My Top 10 Favorite Manga

It was pretty hard for me to choose a list. Well, actually the first 6 were pretty easy, but the rest… This is what I came up with:

Nr. 10
Yazawa Ai: Paradise Kiss

Better known for her Manga “NANA” Yazawa Ai tells the story of a bookworm who wants to satisfy her parents with studying and getting into a good college. One day, Yukari finds herself kidnapped by “Paradise Kiss” – not a terrorist group, but a group of self-styled fashion fans who’re working on their own fashion and need a model for an upcoming event. The leader of the group is George, a very extraordinaire person and awesome designer. We’re following Yukari while she’s getting soaked into the world of fashion, the charm of “Paradise Kiss” and it’s members.

 

Nr. 9
Obata Takeshi / Hotta Yumi: Hikaru no Go

In Hikaru no Go we’re following Hikarus life beginning with the discovery of a haunted Go board and the meeting with the ghost that was inside it: Sai. Sai is crazy for Go while Hikaru doesn’t really care, but he makes Hikaru play for himself, because he can’t play as a ghost. Little by little Hikaru develops interest in Go and begins to play himself. As a fast learner he enters the world of Go and meets lots of interesting people, friends and rivals.

Nr. 8
Adachi Mitsuru: Rough

Not a manga about baseball, this time we have a manga about swimming and everyone who knows Adachi won’t be surprised: it’s a sport/romance manga. Meet Keisuke and Ami whose families are rivals in business. This makes Ami hate Keisukes family, because she grew up with a father constantly ranting about them. Ending up in the same school we follow their everyday life between competitions, friends and love. Light will be bought into their families past and a strong rival will make the path a lot rougher than it could be.

Nr. 7
Kibayashi Shin / Okimoto Shuu: Kami no Shizuku

Kami no Shizuku is a manga about wine and has a huge cast of wine-loving characters. Our protagonist is Shizuku, the son of a world famous wine critic who dies. In the testament he wishes for his son to enter a competition against his newly adopted step-son Issei: whoever finds the 12 “drops of god” (very special wine), will inhert his wine collection. While Issei is a famous Sommelier and very knowledgeable, Shizuku hates wine and has never even drunken one drop.

Nr. 6
Kishiro Yukito: Battle Angel Alita (Last Order)

We’re visiting a world where the rich live in a floating city called Tiphares and the poor in the Scrap Yard right beneath it in the garbadge the people from Tiphares just throw down. The former Tiphares citizen doc Ido finds an intact head of a cyborg girl and takes it home. He gives her the name “Alita” and builds a body. It doesn’t take long for Alita to notice the body Ido gave her is not suited for her, as she disvores she knows an ancient fighting technique, the “Panzer Kunst”, making her a dangerous warrior. With that in mind, she becomes a hunter-warrior like Ido (against his will) and proves to be quite successful.

Nr. 5
Takarai Rihito / Tachibana Venio: Seven Days

Seryou is a popular first-year student who has a weird habit: the first girl who askes him out on Monday, will be his girlfriend for one day. If he doesn’t fall in love, he will break up with her and erase everything she has left behind. One day third-year student Shino meets Seryou and knowing about Seryous weird habit, he’s curious and askes him out. To his surprise Seryou accepts.

Nr. 4
Nightow Yasuhiro: Trigun (Maximum)

Trigun tells the story of the legendary man with a bounty of 60,000,000,000$$ on his head: Yash the Stampede. he gained this bounty when he destroyed a whole city by his own and no matter where he appears, the chaos seems to follow. He is a gunfighter of inhuman skill, but only uses his weapon to save life, because does not wish to kill a person. His motto? Love and Peace. His undying love? Donuts.

Nr. 3
Song Ji-Hyung / Takashige Hiroshi: Until Death Do Us Part

This action-filled seinen-manga has a quite unusual main character: Hijikata Mamoru is blind – and a fearsome swordsman. He’s able to “see” with special glasses and has no problem to fight himself through his life. One day, he ends up as the bodyguard of a little girl with supernatural powers. Everyone wants the girl who can see the future and it’s his job to protect her.

Nr. 2
Arakawa Hiromu: Fullmetal Alchemist

In a world where alchemy is possible, we find Edward and Alphonse Elric – our main characters. The brothers are looking for the philosophers stone to get their bodies back. Why? Because they’re alchemists and tried to revive their dead mother, but human transmutation is impossible, you’re forced to break the probably most important rule of alchemy: equvalent exchange. Ed and Al have broken this rule and their bodies have been taken away – Ed lost his right Arm, Al his whole body. To rescue his brothers soul, Ed sacrificed his left leg to bind his soul to an armor. To be able to research better, Ed (now with artificial limbs) joins the army as a state alchemist. Their path leads the brother to unforeseen events and inhuman enemies.

Nr. 1
Takehiko Inoue:  REAL

People at the rock bottom of society: highschool dropouts without a job, disabled persons – do they have a life? A future? This manga follows the struggle of 3 young men who’re below everyone elese in society and their need to find a place in life.

Ninomiya Tomomi is a highschool dropout who caused a girl to end up in a wheelchair, because he got into a traffic accident. While the guilt constantly gets to him, he fails to get a job. He seems to be an asshole, but deep down, he’s actually not that bad and quite a nice person. He meets Togawa Kiyoharu, who lost his right leg below the knee due to cancer at a young age. Before he lost his leg, he was a genius runner, now he’s a promising wheelchair basketball-player. His life is not exactly easy, altough he has a job, and he’s a difficult person to deal with. He’s certainly not a person you want to underestimate, just because he’s sitting in a wheelchair.
The third protagonist is Takahashi Hisanobu. He has the looks, the good grades in school and the talend in basketball. He has everything, but after a traffic accident his life makes a 180°-turn. The realization that he won’t be able to use his legs ever again, throws him into depression. Fallen from the highest point to the lowest, what is left for him to do?

As different as the main characters are, there are two things they have in common: their status at the bottom of society and their love for basketball.

Skip Beat Chapter 171 or… wait what, something happend? Spoilertastic!

Well yeah Skip Beat. *cough* I think I mentioned somewhere I’ve read manga where pretty much nothing happens. Skip Beat is such a manga. I don’t think it’s bad, it’s just incredible boring to wait for new chapters, because nothing really happens in one chapter. If you read everything in a row, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be that bad, but to wait 2 weeks for every chapter… that’s … bleh.

What about chapter 171? Well, actually I wanted to write something about chapter 170, but it seems like I was too slow and chapter 171 is better to talk about anyway. While I was reading 170, I thought: “Woah, finally! She’s falling in love with Ren!” It’s actually pretty interesting many fans thought she was realizing she’s in love with Ren, while she’s not – she’s only falling in love with him at this point. Yes, this manga needed 170 chapters for it’s main character to make it’s female protagonist fall in love with the male lead. Considering it was pretty much doomed to happen since chapter 1… that was pretty slow. At least Ren has fallen in love with her much earlier and realized it ealier, too. Thanks Ren.

So, back to Kyoko, let me explain why she doesn’t just realize she’s in love with him: In the second box, that has never been mentioned until now (thanks Yakamura Yoshiki, great storytelling here…) btw, is her locked up love. Meaning: the more locks are removed, the closer she comes to open up her heart for the feeling of love again, or in other words, the closer she comes to fall in love. And this means, she’s not in love yet. The box needs to be opened for her to fall in love and Ren is pretty close to opening it, the last lock has already been unlocked, but not removed yet, so from my point of view, she’s not in love with Ren yet. She only noticed she’s really close to falling in love, because she likes him a lot and he managed to gain a very special place in her heart.

Now to chapter 171… yeah… so he alread did managed to open up the second box once, but she just closed it up again, because she was afraid to fall in love. Again: great storytelling here. Thanks Yakamura Yoshiki for not telling us anything back then. I hate stuff like this, it seems to come out of nowhere and really gives the impression that the manga-ka just had the idea like… last night and squeezed it into the story while trying to make it seem it belonged there all the time. Arg. -_- Well, whatever, so what’s happening now?

I’m actually impressed. She doesn’t seem to deny the fact that she’s falling in love with Ren. Looking back at chapter 170 and the beginning of chapter 171 I would’ve bet we’ll have to go throught the denial-phase before she completely falls in love with Ren and realizes it, only to try to push it off of her again after the realization. No, we’re skipping the denial- and realization-phase and move on to “push it away” right away! The manga is moving foward faster than I expected here. Nevertheless, I think this phase can be streched from Earth to Venus and back, so I don’t expect anything romantic to happen anytime soon. Probably next year or so. If we’re fast.

I mean: she’s trying to hate Ren, doesn’t she? At least this is what it looks to me and violent phase it over, too…? Probably. While realization is a step foward (I’m so proud Kyoko), the method she wants to use now is a huge step backwards. Thinking back to Sho, this is exactly what she did with him: she started to hate him in order to be able to lock away her love for him. Well, to me it looks like she wants to repeat the same thing with Ren and this could turn into something very tiresome for us readers. *facepalm* Really, Ren, she doesn’t deserve you. I can already see the poor guy suffering again because of Kyoko. I actually feel seriously sorry for him, because he fell in love with Kyoko. If she really wants to turn her feeling of love into hatred… well, let’s just say this is evil, heartless and cruel and Ren will have to go through a lot of pain again and we will see him act overly careful again. Damn it. >.<

As for the rest of the chapter… the transformation into a beauty was to be expected. No surprises here, really. Kyoko shows her beautiful side and everyone it totally in awe, altough her natural look actually suits her much better and the hairstyle makes her look like some sort of second rate diva. She’s naturally so beautiful, why did you have to destory this to show us a “mature” Kyoko? Her Natsu-character is really awesome and beautiful without looking totally ugly. Spare me, just give me back the natural beauty Kyoko has. D:

Just a note while we’re at it: It’s quite impressive after so many chapters our dear manga-ka still has no clue about human anatomy. Good Lord, get a doll to help you or something, but the drawings are still ugly from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, it was much worse in the early chapters, but I can’t believe the anatomy is still messed up after so many years of drawing this manga.

Some Dramacurry Anyone? (Addicted to Curry Chapter 73 spoilersoup)

Two people are in love.
Third one barges in and wants person 1 as well, so he tells person 2 that he and person 1 have hugged and kissed, so naturally person 2 is pissed as hell. Because person 2 thinks person 1 is in love with person 3, he probably wants to give up on person 1 and when he’s been asked what he thinks of person 1, he lies and says he doesn’t like her.

Sounds like your average shoujo, doesn’t it? Well, actually it’s Addicted to Curry and yeah, it’s still a shounenmanga. It’s just that this shounenmanga decided to play the romance-card. Always a nice idea to make it interesting. Lovetriangle ftw – it’s classic and it works. Yay.

All right, so the situation is like this:

Yui and Makito are in love. Ryan barges in and wants Yui as well, so he tells Makito that he and Yui have hugged and kissed, so naturally Makito is pissed as hell. Because Makito thinks Yui is in love with Ryan, he probably wants to give up on Yui and when he’s been asked what he thinks of Yui, he lies and says he doesn’t like her.

AND Ryan tried to comfort Yui after she heared Makito saying they’re just empoyer and worker and is seriously heartbroken now. Jeez, despite his looks and his “Mr. Perfect”-image, she sure is an asshole. And I’ve actually been thinking  about… why he wants to get Yui on “his side” and seperate her from Makito. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. He fell in love with her and just wants to have her for himself.
  2. He wants to have the restaurant and so wants to have Yui to achieve his goal nice and smoothly.
  3. He has a grudge against Yuis father and wants revenge, so he tries to take his daughter and/or the restaurant away.
  4. He has a grudge against Makito and wants revenge, so he takes away “his” girl.

Or 5. a mixture between several choices, but I’m seriously interested why he’s acting like that. He’s just been there for a short time, I don’t think he would fall in love so easily with her. Actually, my personal favorite is that he has a problem with Makito and wants revenge or let him suffer, because if he’d just want to have Yui, he could turn her into his girlfriend just by being nice and all, but he’s seriously messing with Makito on purpose. There was no need to tell Makito they kissed, because Makito was already pissed enough by the sheer fact they hugged. If she ever gets to know all this, she’s most likely going to throw him out of her life. If he really just wanted to have her, this is wa~y to risky, is it not?

Oh, but I’m totally convinced he’s not the nice guy he makes everyone believe he is. I’m pretty sure he wants revenge on something, holds a grudge against someone or something like this. Him just being nice is too simple, there has to be something more and like I said: if he’s really as nice as he seems to be, he wouldn’t try to mess with Makito on purpose. This guy has to have a dark side. If not, this manga seriously disappoints me. D:

Matsuri Hino: Vampire Knight

Wow, Vampire Knight. I don’t think there’s a Shoujomanga I’ve heared so much about and it was always positive. People seem to love the manga to pieces, even before Twilight became an instant hit, this manga had a huge fanbase and for a long time I was interested in it, but never read it. That is, until I was searching for a good shojomanga and tought: “Let’s try Vampire Knight.” I really wanted to see if it’s as good as so many people say. I wanted to see, if it can live up to it’s praise.

It can not.

I fought myself through 15 chapters, until I gave up. 15  chapters… that’s a little more than 3 volumes and adds up to something around 500 pages, so don’t kill me because it doesn’t sound much, it’s a monthly manga and has long chapters. So… well, I would love to say that it was physically painful and it actually would have been, if the boredom wouldn’t have made me so sleepy that I actually forgot about the painfulness.
I’ll ripp this manga apart: the story, the art, the characters, the enjoyment and at the very end I’ll talk about my overall opinion and let me spoil you: it’s not going to be good. I’m reviewing this, because for a change I wanted to review something that I don’t like and Vampire Knight is such a good manga to do so, because everyone else seems to like it. I can take my sweet time to dig up every single part of this manga I don’t like, to show you the exact reason why I hate this manga so much.

Story
First of all, let’s see what the description on MyAnimeList.net says about the story of this misfurtune of a manga. The setting and the main characters are described, but that’s not the story. This is what acutally is being said about the story: “Can vampires and humans co-exist, even in the strict setup of the Cross Academy? Only time will tell.” So, MAL makes me want to believe, that this manga is actually about the problem of humans and vampires living together without killing each other.
Okay… So much about this. In the 15 chapters I’ve read, the whole human/vampire living together-thing is not really the key to this manga. It’s more an excuse to create a love triangle between 3 vampires. The purpose of this “story”, is just to create an opportunity for the main characters to meet. Considering all of our main characters will be vampires at some point, the human/vampire-problem is a complete waste of time.
From my point of view, the key in this story is this: two guys want the same girl and everything around it is just decoration. A lot of points regarding the school just don’t make sense. It’s full of plot-holes. For example: one guy and one tiny girl are supposed to keep a whole school of crazy fans in control? Fans so desperate they’re willing to climb up a wall to give chocolate to someone a few hours earlier than they’re allowed to. A whole school full of idiots like that and two first year students are supposed to keep those crazy idiots in place. I really don’t understand how that’s supposed to work, but apparently it does and it’s completely beyond my understanding.
Also, there are some explanations that turn out to be a complete waste of pages. Zeros tattoo on his neck can stop him when he runs wild. The principal explains Yuki how it works and gives her the necessary ring to use it. It’s just that she never uses it! It’s like: “OMG, he’s running wild and is attacking me, I’m so afraid! … *exposes neck* COME ON! BITE ME!” She doesn’t use this way to “tame” him, but instead agrees to let him feed on her pretty quickly, so this method of stopping him is of no use at all.

Another problem this manga has is, as simple as the story is, it’s too predictable. This doesn’t just include obvious things like… Yuki being told she shouldn’t go to the vampire-dorm alone and two pages later this is exactly what she does, so Zero rushes by her side to rescue her. It also includes major plot points like Zeros transformation into a vampire. His whole family has been killed by a noble vampire, apparently the only vampires who can turn humans into vampires. I still think this is just an excuse so Zero can feed on Yuki without the risk of turning her into a vampire by accident, although that’s impossible, because she already is one. Netherless, the possibility that he survived this incident without a scratch is pretty much below 1% or so? I mean: his family has been killed, every single person. He’s been covered in blood, but hasn’t even the smallest scratch? Sure…
Turning Zero into a vampire is a pretty bad idea in terms of the story and character development. We’re going to talk about the characters later, so this’ll have to wait. About the plot: now, both of Yukis possible love interest are immortal vampires and a romance between a human Yuki and a vampire has to overcome two major problems: 1) Yuki, and her super-special-blood that makes vampires surround her like flies surround a pile of shit. Going out with a vampire would mean being in contact with the vampire-society on a constand basis, resulting in the constant danger of being bitten. 2) She will die of age, leaving her partner to moan over her all eternity. We’re a shoujomanga, we can’t do that. Conclusion: She has to be tunrned into a vampire by some point, or is already one. Simple as that.

And while we’re at it: Matsuri Hino isn’t really concerned about hiding the fact that Yuki is a vampire. In chapter one, she breaks the pricipals desk in two by slamming her hands on it while angrily complaining about something. No average human girl ist THIS stong. Thanks for telling your readers probably the most important plot-twist in the first chapter. This way, Yuki is pretty much introduced as a vampire.

Another plotpoint I really don’t like is the fact that vampires get stronger if they drink the blood of a more noble vampire, because this explanation, together with Yukis super-special b lood, are also a slap in the face to “hint” Yuki is a vampire. Good grief, foreshadowing? You’re doing it wrong! You fail! It’s so easy to see, when it’s discovered Yuki is a vampire, it’s even a surprise anymore. In fact, I’ve only read 15 chapters, this fact hasn’t been exposed yet. This is bad.

You know, from my point of view, it would’ve been much better when the story would’ve really involved the problem of vampires and humans living peacefully together as it’s main plotpoint. Another idea I’m interested in would’ve been the human boy who has to fight against the superior vampire in his love for the girl, winning her over in the end although all odds are against him. Cliché? Yes, but still better than 2 vampires fighting over the 3rd one.

Art
There’s not this much to say about, because it’s actually pretty decent, I just don’t like it this much. The faces look flat and the eyes are ugly as hell. The main problem is that Matsuri Hino seems to have problems when it comes to vary different characters outlook appreance. Or in other worlds: Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the characters aparat. This seems to be a problem in general, but especially when it comes to the vampires. They’re all exeptional goodlooking, that’s nice and helps to hunt humans. This is the reason they’re goodlooking, but this doesn’t explain why most of them are blonde, although they still seem to be Asian. This also doesn’t explain why it seems there’s one pattern of how a goodlooking guy has to look like, so every other goodlooking guy has the same outlook appreance.
All the guys with blonde, curvy hair look exactly the same. The only way to tell them apart, is reading the text and hoping somebody is calling them by their names. Luckily, this is pretty often the case, but it really annoys me I have to guess who’s the character in front of me until someone finally tells me his name.
I’m nitpicking a bit, but I think the curvy hair is ugly drawn. Kaname constantly looks like he doesn’t wash his hair resulting in a greasy appreance.

And… I don’t like the backgrounds.

Characters
Well, first of all, besides the three main characters the rest of the cast is pretty much useless. We have the vampire slayer, who might become somewhat important and we have the principal, but that’s it. Everyone else is exchangeable and the characters who’re important, are extreamly stereotypical.
Yuki, she’s your shoujo-stereotype: the cute, small girl, who’s incredible naive and not really smart. She tries to change the word and believes in the good nature of vampires. She seems to be strong-willed, but when it comes down to it, she just does what the male tells her to do. She has the childhood-friend who’s in love with her and the mysterious guy who’s also in love with her, whom she has a crush on herself, but doesn’t know about his feelings. She has this big secret about being a vampire and doesn’t even know about it herself, resulting in a tragic past or something like this (the tragic past is actually just a guess).

She’s so annoying! *headdesk* Her belief in the good nature of vampires is beyond everything and she’s too naive to understand what’s going on around her. She doesn’t really think about the trouble she causes by her actions and has to be rescued all the time, while she is actually the one who has to play guardian for other students. Yeah, because you can’t even protect yourself, you can protect other persons. She’s too good-natured and stupid like bread. Why are those hot guys having a crush on her again? I seriously can’t understand why… I highly suggest the only point where she has to go through some character development, is when she learns that she’s a vampire and has to handle the situation. She was pretty cool about Zero being a vampire, pretty much accepting it on the spot… “You just turned into a bloodsucking monster who can’t control his desires, but who cares? Vampires are nice beings after all and all I have to do is letting you suck my blood.” Stupid bitch.

Then there are Kaname and Zero, who’re also walking clichés, like I already said: childhood friend and mysterious guy. While discussing the story, I’ve said that Zeros transformation into a vampire is also negative in terms of characters. The point is: as long as he’s a human, Kaname is superior to him in pertty much every aspect. He’s stronger, he’s more dangerous, he has more influence, he’s noble, you know the rest. He’s Mr. perfect. If Zero stays human, he has to overcome his weaknesses as a human to “fight” him equally and this requires a huge amount of character development, including excepting a hated vampire as a superior being, respecting him, but at the same time acknowledging him as an equal when it comes to love. Right now, all he does is looking down on vampires as brutal monsters.
By turning him into a vampire, he’s not equal to Kaname, because he’s still a noble, but Zero actually comes closer to him without any effort and his relationship with Yuki also improves and becomes more initmate, because she offers him her bood by her own free will.
Also, it’s easier to accept vampires as something positive when you’re a vampire yourself. The only thing he has to do, is accept himself as a vampire. I don’t say this is an easy task, but he’ll naturally accept some positive points in other vampires at the same time, if he wants to or not. So, I think it’s easier for him and it requires less character development to overcome his hatred for vampires when he’s a vampire himself, instad of being a human. Besides, being a human and learning his love interest is one of those hated vampires, is much more tragic than learning shes the same as you, what can actually turn out to be more like a relief than an acutal dramatic turnaround.

About Kaname… I don’t really think he has to go through character development at all, he seems like Mr. perfect, doing everything in favor for Yuki and respecting her and her wishes so much, he even distances himself from her. What is there for him to learn? He respects humans and wants to live with them in peace, even helping the principal with the other vampires, he loves Yuki and I’m pretty sure he’d do quite a lot for her. He’s not really cruel, although Yuki thinks it’s such a barbaric thing to hunt down the low vampires who lost their sanity to prevent the townspeople from being bitten and killed…
There is the chance that Kaname is doing all of this just because he wants Yuki and in reality, he’s a selfish evil bastard, but the other vampires follow him because they respect him. I don’t think they would respect him, when he’s an asshole, so even if he’s not as nice as he seems to be, he can’t be a complete douchebag.

Enjoyment
No enjoyment at all. This shit is boring as hell, because it’s way too predictable and the characters are either stupid, or too perfect and the only character who has to go through development, can take the easier route by being forced to become a vampire. It’s just no fun to read at all, because there’s nothing really unexpected happening. When the new female Night Class student came to the school, I was pretty sure she’s the murderer of Zeros family the first time I saw her and guess what? I was right again.
There isn’t even an interesting story that could turn this misery around, because the human/vampire-problem is just there for decoration anyway. All the plotpoints and plottwists are clichés and they never go beyond the love triangle. This love triangle is the whole story, no wonder surprisingly new stuff can’t come up, because this plot has been done a million times before. You need something exiting around it to make it interesting, but there’s nothing here. It’s so full of chliché, there’s no room for innovative ideas and that’s what makes it boring.

Aside from some plotholes and things that just don’t make sense, it’s not completely bad. It’s just that absolutely nothing happens and that’s not enjoyable. I can play Super Mario World for the 3000th time and it would feel less like a waste of time than this manga does. I can’t really root for certain characters either, because they all behave like itdots. There aren’t even interesting side characters, the side characters we have, are as flat as a sheet of paper. In Fullmetal Alchemist, we have an awesome supporting cast, supporting the plot and adding some exitement to the story. We don’t have anything like this here. The other vampires are either brainless monsters, or nobles who only exist to have the desire of biting Yuki. And the other humans… are there even other human students who have some roles aside from being vampire-fangirls?
We have very few characters everything is about and you can forget about the rest. After 15 chapters, I’m already sick of seeing the same faces over and over and over and OVER again. Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter has a lot more depth than these main characters.

So like I said, no enjoyment at all, it’s just boring as hell for me.

Overall
This manga is clearly aimed for an audience younger than me. I’m not super-smart, well, I’m not stupid either, but I’m not exeptional smart, but all this manga wants you to do, is to love the goodlooking guys and root for one of the pairings. That’s all. It tries to be a romantic love triangle, but it’s not even romantic. It tries to add drama, but doesn’t affect me at all, it tries to be mysterious, but I can see right through it. It failes at everything. Even the bishounen look all the same, the manga gives you a bunch of guys you can fangirl over and that’s all there is to it.

It’s so incredibly simple, you have to switch off your brain to be able to enjoy this. Sorry, I can’t do this. 13-year old girls who fantazise about god-like vampires can probably do it, but I can’t understand how this manga managed to become so popular. I’ve read reviews by adults praising this manga as a great romance and an exiting story, so good you can’t stop reading it. I’m sorry, this manga forces me to stop reading, or else I might fall alseep in front of my laptop.
You can’t tell me I didn’t gave it a serious try. I’ve read it out of my own free will, because I thought it could be nice to read. I even read through 15 chapter before giving up. Usually, I stop reading after 3 chapter and don’t even bother adding it to my list, but I seriously tought this could turn into something good. Well, obviously I was wrong.
And I hate it when people say: “But it gets so much better later! You just have to read a few more chapters and you’ll love it!” If this manga fails to entertain me trough 3 whole volumes, I declare it bad. Even if it gets better later on, it doesn’t change the fact that the beginning is aweful and if the beginning is so aweful it makes me stop reading, then it’s a sign something went seriously wrong.

For example: Katekyo Hitman Reborn started off pretty boring, but it was still readable. After 60 chapters it suddenly turned a pretty good and interesting shounenmanga. That’s the thing: you can fail at the beginning, but as long as you don’t fail too hard, you can still make a comeback. Katekyo Hitman Reborn is such a case. Vampire Knight is just so uninteresting I don’t even want to see it getting better.

Takehiko Inoue: Slam Dunk (Spoiler)

For me, Takehiko Inoue is something like a Manga-god. I really love his works and I think he’s easily one of the best (if not the best) active Manga-ka right now.

It all began with Slam Dunk: it’s the manga that made Takehiko Inoue famous all over the world and that made me fall in love with his works. Until now, I’ve read four of his Manga and Slam Dunk was the first. Actually I never intended to do so, but someone recommended it to me. I’ve read it – 276 chapters in 2 days and I’m currently buying the english volumes, because I just have to own this, but here in Germany the Manga didn’t sell well at all, so it was dropped. What a shame.

Today my copy of Slam Dunk Volume 14 finally arrived after I preordered it 2 1/2 month ago and it’s always the same when a fresh volume appears in my greedy hands: my love for this manga gets revived again and again.

If we’re talking about the typical Sportsmanga with the classic plot, I’d totally recommend you two Manga: Hajime no Ippo and Slam Dunk and if you actually want to read a manga that does not has more than 900 chapter, go read Slam Dunk. Yeah, unlike Hajime no Ippo it’s at least finished and not insanely long.

So, what’s this manga, that was drawn between 1990 and 1996, about? It’s about a delinquent who doesn’t really seems to be bad, just… well, he seems to have a short temper, but that’s pretty much it, he’s not evil, but he loves to headbutt everyone who stands in his way. He’s selfish, has a huge ego, is cheeky and very loud. Meet our main protagonist: Sakuragi Hanamichi, who doesn’t know the slightest tiny bit of basketball. And yes, he’s the redhead on the cover you see above. Although he looks mean, he’s kind of naive and he’s never really gotten into something and has never worked hard for something with all his strength. Although this sounds pretty negative, he’s actually a funny guy and I just love to see him getting all pumped up for basketball.

It all begins with Sakuragis bad luck with girls. He falls in love with Akagi Haruko, who loves basketball. So Sakuragi joins the basketball club in order to win her over, of course. Too bad the scary gorilla-like Captain is Harukos elder brother Akagi Takenori. He’s not really a genius, but an incredible awesome player due to hard work. Actually, I think he’s less of a genius then all the other regular players the team gains over the time, but still probably the best player and easily the one who loves basketball the most.

Sakuragi is really tall, but the reader (as well as the protagonist), has to learn really fast you’re not a good player just because you’re tall. Later on someone joins who’s pretty short in comparison to all the tall guys, but still belongs to the best players, showing that height clearly is helpful, but not absolutely necessary. It’s all about skill and hard work, that’s what the manga shows you on a constant basis. Talent alone, doesn’t make you win a game, you have to train your ass off. Although Sakuragi actually really is the genius he wants to be, he starts off as a complete noob and has to start at the rock bottom slowly working himself up. I really like the fact that he has to take a long time, until he gets really good. Most of the time, he’s only able to show what he’s got here and there more or less by accident, because he has little to no experience and training. Most of the really strong guys see his talent and they notice they have to be cautious, but they also know Sakuragi can’t play as good as he could, if he started to play basketball earlier.

I really enjoy seeing someone who makes mistakes all the time and who doesn’t jump from zero to hero in no time. He has to climp a seriously tall mountain here, but he begins to love basketball on his way up and for the first time in his life, he’s really getting into something and the game grows much more important to him than his original goal to play basketball in order to impress Haruko.

Besides Sakuragi I really like the supporting characters as well. They’re all a wild bunch of idiots who give it their all as soon as they begin playing basketball. They’re clearly underdogs and not the kind of guys you’d expecet to beat the strongest and most prestigious schools around who get themselves the best players from the Middleschools by giving them scolarships and everything. I like it how the underdogs are biting the stars in their famous asses, but they don’t always win. They also loose and they often win really close.

Let’s talk about the basketball matches, because that is what the manga is all about. Sometimes it’s volume after volume just one match, but the matches are always exiting, the players are always giving it their their best and fight until the very end. On top of that, I think it’s really well drawn. It seems fast and dynamic. The players have to run a lot, it’s a really fast sport, so you can’t win an apple with stiff drawings. Takehiko Inoue did a really good job in making this manga feel like a real basketball match.

All in all Slam Dunk deserves its place as one of the best Sportsmanga of all time and it deserves every bit of praise and popularity it has, it’s just that good. You just have to keep in mind: it’s one of the best Sprotsmanga, I’d even like to say: one of the best typical Sportsmanga. You know, the story with the hardworking genius. This is something you can find everywhere in this genre and Slam Dunk is doing a really good job, but if we’re beginning to talk about not so typical Sportsmanga, I’d say there’s one manga that beats them all – not just other Sportsmanga, but also every other manga I’ve read so far. It’s my personal favorite and also drawn by Takehiko Inoue. You can expect me to write an ass-long review of this manga and you might think it’s going to be crappy, because I’ll praise it to Venus and back, but it’s a true gem, it really deserves to be praied that much. I’m clearly not someone who’s rating every second manga with a 10/10. I’m usually pretty strict and altough I really love Slam Dunk, I “only” give it a 8/10, because being a Sportsmanga with this typical story, it just lacks certain things.

My favorite Manga, the one I rate 10/10 without a second tought, is the masterpiece called “REAL” and you can be sure I’m going to tell you why. I can’t review it now, but I can tell you this much: characters at the rock bottom of society, a social drama and wheelchair basketball.

Anime Preview: Spring 2011

It’s springtime. <- I have no idea who made this preview, but whoever you are: THANK YOU!

So… it’s time to look foward to the busiest animeseason of the year and while we’re enjoying the pleasure of tons of 13-episode-anime, we’ll also have the pleasure to enjoys tons of new 13-episode-anime. Did I mention, I don’t like this? It seems like there are more and more short anime, but I think you need at least around 25 episodes to build something up.  What can happen in just 13 episodes? What good can come out of it? … Well, Baccano!! is the living proof a short anime can be a masterpiece, but… I usually don’t like short anime, ok?  I was so pissed when I saw Kimi ni Todoke 2 will have, guess what, 13 episodes. Arg, screw you.

So, Spring 2011, at least it seems I’ll go and take a look into a few more anime in comparison to the currently airing winterseason. (My plan for that one was to watch Kimi ni Todoke 2 and IS: Infinite Stratos. Well, I’m pretty happy with KnT2, but I dropped IS pretty fast and instead I’m watching Yumekui Merry as well as Hourou Musuko now.) Seems like there’ll be at least a bit good stuff and this is what I’m most likely going to try watching:

Toriko

I’ve been reading the manga for quite a while now and while many people actually like it very much, it’s more of an ok-manga for me. It’s completely over the top and I can live with stuff like that, I just can’t really stand the super-muscular over-9000 stong guys and that’s exactly what Toriko is about. Nevertheless I think the idea of a gourmet world is pretty nice and all the food looks so delicious, you want to start eating it yourself. In addtion, I think this manga could make a pretty good action-anime and at least I don’t dislike the manga, so I’ll give it a try. After the Specials came out, I was waiting for this TV-series. It’s not that uncommon for a special or an OVA to be turned into a TV-series later on. Let’s get ready for some crazy action.

Sekaiichi Hatsukoi TV

Why am I going to watch this? Right, because it’s yaoi. I’m on a personal mission and that is to find a good yaoi/Shounen Ai-anime. There are quite a few yaoi/Shounen Ai-Manga I really like, but I’m actually really disappointed by the anime I’ve seen so far from this genre. So as a result, I’m going to take a look into every single new yaoi/Shounen Ai-anime, until I find one I’m ok with. So far, since the beginning of my mission I’ve seen Uraboku and Togainu no Chi and both were seriously aweful (altough TnC was worse), so wish me luck for this one.

Ao no Exorcist

Seems to be a quite nice shounen-series. For this one, I haven’t read the manga, but I’ve translated a describtion once and since that time I’ve always wanted to take a look into it. It’ll probably turn into a fighting-Shounen and I don’t expect a masterpiece, but I think it won’t turn out to be complete bullshit. More like… average shounen, some nice entertainment.

Deadman Wonderland

Or: I’m already looking towards the censorshit… ship. I’m following the manga for a long time now and if there’s one thing I can say about this series, then it’s going to be very violent and very bloody with lot’s of weird and crazy characters. This said, I’m actually surprised it’ll get an anime due to it’s violence. The most I’ve actually thought it would get is an OVA, but not a TV-series. I have mixed feelings about this, because the manga is quite good and I’m a bit concered they’ll ruin the anime by massive censorship and they will have to censor or leave out a huge amout of violence in the first place for it to be allowed to air, that’s for sure.

C

noitaminA timeslot ftw. I don’t watch every noitaminA-Anime, but I like to take a look at one or two, because they’re guaranteed to be different and this one seems quite interesting. Modern society, weath, money and all this stuff… well, it could turn into social criticism, but we’ll see. I’m looking foward to it.

Sket Dance

I don’t know just how many times I wanted to read the manga, but I… somehow… never did. And no, this is not about dancing, it’s school/comedy. I expect some light entertainment and will probably finally read the manga, if the anime was any good. I’m pretty sure it won’t turn into the anime of the season and to be honest: if we’re talking about school/comedy, I would’ve preferred to watch Yankee-kun to Megane-chan instead, but this manga has yet to get an anime. I’m really waiting for it and I hope someday it’ll get an anime. Until that day comes, let’s try Sket Dance this season.

Hana-Saku Iroha

I’m so sure I’ll think of it as boring, because it’s slice of life and I’m not very found of this genre. I’ll try it because I’m looking for a calm anime I can watch now and then. While Slice of Life often turns out to be boring for me, the anime I’ve watched weren’t seriously bad either, so I hope I’ll be safe from “omg, this as horrible.”

 

And for the OVAs, movies and stuff, I’ll probably watch the movie Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo and if Kizumonogatari is ever going to be aired (probably not this spring), I’ll watch that one, too. I’ll be the third -gatari anime and of course I’ll have to watch it.

By the way, look at the picture from Nichijou. Doesn’t that girl with the flowers look exactly like Osaka from Azumanga Daioh?

Kaichou wa Maid-sama! Chapter 57 (Spoiler)

Finally a Manga-entry and 1, 2, 3… Spoiler!

Well, this entry will be quite short. I only want to say: FINALLY! There’s been chemistry between those two for 57 chapters, we knew they’re in love with each other for quite a while now and they’ve finally managed to become an official couple.

By the way, I’m saying “finally” here, but it actually didn’t even took so much time for a shoujo-manga. There are some manga I’m reading where you pretty much know who’s going to end up together since the introduction of the characters, but nothing happens for more than a hundred chapters. Seriously, nothing, not the slightest bit of development, that’s pretty sad.

Comming back to Maid-sama, I actually really have to admit I love the way it’s done and I was waiting for it. I mean, the manga has been building up for this moment, so it had to come soon. It’s just that I was a bit surprised, because Usui stopped her not too long ago and said it’s still too early. Well, I don’t think the situation changed this much for Usui, but… who cares? It would’ve turned into a greater disappointment, if Misaki wouldn’t have been able to confess, because there was the date and she really wanted to do it, but it didn’t worked out on the ferris weel. Thank god, that’s too cliché, really.

And in the end our beloved Tsundere gave us a very charming moment of dere. I guess if Satsuki would’ve been there, she would’ve died in a gigantic flowerfied of blooming moe-flowers or something like that. At least, she would’ve died happily, I’m sure of that. Actually I’m really looking foward to her reaction when she finds out, she’ll probably start talking something about Misa-chans only Master. XD I like her so much.

Altough the kiss was more or less hidden thanks to the scarf, it was so nice seeing Misaki taking action. ❤ I seriously hope we’ll see more kisses and romantic stuff now that they’re a couple. Considering Misaki is a Tsundere… uhm, probably not that much more. I guess she’ll try to hide their new relationship, especially in school. She probably thinks the boys won’t listen to her anymore, if they find out she got herself a perverted outer space alien boyfriend.

So, my prediction for the next chapters? We’re probably going back to see a bit more school life again and our Tsundere trying to hide her girlfriend-status. I’m looking foward to it! >:3