Mega Manga Roundup Review: I’ve Been Reading ALOT.

I haven’t been blogging much since I started living in New Zealand, but I’ve been reading thousands of pages of manga a day, and discovered many new ones which this review will present to you in a summarised form.

Here are my guidelines when it comes to reading manga:

1. I am open to all genres except yaoi and yuri. I don’t mind shoujo as long as it’s not the retarded type.

2. I have a preference for sports, scifi, comedy and shounen. Romance is also ok, surprisingly but has to not be the really disgusting girly kind. But the annoying immature guy POV type is ok though, such as Suzuka. Detective, martial arts and even those aimed at kids are ok too. Considering one of my favourite current anime is Inazuma 11, which probably has a target demographic of kids 10 and under, I think I can handle kiddy things rather well.

3. I can read but do not particularly fancy harem and moe stuff. Actually, some elements of harem are ok but if the whole thing revolves around it then it’s just boring.

4. I have probably read most, if not all the manga that you have. I used to read only real manga on paper but recently have found it easier to just cheat and use onemanga. But strangely enough, not all the good manga are on manga websites like onemanga etc. Eden, for one, isn’t.

5. What I have not read are series older than Dragonball and Rurouni Kenshin, but these are pretty hard to find online or even offline.

6. I loooove LONG manga. I don’t understand why people love short ones, because if possible I would prefer manga not to end unless it really has to.

I’m probably going to read GS Mikami, City Hunter, Zatchbell (kid alert), H2 (stopped halfway in the past) and other Adachi series next. The good thing about manga is that there’s no hurry to read them, because they get better if all piled up and read at once. Do recommend me more, because I have lots of time now and anime doesn’t really run smoothly on my netbook.

Actually, it’s just that most of the current anime are pretty bad and so I alternate between manga and Heroes 3.

So far in my 3 months here in New Zealand, I have read from the start these:

Sports Manga

1.Captain Tsubasa and all the subsequent sequels – this one took me ages to finish, considering it has the original + Road to 2002 + Golden 23 and shit load of others. To put it simply, they all suck badly. I understand that the original series was written in 1980 when nobody in Japan had even heard of football, the 19 year old author had to make it a bit less technical and more hotblooded, as were the tastes in manga at that time. But the sequels are freakin’ horrible and don’t make sense at all, given that most of them were written in recent times and there are plenty of other football manga that are relatively realistic and still are exciting. The supermoves that Tsubasa and gang display are also lackluster compared to those of Inazuma 11, which is sort of adapted from Tsubasa anyway. Football is just not very suitable to mangarise, because of its low-scoring non-stop nature, unlike basketball and baseball.

2.Area no Kishi – this football series features the good old seemingly-talentless underdog, a strong talented older brother (with a big plot twist), the 2nd string versus first team battles, unorthodox training etc. In other words, it’s really quite the average clichéd sports series. The art is not bad though and believable football skills and tactics are used, so I rather enjoyed it. The bad part is the totally rubbish metaphors the characters keep using, like a striker is a “knight” and a playmaker is a “king”. Ooh, and the main character is totally a Pippo Inzaghi styled striker, which is rare in sports manga.

3.Kuroko no Basket – A very strange basketball series about a guy who has such a small sense of presence that nobody notices him so he gets to ghost around the court and spray passes unseen. In his middle school team which won all the trophies and was called the “generation of miracles”, there were 5 other guys and they all split up in high school. The manga chronicles Kuroko and teammates’ quest to beat all the schools that his old teammates went to. It’s quite over the top though, there’s a 3-point shooter who can shoot from the whole court 100% of the time and a bishounen who can copy everyone’s “moves”.

4.Daia no Ace – Out of all of these, probably the best new sports series I’ve read here. It won the Shogakukan prize for shounen category, which must mean something. So this country bumpkin guy who’s pretty hotblooded but shit at baseball gets scouted by the top school in the nation. Imagine Major’s Kaidou arc and this is basically it!! Except instead of Goro, put in a really funny rubberman pitcher. Still, I liked this the best.

5.Togashi Kaden – This was in shounen jump, but strangely ended after a few chapters. Word has it that there’ll be a continuation but I fail to see why it stopped in the first place. It’s basically Eyeshield 21 except it’s basketball and not American football. The same tiny cowardly guy who can run fast but with no skills works hard blah blah. Shit.

6.Go! Tenba Cheerleaders – Utter fanservice, with nipples and camel toe included. It’s about a team of high school cheerleaders who recruit the last male member of the ouendan, aka traditional Japanese shouty cheer squad, as a base. The male character looks totally and acts like the gay guy from Persona 4.

7.Smash! – A badminton (rare!) manga where an average but latently talented guy meets this selective mute, who’s even better than him at badminton and they all go to the same school and play the usual interhigh stuff etc blah blah. Is it just me or do all sports manga have the same plot?

8.Teppu – Arguably the most creative or different one here, Teppu is about MMA. The main girl is a super-talented tall girl who is really bored of everything because her sporting abilities are too good for everyone else. She’s really good at karate too and behaves like Hamyuts from Book of Bantorra. I.e. really arrogant, bloodthirsty and loves a challenge. But she meets these two Brazilian kids who beat the shit out of her in MMA, so she goes to a MMA gym to train. There’s only a few chapters out so far but it seems to be quite accurate at depicting reality, moves-wise.

9.Full Contact – It’s a karate series but there isn’t much action. Rather it’s mainly comedy, and a tsundere girl who is in love with the main loser character.

10.Inu Neko Jump – It’s a pretty strange manga actually. Supposedly about high jump and romance, it’s instead a bunch of incoherent subplots, fanservice and a sudden wtf ending that screams out “noob mangaka just kept his first series going on as long as he could until it got cut”. And that, is the complete truth.

Shounen Manga

Hitman Reborn – 283 chapters and ongoing. I read this because Bakuman referred to it and I wanted to not miss out on references. Reborn starts off as a gag slice-of-life but suddenly in just one chapter, the previously comedic characters with lame powers all had to do battle one-on-one with enemies and the story just turns into battle manga. The worst part is it totally follows every single shounen jump formula, from the exponential increase of characters, to the yuugioh-styled monster summoning. And after the recently concluded arc, which appeared to be the ending, it was proudly announced that Reborn was beginning a new epically long arc. Reborn basically is a bad Naruto, except you replace ninjas with mafia.

Sket Dance – Oh epic manga! This is by the former assistant of the Gintama author and as such, the art style, story and humour are identical to Gintama. Instead of the yorozuya, we have the sket dan, who do basically the same job as the former, except in a high school setting. Instead of the shinsengumi, there’s the student council. The members of Sket-dan are not unlike Gintama’s as well. That said, Sket Dance is still awesome and I laughed out loud till I rolled on the ground many times. There’s also a major plot twist somewhere in the middle that totally changes the characters’ behavior towards one another. I think someone who isn’t that well-versed in Japanese culture might find it hard to appreciate though.

Magic Ban Removal! Hyde and Closer – It’s like a total formulaic shounen aimed at 10 year olds. Closer is a loser whose grandpa is the number 1 magician in the world. Not the tricky type of magician, but the mana-consuming wizard kind. Enemies attack the boy because they think killing him will grant them superpowers, but he has a teddy bear Hyde who wields a giant chainsaw and protects him. Very generic, former enemies join the good side etc. Bad.

Pyuu to Fuku! Jaguar – This is written by the same guy who did Sexy Commando, one of the funniest series in the history of Shounen Jump. Unfortunately, Jaguar is not that funny. I think it needs an anime as well done as Sexy Commando’s for it to be funny. The characters are almost identical to SC too, with Jaguar replacing Masaru and some new guy replacing Fuumin.

Wild Life – I love animals and Wild Life is about a delinquent who becomes a vet doctor for a world-famous idealistic pet hospital. The author is good friends with Yakitate Japan’s and the main character often pops up in the Yakitate Japan manga and anime, and vice versa. WL is probably one of the best ones I’ve read these past few months and it also won the Shogakukan award. Some of the chapters are quite touching and some are really educational. Of course, everything’s really idealistic and simplified but that’s how manga is.

Lock On – A new manga in shounen jump about a photographer with special powers, it’s more a slice-of-life comedy so far but I totally expect it to morph into a battle manga if popularity is low. After all even Beelzebub is now a battle manga. Wtf.

Gamble Fish – This is nice too. It’s similar to Liar Game, the main character is a genius trickster/conman who transfers to a rich kid school and goes about raping people’s wallets and pride. But the school has a dark background and lots of challengers appear and he has to defeat them with his wits, in gambling. It’s quite crazy, to beat a magician girl, he used a chainsaw on his own finger such that the blood’ll stain the cards.

Detective Academy Q – This is quite old, and by the same writer as Kindaichi. Unfortunately Onemanga doesn’t seem to have the later chapters despite it being completed eons ago. I’ll have to go back home to continue reading it. I find Q to be the best detective series I’ve read, edging out Conan easily.

Hajimete no Aku – A shounen comedy starring a tsundere girl who meets her cousins, who are villains in the Japanese superhero style. You know, like Kamen Rider. So her cousins, particularly the guy who she ends up liking, are supposed to be evil but turn out to be quite nice people who just have “evil” as a job. It’s quite sweet and funny at times.

Deadman Wonderland – I didn’t check but I’m positive it’s drawn by the same artist who did the Eureka Seven manga. Anyway, there’s been an increasing number of manga who are written by writers and illustrated by artists, somewhat similar to the system that western comics have been using since the dawn of time. There are advantages, since good artists are sometimes horrible storytellers and good writers are often terrible at drawing and these talents would otherwise disappear without a partnership. DW is actually an atypical battle manga set in a futuristic Death Race-like world, where convicts are made to fight like dogs, but everyone has some blood-related power. The story’s quite good and full of twists, for a battle manga, and the fights don’t drag on at all. The fights are similar to Darker than Black’s, where a moment determines the outcome, rather than the half-year long borefests like Bleach’s.

Q and A – The new Adachi manga which is serialized monthly. Q and A isn’t that good, to be honest, so far. Adachi’s manga are all the same, just with a different sport or a twist and this one has track (running) and a dead brother’s ghost haunting the main character as the variation.

Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro – The anime does not do justice to this. Neuro is quite a dark manga for shounen jump, it started out as a bad murder mystery manga and then slowly morphed to some epic demon battle with superhumans made of pure evil, who murder hundreds of thousands of people per chapter.

Mirai Nikki – One of those deceptively dark manga that features kiddy killer girls. The main girl is a crazy yandere who puts Sekai and Rena to shame. I quite enjoyed MN and its perverseness and many character deaths. It’s quite famous already but for those who have yet to hear of it, a loser guy has a diary which suddenly becomes a future diary and can show exactly what’s going on around him except what’s going to happen to him. He has a stalker girl who has a similar diary except it only shows what he does every ten minutes. There are also 10 other people with such diaries, each with their own characteristics. The aim of the game is to murder everyone else and then become God.

Romance/Harem Manga

Ai Kora – It’s a bit like an unserious Love Hina. Main character is a guy who loves body parts, very specific ones eg blue eyes, vase-like waists etc. He by chance gets to live in a female dorm whose occupants each have one of his favourite parts and all fall in love with him. But he loves them all and standard harem situations arise. It’s a bit meh but just light reading to kill time.

Baka to Booing – Quite a bad manga about this loser (wow how come all the main characters are losers) who is obsessed with a small-time gravure idol with huge tits, who clumsily falls down a building and dies on him. She ends up comatose but her spirit pops out and is stuck to said loser, supposed hilarity and fanservice ensues.

Good Ending – This is rather similar in type to Suzuka and Kimi ni Iru Machi, in other words, the “wtf this guy is a loser but I once did that same shit when I was a teenager too” genre of romance manga. I stopped reading it because it was too difficult to stomach.
Mysterious Girlfriend X – It’s actually quite a strange manga, laden with fanservice yet clean at the same time. In the first chapter, a loser gets attached to a weird transfer student after secretly licking her saliva and feeling special bonding. Then they don’t actually do much in terms of actual dating but just keep doing saliva exchanges. It’s a comedy series that didn’t make me smile a single time throughout. That said, it’s interesting because of what the author does, he writes mini-essays in between chapters stating how he uses his manga, where no sex actually happens, to criticize modern society’s loss of morals.

Other Genres

Gokusen – I’m only up till chapter 40 but it’s not too bad. I’m sure everyone knows Gokusen already, just a jousei version of GTO.

The World is Mine – It’s what I would call “evil manga”, where the main characters stand on the side of evil rather than the usual good. The main characters are terrorists, random bombers, kidnappers, rapists and go on a crime spree with the police trying to catch them. There’s also a giant monster running loose in Japan killing lots of people, and these two factions sort of compete for newspaper headlines. The manga ended years ago but scans aren’t finished.

So that should be all, might have missed out some, but do recommend me any you think I might like!

15 Responses to “Mega Manga Roundup Review: I’ve Been Reading ALOT.”

  • Have you heard of Basara? Not the one with Sengoku characters, mind you. 27 volumes long, post-apocalyptic epic shoujo.

  • Maybe you can try Negima. Most people gave up around book 6 as it contained much ecchi nonsense but after around book 8 it gets much better. The latest book is 29 and Negi has gotten much much better since he started.

    Other manga which you can try are, High school of the undead, Bleach (I doubt you don’t read it but since it wasn’t mentioned…), Tenjou Tenge, One piece, 1/2 prince, etc.

    I surf onemanga daily too so you could also look through the recent updates daily and scan through those titles which seem interesting and maybe read a chapter or two. From there I found some nice manga like mysterious girlfriend X (Some people say it sucks but I find it quite refreshing), Sankarea (I think its spelled like this) and beezlebub.

    Hope this helps.

  • >> The male character looks totally and acts like the gay guy from Persona 4.

    I loooooove them balls.

  • The World God Only Knows. But I think you already know it.

  • Not sure if you’ve heard of this one, but Franken Fran? :O

    Also, much love for Nurarihyon no Mago. More or less typical shounen fare (I LIKE HITMAN REBORN AND ITS TOTALLY RIDICULOUS OVEREXPLOSIVE FINAL MOVES!) but with youkai. Youkai are ♥.

    Hurhur, I heard that BLEACH is reaching an Epic!Battle soon. Which I shall read for the lulz.

    OOKU? OOKU? :D

  • Soshi: Yeah I am up till page 1 for FrankenFran. Will continue it. Thanks for recommending stuff. Bleach has been retarded for a long time but I make an effort to read all Shounen Jump series excpt Kochikame.

    Snoo: Heard of it but haven’t read. Will try.

    Jp: You have a son?

    Spoon: I used to read Negima, until book 20 or so and then I gave up. Was reading the real hardcopy volumes too. I might start again soon, along with similar stuff I dropped like Air Gear.

    Schenider: Yeah I have, but never got around to reading it.

    Also, last night I read Giant Killing, which is starting as an anime in the new season. Suffice to say, best football manga ever.

  • Oh… Negima was still quite boring around book 20, it gets really nice around book 24. Especially book 28, where it focus on just one battle but it was epic.

    I got bored of Air Gear around book 20 but I still continued reading the online manga and collecting the hardcopy.

    Between the two, I would recommend you to read Negima first as Air Gear isn’t getting much better but others might disagree.

  • My current read list (excluding those you mentioned)

    Sports : Baby Steps, Over Drive

    Shounen : Psyren, Zetman, The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer, Break Blade

    Romance/Harem : Kimi no Irumachi

  • most of what i know is old stuff lol

    tsutomu nihei’s “blame!”,”noise”, and whatnot

    zetman is nice.

    blade of the immortal.

    akumetsu. random-ass gory over-the-top killings with a dash of politics.

    Fairy Tail?

    D.Gray Man started off nice but went downhill pretty fast.

    the new manga by Kaoru Mori. “otoyomegatari”

  • Seikon no Qwaser??~Best fan serviceXD

    Letter Bee(Tegami Bachi)~You are mad if you don’t like this one

    Hayate no Gotoku~Athena is so moeXD

    Sora no Otoshimono~i thought it was shit…but after a while, the story become really touching(Nymph ftwXD)

    Aki Sora~My persona favourite ^^

  • Have you tried Kami no Hidarite, Akuma no Migite? It provides many horror lols, you could try anything by Kazuo Umezu. Horror doesn’t seem your thing so you might have not read it lol. There are many crappy stories, but a few really awesome, engrossing ones. Most people don’t like the art style but I guess it fits the content.

    You should consider intertwining shounen/sports stuff with raw horror, it increases your appreciation for both. It also toughens you up for any future situations where you might have to eat other people in order to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

  • kinda agreed that mangas should be read when they have like chapter-accumulated.

    Medaka box anyone? i find the crack abnormality interesting.

    High sch of the dead is another one of my pick. but there’s only like 22 chapter? over at onemanga.

  • Historie.
    Ensemble (manwha).

  • would definitely recommend basara. it got boring somewhere near the middle but worth reading all the way.

    You read sports but no mitsuru adachi? shame.

    after school nightmare has a very interesting storyline

  • If you’re willing to stretch to manwha (and can get used to reading left-to-right again…argh!) Aflame Inferno is pretty good horror with a few fights, and excellent characters. I second Negima; it’s been awesome since the girls and Negi got back together in the magic world.

    Beach Stars is uninspired sports (beach volleyball) and seems to have settled into the “tournament mode” for now, enh. Definitely recommend GS Mikami, but it’s already on your list. Last dozen issues are kind of “enh” as I think the author was mailing it in by that point, and the relationship is unresolved. Dollgun is silly, sexy fun; harem with a strong plot and a 1960′s sitcom gimmick.

    Not much translated yet, but I’m really into Dusk Maiden of Amnesia; it’s creepy-sexy, although it telegraphs the “seven mysteries” too much.

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