March/April 2011 Manga Recommendations

Monthly manga recommendation list time!  For supposedly being the answer to my limited time problem, this sure takes a lot of time to make!  Going over and revisiting titles can be time-consuming, but fun.  I guess 10 was an aggressive number to do every month, so for now this will be March/April. At least summer is around the corner and I’ll have less work obligations.  I have another theme post or two that I want to do and would rather focus on that, but I need to wait for my next manga order to really get started on it.

Al to Neri to Sono ShuuhenDoukyou Shichauzo!Otoko no Isshou

Kuma to Interi, Amato Amaro, Al to Neri to Sono Shuuhen by basso (Ono Natsume)
volumes read: 3 volumes (shared characters, 4 counting Gad Sfortunato)
type: BL, gorgeous art, oyaji feast
After being entranced by the artwork in Al to Neri to Sono Shuuhen, I wanted to include it for this month’s list.  However, it features characters from previous works, so you’ll need to start from the beginning.  Ono Natsume writes about all varities of people, ranging from a closeted former prime minister and other politicians, a tattooist, and guys who just enjoy gelato.  She brings true artistic skill to the BL genre–even my untrained eyes see it plainly.  But seriously, I’ve spent hours just staring at her linework. Definitely worth owning copies for your personal collection.  The manga gods are on my side and I got the Faust postcard with the newest volume–scan here!  Beautiful.

Doukyou Shichauzo! by Kinuta Murako
volumes read: 1 volume (complete, spin-offs available)
type:  josei, boy candy
This story is the pure, fluffy cotton candy type of boy candy. A  Catholtic priest, Buddhist monk, and Shinto priest walk into a bar… wait, they are a bit young for that. But this title has three young men training in different religious professions.  They are good friends and help each other out with their innocent young man problems.  It’s like fetishy boy candy decked out in religious uniforms… I’m so down with that.

Otoko no Isshou by Nishi Keiko
volumes read: 3 volumes (complete)
type:  josei, romance, oyaji~
A josei title by Nishi Keiko which involves romancing a 50 something year old professor.  Need I say more?  Okay, it was nominated for the 3rd  Manga Taisho Award.  The story admittedly loses some direction towards the end.  Despite that, I love the idea, love the first two volumes, and love the oyaji goodness.  Still worth it.

Kurosagi Shitai TakuhaibinHakkendenKami no Kodomo

Kurosagi Shitai Takuhaibin by Otsuka Eiji / Yamazaki Housui
volumes read: 6 volumes (14+ ongoing)
type: seinen, supernatural, horror, comedy
I used to think I hated horror manga.  After all, I can’t stomach horror movies.  Turns out, I don’t like manga that are horror for the sake of being horror, but enjoy well-written manga that happen to contain horror elements.  Five students from a Buddhist university help the dead move onto the next realm by taking care of any lingering business–for a price.  That is, if they ever manage to collect money from their dead clients!  This is mainly episodic in nature but always manages to be both dark and humorous.. a great balance.

Hakkenden – Touhou Hakken Ibun by Abe Miyuki
volumes read: 13 volumes (13+ ongoing, recently resumed from hiatus)
type: shoujo, fantasy, nice art, fuzzy animals
This is what shoujo fantasy should be–intricate, beautiful, imaginative, and has lots of hot guys, adorable animals, hot guys that turn into adorable animals, and fuzzy eyeballs!  I love the fuzzy eyeball the most.  After a long hiatus with Tousuisha, Hakkenden has resumed serialization with Kadokawa, so I can recommend it with no reservations; our chances at seeing a proper ending are looking up!

Kami no Kodomo by Nishioka Kyoudai
volumes read: 1 volume (complete)
type: mature, dark, unique art
An alternative manga that follows the birth of a serial killer.  The story is both a bit horrific and twisted, all told by a very distinct style influenced by cubism.

Zassoukan no JuunintachiOku-san no Mousouteki NichijouOwari to Hajimari no Miles

Zassoukan no Juunintachi by Eiki Eiki
volumes read: 1 volume, couple of naughty doujinshi stories (complete)
type:  comedy, BL and GL flavoring, mostly 4koma format
I’ve been craving Eiki Eiki lately, so here’s my favorite work.  It’s a comedy about a bunch of anonymous mangaka that live together.  They are anonymous for good reasons.  There’s a high school boy who preys on men to get inspiration for his own BL manga (classic osoi uke) which includes another male resident, a manga editor that draws flowery shoujo manga for the competition.  There’s also a 10 year old girl who draws explicit hentai and loves breasts, particularly the breasts of the elementary school teacher/shota mangaka.  Ah, memories!  It’s the second of hundreds of manga titles I added to MAL, so I wrote a proper intro once.

Oku-san no Mousouteki Nichijou by Takatsuki Noboru
volumes read: 0 volumes (ongoing, short, sporadic chapters)
type: BL, comedy/parody
The main character is too shy to confess to his handsome deliveryman, so instead he vents his frustrations with wild fantasies. The fantasies aren’t wild as in nasty, but they are just so far removed from reality that it’s hilarious. The best part is that they play on common BL tropes, so it has a parody feel. I had no idea Takatsuki Noboru could write such amusing material–it’s over-the-top hilarious. This will be a favorite once I get my hands on a tank version.

Owari to Hajimari no Miles by Kitoh Mohiro
volumes read: 1 volume (1+ sorta ongoing, very slow)
type: mature, fantasy, ticking time-bomb
From the author of the infamous Bokurano and Narutaru.  Uh oh.  All objects have spirits–some friendly, some not-so-friendly.  Young women communicate and negotiate with these spirits.. using words and sometimes “more.”  It starts as a fairly cute, slightly naughty, and amusing slice of life story, but there’s an undercurrent.  That’s when you look back to the author tag line and think “ffffuu–!”  Shit is gonna hit the fan and make the most spectacular splatter pattern if this ever publishes more regularly. I wish it did–I really enjoy this title.  Manga Erotics F publication = pure awesome.

Hatena no Hana by Kawachi Haruka
volumes read:  1 volume (complete)
type:  josei, mature, hot lesbian/bisexual S&M queen x cute housewife (…I wish)
This list was late thanks to me getting distracted by this title.  My distraction in the form of a short intro was given here.

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