Manga OT - black & white is all I need for

I am a huge fan of Blame!

Cool, we have a manga topic now. I’ll be around :)

Witch Hat Atelier is great. I just finished Mob Psycho 100 #6, two thumbs up for that too.

Haven’t read it in forever, but for sci-fi check out Planetes if you haven’t. Only 2 omnis. By the same guy who is doing Vinland Saga.

One of my favorites recently is Hinamatsuri. Young alien girl with telekinetic powers forces her way into the life of a yakuza member. It’s a slice of life comedy with great characters and heart. If you want a lot of plot or drama you aren’t going to get it here. It’s really all about the characters and situations they get into. Perfect series for casual reading imo.

The Flowers of Evil quickly shot up on my list of all time favorites and I ended up buying pretty much every manga by Shuzo Oshimi because of it. It’s released in 4 omnis. Couldn’t stop thinking about it for days. Some people dislike the second half, but I found it riveting the whole way through.

For anyone in the US diving into manga, RightStuf is the best place to buy. Great prices and no tax. They do weekly publisher specific sales where the prices are even lower. I believe they will be having their yearly birthday sale towards the end of June. That sale and the Christmas sales are the best ones. Only buy in-stock manga from them though. They really try to fulfill the whole order at once, so if you buy something that is out of stock you might be waiting months for your whole order to arrive.

When Shirow discovered Photoshop it ruined him.

Blame! is great, and it has a pretty unique style. It’s a pity the author’s style morphed to a less interesting one in his latest mangas.

I have it on my pending queue to try. The art seems very nice.

Planetes is one of my favorites, too!

I also read it, and it be pretty damn funny. I think it ended not that much time ago, I think I’m missing the last volumes.

Important news. Berserk is going to continue.

I know Kouji Mori as the author of Holyland.

I thought this was a great book too. I’m not even a cat guy I was just going through all the Junji Ito I could get from the library and had no clue what it was. Definitely a different side of him I didn’t expect but was glad I found.

It’s actually a fox squirrel thing, so OMG2. Makes my two lazy moggies look lame. Really enjoying the Nausicaä manga so far, was it created before/during/after the movie? Whichever came first, they really did a great job of keeping the style equivalent between the two - a lot of it came flooding back just within the first few pages (haven’t seen the movie in a long time but now I kinda wanna rewatch it). I’d have loved to have had this as a kid, strong recommend as a gift idea if anyone here has anyone applicable.

Still trying to hunt down Blame! though. =( it looks like I can maybe get the later volumes but not vol 1. Thinking of importing it but if it’s a slightly different size to the others I’m gonna be mad.

Here’s a slightly different recommendation based from a recent series I’ve been reading - Isabella Bird in Wonderland.

This is a manga series based on the dramatized version of an actual series of travelogues written by Isabella Bird, probably the most famous woman traveler of the late 19th century who wrote a series of books outlining her adventures in Asia in including Japan, China, and Korea.

It’s surprisingly educational and outlines life in Japan just as it was beginning to Westernize in the early Meiji period through the eyes of an ignorant (but well meaning!) British lady.

Great rec!

Glad you are enjoying it. The film was done on '84, while the manga had started on '82 (and it needed 12 years to be finished). Because the film was successful, their creators could make a new studio to continue doing movies… it was called Ghibli.

That sounds pretty unique, I should take a look.

Goodbye, Eri

‘Goodbye, Eri’ is the latest creation, a oneshot (well, actually a full volume oneshot), of the now famous mangaka Tatsuki Fujimoto, creator of Chainsaw Man and Fire Punch, between others. Who is poised to be even more famous once Chainsaw Man is released as anime series in a few months.

But unlike the crazy action of CM, his latest creations (this one, and another oneshot called Look Back) are a bit more contemplative and with a heartfelt drama as their core, while still having some weird elements or characters that gives it some interesting edge to the story…

In Goodbye Eri, the protagonist is a higschool student who does regular video recordings (vlogs?) in the last months of her mom’s life, as she has a terminal illness. This starts in fact because her request, but quickly evolves in an interest in film making and in conveying his feelings into film, using as a cope mechanism for him, to resist all what’s happening around him
Later, while depressed of how his school mates don’t understand his weirdness, the titular girl, Erin, appears and the story goes into a different direction but always echoing the same themes, having a very interesting reexamination at the end.

It uses some interesting techniques, as the comic mix what is happening in real life with what’s happening in the recorded sessions, that even if they were based on real life aren’t exactly accurate, and later you start to suspect even the ‘real’ parts could be also be fabricated or very biased by the perspective of the main character, there is a a fair bit of unreliable narrator going on, in my opinion.

Very recommended.

You can read it for free here

Jiro Matsumoto is one of my favorite mangakas. But, he isn’t for everyone. He is just so idiosynchartic and very NSFW too!, which makes him kinda hard to recommend. A summary for him would be ‘extreme stories with plenty of suffering, drugs, madness, violence and sex, but beyond the shock factor you have a tender insight on human condition, on loss, or hope, or tender love or depression.’
Or at least it can be like that in his best works, there are a pair that I read where he really goes nowhere beyond crazy characters and genitals.
And how NSFW? I will explain in another post for another manga. For today, I’m talking only of…


Which isn’t really done by Jiro Matsumoto! You see, he is only the artist in Ichigeki, that’s a bit weird as he isn’t the most accomplishing visual artist ever. He has clear tendencies toward a rough style.
The writer is Yoshio Nagai, which it seems isn’t even a mangaka, but a ‘historical writer and critic’. In any case I’d say there is some influence of the typical Matsumoto writing here.

Ichigeki is an action samurai manga in seven volumes, with events happening just before the start of the period of the Boshin War, focusing on an urban setting full of civil unrest, strife and paranoia.

The plot is simple, an aspirant faction is attacking the government secretly through what we would label now as terrorist attacks, done by ronin, bandits and various vargrants, in an effort to create chaos to make things hard to the government. But because the political situation, they can’t strike back officially, so secretly they form a new small squad to counter attack the assaulters. The trick is, they just took a dozen of the stronger peasants they could find, trained them for a single week (where they don’t learn how to defend themselves, only attack), said they were officially samurai and threw them into battle. They are just a disposable force, although most of them are slow to notice how they never were intended to survive.

At first they are surprisingly successful thanks to the surprise factor and how the simpleton peasants are more resourceful than anyone could imagine, but soon enough there are tensions where the two sides tries to outmaneuver the other one. In fact, some chapters focus too on characters of the ‘other side’, until finally a showdown is unavoidable. Things get personal too between the main protagonist and main antagonist.

It’s an entertaining, solid read, and there are some attempts to give a few characters a bit more of depth, but well, it isn’t the focus of the series really.

Wow you weren’t kidding, just finished reading that bit. So good! I loved the movie but reading the manga is something else entirely… I was surprised at how violent and bleak it is at times in comparison, definitely a lot more adult but like @TurinTur says it doesn’t forget where its heart is.

I’m finding Kushana to be a lot more sympathetic than I remember her being in the movie too. In fact she might just be my favourite character here, so far at least; I’m only 2/3rds the way through the first book.

Well, of course the manga longer run means they have more time to dedicate to flesh out Kushana, unlike the film where they have to pain her as the enemy and that’s it.

The Fable

is a manga series about a super elite assassin who grew up training and never lived like a normal person , in fact he is portrayed bit… like the savant genius that knows a lot about X or have a singular talent but have rusty social skills.
For mysterious reasons, he is given the order to not to kill anyone and live a normal life, although things will conspire against that original setup and in the end there will be an involvement with yakuza and others assassins.

It’s a bit weird, because that mix of almost slice of life with very deadpan comedy, mixed with more straightforward crime thriller stuff, as other assassins start to interfere and the original plans of living a normal life start going awry.
He isn’t exactly a lady killer, given his extreme awkwardness, but of course the plot will move things in a direction where an innocent woman falls for him. He is accompanied by her ‘sister’, another assassin much less talented than him but with more social experience. She can be pretty funny

The drawing, as you can see, it’s more of a realistic style. It’s pretty good, well done although it is… let’s say functional? it isn’t an author that I’m going to remember thanks to his art.
I started thinking it was just an average comic, but in the end I continued reading, more and more, so I guess it did some things well enough.
I finished it yesterday, and while the last arc is too long and too serious, I was surprised by liking the end where everything goes well for all characters and everything ties up nicely.

While I was writing this, I just learned it has two film adaptions, and both are in Netflix (at least in Europe). This is from one of them, a scene directly lifted from the comic:

The day is today. Let’s talk of

Joshi Kouhei

This is a very, very NFSW work from Jiro Matsumoto, honestly it feels fetishist, as it combines high school girls (in mini skirts, of course) fetish and military fetish. Two for the price of one!

…and it’s still weirder than that mix may imply at first. Because you see, the high school girls are actually giant robots piloted by guys. Yep.

This is a seven volume work of science fiction, actually based on a short oneshot done before by the same author. In a way, it’s impressive the author was able to take a crazy concept that just worked because the story was only 25 pages long so you don’t really have to explain things, and develop it seriously on a longer comic, with drama and mystery elements.

While I’m accustomed to other works of this author, this one is especially NSFW. There is a long (30 pages?) drug-fueled orgy scene that made me raise my eyebrow, even for old jaded me.

It tells the story of a small squad of soldiers tasked with the secret mission of going behind lines to kill a mysterious figure that went rogue. The main character seems to be a depressed, almost suicidal soldier, and this seems to be a mission where he may not return. As they progress in their path, they will have to help in some battles, and thing will turn crazy the closer they are to their final objective.
…wait a moment. Now I’m noticing it… this is kinda Apocalypse Now! lol.
In this scifi world, they discovered, and humanity expanded to, a new dimension, all thanks to ‘dimensional technology’ (which is never explained), as a way to alleviate Earth’s overpopulation. XXX years later, there is a war between the Earth and the people now native to that dimension. And in the background, there is some kind of supercomputer / omniscient AI that directs everything, and that plays a role in the plot, of course.
The pilots of the robots also are fated to turn crazy as time pass, they believe more and more they are real girls, with fictitious girl friends that send them messages over phone. But… what if the main character start receiving real world info in one of those fictional messages??

The plot eventually goes into the backstory of the main character, and what happened in his past to end up as he is now, his work a detective in the police, his conflicting relationship with his wife, etc; at another level the comic deals too with the concept of ‘post truth’ world, where no objective reality exists, just individual subjective interpretations, in fact at some point it does the thing of unreliable narrator where you can’t be sure if what the character and you see are real, or just an illusion/it’s all in their head. It made me doubt, so it was well done.
There is some obscure philosophizing that felt flaky, but It all ties more or less neatly in the last volumes.

I, too, have a complicated relationship with my home network.

Its either a conflicting relationship with my wifi or the ISP (or Thunderstorms).

Lol. 5