Author Topic: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)  (Read 672 times)

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Offline Ruhe Strom

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What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« on: February 02, 2017, 07:04:24 PM »
Hey all, I noticed that there haven't been any threads dedicated to personal favourite mangas for a long while, so I thought I'd revive the discussion and make a recommendation of my own. Please be sure to accompany your own favourites with hefty essays on why you love them should you wish.

As is probably apparent, I'm a big fan of Gundam, and while the bulk of the franchise lies in animated ventures, I think it's highest point is Yoshikazu Yasuhiko's Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, a mammoth retelling of the original 1979 series in manga form. Yasuhiko was a character designer and animation/visual director for that original series, making him a natural pick for this project. Many fans of classic anime will have seen his distinctive and beautiful artwork here and there in the form of marvellous illustrations, and boy does he deliver in The Origin.

If you watched Mobile Suit Gundam and found it lacking in some departments, you will have no such issue here, as this version is bolstered with a great number of additional scenes, not least of which among them being a backstory for the legendary antagonist, Char Aznable (which has been by itself adapted into a good OVA), which lend a cast of classic characters (and the world itself) a richness and depth they have never had before. The story itself remains fairly unchanged. Despite some rearranging of major events, it  will always be the tale of a ship full of young misfits learning to work together amidst a tragic WWII-esque conflict and an arms race built on bodies. There is a more notable consistency in tone here, as this manga is much darker than the anime was ever permitted to be. Fans of the OVAs will appreciate this I'm sure.

The highlight of The Origin however is undoubtedly its art, which I'm going to try and describe as concisely as possible without gushing too much. This is an example of classic anime style shining amidst a lot of gaudy contemporary manga and feels incredibly refreshing as a result. Always nice to harken back to an age when eyes weren't drawn like headlamps grafted into people's faces. The line work flows smooth, slick and natural, making the act of simply reading a page simple and enjoyable. This is helped greatly by the fact that Yasuhiko clearly understands what makes a dynamic composition, resulting in almost every panel being aesthetically pleasing in their own right. To top off what is already a tour de force of visual strength, key scenes throughout are gorgeously rendered in full colour with watercolour and gouache. These are by far the most arresting sequences and I always find myself slowly poring over them a second time immediately after the first.

Additionally, I really ought to dedicate a brief paragraph to address the actual physical release itself, because if any of you know of a better western release of a manga, I urge you to share it with everyone. This is the absolute zenith of quality for a manga so readily available to purchase on Amazon, especially for starving UK fans like myself. Each of its twelve volumes is a weighty, lavish hardcover complemented with a dense essay and/or guest illustration at the end and adorned front and back with one of Yasuhiko's paintings. The manga itself is printed on thick paper with a nice balance of matte and gloss finish to make the art comfortably pop.

Needless to say, I cannot recommend Gundam: The Origin enough, especially to folks who like the franchise, or possibly even sci-fi and mecha fans in general. It is a demonstration of a seasoned master's talent from start to finish, a timeless and definitive representation of the original Gundam mythos. I do hope my gushing hasn't bored anyone, but as I said before, this is also an invitation for everyone else to gush. So... do as thou wilt.
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Offline Johnstantine

Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 08:05:49 PM »
Thanks for posting this! I've always wanted to read some of the Gundam manga, but never got around to it. I'll definitely put it on my list, though.

As for manga, I'm a One Piece lover.

Offline Lawliet

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 08:39:37 PM »
I've always had an interest in Gundam, but never knew where to start. I might give the manga series you mentioned a try.

As for my favorite manga besides Berserk: One Piece, Death Note, Vagabond, Vinland Saga, Monster. Just off the top of my head. I wouldn't know in which order to rank them, but Berserk would no doubt take the number one spot.  :guts:
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Offline Patrick

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 10:34:27 PM »
If I had to pick a favorite manga, it'd be One Piece.

It's become such a big part of my life that I can't imagine what it'd be like without it. Listening to podcasts every week, reading the chapters when they come out. collecting the anime as well as the manga.

I went to the Film Gold release in mid January with some friends of mine and had such a good time. I'm also hoping to one day go to Japan to see all of the One Piece stuff that they have there.

Offline Ruhe Strom

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 01:58:38 PM »
Interesting how you all noted One Piece. I always used to dismiss it as one of the 'Big Three' shows that all the anime fans loved in my high school (including Naruto and Bleach), while I was the edgy Evangelion kid. But I know a lot of folks that are still very fond of it, so I think I judged One Piece unfairly in my pubescent days. I'm always a little skeptical of huge long series that stretch out along miles worth of pages, but it seems this one is worth the read.



Apparently it premiered in Shonen Jump exactly ten days before I was born.
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Offline Griffith

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 03:20:45 PM »
http://www.skullknight.net/vagabond

Though you wouldn't know it from my participation lately, but it's the correct answer by default. After that it's DBZ and I guess in fourth place very much by default is Death Note because I read my then girlfriend's, now wife's, friend's former roommate's (cue Dark Helmet) collection at their apartment eight years ago. It was compelling enough; I rooted for the evil main dude and felt bad that he arbitrarily lost at the end to some even more unconvincing, hastily introduced clone of the kid he'd already beat in what must have been the defining arc of the series before they squeezed out those extra few volumes. Can you imagine if Guts defeated Griffith only to have to face his previously unknown, somehow more formidable younger brother for a couple of awkward, anti-climatic arcs? =) And yeah, more sympathy for the devil from me, always. :griffnotevil:
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 03:32:23 PM by Griffith »

Offline Walter

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 03:57:05 PM »
Vagabond is my #2 behind Berserk. Other than that, I also really love Akira, Blame, and Slam Dunk. Can't say I've read much more that's moved me in any direction, but my wife calls that: A LOT of comic books.
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Online Rupert Sinclair

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2017, 04:39:29 PM »
Apparently it premiered in Shonen Jump exactly ten days before I was born.

Fun fact: volume one of Berserk was released in Japan four days before I was born.   :guts:

Other than that, I also really love Akira

I really liked the first three volumes and most of the fourth.  I may be in the minority but I was incredibly disappointed with it after that.  I thought it became a huge, drawn out mess.  :sad:


Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind was great, my second to Berserk.  I'm currently working through Parasyte and Monster.  Both pretty good so far.

Offline Walter

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2017, 06:34:52 PM »
I really liked the first three volumes and most of the fourth.  I may be in the minority but I was incredibly disappointed with it after that.  I thought it became a huge, drawn out mess.  :sad:

There's some messy bits, for sure. But I really appreciate how the story rises to a natural conclusion/cataclysm sometime after the middle, and then keeps going in new, exciting directions. Even if the pacing becomes wonky, I was happy with the overall result.

Quote
  I'm currently working through Parasyte and Monster.  Both pretty good so far.

I'm at around vol 8 of Monster, but I lost interest. Seems pretty overrated to me.
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Offline Aazealh

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2017, 07:41:45 PM »
After Berserk, my favorite manga is Akira.

Offline Johnstantine

Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2017, 02:48:57 AM »
Interesting how you all noted One Piece. I always used to dismiss it as one of the 'Big Three' shows that all the anime fans loved in my high school (including Naruto and Bleach), while I was the edgy Evangelion kid. But I know a lot of folks that are still very fond of it, so I think I judged One Piece unfairly in my pubescent days. I'm always a little skeptical of huge long series that stretch out along miles worth of pages

There's a reason it's the highest selling manga of all time. I've been reading it every week since 2001. It's phenomenal.

Offline MrFlibble

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2017, 11:20:45 AM »
Second to Berserk, my favourite is Blame!. It's so imaginative.

Offline RaffoBaffo

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2017, 11:56:37 AM »
Well, I guess I can link my MAL:
https://myanimelist.net/profile/RaffoBaffo
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Offline Oburi

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2017, 11:04:50 PM »
http://www.skullknight.net/vagabond

Though you wouldn't know it from my participation lately, but it's the correct answer by default. After that it's DBZ and I guess in fourth place very much by default is Death Note because I read my then girlfriend's, now wife's, friend's former roommate's (cue Dark Helmet) collection at their apartment eight years ago. It was compelling enough; I rooted for the evil main dude and felt bad that he arbitrarily lost at the end to some even more unconvincing, hastily introduced clone of the kid he'd already beat in what must have been the defining arc of the series before they squeezed out those extra few volumes. Can you imagine if Guts defeated Griffith only to have to face his previously unknown, somehow more formidable younger brother for a couple of awkward, anti-climatic arcs? =) And yeah, more sympathy for the devil from me, always. :griffnotevil:


Similarly, many years ago when I was still in high school and just the first issue of Death Note had been released, I picked it up in a bookstore as I was looking for a new manga to read. I thought it seemed interesting enough. This was before the anime, movies, and all around hysteria for the series. At that time, to me, it was just an interesting little story. I continued to buy the books as they came out and was generally invested in it until around the middle of the series, after the defining arc as you say, where it really meandered for a while. But I enjoyed it well enough to recommend it to friends. Then I guess it really caught on after the anime came out.  I hate to be such a hipster about it, but it really lost it's appeal after I started seeing plushies of Kira and L sold at local CVS stores.

It was cool while it lasted though, for that brief period when I thought I was the only guy reading it and had got lucky pulling it off the shelf randomly. Oddly enough, that's still the relationship I have with my second favorite manga behind Berserk, the criminally underrated Eden: It's an Endless World, which for some reason NEVER caught on. It got so bad to the point where Dark Horse stopped publishing the series 2/3rds of the way through, indefinitely. On the one hand, I'm happy it's still my little secret and I won't ever have to be a hipster about it. On the other hand, I have an incomplete series on the shelf. And that SUCKS (especially since they did such a nice job with the books, far better quality than the infinitely more successful Berserk). 

Offline Eluvei

Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2017, 12:05:42 AM »
I'm obsessed with Blame!

Other than that, I'm a fan of Akira, Vagabond and Uzumaki. I still regularly read finished series or one-shots; been reading Gunnm lately.

Offline Ruhe Strom

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2017, 12:01:48 AM »
Since many of you have referred to it fondly, and since I like Knights of Sidonia, I started reading Blame! a couple of days ago (a pal on my illustration course let me borrow his vol. 1 master edition after I swore to treat it with the utmost care). I gotta say, it's a real winner. The impression I had prior to reading was that it's cyberpunk, but it goes far beyond that, to the extent that I have trouble putting it in any classification. A testament to how unique it is I suppose. The atmosphere and minimal visual storytelling are an absolute joy, especially in comparison to so many works that rely on words much more heavily. I get the feeling that this is Nihei in his most raw and potent form, as if a wild and twisted imagination is pouring onto every page.
My one gripe with the Master Edition is that the protagonist's name is written as 'Kyrii' rather than 'Killy', the latter sounding more appropriate I feel.

Would love to play a Souls/Shock-esque game set in this world.
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Offline brokenknight

Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2017, 10:06:14 PM »
Berserk only recently became my favorite, but it overtook JoJo's Bizarre Adventure which had been at the top spot for years. Kinnikuman is another huge one that I really enjoy. I am not a wresting fan by any means but I dunno something about it gets me.

As is probably apparent, I'm a big fan of Gundam, and while the bulk of the franchise lies in animated ventures, I think it's highest point is Yoshikazu Yasuhiko's Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, a mammoth retelling of the original 1979 series in manga form. Yasuhiko was a character designer and animation/visual director for that original series, making him a natural pick for this project. Many fans of classic anime will have seen his distinctive and beautiful artwork here and there in the form of marvellous illustrations, and boy does he deliver in The Origin.


Do you have any other Gundam Manga you really enjoyed Besides the Origin? I agree it is probably the best Gundam work to be put to paper but there are many that are quite good.

Offline Ruhe Strom

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2017, 09:05:36 PM »
Do you have any other Gundam Manga you really enjoyed Besides the Origin? I agree it is probably the best Gundam work to be put to paper but there are many that are quite good.

The only other Gundam Manga I've read is the first volume of Thunderbolt I bought, which is great, if a little heavy on the soul. It's difficult to read if you're in the wrong mood, whereas Origin's more accessible.

I've always meant to read Crossbone actually. Still waiting on an official release in the west though, I don't fancy going in search of a goofy scanlation. It'd also be nice to see some of the novels (Sentinel first and foremost) available officially in english.
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Offline brokenknight

Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2017, 09:24:33 PM »
I agree with you on Thunderbolt. It is a much more "real" Gundam story and it hits hard. I read most of the Scanlations and they weren't bad but now I am just gonna wait and support the English release.

I have all the scans for Crossbone, Sentinel and some others. I was holding off on reading them till I go to Japan next month. Something to read on the flight and the trains. I don't think we may ever get an official English translation unfortunately. Which sucks but I think the scans supposed to be good. Crossbone sounds like it is a really great read and same with Sentinel ( Gundam EX-s is my favorite Gundam design) I can not wait to read them.




Offline Ruhe Strom

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2017, 09:55:56 PM »
If the scans are decent I'll give them a go. I'm always a bit dubious about not supporting official releases, but since there isn't one I can read, it can't be helped. We're talking Sunrise here so it's not as if their ocean of money will take much of a hit.

I'll just buy that nice new GM Sniper II Master Grade to pay for a good read and to satiate their lust for the contents of my wallet.
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Offline brokenknight

Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2017, 10:11:27 PM »
I would read them then just buy them later if it ever happens. In a few weeks I will let you know how they are.

I have heard good things about the New GM II MG, One of these days... :ubik:

Offline residentgrigo

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Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2017, 11:40:02 AM »
Probably Hi no Tori, also knows as Phoenix, by Osamu Tezuka. He never finished the overall larger arc due to his death but the featured stories are all told to completion.
The 80s Madhouse OVA adapted 3 of them masterfully too.

Offline Ilyas

Re: What is your favourite manga? (besides the obvious one)
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2017, 02:35:13 PM »
My favorite manga after berserk is Jojo's bizzare adventure for it's joyous triumpant attitude towards life above all else.