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Looking For Some Manga


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Initial post: Dec 28, 2010 10:45:48 PM PST
Kayla says:
Okay, so I'm kinda new to manga, and I was wondering if I could get any reccomendations. BUT, I'm looking for some good, clean manga. Meaning I don't want to read anything explicit. I don't mind a swear word here and there, (hell, damn), but that's as far as I'll go.

Thanks in advance. :)

Posted on Jan 3, 2011 8:02:16 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 3, 2011 8:06:23 PM PST
comixdevil says:
Well Ms. Kayla it depends on what you are looking for. Do you like romance or action? Supernatural or sci-fi? Funny or serious or a combo? Complex or simple? Do you have any interests or hobbies (because chances they have a manga about or similar to it)? I'd be happy to help you out, but you kinda have to narrow down the field :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2011 11:28:58 PM PST
Kayla says:
Thanks for wanting to help me out!
So basically, I like just about anything except I'm not that into sci-fi or action. I like some romance, but not cheesy romance. I'd like something with a good moral to the story, nothing mindless, y'know? I want it to be worth the read.
I looove art, which is what has drawn me to manga in the first place, so I'm willing to look into any manga with especially beautiful art. I like animals and photography, too, as far as hobbies go.
So far the mangas I've read and liked have been Twin Spica and Saturn Apartments, so anything similiar to them would probably be welcome. (They don't have to be about space, though, that was purely coincidence that the two I liked are about space, haha. I just really liked the characters and style of those two mangas.)
Also, if it helps any, I'm a huge fan of Hayoa Miyazaki's anime films, and his Nausicaa comics. Anything stylistically similiar to him I'm sure I would love.
Thanks again! :)

Posted on Jan 4, 2011 9:23:06 AM PST
comixdevil says:
Ok I think I kinda have a feel for what you're looking for Ms. Kayla and I immediately think of a Tanemura work. Arina Tanemura is one of the best mangaka concerning art in my opinion. For your story I would suggest Gentlemen's Alliance +, Vol. 1 it's a medium long series (11 volumes) about a girl who falls in love with someone of a higher social rank, through her love she overcomes many hardships and decides to turn over a fresh leaf from her yanki lifestyle and live as a person that would be proud to stand by her beloved's side. Of course there are several twists and turns on the way to their happiness, but that's what makes the story exciting and fun :)
I would also recommend Fruits Basket, Vol. 1 although it is quite a long series for a newbie Fruits Basket is undoubtedly a classic must read. Takaya's artwork is clean and fresh and the story is just as endearing. The main character has faced several hardships before the story takes place and it is evident that she has been forced to drastically grow up to survive, however she takes all the punches in stride and with a smile. This story is simple and complex at the same time about how far one girl will go to help out the friends she loves.
My last recommendation would be for the hilarious and serious Ouran High School Host Club, Vol. 1 this series is about to wrap up at 18 volumes. Host Club may be a little complex to start with, but there is no manga with a better combination of hilarious and serious moments. The moments may drag, but you can expect a sucker punch of emotion in many of the books centered around a mistaken case of identity and an unfortunate series of events followed by the lead being in ithe wrong place at the wrong time :)
I hope I helped you out, if you would like any more recommendations let me know and I will be happy to help you out. These manga were fairly common plot lines, but there are many stories out there that are completely out of the ordinary lol. If you would like more girly and romancy plots (also known as shojo) or if you would like more actiony plots (also known as shonen) I will specifically target those areas :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2011 9:20:02 PM PST
Kayla says:
Thanks sooo much!! I've heard some of those titles before, but I haven't looked into them. I'll be sure to now.
Also, thanks for explaining the "shonen" and "shojo" thing. I'm new to this, so I have no idea what any of the terms mean, haha.

Oh, one more thing, do you know of any mangas set in the past? I've read a lot that are set in the future, but I'm really interested in history and stuff.

Posted on Jan 4, 2011 11:32:23 PM PST
D. L. Wise says:
Hi Kayla, thought I'd venture a recommendation or two. I'm a big fan of both Fruits Basket and Ouran. If you like them you might also try Skip Beat by Yoshiki Nakamura. It's about a girl who follows the guy she loves to Tokyo and supports him while he tries to make it in the music industry. When he does, he dumps her and to get revenge, she decides to become an actress and a bigger star than him. It's by turns hilarious, serious, and just plain fascinating to watch Kyoko go from using acting as tool for revenge to turning it into something she truly loves and becomes adept at. There's also a romance element here in the form of a fellow actor with whom it turns out Kyoko shares a past. Really good stuff here. Just a warning though, this is a long series, 23 volumes and still going.

I'm not well versed in historicals, that genre not being a favorite of mine but I can recommend Ooku: The Inner Chambers, an ongoing series by Fumi Yoshinaga which is classified as a historical fantasy. Also though it's not historical, you might like Yoshinaga's slice of life series called Flowers of Life.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2011 9:27:18 AM PST
comixdevil says:
I'm glad I could help with your termonolgy lol shojo and shonen are the 2 most common and basic forms of manga. Shojo is girls manga and shonen is boys manga although I like a healthy dose of both :) However there are many other kinds that target different age groups so if you don't understand another type don't be afraid to ask!
There are quite a few history oriented manga although they are mostly periodical works set in ancient Japan. Unfortunately this is not my favorite genre, but I have read a few and feel that I could at least give you some titles in order to get your feet wet if you're still interested :)
My first recommendation is for Fushigi Yugi, Vol. 1 (Priestess / Oracle /Disciple). Fushigi Yugi is arguably Yuu Watase's greatest work and is heralded as a classic in shojo manga. The story centers around Miaka and her best friend Yui, who live an average life. Miaka is normal, with a healthy appetite and Yui is the smart, pretty, popular best friend. The two are studying for their exams when at the library they discover an old book. Miaka and Yui are drawn into the book and into ancient Japan. This story has everything from comedy to drama to love triangles and heart-touching moments of friendship and loyalty. I highly recommend this series, I have purchased the VizBig editions which is 3 manga in 1 binding and saves about $5 or so depending on where you buy it :)
I also recommend Haruka, Vol. 1: Beyond the Stream of Time (Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time). Haruka is very similar to Fushigi Yugi, with a few tweaks to the storyline. Although the similarities are undeniably obvious I felt Akane's story was truly heart-warming and at times heart-wrenching. Definitely worth picking up
My third recommendation is for Inuyasha Vol. 1 (Library Edition). This story is set in ancient Japan as well with Kagome (a regular high schooler who happens to be the reincarnation of a powerful priestess) as the heroine who must tame a demon in her quest for the Shikon Jewel, fighting bad demons and evil-doers along the way. This is a very well written, but very long manga.
My final recommendation is for Emma, Vol. 1. Although I have not personally read this manga it sounds promising and fits with your descriptions :)
All my recs this time were shojo, but there are several shonen that are set in ancient japan as well.
Hope I helped :)

Posted on Jan 5, 2011 9:56:03 AM PST
I'll throw in a recommendation for Rurouni Kenshin. It's a great historical shonen series set in Meiji era Japan. It's got some romance, but not a lot. It's got some blood from fighting - but not a lot. What I love about it is the moral struggles of the hero - a warrior who has sworn not to kill any longer. It's available from Viz in 3-in-1 volumes. I reread the series at least once a year.
Rurouni Kenshin, Vol. 1 (VIZBIG Edition)

Posted on Jan 5, 2011 5:46:20 PM PST
magnolia186 says:
hmmm...period piece, likes romance...I'd suggest The story of Saiunkoku, I just read the first volume (it's just getting started) and so far so good, the art is nice...it's got romance, mystery, court intrigues, but it's set in a fantasy location...

Posted on Jan 5, 2011 9:19:10 PM PST
Kayla says:
Wow, thanks everyone for all the recomendations!! :) And definately don't be afraid to reccomend a long series, I love long series, I get sad when a series ends, haha.

Posted on Jan 7, 2011 3:28:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2011 4:59:56 PM PST
mute says:
Everyone seems to be making recommendations for shoujo and shounen series, but based on your list of likes I'd say you're more of a seinen fan. Viz's Ikki/Signature collection might interest you. If you want to avoid explicit content, than check the ratings on the companies' websites.

The first book that came to mind while reading your post, is the manga adaptation of Voices of a Distant Star titled The Voices of a Distant Star -Hoshi no Koe -. It has gorgeous artwork and deals with space, so it's right up your alley! lol It's about a girl who is selected to pilot a giant robot to fight off space aliens. Sounds really action oriented, right? But it's not. It's actually a subtle romance between the girl and her friend that she leaves behind on earth. The author is rumored to be a layout artist for Studio Ghibli and her artwork is delicate, focusing on intricate details like the drip of rain or a slight change in facial expression. It's out of print, but if you can find it at a good price I'd recommend it.

I see someone else recommended Inuyasha. Now it's been awhile since I've read it, but I'm pretty sure Inuyasha has topless women, a fair amount of violence, and lots of jokes involving "perverted" characters. It's fairly explicit especially considering it received an OT rating (older teen) which, if compared to movie ratings, is something a little bit more than PG-13.

Maybe I shouldn't say this, but I wouldn't recommend Fruits Basket either. The characters lack depth ("This is the angry character, and this is the nice character."), the art is typical wide-eyed shoujo impossibleness (not a bad thing, but certainly not beautiful, like you're looking for.), and the plot is juvenile. Depending on your age, though, you might like it (How old are you anyway?). The zodiac animals are positively adorable, so it does have that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2011 8:02:36 PM PST
comixdevil says:
mute,

I had no idea about the flagrant fan service you mentioned about Inuyasha, I did not get to that stage and started to watch the anime instead. I apologize to Ms. Kayla if the recommendation was inappropriate.

Also I agree with you about Fruit's Basket. To a certain degree. I felt the last books had unnecessarily long and dull plots. Yes the characters lacked depth in the beginning, but towards the end several key characters gained many other dimensions to their personalities.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2011 9:47:45 PM PST
Kayla says:
I'm 16, and thanks for clearing those up for me, from what I'd heard before of Inuyasha I didn't figure it was for me anyway. ;)
Voices of a Distant Star sounds amazing, would that by chance be from the same person who created "The Place Promised In Our Early Days" movie?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2011 9:49:32 PM PST
Kayla says:
Don't worry about it, I haven't had time so far to check into anything anyways, so no harm done. :)

Oh, and what does seinen mean? Haha.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2011 11:53:41 PM PST
mute says:
I wouldn't call it "flagrant fan service". (There are much, much worse offenders in that category. :P) It's just not something I would recommend to someone looking to avoid explicit content considering the amount of severed limbs and all. The anime and manga are similar enough that you probably have a pretty good idea of what's in there. No need to apologize. If you feel that it's an appropriate recommendation than defend it! I'm sure Kayla would appreciate that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2011 12:31:28 AM PST
mute says:
Umm...yes? Yes, it is. lol I had to look it up. With the exception of Ghibli movies, which I love to pieces, I'm not much of an anime fan. :P The writer and artist of both movies is the same person, but the artist and adapter of the manga is someone else. So, it's the same story from a different perspective. I have seen the Voices of a Distant Star anime, and thought the manga was better all around.

I hate to break it to you, but seinen technically means "young man" and is manga that is "generally targeted at an 18-30 year old male audience". hahaha It doesn't mean anything if you like it, though. Lots of women read seinen, myself included.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2011 9:44:35 PM PST
Kayla says:
Haha! Oh, I could care less if it means young man. I'm always reading books that are technically for "boys". (A lot of websites automatically catagorize books with male protagonists as a "boys" book, which is stupid.)

I'm the same as far as anime. I love Studio Ghibli's films, but now that I've seen them all I'm searching for movies that are similar, that's how I came across The Place Promised In Our Early Days, haven't actually seen it yet, but it sounded interesting anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2011 6:05:31 AM PST
Aaron says:
Death Note. Easy, Death Note. Very Good.

Posted on Jan 26, 2011 2:22:20 PM PST
Based on what you like I would recommend Beauty Pop (10volumes), Full Moon (7volumes), Neko Ramen (still going) you may like, its about a cat with his own ramen shop and just short strips.

Posted on Feb 8, 2011 9:58:40 AM PST
The Cat Returns by Aoi Hiiragi ( I think I spelled her name wrong. ) It's only 1 volume and based on a Studio Ghibli movie of the same name. It's really cute though.
Both the book and the movie are sold here on Amazon.

Posted on Jan 11, 2012 1:23:22 AM PST
Luz Palomino says:
You should definitely give "New Era G" a read!!

It's freakin' AWESOME!!!

New Era G vol 1

Posted on Feb 13, 2012 11:55:00 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 13, 2012 11:56:05 AM PST
C. Cooper says:
I'm going to give you a list of terms to know just as far as looking for manga goes.
I want to note that I am giving you some of these definitions so that you can avoid awful things/ things you don't like.
Recomendations are at the bottom. :D

4-koma- A four paneled comic much like the funnies but always vertical.
Shojo- girls' manga, they tend to be set in school and have a plot of "getting the guy"
Shonen- boys' manga, they tend to be set in a fantasy world and have a plot of beating people up
Shonen ai/Shojo ai- Ai in Japanese means love, so wither of these is a innocent homosexual relationship between either Boys (shonen) or girls (shojo) this is geared towards women primarily. Strangely things labeled as Shojo ai can just be a very close friendship between girls. Can also be called Boys' Love (BL) or Girls' Love (GL).

We are now entering the 'porn zone'. Don't read anything with these labels if you don't want to be sad.
Yaoi-Explicit male homosexual stories. Frequently plotless and very pornographic. When people say uke or seme they are talking about "positions" or "roles" in gay sex. Geared towards women.
Yuri-Explicit female homosexual stories. Very similar to yaoi but geared towards men.
Hentai-Porn. PORN. Really Really REALLY creepy weird porn. If you don't want explicit avoid this at all costs.
Lolicon/shotacon- A romantic or explicit relationship between a child and an adult. It exists. :(
We are now exiting the 'porn zone'

Josei- stories geared for women and older girls. May contain sex or nudity but is usually a plot point and is never graphic. (I don't read much josei- even though i am the target audience! so i can't tell you much about it.)
-Ecchi- Perverted elements usually humor related. Geared towards men and young boys. Manifests in 'panty shots' and characters accidentally groping each other. This is a modifier of shonen or seinen (see next).
Senien- stories geared for men and older boys. May contain sex and nudity. May contain extreme violence. May contain extreme adorableness.

I saved seinen for last because I want to talk about it the most and it has the greatest difference between content. Eg; On one side there is "Vagabond"-historical, beautiful artwork, stunning story - the most blood you will ever see. also full male and female nudity. On the other side "Chiii's Sweet Home"- which is a story about an adorable kitty named Chii. Very cute and funny. No really you will drown in the cute.
So when browsing shonen you have to pay attention to what other genres it is.
Judging from the two manga that you said you like you like seinen, 'slice-of-life' which is all about the day to day life of some quirky people. Character-driven instead of plot-driven. A story that is funny and sweet and a little sad, that meanders about until it reaches a climax. (which is great for you because it might be my favorite genre) Unfortunately the art work is typically not every one's cup of tea- it is rather different from most manga drawings.

RECOMMENDATIONS!!!!!
I demand that you read Azumanga Daioh -it is a 4koma -hillarious. High school girls being weird.
Yotsuba- done by the same manga-ka as Azumanga Daioh- it is about a strange 5 year old girl and her neighbors
Hourou Musuko- Two 5th graders discover that they would rather be the other sex. Its really slow but it is really sweet.
Nodame Cantabile- Follows an anal college student at a musical college who meets Noda Megumi (or Nodame!) his nightmare and his neighbor, a strange pianist who does what ever she wants<3. The art is a little strange.
Honey and Clover- Art students being art students. It does get a little hard to follow but despite that it is very very good. It made me cry.

If you want to look for more manga to read search for Baka-Updates Manga- it is a little hard to navigate at first but once you get it down it is very useful it can even tell you if a manga is being sold in the US.

As far as you disliking scifi/action I find that manga scifi and fantasy feels different than book or movie scifi/fantasy - so I would give a few of them a chance.

Posted on Feb 14, 2012 9:09:38 PM PST
A. Meyer says:
Gantz
Gyo
Wolfboy
Beserk
Homunculus
My balls

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2012 11:32:40 AM PST
Dusty says:
I second mute's rec for Viz's Signature series. I'm personally reading House of Five Leaves, Vol. 1: very strange art, very character driven, sedate (but not boring) pacing and tone. Liking the series hinges on liking the two main characters and their mutual fascination with each other.

Also reading Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 1: not sure if I'd recommend it to you though. As much as I'm enjoying it (attractive art, Shakespearean dialogue), it follows its characters into some dark territory. Some strong violence and sex, a couple rape scenes (both het and homo). Really strong characters and compelling story-telling, but probably not for you, Kayla.

Seconding Ouran High School Host Club, Vol. 1 for you as well. You'll fall in love with all the characters. Or at least, the ones that matter. Sweet and funny, with lots of heart.

I'd also rec xxxHOLiC, Vol. 1. Highly stylized, as a CLAMP series ought to be. Again, fairly sedate pacing. Some elements of horror and suspense, but by no means graphic. No sexual content. I love Watanuki and Domeki, a hilarious Odd Couple. Starts off as mostly episodic story-telling, but then you start to delve into longer, deeper arcs. Some good emotional meat to the story once it gets going. Pretty philosophical. Just released its 19th and final volume last week.

Crosses over with Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Volume 1, and though reading Tsubasa can enhance the depth of your xxxHolic experience and vice versa, it isn't necessary. Tsubasa is also light and romantic and sweet, but also has quite a bit of action and gets pretty dark (and bloody) as the series moves forward. Also a long series, already released all 28 volumes.

I'd like to also mention Bunny Drop, Vol. 1. About a 30-something single man adopting Rin, the 6-year-old illegitimate daughter of his dead grandfather (hehe, his aunt, basically). Adorable, touching. The father-daughter relationship is lovely and not at all cliched. Cute art, but the style isn't all that common. I think you'll really like this one, at least until the time skip: Rin is in high school, and the story is pretty good for a while but then dives headlong into a Woody Allen, no longer "father-daughter" direction that I find disturbing. But don't let that stop you from starting; the first few volumes are absolutely lovely.

I don't have firsthand knowledge of A Bride's Story, Vol. 1 yet, but if the reviews are accurate, you might find this series worth a read as well. (It's next on my list.) It's by the same mangaka as Emma, Vol. 1, which was also rec'd earlier in this thread.
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Discussion in:  Manga forum
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Initial post:  Dec 28, 2010
Latest post:  Feb 26, 2012

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