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Manga reviews

General discussion (non-Usagi Yojimbo related) about all things Japan -- Feudal Japan, Samurai, Ninjas, Anime & Manga, Chambara films, Japanese Pop Culture, Otaku, martial arts, history, sushi, giant robots, Godzilla... anything Japan-related!

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Manga reviews

Postby Eltanin » Fri Jul 10, 2015 14:48 +0000

I promised a few months ago to give some manga recommandations. I realized I will never have time to do what I initially planned, which was to give all my recommandations at once, with a few lines of description for each one.
So, instead of talking about all my recommandations at once, I will speak about just a few manga whenever I feel like it and have some free time. It will be just a few or even a single one at once.
And instead of talking only about the best comics I have read, I will give my opinion about most of the ones I have read. Which means some reviews will be good, and some will be mixed (there should be very few REALLY negative reviews, though. When I hate a series I usually stop quickly, and in this case I don't feel like I have enough material to write a relevant review about it).

Every time I will post a new or a bunch of new reviews, I will post a new message in this thread, and will also update the first message so you can find all reviews in this first message.

If you feel like posting reviews for series you have read, do not hesitate: I will edit the first message to include them in the list. :D

:!: Disclaimer: I might forget to check if the series for which I post a review are published in english. So don't be too disappointed if I post a very good review about a series, and you realize there is no english publication. :P

Here we go!

Shonen:

Fairy Tail
Adventure, action, humor
Series, ongoing
Story: The story is set in a fantasy world, with sword fighting and magic involved (and plenty of characters have some weird powers). The story mainly follows a guild of wizards in which the main characters are enrolled: The Fairy Tail guild, thus the name of the series. The main characters are a girl who just entered the guild, a boy who's looking for his father who happens to be a dragon, and a flying talking cat (that should give you the tone of the series).
My opinion: Overall I think it's a good shonen series, not revolutionnary, but with an interesting story and some good humor.
It's one of the best and most popular ongoing shonen series (with Bleach, and One Piece, now that Naruto is over)
What to read next: One Piece, Naruto

One Piece
Adventure, action, humor
Series, ongoing
Story: A young boy wants to become the Pirate King and find a legendary treasure (the One Piece). He goes to the adventure on the seas, and recruits teammates on the way. The story is set in an imaginary world, which mostly consists of islands. The characters thus spend a lot of time on the sea, and travel from one island to the next. Many characters have unique powers given by some magic fruits, the drawback being they can't swim (which is inconvenient when you are a pirate). The main character has a power that gives him an elastic body, basically like elastic-man or Mr Fantastic.
My opinion: It's one of my favorite series. I have obvisouly a very good opinion about it. The humor is nice, the story develops very well and at steady pace. After 60 books, it still doesn't get boring at all, like it does for so many other similar series. It is particularly obvious the author plans many arcs in advance, as some characters are slowly or discreetly introduced a dozen books or so before becoming relevant.
What to read next: Naruto, Fairy Tail, Dragon Ball



Seinen:


Chi's Sweet Home
Comedy, cuteness overload
Series, ongoing
Story: A kitten is adopted by a family. The series follows their daily life through the point of view of the cat. No supernatural or extraordinary event here, the adventures of the kitten are realistic and more: meeting with the neighbor's cat, trying to avoid the landlady (pets are forbidden in the complex), how to overcome loneliness when the family goes on vacation without the kitten, and so on.
My opinion: It's cuuuuuuute. Ok, I know, the story doesn't sound that appealing, but I find it actually quite catchy. I wouldn't call it a "must read", but it's nice to have something different to read from the usual fighting and testosterone filled shonen. Chi does a good job at showing the daily life of a cat and manages to make it interesting, which I wouldn't call an easy task. Despite the child-friendly art, the series is considered a seinen (for adults) series in Japan, but it can be enjoyed by everyone, and is also great success with very young kids.
What to read next: A distant neighborhood

A Distant Neighborhood
Slice of life, the opposite of action?
One shot
Story: A man in his forties visits his old hometown. He is suddenly transported back in time and becomes a kid again, reliving a part of his childhood. Should he act differently than he did the first time, and change his future life?
My opinion: I like Jiro Taniguchi's work and his story-telling. This story is a very good example. Be careful though: The pace is slow, it is the opposite of the action packed shonen like One Piece or Fairy Tail. If I had to do a comparison, I would say the pace and the tone are a bit similar to Usagi stories about the tea ceremony or kite making: quite slow, taking its time, but poetic and beautiful because of this. It deals with the regrets a 40yo man can have, and his reflexion on life. It's beautiful, it's poetic, you will either love it or get bored to death.
What to read next: The Walking Man (also by Jiro Taniguchi, I don't know many manga with this style), Chi's Sweet Home
Last edited by Eltanin on Sun Jul 12, 2015 18:53 +0000, edited 1 time in total.
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Eltanin
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Re: Manga reviews

Postby Eltanin » Sun Jul 12, 2015 18:52 +0000

Ok, time for a new series.

I also realized the topic maybe should be in "all things japan" instead of "ronin ramblings". Can a moderator move it, please? (unless you decide here is a good place)

Chi's Sweet Home
Comedy, cuteness overload
Series, ongoing
Story: A kitten is adopted by a family. The series follows their daily life through the point of view of the cat. No supernatural or extraordinary event here, the adventures of the kitten are realistic and more: meeting with the neighbor's cat, trying to avoid the landlady (pets are forbidden in the complex), how to overcome loneliness when the family goes on vacation without the kitten, and so on.
My opinion: It's cuuuuuuute. Ok, I know, the story doesn't sound that appealing, but I find it actually quite catchy. I wouldn't call it a "must read", but it's nice to have something different to read from the usual fighting and testosterone filled shonen. Chi does a good job at showing the daily life of a cat and manages to make it interesting, which I wouldn't call an easy task. Despite the child-friendly art, the series is considered a seinen (for adults) series in Japan, but it can be enjoyed by everyone, and is also great success with very young kids.
What to read next: A distant neighborhood
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Eltanin
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Re: Manga reviews

Postby Usagi-chan » Sun Jul 12, 2015 19:15 +0000

Eltanin wrote:Ok, time for a new series.

I also realized the topic maybe should be in "all things japan" instead of "ronin ramblings". Can a moderator move it, please? (unless you decide here is a good place)

Chi's Sweet Home
Comedy, cuteness overload
Series, ongoing
Story: A kitten is adopted by a family. The series follows their daily life through the point of view of the cat. No supernatural or extraordinary event here, the adventures of the kitten are realistic and more: meeting with the neighbor's cat, trying to avoid the landlady (pets are forbidden in the complex), how to overcome loneliness when the family goes on vacation without the kitten, and so on.
My opinion: It's cuuuuuuute. Ok, I know, the story doesn't sound that appealing, but I find it actually quite catchy. I wouldn't call it a "must read", but it's nice to have something different to read from the usual fighting and testosterone filled shonen. Chi does a good job at showing the daily life of a cat and manages to make it interesting, which I wouldn't call an easy task. Despite the child-friendly art, the series is considered a seinen (for adults) series in Japan, but it can be enjoyed by everyone, and is also great success with very young kids.
What to read next: A distant neighborhood



That sounds like my kind of book! I'll definitely be trying it soon!
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Re: Manga reviews

Postby Eltanin » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:09 +0000

Usagi-chan wrote:That sounds like my kind of book! I'll definitely be trying it soon!

Let me know what you think about it! :D
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