Manga General
Meant to make this ages ago. Post about manga in here so that we have a nice stockpile of recommendations and reviews for anybody who wants to pass some time. I'll go first.

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First recommendation is Shinobu Kaitani's ONE OUTS. I've written before about how I generally find fiction written around games to be boring and neurotic. This is an exception. It's not just an exception. It's a masterpiece. Baseball is a fairly simple game, with its methodical and tactical side balanced out by physicality and action. Point I mean to make by that is that baseball is sufficiently real, and this manga sufficiently real in its approach, that the story being grounded in a game does not create room to break with human experience. This is not a manga about a game because its author and audience can't handle raw humanity. This is a manga about a game as experienced by raw humanity.

This is a story with edge and moral vision. It's incredibly entertaining as a story by a Japanese nerd on how a sufficiently skilled and devious person could break baseball in half and dominate it, but that's not all, or even the heart of the story. This is about how a sufficiently skilled and devious person could break people and dominate them. ONE OUTS is about the overman playing baseball.

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This manga is absolutely awesome and I had a great time reading it. I very strongly recommend it.

And you can take this OP as a general template if you want, or just share titles, pages, panels, blog about what you're reading, whatever. I just want lots of references to manga in one place so in the future I can browse.
Recommending Kokou no Hito. It's a climbing manga, but once again, it's really a look inside one mans head through the lens of climbing. The main character, Mori, is an autist who has decided to dedicate himself to climbing, but he lives in a world and society that cannot truly understand his dedication. He struggles with loneliness, alienation, whorish women, his sex drive, and various other things to finally become the peak of climbing perfection. I honestly find him slightly pathetic at times, but it's worth it to see him through to the end. Ultimately, he becomes a machine forged purely to climb, and his world cannot accept this, so it tries to grind him down into a cog. Brilliant manga, but the first 2(?) volumes are written by a different person than the one that writes the others, so they are very similar to traditional shounen, and not so great.

It's also notable for it's artistry. The artist, Sakamoto Shinichi, is a true master of his craft, and his pages are some of the best art in any manga, ever. Even more importantly, he is clearly able to convey ideas solely through his art, so he can represent Mori's mental state or what he is thinking solely through one brilliant page. It's as if you see the world through his autistic eyes, and it helps you understand him on a deeper level than most characters ever. Excellent manga. I leave you with a few pages from it.

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Recommending Kyou Kara Ore Wa!!
This might be one of, if not the, greatest delinquent comedy manga of all-time; comedy aside, occasionally the series gets quite serious, the stakes involved can include kidnapping, knives, and even a gun or two.
The main characters, Mitsuhashi and Itou, are a fun pair. Their dynamic is very antagonistic, yet they are true friends. Between the two, Mitsuhashi really does steal the show most of the time; he's quick to anger, he's underhanded, he's greedy, but somehow he has a certain charm to him that makes you find his antics entertaining, rather than repellent.
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He's a delinquent with a heart of gold, which he proves periodically throughout the manga's 366 chapter run. Even with his somewhat twisted personality, he is always ready to put himself in harms way for his friends, acquaintances, and sometimes even complete strangers.

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The art isn't anything special. Outside of the seldom high quality panel, the manga is quite average. Personally, I feel the art style suits the genre of the manga and the quality pages are always impactful as a result.
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I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.

Awesome looking recommendations so far. I’m amazed at how many enjoyable mangas there are. The most random obscure stuff I find is more often than not quite good. The quality goes deep.
(03-22-2023, 08:35 AM)BillyONare Wrote: Awesome looking recommendations so far. I’m amazed at how enjoyable mangas there are. The most random obscure stuff I find is more often than not quite good. The quality goes deep.
Primary reason for this is the insane amount of comic magazines in Japan, there are maybe 50-100 big comic magazines there compared to maybe 10-15 in America. The variety of their subjects and their popularity makes it so that as long as you are a skilled storyteller, there will be at least one magazine willing to publish your works, no matter how redpilled it is. See Creature Girls, which is a manga supposedly about a guy who wants to have sex with a bunch of women who are based off of mythical monsters, but is actually just a device for the author to drop insanely keyed misogynistic rants. It's pure kino, and there's no way it would ever be published in America.

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(03-22-2023, 04:37 AM)imperator Wrote: Recommending Kyou Kara Ore Wa!!

Great recommendation @imperator, I was going to recommended that last night but ended up watching the Anime(which I did not know existed) to get a refresher on the series.

Also @anthony Great Thread idea, there are so many Great Manga that deserve to be recognized. Although animation is Great, there are some anime that Completely mess up the source material and Ruin it for all who have seen the Manga. I will definitely be Contributing to this thread in the future!
I've been waiting for a thread like this for a long time but I've been simply too lazy to make one myself. I have at least ten in mind that I'd like to mention, not simply ones I like but ones that reflect the character of this community. I'll make proper posts for them later rather than just dump a list. Everything I mention should be easily readable in its entirety on Mangadex.

The Fable
Are you a person who says "I'd like to get into manga but I just HATE anime cliches"? First, kill yourself. Second, a great place to start is The Fable. The style, tone, paneling, and story make it feel more like a film than a manga. Unsurprisingly, it got a live-action adaptation. (Not recommended.)

The protagonist is an assassin described as having a "savant-like talent for murder." Unsurprisingly, he is pretty autistic as well. His mission: Adopt the identity of "Satou Akira," a normal guy living in Osaka, and lay low for a year. An assassin's greatest strength is to adapt, and for this task he must adapt into a civilian. His new identity is provided by a local Yakuza family, who end up accidentally dragging him into the underworld again.

As much as it may sound like it, it is not a simple slice of life. Sometimes serious, sometimes goofy. Very easy to read and very hard to put down. The first volume's translation is a bit shaky but the rest is very good.

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(03-22-2023, 04:37 AM)imperator Wrote: [Image: H5trOgG.png]

Great motion in the first frame. This art may be simplistic but it doesn't have to be advanced, this works great for what it is and is very stylish and pleasing. If I check out any of these it will probably be this one.
Tsumi to Batsu: A Falsified Romance

This series is based of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, Although I have not yet Read Crime and Punishment I think I may enjoy it because I enjoyed this manga.
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Miroku Tachi, who was sent to college to Become a teacher, like his Father, becomes a recluse(a Hikikomori) and stops going to College(a result from him Escaping the Longhouse) to focus on Writing his Book. Through his Isolation, his Dreams(did Crime and Punishment feature a dream about a Broken Horse being beat to death, or Is this Nietzsche reference?) and his Strange logic he Finds himself At a Point where he can Realize something Greater that Exists within him. It’s a Darker tale with many Sad and Depraved characters.

Personally I really like the first half, the latter Half not so much. I still Recommend Giving it a read.
Recommending Blade of the Immortal.
The series is centred on Manji an immortal Ronin in feudal Japan who has no point to his life. That is until he meets a young girl who is out to avenge her murdered parents. Naturally, the two team up to hunt down her parents murderers.

Below, Manji joins Rin's revenge quest.
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While these two are the core of the story, the main antagonist, Anotsu Kagehisa, is basically /our guy/. He is attempting to rejuvenate the way of the warrior through a sword school dedicated not to form and rules, but simply to lethality. Very anti-moralfag.

Below, Anotsu talks on the way of the warrior.
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The series has plenty of action, twist and turns, double crosses, and some gore if you like that sort of thing. At times the story does slow down a bit, some of the arcs can drag, but I think that most long running series suffer from this, so it isn't much of a criticism.

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Above, Death Scene from Chapter Three. There are a number of these death scenes throughout the series, all gorgeous.

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Above, Flashback to Rin's parents murder.

The art is phenomenal; it is unique among manga in its style. I would recommend people read the series for that alone, even if the story doesn't grab you.

I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.

Futilely trying to chase the high of Vagabond. Shigurui/Death Frenzy came close, but not quite. Maybe Blade of the Immortal will allay this longing.
Otherwise, is anyone familiar with Nihei's oeuvre? I very much enjoyed Blame! but have heard mixed things about Aposimz and Knights of Sidonia.
Read about 20 chapters of Blade of the Immortal. Anybody who has read it could guess what I appreciated.

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The hero of the story.

Being a semi-literary medium and manga allowing an artist to take their time this manga can really take its time elaborating and demonstrating perceived shortcomings of Bushido and generally romanticised notions of violence. Each character's arc or episode is like a little Hara-Kiri. I wouldn't say the execution is masterful each time. But I like how it looks, and the constant moving onto new stories makes it rather easy to read. I might keep going with this one. Pretty good so far.

Last thought on my mind. I think it's good to see a popular answer to romantic and idealised pictures of the world of violence from within a country that isn't completely gay. This story does not answer wrong with even more wrong. Most people who try to answer violence are lame spiritual castrati. This manga's answer is that most people aren't evil enough to understand violence and power. Which is nice. Refreshing to see when we're otherwise up to our eyeballs in media and art which is simply not allowed to try to be honest. I love Japan.

And I haven't looked at any Nihei other than Blame!, which I liked looking at. Didn't finish it.
Slowly making my way through Berserk, about to start Volume 33. It's feeling a bit slow lately largely due to the plot tangents that distract from the core of the manga: Guts & Griffith.

Sphag wrote a while ago about the true grey morality of Japanese fiction, not just: the villain kills people but also gives treats to dogs. Although Guts overt time develops (cucks) a more modern code of morality in protecting the weak, it at least comes from a place of survival and necessity rather than 'just being a decent fucking human being'.

I like the backdrop of what is ostensibly the Papal States as a setting, I believe Miura studied European history and that period is so rich in character.

It's the only manga I've read though I tried Vineland for a bit. Next I'll probably read something that concludes a little quicker.
I'm a fan of Nihei.
His works are unique and great to look at. If you've read more than one Nihei work you will quickly recognise he has a style all his own; focus on world scale, hard sci-fi and dystopic conditions for whatever is passing for a human in the story, with little to no focus on characters.

Recommending Knight of Sidonia.
In my preamble I suggested that Nihei doesn't focus on characters, but he breaks this trend in this work. If you are looking for deep characterisations that are unique and complex, you would do best to look elsewhere. However, when compared to his other works, Nihei puts effort in creating a cast of characters that feel more fleshed out than a cardboard cut-out. Some of them are walking tropes, but I give him a pass. Our main character is Tanikaze Nagate, whose role is to fight against a mysterious alien species called Gauna. As the story is set on a spaceship that is housing the last(?) of humanity on it, the overwhelming majority of the fighting is in space.
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Above, The fighters they use to fight the aliens.

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Above, Nagate piloting his Garde, fighting a Guana.

I'm not sure what people don't like about the series. Perhaps its the romance angles, perhaps it is story decisions in the later half which I won't spoil. Even with this increased focus on characters, the vast scale and sci-fi are still present and at the forefront of the story; it still feels like a Nihei manga. He does some incredible work on depicting the spaceship interiors.
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Above, The residential district.

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Above, The spaceship is effectively a city state.

In what might be an unpopular opinion, I think that Knights of Sidonia is Nihei's best work.

While I'm at it I will comment on Aposimz.
Personally, I like the series, it takes a slight step back with respect to characters that Knights of Sidonia had, however, it very much feels like it could be in the same universe as Blame - or maybe Biomega. Either way, you'll recognise it as Nihei right from the off.
The Frame suits are cool and the fights are always dynamic, albeit brief.

I think Nihei fans would enjoy this, but I probably wouldn't recommend it to others as there are better Nihei works to read if you are new to his style.

I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.

(03-26-2023, 07:44 AM)imperator Wrote: I'm a fan of Nihei.
Cannot agree more, have not read Knights of Sidonia but intend to. For me, it's Blame!

To spend time trying to explain why it's good other than the visual aspects defeats the purpose imo, as part of the appeal to me is that feeling of reading for the first time and taking in the beautiful visuals, trying to use the very scarce dialogue to piece together what's happening. Basically, you follow Man out of Time Killy as he travels through an increasingly demented megastructure and tries to fix the world, strand-type manga with occasional breaks for Total Silicon Death and Saving the Race.

Read it here:

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Okay time for another recommendation/mini-review post. This is a not too famous one I read recently on a personal recommendation and had a fantastic time with.

Yuki Fujisawa's Bio-Meat.

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This one had it's run from 2000 to 2002. It looks very late 90s in its fashions and sensibilities. And it's channeling the distinctly Japanese Horror fascinations of the time. Weird science, global existential concerns, and grisly violence. Think Resident Evil and Parasite Eve, but in this case with more of a monster movie edge.

I'm hesitant to post too many pages because if you're interested I think it's best if the nature of the thing remain somewhat mysterious. What I'll say is it's a monsters and mad science story which is able to use the cheap ability to represent scale inherent in manga to do a lot of cool and interesting ideas movies can only do so much of. The story isn't that long, in a way I appreciated, at no point does it overstay its welcome, and over the course of its run the story moves through a pleasing little spread of scenarios and approaches to its premise.

It doesn't cost more to draw a gun than any other thing. So we get cool scenes of soldiers fighting monsters. It doesn't cost more to draw a city than a room, so we get lots of scale when that's appropriate. No props to physically build or whatever so this story can really go places. Great example of the utilitarian power of manga as a creative visual medium.

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I don't think I'll post more than hints at what's actually going on in this story here. Just talk a bit more about what I like. It looks cool and trendy, it was drawn by a woman so everyone is dressed up neat and fashionable, lots of imagination and ingenuity in the scenario and direction of the plot, really just nothing quite like this around.

I really loved reading this. Just the coolest parts of monster and disaster movies done in novel and distinctly Japanese ways all the way through. Very strong recommendation from me.

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Shigurui. I don't have anything interesting to say about it, but it's great.

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In despair thinking about how hard it is to find good oneshots anymore in the "throw any 4-page turd from Twitter through DeepL and dump it on Mangadex" era. The last great ones I read were Bacius' Andy and Deus. Really grim horror works about the divine, a welcome palette cleanser from the usual tripe you see. Ironically, these too were distributed on Twitter.

I fear the consequences of Twitter manga distribution. The awful "X happens in 100 days" and "every time this gets X likes/RTs, Y happens" trends are long dead but recent releases are similarly low effort. Often it's just two cliched archetypes colliding or "what if X happened, wouldn't that be cute?" A clear indication of what happens when internet virality becomes the driving force. It's a shame because there's usually a nugget of a good idea present that isn't sustainable enough to run a whole series on and they deserve to be explored for a few chapters. The problem is that the mediocrities see this and start cargo culting them, and since people are retarded monkeys with no sense of taste, their whole timeline is full of the same exact idea. The formulas I mentioned were especially heinous because they played the Twitter meta and opened a seal that can never be closed again. The fact that translators are increasingly SEAnigger MTL monkeys with zero taste only compound this problem for English speaking audiences. My pet theory: Vtubers are behind this somehow.

This is a completely unfounded prediction based entirely on speculation, but I fear the manga powerhouse publishers will move in this direction and start assigning their talent to make low effort RT bait. There's nothing that retarded legacy media companies love more than getting buzz on social media and they will absolutely destroy everything to do so. The idea of theoretically unlimited exponential growth, even if it's only exposure that doesn't translate to sales, is like crack for C-suites. Even worse, the conventional doujinshi scene would end up getting crushed between them. Of course, they have the potential to co-exist in the same way that TikTok and Hollywood can, but that depends entirely on the vision of the people at the top.

Long story short, slam dunk Douki-chan into the trash can. Roundhouse kick Tawawa into the concrete. Crucify filthy crocodiles. Defecate in a gyaru's food. Toss tsuntsuntsuntsuntsuntsuntsuntsunderes into active volcanoes. Judo throw Tomo-chan into a wood chipper.
(03-22-2023, 12:07 AM)anthony Wrote: Meant to make this ages ago. Post about manga in here so that we have a nice stockpile of recommendations and reviews for anybody who wants to pass some time. I'll go first.

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First recommendation is Shinobu Kaitani's ONE OUTS. I've written before about how I generally find fiction written around games to be boring and neurotic. This is an exception. It's not just an exception. It's a masterpiece. Baseball is a fairly simple game, with its methodical and tactical side balanced out by physicality and action. Point I mean to make by that is that baseball is sufficiently real, and this manga sufficiently real in its approach, that the story being grounded in a game does not create room to break with human experience. This is not a manga about a game because its author and audience can't handle raw humanity. This is a manga about a game as experienced by raw humanity.

From the same author I would recommend Liar Game. It came out in 2005, several years after One Outs.

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Although I never read the One Outs manga, I only watched the anime, the series are somewhat similar, with Tokita Ohma from One Outs being almost the same character as Akiyama Shin'ichi from Liar game. They play the same role, they're extremely intelligent people that manipulate people in order to win their respective games. Liar Game is to One Outs as Nobuyuki Fukumoto's (whom Shinobu Kaitani draws great inspiration from) Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji is to Akagi: The Genius Who Descended Into Darkness, with the exception that Akiyama unlike Kaiji is a stern character that never has outburts; there isn't a sole protagonist or a single, skill-based game the story revolves around but instead there are multiple games where you gain from betraying others and the characters come up with clever exploits of.

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It's a historical manga, not particularly accurate of course, that takes place in 14th century around a mountain pass in the Alps and tells the story of the rebellion that created Switzerland. It's violent and very different from other manga, namely because even though there are a couple recurring "protagonist" characters that play a significant role in driving the story, they don't seem as essential to it. Rather, instead of a character, the manga revolves around a common goal and tells its story through many side characters.

MPD Psycho

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Currently there are only 19 out of 24 volumes translated in English. It seems to get a couple new ones every two years so if you begin reading it you won't finish it anytime soon unless you know Japanese. I never finished it since I read it in English and it's been pretty long since then, so other than finding it interesting and engaging I recall only a few things about it. The lead character is suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, one of which is of a detective whom is given the case of a dismembered woman.

I meant to put just under Wolfsmund. Hopefully someone can edit in in my stead so the link isn't broken anymore

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