Comic Stack 04/08/15 – 5 Manga Recommendations
I said I would be back to my #1s. This week, but I had a load of fun with my comic graphic novel recommendations that I thought I’d give you a few manga recommendations to follow up on that! I read a ton of manga, so don’t think this is my complete list by far. I tried to present manga that felt very new reader friendly while (like with my comic picks) are great for us old timers as well. I’ll save two of my favorites (Bleach and Death Note) for another post.
Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama
I don’t normally jump on too many bandwagons because I always end up being the one person who doesn’t like something as much as anyone else. It took me a while to actually watch and start reading Attack on Titan, but when I did. I was very glad that I did. This is a show/manga that is mostly new reader/watcher friendly. The manga centers on the last of humanity that has hidden behind impenetrable walls after being attacked by titans (beings who appear to be colossal humans). Titans eat any humans they encounter, even though they don’t seem to need them for sustenance. After 100 years of safety, their walls are breached and human are again facing nearly impossible foes. What I love about Attack on Titan, aside from the dystopian horror aspect is that this manga is about teamwork. You usually have your own golden child who’s going to save them all, and you do have your character who’s obviously chosen. However, nothing he does matters if he doesn’t learn to trust and work with his team, who took the same oath he did to save humanity. You can read my first two reviews here and here. (I also appreciate Hajime’s Isayama’s stance on one of his character’s gender or rather the fact that he refuses to gender this character and it has some of fandom on edge.)
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
I have loved Battle Royale forever. It started as a movie. Then, it became a novel. Finally, it became a manga. And I love every single one of them. Battle Royale follows a group of teenagers who are randomly selected by the Japanese government for a “game” called The Program. They are shipped to a private location, given a pack of supplies, and told to kill one another. If they refuse, after three days, a collar detonates instantly killing them. You have people who refuse and commit suicide (or become examples with their collars), you have those who try to stick together only to have paranoia tear them apart, and you have those who play the game and play it well. I’m not going into the whole The Hunger Games ripped this off this because that’s not how I feel. Many stories have used this same idea. Remember Stephen King’s The Long Walk? What about The Running Man? Lord of the Flies, anyone? These arguments are pointless, okay. This is just a really great, horrific story.
Henrietta, a very young girl, survives a devastating attack on her family and is rescued by a “welfare agency.” They repair her, giving her robotic implements and erase her memories. She is an assassin trained to do whatever they need, but they didn’t count on not being able to overcome her humanity. Love still beats in her heart, and love threatens to bring her back. And for a person who’s been trained not to feel, especially not love, her world starts to be become an emotional battle.
Black Cat is one of those books that’s fun despite the premise. I used to read this in Shonen Jump. XIII (now called Train Heartnet) is a former assassin who works as a bounty hunter barely making it by with a group of his friends. He left the Chronos, so he could live life on his own terms and find the other former Chronos member who killed his best friend. Along the way, he manages to pick up such a colorful cast of friends like a girl who change her hands into various objects or a detective who has one psychic eye. And yes, it has some scenes that will leave you like: “What the hell just happened, Train?” It’s an easy book to follow and get into it. One that I often recommend for new readers.
Deadman Wonderland by Jinsei Kataoka
The story starts with a devastating earthquake hitting Japan, leaving most of Tokyo underwater. Ten years later, 14-year-old Igarashi Ganta is joking around with his friends in class when a mysterious “Red Man” appears and kills everyone in Ganta’s class–except him. Ganta passes out in the classroom, but later regains consciousness to find out that he is the sole suspect in his classmates’ murders, which he is convicted of and sentenced to death. Ganta is sent to Deadman Wonderland, a privately owned prison that uses its inmates to entertain the public. It’s purpose is to gain money to rebuild Tokyo. Supposedly. Ganta is placed in a collar (that he later learns emits poison that can only be counteracted by “candy”) and finds himself thrust in this bizarre prison life where inmates are mutilated and killed for the enjoyment of others. The public, however, believes that these “games” are staged. Ganta learns that he is one of few prisoners who can manipulate his blood as a weapon, which makes him valued and starts to leave questions open to why Ganta really ended up in prison.
Don’t even talk to me about Deadman Wonderland. It hurts too much. Or Attack on Titan. I still need to read Gunslinger Girl, though.
Come here, baby. Let me hold you.
I have only read battle royal
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It’s on my favorites. Now to be fair, I like the movie and novel better than the manga, but I love it, too.
I’ve only read Battle Royale and I absolutely loved it! Naturally now I want to read the manga version too, since everyone is saying that it’s an amazing one!
Aeriko @ http://thereadingarmchair.blogspot.com
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The manga is amazing. The movie, too. It’s definitely still one of my all time favorites after all these years.
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