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X (manga) Very good What to say about X? I love it, but I have issues with it. It is an excrutiatingly slow starter, and while it seems to reach for some hugely ambitious themes, because it's unfinished I can't really pass judgment on how well it actually handles those themes. It has a huge cast of characters, that are very hard to keep track of, especially in the first half of the series, and don't all get anything like equal development, nor am I always as sympathetic to the ones who get the most time (Kamui and Kotori in particular) as I think CLAMP intends for me to be. Nevertheless, it is an exquisitely beautiful manga, even flipped and with cheesy English sound effects replacing the katakana in Viz's edition. The return of Tokyo Babylon's cast in important supporting roles are very effective, and really, sometimes the manga's melodrama hits all my buttons. It's just sometimes it tries for those buttons and misses.
Clover (manga, CLAMP) Excellent This beautiful, unfinished series, though, is one I love. I find the characters engaging, the setting intriguing, the minimalist art and layout beautiful and different, and the not entirely linear story-telling, and slow unfolding of the series' mysteries immensely satisfying. Though the series is listed as one of CLAMP's unfinished works, what there is of Clover is a considerable achievement. I wish Tokyopop would bring it back into print.
Clamp School Detectives (manga) Good The first series I read by CLAMP that's aimed squarely at children, CLAMP School Detectives is cute and fairly engaging for what it is. Occasionally my sensibilities were irritated by the characters' chivalry being described as feminism.
Skyscrapers of Oz (manga) Not really good Lukewarm single volume yaoi story that seems to have been adapted from a novel. Nothing new or especially engaging here. There really isn't space enough to develop either the external plot, or the characters and relationships.
Ceres: Celestial Legend (manga) Good I have mixed feelings about Ceres, the only title I've read so far by Yuu Watase. On the one hand, I think it's an interesting story, fairly well told, and with slickly competent art. On the other, well, I could probably overlook the infuriating sexual politics (after all, I manage to for CLAMP), but the characters and relationships seem extremely flat and unappealing, which is a huge turn off when they are as prominent a part of the story as they are.
Chobits (manga) Very good I didn't expect to like Chobits much because what I knew about Chi seemed to indicate that she was the sort of character that would grate on me; she was hardly my favorite, but she didn't annoy me either, and the pacing was very good (one of CLAMP's best paced manga). Supporting characters were generally given enough time to be fleshed out, and to have their conflicts introduced and mostly resolved in a way that supported the themes of the series in a progression that felt neither drawn out nor rushed.
Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Adolescence of Utena (manga) Very good I actually enjoy this manga rather more than it's movie counterpart. Exquisitely beautiful as the movie is, it gets swamped in its own symbolism and loses the plot. That doesn't happen in the manga version of Adolescence of Utena.
Lament of the Lamb (manga) Very good Dark, slow, talky, and not as pretty as my usual taste in manga, Lament of the Lamb still works for me as a fairly understated portrait of characters in crippling isolation and adversity. The relationships are twisted but powerful, and it's a rewarding read for those willing to stick with it.
Weiß: An Assassin and White Shaman (manga) Decent Ahhh, Weiss Kreuz in all its incarnations is a guilty pleasure of mine. Violent melodrama and pretty boys and flowers; it's not really good, but it is fun, and has plenty of room to play in the margins of the stories.
Zetsuai 1989 (manga) Good Zetsuai and its sequel Bronze are old school yaoi melodrama. It's hard for me to say much about it, because the scanlations I read were of dubious quality, but over all I enjoyed it for what it was.
Wish (manga) Good Wish is an odd manga. I enjoyed it, as I tend to with CLAMP's output, but I'm confused by all the red herrings that it threw out. There are so many hints about Shuichiro's past that seem like they're going somewhere, but a shocking reversal occurs that makes the hints feel wasted. There is also a final complication, which CLAMP acknowledges but then glosses over far too quickly.
Tokyo Babylon (manga) Masterpiece Tokyo Babylon is my favorite work of CLAMP's. The social commentary's a bit heavy handed at times, but not offensively so, and the stand alone stories of domestic tragedy mesh very well with the slow evolution of the relationships amongst the three main characters. Ultimately, all the advice Subaru gives applies to his own situation as well. The inevitable conclusion is telegraphed well in advance, and yet it still hits very hard. It is an exquisite tragedy.
(The) Legend of Chun Hyang (manga) So-so The Legend of Chun Hyang is one of CLAMP's weaker efforts. I am not familiar with the history of it's publication and it's not listed on their website as one of their incomplete works, but it feels unfinished. Also, unlike Shirahime-Syo which is also deeply rooted in folklore, the over all feel of the manga is too inconsistent in too short a space. The young heroine's independent, fairly modern attitude and the slapstick comedy jar uncomfortably when contrasted against the heroine's mother's suicide to escape rape at the hands of a villain. It's not the only manga, or even the only CLAMP manga, to display such schizophrenia, but this example is particularly jarring.
Shirahime-Syo: Snow Goddess Tales (manga) Very good Shirahime-Syo is made up of three elegant, bittersweet stories that remind me a lot of the kinds of folk tales I loved as a child.
Saiyuki (manga, K. Minekura) Very good Saiyuki's solid entertainment if you enjoy angular, attractive men alternately snarking on and supporting each other, as they engage in an interminable quest.
Planetes (manga) Masterpiece Planetes is great science-fiction, the kind I think transcends appreciation for the medium of comics. There's a lot of attention to technical detail, but it doesn't lose sight of characterisation to indulge in it. It's positivist, without being unrealistic or indifferent to the human cost of progress.
Pet Shop of Horrors (manga) Excellent Pet Shop of Horrors manages a marvelous balance of stand alone stories, and low key evolution of the recurring characters and their relationships. I have a huge weakness for obsessive love/hate relationships, and this manga taps right into it. I wish more of Akino's work was liscenced.
Love Mode (manga) Good Love Mode is a series of yaoi stories centered around a "dating club." My interest and enjoyment of the series fluctuated pretty widely as some of the characters, relationships, and situations appealed to me more than others.
Legal Drug (manga) Decent Legal Drug comes across as a gayer dry run for xxxHolic. The set-up and character dynamics are very similar. If CLAMP picked this series back up I'd continue with it, but it hasn't really grabbed me.
Eerie Queerie! (manga) Decent Eerie Queerie! is an enjoyable but not particularly memorable shounen-ai series. Narrative strands seem to get lost along the way.
Descendants of Darkness (manga) Decent Descendants of Darkness is a fangirl favorite, and I can see why. It has many traits that normally leave me very happy with a manga, but, somehow, in this case they don't come together in a way that's satisfying. The art is beautiful, but the layouts are bad. The dark fantasy backdrop the stories play out against is appealing, but the plotting is abysmal when it comes to details. At first glance the characters and their ambiguous gayness are also appealing, but I feel the manga-ka does a bad job of balancing the comedic and dramatic elements, leaving the characters somewhat... uncentered. I think the anime version does a good job of filtering through the mess that the manga is, to tell more coherent stories. This is also another unfinished series.
Cardcaptor Sakura (manga) Very good Cardcaptor Sakura, on the other hand, is a sweet, straight forward story that has more engaging material for this older reader. The diversity of relationships (not all of which even I approve of) is fascinating for a kid's manga.
Angelic Layer (manga) Decent Angelic Layer isn't one of CLAMP's strongest efforts. There just wasn't much there for older readers.
Alichino (manga) Decent Alichino is very beautiful, but bland. There's nothing here I haven't seen before and better story-wise. Do any of the characters ever smile, or change expression at all? I think the continual harping on about how beautiful the lead character is, when all the male characters are as effeminitely beautiful, while the women themselves all look like dolls, is characteristic of this manga's issues. At least CLAMP is willing to admit it when their entire cast is improbably pretty. This series is unfinished, but if its final volume ever were to be published I would probably buy it, but I wouldn't expect it to substantially raise my opinion.
A,A' (manga) Very good A,A' is an impressive collection of linked stories. The first story would fit right in on The Outer Limits. The other two seem more characteristic of shoujo's tendency to play with sexual and gender ambiguity in a way rarely seen in mainstream Western story-telling.
After School Nightmare (manga)
Andromeda Stories (manga)
Basara (manga)
Blank Slate (manga)
Bus Gamer (manga)
Cantarella (manga)
Cardcaptor Sakura: Master of the Clow (manga)
Death Note (manga)
DOLL (manga, M. Mihara) Very good
Duklyon: CLAMP School Defenders (manga) Good
Earthian (manga)
Gorgeous Carat (manga)
Hands Off! (manga)
Kamen Tantei (manga)
Magic Knight Rayearth (manga)
Magic Knight Rayearth II (manga)
Man of Many Faces (manga) Good
Miyuki-chan in Wonderland (manga) So-so
New Vampire Miyu (manga) Decent
(The) One I Love (manga) Good
Pieces of a Spiral (manga)
Planet Ladder (manga) Good
Please Save My Earth (manga) Masterpiece
Revolutionary Girl Utena (manga) Good
RG Veda (manga)
Suki: A Like Story (manga) Good
They Were Eleven (manga) Good
To Terra (manga)
Tower of the Future (manga)
Wild Com (manga)
(The) World Exists for Me (manga)
X-Day (manga by S Mizushiro)
Zeus (manga) So-so