Manga General
(03-30-2023, 07:33 PM)Guest Wrote: From the same author I would recommend Liar Game. It came out in 2005, several years after One Outs.

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And on Liar Game

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I really wanted to like it, but ultimately don't recommend it for several reasons. What is has over ONE OUTS is that its premise allows for different kinds of characters, they can dress cool, etc. Some of the issue covers look very cool. Also the idea of playing with the human condition through different games within this big meta-game premise could have worked. There's even a moral vision here I appreciate. This was clearly an attempt at taking the spirit of ONE OUTS further. The author obviously believes that true altruism demands strength and clarity of vision from us. You have to be strong to be good. Limp bleeding hearts just enable evil. Slack and weak characters can't resist bad times. etc.

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I knew I screenshotted a part where this was talked about and spent way too long trying to find where I left it. If this story only ran for a handful of volumes and ended on a note like this I'd consider it very good. Unfortunately it instead goes on for an agonisingly long time and really fails to stick the landing. The individual games go on far too long to be interesting competitions to follow while also failing to bring out particularly interesting human dynamics. We just keep getting hit with the same basic points over and over. Strong with good intentions v strong with selfish ones with the weak morons in the middle. I felt bad reading this. ONE OUTS hit the mark so clearly and from such a novel angle. This story which tried to take a far more direct approach managed to make a complete mess of things.

ONE OUTS is an incredible success in portraying ideals and values as embodied in an exciting story through a hero. Liar Game is a tedious and moralising mess by comparison.
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Recommending Gunnm, Last Order. It's part of the Battle Angel Alita series, but so far this is the only one that's truly tickled my fancy. Depicted is the Best Character, I am very much a fan of the term Gesigner.

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Total Nigger Copyrighting.
I like Oiran-Neesan a lot. It's about edo-era prostitutes. It's an episodic story with characters, but they exist because the author likes sentimentality and so there's an excuse for the author to talk about the economics and life surrounding these brothels as institutions. She always takes a very neutral tone, but this is a shitty institution from the past, so it's peppered with notes about how edo-era japan thought about venereal diseases, or the rituals surrounding buying prostitutes. There are episodic stories that will pop up multiple times or last multiple chapters, but there's no overarching story. Story is there to be cute while the author spergs.

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Golden Kamuy.
Broadly speaking, it's sort of a Japanese take on Karl May's Winnetou, but with tarantino-esque (don't you roll your eyes at me) anachronistic comedy, over-the-top violence, and alternate-history nods to the audience.
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However, it's also a comprehensive tourism guide of Hokkaido, and an educated look into it's natural development and it's ecosystem.
Reverend Moon Immortal

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Chinese Siege warfare manga.
It’s about a Siege happening and all the creative and cunning warfare strategies developed by the Chinese at this time. One side does something cunning and the other side has to outwit them. That’s all I can remember about this one, if your pining for manga on ancient warfare this is it.
Shoutbox reminded me to post more about manga. But not Keiko Takemiya, today it'll be Hagio Moto.

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This is her Iguana Girl. A one volume semi-autobiographical work about her bad relationship with her mother, and family problems in general. Semi-autobiographical is a somewhat silly and potentially misleading term as all real artists are putting themselves into their work, but you can see some real life story stuff coming out in here.

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I think Moto and I both had psychology phases in which we were reading a lot of the same books. And, honestly, I think I can relate to her personally a great deal too. A recurring theme in her work, which I greatly appreciate, is that people don't really get better. Personal psychological inquiry might be able to explain and make sense of the history of human relations, and there can be a kind of peace and comfort in that, but people aren't cured. And the same appears to be true for Moto personally. By all accounts she had a rather rough relationship with her mother all her life, and this work appears to be her making the best sense of that which she can manage.

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Did it help her? Maybe. I know she wrote some very bleak depictions of familial relations after this one.

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Of the rest of her work I have read and might recommend 'Heart of Thomas', 'Marginal', and 'A Cruel God Reigns'. Maybe they'll get their own endorsement posts in the future if I'm in the mood.

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Fool Night

I think the manga sums itself up well enough.

"A hundred years have passed since the thick, heavy clouds began blocking the sunlight. Only winter and night continue to persist, with almost every plant having withered away. People's hopes are now pinned on the technology known as "transfloration." "Transfloration" is a newly developed technology that turns humans into plants in order to take their place. A "seed" is implanted into the body of a dying person, and the plant uses that person's soul as sustenance to grow. Humans who have undergone transfloration can turn into a variety of plants over the course of two years."

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We look for our way, in a sky without light...
Reverend Moon Immortal
Koukoku no Shugosha
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The Russian empire invades Japan and a small elite force of “Beast tamers”(as the Russians call them) are left to hold off the invasion so their Allies can escape to the main island.

It’s too bad that the author had to go and die, disappointing. I really like this one, probably my favorite manga. Heroic struggle, fighting til the last man, “Bushido”—it’s just so awesome.

I think the right word for this is light fantasy as there is magic, dragons, et cetera—but the magic is not for direct combat and most of the fighting is still done by musket and bayonet.

It’s similar to Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin so if you liked that you might like this.

Aku no Kyouten
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A hyper-competent high school teacher who is constantly given missions by the principle has a darker side that will eventually prove fatal for all those around him.

Who does not like a winner—I like winners—they are just better. That is the main appeal(in my eyes) of this series. He always seems to win, or at least get out of situations by the skin of his teeth. If your in the mood to see someone succeed in their schemes this is for you.

Also Mishima is mentioned—not for any political reasons but just because he’s a famous Japanese author.
Freesia is a story about a schizophrenic mercenary sent to kill various people by a retarded woman to arbitrate laws in bugman Japan.

It has some incredible writing, which feels half-delirious but still incredibly captivating. It feels like you're in the exact same headspace as the main character, and almost every scene is like a bomb before explosion. The main character is one of the best you'll see in manga: he's borderline mad but still holds it together well enough for the world. Reminds you of yourself, in some ways.

Also, art is great.

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(06-02-2023, 12:16 PM)Guest Wrote: Freesia 
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This manga is ugly, disgusting, nauseating, and repulsive, but I still like it. I like the world, the war on going. The laws and agencies and them having to deal with scandals and stuff. I usually like main characters like this but he really is beyond lacking in coolness. Very dark and miserable but i like the world and the concept it brings, which is interesting.
Is Made In Abyss good, and why? From what I've seen of it it seems to be just shock porn.
(06-19-2023, 12:15 PM)Guest Wrote: Is Made In Abyss good, and why? From what I've seen of it it seems to be just shock porn.

Let me go get my Tunis Bay Club post on the subject.

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I strongly endorse Made In Abyss.

Also I read Freesia.

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I think it looked quite cool at times, especially when it lightened up a little and it seemed like the author was enjoying himself rather than trying to be dreary or unpleasant.

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The thought I had while reading this was that it's probably the most Phillip K. Dick like story I've ever seen that wasn't written by him. And that got me thinking that it's kind of odd that that's so. There's no industry built around ripping off and bastardising his character and ideas into genre. We have Lovecraftian, but there is no Dicklike field of fiction. The only work I know of which deliberately channels him is Southland Tales, a kind of interesting bad movie which time forgot.

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As for Freesia itself. I like the author's fascination with guns, especially handguns. I like how the people dress and look. I like well dressed people chasing each other down with handguns. It's a very cool idea and was probably the seed of this project. I say that because it's the most well realised part. The writing is like Dick's in that it's very uncertain and very grand existential in scope. It thinks about a lot while being sure of absolutely nothing. A lot of manga do this, but I think this one handles it better than most by making its uncertainty a stylish point rather than trying to scrape by on sweeping moral platitudes at the end.

I think I can easily recommend this one if you aren't put off by the ugly and explicit. It's a neatly executed thriller which I had fun reading. Not too long. Doesn't stay on any particular idea for too long. Just consider yourself warned that this is not a coherent start middle end story and you won't get your answers moment at the end.
Reverend Moon Immortal
Survival (SAITO Takao)
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(When ever my hands would get cold in winter I would remember this scene)

A tale of surviving(as the title suggests) a catastrophe that completely annihilates Japan and the rest of the world. Not only does the manga provide interesting survival tips intended with the average concrete-jungle dweller in mind to survive the real jungle, but also demonstrates the tenacity and grit that are needed to survive in a world destroyed.

The boys quest to find his family is consumed by a loneliness that is only relieved by brief encounters with fellow survivors. Many of the encounters are marked with misfortune, but the boy’s will to survive and find his family triumph over the tragedy of the world that envelopes many along his path.

If you are in the mood for heroic triumphs over nature and circumstance guided by a(mostly) unwavering will then this is just the manga for you.
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(07-08-2023, 09:50 PM)Reverend Moon Immortal Wrote: Survival (SAITO Takao)

This looks fantastic. Survival stories are something the Japanese do very well. Basically Isekai in that life is suddenly open and high stakes and problems constantly need hard overcoming. Very manga. Very Japanese. The way this looks reminds me of Violence Jack. And the general survival focus again brings to mind Biomeat. The Biomeat author especially has this thing about survival and has written several stories along that line. I think I'll read this one.
(06-19-2023, 12:15 PM)Guest Wrote: Is Made In Abyss good, and why? From what I've seen of it it seems to be just shock porn.

𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝕔𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕥𝕠𝕣 𝕨𝕒𝕤 𝕒 𝕗𝕒𝕟 𝕠𝕗 𝕒 𝕗𝕖𝕨 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕘𝕤 𝕀 𝕒𝕝𝕤𝕠 𝕝𝕚𝕜𝕖𝕕, 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕤𝕖𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕚𝕟𝕗𝕝𝕦𝕖𝕟𝕔𝕖 𝕠𝕗 𝕚𝕥 𝕚𝕟 𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕞𝕒𝕟𝕘𝕒.
𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝕤𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕𝕟'𝕥 𝕟𝕖𝕖𝕕 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕠𝕡𝕚𝕟𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕠𝕗 𝕒𝕟𝕠𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕣 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕥𝕠 𝕘𝕠 𝕤𝕖𝕖 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣𝕤𝕖𝕝𝕗 𝕚𝕗 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕝𝕚𝕜𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕔𝕠𝕟𝕥𝕖𝕟𝕥.
𝐼 ⓛ𝐢𝓀🅴 𝘸𝕒🅣🅒𝐡🅸𝙣🅶 𝖈𝔥𝕚🅛🄳🅁𝑒𝔫 ⓑ𝑒 𝐭𝚘𝚛𝓽🅤𝓇𝖊𝑑.
𝙸 𝚊ⓛ𝙨𝚘 ⓛ𝓲𝐤🅔 𝗲𝓪𝐭🄸🅽𝙜 🅒ⓗⓘ𝖑𝗱🅁𝑒ⓝ.

ʸoᵤ ˢhₒuˡd cᵒnₛiᵈeᵣ ʳeadᶦng

Reverend Moon Immortal
Not really a recommendation but I wanted to bring to frame the mangaka Kouji Mori. He has a really distinctive art style, but as for actually interesting manga—I am undecided.

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(From Holyland)

I remember reading Holyland, Destroy and Revolution, Jisatsutou, and Sōsei no Taiga. Excluding Destroy and Revolution the other three either were specifically about survival or had struggle as the sub-theme. I am not really confident in recommending these but I do remember them holding my interest for a while.

But my main purpose is to ask if anyone else has read his works and what they thought. I need help in making my judgements.
(07-12-2023, 03:19 AM)Reverend Moon Immortal Wrote: But my main purpose is to ask if anyone else has read his works and what they thought. I need help in making my judgements.

You again have my attention. If I read any of these I'll get back to you. May get in a manga mood shortly. Thanks for your posts. I have a nice backlog going now for then.
Reverend Moon Immortal
Bonfire NEET
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This one is based off Dragon Quest V and I really like the art style. As you would suspect the story is based around this thirty-year-old bonfire NEET. A tale of redemption and new hope as a formerly hopeless NEET is thrown into a dangerous world forced to either change and strive or die.

Now that I am writing this I realize this was not the manga I originally wanted to recommend, but I like this one anyway. Well—back to looking for that manga(of which I can not remember the title).
@Reverend_Moon Holy Land is a cool manga that will inspire you to work out and learn martial arts. Has some realistic and pseudo-realistic advice for real street fights. I don’t believe I’ve read his other work.
Mason Hall-McCullough
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Usogui - Great gambling manga with plenty of action too. The games they play can be contrived but that's part of the fun, the story doesn't take itself too seriously yet still manages to achieve a lot of tension. Every plot twist is insane and impossible to predict, but the story is always sure to show you the setup that was done in previous panels. The first arcs are by no means bad, but it gets more exciting later on. The art style also gradually ramps up from good to incredible. The mangaka put a YouTube link to one of his amateur fights at the end of one of the volumes.

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