Tag Archives: manga

Cross Medium Recommendations (1)

Hi, been a while since I last posted on this blog. I’ve been planning this post for a while, and hopefully it will be interesting. Today, I will bring you guys several recommendation across ACGL (anime, comics, galgame, and light novels) spectrum.

It is usually easy to seek recommendation in the same medium. For example, for anime rec, you can just pop into myanimelist’s recommendation forum and ask for rec according to your criteria. The same goes for manga, light novel, or visual novel; you just have to ask in the relevant forum. However, one thing that I’ve rarely seen is recommendation from one medium to the other. To give an example, if I liked Code Geass, can I find similar stories in VN or light novel…?

I am going to tell you, yes, absolutely.

Moreover, all recommendation that I am going to enumerate here are considered classics in their own respective fields. Even if you have never experienced a particular medium before (probably visual novel/galgame or light novel), this is a good place to start.

1. Gintama & Futurama

Gintama (anime/manga)

Futurama (cartoon)

So despite what I said, I decided to start off my first recommendation with a Japanese anime and an American cartoon. Well, anything goes, right?

Gintama started as a manga in 2003, and was since adapted into anime in several seasons starting from 2006. Futurama debuted on TV way back in 1999, and came to an temporary halt in 2001 after just 4 seasons. The series is revived on TV, however, in 2007, and aired 3 more seasons until its finale in 2013. At first sight, one can immediately observe that both shows have 2 main male characters, with 1 main female character, in their posters. Of course, the similarity doesn’t just stop there. Both are episodic comedy parody series that follow one principal and one principal only: anything goes.

The setup allows for such flexibility in story-telling. In Futurama, the protagonist, Fry, is a 20th century man who was frozen and essentially time-traveled into the 31st century. He had no choice but to work in a universal delivery company, exploring the most dangerous part of universe on an everyday basis. In Gintama, the protagonist, Gin, is an Edo Samurai whose entire country has been invaded and occupied by Amanto, or space aliens. As he has lost his job as samurai, he opened a yorozoya house, where he and his team do all kind of odd jobs upon request. Already, both shows have such broad and crazy setup. Literally anything can happen, so you’d never know what to expect, ranging from popularity contest, space conquering, holiday gathering, to sudden, emotional flashbacks. Normally, I don’t like to watch episodic series in that they lack a coherent main story line, but pure comedy parody series with such crazy setup are an exception.

Parallels in how characters are presented also draws affinity between the two series. The protagonists, at first, seem to possess all kinds of negative qualities that a human being could have, spending their days lazing around the neighborhood. Unlike the deluge of Mary-Sue protagonist that seem to encompass all positive qualities in shows nowadays, Fry and Gin are usually lazy, sometimes dumb, indulging in bizarre habits, occasionally revels in others’ misery, and always draw the short end of the stick in life. However, this is only on the surface. As the shows progress, audience will discover that, actually, there are a lot of good points about the protagonists and their entourage. This stark contrast is always done in powerful ways, making the characters real humans instead of characters endowed with many good attributes.

Finally, both series share the element of trying to make fun of everything that is waiting to be ridiculed, from our everyday habits, customs, culture, to just ways of how humans interact with each other, in a non-aggressive, fun way. Of course, Futurama mostly makes fun of American culture, while Gintama do Japanese, so it is sometimes hard to catch the humor if you are not familiar with the particular culture. Still, the key point is that there is so much comedy in both that you’d at least be able to catch some, and it would still be very funny. Ultimately, through their ridiculing of human nature, we could perhaps learn something about ourselves, and change for the better. I am very serious when I say this.

2. Code Geass & G-senjou no Maou

Code Geass (anime)

G-senjou no Maou, or Devil on the G-string (visual novel)

If you are an anime fan who is still active in recent years, you’d probably already watched an original anime called Code Geass, or at the very least, heard about it somewhere. Now, if you really absolutely loved Code Geass, right after you finished the anime you’d probably feel a big void in your heart. Where else can one finds such an entertaining and gripping tale of revenge, fraught with tension and theatrics? Some would, rightly so, suggest the anime Death Note. Of course, it doesn’t take a detective to see the similarities between them. Still others would recommend the anime Guilty Crown, written by the same script writer. In this case, one would disappointingly find that the similarities remain limited, if not only on the surface, with setup such as the king’s power, big robots action, blah blah blah. Today, I am going to take you guys on a different path. If you broaden your horizon, you will find that there is this one popular visual novel called G-senjou no Maou (Devil on the G-string) that will definitely satisfy your thirst for Code Geass.

What makes Code Geass so endearing is definitely not the mecha action. It is the drama, the theatrics, the high amount of tension, how characters pull ridiculously impossible yet brilliant moves against their opponents, and of course, Lelouch. Unfortunately, Lelouch is not in this visual novel, but we get the next best thing: a charismatic, mysterious criminal mastermind, self-styled Maou, or Devil, whose identity is shrouded in mystery even from the audience.

Instead of royal offspring acting as commanders trying to outwit one another in the battlefield as in Code Geass, we dig deep into the world of terrorist and yakuza in G-senjou. As the adopted son of a mafia boss, the protagonist, Kyousuke, obey his father’s every bidding. His peaceful day as an yakuza-in-training is disrupted when two individuals suddenly showed up in the city, a beautiful girl named Haru and an internationally powerful mafia known only as “Maou”. And so, along with Haru, Kyousuke begins an deadly cat-and-mouse game with maou, in an epic game of wits.

Without going into more details, I am going to assure you that the two stories are most similar in that they have the same “feels”. The suspense is there. A lot of mystery needed to be uncovered. Characters engage in deadly games of wits against each other, with high stakes. They pull off huge stunts when one least expect it. Some comic relief here and there, and then bang, plot twist again. Although the story is prone to some minor plot holes with careful inspection, just like Code Geass, the story overall is very well written and executed in a good pace. The conclusion ends in the most dramatic fashion possible.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that the voice actor for both Lelouch and Maou is Furukawa Jun?

For more info, refer to this post https://bunny1ov3r.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/first-experience-with-visual-novel-an-attempt-at-g-senjou-no-maou-review/

PS: I really meant to include a couple more recommendation in this post, but I got really lazy and still wanted to publish it today. I’ll call this post part I. Hopefully the next part will come soon with more interesting recommendation across mediums. 

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Anime&Manga Pairing Countdown #20 – #16

#16 Yuuta Togashi x Rikka Takanashi in Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! (Anime)

Rikka x Makoto

Rikka x Yuuta

The cutesy teenage couple brought to us by the wonderful Kyoto Animation, and I promise you, it won’t be the last on this countdown. If I am forced to explain why this pairing is great, I can only repeat the title of the anime in English, “Regardless of My Adolescent Delusions, I still want to Love!”. Indeed, everyone is entitled to experience love, not even the most deeply-entrenched otaku can avoid it. 

#17 Simon x Nia Teppelin in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Anime)

simon x nia
simon x nia

For an anime that isn’t even categorized as romance, I myself am surprised that this couple is even on the list. It’s probably because how tragic both of their past and how far they’ve come along together had been something that really touched me. Most of all, their love is one that in the end cannot be. Despite knowing this, both of them still decide to love and do it without regrets, even enjoying their last moments together with cheerful smiles on their faces.

#18 Guen Soo Min x So Ri Jeon in Can’t See Can’t Hear But Love (webtoon manhwa)

Guen Soo x So Ri
Guen Soo x So Ri

Created by Nasty Cat (manhwaga of Trace), a webtoon deity who can make the most emotional stories ever (manga or manhwa), but somehow sucks at drawing. The only reason why this couple is so far down the list is … the last few chapters is not translated!!! At this point, I am almost begging, please finish translate this masterpiece! Anyways, it tells a love story of an artist who lost his sight and a pure-hearted girl who was deaf as well as mute since her birth, and the only thing that connect them is the inspirational manhwa that the artist used to draw when his eyes were still good.

This is a beautiful love story that teaches us again and again that love is never easy, but it is something that we should not abandon. Indeed, true love is sometimes the least feasible option, but with resolve and determination, one can overcome all obstacles, be it inability to communicate, terminal illness, or financial problems.

#19 Hitoshi Aoshima x Wagatsuma Ai in Wagatsuma-san wa Ore no Yome (manga)

wagatsuma x aoshima
wagatsuma x aoshima

Put yourself in the male lead’s shoes. If you on the off chance time-traveled 10 years into the future and discovered that your wife is none other than the most popular, beautiful, and ideal girl in your high school, would you do everything in your power to try to make her fall for you when you return to the present? To add to that, you are not popular, bad at studying, and hang out with a bunch of people who hate “normalfags”. At this point, you would be pretty desperate to win your “future wife” ‘s hand, right?

True, it’s nothing impressive that Aoshima decided to pursue her. What is impressive, though, is that when the future is somehow changed, and your wife becomes an equally impressive European hotty (who is a lot easier to approach), he still does not lose sight of whom he loves the most, and continues to pursue that relationship despite obvious contradictions in the future. Now that is something to be praised for. Good luck, Aoshima, may you be successful!

#20 Kazuto Kirigaya x Asuna Yuuki in Sword Art Online (anime, manga, and light novel)

Kirito x Azuna
Kirito x Azuna

After listing so many rules about this and that, guess what, I’ve put Kirito x Azuna on this list. Lame, I know. It is pretty easy to see though that these two does make a good couple together, probably one of the biggest reasons for which SAO is so popular, even though, you know … Kirito is more often than not flirting with other girls. One of his “harem” members just has to be the recently-grown big-busted sister-turned-cousin Suguha-Leafa. Of course, let’s not forget the would-be future partner aka. blue-haired angry gun chick Sinon. Don’t worry, though, if Kirito has an iota of common sense, he will remain faithful to his one and only Azuna, right? … Someone please agree with me …

Eagerly awaiting for the completion of second season!


Anime & Manga Pairing Countdown Foreword

Yes. A new project from bunny, and a more interesting (and subjective) one for that matter.

This will be a top 20 countdown of best couples from all manga and anime that I’ve seen, following several criteria.

1. The couple will “end up” with each other. If the story ends in tragedy, they must “emotionally end up” with each other.

*This eliminates a lot of harems

2. In a lot of action series where romance is not the main focus, it wouldn’t be on the countdown unless the reasons for fighting (so to speak) is entirely for the purposes of romance.

*eliminates Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece, etc. Please don’t complain.

3. Stories that only hint at the romance between main characters will not be included generally.

*eliminate a lot of slice-of-life anime

4. Minor pairings will not be included.

5. One couple per series.


My Worst Manga Countdown

Today, I will be making a list of some of the worst manga that I had the misfortune of reading. I will be filtering out most of the less well-known manga.

That’s right, you did not guess wrong. This boils down to a post that bashes at a lot of manga. And no, I am not a hater for no reason. In fact, if you are not at least as heavily invested in manga as I am, you probably won’t even recognize any titles on here. That’s fine, too. You can just take my words for it and avoid these travesties.

#7: Come Come Vanilla!

art by: Chihiro Harumi ~  story by: Daisuke Tazawa

This manga is featured because it gained some popularity on mangahere.com (search completed manga and this one will be on the first page sorted by popularity). A generic comedy romance school manga that tells a strange tale of our MC’s harem, which consists of Ibu Kiriko, the scientist who loved MC since she was little, and her creation, the cat girl Vanilla!

Since this is the last place for the worst manga countdown, this manga is not actually that bad. Well, not as bad as it is boring, anyways. It is disappointing to know this is from the same artist as Velvet Kiss. Seriously, why can’t someone capable of good story writing work with her?

#6: Tokage no Ou

art by: Shiki Kamizuki ~  story by: Hitoma Iruma

Same as the last one, this manga gained popularity at mangahere.com, sitting solidly at #217 in popularity on the said site (mangahere you piece of shit!). This one actually showed a lot of promise. From what one can gather at first glance, it has a wonderful premise, an interesting chapter naming-scheme, and only 15 chapters. This is a pleasant way to spend the next hour, right?

Wrong. Words of advice #1: Never read a mystery manga that has a measly 15 chapters. #2: Read comments posted below before proceeding to read it.

While the source material light novel might not be bad at all, this manga happens to be a prologue of the said source material. It offers a confusing story that ended … wait … it ended? continue in the light novel?

So yes. Basically no ending at all. A friendly suggestion to all future mangaka who plans to make adaptations of light novels, make a complete story. onegaishimasu.

#5: To LOVE-Ru

art by: Kentarou Yabuki ~  story by: Saki Hasemi

A very popular series that first published in 2006. It is worth mention that the same manga artist also drew Black Cat.

To LOVE-Ru basically tell a story of our MC’s ever-growing harem (deja-vu much? it gets better!). This manga takes the concept of harem to extreme. Only looking at the poster, we realize that there are at least 12 female members in MC’s harem. I have read 1/3 of this manga, and from what I have gathered, it has no worthwhile drama, little character development, and no funny moments except for the same old ecchi jokes! Guess what? this manga has a total of 162 chapters and 18 volumes…

#4: Yuutai Nova

by Shuuzou Oshimi

In all honesty, somewhat of an interesting story, if not bizarre. It borders between ecchi and hentai. The ending is the most problematic, however, since the ending fails to bring any sort of closure.

#3: Freezing

art by: Kwang Hyun Kim ~ story by: Dal Young Im

currently a very popular series that first published in 2007. Well, it does have one thing going. It does have good art, though not every female has to have a breast size that is bigger than F!

This manga has a very cliched premise in terms of works of similar setting, and very cliched execution. Had it only been cliched, though, it wouldn’t even been on this list. It also has a very dark plot that heavily involves in abuse of women. Unnecessarily dark, because character motives are overly emphasized and illogical. The characters are unimpressive, dull, and depressing as fuck to watch.

#2: Mixim 11

by Nobuyuki Anzai

mangaka of critically acclaimed MAR and Flame of Recca. Mixim 11 is perhaps one of the most wasted potential I’ve ever seen. It literally turned from what sounded genuinely interesting to a heap of crap. And I am not talking about the anime Sword Art Online’s level here. It is something in a much, much more drastic level.

#1: High School Musical

unknown mangaka

the lowest ranked manga on myanimelist, and therefore gained some popularity that way. It is an one-shot that has a total of ten pages, and what mind-blowing ten pages! I even wrote a review for it. You guys can read it for some lols. (scroll down to the last review by bunny_lover) http://myanimelist.net/manga/12200/High_School_Musical/reviews

Note: http://myanimelist.net/topmanga.php?type=&limit=14682 shows some of the lowest-ranked one-shots on MAL.


Manga Ranking Countdown – Ending Words and Full List

It’s been a exhilarating ride writing this series. At first, it was just something to do for fun. Then, it becomes a good way to maintain my composition ability while I am not taking any humanity courses. In the end, it has become a habit and something to look forward to at the end of a busy day.

It would not be possible without my subscribers and anyone who has read my posts. Without you guys, I would not have the incentive to keep up writing.

So I would like to say, Thanks. Thank you, for taking your time reading these posts.

Anyways, my next project would be top 20 anime countdown. It will have a format similar to the manga countdown. Please check it out.

Again, and sincerely,

THANK YOU on speech bubble price labels

Here is my full list:

  1. Rave Master
  2. Tower Of God ^
  3. Kimi no Iru Machi ^
  4. Naruto ^
  5. Bleach ^
  6. Future Dairy
  7. Psyren
  8. Fairy Tail ^
  9. The Breaker (+ New Waves ^)
  10. Trace
  11. Witch Hunter ^
  12. Break Blade ^
  13. Velvet Kiss
  14. Btooom! ^
  15. Immortal Regis (+ Cavalier of the Abyss ^)
  16. Full Metal Alchemist
  17. Ga-rei
  18. One Piece ^
  19. Onani Master Kurosawa
  20. Defense Devil
  21. Rosario + Vampire (+ II ^)
  22. Black Cat
  23. Mx0
  24. Soul Eater
  25. Watashitachi no Tamura-kun
  26. The moment a fox becomes a Wolf
  27. Hanged Doll
  28. 20th century boys (+ 21st century boys)
  29. Beelzebub ^
  30. Melo Holic
  31. La Mosca

note: ^ denotes on-going manga/manhwa

Your Favourite Manga Poll


No. 1: Rave Master

By Hiro Mashima

Rave Master 1

Genres: Adventure, Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Shounen, (Romance), (Mystery)

Status: Completed!

The Continent of Song is in chaos. The sinister secret society known as Demon Card is using the power of Dark Bring to destroy everything in their path. The only things capable of stopping Dark Bring are the Rave stones. Unfortunately, the Rave Stones were scattered around the globe in an explosion 50 years ago, so now they must be collected by the Rave Master in order to stop Dark Bring once and for all. This new task has been given to Haru Glory; a sixteen-year-old boy from Garage Island. The World’s fate now rests on the new, young Rave Master. (Source: Tokyopop)

Thus begins the epic adventure of our favorite rave master, Haru Glory!

So, what factors compel me to pick this one above all other Action Shounen manga (ie. Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Psyren, Fairy Tail, Black Cat, Soul Eater)? Indeed, after thousands upon thousands pages of manga experience, the best I can do is to pick a Shounen manga? Allow me to enlighten you.

Exemplary Shounen-ness

First of all, Rave Master is Shounen. There is no dispute about it. It is also a good Shounen, and that means that every once in a while, readers starts to feel blood rushing into their heads. Or, as I would like to put it, it is epic. In this regard, it is on par with Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, etc. As we will soon see, though, Shounen is definitely not the only strength it possesses.

Amalgam of Genres

Another noteworthy trait about Rave Master is that expands its territories to encompass more elements than what a standard Shounen would include. Of course, all topnotch (popular) Shounen has shown this characteristic to some extent, but rave master has done this especially well. Other than action, fantasy, and comedy, RM puts a heavy emphasis on adventure (much like One Piece), drama, and even romance. Granted, the romance aspect is nowhere as explored as it is in romance-oriented manga. It is still a respectable amount of other elements added to this epic Shounen saga without ruining the Shounen aspect of it.

Moreover, while RM has more in variety, it cuts down on fan-service. This is a fantastic news to most of the readers who are tired of freakishly common occurrence of boobs on manga pages, but maybe bad news for those of you who find an excessive fan-service enjoyable. Nevertheless, the romance in RM makes up for a lack of fan-service.

World Construction

It is among some of the best world construction pieces ever found in fantasy manga, probably because the mangaka is a huge fan of Eiichiro Oda, creator of One Piece. Readers who appreciate a frequent change of setting throughout the narration of a story will surely love this.

Art

Depending on how much the readers like the art in One Piece, or a more direct comparison, Fairy Tail, there will be different opinions on the quality of art. Personally, I found this kind of a style quite different from a majority of other manga, in a refreshing and enjoyable way.

Rave Master 2

Character

Instead of talking about all the characters, I will only talk about the male lead, Haru Glory, which is, again, what sets this manga apart from all other Shounen.

Typically, male lead (in Shounen) is a bold, determined, adventurous, righteous individual in the manliest way. Obviously, there is an underlying flaw to this setup. It requires the male lead to be also a bit slow in the head and sometimes an EQ way below that of an average person. If I have to state one reason that a lot of people hate Shounen, this is why.

Fortunately, Haru Glory defies this rule. Sure, he has the typical boldness, an adventurous spirit, and determination, but in moderation. On the other hand, he is thoughtful, sensitive, and knows when to give up. Somehow, he seems like more like a person one can relate to instead of just an icon of justice (like Naruto).

Story

Where this manga truly shines. I said in previous posts that Psyren is a case of good brain-storming. Then, RM must be an incidence of phenomenal overall planning.

Let me remind you of another illness that befall most popular Shounen, the story will slow down between different arcs, and will almost come to a halt before the grand finale. For the most parts, this doesn’t apply to RM.

I will give you a succinct summary of my experience reading this manga:

Slow Start –> Gradual intensifying plot –> Epicness –> building up intensity –> Epicness

… … [repeats cycle]

(A few slowdown in between)

… … [repeats cycle]

FLASHBACK -> MIND-F*CKED in an amazing way -> Grand Finale Battle -> Epic Ending!

And this, readers, is why Rave Master is number one on my list. 
 
Rave Master 3
 
 
Much thanks. It’s been a ride writing this countdown/recommendation/review series.

No. 2: Kimi no Iru Machi (A Town Where You Live)

By Kouji Seo

KNIM eba 1

Genres: Drama, Romance, School, Shounen, Ecchi

Status: On-going

Summary:

Kirishima Haruto lives in a small town in Hiroshima and is just about to enter high school when Eba Yuzuki, a mysterious girl from Tokyo suddenly decided to go to high school in the countryside. Despite his objections, she moves in to his home. Haruto must now put up and take care of this clumsy freeloading city girl and at the same time, make sure his long time crush Kanzaki Nanami doesn’t get the wrong idea!

And so, one of the greatest love stories ever to be drawn in manga was born!

Now, let me explain to you why this manga is so great, in terms of story, character, art, and enjoyment.

KNIM 4

Story:
For all its greatness, it starts out with a typical romance story setup: a boy meets girl scenario. The story soon becomes intense, in a way that is indescribable. The relationship of Haruto and Eba, and with other people are so well portrayed that I experience what the characters did vicariously while I was reading it. Talking about anything in the plot will spoil the manga. Just trust my words on it. This manga is epic.

Art:
I myself am not a huge art person, so I can’t give you the details. What I can say is that the girls in the manga have incredibly slim figure and beautiful features, enough to make male readers fall in love with them.

KNIM1

Character:
The main characters are realistically portrayed through “mundane” incidents in the manga. Almost every major character in this manga is likeable, even though they make mistakes and hurt other people’s feelings. This is why this manga is one of the best coming-of-age story. However, a significant flaw should also be pointed out. All the minor characters have flat personality, a trait that is quite annoying sometimes. This only gets worse and worse as we approach the later chapters.

Enjoyment:
I thoroughly enjoyed this manga. A word of warning, though, this manga turns into a romantic-comedy with occasional seriousness toward the later chapters. I have to blame this on the manga becoming so popular that this trend is almost demanded by populace.

KNIM 3

Nonetheless, for boys and girls who would like to read a superb romance manga, this will not disappoint. Personally, nothing (unless it turns into complete rubbish, which is not happening) will stop me from associating KnIM with the title of “The Best Manga Love Story Ever”.

Overall: 
This is an incredible romance, drama, slice-of-life manga that realistically portrays the relationship between a high-school boy and a high-school girl (a relationship that is extended in university). You may not agree with my giving it the title of “The Best” in romance category, but it is an undeniable fact that reading this manga is a hell of a ride.


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