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  1. #31

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    Berserk and Blade of the Immortal.
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  2. #32
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    Okay even though this was about manga, I ended up watching the first three episodes of Death Note. I was hooked immediately, but I find the writing - particularly L's deductions - to be contrived. It just seems like the writers are very obviously just working backwards from what they already know about the main character's actions.

  3. #33

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    Berserk is my favourite manga of all-time and I very much adore it, though it does take a good few volumes to really get started. It's a brilliant dark fantasy with great characters and a complex cosmology.

    Following that, I also love everything I've read by Naoki Urasawa, who is pretty much the master of the detective/thriller story. Most people rate Monster as his best but I prefer 20th Century Boys and Pluto. Pluto is the most compact of the lot so I'd recommend that to get started with him.

    I also have a love of the heavily underappreciated Dorohedoro. It's wonderfully mindf**ky. Sadly, the official translated volumes are pretty crappy starting with volume 4 or so, with also a lot of the pages being way too dark (because coloured pages started getting printed in black and white in the translated version), and given that the manga has a very dirty, sketchy art style it makes it really hard to figure out what is going on.

    There's also Blade of the Immortal, which takes "grey morality" to an entirely new area.

    As far as shonen goes, my favourites are Fullmetal Alchemist, Pandora Hearts and One Piece. PH is probably the most darkest of the three when it gets to it, followed by FMA, and is pretty underrated given that it gets lumped in with crappy manga like Black Butler and most of its fans are just yaoi fangirls, but the mangaka Jun Mochizuki is fantastic at following through on plot threads and foreshadowing, though I will say it does take quite a while to get started. FMA I think tailed off a bit during the final arc and had a kinda lame ending, but it's also great. One Piece, well, I dunno if you'd care for it, tbh, but the Marineford arc is one of the best manga arcs I've ever read. But it's really, really long.

    I really don't care for Death Note, which I think is horribly pretentious and irritating. Any good points the series has is in the first half, and even then it's heavily reliant on contrived moments and Deus Ex Machinas. The second half is painfully dragged out and boring and virtually all the depth has gone because you barely care about any of the characters at this stage. L was pretty much the only redeeming thing about Death Note.

    I also don't care for Vagabond, which is just a manga about a guy wandering around getting into fights and then randomly pondering on random spoon-fed philosophy with some horrible writing. It's like a sports manga and again is very irritating. This is a manga where Musashi fights Aang from Avatar and the two just randomly stare at each other for so long people around them start going into flashbacks. This is a manga where a woman was taken by the Ghost of Christmas Past to go see seventy families to drill in a meaning about human life. This is a manga where an accomplished killer shits his pants by facing off against an old guy who also happened to be asleep. Like what the hell. The art is great, but like special effects in a movie, it's means nothing unless it's backed up by something, and well, here it's also very decompressed and is full of huge panels with barely anything happening.

    I also enjoyed Vinland Saga as some people mentioned, though I got so bored during the farm arc I've dropped it temporarily in the hopes that when I go back to it enough chapters will have come out that something will have happened.

  4. #34
    Blind Resolve Hazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Holmes View Post
    Okay even though this was about manga, I ended up watching the first three episodes of Death Note. I was hooked immediately, but I find the writing - particularly L's deductions - to be contrived. It just seems like the writers are very obviously just working backwards from what they already know about the main character's actions.
    Death Note does favor rather contrived plans.

    In TVtropes terms, a Xanatos Roulette instead of a Gambit.

    As far as L goes... he is a bit special. It's not only the writing. His character is such that even if you put a pile of utterly genuine evidence of why he is wrong, he will still prefer to go with his conclusion which is based more on sheer instinct than he will ever admit (and backed by a fair bit of pride too).
    Last edited by Hazard; 11-20-2012 at 05:33 PM.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Holmes View Post
    Okay I've always been aware that Japan has a really strong industry with abounding quality, but for some reason manga always seemed impenetrable. But seemed being the key word, I've now gotten a bit tired of western comics in its current state, so I want to put more effort to finding some manga to read.

    What would be recommendable for a complete outsider? I've watched a little bit anime. I watched Toonami (Dragon Ball Z, etc.) when I was in like middle school, and more recently I got into the more mature anime on today's Toonami like Cowboy Bebop and Fullmetal Alchemist.
    Two titles that should definitely be on the essential list are:

    * Akira
    * Lone Wolf and Cub

  6. #36
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    Okay I picked up FMA, a book that collected the first three volumes. Already having problems figuring out how exactly to read the pages haha...

  7. #37
    Blind Resolve Hazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Holmes View Post
    Okay I picked up FMA, a book that collected the first three volumes. Already having problems figuring out how exactly to read the pages haha...
    It's a bit hard at first but you get used to it.

    Some manga also have guides at the back (so the front) on how to read right to left.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Sombrero View Post
    In reference to the iPad question:

    The other day I was browsing by genre in Comixology, and they have a section for manga, but it was small and almost exclusively female-oriented stuff (i.e. teenage girl romance). Pretty much all the major manga series were absent. That's just Comixology though, maybe there is a different app that has manga.

    I wondered if maybe the right-to-left orientation had something to do with it, if Comixology didn't want to, or for some reason couldn't support that. You may already know this, but manga is read from the right to left (unless it is "flipped," which mirrors the art so you read it left to right, although this messes up things like text and direction and is rarely done). It feels weird at first but you get used to it quickly like anything else.
    I wonder if Viz has a large chunk of the market tied up in their Viz manga app. I use that in my iPad for my Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha subscription, and it's pretty damn great. They're always leaning on me to purchase volumes in digital form, and they do appear to have a decent chunk of their library available digitally, often before they put it in print.

    I was hesitant to go digital with my manga, but Shonen Jump forced my hand and I must admit, after almost a year it's been a damned good investment and reading experience. They're up to simultaneous releases with Japan now on Naruto and One Piece and Bleach, they've got the Fighting Foodie manga Toriko, and the 5/6 slots tend to rotate (it's been Blue Exorcist a bunch lately, and a couple of titles from Japan that ended quickly, as they probably failed to earn enough votes in the print magazine to survive). Not only is it a nice weekly sample of manga, it works out to about 50 cents per weekly volume so it's very affordable.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazard View Post
    It's a bit hard at first but you get used to it.

    Some manga also have guides at the back (so the front) on how to read right to left.
    I found some tips online, which were helpful.

  10. #40
    Forever Walker remydat's Avatar
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    Some choices that haven't been mentioned yet I don't think. No particular order.

    1. Rurouni Kenshin - It's a semi historical manga about the aftermath of the Meiji Restoration. I would recommend the manga as the anime has too much filler. Also, once you read the manga, I would recommend picking up the Samurai X OVAs as they offer a really good adaption of the backstory of the main character that you don't see until much later in the manga.

    2. If you like the high dark fantasy of Berserk then I would recommend Claymore. It's set in a European Middle Ages alternate world about a bunch of half-women half-demon warriors controlled by a secret organization.

    3. Inuyasha which I find is one manga that appealed to guys and girls alike. Nice balance between action and the love story of the main characters and is basically the story of a young girl in the present falling into a well that is a portal to the Sengoku Jidai era and meets a half human half demon dog.

    4. A pretty good relatively new manga that also has a pretty good anime that just started (only about 8 episodes are out so easy to catch up) is Zetsuen no Tempest. It basically has elements of the Hamlet and Tempest stories told in a very unconventional way in a present day world with magic. It's a little slow in the begining but really picks up midway through.

    5. K project is another anime that is relatively new (again, only 8 episodes) which has a weird premise I don't want to spoil. You can find the episdoes easy enough online since it just debuted this September so you can watch the first two episodes and decide if it is something you like.

    6. Stein's Gate is perhaps my favortive time travel story in quite some time as it handles the concept really well including the philosphical implications of that time travel.

    7. Finally, for a good life after death story, Angel Beats was pretty good and is basically a story of the high school that kids go to when they die which is ruled with an iron fist by the student body president that is possibly an AI.
    Last edited by remydat; 12-03-2012 at 09:54 PM.
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  11. #41
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    Black Lagoon might be another series you'd like, since you seem to enjoy series with a group of outlaws/rebels and this one of the best in my opinion. It's kind of one of the reasons I don't think the Red Hood and the Outlaws book is that good because it should have been more like Black Lagoon instead of like a Teen Titans book, imo. Since this is very much a book of outlaws on the edge of society and the line between what is good/bad is very grey at times. It is based sort of in reality but the action is very over the top at times despite that. Just a gritty, action packed series with very intense stories and great characters. It's a wild ride.

    I enjoy the manga but many enjoy the anime more. Both are very good in my opinion. So you can't go wrong either way.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by remydat View Post
    3. Inuyasha which I find is one manga that appealed to guys and girls alike. Nice balance between action and the love story of the main characters and is basically the story of a young girl in the present falling into a well that is a portal to the Sengoku Jidai era and meets a half human half demon dog.
    I saw an episode of this on Toonami. How does the manga compare?

  13. #43
    Forever Walker remydat's Avatar
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    I forget all of the specifics but the anime is a pretty faithful retelling of the Manga but ends a bit earlier. So it's really a matter of whether you want to read or watch it. I always lean towards the manga since it is usually the source material but it's fairly long (over 500 chapters) and I got into it a later later so I ended up watching the anime until it caught up to the manga and then switched to the manga for the rest of it.
    It's hard for me to listen to people not in my position. A caterpillar can't relate to what an eagle envisions.

    "Let me go first Lorna. I'm their freaking King!"

  14. #44

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    If you like detective stories, I recommend you to read detective conan.

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by chongjasmine View Post
    If you like detective stories, I recommend you to read detective conan.
    ...but not for too long, because it's been going on forever with no end in sight.
    "After a long absence, the original Thor returned to his comic book, only to discover that comics in the 90s were very different to what he remembered. But Thor quickly fit right in by going violently insane."

    "You know, if everyone the Punisher killed turns out to be no more dead than anyone else who dies in Marvel Comics, he's going to be in BIG trouble one of these days."

    - Both from Marvel Year in Review 1993

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