With the falling numbers of print, I don't think there's a way to make a Shonen Jump-style anthology work anymore... it's been tried, probably most successfully with Shonen Jump. I think they're doing better with their online release, perhaps... I know I love it.
Now, what nobody was ever able to pull off here in the US were the reader numbers and income to set up the voting system, which is a vital portion of the Jump model. Now that the English-language digital version of Shonen Jump is about to go simultaneous with Japan, I'll be interested in seeing if they start some sort of similar thing with US voting (which would probably be tallied separately, but if the numbers are sufficient then you know it's going to be incorporated into the market data).
It might be a way to create some middle ground between the whole go-it-yourself of current webcomic models (which can discourage more professional creators from entering the field, as they have rent and children and such to worry about) and the work-for-hire model that still exists in most of the (somewhat) successful remaining print comics. Pay creators a salary or page rate, share IP, survive on the votes. Of course, that would also require Western creators to either produce faster, or produce much higher quality. US fans sometimes forget that not EVERY awesome manga series is a weekly, especially the really well-drawn ones.
As for Fist of the North Star, the manga is definitely better. And I suspect you must mean the movie and not the episodes. If that is the case, the main villain of the movie Shin is a powerhouse but the manga is full of powerhouses and Raoh is the other main powerhouse.
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!"
Is the manga for Wolf and Spice any good? I started the anime, and I liked it, though wasn't blown away. I'm an Economics PhD student, so I found the premise very interesting.
Yeah it was basically trash like you said. I didn't find it appealing in a guilty pleasure way either.
I would still recommend Gantz. It might appear to be some type of gore/sex fest, but it isn't. There is a lot of strong character work in it. The main character goes through so much development that alone is worth it in my eyes, and of course Nishi is amazing. Got to love that little asshole, haha. He's a better troll/dick than Damian.
Also just to add to your already long recommendation list you should read Mushishi. It is really amazing. Set in the 19th Century you have Ginko who wonders the country helping people deal with the supernatural 'mushi' as they encounter them. It is very slice-of-life like, but the story carries a lot more weight and emotion with dealing with these supernatural creatures as they interact with normal people. There is a reason why it has won so many awards. You can give the anime a shot too.
Also with companies like Vertigo, Image, and ect. they still market towards the same people who currently buy traditional comics. Adult men. So I do think the greater diversity, from demographics to genres, in manga help make it more appealing especially to younger readers and female readers, but also the fact that many of the lead characters are teens helps too. You really don't see much of that in traditional Western comics anymore. I am 24 now and grew up in the manga boom of the 90s and 2000s and seeing characters around my age back then was very appealing.
Gantz makes no apologies for being exploitative, but it shouldn't be dismissed just for exploiting sex and violence. It's an interesting examination of how people might behave in a scenario where you are dead, resurrected, put back in your old life but with the knowledge that you're effectively a clone of yourself, with a bomb in your head that will kill you if anyone finds out, and forced to battle vicious, violent supernatural entities on a regular basis. And while you're given tools that make you stronger and tougher and able to kill, you aren't given any training and you are effectively just you, whatever that means... fat, slow, scared or stupid, you'll be thrown into the deep end of the gore pool and you'll swim or drown.
Do you give up on morality and give in to sociopathy? Do you hold fast to your ethics and try to act as a team? Does anyone care one way or another, and does it matter when the odds are strong that you'll die the next time, and this time you'll be dead for real... unless someone else cares enough and is good enough at the game to spend their goal resurrecting you. And what type of person is better at the game anyhow, the person who gives in to their dark side and descends wholeheartedly into the killing, or one who tries to rise above it and act as a leader?
These themes are strongly presented and examined in Gantz... it's just sometimes overshadowed by the sex and violence (the former often presented in the context of the latter).
I mean just some gore/sex fest. I didn't mean it wasn't excessive, but to pass it off as just those two things is overlooking what the series really is. That was what I meant.
I watch Game of Thrones, so I don't really have a problem with excess sex and violence. But I still didn't think Gantz was particularly insightful or interesting enough to continue, considering how much of it was there.
I've never actually touched Gantz because of the thoughts of a couple friends who I trust a lot when it comes to recommending manga, one dropped it and he never looked back, saying it got too stupid for him, and the other reads for pretty much El Sombrero's reasoning, that it's so retarded she finds it mostly hilarious.
Okay I read Osamu Tezuka's Buddha book. I thought it was pretty good, though there were a lot of inaccuracies. Is there anything that's rooted in a Taoist or Buddhist mysticism/philosophy?
I kind of like the Avatar the Last Airbender in concept, but I find the execution to be clearly aimed at kids. Nothing wrong with that obviously.
Taoist? Isn't that Chinese? Anyway, maybe you were looking for the word, Shinto.
Sorry I didn't mean to overgeneralize China and Japan. I just meant more Eastern philosophy in general. I've browsed and found quite a bit of Shinto-based stuff though.
Last edited by Mr. Holmes; 01-10-2013 at 11:48 PM.
Gantz's third phase is pretty mediocre, which is the current one, but the first two are still more than worth a look in my opinion. Of course it is over the top, but I wouldn't want it any other way. It has to be otherwise the concept would collapse in on itself. Like Battle Royale. It doesn't hold your hand and outcomes are genuinely unexpected a lot of the time, which for most series it is difficult to pull off. In one arc you are fighting giant dinosaurs in the city and in the next you are fighting legions of Japanese mythological demons. I remember reading that arc as the chapters were being released individually for it. It took forever, but the forum discussions for it were insane back then. Good times. xD
Though I wouldn't put the series in my top 20 seinen series even though I've been following such a long time. I'd recommend a number of series before it still, like I have, but there really isn't another series out there like it.