I thought it would be a great idea to open up a post for sharing some manga recommendations. And I would love for you, dear readers, to make some suggestions as well. That’s why I mentioned the whole opening up thing. Maybe you know the feeling when you’re tired of all the Jump Comics and just can’t seem to find something rewarding to read? Something which makes you think about new perspectives and is just inspiring in a certain sense. That’s exactly the stuff I’m searching for. On the other hand, the story can just be plain awesome, that’s cool.
If you follow me on twitter you may have seen the pictures from my last book order from Japan. It was a really big one with some new series as well which I’m really looking forward to. The biggest problem for me is taking pictures at the moment. The light in my apartment is just shitty and the grey weather doesn’t help. But I’ll try some things on the weekend to take some proper pictures of all these new books and manga-series.
But now let’s talk about the stuff that I’m currently reading:
If you’re in search for some transparent book covers to wrap your manga, just click on the link!
Naoki Urasawa is just a genius. I love everything I read by him: Pluto, Monster, 20th Century Boys, and now Billy Bat. That reminds me, I should really check on his two early slice of life manga Yawara and Happy! anyone read these? Just noticed that there is a new complete edition out for Yawara! Ever month two volumes will be released. (Just bought the first two volumes so watch out for pictures on the blog.)
But back to Naoki Urasawa. His art style is fantastic, very detailed and unique. Billy Bat was actually written by Takashi Nagasaki and is a mysterious tale through many eras and generations. Writing stories over large periods of time is one thing only Urasawa can do. I was always amazed who one single guy (except for Billy Bat) can manga to write such an epic story with so many characters and side stories without totally losing track of things. Hands down, he’s a genius and if you haven’t read anything by Urasawa so far, Billy Bat is a great way to start. I was slacking a bit after reading number 6 or 7 and never really got back into Billy Bat again. But that’s not due to the quality of the manga and just caused by my lazy self. I already forgot half of the story and it’s just too damn good to start somewhere in the middle again with only knowing some bit ans pieces of the story.
Buy the manga: Billy Bat
暗殺教室 (Assassination Classroom)
Even if I find most Jump manga mind numbing this is a special one with some great twists on the usual Jump formula. It’s the well known classroom setting but with one difference: The teacher is an alien who wants to destroy the earth. He is willing to give a class of drop-out students one year to kill him in which they all have to their best to trick their 先生 into making a fatal mistake because otherwise there would be no way to harm him. To make things short, he flies at mach 20 speed and is folding origami at the same time.
Buy the manga: 暗殺教室
Apart from being a pretty caring teacher, he’s constantly supporting his students to become even better assassins and tries to get the best out of them. This is not the most intellectual storyline but rather one of those episodical short stories which are great to pick up and read to relax for a couple of minutes. Only that they are chapters of a continuous storyline. In japan they already released the seventh tankobon and the series doesn’t seem to slow down. It was voted best manga for boys for 2013 on honto on was one of the most beloved new series the year before (when it started) as well. When I visited Tokyo I instantly noticed the really gorgeous cover artwork and without knowing the slightest thing about the story I bought the firsttwo tankobon. Didn’t regret it.
めぞん一刻 (Maison Ikkou)
I was searching for a relaxed manga which was based in a Japanese city. What I finally picked was Maison Ikkou. The author Rumiko Takahashi is probably best known for Ranma 1/2 which is also a really great manga (and very suitable for beginners as well). Maison Ikkou doesn’t support any furigana and while it’s not one of the really difficult manga it can be quite challenging sometimes. At least it is for me. The series was widely popular in the 80s in Japan and even got its own anime back then. I just found it while browsing amazon Japan but the majority of you probably already knows it. Shame on me.
Buy the manga: めぞん一刻
I’m just a sucker for episodic stories with a slice-of-life character. Maybe that’s why I’m so fond of よつばと as well. The stories are just so damn charming and always capture a certain moment of life you can relate to. The whole series centers around a big apartment building called Maison Ikkou and its inhabitants. There is some romance mixed in as well which gives the story a certain drive but it’s essentially much more about the daily lives and struggles of the inhabitants of めぞん一刻. Great manga and I can’t wait to order some more volumes.
北斗の拳 (Hokuto no Ken)
Everybody knows Fist Of The North Star, except me. I haven’t watched the anime back then and never heard anything about the manga itself. I stumbled upon the super violent manga when I was in France a couple of weeks ago and gilt interested in the title. Regarding manga sales and available titles one talks about the “French exception” in the media. And they are damn right. The selection in France is awesome. The even have some of the super nice looking 完全版 I’m always drooling about. And so it was the same with Hokuto no Ken. I went to Fnac in Strasbourgh and saw the French version of the complete edition on display. I skipped through it but didn’t end up purchasing it. I wanted to get the Japanese edition (of course). How I noticed late on this was a good move. Not only the the Japanese version a tad more pretty but the French is cut. If you can say that with manga as well. Ot better yet, some parts are censored. Not wondering why because some images can be pretty graphic in depicting the violence. Nevertheless. A classic manga, not for everyday though.
Buy the manga: 北斗の拳