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(The) Drops of God (manga) Good
I found this to be much more entertaining than I initially thought. There's this young man, who has a famous father. His father is a famous wine connoisseur and critic. During his childhood the son was put through rigorous training by this father. This was to help hone the boy's wine tasting skills. However, the son swore off wine, and had a falling out with his father. Years later, the father dies leaving behind a mysterious will - the son must discover the "12 disciples" and the "Drops of God" which are specific wines. Not too mention but there's an "adopted" son also competing. The adopted son is, himself, a very accomplished wine critic. Along the way, the biological son picks up a gal pal who's training in wine. There's several colorful older characters as well, to round everything out. And while I found all the long winded speeches about wine to be dry, the story is still very compelling.
Fushigi Yûgi (manga)
Happy Hustle High (manga)
Oresama Teacher (manga)
Skip Beat! (manga)
Trigun (manga) Very good
I checked out the first two volumes at my local library, but the others are never available when I go back. I'm thinking I'm going to have to buy this series, just so I can finish it. I already love the anime, but the manga is just as good. I find both Vash and Wolfwood, are darker. Vash, even though he's still a good guy in the manga, seems more angry. Wolfwood is actually a member of the gung-ho guns (he is a pupil of Chapel in the anime, so he's not technically a member). And he questions his motives less. Overall, I want to finish it.

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Boys of Summer (manga)
I thought this was a very cute story. However there is only one volume of it that is available. ANN's encyclopedia says there are supposed to be two more. However, I can only find volume 2, and good luck finding number 3! In any case, I loved the character designs for this, even though the art was a little sloppy, with the females being the exception. The only thing I didn't care for is our hero manages to piss off this girl who then forms a certain opinion of him. Once he arrives at college, he finds said girl is living across from him, and other obvious plot developments. However, he's portrayed to be this horny, young guy (I think he's a virgin too). So when another girl propositions him, and the OTHER woman walks in on them, he tries to apologize to HER. The thing is, here he is at school where there are women everywhere, and he's already stuck on the one who doesn't like him! Ugh, to me this is so unbelievable. Normally a guy would at least get it on with one other woman before he pursues the stuck up girl. That is my take on it. Other than that I liked the characters (they are not thirteen year olds for once), the setting and I even enjoyed the baseball theme.
Death Note (manga) Good
Much, much better than the anime. This series is all about mind games, and power trips. The suspense was killer though. I actually skipped the last volume and went straight to the end to find out what happened. I just couldn't take it anymore! The end didn't disappoint either.
Elemental Gelade (manga) So-so
Glad to have read what I could of this series. Since Tokyopop has bit the dust I doubt this will ever "finish" over here. However, I didn't really care for this. It could have been so much better. Nah, this series just hit a low point. In volume, nine or ten. Cou is battling Londle or whatever his name is. This guy can wield 12 different Edel Raids (he's a big time ladies man). Anyway, during the beginning of their fight he stops Cou and starts to lecture him about the different Edel Raid jewels and how they react to each other, blah, blah, blah. This lasts about three or four pages. Let me say this, by page two of the explanations, I skipped over the rest. I mean, how lame is that to just insert a lesson into the middle of a battle? I know that shonen does that sometimes, but damn is it boring! So there's that. The other thing is, the bad guys just keep coming out of the woodwork. There was only one organization to begin with, but now there is another, and possibly a third. Ugh, I don't do so well with series that keep adding characters.
Emma (manga) Excellent
A beautiful tale about love across social classes. While the Victorian period in England is very romantic in its own right, setting a love story in it makes the time frame all the more refreshing. I love all the characters in this, even William's father, who seems very strict and unbending. But there is just the right balance of drama, and action in this story. I liked how William fell in love with Emma the first time he laid eyes on her. That is greatly appreciated, and really helps move the story along. I like that there are only six actual volumes of the main storyline. Naturally the artistry is without question; it is Mori after all. Anyway, I discovered this gem at my local library, which was excellent. I wish the volumes weren't OOP. They are much to high priced to even consider buying. But how I would love to add this to my collection!
Honey Hunt (manga) Excellent
I haven't commented about this yet? What a shame...let's see then. Aihara is one of my top authors, she really involves you in her protagonist's life, and can have you rooting for all the male leads. ;) Her storytelling is one aspect I love, but her art is another. I think she can draw some of the most attractive men. Forget the doe-y eyed vampires from Vampire Knight! These men are genuinely good looking in a natural, unassuming way. Its like one might meet them on the street one day, or in the supermarket. Anyway, at least all the guys in here are a little older than high schoolers, with one being quite a bit older. The heroine is a schoolgirl (naturally), but she doesn't dress like it. Anyway, this story is only six volumes long, and doesn't have a complete ending (even Aihara says she's not finished with it, but I think its been over five years since then. Its as finished as its ever gonna be). I wasn't too happy with the final result, namely because the protagonist manages to give up on her dreams in order to follow after some dude (who is her first love, and we all know how that works out). So Honey Hunt is a lot more shojo-y than I thought in the beginning. It would have been nice to see a strong, independent woman grow out of the mousey, timid thing she was before. That might be asking too much, even of Aihara. Hot Gimmick ended much the same way, but that was worse because the relationships in that were borderline abusive. In Honey Hunt, at least these guys are literally forcing themselves on the heroine.
Hot Gimmick (manga) Excellent
Juicy. Very juicy. Okay, the relationships in this tight little manga are dishonorable at best, controlling and vindictive at their worst. Not too mention but our female protagonist has got to be one of the stupidest, most spineless of her kind (shojo ladies that is). More than once I was yelling at the Viz BIG edition clutched in my hands, "What? Are you stupid? Don't be that way!" Ah, but in the end I was certainly pleased by the outcome. Even though Ryoki is a total jerk most of the time. I would love to put a guy like him in his place :) I did start to feel bad for Ryoki at one point, though. I mean, he is cock blocked so many times, its actually humorous after awhile. I give him credit though, because he has infinite patience, more so than me. The character designs are all sweet and very appealing. And the backgrounds clean and neat, plus even though this is teenage drama, most of the action takes place at the company housing. Not the usual high school setting was refreshing. Plus, this whole "company housing" was very interesting to learn about. And I love that pretty boy Azusa was given an edge. His dialogue with Ryoki had me laughing out loud most of the time too. It seems like he even might have had a chance with Hatsumi, but he just can't allow himself to move on. Too bad, because that would have been an interesting pair to see. And, I loved the side romance between Ayumi and Shinobu (or is it Shinogu? I get the brother's name and his mixed up). That was a pairing I was watching with great interest. So glad they also became boyfriend and girlfriend.
House of Five Leaves (manga) Very good
I fell in love with this series after only chapter three of the first volume. I was initially attracted to this manga due to the favorable reviews and comments I'd read. So when I spotted it at Borders, I did a flip-through. Now, when I do a flip-through, I don't read the dialogue. I simply look at the art. And that initially stopped me from buying it. I saw the rough, sketchy characters designs, backgrounds, etc. and I thought, "not for me". But I am glad that I gave House of Five Leaves another shot. This might sound funny, but the artwork and style immediately became attractive the moment I started reading the story. And it was a very good story. Honestly, I have to re-read all Ono's work because she throws so many twists and turns. That might discourage others, but I find it intriguing. Ono is very good at writing solid characters (or at the very least, relatable characters). While I couldn't condone the Five Leaves nefarious acts, I did empathize with the cast. Especially Yachi and Masa. House of Five Leaves is definitely worth the time, and I'm satisfied with the ending.
Jyu-Oh-Sei (manga) Good
In the future, humans flee Earth because of overpopulation and stuff. The space race has discovered other planets, and with the help of the invention of hyperdrive, space travel is now feasible. There are these twins who are part of the prestigious community on Juno. Through happenstance they are cast adrift on Kimera, a "death sentence" planet where convicts are sent to, well, die. It's a harsh place, divided up into rings based on skin color. Here, the truly strong survive and the weak are killed off, or die. The twins become separated early on while being pursued. One dies the other, Thor, becomes the leader of one of the rings. Thor is obviously the protagonist, once his sibling dies. Considering this story is of sci-fi origins, it's rather a light read. There's the customary info dump in the third, and final volume, as Thor is told he's some sort of super child whose going to repopulate the human race. There are reasons as to why and what, and everything is explained fairly well, albeit rather rushed. Most characters die off, which makes for a much more realistic take on life, than say what is found in shounen jump action stories. The designs from the machines to the voluminous plant life are very well done. Come to find out the author had a whole team working on the more technical aspects, so she could concentrate on the overall story.
Monochrome Factor (manga) Decent
The story is by no means original. However, I'm really digging the character designs. Even the women/girls have a certain appeal. It just feels like the author put a lot of love into each one. I like that. But yeah, back to the story. Its full of the usual tropes...the punk (who is way more powerful than he seems), the "best friend", the mysterious character (in this case its a man), the tsundure, the "master" (who plays a healer in this story), and the empty headed older sister. The plot moves along slowly, but is confusing at the beginning. Plus, I didn't care for how the protagonist is just thrown into the mix. Its like the author didn't know how to get him involved so they just did it in a half assed way.
NANA (manga) Excellent
How can I say this? When Ren is killed, I broke down and cried. I don't just mean shed a couple of tears, I bawled my head off. That only happened to me twice (when reading), where I was so moved that I literally sobbed. I cry all the time watching movies, but for me to cry while reading a book? Very rare. That is why NANA will always be my top manga. Besides, I empathize with the two Nana's and their various struggles and heartbreaks. There's also something to be said for a story about a young woman's journey to the city to seek out her dreams. I've always found that sort of tale appealing.
Ouran High School Host Club (manga) Excellent
Again, I think the manga is better than the anime. Mostly because the story is much more fleshed out, and as a result so are the characters. While this is shojo fare, since I'm a woman, it appeals to me. Plus, I really like reading the authors notes about character design, and how they feel about these beings they are creating.
Paradise Kiss (manga) Excellent
I'd watched the anime in its entirety before ever reading the manga. I loved the anime, so I was sure that the manga would be no different. And it wasn't. I only wish that I could have collected the anime before it became insanely priced on amazon and ebay. Anyway, there were a few differences worth noting. One, the art style was a bit more detailed, although in black and white, its hard to make Paradise Kiss shine like it does in the anime. But that's minor. Some wording, and phrasing was changed in the anime, no doubt to make it easier to match lip flaps. Again, minor. For some reason, Arashi had a British accent, or maybe Aussie. He kept using words like "arse", and "blimey". I didn't care for that. I could only hear Derek Stephen Prince's voice for that character, and it clashed when I added a British accent. There was actual frontal nudity in this, and the sex scenes were...not more graphic, but more real. It seems that they toned that down for the anime...not sure why since nothing really perverse happens. Well, George does tie Yukari up at one point, so I guess I'd rather not see that, but whatever. I was really happy to see that the guy Yukari ends up marrying is Hiro. That was what I'd hoped for when viewing the anime, but they weren't very clear about that. The only thing that really threw me, was how she painted Arashi's character in the last volume. He and Hiro were fighting over Miwako in junior high. So, Arashi lost his temper, and consumed with jealousy, "took advantage of" Miwako. And yet those two are presented as a cute couple, plus Arashi, to all accounts, seems to be a good guy. Now, I truly don't care for that. I have no idea why rape is so "important/fascinating" to the Japanese, but its not a good thing! Arashi has become for me, a bad guy. There is no way, shape or form, that molestation could ever be considered a "loving" act. Its fueled by hatred: plain and simple. Arashi feels bad about it, but does he ever apologize, or distance himself from Miwako? No, he leads her on, is rather cruel toward her, and they end up married with kids! Now, its partly Miwako's fault for not telling him to get lost. But at the same time, I feel like the message is, "Its okay if your childhood friend attacks you, because then you'll end up dating and married someday." Spare me. I'm sure this happens in real life, but I don't have to support it, or condone it.
Psychic Power Nanaki (manga) So-so
This was obviously supposed to be a longer running series. However, there are, and only were three volumes. Therefore, we get a little tasting of what the story would have been like, had the author completed it. Honestly, I might not have finished this if there were more than three volumes. That being said, I really liked the character expressions. Sometimes they seemed a bit lopsided, or perhaps goofy, but that seemed more normal looking. The story reminds of Ghost Hunt and any other paranormal manga/anime that I've seen, so nothing new there. For the two main characters they are the basic tropes: the spunky bad ass who isn't very smart or good at controlling his temper. Then, there's the quiet, good looking, talented yet hard working side kick (who initially hates the protagonist). Speaking of the protagonist, Nanaki has a lot of power and potential, but lacks focus. That characteristic reminded me of Naruto. It was good enough to complete the three volumes, but not really original or interesting.
Pumpkin Scissors (manga) Decent
I only read the first volume of this series, but I really want to read more after watching the entire anime. I found the manga very good. Which after the first volume is saying a lot, because its hard to reach a reader with only a few chapters (that's what I think anyway). I really like the detail given to the military and weapons. Its nice to see an author who knows what they're talking about.
Sakuran (manga) Good
Sand Chronicles (manga) Very good
Tail of the Moon (manga) Very good
This is my kind of story. Fun, fast-paced, romantic, sweet, and even screwy sometimes. Its helps that every single young male in this looks like they're cut out of cream cheese. B-e-autiful! I honestly wasn't sure who I wanted Usagi to end up with. Hanzo wasn't a bad choice, but I prefer the bad boys, or flirts like Goemon and Hanzou. The story itself wasn't bad either. I liked the different adventures that Usagi ended up going on or involved in somehow or other. One thing this manga never lacks is action. Turn the page, and someone's crashing through the undergrowth, having an argument, or trying to seduce someone. At one point I became fairly convinced that Usagi had kissed every single man in this series. But, then I realized that wasn't the case. She'd just been pawed by every single guy! That might be my only contention with this lovable ninja romp. As far as the art goes, its very sparse. Most of panels are filled with close up shots of individuals reactions. Even the clothing is basic, and everyone pretty much wears the same outfit all the time.
Tokyo Boys & Girls (manga) Very good
The drama in this is just as good as in Aihara's other work. However, her art is very rough, much more sketchbook, and that threw me at first. Plus, the heroine didn't end up with the guy I wanted her too. This story didn't involve a whole bunch of guys in love with the protagonist. Instead, it allowed the heroine and one guy to get together, then threw some drama their way. Those stories are okay, but I prefer ones where you don't know who she is going to end up with until the end.
Trinity Blood (manga) Decent
I simply put this in the "Read All" category because the author died before its completion. Therefore, the volumes out now are all we'll ever get. The manga is way different than the anime, and I really like that. The anime is not my cup of tea at all, but the novels are much better. I like that Ester is much tougher, and given more to do. I like that we see the Crusnick actually sucking another vampires blood. The character of Gunslinger is much more fleshed out in the manga too. All in all, I would recommend this to someone over the anime any day.

Will not finish Rating
Air Gear (manga) Good
I do like this manga, and found it superior to the anime. There is a lot more detail included in the volumes with the author's notes. You get to see how much effort he put into designing the costumes, emblems, and even each pair of air treks. I did stop reading after volume 13 or so. I just lost interest because the story started to wear on my nerves. I wanted it to come to a resolution, but new characters kept being added etc. That was too much for me.
Black Bird (manga) Decent
Very much a guilty pleasure, and yet I do enjoy the story. The character designs aren't what I would call appealing though. Eventually they grew on me, but it took a while. This story is shojo all the way, with beautiful guys (or demons in this case) protecting the helpless female. Only in this story, the girl in question is in particular trouble because she's sort of a rare delicacy to demons. Its weird, I know, and I certainly wouldn't recommend this title to anyone.
Blade of the Immortal (manga) Not really good
The violence is really catching up with me. I'm going to put this on the "read some" list until I have a strong enough stomach to slog through more. I have skipped over a few pages when the gore was too much. Still, I like the characters, I like how they interact. The artwork was hard for me to get used to at first. It seemed much more like rough sketchbook drawings. But that was something I overlooked because I really like the story.
(The) Gentlemen's Alliance Cross (manga) Decent
I've stopped caring about this one. The characters are all still pretty one dimensional, even after their few chapters they get. Personally, I think throwing in the "twin" aspect was lame, and I was pretty shaken after that. It is a very lazy writing tactic, because neither boy has to develop much beyond the, "he's my twin, so I have to..." I would have preferred two individual non look-alikes. That's another thing that bugged me. The two boys "in love" with the heroine are identical! Talk about lazy artwork. Also, the girls all start to look the same after a while. I can't tell Ushio from what's her face most of the time. Especially when they all wear their hair similarly, and have the same uniform on.
GetBackers (manga) Good
I enjoyed the anime, but never finished it due to the english dub being awful. So, since I don't like subbed anime, I decided to try out the manga. I have to say that its slightly different the the anime. The stories aren't put together the same way as in the anime. Plus, I found a lot more fanservice in the manga. I can't say I really enjoyed it, or if I will finish this. I feel that this story could have been so much better.
High School Debut (manga) Decent
Kind of sweet and unassuming. But, not really too much else going for it besides the usual relationship hijinks. Tomboy girl enters high school intent on finding romance. A slacker, tall, dark, and handsome classmate befriends her. She ends up falling for him and he her. Then they start dating, but haven't done anything (physically) as of yet. That's where I stopped reading. The characters are hard to connect to for some reason. Maybe its because I don't care for the mangaka's style of art. The lips are shaded so they appear all black. I keep thinking everyone is a member of some cult, or just likes black lipstick.
Immortal Rain (manga) So-so
This would have interested me more if I'd never read/seen Trigun or Trinity Blood. Both of which are way better than this little knockoff. Certainly not worth spending my time on.
Library Wars: Love & War (manga) Decent
I really liked the characters, but the story is a little hard to believe. It involves a world intent on banning lots of books. The heroine works for a "library task force". And their job is to protect books and libraries and stuff. It's all a little ridiculous. However, the heroine was inspired in her girlhood to join the task force. Her inspiration? A "princely" dude who stuck up for her back then. All this is very familiar (I see allusions to Revolutionary Girl Utena and others), and of course her superior officer (who likes her and she him) is this "prince". But she can't see it, and that's where I stopped. I've seen this story better executed.
Swan (manga) Good
I really liked this, and would have loved to finish it. But, the library didn't have the last few volumes anymore. And it's long since been out of print. I even tried to find scantalations of it, to no avail. It's a pretty basic story. Japan wants to expand it's ballet dance experience. So, they hold tryouts and a select few are chosen to train with world famous Russian instructors. One girl (our heroine) stands out, but has a lot of hard work ahead of her. Along the way she meets other dancers and falls in love, has her heartbroken, etc. It's all very dramatic. And that's the only thing I really have a problem with. The drama is way overdone. At every page turn, there's some character writhing on the floor in absolute horror or angst. It's very tiresome. This manga was released in the 1970's so it was fun seeing the "old school" designs. Almost always the guys have longer hair than the girls and are just as pretty. Also, I recognized the "shoujo sparkles" right away. They were much heavy-handed with such effects back then. Still, a good story though, wish I could've finished it.