Author Topic: Favorite Manga  (Read 7418 times)

Spark Of Spirit

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Favorite Manga
« on: August 15, 2011, 01:40:58 AM »
So what would you guys consider the best manga? Your top 5? Top 10? It could be manga that are superior to their anime adaptions, or manga that are just great as standalone, but what do you consider the best? Mine is obvious, since I always rave about them:

1. Monster

Yeah, you all know this. IMO, a perfectly crafted story on the nature of good and evil without a single ounce of pretension and is gripping from start to finish. It was my friend who lent me the original manga volumes and I was hooked from page 1. Naoki Urasawa has since gone on to create other things (still awesome things, mind you), but Monster is his best and most consistent work still.

2. Rurouni Kenshin

Timeless. A tale of changing times, and what it means to truly change, the manga is filled to the brim with many different characters all coming into conflict with the changing times ahead of them and one samurai who is at the center of this new era. It's a battle manga, but it's more than just that. The characters are all different from each other in their motivations and ideas are all well developed and unique lending to a rich universe and world. If you've never read it before and you read it now, you probably wouldn't even be able to guess when it was made.

3. Bakuman

Yeah, it's recent, but it is easily one of my favorites.

4. BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad

This was a bit longer than I would have liked (there are some parts that are sort of repetitive and drag a bit), but as a whole the plot is engaging and the usage of music in a media without sound is perfect. Definitely one of my favorites.

5. GTO

I'll just list it all as one thing, but this is a very fun series in general. "Delinquent" mangas can be hit or miss, but IMO this is one of the best.


There's also a few that had the potential like Gun Blaze West, MxO, and Yu Yu Hakusho that have certain issues with them that prevented them from really making their mark for me. It's also hard for me to rank manga that aren't even close to ending like Berserk or Vinland Saga. But what about you guys?
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Angus

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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2011, 11:06:48 AM »
I haven’t finished the best ones yet, but here’s stuff I’ve read or re-read hundreds of chapters of.

Ranma ½ - From the queen of rom-com manga with mix of action and love polygons. Before I knew what tsundere was or redundancy, I was reading this at the library and had a bunch of belly laughs.

Excel Saga – Goofy, delusional, over the top characters. The English version with Carl Gustav Horn set the bar with some of the best manga footnotes around, which means the manga is decently detailed. If it weren't for this series, I probably wouldn't be here.

Oh My Goddess – story’s fairly generic but I just love Kousuke Fujishima’s art style.

Yotsuba – If you miss Azumanga Daioh, you’ve probably tried this slice-of-lifer, which is funny ‘cuz it’s true, and fairly simple presentation.

Initial D – also simple in presentation but a good page turner.

Unbalance x Unbalance – at the start it’s a hot teacher-student relationship, but some of the conflicts and situations are nice and dramatic. But it might have jumped the shark after the author went on hiatus for other stuff like Freezing, and went into a more generic plot line. Lots of rom-coms I like from Ichigo 100%, Yume de Aetara, Kimi no iru Machi, Negima/Love Hina, School Rumble, and GE Good Ending.

Yu Yu Hakusho / Dragon Ball - these were good reads even if the anime was much more well-known.

Cardcaptor Sakura - had to throw in my favorite among the Clamp manga, which can be hit-or-miss with the art style.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2011, 11:20:33 AM by Angus »
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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2011, 11:55:36 AM »
Considering I've read, like, 12 manga (and only a substantial amount of about 7 of them), this list will be kind of lame.

Excel Saga - It's funny in a way that absolutely understands my sense of humor. Even disregarding the great art and lovable characters, it matches up with my idea of what makes a good comedy in every facet and has greatly influenced my writing since I started reading it more than 5 years ago. If it wasn't for this series, I'm not sure I'd have ever started talking about cartoons on the TV.com Animation Forum and would probably still dislike anime in general, meaning AR would only consist of the Epic Duo. Also, CLICHE AND STUPID: reading Excel Saga helped me get over being super fucking depressed. True story!

Monster - I haven't finished it yet (REALLY need to, I know), but it's definitely the most brilliant story I've ever seen in this format. Excellent no matter how you look at it.

Berserk - An awesome and bloody adventure that isn't exactly substantial but is a lot of fun to read all the same.

Ichi The Killer - To be honest, I prefer the movie because it also functions as a hilarious dark comedy, but this series is disgusting as hell in the best way possible. Kakihara is fucking awesome!

Sakigake!! Otokojuku - I'm kind of reaching now, I will admit... But this series is really goddamn funny! Everyone should check it out!

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2011, 04:25:54 PM »
For me, in no particular order:

Monster/20th Century Boys/Other stuff by Naoki Urasawa that I have yet to read but will get to eventually and love- Because, let's face it, the man is a true story-telling genius.

Rurouni Kenshin- Hands down the best battle shonen manga ever written, period.

Dragon Ball- A true classic that successfully combines both elements of comedy and adventure, and later on becomes more fight-based but has some truly spectacular battles (only in the manga, though, as they lose their intensity due to poor pacing in the anime).

Death Note- I actually like the 2nd half in the manga, even if its inferior to the L arc. At any rate, I love the manga for its intense battle of wits, and I have yet to see another manga outdo it at its own game.

SJG/GTO- Both are great manga, with the first one being more of a gag manga that features Onizuka during his teenage years as a delinquent, and the second series also being gag-based but with more serious undertones featuring an adult Onizuka pursuing the job of a teacher....yet still carrying all of the qualities of a delinquent. Its a series that perfectly blends both witty comedy and drama. Easily one of the most fun manga that I have ever read.

Hunter X Hunter- Yeah, I complain about it a lot and it has its major hiccups, but when its good its REALLY fucking spectacular.

Hikaru no Go- By far the most boring premise for a manga, and yet this manga makes it look like the most interesting thing ever invented. It actually got me so interested that I learned how to play Go myself....though, I really do suck at it....

Bakuman- A shonen manga about how to make shonen manga. What I love the most about this manga is that it fully acknowledges the difference between actual "good" shonen manga versus the "shit" manga out there, which are usually Dragon Ball and Fist of the North Star wannabes with little substance to them. The series does tend to fluctuate in quality but for the most part it almost always keeps me interested in seeing what happens next, and I feel like I learn a lot about the huge process that goes on behind the scenes of writing and illustrating a manga. I think that even those who hate shonen manga would have at least a little bit more respect for the people who make them (the good ones, at least), if they were to read this manga. Its really insightful in many ways, while itself being a fun fictional shonen story.

Full Metal Panic! Sigma- A brilliant adaptation of the novels, so far. If we don't get a new anime season, I'll at least be content that the novels got adapted in some sort of visual form, and in this case its a good one (unlike the shitty manga that adapted the first 3 novels).

I have other favorites, but I'm drawing a blank on them for right now so I'll probably get back to them later.

Dr. Insomniac

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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2011, 04:59:27 PM »
Anything by Urasawa, on the basis that he manages to churn out consistently gripping work that I can't find in other manga.

gunswordfist

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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2011, 11:08:16 AM »
Samurai Executioner by default
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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2011, 08:55:14 AM »
Some of my favorites have already been mentioned (the works of Urasawa, Berserk, etc). Aside from those, I'm a fan of:

Lone Wolf and Cub: Kazuo Koike's & Goseki Kojima's seminal samurai manga focusing on Itto Ogami; former executioner of the Shogun who has been toppled from his position by a rival clan and now travels the countryside of Japan, accompanied by his son Daigoro, both of them making their living as assassins for hire. Excellent artwork and gripping stories makes Lone Wolf and Cub without a doubt one of the greatest comics to ever come out of Japan.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Miyazaki's movie should require no presentation. However, as great as the movie was, the manga is, if anything, even better. Reading Nausicaä I couldn't help but feel a bit sad that we'll most likely never see this manga, Miyazaki's magnum opus, getting the animated adaption it so richly deserves.

Other works worthy of mention are Blade of the Immortal, Vinland Saga and Historie. I fear that I'm too lazy right now to go into detail as to what makes these three so great, the best you can do is too look them up for yourself.

Great manga I most want to read: Adolf by Osamu Tezuka, it's a shame that I can't seem to get a hold of the first volume, since I've heard so much good about it.
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gunswordfist

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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2011, 10:41:41 AM »
After I am finished with Samurai Executioner, I am on to Lone Wolf And Cub. I've seen at least two of the movies.
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LumRanmaYasha

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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2013, 01:26:58 PM »
Sorry for digging up an old thread. I decided to list my top ten favorite manga, so that once I'm finished with going through my manga reading challenge this summer, I can come back and compare how my list has changed.

10. Excel Saga

While I haven't read too much of it, I've read enough to know that I love it. Wonderfully quirky characters with some great satirical humor and character based humor, really the kind of series that appeals to my kind of tastes. I wouldn't be surprised, once I read more of it, that it's ranking on my list goes higher.

9. Bakuman

A manga about creating manga. Brilliant! I enjoy the wonderful insights into the world of making manga, and seeing Mashiro and Takagi rise up to be great mangaka. Admittedly, I think the series starts to loose a bit of steam around the 100 chapter mark, but despite some ups and downs it still was very enjoyable right up until the end.

8. Case Closed/Detective Conan

Over 800 chapters, and the series still manages to provide great mystery stories and maintain consistent quality. Always worthwhile to read.

7. Ranma 1/2

Love the characters and the over the top ridiculousness of the manga. While the cast is primarily composed of jerks (save poor Ryoga), they are entertaining jerks and the series never takes itself seriously enough to make you want to hate them. It's not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but I sure love it.

6. Trigun Maximum

While I would say that the anime adaption as an overall experience is slightly better, the manga is still great stuff. Actually, the Gungho Guns and Knives in the manga are much better, well-rounded characters, and Vash and Wolfwood's character development have more complexities to them, so in terms of characters the manga has the better interpretations (save Legato). There is also a sense that a lot is at stake when Vash takes on any Gungho Gun, and while the manga lacks some of the anime's subtlety it makes up for it in sheer scale and intensity. And I have got to say, Vash and Wolfwood v. Livio/Razlo and Chapel and Livio/Razlo v. Eleindra are two of the most intense, brutal, awesome fights I have ever read in manga. Makes me wish for a new anime adaption. But I'm content with the manga for now.

Oh, and the ending is better in the manga too, by the way.

5. Hunter X Hunter

Yu Yu Hakusho has a better plot, but I always see the anime version of that as the definitive version. I haven't seen either anime of Hunter X Hunter , but the manga is still immensely entertaining. I appreciate a more strategy based fighting shounen than the usual power up crazy stuff like Naruto, not too mention the shades of gray in the manga that I rarely see in many other stories, manga or not. While I'm not too crazy about Kurapika basically being written out of the series after York Shin, since he was my favorite character in the early parts, Gon and Killua are definitely the stars of the manga, and Killua in particular is a wonderfully complex and interesting character, and is possibly my favorite in the manga. I wish Togashi would just continue the story already, though.

4. Urusei Yatsura

Many people consider Urusei Yatsura to be Takahashi's best work. While I was skeptical of the manga at first, and not really all that into it for a bit, I slowly became more and more invested in the cast and really love this series now. It's possibly one of the more unpredictable mangas I've read (besides the obvious one), and the humor is always well-timed, and although certain types of jokes are used frequently, they never become particularly obnoxious and are presented in a way that keeps them entertaining again and again. Like Ranma 1/2, much of the cast could be considered jerks, but unlike Ranma 1/2, you get a sense that these characters are really close to each other and great friends, even if they do sometimes get the urge to kill each other sometimes (oh, Ran, you). It's just really hilarious, lovely stuff beginning to end (although I still have 10 chapters left as of this writing  :P). Although I have yet to finish Maison Ikkoku, I would definitely agree it's Takahashi's best work, and possibly one of the best comedy mangas of all time.

3. One Piece

One Piece doesn't excel particularly in it's story, which does re-hash similar elements frequently. However, I love Oda's art and his characters. They aren't too complicated, with quirks that are sometimes used too frequently to get some laughs, but there isn't a single character in the manga that lacks some sort of charisma that keeps me invested in them. Despite the quality of the post-time skip stuff not being up to par, the manga is still a great read for me, and rarely dull chapter to chapter, and as the second manga I ever read, it's made a huge impact on me, which is why it's still one of my favorites today.

2. Dragonball

Dragonball was the first manga I ever read, and I keep coming back to it because of it's wonderful, not too serious adventurous nature. Simply an iconic tale, with possibly the most iconic manga characters to ever exist, with great artwork to boot. While I prefer the portions of the manga that precede the Android arc the most, I still enjoy the rest and the series never experiences the kind of problems I see in Naruto and Bleach in terms of pacing, characterization, and plot. Definitely one of the best manga ever created, shounen or otherwise.

1. Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo

Hands down my favorite manga. Sawaii's art is amazingly packed with comedic energy and downright hilarious to look at. Nearly every paged is crammed with jokes, be them visual gags, satire, parody, good old fashioned character based humor, or downright absurdity. Bobobo also boasts the most unique cast of characters I've ever seen in any medium. We have a man made of Jelly, a dog who looks like the Pillsbury doughboy, a man whose head is made of crap, an anthropomorphic torpedo, whatever the hell Don Patch is, and obviously the yellow afro boastin' nose hair wieldin' Bobobo himself. This isn't a manga (or anime) I could recommend to anyone unless I know you have the same sense of humor I do, but this manga (and it's anime) means a lot to me and is definitely still my favorite after all these years.

I'll be curious to see how this top 10 will change once I'm done going through 65+ manga titles within the next four months (that is, if I succeed in doing that  :D). I doubt my top four will change, but you never know...
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 03:25:46 PM by Cartoon X »

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2013, 02:42:34 PM »
That's a really good list. As for me, I'm hardly that experienced with manga, but a top 10 for me would look something like this:

10. Black Jack (even though I've only read a portion of it)
9. Bakuman
8. Slam Dunk
7. Hunter X Hunter
6. Monster
5. Shounan Junai Gumi
4. Dragon Ball
3. Death Note
2. 20th Century Boys
1. Rurouni Kenshin

As you can see, I really do like a lot of shonen series.

Foggle

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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2013, 03:05:06 PM »
OMG CARTOON X I LOVE YOU PLEASE READ MORE EXCEL SAGA :swoon: :swoon: :swoon:

Best manga ever, srsly. http://animationrevelation.com/readables/?p=992

gunswordfist

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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2013, 08:48:02 PM »
Nice list, Cartoon X. In other news, ahh, Shounan Junai Gumi. I forgot to ask EK about the name of that manga so I could get it. I plan on reading that and BladeOf The Immortal next.
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Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2013, 09:13:22 PM »
If you want to read that manga (legally), then you'll find it in English, distributed by the now defunct Tokyopop, under the title of Young GTO (they renamed it for marketing value, since GTO is an established name, even if its not that popular of a name).

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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2013, 09:29:55 PM »
Thanks.
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Spark Of Spirit

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Re: Favorite Manga
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2013, 04:58:48 PM »
Shounan Junai Gumi is the best delinquent manga I've read ad GTO is a great expansion of it.

I would probably also add Slam Dunk to my list now were I to expand it.
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