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Junjo



Joined: 09 Feb 2017
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:37 am Reply with quote
I've only read the first couple of pages of The Scar, but I loved them. They describe life in the ocean exactly as I have often imagined it. I love this quote from page 3 - "In the deepest places, where physical norms collapse under the crushing water, bodies still fall softly through the dark, days after their vessels have capsized. They decay on their long journey down. Nothing will hit the black sand at the bottom of the world but algae-covered bones." Brrrr Smile
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Chiibi



Joined: 19 Dec 2011
Posts: 3736
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:06 pm Reply with quote
I just finished the first volume of shoujo manga, The Good Witch of the West and I loved it. It's full of mystery, suspense, unpredictable circumstances, romance, badass teenagers, and BLOOD.

Then I watched the first episode of the anime and

it sucked.

What a surprise.

Rolling Eyes Twisted Evil

Highly recommend the manga though. I hope I can find the remaining volumes Tokyopop put out. Apparently this was a novel first....
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Pestarzt



Joined: 19 Mar 2017
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:27 pm Reply with quote
I've been reading Violence Jack out of morbid curiosity, and sadly the first arc is the most interesting and Jack isn't even in it. Also started Devilman because of the two series' connections.
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classicalzawa
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 12:51 pm Reply with quote
Quick, what's the most messed up yaoi you've ever read? Ten Count is probably up there, what with the massive breach of professionally involved with a psychologist having relations with his extreme germophobe client, but oh dear lord, I just read what's out for Killing Stalking and it makes Ten Count look downright cordial.

It starts with a quiet small guy, Yoon Bum, who has a bit of an unhealthy stalker crush on this cute guy at his college. He manages to track down his house and break into it, but it turns out the guy he has a crush on, Oh Sangwoo, is a crazed killer. What follows is extremely messed up Stockholm Syndrome and other messed up violent things (y'know, like murder and dismemberment and severe psychological trauma). It's like a relationship between a guy very susceptible to Stockholm Syndrome with a manhwa Johnny the Homicidal Maniac (except Sangwoo acts normal and charismatic in public in order to pick people up, so I guess it's more like a real life serial killer then?), but it's completely and utterly captivating to read at the same time, probably in no small part due to how messed up almost every single moment seems to be.

It's incredibly messed up, but I kind of want other people to read it and know what they all think of it too.
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Dotanuki



Joined: 08 Jun 2017
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:18 am Reply with quote
Hi Smile

My first post. Very Happy

I just finished Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood. It was not a bad start. The art was kind of dated but not that bad and the action was very over the top at some panels. The story was easy to follow, simple and abit naive. There was some unexpacted gore, i wouldn't expect such a level of gore from a shounen. I started to read Jojo because i heard that the manga will be very good in the future parts, aspecially starting with Part 3: Stardust Crusaders. But the part 1 was not bad for sure, if you can look over some naive parts of the story, they were some unintentinaly funny parts for me too anyway. I enjoyed that naive parts, aspecially Dio and Jonathan's fall from empty space between the stairs of the mansion in vol. 2, it took like half an hour for them to fall from such a short hight... xD
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st_owly
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Joined: 20 May 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:39 pm Reply with quote
Ten Count is pretty messed up but dammit I cannot stop reading it. Beguiling is the word for it I think.
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classicalzawa
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 6347
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:36 am Reply with quote
st_owly wrote:
Ten Count is pretty messed up but dammit I cannot stop reading it. Beguiling is the word for it I think.

A good alt title for this series should be "Screwing Professional Boundaries", eh? Eh? But yeah, I like it too, maybe I just like messed up stuff when it comes to yaoi? Like, forget your basic two students thing, I seem to want something more messed up, might as well go all the way?
But I still say Killing Stalking is more messed up, one of the most messed up things I've ever read, honestly. You know things are gonna get weird when the creepy stalker who breaks into the guy's house is actually the sane one.

Some short takes from me I guess, whittling down a backlog, I wonder if it'll ever happen?:
Can't Lose You-I have a decent number of manhwa in this backlog too. Anyway, I've liked Wann's other series that I've read (Give to the Heart and 100% Perfect Girl), this one wasn't as good, but it still falls in line with how her other series are. But the guy, he's fine as a boyfriend (if anything, he's a really good boyfriend), but as a human being, he's kind of a terrible person, and that sort of gets glanced over.

Antique Gift Shop-It started out so strong too, but the second half of the series was pretty boring. At first, it kind of presents itself as being like Pet Shop of Horrors but with antiques, and I think it did a lot better at that than doing the backstory for the main character, oddly enough. I wanted more of the former, less of the latter.

One Piece: Baroque Works-I will slowly make my way through One Piece! It's the longest series in my backlog (for obvious reasons) and I've accrued quite a number of volumes. I figure arcs is the best way to go here. Still in Baroque, I am enjoying it a lot, I feel like the series is finding its fitting more firmly starting this arc. It's definitely a lot more interesting to read this arc than the opening one. Of course, I kind of already know certain spoilers about the series in general (for example, I know who all the Straw Hat Pirates are, and I might be aware that a certain character might die later on), but I really don't know much more than that, so I actually don't necessarily know where it's going. I've managed to avoid small spoilers at least, but the "Zelda is Sheik" type ones are definitely out there, hard to ignore.

For US comics, I've also started reading Preacher. I had vol 1 for a while, was kind of "meh" on the first chapters, but decided to give it another shot and now I'm hooked and I love it! I definitely appreciate its dark sense of humor too. Speaking of messed up things, there's some messed up stuff in here too, but it's pretty much always coming from a dark comedy aspect somehow. I'm kind of glad it's a bit gleeful and delights in its own weird things sometimes, if it were 100% series, I honestly think it'd be a bit of a slog. I can see why it survived the 90s while so many other series kind of feel from the public's memory. Of course, whenever I'm reading it, I have to constantly remind myself that this takes place in an era where cell phones and internet weren't common (and before 9/11, at that).
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 7617
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:28 am Reply with quote
I remember when Preacher was coming out in individual comics. The cover artist managed to create some of the slimiest images I ever saw on a cover. Everyone looked like they were coated in Vaseline. Mad Mad Mad
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crosswithyou



Joined: 15 Dec 2007
Posts: 2480
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:08 am Reply with quote
Got caught up on Dia no A Act II by reading vols. 3-7. Friggin' good stuff. It was sad when the 3rd years graduated but Miyuki's still there and the new 1st years plus other members are quite charming in their own ways. Sawamura still cracks me up. I really hope they make a third season. (Still waiting on another season of Oofuri too. Anime cry )
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CoreSignal



Joined: 04 Sep 2014
Posts: 715
Location: California, USA
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:14 pm Reply with quote
Shounen special: Although I've never been much of shounen reader, I decided to check out a couple series.

Hunter x Hunter Vols.8-18- I got hooked watching the anime on Toonami last year and decided to read ahead in the manga. The volumes I read covered the Yorknew city and Greed Island arcs. The Yorknew city arc was great. The dark, crime-thriller storyline was a pleasant surprise. The Phantom Troupe, especially Chrollo added this intense rivalry with the main cast. My favorite character in Hunter x Hunter so far is probably Kurapika, so I was pumped to see him as the central character. My only complaint is that ending of the arc is little anticlimactic, since I was expecting something epic but oh well.

I found the Greed Island mediocre. While I think the real-world card game concept is interesting, the execution is a little flat. My main issue is that’s there too much talking and exposition about the card effects. Honestly, action scenes about whipping out cards isn’t that exciting and I found the sports showdown in the second half to be kinda dull . The main villain was also a big step down from Chrollo and the rest of the Phantom Troupe. I did read through it pretty fast so perhaps I’ll change my opinion on a reread.

In terms of art, Yoshihiro Togashi can be very inconsistent. There’s pages where the characters are barely drawn, and backgrounds are missing. Then there’s pages where you get detailed characters, facial expressions, and backgrounds so the art can be very hit or miss. That said, the action scenes are pretty good and convey a good sense of motion and impact.

In any case, the story is great. I’ll be starting the vaunted, Chimera Ant arc soon and based on what I’ve heard, I’m really looking forward to it.

Overall, Hunter x Hunter is very good so far.

Psyren Vols. 1-8- Since I enjoyed Hunter x Hunter, a lot of people recommended this title as another darker, shonen. Another reason for my interest is that Psyren is also shorter and a completed story (definitely a plus for a shounen title). I’ve also heard people describe Psyren as a Gantz-lite, although that’s a bit inaccurate. Unfortunately, at this halfway point in the series, I’m finding Psyren to pretty average so far. The story itself starts off interesting and I really like the main premise. As a big gamer, I’m always interested in stories where videogame-type elements cross over with the real world. But about a third into the series, the story starts to shift into a time-travel plot about changing the future.

I’m generally not a fan of time travel stories, unless they’re done very well, or do something unique. As an example, the last time travel story that I really enjoyed (and thought was done well) was Madoka Magica. On the other hand, I didn’t enjoy the time travel plot in Steins;Gate. I’m finding the time travel plot in Psyren to generic at best right now. There’s just nothing about it that really distinguishes from other “change the future” time travel stories.

I’m also unsure if the darker elements are really all that effective. It’s a bit more violent and grim than you’d expect for a shounen title but I can’t say it really adds much. I also found most of the characters bland. The majority of the cast appear to be stock character types. I’ll probably be dropping Psyren for the moment or at least I won’t be finishing it until sometime down the line.

World Trigger Vols. 1-15- I originally checked this out because the premise sounded interesting and I’m happy I did because World Trigger is now one of my favorite manga. World Trigger (WT) combines many things I like: sci-fi, videogame-like action, a huge cast, and an expansive universe. I’ll admit, WT isn’t really anything groundbreaking or original in terms of these elements individually but it manages to put enough of a unique spin on well-worn sci-fi tropes and execute everything so well.

I really like stories with large casts. The large cast in WT adds a lot of variety, since there’s always something happening with any character. A big surprise is how rational and clearheaded the majority of the cast is. There aren’t really many of the “hot-blooded”, exaggerated character types you might see in other shounen series and pretty much everyone generally thinks things through. The main duo of Osamu and Yuma in particular, are very perceptive about themselves and others.

Daisuke Ashihara also has a smooth, well-paced storytelling style. With the exception of the beginning, Ashihara has an excellent sense of pacing. I never felt there were scenes or parts of the story that dragged on too long. Even when characters are explaining things, it’s generally concise and easy to understand. I especially like how WT avoids having overly elaborate monologues or over-talking during battles, which Hunter x Hunter tends to be guilty of. This is on top of all the great world-building and character motivations.

WT also has some of the best and most strategic battles I’ve seen. I love how WT emphasizes team battles, teamwork, and terrain usage, in contrast to the one-on-one empty arena dueling that you see in most shounen titles.

I also like Ashihara’s art. It has a very clean, precise look that really fits with the futuristic setting. The panel layouts and the great action choreography definitely stand out. I like the character designs too, especially the hair styles and uniforms. If you’ve read this far, you can tell I really like WT.
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Merxamers



Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 446
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:19 pm Reply with quote
Dotanuki wrote:
Hi Smile

My first post. Very Happy

I just finished Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood. It was not a bad start. The art was kind of dated but not that bad and the action was very over the top at some panels. The story was easy to follow, simple and abit naive. There was some unexpacted gore, i wouldn't expect such a level of gore from a shounen. I started to read Jojo because i heard that the manga will be very good in the future parts, aspecially starting with Part 3: Stardust Crusaders. But the part 1 was not bad for sure, if you can look over some naive parts of the story, they were some unintentinaly funny parts for me too anyway. I enjoyed that naive parts, aspecially Dio and Jonathan's fall from empty space between the stairs of the mansion in vol. 2, it took like half an hour for them to fall from such a short hight... xD


Glad you enjoyed Phantom Blood; there are a lot of people that say to skip the first part, and they are all darn fools! lol. Yeah, the art is a bit rough in that first series, but you can see it get better as you read on. I heavily recommend trying out Part 2, Battle Tendency; most consider it one of the best parts (I think it's the 2nd best, with the best Jojo). It's a wild ride throughout!

Curious; is anyone reading Cells at Work? It's this weird little license but i've fallen in love with it.
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Cam0



Joined: 13 Dec 2009
Posts: 2922
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:57 pm Reply with quote
I've been reading Claymore, I'm at volume 13. It's alright. I feel like it's... too shounen-like which is a weird criticism I guess since it ran in the Shounen Jump. Things like "being too fast for the eye to see", other absurd shounen style powers and ranked power levels feel out of place in its dark fantasy setting. Also moments like "I've lost control of my power, kill me while I can still control myself" are way over used.

All in all it's bit of a mixed bag. I wish it was a bit "darker" and less shounen-like but Claymore is still fun.
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classicalzawa
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 6347
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:01 pm Reply with quote
Merxamers wrote:
Curious; is anyone reading Cells at Work? It's this weird little license but i've fallen in love with it.

Yes! It is adorable and makes me smile so hard! Having been a biology major (with a completely useless Bachelor's in biology), I do frequent have to go "but RBCs only have about a one month life span!" but I have to push those thoughts off to the side. Because making everything a cute anime character just works somehow. And the series can go on for quite a while too, since lots happens in the body! It reminds me of Moyashimon in a lot of ways, actually.
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classicalzawa
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:54 pm Reply with quote
So, I got and quickly read My Brother's Husband today (also got my Outlaw Star set, it looks so damn awesome, pleases me greatly, lol). It is very good, Pantheon had better release the second volume! It just ended in Japan and this was a 2-in-1, so only one more volume, though 4 vols feels like the right length for this, to be honest.
If anything though, I guess I should mention how Gengoroh Tagame, the author, is different than other people who make manga about gay men. And that is that Gengoroh Tagame is both a man and openly gay himself (most people who make yaoi tend to be straight women, it would seem) I'm pretty sure what he does is "bara", which is more like guy on guy but for men, not women, if I'm understanding that right? The interesting thing from an art perspective is that most yaoi tends to have skinny often feminine guys while Gengoroh Tagame's guys are muscular and very masculine looking. And this is also his first work to not be pornographic. I haven't read any of his other works honestly (being asexual myself, I don't really find sex interesting no matter which genders are being depicted), but if this is any indication, I would certainly not mind it if he wanted to do more all ages work in the future. But hey, draw what makes you happy! (As long as that is not Boku no Pico, I am very open minded with things, but I think most of us draw the line at sex+children, particularly when it's portrayed in an a-ok way like Boku no Pico does)

I kind of get the feeling that for the mangaka, he's certainly trying to get a message out there to the Japanese public. The message is pretty obviously that gay people are normal and not scary or dangerous. He accomplishes this by having a young girl, open to everything, and her father, who isn't sure what to think when the husband of his now dead estranged brother shows up. The straight guy is actually the main character here, if you were curious. I suppose the concept of having a gay uncle might be a bit different for me, it's personally what I grew up with so I view it as completely normal myself. But it is very interesting to see how Japanese people view homosexual people, they don't outright condone it, but it's very clearly something that they don't seem to be ok with either. I also firmly believe that having a gay character made by a gay mangaka means that your gay character doesn't do stupid stuff (like make out with, or almost have sex with, those sorts of things) and actually acts more like a real person and isn't just something there as a set piece. If anyone is sick of gay characters, in any medium from any country (US is just as guilty of this), just being ridiculously horny alien creatures that hit on anything of the same gender that moves, well rejoice that Gengoroh Tagame is actually gay and has been around gay people for more than 5 seconds of his life. I'm honestly hoping that if people from either country take something from this, it's how to treat LGBT characters like normal people with likes and personality beyond being LGBT. It's slowly changing, but it's still easier to just make stereotypes, it would seem.
It's definitely a good manga and an interesting read. And fortunately, we also have the story of Canadian Mike trying to learn more about his recently deceased husband, so it's not just social commentary all the time.
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CoreSignal



Joined: 04 Sep 2014
Posts: 715
Location: California, USA
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:24 pm Reply with quote
Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Vols. 1-3-
I’m really impressed by Thunderbolt and now consider it one of my favorite Gundam stories. Thunderbolt is basically what I envision Gundam to be, a fairly grounded story about soldiers in a war (with giant robots of course). This first, space/Thunderbolt, arc is a great, concise, gritty story that does a great job of portraying the moral ambiguity of war, along with some awesome mecha action. The cast is reminiscent of 08th MS team, in that we’re seeing the perspective of the war from the grunts’ perspective. Although one could argue that the main characters are aces anyway.

A lot of people say the characters in Thunderbolt lack depth but I disagree. While there isn’t a ton of character development, I’d argue that there is some pretty good characterization for the main duo. There are plenty of parts where you get glimpses into their past lives and there are some great wordless panels where you can just read their emotions through their facial expressions. I personally prefer this kind of understated characterization over some long flashback story or dramatic monologue about a tragic past. That said, it’s true that most of the secondary characters don’t have much characterization. As for too many characters getting killed off, I have to shrug my shoulders at that criticism. It’s a war story, what do you expect?

Another review summed up the plot very well; this is essentially a story about two soldiers doing their duty, and it’s really nothing more or nothing less. Since it’s such a straight forward story, Yasuo Ohtagaki wisely eschews all the typical Federation vs. Zeon political chichanery that tends to bog down most Gundam shows. I also think the whole concept of the Thunderbolt sector is really cool and fits perfectly with story. I also really like the whole music/jazz motif as well. I feel it adds this sophisticated flair to both the characters and the story. I also feel that Thunderbolt does the moral ambuigity better than any other Gundam, (including 0080/War in the Pocket, blasphemy, I know).

Ohtagaki’s art is excellent. His character designs have this retro quality that’s reminds me a bit of character designs from 80’s mecha shows. He also has a great eye for facial expressions as well. As said earlier, there are some great wordless panels where I felt I could read a character’s feeling just from their facial expressions. The mecha designs are superb. I love how Ohtagaki draws all the classic Mobile Suit designs in a more realistic and detailed style. The Full Armor Gundam and Psycho Zaku both look really cool. Another standout are the lighting and action scenes. Many of the outer space panels have this high contrast effect with lightning that looks really atmospheric. Last but not least, there’s plenty of great action scenes, especially the duels between the two main characters and the spaceship battles.

Thunderbolt is excellent so far and even though I’m hearing mixed reviews about the next arc, I still can’t wait for more.

Fire Force Vols. 1-2-
Decent so far, but nothing special. A fire-fighter themed action series is a neat idea but execution-wise, Fire Force feels formulaic. The plot has a bit of a mystery element, and the character are likeable (though likeable =\= good) but bland, same for the villians too. The humor is a little hokey for my taste but there’s a couple of funny gags every now and then. I get the feeling that Atsushi Ohkubo is still figuring out the story. Although the “fire” theme/motif starts off interesting, I’m wondering if Fire Force (FF) will start feeling a little repetitive later on, since all the battles and villains are based around fire.

The best thing about FF so far is the art. Everyone knows about the stylish art in Soul Eater and Ohkubo’s artwork in FF looks better than ever. I really like the design of the fire fighter uniforms and the distinctive looking-faces for all the characters. The monster designs and fight scenes look good with swirling flames and some crazy looking monster designs. The big surprise for me is the background art and mechanical designs. Ohkubo has really stepped up his background art, since it looks better than it ever did in Soul Eater. The mechanical designs also look good as well, the matchbox vehicle/car looks really cool and the same for some of the weapons.

FF is one of those series that I might come back to later on. Except for the art, there really isn’t anything else that’s grabbing me at the moment.
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