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Joined: 10 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:53 am Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:16 am Reply with quote
Ah, just the thread I wanted to necropost in! The first manga thread reminded me to check how much my tastes might've changed. Actually, since I posted in 2010 last it seems, they're not too much different, but I do certainly have series to add.
Also, why isn't this thread stickied like the anime top 10 is? And why is it only top 3, I dislike that number, so I'm going to ignore it.

1) Banana Fish
No surprise, it's still my favorite. Seems that for my first post in this thread, I hadn't yet read it, then I posted saying I'd completed it and it was awesome, and it's still my number 1 series. It's a bit hard to say why, I mean, yes, there's the interesting characters, the non stop well plotted story, the awesome fight scenes, the incredible scope, there's just so much here to love! And it's all tragic and kinda sad too, but oh so worth it at the end of the day. Any fan of drama needs to read this, I'd call it the finest shojo in existence.

2) Maison Ikkoku
What d'ya know, it's still in my number 2 spot after all these years! Great and timeless comedy combined with heartbreaking romance with an actual ending (from Rumiko Takahashi no less) makes it the very top of the romcom genre. It really does have that timeless feel, like it'll still be enjoyed in a 100 years from now (as long as those people understand the 80s didn't have cell phones everywhere I guess). Sure, most of the problems in this series could've been solved with a good therapist, an aspect I'm sure would drive some people up the wall, but no therapist universes are kinda a staple of romcoms.

3) Hikaru no Go
Mmmm, shonen! This is easily the most cracktastic shonen I've ever read, it's near impossible to stop reading, and even at 23 volumes it feels like it ends too soon (but we all know that the series shouldn't ended with Hikaru and Akira playing a final game of Go on their deathbeds, at least that's where we wanted it to end), but the main purpose is really a coming of age story with Go. And, ridiculous as that sounds, it works, because the characters are all great and you want to read about them. Wisely, not too much time is spent showing them just playing a damn game either, it's like they took the page about how to make Majhong manga from Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga so that they could spend more time with the awesome characters. No complaints there! It's a shame Yumi Hotta hasn't done more as she clearly understands that you need to make the manga interesting first and not rely on the viewer to give a damn about Go.

4) Twin Spica
Another fine coming of age story, this time for a girl in space school. Twin Spica has this odd feeling of nostalgia about it, the kind that makes you really heartbroken that you're not a kid anymore and makes you look back at your childhood fondly. Once again though, it has great supporting characters and an interesting premise, along with a great sense of how to tell a story that's kinda hard to describe. And there are tons of great one or two page pictures, the mangaka is great at paneling. I remember the one scene where Asumi shows spoiler[that her room has glow in the dark stars all over it and Marika comments that Asumi's room is huge because of it, when earlier, Marika had said that her actually huge room was small because it felt so closed], it's just little things like that that really make the manga work.

5) Flower of Life
How to pick one Fumi Yoshinaga title, eh? But this one is my absolute favorite. Not the first title of hers I ever read, but perhaps the first one I ever bought (blindly at that). It's Yoshinaga-sensei's take on high school comedy drama, which means that she can flip between comedy one panel and drama the next and have them both be awesome. It's one of those series where you can just see her brilliance shine through on every panel and it only shows why she's one of my favorite mangaka of all time. And when it comes to showing making manga, I'm going with this series, in part because showing a few characters make manga is first off a side thing, and second off, shown as a nerd thing. I really felt like these characters could be my high school friends in an alternate reality, and they all have this delightful touch of manga nerd to them (and omfg, a reference to Banana Fish just for me for instant endearment!)

6) Firefighter Daigo
Most of my entries have had a good drama or something to them, but Firefigher Daigo is mostly hard blooded over the top action with firefighters. But damn did it convince me that real life firefighters are very sexy people! I mean, it's a kinda a series that's exactly what it says on the tin, an action series about a firefighter, but man, it's just a great series! It's like all the best shonen action tropes and none of the bad ones, and it's incredibly easy to just breeze through reading, I don't think you can get much better action shonen than this. It seems like I'm saying how I like all this deep stuff, but honestly, this one of my favorite manga and it's pretty damn shallow, but just oh so good.

Honorable Mentions
aka stuff I just can't really number. I'll just go by alphabet then?
*) Battle Royale
What a bloody mess this series is. I mean in terms of all the gore everywhere though. Not a series for everyone, but I quite enjoyed it despite the series downright sick nature.

*) Bone (ok, not a manga, but it reminded me of one so much!)
I can see why this series has won over 40 awards domestic and international. You see the covers with the weird white humanoids on it and it's hard to tell wtf you're going to get into. I can tell you right now, you're getting into a fantasy epic. Yeah, it starts off a bit slow, Jeff Smith rather had to make sure the series would have staying power, so he spends the first two books in the series really establishing the Bone cousins characters, and they're really fun to read, so I've no complaints. Then it gets into the fantasy epic gradually. I'll admit I liked the calmer scenes a lot more, but it's just overall so damn good! I've also been enjoying Jeff Smith's only other series so far RASL, which has just about ended and was much shorter than Bone. And Bone is one of those rare truly "all ages" things, I'd give it to a kid while an adult would enjoy the hell out of it too.

*) Fruits Basket
A relative newcomer to my favorite lists, but it just goes to show that some things are popular for a reason. the first few volumes seemed like an average romcom with people changing into animals, but after a few volumes it drops the pretense of comedy and goes full on drama. And seeing how most all of the characters are totally messed up people, it makes it interesting to see. And while I usually tend to find the uber nice girl annoying, here Tohru fit in so perfectly that it just couldn't have happened any other way. Why I wasn't buying this as it was coming out was is now a mystery to me (although maybe it could that the panels and word bubbles are oddly difficult to follow).

*) Hanshin/Half-God (part of A Drunken Dream and Other Stories
20 of the best pages of manga ever created. Sure, the entire Drunken Dream book from Fantagraphics is well worth getting as all of the stories are really damn good, but this one was easily the standout for me. Since it's only 20 or so pages long (and easily found through dubious means), I'm not gonna go over why I like it, just go read it yourself at that length.

*) Kekkaishi
This was always the shonen I was all over, I've not really read the last 5 volumes though (I'll read them all once the series has ended, since it's addictive and there's never a good ending point it'd seem). Still, I don't think this series plays it as safe as other shonen, and that's always something I like to see in the shonen genre. Women really do make the best shonen I think.

*) Kodocha
Romcomdram shojo once again, I seem to like those sometimes (not some of the newer ones, which usually involve rape or something, but the older, more innocent ones). Still, for not normally liking the hyper character, Sana is pretty well awesome, and I loved seeing her evolving relationship with Akito. Since Sana is so young, the series also rather works as a coming of age story too. I tried the anime, but ugh, I felt like the dynamic of the series was so incredibly different that I just coldn't stomach it.

*) Ode to Kirihito
Mmmm, Tezuka! Juicy delicious Tezuka manga! Vertical has been putting out a lot of Tezuka, and it's pretty much all worth buying, but for the things they released in one big omnibus, this is probably my favorite.

*) Phoenix (except Nostalgia, I hate that chapter)
How to not put the entire Tezuka line up on here, right? But yeah, 12 chapters, of varying quality, sure, but except for Nostalgia, they're all really damn good stuff. And on the plus side, you can pick up just one volume and it's standalone too. My favorite chapters personally are Karma, Resurrection, and Sun.

*) Please Save My Earth
Yum, sci-fi shojo! A rare but tasty mix! I really liked the set up of showing both Shion and Mokuren's past, it made the same scene seem totally different and it really added to the overall story. I highly approve.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:00 am Reply with quote
A thread that goes all the way back to 2006? And not only that but...

1 Magister Negi Magi. It's funny to see this title get listed in a number of top threes in 2006 only to disappear as it went on and got more shouneny. Well, more parody of shounen but it may just be me. It's over, it's done but the rumblings are still being felt the world over. My feelings on the overall work?

Brilliant. Even to how the ending was done and what it meant. Again, I have to mention that I've been reading the entire series as a parody. Harem parody, fantasy parody, fighting/action parody; You know something's going on when fighters not only stop the fight/action to explain how they saw through the previous attack but they break the fourth wall while doing it. And while it is a harem, it's strictly hands off for one obvious reason. Well, not really hands off but anyway...

2 The Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer. This series has one of the smartest plots I've ever had the pleasure to experience; Almost every detail comes back to complete the finale and the ones that don't makes you wonder about what happened really happened the way it was said to have happened spoiler[Yes, the future in this series has a past tense.]. It's funny, it's sad, it's exciting, it's misunderstood humanity and misunderstood evil at its best. It's also not licensed which is one of the greatest crimes in human history. Well, the small bit of history that licenses Japanese comics for western audiences.

2.5 Shopping Trip to Yokohama. The joy here is in the details. From the amazing pen and ink work to the small hints that almost add up to a coherent worldview, it's a work that demands much from its reader. One way of looking at the work is that the mangaka was making it up, that all the small pieces were just individual pieces that don't add up. But for me, I can almost see a complete picture from the pieces I've gleamed from the manga. It's both peaceful and tragic, both doomed and hopeful. To steal a bit from Stephen King, this is a world that has both ended and moved on.

2.7 Kodomo no Jikan. Yes, Jikan and not Omocha. While I like Omocha, it's not the most shocking work I've ever seen like Jikan is. The only thing I can say about it {I mean really say about it} is "prepare to be challenged." Ultimately, it's not about desire or even love, it's just connections. A simple idea but it's a hard, brief world and those connections may not last long or even long enough.

Of course, it's who's getting connected is the problem...

3 Sora No Otoshimono. Sick perverted humor combined with slick incisive drama but what sticks out in my mind are the beautiful pastoral character splash pages which just make me stare at them, storing ever line, etching every loving detail in my memory. There's a plot, and its good and there's humor and it's good as well but it's the delivery that makes this work work.

So there it is, my top three. Well, it's at least three anyway and only one of them is licensed{whistles softly while backing away from the thread}. To be honest, I do own Negima and I would love to get adaptations of the rest.
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 7:20 am Reply with quote
My top 3 is:

14 Sai (aka Fourteen) by Kazuo Umezu: I think this is the best of Kazuo Umezu, it was his last work and for sure his best. It's mad, It's bizarre and I love Chicken George. Gwashi!

Dorohedoro by Q Hayashida: I love the characters, they all have an evill side as a kind side, the whole universe miss Hayashida created with this work is quite unique and bizarre.

Ultra Heaven by Keiichi Koike: This is the most trippy manga ever made, it's so psychedelic someone could die from an attack of epilepsy just from looking at the panels.

Other Favorites:
Tsutomu Nihei's BLAME!
Taiyo Matsumoto's GoGo Monster
Hideji Oda's Coo no Sekai (aka Coo's world)

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 11:28 pm Reply with quote
Arrgh. This is super hard for me! Just 3?? There's no way...

Okay, in absolutely no order:

Challengers/The Tyrant Falls in Love it's really hard to pick between them and they are a connected story, so ... I'll count them both as one pick! I'm hopelessly addicted to everything and anything Hinako Takanaga does anyway, but Tyrant is just... Yes. So much yes. Her art is beautiful, and the touches of humor are delightful. Challengers is a very sweet story, and it makes me laugh and laugh, and I love how surprisingly realistic she is despite all the dopey comedic elements. I also like that it's her debut work, so it's fun to see her art style evolve.

Oh, My Goddess! is like mega-nostalgia, because it was the first manga I ever read. I was subscribed to Dark Horse's little 30-40 page "comic" releases they'd do every month, so I have a huge stack of those in my closet. I will admit that I don't read it as much anymore, since my tastes have drifted, but OMG! will always hold a special place in the corner of my heart.

Zetsuai It is my greatest sadness in life that no one has ever licensed this classic BL manga. When I first got into yaoi (in the long ago, in the time before time) there wasn't anything licensed in the US yet. I actually bought all 5 volumes of Zetsuai in Japanese off eBay, found a text-translation online, and painstakingly "read" them by looking at the page, reading the transcript, looking at the page, reading the transcript... Anyway, it was totally worth it, and I freaking love this series. It combines so much of what is terrible and fearsome and desperate. For all my enjoyment of cute and fluffy, sometimes I just want to see the world burn, you know? And Zetsuai is definitely one of those dark, twisted romances. A true classic, and so sadly overlooked in the US.

Honorable Mention!

Ludwig II Purely because I am a huge history geek, and Ludwig II of Bavaria is one of my favorite people, and I love castles, especially Castle Neuschwanstein (which is my favorite castle) ... So the fact that someone made a super angsty yaoi manga, and that person just happens to be You Higuri... I like literally can't handle the convergence of awesome. I don't even think it's all that great of a manga, to be brutally honest, it's just the fact that it combines so much of what I love... I kind of have to love it.

More Honorable Mentions: Banana Fish, Here is Greenwood, Sorcerer Hunters, Silver Diamond
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 5:26 pm Reply with quote
Blade of the Immortal: One of the series that got me more interested in manga than american comics. It's a great title to give to someone who is not familiar with manga, due to the format published by Dark Horse. It's a peculiar and unique manga, starting more as a lighter - but not in what violence is concerned - revenge tale but quickly develops an engrossing story, a great moral ambiguity and charismatic characters - I love the Rin/Manji relationship and some of the twisted "villains". The artwork is amazing, every action and panel feels palpable.

Gantz: Gantz is a mess. It's full of plot holes, the story is being made up by the author as the chapters come out, it's a mysoginistic and mysanthropic gore fest, with a bleak and hopeless view on mankind. But it's fascinating, and I believe all of its inconsistencies and apparent meaningless hide something much more interesting, working as a deconstruction of otaku power fantasies and the frivolity of entertainment in its reality-show/gladiator arena sci-fi world.

Vagabond: I believe that one of the characters, Sasaki Kojiro, the deaf-mute rival of Miyamoto Musashi, one of Japan's most renowned swordfighters and national legend, sums up this manga: it's all about the flow and intuition of the artwork, and the ability to say so much without words that gives it so much strength. To me it's essentialy a story about Musashi's inner and spiritual growth and discovery of the meaningless of violence. It works on many different levels and has many layers. The scene where Musashi fights the entire Yoshioka school is one of the best fights ever depicted in manga.

Honorable mentions:

Eden: It's an Endless World
Takemitsu Zamurai
Goodnight Punpun
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 8:11 pm Reply with quote
Yotsuba- My first and the closest one to my heart, I loved this manga since the first day I picked it up 4 years ago and it's been my favorite ever since. Also I love the lesson it teaches everyone, to enjoy everything!! It's the best manga on the face of the planet!

Ouran High School Host Club- It's very funny, in fact I almost laughed out loud in history class it was so funny, Nekozawa is so much funnier in the manga than in the anime, I wish he would get more love in the anime. Crying or Very sad

Sailor V- It was magnificant, I loved the ending and it made me excited to read Sailor Moon, I loved how they snuck in references to Sailor Moon as well. I very much enjoyed it.

Honorable Menchions: Azumanga Daioh, Kitchen Princess, Hidamari Sketch.

Note: I didn't add Sailor Moon in because I haven't read all of it yet, the only reason why Hidamari Sketch is on there is because I haven't decided whether to stop reading the series or not, as for Sailor Moon I will complete the series.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:31 am Reply with quote
[EDIT: Put reasons. -TK]
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:59 am Reply with quote
Just three!? -sigh- Okay...

1. Fruits Basket: This one is my favorite by far, and there are a lot of reasons for it, so many that I can't fit them all here. For one, along with +Anima, it's one of the first manga I read, and it's the series that really got me hooked on anime and manga. It's the first series I ever bought volumes from, and incidentally, the first anime series I ever owned as well. This is the only manga series that has ever made me cry. I've gotten sniffly over a few others, but there were multiple parts of this series that just had me bawling (volume 13, for instance Crying or Very sad). I mean, being able to illicit that kind of emotional reaction from me has to count for something, right? I love all of these characters so dearly, and I adore Tohru as a heroine. I like the sweet but melancholy feeling of the first few volumes and how the hopeful undertone carries through so beautifully into the more heartbreaking second half. I think the drama is so well-written and I love how even the one-off characters are so fleshed out. Basically, I could, and have, gushed over this series for hours, but I think I'll spare you and just stop here. Laughing

2. Fullmetal Alchemist: God, I love this series. Laughing I love how fleshed-out the world is, for one. One of the problems I have with the (first) anime (and I actually love that version too, just not quite as much), is that I don't get as complete a feel for the world the characters inhabit. Also, this is another series where I just can't get enough of the characters. (Considering that my favorite anime series is Baccano!, I think I just like series that manage to pull off having literally too many characters to function. Laughing ) In particular, I love the female characters. Hawkeye is my favorite, and I am so happy to be able to say that, since it is so rare to find a manga with female characters as likeable, believable, and well-rounded as the male characters, and this is one of the few I've read that pulls it off. Also, the ending is perfect. The epilogue might have been a bit long, but it was cute, and I'm a fangirl, so hey, I don't mind. The ending itself, where spoiler[Ed faces the Truth and realizes he has to give up his alchemy], is just perfect. It fits the tone and theme of the series so well.

3. High School Debut: Yay, more shoujo! And it's really, really girly! This series is one of the few where the main couple gets together pretty close to the start of the series (early enough that I really don't consider it a spoiler), and the series actually gets even more interesting, instead of dropping off the end of a cliff. They're such a fun and likeable couple, and the side characters are fun too. I also like how Yoh's antisocial tendencies are treated like an actual character flaw instead of some stupid fetish. Finally, I have to mention how much I love the ending. It's very refreshing to see a high school couple in a shoujo series actually make smart decisions. spoiler[I liked that they decided to wait instead of immediately having sex the minute they get the chance like in so many other series.] That has to do with my personal morals, but I'm just explaining my personal love for the series here, so I think it's fine. Also, I thought it was nice that instead of one of them spoiler[throwing away their future for a high school fling that, statistically, is not at all likely to work out, they decided to try and make a long-distance relationship work, at least until they're out of college.] Perhaps a minor thing, but nice to see nonetheless.

Well, I think that's enough gushing for now. Laughing Oh, and before I forget:
Honorable Mentions: (in no particular order) Monster, Yakitate!! Japan, Mushishi, Kitchen Princess, With the Light, Hunter x Hunter, Nana
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:29 am Reply with quote
I've been into manga for over ten years, but somehow I only recently read Fruits Basket myself, within the past year I'd say. I'm sure I flipped through it at Borders, maybe even read a bit like a manga cow, but hadn't really read much. I kinda offhand dismissed it as a typical romcom. But boy am I glad that used store had vols 9-21 and 23 for $3 a piece (and I was easily able to get 1-8 and 22). Actually, since I had to wait for 1-8 to come in, I realize that I could've wasted a good amount of money on a huge mistake, but I think I'm very lucky that it ended up being a damn good series and one of the best blind buys for a complete manga series I've done. I'm not really sure why I hadn't bothered with it until Tokyopop bowed out (I think the manga moveable feast on it finally convinced me). Maybe I didn't like how they advertised it, plastering "the number one selling shojo manga in America" and "winner of some award that doesn't actually exist", or that yeah, the first volume just makes it seem like a romcom with goofy changing animals. And my one still legit complaint is the odd set up of the word bubbles.
I feel like normally, a heroine like Tohru might annoy me, but she really didn't, I did quite like her. I think I liked almost all the characters (except the student council, in part because I think they mostly existed as a consolation prize), certainly some more than others (is it even possible to dislike Momiji?), but the drama and back stories for them were absolutely wonderful and the character development with Tohru as the catalyst was fantastic.
So it's not just nostalgia here, I really do think it's one of the better series I've read. I don't think it's quite in my top 5 (I've read some damn good stuff), but in my top 10 probably. I want to re-read it soon, that and like 5 other things. I wish I still loved the manga that got me into it, but I've just read so much better stuff since that's it not even in my mind really.
If you'd like to cry at another manga, do check out Twin Spica, Vertical said it'll go out of print in the future, so I'd hurry up and grab it now. I think most of the people at the forum who have read TS bawled like a baby at some point during the series.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:39 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, the first volume is pretty unimpressive. The art starts out pretty ugly too. I'm glad you liked it when you gave it a try though! Very Happy I don't think I've ever met anyone, even people who hated the series, who disliked Momiji, so it must be pretty close to impossible. (I'm sure there's someone, though. There's always someone. Laughing)

Thanks for the recommendation! I read the first volume of Twin Spica when I saw it at the local library, and quite enjoyed it, but for whatever reason they never picked up the rest. Now I guess I'll have to make an effort to go and find it! I love series that focus on a more realistic version of space travel. (Loved Planetes, and I'm enjoying the Space Brothers anime right now.)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:57 am Reply with quote
In no particular order:

Nana - The series that only gets better. Nana is raw yet funny at the same time - you feel you're reading about real people making the same mistakes any real-life person in their twenties would. And even though the series is on hiatus, where Nana is left off the most emotional event I've read in a manga, and it makes me cry everytime.

Boys Over Flowers/Hana Yori Dango - Okay, this series is definitely flawed. Some of the side characters (particularly Sojiro and Akira) take way too long to get fleshed out, and some of the story arcs, especially the amnesia storyline in the last few volumes are pretty useless. But no shojo series is as addictive as Hanadan is. And the characters who are developed feel very multifaceted and real, while Tsukushi and Tsukasa are my favorite couple in anime and manga. I love the series' love-story, which somehow manages to feel both like the ultimate fantasy and as though it could happen in real-life all at the same time.

We Were There/Bokura ga Ita - This series is interesting, because I don't love any one particular character in it nor am I obsessed with the main couple. But the way drama is unfolded is subtle yet heartwrenching, and there really aren't many series that can match this one in either execution or its tone. I love that this series takes place over several years, and the narration is poignant and beautiful.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:43 pm Reply with quote
Berserk - My absolute favorite manga. I feel the way it has been told so far is so grand, the scope of it has been huge. I like how the flashback was so long and how it told of guts being distrustful of others only to warm up to the band of the hawk and then be betrayed by the man he saw as his best friend and falling back on his old ways. The artwork is second to none and its just dripping with awesome sauce.

People complain about how slow the current releases are but i stull love every bit of berserk so far.

One Piece - This series just captures what i love about the shonen genre and magnifies it while trimming down a bit of the fat. The story is well thought out and paced and the characters are excellent, I've never come across so many good characters in one seres. I also like how there are characters who dont have special powers that are useful and dont stand around gasping at the other guys abilities. theres also excellent use of forshadowing in this manga, things that may seem insignificant in very early chapters get brough back in much much later and when you go back and re-read stuff you get a sense of how far ahead oda has it all planned out.

Battle angel alita
- This series has been on my shelf for a very long time. i'll admit im yet to properly delve into last order but I've been buying the volumes of it because its a viz release and you know what happens when you put a viz title in the backlog. The orginal series (i had ashen victor too but never got it back after lending it out, thus ended me lending anything out) was just so bleak and dark but through it all alita (gally) remianed a likable character and she had a good cast of quirky supporting players like figure and ido. She remained determined to find out who she was and deal with all the nutcases that took an interest in her as they came.

Honourable mentions

Honey and clover
Black lagoon
Spice and wolf

also i just started dorohedoro and its giving me the feeling of being somthing i'll REALLY like
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:00 am Reply with quote
Kare First Love

I could type why but if anyone's actually interested in the why, just ask. I'm tired. Haha. There are a lot of honorable mentions, too but damn that list is long.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:54 am Reply with quote
yeah i know what you mean, i had to hold back on the honourable mentions. One day i may get around to doing a top 10 list but its somthing id have to put ALOT of thought into.
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