bebop, in terms of overall 'feel'. Though there ARE weird powers involved. (The main character can eat anything, like guns, and re-form it from any part of his body.) 14 volumes, completely scanlated.

    I second the Living Game recommendation - though I warn you that the ending isn't as well-executed as some others out there. But the journey is pretty good. 12 volumes (I think), completely scanlated.

    Another must-read in the romance manga section is Maison Ikkoku. College ronin with pestiferous neighbours falls in love with his new apartment manager - a young widow who just lost the perfect husband. 5 years of character development, culminating in one of the best endings for any romance manga that I've seen. Completely scanlated and published... number of volumes variable due to repackaging. (8, 12 or 36, I think...)

    Team Medical Dragon shows promise as a philosophical manga, exploring the nature of the medical practice in Japan. Genius surgeon who was exiled from the medical industry is brought back to assemble a team to do a very risky experimental operation for research. Fair amounts of sex and drama as well. About 45 chapters, scanlations ongoing.

    ... I still think Salad Days is worth a strong recommendation as well, though I'm not sure what your opinions are regarding slice-of-life stuff. An anthology of short stories, all thematically related to youthful love. Each story explores one aspect of love. Think Hatsukoi Limited, expanded to 18 volumes and many more characters (though unlike HL, most of the characters are not linked to each other). There will eventually emerge (starting from Volume 7) one pairing which will appear more frequently in various stories, and they are responsible for some of the best and worst moments in Salad Days, including the great ending.

    -Dizzy-
    Last edited by dizzcity; 02-16-2009 at 10:00 AM.
    Manga Genre Focus: Romance, Comedy, Slice-of-life. Primarily shounen, then seinen and shoujo.
    Currently watching:

  6. #6
    lews_therin_tel is offline Senior Member Long Time Member
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    Ok, so I've been downloading and tasting some of the different mangas you guys've named.

    Kurozuka is enticing. The loneliness and confusion of the first two volumes made me fall in love. There is a certain hopeless melancholy that strikes my heart, but still there is an ever present primal rage and passion that gives a great amount of texture to the characters, whilst their motivations have yet to be explored they have hinted upon something that might be bigger than just pure mindless self-indulgence. Art, it is.

    Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou I once tried reading before. I liked it, but I felt that I wasn't in the mood at the time. I plan to put together a fitting playlist, stock up on all the volumes and the reading the entire thing tomorrow or the day after.

    Lovely Complex' first volume didn't give me much in depth, but it's a cozy read so I think I'll save it for a really cold day in the near future.

    I will in a couple of minutes start tasting Living Game, but my initial impression is good. Eat-man sounds like twelve tonnes of awesome. Weird powers are cool in the style of FMA or RoD. What I wanted to avoid was the Dragonball-Naruto-Bleach model and also if it just these strange powers with no interesting underlying story. The good guys beat the bad guys is a nice concept, but I wouldn't call it original or mind-blowing.

    And as for the others I will give them all a fair chance to prove themselves, then I'll come back with impressions.
    Last edited by lews_therin_tel; 02-16-2009 at 10:29 AM.

  7. #7
    pseudorandom is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    YKK is definitely an in-the-mood sort of series, yeah.
    Today is always the most enjoyable day. Just ask Yotsuba.

  8. #8
    lews_therin_tel is offline Senior Member Long Time Member
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    Living Game was not really what I expected. It bescially feels like Happy, but much calmer and... Happier, though not much. I really like the set up and characters, but I get the constant feeling that everybody's doomed.

    The first volume of Eat-man was really disappointing. Every chapter was basically the same story, but with a different girl and a different bad guy in each. I really hope this gets good since it has quite a bit of potential, it just has to drop the episodic nonsense. I got really hyped when dizz said it was like Nausicaa, and what made Nausicaa good was that it never stopped pursuing the story. It became a magical thrill-ride of satire, comedy, drama, desperation and then, in the end, tears of eternal elation. ...or something.

    I've been spending most of my morning reading YKK and, well... This won't be one sitting. It makes me think too much! I have to take breaks just to avoid blowing up. This is great shit, but what it implies is terrifying and beautiful. In one word: verynice.

    So please, if you've got anything more to recommend, I'm all ears.

  9. #9
    nroejb is offline Senior Member Respected Member
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    As I didnīt see them, if you donīt know them, try the classics like Ghost in the Shell or Gunsmith Cats (Appleseed gets unmotivating in the end).
    Maybe you also like the Tsutomu Nihei comics (like Biomega and Blame!)

    I also usually recommend Claymore and the YOUN In-Wan/YANG Kyung-Il comics (like Shin Angyo Onshi or Island)
    Though they donīt really seem to fit your description

    Shoujo... Someday's Dreamers: Spellbound looks not bad... but I may be wrong (still to read)
    wood ear

  10. #10
    dizzcity is offline Senior Member Long Time Member
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    Hmm... well, I guess anthologies aren't to your taste, then. Eat-Man is very much a bunch of short stories (similar to Cowboy Bebop), but set in a world much like Nausicaa's. However, there WILL be a couple of long story arcs in the middle of the series, which gives it an overarching narrative. But what I also find very interesting about Eat-Man is that almost every short story features some sort of twist in the tale, which puts a different interpretation on matters. I especially like the one where the King has hired Bolt, and the one about the gargoyle, and the one about the girl who is doomed to destroy the world with the gigantic sword on her back. Plus all the different mercenaries that start showing up more often again and again. Would still encourage you to continue with it.

    EDIT: On another note, now that I'm starting to understand what you're looking for, I think Hotman might be interesting to you. And possibly Chobits (manga) as well. Though neither of them is "epic", they do focus on certain issues and bring meaning to them through the eyes of characters with problems you can feel for.

    -Dizzy-
    Last edited by dizzcity; 02-17-2009 at 06:19 AM.
    Manga Genre Focus: Romance, Comedy, Slice-of-life. Primarily shounen, then seinen and shoujo.
    Currently watching:

 

 
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