What Manga are you reading?

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Re: What Manga are you reading?

Postby Rose Faerie » Thu Oct 21, 2021 5:01 pm

Currently enjoying Orange. I've only read the first two volumes, but I love it already. Naho is very relatable for me. I also love the art, especially the character designs (Azu's in particular.)

Sailor Moon has also been quite enjoyable. I'm at the halfway point of the series, and I enjoy it much more than either anime adaptation. I'll still watch the 90's anime when I'm bored, but the manga is much more interesting to me. It took a few volumes to pick up the pace, though. I didn't enjoy the first arc as much, but the Black Moon Clan arc was fun, especially the parts with Sailor Pluto. The Death Busters Arc is amazing, though. I'm glad I decided to pick this one up.
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Re: What Manga are you reading?

Postby Kaori » Sun Nov 14, 2021 6:28 pm

Since last time:

Finished reading Mushishi, which as expected was really good. Each story leaves you with a distinct impression or emotion. It's also really unique in that it's a manga about a time when there was still very little Western influence, and the manga itself is also that way, totally based on Japanese concepts and ways of thinking.

Also finished reading Vampire Princess Miyu. Honestly, I can't recommend this manga. This is depsite the fact that I really enjoyed re-reading the first few volumes for the distinct feeling of the kind of hardship the main character goes through, not only having to carry out a hard duty endlessly, but also giving to other people the very thing she wants for herself, but can't have. The moral greyness of Miyu as a character was really interesting as well, and I appreciated that it was such a female-centric manga. However . . . as the series progresses, the plot wanders around pretty aimlessly, and unlike Mushishi neither the episodic short stories nor the occasional longer ones generally leave much of an impression, or seem to have much of a point. The manga-original story where Miyu goes to China to rescue Reiha was mildly interesting, but other than that, I was generally left wondering at the end, "What was the point?"

Finally, also read the other two short stories included in the one-shot collection [/b]二の姫の物語 (The Tale of the Second Princess).[/b] I put off reading these for a very long time, and there was a reason for that. In contrast to The Tale of the Second Princess (which is set in a fictionalized historical Chinese setting), the other two stories set in the present day were full of slang and uncouth female characters who really didn't appeal to me. I felt in the end like Circuit Queen told a decent story about the psychological price of succeeding at the cost of using dirty tactics, but overall I really prefer this mangaka's stories set in historical China over her modern-day-Japan ones.

. . . With this, for the first time since probably 2007 or 2008, I have now finished reading every volume of manga that I own. (There are some Japanese ones that I might have only read in English prior to buying a Japanese copy, but I have read everything that I own in one language or another.) As much as I want to rush out and go buy some more volumes of series I want to finish or start (Demon Slayer), I might try to at least finish the Japanese novel I'm currently reading first.
Let others believe in the God who brings men to trial and judges them. I shall cling to the God who resurrects the dead.
-St. Nikolai Velimirovich

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Re: What Manga are you reading?

Postby Rose Faerie » Sat Nov 20, 2021 9:41 pm

Well, I have finished two manga series by now.

Sailor Moon was very lovely, and now I am in the process of watching the Eternal movies. I enjoyed the later arcs the most, and I think the first arc and the earlier part of the second arc are the weakest part of the series. I think the writing and art improves as the author gains more experience. Everyone is much more fleshed out later on, while in the beginning all the characters were sort of there. Usagi's character development is much more pronounced than what I saw of the 90's anime and Crystal. Chibi-Usa is much less annoying than I recall her being in the 90's anime. She is rather awful in the Black Moon Clan Arc, but she improves over time. I actually like her in the Black Moon Circus Arc. The manga also made me like Mamoru (even though he is a bit of a Gary-Stu, he is actually a decent person in the manga). So I have a very favorable opinion of the story as a whole.

I also read Paradise Kiss. The story hit deep. It is a spectacular coming of age story. That is one thing it does well. Yukari's tension of wanting to follow her own dreams and forge a path for herself, while being obligated to follow the path her mother decided for her was really interesting and relatable. It also covers unhealthy relationships in a way that doesn't glamorize them. I really want to recommend this to the general teenage audience, but I can't since the content is pretty iffy. I was also left thinking afterwords, because a character who I liked for the most part is revealed to have done an AWFUL (and I mean awful) thing and is sort of excused for it. His guilt is the only punishment he really gets, and I felt bad for liking him (even if that was mostly for his role in the story as a voice of reason and ability to balance out his more eccentric friends). It is well written, so I would probably recommend it to the most mature teenagers. Maybe those about to go off to college, like our protagonists. It was an enjoyable first Josei manga. Ai Yazawa is certainly talented. I also found out this is a sequel to a much cleaner unlicensed shoujo series, Neighborhood Story. I'm curious about that now.

I'm trying to persuade my library to get the final volume of orange, since it is very lovely. I relate to the characters on a deep level. Naho is very similar to how I was in early high school, so watching her grow is enjoyable to me. Azusa's banter with the guys and Suwa's altruistic love for Naho is also what helped draw me in. I will add a disclaimer. If you have a suicidal friend, please contact an adult immediately and don't take matters into your own hands. Kakeru needed therapy. I've been in a similar situation and trust me, it is not good. However, I was able to enjoy it as a work of fiction and it worked well with the time travel aspect. SPOILER: Highlight text to read: I appreciated that their help didn't make Kakeru's depression go away. They just gave him something to live for, which will hopefully give him the strength he needs to persevere The art is also gorgeous.

I have also read all the volumes of Witch Hat Atelier my library carries, which, unfortunately, is limited to the first 7. I want to read the newest volume so bad. It's already a 10/10 for me. The art is BEAUTIFUL. I seriously have not read any manga or comic with art as beautiful as this. It's so detailed. The plot is interesting, and I love how the magic system is based on drawing! It's so creative. I am curious about the witch hierarchy and the Brimmed Cap's true motives. Master Quifrey seems to be an interesting morally ambiguous character as well. I also LOVED the character development Richeh got. She seemed really flat and irrelevant in comparison to Coco and Agott, and even Tetia received more attention. Her arc was easily one of my favorite parts. No character seemed weak or poorly written and all the protagonists were likable. I would 100 percent recommend this to anyone (especially since it's pretty clean).

I started Prince Freya as well. It's very similar to Yona of the Dawn, in that a weak female character undergoes character development. I know the author has great plans for Freya, and I look forward to watching her grow. Also, you would think Aaron would be the main love interest SPOILER: Highlight text to read: but nope. He gets beheaded in the first volume. I like Alek better anyway. I look forward to reading the second volume. Even though it seems a bit weaker than Yona, I'll be keeping up with it, especially since the volumes of Yona I'm on are going to be out of print until June.

I started Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun as well. Yen Press releases are expensive. $13 for such a little book. It's smaller than most manga releases anyways. It's great. It's similar to the TV show, except it has more gags. I heard they left out a LOT of material in the anime, so I will be in for quite a ride, especially considering how funny the anime was.

So, yeah. I've read a lot.
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