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Best Manga and Light Novels of 2017


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KH91



Joined: 17 May 2013
Posts: 5685
Location: Za Warudo R:2
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:40 pm Reply with quote
That lesbian story has piqued my interest, especially when that cover image with that nipple is deemed (strangely) SFW. With that said... I just got fired from my job because my boss caught me looking at said cover. Thanks. Wink
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Engineering Nerd



Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 374
Location: Southern California
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:53 pm Reply with quote
I feel it is necessary to state that Black Bullet is in indefinite hiatus after volume 7, since the author is too disheartened about the train wreck anime adaptation, and decide to put all of his time on stocks instead (seriously)
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Rika Hue



Joined: 19 Dec 2015
Posts: 55
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:03 pm Reply with quote
The biggest localisation controversy that riled up its small fandom and probably sent the sales so down the gutter that now the light novels will never be licensed: Bungo Stray Dogs

"From the spelling of character names, to the obscure translation of certain words and phrases, it's the manga version of 'hard-sub' translation which caused many many complaints to be sent to Yen Press" - is what I heard. But it's not nearly that bad. Still entertaining imo.

Beyond this and picking up Hoshin Engi in preparation for the Winter anime adaptation, I haven't had time to read much manga / LNs this year. But this is a good run-down of things to look out for, thanks!

Lastly I'd like to verbatim quote Oscar Wilde in that 'life imitates art more than art imitates life' (cosplay and the naruto run are excellent examples of these Wink)
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:07 pm Reply with quote
Engineering Nerd wrote:
I feel it is necessary to state that Black Bullet is in indefinite hiatus after volume 7, since the author is too disheartened about the train wreck anime adaptation, and decide to put all of his time on stocks instead (seriously)
Really? That's has to be the most childish things I've ever heard a Mangaka do. It would be like if Stephen King had stopped writing after the Shinning 1980 film.
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Parsifal24



Joined: 20 Apr 2010
Posts: 925
Location: Holland MI
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:09 pm Reply with quote
Fro me strangest Shojo Romance would be a category I'd have that would go to Wake Up Sleeping Beauty Vol. 1 a volume I really liked but boy does that twist knock you for a loop. Also nice to see Golden Kamuy get a nod that actually came in as my number two in my Best Manga of The Year List.
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shelwyn
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Joined: 26 Dec 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:28 pm Reply with quote
Only Eromanga Sensei can make my cold heart feel again.
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shizukanashinah



Joined: 18 Nov 2015
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:03 pm Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
Engineering Nerd wrote:
I feel it is necessary to state that Black Bullet is in indefinite hiatus after volume 7, since the author is too disheartened about the train wreck anime adaptation, and decide to put all of his time on stocks instead (seriously)
Really? That's has to be the most childish things I've ever heard a Mangaka do. It would be like if Stephen King had stopped writing after the Shinning 1980 film.


Childish? It's not like we're entitled to a person's artistic output. If he doesn't want to write anymore, that's his decision.
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RoamFree



Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 34
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:18 pm Reply with quote
Engineering Nerd wrote:
I feel it is necessary to state that Black Bullet is in indefinite hiatus after volume 7, since the author is too disheartened about the train wreck anime adaptation, and decide to put all of his time on stocks instead (seriously)


Sad to hear that. I got the three volumes that pick up where the anime left off and I'm starting the Fugitive arc ("Rentaro Satomi, Fugitive" and "Purgatory Sniper"). But I'm glad the recent LN is getting coverage in this year-end list, and with the critical (and commercial?) success of Made in Abyss, maybe Kinema Citrus can go back to producing a sequel to Black Bullet (and add in Scorching Ping Pong Girls to their schedule). Despite both its genre and tonal dissonance, I found the anime adaptation enjoyable.
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classicalzawa
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:44 pm Reply with quote
I've got my own personal list of manga favorites of this year too! But in no particular order for me, because I don't feel like it, nyeh.

Top Choices
Girl from the Other Side-I'm fairly certain Seven Seas probably licensed this because of Ancient Magus' Bride's success (as this does run in the same magazine), but this series certainly stands toe-to-toe on its own too. I'll admit the color palette can be a bit too dark at times (not Seven Sea's fault though), but if what you really wanted in a manga was a setting that's kind of like Over the Garden Wall, this manga's got that in spades too. But it's also slowly building its mystery and it's just getting so damn good!

I Hear the Sunspot-You kind of get the feeling that the author forgot this was running in a BL magazine until the editor said something about it at some point to them. But no matter, I'm also good for bromance where it's just a little something more than platonic. But even ignoring that, I really like the connection between the two main characters, one who is hard of hearing, and the other who wants to learn more about him and ensure he's included in his surroundings. So glad this got licensed and I eagerly await vol 2 in a few months!

To Your Eternity-I dunno, I think this is a pretty good use of a bear, too. Sometimes, you'll get an author who does one good series (A Silent Voice) and then that's kind of it, but if the first two volumes here are any indication, this will not be the case. It's doing its world building still at these two volumes, but even in between that, it's had a breathless plot going on too. It also likes to bring the feels, yum, feels!

My Brother's Husband-Being LGBT myself, but rather aromantic, a lot of the more romance LGBT stories tend to get lost on me if I were to be perfectly honest (so My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness kind of went over me... sorry!) but I am more interested in social aspects all over the world and this title certainly delivered on that. I also grew up with a gay uncle, so hearing people automatically default them to child molesters, I take a bit more personally than most (thanks, Kevin Spacey!) I feel like the key difference in this work though, has got to be Gengoroh Tagame himself, who is openly gay in a country where it's not very well understood. I remember in one particular scene, I could only think "wow, if this were a yoai, that would've evolved into sex (or at the very least, a make out scene)", but because of Tagame himself, he has more respect than to use that sort of thing for forced sexy time and insult gay people everywhere like that by portraying Mike as a sex-crazed hound. That said, you are suddenly reminded that he does, in fact, draw a lot of bars when he spends maybe a bit much time on the shower and public bath scenes, making sure everyone is well muscled (lol), but I can forgive a bit of self-indulgence in that way.

Also worth checking out
Spirit Circle-With only one volume out, I'd need more to fully know where to stand on this, but it was a great debut volume. It's going to be a short series, 6 volumes, but volume 1 was off to a great start. If Seven Seas publishing a ton of monster girl ecchi lets them get stuff like this, I'm cool with it.

Erased-Got this series in nice big chunks, which I always appreciate! It's a damn addictive read, it's easy to see why the anime was so popular.

The "Late to the Party" Award (for something older that I only just found out about)
Ultraman-So, one day, I had to kill some time in the library. Since I was stuck there for an hour, I went ahead and just found some random volume 1s. I kind of groaned at the idea of reading this one at first, I mean, my current knowledge of Ultraman is that they sometimes have guys wear those costumes in Takeshi's Castle and I guess it's about guys in rubber suits punching each other? Turns out, that was all the background I needed anyway, since it starts off fresh on its own. And then, on top of it, it's also a really damn good super hero story that I'm finding addicting as all hell. Who would've guessed? I'm thinking a lot of people probably overlooked it for the same reasons I did, but I assure you, you are missing out!

Second Chance Award
Requiem of the Rose King-I tried vol 1 a while back (when it released in 2015) and was pretty damn confused. While I still maintain that the editor probably should've told Aya Kanno to add some damn labels the first time we jump to a new location and family (especially in vol 1), re-reading the first vol + 2 and 3 (library, again) made things both really clear and far more addicting. Maybe I should've looked up some info on the War of the Roses too, that's not really taught in American schools. There's also some Game of Thrones vibes, what with feuding houses and that one lady who is rather Ceresi-like. This is a series I am going to look forward to bingeing, once it's complete.

Most Disappointing Unawards
Waiting for Spring-Ok, so, when I was going through my manga sell pile, I saw this on there. My first thought was "Wait, did I even read this?" and I flipped through it and was like "Umm, maybe?" but then I had another thought: "When the hell did I even buy this? How do I not remember even buying this?" I mean, forgetting reading something is one thing, but how the hell did I even forget buying it? So I guess this has to win the award for "most forgettable"

Golden Kamuy-Vol 1 showed a lot of promise for me. Interesting set up with two characters who look like they'd be interesting to follow together. But then vol 2 happened and dear Arceus, was I bored to tears. I was extremely disappointed to learn that the manga was more than happy to stop the plot and characterization full on to teach me all about how to skin and cook a rabbit. Yeah, thanks, but weren't we in the middle of something before our cooking lesson? Ok, so, one aside would've been tolerable, but then the next couple of chapters shows me how to cook some other stupid thing (and add miso to it) while still completely halting the story. I was very disappointed to learn that this manga was more than happy to stop the story in its tracks every time it wanted to spontaneously go full-on Bear Grylls. If I wanted a manga to teach me how to cook, I would read What Did You Eat Yesterday. If I want a manga to teach me survival skills, I'll read Master Keaton, which has survival stuff all over the place, but it always works it into its plots naturally instead of completely stopping them. Do you want to have a plot, or do you want to take us camping here, Golden Kamuy? Pick one, and stick with it.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1513
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:12 pm Reply with quote
@Classicalzawa

I tried really, really hard to find a way to fit in The Girl From the Other Side, but all of my award names ended up sounding like variations of "I Don't Get the AMB Hype Because This is So Much Better." EmbarassedLaughing Not actually my feelings, but I really do love The Girl From the Other Side. Ditto on Ultraman - it's a surprisingly easy story to get into even if you aren't familiar with the original.

I have to admit that I kind of love Waiting for Spring, but yes, it is completely textbook as far as shoujo romance goes.
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CatSword



Joined: 01 Jul 2014
Posts: 790
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:13 pm Reply with quote
I admittedly don't read that much manga, but some good stuff has come out this year!

My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness was a great, easy/standalone read. I bought it knowing I'd be able to read/finish it and I'm glad I did.

I just got The Promised Neverland and So I'm a Spider, So What? (the light novel) in the mail from Amazon today, and already read The Promised Neverland. It's...really good. To the point where I need to find a stable source of income so I can get future volumes as they come out. I plan to read So I'm a Spider, So What? soon - the gift guide convinced me I needed it.

(Funny thing about The Promised Neverland. Even though it's "dark and disturbing (for kids!)", Viz doesn't think kids should be reading it, considering the Older Teen/16+ rating. I didn't see anything in the first volume I'd object to a middle schooler seeing, but hey, what do I know? I'm not a professional, and they're probably just covering their butts since it's darker than Naruto or Black Clover.)
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1513
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:17 pm Reply with quote
^I agree, CatSword, especially since conventional wisdom says that kids will read up (about older kids) but not down (about younger kids). Not always true, obviously, but I still see a lot of guides for teachers and librarians sticking to it. You're probably right with the butt-covering theory, and we can't really blame them.
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st_owly
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 5057
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:31 pm Reply with quote
2017 has been a great year for manga, especially yuri. I relate hard to My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, and I never thought I'd see the day Aoi Hana actually got released in English.

Sad to say goodbye to: Kamisama Kiss. I bought the first volume not long after I first came to university and 8 years later it's over. It's been a good run, a nice ending and I'm looking forward to sitting down and reading it all the way through. I'll also miss Say I Love You which I got into after the anime, and very much enjoyed what happened in the manga and the fact that it actually shows life after high school.

Cutest ending of the year: Honey So Sweet. The whole series is diabetes inducingly cute anyway, but the ending was especially adorable. Honourable mention to My Love Story.

Favourite new release: Sneaking in at the end of the year is Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card 1. It's like being 13 and reading the original for the first time again. Also, My Brother's Husband is delightful for all the reasons zawa said and I hope we get volume 2 soon.

Unexpected (print) release of the year: Aside from Aoi Hana as mentioned above,
Sekirei. I can't remember how I even ended up watching the anime of this years ago, but I enjoyed it a lot more than most booby shows, and I was always interested to see where the manga went but could never be bothered to find out. Now, several years later and with the anime out of print(??), we finally get the manga in print. This one sits firmly on the guilty pleasures shelf.

New novel series of the year: This one goes to Konosuba I didn't watch the anime when it originally aired, but was convinced to go back and check it out and I'm very glad I did and now I have the ending theme stuck in my head. The novels have kept me entertained on many a train ride. Shoutout also to Vertical who brought the Zaregoto novels back from the dead, something I never thought would ever happen. I found my original Del Rey copies when I was at my parents' for Christmas, there was some nostalgia.

Trashy pleasure of the year award: Hands down, Citrus. I hated Netsuzou Trap, read the first volume and it was one of the most uncomfortable things I've ever read in my life. Yet, I'll happily devour a new volume of Citrus when it comes out. I'm not sure why, but damn I need that soapy goodness in my life. Interested to see how the anime turns out.

Most disappointing of the year: L-DK. How this ran for 24 volumes I'll never know. Just another generic shojo with an asshole pretty boy lead and a girl who inexplicably likes him despite him being an asshole to her all the time, and a contrived living situation where of course they end up living next door to each other... Rolling Eyes
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MaskOfBrutality



Joined: 23 Nov 2017
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Location: England
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:02 pm Reply with quote
A lot of weird categories in there, obviously it was intentional but still weird to me. Most of which I haven't heard of so has given me some more things to check out at some point though some I will miss because digital only is a no-go for me.

Most of the best manga I've read this year don't have English releases (Misoji Otome to Mote Hatachi, Boku dake Shitteru Ichimiya-san, Maken-Ki!) so it's a bit harder for me to pick those that stood out.

Dragons Rioting did though, heck of a lot of fun, played on the fan service aspect well, was very funny and had an abundance of ridiculous references. I also think the continued Triage X releases have been superb. When I get around to reading it Maid-sama! will be on there as well.

Oh and not forgetting FAKKUs releases of ShindoLs Metamorphosis and Oda Nons Non Virgin which both came out physically. Phenomenal releases, the latter especially being in glorious full colour.
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1420
Location: Sunny California
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:13 pm Reply with quote
I always appreciate your reviews and lists. I discover lots of new titles that way. Thank you!

To add to the fun... my favorite series finale was Goodnight Punpun (volume 7). I think it may have traumatized me a bit, but it was a perfect way to end an incredible story.
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