Heya guys! It’s another Let’s Talk post today because I’ve been out and about shopping all day instead of reading (bittersweet because I miss you guys but I still get cool clothes). Anyway, I was in Robinsons’s Bookshop (because I can never ever walk past a bookshop without going in) and right in a little dusty corner, I saw a manga/graphic novel section. This got me thinking because how many Australian bookstores sell manga books? Not many that I know at least. So anyway. Here’s a
rant philosophical discussion about manga.
First, a definition for those of you who don’t have much experience with manga (God forbid):
You might have seen these around. Drawings of people with absolutely humungous eyes and perpetually-wet-looking hair and minimalistic noses. Basically:
Similar to anime, which is basically the animated version of manga. Okay, first of all, to set something straight. Contrary to popular belief, manga is not porn. I tell people I read manga and they go all waggly eyebrows on me like
Sure, a small percentage of manga is porn but also, a small percentage of books are basically porn
Fifty Shades of Grey. So, it’s justified. The majority of manga is basically like the majority of books, stories. Often, very funny or heartbreaking stories depending on the genre you’re reading. Anyway, now that’s cleared up, let’s talk more.
Manga is massive in Japan. If they can slap a manga character on it, they will. Soft drink cans, two minute noodles, pizza cartons, anything. It’s pretty big in the West as well, but only with a small portion of the population. There are some people who become obsessed with manga/anime and become what is known as weeaboos. Basically, people who become obsessed with the Japanese culture and attempt to act Japanese even if they’re far from it. But I’m not here to talk about weeaboos. I’m here to introduce you to manga, and so here is a list of good manga-reading websites (where you can read manga free) and some popular manga.
Good Manga (all linked to MangaFox):
“Why was I born with emotions” : FullMetal Alchemist
Imagine a world in which Alchemy is not only possible, but used frequently. Alchemy, though, is a science, and with all sciences there are laws that must be followed. Welcome to the manga, Full Metal Alchemist. The story begins with two brothers, Alphonse and Edward Elric. Ever since they were young they had practiced the science of alchemy. You follow their journey of being alchemists and their quest to regain that which they have lost.
Their father was a well recognized alchemist, which is probably where their knack for it comes from. However, when they were young their father left, and they remained in the care of their mother. One day their mother died, and in their innocence and ignorance, they attempted what was forbidden, human alchemy.
What happened next, they were obviously not prepared for, and in the aftermath the brothers lost more than just their mother. In the freak accident Alphonse loses his body, and in a moment of panic Edward ties his brother’s soul to a piece of armor. Edward himself loses an arm and a leg, a costly reminder of what has happend.
The story begins and details the brother’s journey to find a alchemy amplifier so that they may return to their normal bodies.
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Shounen, Supernatural, Tragedy
“How will I sleep tonight” : Death Note
An overachieving 12th grader, Yagami Light is an aspiring young man who seems destined for success. Unfortunately, his daily habits bore his incredible intelligence–So when a strange black notebook falls from the heavens during his class, it isn’t long before he takes it for himself. In his room, he finds, to his horror/fascination, that the Death Note is real, and owned by Ryuk, a Shinigami (Death God).
Any person’s name written in the Death Note will die in 40 seconds…. without fail.
With this supposed gift of God, Light swears upon his grave that he will ‘cleanse’ the world of the evil and needless people that inhabit it, thus creating a utopia for all. With the world’s greatest detective, L, hot on his tail, will Light’s ideals prove too fantastic to realize, or will he succeed bringing justice?
Action, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Psychological, Shounen, Supernatural, Tragedy, Dark
“I wish magic existed” : Fairy Tail
A young celestial mage, Lucy Heartfilia, runs away from home and travels to the land of Fiore to join the magical Fairy Tail Guild. Along the way, she meets Natsu Dragneel, a teenage boy looking for his foster parent, a dragon named Igneel, with his best friend, Happy the cat. Shortly after their meeting, Lucy is abducted by Bora of Prominence, who was posing as Salamander of Fairy Tail, to be sold as a slave. Natsu rescues her and reveals that he is the real Salamander of fairy tail and has the skills of a Dragon Slayer, an ancient fire magic. He offers her membership into the guild, which she gladly accepts, they along with Erza Scarlet -Armored maiden, Gray Fullbuster -Ice Maker, and Happy become a team performing various missions offered to the Fairy Tail guild.Fairy Tail won the 2009 Kodansha Manga Award for shounen manga. It has also won The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation’s Industry Awards for best comedy manga.
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Shounen, Eclectic, Light
“Ohmygod NOOOOOOOOOOO” : Attack on Titan
Several hundred years ago, humans were nearly exterminated by titans. Titans are typically several stories tall, seem to have no intelligence, devour human beings and, worst of all, seem to do it for the pleasure rather than as a food source. A small percentage of humanity survived by walling themselves in a city protected by extremely high walls, even taller than the biggest of giants.
Flash forward to the present and the city has not seen a giant in over 100 years. Teenage boy Eren and his foster sister Mikasa witness something horrific as one of the city walls is damaged by a 60 meter giant causing a breach in the wall. As the smaller giants flood the city, the two kids watch in horror as Eren’s mother is eaten alive. Unable to save her , Eren vows that he will wipe out every single giant and take revenge for all of mankind.
Won the 35th Kodansha Manga Award for Best Shounen Manga.
Action, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mature, Mystery, Psychological, Shounen, Tragedy, Thriller
“Oh this is cute – wait a minute…” : Infinite Stratos
Students are trained in the Infinite Stratos academy to pilot the weapon system IS (Infinite Stratos). Although it is believed that only females have the ability to operate the IS, there is one man who can. His name is Orimura Ichika.
Action, Mecha, Romance, School Life, Sci-fi, Seinen
So that’s basically it. 2 and 4 and the darkest, most horror/thriller you will probably get. 1 is quite sad, but probably not the saddest you can find. Try googling “sad manga” if you like heartbreaking stuff. 5 is cutesy for those not as ready for all the blood and gore in 4. 3 is good, but it’s like 450 chapters, each chapter’s 20 pages so you BETTER GET READING!!!