Manga Recommendation 2013 (2)

#3 Gantz

Gantz

Summary

Thought your life was bad? Sometimes, death is worse. There is no salvation, peace, nor god waiting to receive you into their care. But wait, a god? Maybe you are talking about that big black ball stuck in the room with you. Now you are thrown into a game, fighting green aliens and robot monsters for the chance to survive.

When Kei Kurono is killed, he thus finds himself caught in such a game; a test of his skills, morals and will to survive. His life is not his own, his death spat and trampled upon over and over again. What happens if he does not listen? God knows.

A word of warning: Gantz is not for the faint-hearted, but neither is it as simple as it looks. Gore, rape and violence is rampant, as are portrayals of greed, violence, and all the ugliness that one sees in society today. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

The highly popular series published in 2000 by Hiroya Oku have finally come to a conclusion. A decent ending, very sci-fi like, for a action-packed and gore-filled series. This is the manga if you are looking for superpower action manga that does not just consist of “friendship power” and “believe in me” tropes, with some (a lot of) ecchi fan-service thrown in.

Gantz has a total of 387 chapters and is very long. Fortunately, there are not a lot of words on each page so it is relatively easy to skim through the pages.

#2 Nozoki Ana

Nozoki Ana

Summary

Tatsuhiko Kido, a vocational/technical school student who’s staying in his school’s dorms, one day discovers a hole in the wall of his apartment room. He peeks through the hole, but when he does so, he sees his neighbor, Ikuno Emiru, masturbating and he’s caught peeking! However, when he goes over to inform her of the hole in the wall, she shuts the door in his face. Luckily for him, he’s able to stop the door from closing and pursues after her, but, in his haste, he trips and lands right on top of her. As luck would have it, she takes a picture of them in a compromising position and tries to blackmail him into getting naked?! (Source: MangaHelpers)

It is easy to dismiss this manga as a hentai or just another ecchi manga that exists purely for fan-service, but that’s where you are wrong. Nozoki Ana is a very dark manga, in terms of exposing a darker part of human minds and society. The characters in Nozoki Ana, especially Ikuno Emiru, are disturbingly flawed yet fascinating. The story only gets more intense as the plot unfolds.

Nozoki Ana has 117 chapters in total. A word of warning, it is not for the light-hearted.

#1 Wagatsuma-san wa ore no Yome

wagatsuma-san wa ore no yome

 

Summary

Aoshima Hitoshi is a second year student in high school, who wishes he had a girlfriend. One day he wakes up for an unknown reason 10 years in the future, and he is married to the prettiest girl in school, Wagatsuma Ai! How has their relationship grown from mere acquaintances to husband and wife!? (Source: MU)

A school, slice-of-life, romance, comedy series with a time-travelling twist? Yes, it exists, and the mangaka nailed this manga perfectly. There are three points about this manga that is above all others worth mentioning.

1. The zany and witty humor. After all, we read manga to be entertained, and this is one of the most funny one out there in my opinion.

2. The characters. The main male characters, members of “Dx Brigade”, consists of a bunch of otaku, gamers, or otherwise losers who hate “Normalfags” with passion. Several female leads, consist of our popular and beloved Ai, unsociable European hotty Sylvia, and a shy but beautiful girl. And of course, our heroic Aoshima, a loser who has so many great points that I can’t even begin to count.

3. The presentation. Beside from the well-done first-person-narrative that humorously portrays MC’s emotions, thoughts, and reactions to daily events, there is another form of presentation that is done so well that no other manga I’ve seen has done before. If I have to describe it, I would give an anology of SHAFT’s animation at its best, in Monogatari Series and Ef series (where the angles and objects being portrayed constantly change). For example, during the conversation bewteen Dx Brigade members, often enough a narrator of this manga would pop up and digress* to explain the contents of the conversation with something that you would least expect. At other times an already dramatic scene is amplified with even more drama by inserting symbolic images.

This manga currently has 64 chapters, and is ranked in top 100 in popularity on both mangahere and mangafox. If you haven’t read this, you are missing out.


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