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What mangas are DLP worthy?

Discussion in 'Books and Anime Discussion' started by Dekazon, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. Dekazon

    Dekazon Squib

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    Yes I know there's a Manga Rec megathread, but it hasn't been updated in months and it's pretty dead.

    Personally, I've felt that Manga (and Anime, I suppose) have always been mediums where standards of quality for enjoyment felt pretty low compared to novels or TV series. I've been in the anime and manga threads here and it felt like people are much less discerning in their tastes when it comes to these mediums compared to the absolutely critical tone of the fanfic subforums.

    The only other manga discussion board I know of is Reddit's and most of their "quality fanfics" are just popularity contest winning moeblob, generic shounen, fanservice romance harem trash or more recently isekais (basically peggy sues where the MC is a cartoonishly extreme social recluse).

    I'm very curious what manga DLP (or the currently active members who care to respond to this thread) thinks meet the criterion we set for fanfiction here.

    I guess it would be lame for me to ask others for their recommendations without giving any of my own:

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    Eden, it's a Endless World! - a post-apocalytic seinen work with plots based around politics, crime, and terrorism. It's an actually 'adult' story which means nothing elsewhere but is disappointingly rare in the manga medium with realistic characters and worldbuilding. The apocalyptic sci-fi pseudo-science jargon is even plausible! (initially)

    The latter half of the work is completely different however, and warrants none of my original praise. I don't want to spoil the story but people who've read it will know what I'm talking about including where the very point I'm dividing the work into is at. Still, the first half is definitely one of the greatest examples of how the manga medium can produce a great adult story that shows the medium's great potential beyond teenage waifu fetishings.

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    Gunslinger Girl - this is a work that could really only have taken place in the manga medium really. Pre-pubescent girls fighting around with big guns. (Then again, Leon the Professional, perhaps?)

    It has an anime adaptation of which the first season sets the story's tone perfectly and the second season does admirably (my personal controversial opinion here) if you can look past the regrettably disappointing decision by the studio to use moe-blob character designs and a different color palette for environmental design.

    I'd imagine most people in the manga medium would get into the work as yet another little girls with guns manga. I personally got into it myself because the work was set in Italy and I guess I was a huge Italy-boo (I remained one all the way until I actually went to the country and found out the majority of their public restrooms lacked toilet seats).

    The work is tragic and it tells you early on. There's nothing enviable about these girls played straight as child soldiers fighting mafias, terrorists and separatists for the national government. Neither is being brainwashed into having only one adult figure as a tether in the form of handlers who are fucked up individuals themselves. Personally, the work is enough of a character study that relates how a child soldier both loses qualities of their childlike-ness and yet still demonstrates the tragic reality of how they're still children who never got to grow up that the work doesn't veer from having a over-arching tragic and gloomy atmosphere to straight up edgy grittiness, and that's why the work is so great. Also because it's one of the few long-running works that are actually complete and still have a satisfying ending.

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    Grand Blue Whether we like it or not (I don't, personally), Manga is still a medium dominated by rom-coms, slice-of-life and school fics. It's an inherent reality of the medium and since this I intended this to be a recc thread for all genres and not a "name your edgiest grittiest seinens," I'd feel remiss for not including something from them. The reason why I dislike the dominance of these genres is because like fanfiction, the majority of them are pure fanservice trash. So I'm deciding to list one I'm currently reading and like so far.

    When it comes to comedy, it's all a matter of taste and there's nothing to be done about that. Something I personally felt that did it right was Grand Blue. However, I strongly believe the work only resonates with a specific demographic that I happened to fall in. As a college student, it caught my attention because it was set in college which is rare in a medium inundated by high-school works, so it felt like a breath of fresh air. The frat-style hijinks they get into related to me because that's what the non-club party atmosphere was like on my campus. The humor (mostly about drinking and alcohol so far) is generally more mature compared to high school comedy mangas. There really is no story in this work, the entire thing is about the hijinks the characters get themselves into.

    Grand Blue simply vibed well with me and I suppose from that sense, I do understand why people following the manga medium are much less critical of story quality compared to other mediums like literature novels, TV series or fanfiction. The genres that dominate the medium don't really allow for the same literary criticism in other mediums because of their nature.

    ======================================================================

    However, while I don't want this to be a "name every gritty edgy seinen" thread, I do hope this thread can be more than a "list the mangas that vibe well with you." I'm hoping we can help recognize some mangas that are genuinely great and worthy of the same scrutiny we give top DLP-reviewed fanfics.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
  2. Silirt

    Silirt Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    Consider Monster. My all-time favorite, it's a seinen tour de force of Europe following the fall of the Berlin wall through the eyes of a Japanese doctor, on the run from a wrongful accusation of murder. Much of the work is episodic with bit-part characters, though the recurring leads are memorable to me even now, and while they carried most of the plot, the stories of even the smallest roles were treasures to behold. The story didn't really have comedy, looking back on it, though that was a choice I enjoyed, since the author could at least be said to be sticking to the genre in a way that made sense. The reveals are unapologetically dramatic, there are no reminders that the work 'doesn't take itself too seriously', whatever the hell that means, and while it's a horror'/mystery, I would not describe the main character as an edgelord. Given that much of the fun of this manga is discovered as you read it, I shall reveal no more in this post.
     
  3. Palindrome

    Palindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Junji Ito's works are fantastic bizarre horrors. If you've never read one I recommend either Uzumaki, about a town that's spiraling down the plughole so to speak, or the Enigma of Amigara Fault, about finding your place in the world. Wholesome!

    [​IMG]

    I've been reading some sports manga lately - having not read any before, so I can't say how the genre generally plays out. That said, I recommend Robot X Laserbeam, a manga about concentration as a super power. It's about golf, bitches!

    "Golf, wow. I definitely wanted to read something about golf." Bah! I thought the same until I read this. Somehow, it actually manages to make *golf* interesting. Sports manga so far seems to be all the fun of overblown shounen battles without all of the ludicrous plot-stretching excuses, and Robot X Laserbeam is just a fun romp with really good pacing. It knows exactly what to show and what to cut to keep the story rolling smoothly.
     
  4. LT2000

    LT2000 Heir

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    Tower of God (Korean webtoon as opposed to a manga, but within the same general fandom) is about the only thing I actively read these days after Shokugeki no Soma went to complete and utter shit. So I guess that would be my rec. Though I guess you probably wouldn't enjoy it if you have a problem with shounen, since it does hit most of those tropes.

    If we're going with things that are already complete, I would definitely recommend Holyland.
     
  5. Red Aviary

    Red Aviary Hogdorinclawpuff Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Berserk.

    I would also recommend the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga adaptation. It mostly follows the anime, but I think it makes a few interesting changes.
     
  6. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Gonna second Monster, everything Junji Ito and Holyland.


    Fullmetal Alchemist - It's not a series that needs much selling as it has been a heavy hitter for years but with good reason. It's from beginning to end outstanding and imo one of the best stories told, regardless of medium. It does a lot of things, tackles a ton of themes and it does it all exceptionally well. The characters are fiercely interesting, compelling, complex and fun, same for the story. The series hits you emotionally in a lot of ways, it can make you laugh and even make you cry. It has a lot of memorable scenes that I still remember from time to time.

    Honestly, it's a story where unless you are extremely biased against the manga format there is something for almost everyone to enjoy. The Brotherhood anime is also a very good way to experience the story, what with seeing the action animated, with a solid soundtrack and voice acting, although I still regard the manga as the go to form but I have shown it to friends who weren't at all into anime but they loved Brotherhood. If you haven't read it yet, definitely do. Complete.

    Ranma 1/2 - It's also a rather well known series and a previous fanfiction fandom heavy weight although less so now than it had been ten years ago, or even twenty. It's the manga that got me into reading manga in the first place. It's almost 30 years old at this point but boy does it still hold up (for the most part).

    It's a rather hard to describe series by now, it doesn't exactly follow a main story as much as it deals with a lot of relatively short arcs that while they do engage in character development and progress over the story, there isn't a real (reachable) end goal in mind, except maybe their marriage and even then, it's hard to imagine that the chaos in their lives would ever truly stop. What it does have is a ton of colorful, interesting, sheer fun and outright insane characters who all play off each other in wonderful ways. They are all assholes to a degree, but likeable ones but still enough so that one never really minds and is instead entertained by the misfortunes that befall them.

    The martial arts and fighting aspects are equally fun and from an action stand-point and usually really entertaining from the general Ranma weirdness. It pokes a lot of fun at different genres, like harems, martial arts and similar. It has unforgettable characters, a lot of great scenes and it should be a fun ride from beginning to end. Did all aspects of it age all that well? Probably not, but it should still be worth a read. The anime was rather fun as far as I could remember and probably had the best filler in all of anime mainly because I imagine it was rather easy to write Ranma filler as the series holds onto the status quo and never really lets go and since the fillers didn't have to worry about that, they could just make up some insane, bizarre scenario and make the cast suffer and it would fit in pretty well. (Martial Arts Food Delivery is not more ridiculous than Martial Arts Tea Ceremony or Martial Arts Figure Skating)

    So yeah, if you have heard of Ranma but never knew what to make of it, I doubt I made things much clearer to you there but if any of this sounded even remotely interesting, give it a shot. Think it is still my personal favorite. Complete.

    Great Teacher Onizuka -
    "22-year-old Eikichi Onizuka: pervert, former gang member... and teacher?

    Great Teacher Onizuka follows the incredible, though often ridiculous, antics of the titular teacher as he attempts to outwit and win over the cunning Class 3-4 that is determined to have him removed from the school. However, other obstacles present themselves throughout—including the frustrated, balding vice principal, Hiroshi Uchiyamada; old enemies from his biker days; and his own idiotic teaching methods. But Eikichi fights it all whilst trying to help his students, romance fellow teacher Azusa Fuyutsuki, and earn his self-proclaimed title."

    Pretty much this. It's consistently funny, engaging and heartwarming. Seeing Onizuka deal with his wild students and grow closer to them with his unique ways is just such a rewarding journey. Complete.

    Liar Game -

    "Wishing she would live up to the ideal, Kanzaki Nao's father named her thusly for "honesty." Nao has more than lived up to her father's wishes—even exceeding them and earning the label of "a foolishly honest girl." This makes Nao the least qualified candidate for the high stakes "Liar Game," where winning requires deceiving the opponent out of their money and losing means receiving massive debt; however, that doesn't stop a box containing a hundred million yen in cash and a card informing her of her participation in the game from arriving at her doorstep, nor does it stop her from being promptly tricked out of the entire sum of money. Upon hearing that a genius swindler, responsible for the bankruptcy of a major corporation, is being released from jail, Nao goes to the swindler, Shinichi Akiyama, to enlist his help. With that, the two are drawn into the dark, greed-filled, and deceptive world of the Liar Game."

    It has been years since I last read this and not a lot of it has stuck in my memory but I still remember enough to say that I have immensely enjoyed reading this. Not sure how well the mind games and the actual gamble strategies hold up nowaday, whether they were actually smart of pseudo bullshit smart but I was intrigued from beginning to end and seeing Nao's slow growth through the series had been relatively solid IIRC. I think it is complete at this point, or abandoned?

    Teppuu - "Ishidou Natsuo is a gifted girl who can achieve anything she wants in sports. Because of this she is permanently bored, as there aren't any real challenges to her abilites to make her feel alive. One day she receives an invitation of a merry girl to join her martial arts club. Irritated by her happy expression, Natsuo decides to accept the invitation just as a pretext to beat her up, but she receives a shocking surprise."

    This is a relatively (some, like myself would say criminally) short manga with incredible art and an amazing main character who is just such a delightful and compelling shitbag. All she wants is to be challenged in an activity but since she is so good at all of them, she rarely finds it until she fights Yuzuko Mawatari in a short MMA bout. Unable to stomach how happy Yuzuko is, Natsuo joins the world of MMA in order to destroy that happiness and to her delight, finds herself in a place where she isn't the best and needs to put actual effort into practice.

    Natuso is one of the more unique and memorable protagonists, imo. Her outlook on life is nearly villainous but she also never becomes uninteresting or unlikeable. The fighting is, for a layman like me, rather technical and grounded but no less intense for it. Only around 30 chapters, so definitely check it out. The character dynamics are just outstanding. Manga is complete.

    Kingdom - "During the Warring States period in China, Xin Li and Piao are two brother-like youngsters who dream of becoming Great Generals, despite their low status as orphaned slaves. One day, they encounter a man of nobility, who gives Piao an opportunity to undertake an important duty within the state of Qin's royal palace. Parting ways, Xin and Piao promise each other to one day become the greatest generals in the world. However, after a fierce coup d'état occurs in the palace, Xin meets with a dying Piao, whose last words spur him into action and lead him to encounter the young and soon-to-be king of Qin, Zheng Ying.

    Although initially on bad terms, Xin and Zheng become comrades and start on a path filled with trials and bloodshed. Zheng's objective is to bring all the warring states under Qin, and Xin seeks to climb to the very top of the army ranks. Against a backdrop of constant tactical battle between states and great political unrest, both outside and within the palace, the two endeavor towards their monumental ambitions that will change history forever."

    What this manga does particularly well is building up epic characters and fights. When the time comes for epic generals to clash, you are already hyped up to see that happen. Overall, Shin is a surprisingly compelling and likeable protagonist because I usually don't tend to really like characters like him but he is in this sweet spot of being kind of a likeable doofus but still being a competent badass in the things he is good at and his growth over the years is very rewarding to see. His rise through the ranks, starting as a foot soldier in the infantry after joining the Qin army and working his way up to a commander of thousands of men as he is currently in the manga feels earned and also offers a rather interesting view into military matters as we learn to see and evaluate battlefields differently based on the rank Shin himself is in. As a footsoldier, all that matters is the struggle he is in right now but later as a commander, one has to keep the whole battlefield in mind.

    Coupled with a really solid supporting cast and yeah, Kingdom is a fun ride. One drawback though is that at times, it wants to be more grounded and (I do hate that word) "realistic" so that things like strategies, numbers and logistics matter but at the same time, some of the generals and characters are practically dynasty warriors level heroes who each can cleave through tons of mooks with barely any trouble which does break the setting a bit at times, when one guy is basically surrounded but it turns out he is a Heroic Spirit and can trash them all. Still, it juggles that reasonably well enough most of the times and it usually has hyped things up so much that you shouldn't mind much. It's ongoing.

    Eyeshield 21 - "Timid, diminutive, and frequently the target of bullies, Sena Kobayakawa has just enrolled at Deimon Private High School. When he angers a group of delinquents by refusing to act as their errand boy, he makes an incredibly speedy getaway, an ability he has developed through years of running from his tormentors.

    Youichi Hiruma—the demonic captain of the Deimon Devil Bats football team—happens to be nearby, and seeing Sena's "golden legs" at work, forcibly recruits him as a running back despite Sena's desire to be team manager instead. Made to don the number 21 jersey and a special helmet to hide his identity as a player, Sena becomes "Eyeshield 21," the team's closely guarded secret weapon. Soon he realizes his love for the sport, and aims to help the Devil Bats reach the Christmas Bowl, the high school football championship."

    I don't care about watching most sports, I'm afraid to say, and living in Germany I particularly don't give a shit about American Football but Eyeshield 21 made me give a shit so much, I even bought a football a few years ago, just to throw it around (which I did maybe a handful of times). It didn't become a fan of the sport or anything, never watched a match, but Eyeshield 21 did what any good sports shonen should do and made me want to play it myself. It really sold American Football as this epic, strategic clash of power and minds, full with equally epic and interesting individuals who all met on the field to determine who is the strongest. I think what made this stand out so much was that shared ambition. It wasn't just to win a tournament. They wanted to win the tournament to prove to everyone that they were the best and strongest and be better and stronger than you yourself were even a second ago. A running line is that there is no such thing as second best. Whether you win in the first round or in the finals, it's all the same. Only the winner matters. And all these various characters had their own philosophies and strategies in order to win and strive for their goal and to see those world views clash was just super engaging and quite a few times you outright felt bad for the losers because it meant that their dream ended there.

    It was just so weirdly compelling. The characters were immensely fun and likeable, with interesting designs and gimmicks, it contained a lot of very powerful story lines, it tackled the genius vs hard work plot thread about a 10000% better than Naruto and the likes ever did and reached a really satisfying conclusion, it had the a really compelling but wholesome rivalry between Shin and Sena and it explored just a ton of interesting characters in really engaging and interesting ways.

    Flaws in the manga are two. For one, a bit disappointed with the lack of girl characters there. I mean, there are two, and a few more get some screen time but their roles are rather limited and they were interesting enough to be worth having more room to breathe. I get that this is a sports anime and that's usually boys, especially since boys and girls don't compete with each other there but honestly, the manga itself didn't give a shit about that. From beginning to end, one of its core messages was that only the strength to play the game well matters, no matter which form or from who that strength comes because everyone had a skill they could hone to become the best in which could be useful in the game. And the best team at the end actually had a girl as their quarterback and no one really gave a shit. There was literally no reason not have a few more. Additionally, Sena (the main character) also had a lot of traits that could be seen as feminine so I dunno, it's not a big thing or anything but if you made Sena a girl, virtually nothing would change in the story. That's more of a personal gripe there.

    The other is, well, it was weirdly...racist at parts? Because it also had football players from America, black players in particular, it kinda engaged in some "all black people are physically stronger and faster and anyone else might as well not bother" stuff and well, let's just say, it was a bit jarring.

    But other than that, still one of the best sports series out there. The art is really good and especially manages to convey the sheer energy and speed of the running and the weight of the tackles really well. This is also the same guy who later redrew One Punch Man, btw.

    Hope there is something for everyone there.
     
  7. Sataniel

    Sataniel Professor

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    It's because you are in the wrong community for that, you would have to go somewhere where people are more obsessive about manga.

    Peggy sue is mental time travel, isekais are dimension travel, pretty different.

    I rate similarily everywhere. 7/10 is good and it corresponds to 4/5. So have fun - https://myanimelist.net/mangalist/sataniel?status=2&order=4&tag=

    Junji Ito can draw creepy stuff but he can't write a story to accompany his pictures to save his life. Comics aren't artbooks.

    Idiot girl does idiotic stuff, protag has to save her with super intelligence, rinse and repeat. Dropped.
     
  8. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    Koe no Kotachi - A Silent Voice.

    A coming of age story that deals with bullying and, in particular, how vicious teenagers / young children can be to each other (although arguably not a focus, it is an element I enjoyed compared to the typical fiction treatment of kids as little angels). It features some great character growth for the MC.

    Onanie Master Kurosawa

    If you liked the above, this one is kind of in the same boat, dealing with bullying and growing up and maturing.

    Kaguya wants To Be Confessed To

    Not a very serious story, it's about two "geniuses" who view love as war and are trying to manipulate the other into confessing their love first. Tends to be episodic, but the cast of characters are fun and towards the later stages of the manga, a plot of some sorts appears to be in the works.

    Koushaku Reijou No Tashinami

    A strange Isekai story where the MC is turned into the villain of a romance visual novel game, after a "bad ending". MC thus has to play politics to try and turn things around. Not anything special if you don't like Isekai, but if you do, it does explore things that other Isekai take for granted and given the uniqueness of the initial premise, takes routes one doesn't normally see in the genre. It does end up being a bit like a economic strategy game (like Slime Isekai, but less tech uplift and more how to make the bureaucracy run better) with a backdrop of political intrigue.

    To You, The Immortal

    I haven't read much of this yet, but man I cried after the first 2 chapters. I'm not really sure how to describe this. Nihilistic? Tragic? Drama? You follow a kind of immortal spirit as it deals with mortality of the humans around it. You'll know what I'm talking about after just the first chapter.

    Otoyomegatari


    A weird little piece, set around some of the Central Asian tribes during the 19th century. It teeters between historical (?) slice of life and clan wars, though through a rose-tinted lens.
     
  9. Palindrome

    Palindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Some of them are a bit weak - like the spidershark thing - but I'm gonna have to disagree with you in general. The narrative of his best works rely on the reader's sense of exploration, of plunging your hands into something vile. I think it's a really worthwhile medium of storytelling on its own.

    Of course, it doesn't work on you if you're already dead inside, Sataniel :sherlock:
     
  10. Dekazon

    Dekazon Squib

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    Monster is definitely what came to my mind when I made this thread. It's an exemplary work that I think most people following the medium can view as one of its classics.

    I guess I should've named the classics before the thread devolved into naming those. The others I'd say fall in that category or will eventually are Berserk, 20th Century Boys, Oyasumi Punpun, Mushishi and Akira.


    I initially enjoyed the premise of Tower of God but it suffers from what I'd call 'the trap of being a shounen.' The mangaka clearly knows how to pace arcs given from the remarkably readable first arc (or season one, I suppose) but then you take a look at Season 1 with its 60 or so chapters and then you gape at Season 2 with almost 300 at this point and still ongoing. That's the unique problem of ToG.

    Then it has the assorted problems typical of most shounen: a very overblown (extreme emphasis on very) amount of characters, no real tension or consequences dealt to the MCs and a general lack of progression of the main overarching plot. I've been mostly interested in Rachel/Lahel (which is a rare opinion in that fandom apparently) because she's the only character that frankly stands out from the generic stock trope cast and its shocking to see after almost 300 chapters of Season 2, her motivations are still not revealed or developed whatsoever. At that point, I stopped caring entirely. Shounen tropes, a oversized cast and horrible pacing ruined ToG's appeal to me.

    Tangentially, the latest popular standout shounen manga, The Promised Neverland, which initially showed tremendous promise, is also from the same trappings.


    I admit I have a prejudice against FMA. I was in a particular craving for certain themes when I started watching its anime adaptation that it colored my perception of this show. Doubtless, it's a good and what people would even call a classic, but I think its jack-of-all trades multi-genre focus also lets down readers looking for more depth in particular aspects that never really materialize.

    The MC is a difficult one to like given the premise of the work and her naïveté is certainly grating, but I did enjoy the occasional subversions where Nao displayed naivety that was a feint. I suppose I respect the choice to use a naive female as the MC of the story given that I'd likely feel an Akiyama-led story would've merely made him insufferable. The teamwork between the largely male cast in a setting based on teamwork could've really only worked with a female lead for them to gravitate towards, a tactic which is eerily reminiscent of the antics my STEM faculty's single-digit count of females routinely deal with. The ending of the work was terrible however. It felt like it came out of the blue and was too ham-fisted for me to respect it.



    The only good thing I could say about Teppuu is that it's an villain protagonist done right (or close enough at least). The MC is rather much a scumbag but she conducts herself in a way that still makes you want to read on her story. I wouldn't call it a classic or see it ever becoming so as it does have considerable flaws. While the story is rushed and the actual fights felt too short, however it was still readable and I never got to the point of feeling like I needed to drop it.
    [/QUOTE]

    I'm curious where that community is then in your view. r/trueanime is the closest to an critical and obsessive anime community that I know of, but they fall to the traps of Redditisms and circlejerks. There really isn't any for manga as far as I know excluding niche private discords or 2000s era forums.

    Nah, it's the same shit in different piles. The entire reality of the genres are that the majority of them devolve into wish fulfillment so I don't see any real difference between them beyond pedantic banter.

    It's a shame because "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" is one of my favorite classics in literature but no 'isekai/peggy sue' manga comes even slightly close to it's brilliance.



    Your lone 10/10 certainly stands out. Do you mind elaborating on its qualities?




    The introductory chapter was startlingly compelling. If I had to describe it, it's very Mushishi-esque. Some side characters later on rubbed off badly on me but I'll leave my elaborations at that if you're only starting to read it. It is certainly readable and I'd read it for its sole quality of being a recently published work that actually has an unique premise, if nothing else, which is a rare enough thing (unforunately) in itself.

    I could love this work simply because it's such an unexpected setting for a manga. From someone who's sole image of Central Asia was Borat in a ushanka, the work is illuminating because it brings into light a region of the world grossly under-represented in all forms of media and literature.

    It's more than that though, it's portrayals of Central Asian culture is so authentic that it's clear the manga is a work of love towards the cultures represented. It's historical accuracy and strict guidelines on grounding itself in realism without the supernatural tropes common in historical mangas set in Japan makes it spectacular. The geopolitical maneuverings of empires that are moving around in the background in the Great Game and the passage of actual historical events give the story the historical authenticity most historical manga lack.
     
  11. Silirt

    Silirt Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    The essential question: 2003?
    FMA 2003 suffered from the classic unfinished manga problem, with the instruction they received being 'where we're going, we don't need the next volume' rather than 'wait for the next ten years while I finish scribbling out my ending'. That said, where they went with it wasn't terribly off color for the source material, though you could definitely tell the difference. The canonical ending was vastly superior, though there were small things about the 2003 adaptation that makes it worth watching. Since the letter of the thread is 'DLP-worthy', and the original anime was built out of fanfiction books and the producers going super grimdark, there may not be anything that fits better.

    I liked 20th Century Boys as well, and I consider it to number among the best manga ever written, but I decided to stick to a singular recommendation.
     
  12. Sataniel

    Sataniel Professor

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    Or if you read eroguro before. Though those may not be that far off. Which basically means that what I said holds, it's not a good story, it relies on the emotional effect of the art, but in itself it is flat.

    I don't really know any western one, I never had a need to search because my bigger interest in manga happened when I was already deeply entrenched into the more critical part of Polish anime fandom.

    Wish fulfilment comes in all shapes. Fanfics should show that already. Of course, those two have the advantage of being an easy shorthand for lazy and incapable creators (peggy sue for fanfics mostly, because in original fiction it creates a problem of protagonist already knowing setting and characters while reader doesn't so it makes it harder to do a lazy infodump). But this doesn't make them the same.

    It's quite an absurd story. Our protagonist - Taizou Kuzuki arrives in the small island country - Blefuscu and starts living in a hotel. But the hotel owner is ex-luchador who still constantly wears the mask. He also once knocked out the tooth of visiting Chuck Norris and said tooth is a treasure of the hotel. There also two maids here that service the whole hotel - one is a kid without eye, the other has suspicious scars on her whole neck. Then there is an android detective, demons, witches, magical weapons +2, elephant poison and other weird things.

    Among all this we are introduced to a ton of characters, all unique, many of them really fleshed out and all of this in a span of three tankobon volumes. It's a ton of great content compressed into something that you can read in around an hour and a half without short length hurting quality. And there is what I love Dowman Sayman works for - that contract between the absurdity of the world and the humanity of characters and their problems.
     
  13. Plotless

    Plotless Professor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2015
    Messages:
    476
    Location:
    England
    A lot of these recommendations are more along this lines of fantasy/thrillers and the like, so I figured I'd throw in some more down to earth options. Seconding Teppu, Koe no Katachi, Holyland and Ito though.

    Shiminami Tasogare is the story of Kaname Tasuku, a boy who is terrified of being outed as gay after his friends find his search history on his phone.

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    The first chapter makes it pretty clear that he considers suicide but is shocked out of it when he sees a strange woman jumping out of a window and falling to the street below out of sight.

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    Following her, he finds a strange house filled with strange people. The woman (introduced as Anonymous in the translation I read but I'm pretty sure a more accurate translation would be Somebody) tells him that she won't ask him what happened, but she would listen.

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    So yeah, it's a pretty normal premise - there are probably a million works that deal with sexuality and the like but Shimanami Tasogare is more real than any of them. It's heavily character-focused around the lounge patrons, but despite its themes of sexuality and self-understanding it is not a romance. Sure there are romance elements, but the main focus of the series is Kaname learning to understand himself and others around him. Characters are complicated and we don't ever learn everything about them but we do begin to understand them better and through them Kaname understands more about himself.

    Given Kaname's age coupled with the facts that he is new to a small, old town and is confused and scared about his own feelings he often comes off as immature or even downright rude, particularly to those who remind him of himself. He's human, and a lot of manga don't really make me feel like their characters have that same realism to them.

    And hey, maybe I'm a bit biased given the subject matter, but I genuinely think this is fantastic. The way the artist portrays anxiety, comfort, heartbreak and the like are really well done. In a world of stereotypical unrealistic portrayals of being gay, this manga gets it right.

    Alright I've made my pitch, I'll just throw some pictures in.

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    Later I'll probably post something about 1/11, 3-gatsu no lion, The voynich hotel, and Chimoguri Ringo to Kingyobachi Otoko or some others. Hope you don't mind me adding so many pictures.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  14. fire

    fire Auror

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    647
    Chikan Otoko

    Your heart loves whom it does.

    Starts as a misunderstanding, and ends as love - catharsis in twenty chapters.

    The adult version of Onani Master Kurosawa basically.