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.