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st_owly
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 3717
Location: Edinburgh, UK

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 4:29 pm Reply with quote
My local library had the omnibus collection of the Dreaming, so I got it out, just from sheer curiosity, and like you, I was pleasantly surprised, both by her name actually being "Chan" and the quality of the comic. Definitely one of the better "OELs" out there. What struck me was the use of black, it definitely helped enhance the creep factor.
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dormcat
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 9577
Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:57 pm Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:
Also on the "not from Japan" front, back in the day DrMaster translated two of Taiwanese author/artist I-Huan's works, Real/Fake Princess and Divine Melody. The second never finished, but the former is done at five volumes. It's the story of a missing princess from a Chinese dynasty and whether or not she can reclaim her heritage...or if she even wants to. There's also a love triangle in there, and Huan's art is static but beautiful. (If I could sew, I would make all the dresses.)

Personally I think there are titles better or on par with those two from Taiwan, yet I wonder few US licensees are interested. For example, Selena Lin is highly popular in Germany, but few know her Stateside.

Let me know if you really want those costumes. Wink
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Brainchild129



Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:47 pm Reply with quote
[quote="Tamaria"]
Quote:
@Tamaria
I think I've got more or less all her non-BL titles, the ones that were released in English anyway. I adore her stuff, but I'm not really into BL, so.. yeah. Has anyone read Garden Dreams? It's a oneshot DMP published several years ago. It's not her best work and appears to be (too) heavy on drama for most of the book, but I love the plottwist.


I have! I got it from the bargain shelf at Barnes and Noble. It's alright, but it didn't leave all that much of an impression with me. In my opinion a better one-shot Yoshinaga work is All My Darling Daughters. It's hard work to sum up - it's mostly a bunch of short stories involving women, bookended by a couple involving a mother and daughter. It's quiet and emotionally complex, as Yoshinaga's best work tends to be.

st_owly: I'm glad to hear Border is good. I've had volume 1 on my RS wishlist for a while based on the review on ANN, but I could never quite convince myself to buy it (especially since these days, the only yaoi I keep up with is The Tyrant Falls in Love). I can always dig a yaoi that isn't necessarily "PORN! Now that we have your attention, here's a little plot. Oh, and by the way, PORN!" - I seem to prefer the more character/plot driven works.

I can think of a couple of hidden gems that I discovered through my local library.

The first is Tuxedo Gin, and to this day I am genuinely shocked this never got a series, because it seems so well suited for it. The story is that Ginji, a amateur boxer/toughest guy around, asks out Minako, the prettiest girl in school (not to mention the cousin of his best friend), which is all great until he has an accident and basically dies. His guardian angel cuts him a deal, where he can choose to reincarnate as an animal and live out its natural lifespan to then be reincarnated as a human. He decides to choose Minako's favorite animal: a penguin. After escaping from the aquarium where he was reborn, he ends up being adopted by Minako, and from there the wacky hijinx ensue. It's a genuinely funny little story. It's not all that deep, and it's a little fanservice-y, but Gin and Mike (his penguin buddy from the aquarium) are adorable.

The other series is Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. This one is easier to summarize: five Buddhist university students, each with supernatural or death-related skills, team up to solve mysterious deaths by channelling the victim themselves. It's not a manga for the squeamish, as it is not shy about the gore or occasional bit of nudity. Still, it's also done very realistically, so it doesn't come off as too outrageous or trying to shock and titilate for shock value alone. It's one of the few horror manga that geniunely creeps me out (especially the story about the snails...*shudder*), and for that alone it's worth a look.
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classicalzawa
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 5117

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:16 am Reply with quote
^Aww, man, Tuxedo Gin, that brings back memories! It was one of the first series I think I really started collecting, I collected it alongside Maison Ikkoku actually, they were quite similar, romantic comedy, 15 volumes long, both coming out at the same time, both finishing around the same time, and still in my collection. The key difference is that Maison Ikkoku is still my second favorite manga, but I do still fondly remember Tuxedo Gin. I haven't re-read it in a while, but I do remember noting what a great gateway drug I thought the series would make. As you noted, it's not deep by any means, but it's an enjoyable romp, though for story purposes, you can literally read vols 1, 14, and 15 and miss almost nothing in between (I just remembered the pool chapter somewhere in the middle) as the rest is all just wacky hijinks of a penguin trying to prevent anyone else from hitting on his owner/potential girlfriend (when he's a human again). It also works on comic book time where something like 5 Christmases pass with Minako still in the same grade in high school still waiting for Gin to return, you'd think when all said and done that the series took place over maybe half a year or something at most.

Also, apparently Disney got the rights to make a movie of it. I am just as horrified as everyone else reading this at the very idea of such a thing, something tells me they'll be cutting jokes like "bikini made of paper" among many many others.
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Tamaria



Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 1476
Location: De Achterhoek

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 3:39 pm Reply with quote
Quote:

I have! I got it from the bargain shelf at Barnes and Noble. It's alright, but it didn't leave all that much of an impression with me. In my opinion a better one-shot Yoshinaga work is All My Darling Daughters. It's hard work to sum up - it's mostly a bunch of short stories involving women, bookended by a couple involving a mother and daughter. It's quiet and emotionally complex, as Yoshinaga's best work tends to be.


Maybe it's just me, but I think she's better at writing women than men in short stories. Which makes perfect sense, because she's a woman herself. It's also exactly what makes manga like All My Darling Daughters and Flower of Life so entertaining - her observations are spot on. Like that shopping chapter in Flower of Life, any girl who's ever gone shopping with someone else has been there.


Quote:
The other series is Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. This one is easier to summarize: five Buddhist university students, each with supernatural or death-related skills, team up to solve mysterious deaths by channelling the victim themselves. It's not a manga for the squeamish, as it is not shy about the gore or occasional bit of nudity. Still, it's also done very realistically, so it doesn't come off as too outrageous or trying to shock and titilate for shock value alone. It's one of the few horror manga that geniunely creeps me out (especially the story about the snails...*shudder*), and for that alone it's worth a look.


Ever read Mail? It's from the same artist and it's heavier on horror than Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. It's kinds like... what if Black Jack were an exorcist instead of a surgeon?
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 858
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 7:31 am Reply with quote
Tamaria wrote:

Ever read Mail? It's from the same artist and it's heavier on horror than Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. It's kinds like... what if Black Jack were an exorcist instead of a surgeon?


You beat me to saying just this! I actually liked Mail a bit more, although I do love Kurosagi.

dormcat wrote:
Personally I think there are titles better or on par with those two from Taiwan, yet I wonder few US licensees are interested. For example, Selena Lin is highly popular in Germany, but few know her Stateside.


I, too, have wondered at the dearth of Taiwanese and Chinese titles translated - I can't even find many (or any) in French or Italian, and I've really enjoyed what I've read. Magic Lovers Tower was another DrMaster title that pleasantly surprised me with its sweet take on gods, love, and high school romance.

dormcat wrote:
Let me know if you really want those costumes. Wink


Dangerous words, my friend. Very Happy
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Snomaster1



Joined: 31 Aug 2011
Posts: 1067

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:19 pm Reply with quote
I'm hoping everyone likes this hidden gem as much as I do because I really liked it and it deserves to be better known. It's called "Yokai Doctor" and it's a really great manga. It's about a girl who comes from a long line of exorcists. Basically,she's pretty ordinary,outside of the fact she can see spirits. Her life is very mundane until one day,a new classmate enters her life. It's a boy with a pretty strange after-school job.
He's a doctor to yokai,the bizarre and at times,frightening group of monsters and spirits from Japanese mythology. And,let me tell you,they're a pretty strange group. From strange oni to loincloth wearing things that drive people crazy,this kid's got a weird job,but he has his reasons for doing it.

He wanted to help his adopted mother,a yokai get better. When she finally passed on,he vowed to help others like he couldn't do for his mother.
This is a pretty good manga. It's sweet and funny although at times,inappropriately so. It's got two really good stories in both it's opening volumes. Volume One has the girl looking after a yokai that says the opposite of what it really means. Let's just say it hard for her to deal with but let's just say she works it out.

Volume Two has what I think is it's best story. It's about the girl's younger cousin,a boy whose been in and out of hospitals his whole life because he's been so sickly. In fact,the only friend he has in the world is a yokai made of smoke. Yes,dear reader,you read that right. The boy's only friend is a being made of smoke who bears a slight resemblance to Casper,the Friendly Ghost.
In fact,the smoke being tries to defend his human friend when a cat yokai tries to take his soul away. I won't give away anything,but it has a really sweet ending.

I hope everyone tries to seek out "Yokai Doctor." It's a really wonderful manga. You might say,it's a cross between Shigeru Mizuki and Rumiko Takahashi's mangas. It worth searching for and worth finding. Even better,it's worth reading. You'll really love it.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 858
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:13 am Reply with quote
I quite enjoyed the first two volumes of Yokai Doctor, although not quite enough to pick up volume three...just as well, I guess, since no more ever came out in English. My favorite part of it was the way that the first chapter was repeated from each protagonist's point of view. I'm a sucker for a narrative trick like that.

Another one that never got completed but I enjoyed (at least until I finished it in French...) is Kim Kang Won's The Queen's Knight. While visiting Germany, Korean high school student Yuna is pulled into a magical kingdom in need of a queen. The land's weather is tied to the queen's emotions in interesting ways and the medieval detail is wonderful. The romance plot doesn't quite play out the way you might expect, although in all honesty, unless you have a burning desire to, I'd leave it right where TokyoPop ended it - the ending kind of ruined it for me.

On the same medieval front, but one that actually completed its English run, is CMX's Dorothea by Cuvie, a mangaka who usually writes/draws hentai. The story follows albino Dorothea as she fights alongside her friend Gurich to battle accusations of witchcraft against albino people. The whole series is well-drawn and there is real sexual tension between the characters rather than a dim approximation thereof (although there is no sex, or at least none explicitly shown). Fights are exciting, costumes mostly accurate, and in general it's just a real treat for fans of the time period or looking for something out of the ordinary. I believe Cuvie is working on another non-hentai series right now and I really hope it gets a release in a language I speak!
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dragon695



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 1103
Location: Clemson, SC

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 3:51 pm Reply with quote
I hope you don't mind me mentioning a hidden gem that hasn't been released stateside. I've mentioned it in another thread, but I'm quite fond of the manga Yagyuu Hijouken Samon. It's a rather odd manga because it is a seinen Edo period piece featuring some elements of homosexuality and plenty of samurai culture. I say odd due to seinen serials being oriented for a mature, straight, male demographic. Needless to say, this made me wonder how bad or good it could be. Fortunately, it was the latter.

(As a side note, the homosexuality doesn't consume the whole story nor is it explicit, so I'd encourage even those a bit shy of typical BL stuff to give it a shot.)

I thought it was interesting in how it tries to put a realistic frame on these types of relationships in ancient Japan. While tolerated and sometimes encouraged for men of nobility, it was transient in nature and not something that was supposed to interfere with one's duty and honor. As with all things of worldly desire, it is never quite as simple.

This manga explores the relationship between one of the Tokagawa shoguns and his loyal retainer, Samon. What follows is not your typical romance or boys love story. The story is filled with historical and political intrigue as well as tons of epic samurai fights. It is actually quite violent and bloody at times. There is certainly some romance, but it is a fundamentally a tragedy. If I had to sum it up, I'd say it is a story about star-crossed lovers and the repercussions of having such a politically-charged relationship at that time.

I am not sure if this is a true story, but I think the writer certainly put a good deal of effort into making it come across as realistic. The art is absolutely fantastic! Some have said the dialogue and narration is a bit heavy at times, which is certainly true. However, it isn't so much that it detracts from the overall experience.

Alas, this is has not been licensed in English, so if you want it, you'll have to import. I picked up the tankubon on amazon for ¥540 (~$7.00). I can read Japanese, but if you can't, I've seen the fan translation and it is pretty decent. If you are willing to go to the extra trouble, you won't be disappointed.

Speaking as a bi guy, I sometimes wish more BL could be like this. Something about it just "feels" right as opposed to the eye-rolling experience I had with Junjou Romantica. It's not that I can't enjoy a romantic fluff piece featuring straight or gay characters, but for way too much BL, it just seems like the same thing over and over. I just think it is really cool when you find a rare gem like this that really mixes things up and tells a good story at the same time. It's the same kind of experience I had with No. 6.
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Snomaster1



Joined: 31 Aug 2011
Posts: 1067

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 2:23 pm Reply with quote
Like Dragon695,I've got some manga that haven't shown up in this country. I've heard about them both and mentioned them before on other threads. The first one was picked up for translation but never released. It's called "Dame Dame Saito Nikki." It's a very humorous but very respectful look at anime fans in America. I first heard about it from Jason Thompson's "House of a 1000 Manga" series. From the few pictures he did manage to post,the question I have to ask is why wasn't this translated into English? I liked it and it looked like it would have been a big hit. It's a shame that "Dame Dame Saito Nikki" wasn't translated into English. I think it would have done well.
The second one isn't very well-known in this country. I first heard about it from Jason Thompson's book on manga. It's called "Crest of the Royal Family." It's about an American girl named Sarah who gets transported to Ancient Egypt because of a magical spell. I've often thought that this inspired anime and manga like "Inuyasha" and "Red River." I hope this is brought to America someday. I'd sure be interested in reading it.
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Vata Raven



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 706
Location: TN

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:23 am Reply with quote
st_owly wrote:
Now a BL series. Kazuma Kodaka's latest series, Border. I picked up volume 1 because Fake is one of my favourite series of all time, and I thought this seemed similar. Despite DMP giving the series an 18+ rating, there's not a lot of sexual content in the series compared to some BL. Instead, there's a lot of violence and the author is absolutely not afraid to show how brutal the criminal world is. I'm not entirely sure where the overall plot is going, nor who is going to end up with who, because of the 3 volumes that have been released in English, most of them have been spent exploring various characters' backstories and how they ended up where they are at the moment. That's not a bad thing though, and I'm looking forward to see where the story ends up going after everyone's past has been revealed. If you enjoy action/crime/mystery stories, you'll probably like this.

I love Kazuma Kodaka's work, but the style in Border is so much better. I'm hoping for the series that takes place before Kizuna to come out. Seem strange that they got 3 pieces of her work but no something that connected with the Kizuna story line.

I still hoping that Embracing Love will come back over here, that's a nice title that every yaoi fan whats.
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Graceful Nanami



Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 214
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:27 pm Reply with quote
I could type up twenty pages on why this manga is my favorite in the whole world but I won't I'll just say it: Basara by Yumi Tamura.

And it's so nice to see Banana Fish still being mentioned. What a hidden gem, indeed. The early volume artwork is so ugly but it doesn't even matter at all because of how well it is written. The last chapters with Eiji and Sing make me feel so amazing, especially.
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RAmmsoldat



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:53 am Reply with quote
id give basara a go if it wernt so OOP
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Graceful Nanami



Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 214
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:25 pm Reply with quote
RAmmsoldat wrote:
id give basara a go if it wernt so OOP


*looks on eBay*

HOLY CRAP are you serious? 450+ bucks for all 27 volumes now? Ugh. I am so glad I got my hands on them a few years ago. It was a MAJOR headache trying to find volume 19, though, I recall. I hope like hell my room never catches on fire because I ahve so many rare manga and crap in there. It's a fire pit. Sad

Just go ahead and read it online if you can find it somewhere. It's worth it on so many levels.
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rheiders



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 1044
Location: Colorful Colorado :)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:57 am Reply with quote
st_owly wrote:
I'm going to start with a shonen series this time.
Tegami Bachi is a really interesting fantasy/adventure story, published in the same Japanese magazine as Blue Exorcist, yet I never see anyone talking about it. Viz quietly puts out a volume every few months, the anime's still on Crunchyroll (it was popular enough to get 2 seasons) but it's just seemed to slip under everyone's radar. I just happened to find the first 3 volumes in a second hand bookshop for 2 quid each, so that's what got me started on it, and I adore it. You can tell the author has spent a lot of time crafting the world it's set in, as there's so much detail behind everything. Yes, it has the standard shonen tropes, but the characters, and the underlying mysteries in the plot easily make up for that. The art's very detailed as well, in some places it almost looks shojo-esque, and the series has an unusual feel to it because so many pages are black (the world in the story is mostly dark). The covers are also mostly a gorgeous shade of pastel blue.
I'd definitely recommend this series if you want something different from the usual "I've got a bigger sword than you" shonen manga. The first volume is definitely very much about setting the scene, but it's so worth it later on.


I love Tegami Bachi! I bought the first volume entirely because the cover art was so gorgeous, and I'm glad I did! It's a very sweet and unique little series. (Well, it's not little, it's actually pretty long, being a shounen series and all, but...you get what I mean.)

As far as hidden gems go, I first heard about With the Light: Raising An Autistic Child in the Reader's Choice section of Right Turn Only and decided to try it out. (Luckily the library had the first volume, since nobody bothered to scanlate it. Sad Pretty rare that I find a series that's been released R1 but hasn't been scanlated!) It's a sweet little josei series about a mother's struggles raising her autistic son, Hikaru. It's a touching and well-written family drama that, from what I've heard, is very accurate and well-researched. The art is a bit too shoujo for my taste, but it isn't poorly drawn. (I really like shoujo art, but this one is SHOUJO art. Laughing) The only complaint I have about the series is that it doesn't have a real ending--Keiko Tobe, the mangaka, passed away before she could finish it. She wanted to chronicle Hikaru's life through his high school graduation, but had to scribble out a quick ending while he was just entering the eighth grade. I find it admirable that she felt so strongly about the series that she drew an ending for it at all, even if it was just storyboards. The series comprises eight super-sized volumes (with the last one being mostly translated storyboards), and it's been released by Yen Press, which is awesome because, as I stated before, it can't be found online anywhere. If you're looking for something unique, or you're a huge josei fan like I am, then I strongly encourage you to check this one out!
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