December 2010 Manga Recommendations

I just can’t keep up with writing an entry for every great thing I want to mention.  My career keeps me very busy and it’s only going to get worse.  It’s frustrating.  Instead of letting everything die, I need a more sustainable approach.  So in addition to the occasional previews, I’m trying a new format:  a monthly (?) recommendation list.

Ten manga of varying vintage and demographics/genres will be picked.  The titles will likely range from obscure to moderately known.  Expect both raw and translated works.  Basically whatever catches my fancy.  At least one pick will be a title I want to write a full entry for, but may never get a chance to do so.  Others will be works that recently left a very positive impression on me.  Others will be older titles that I enjoy and think others should as well.

To keep it workable, I’ll only list a small amount of general info.  Genres/demographic will be specified, along with my own “important to me” manga types, and a few brief points for each title.  As usual, I’m opinionated as it keeps things interesting, so deal or leave~  If a title catches your eye, it’s up to you to seek it out!  Buying it is the most likely answer–radical idea, I know.

December Manga Recommendations:

Natsuyuki RendezvousKaizoku to NingyoBanana Fish

Natsuyuki Rendezvous by Kawachi Haruka
volumes read:  1-2 (ongoing)
type:  josei, romance, supernatural, touch of drama, admirable female lead
One of my current favorite works.  Beautiful, moving.  Something the older crowd with a little life experience can appreciate.  If I can ever form some coherent thoughts, I’ll write a full post.

Kaizoku to Ningyo by Kiuchi Tatsuya
volumes read:  1-3 (ongoing)
type:  shoujo, fantasy, bromance (yet doesn’t feel BLish)
I have a thing for shoujo pirate stories and this one features a pirate captain who reminds me of Vash from Trigun–goofy, selfless, but kick-ass when needed (without damaging the other party’s ass too much).  The bromance is so thick that it’s almost uncomfortable!  Either get a room or back off a little, boys!

Banana Fish by Yoshida Akimi
volumes read:  1-19 (complete) + 1 bunko volume of side stories
type:  shoujo, action, drama, hot guy, awesome
Because I think anyone who reads manga should read this title and I honestly don’t think you’ve truly experienced what manga can offer until you have.  Plenty of info out there, but still not enough people reading.  A great title to throw in the face of ignorant people who don’t understand the range of shoujo manga.

Grandeek ReeLSuper LoversAnd

Grandeek ReeL by Ohse Kohime
volumes read:  1-3 (ongoing, slow)
type:  seinen, fantasy, nice art
By Ohse Kohime, known for her Atelier Marie illustrations amongst others.  Intricate art, enjoyable main characters with a possible, subtle romance subplot there.

Super Lovers by Abe Miyuki
volumes read:  1-2 (ongoing)
type:  BL, pseudo-family ties, nice art, age gap
The pressing question is if you read BL and you haven’t tried this, why not?! There’s even deserved hype to match it!  Abe Miyuki is a fantastic artist and a seasoned writer, lending some great talent to the circle of popular BL works.  It’s subtle and builds up–something others could learn from.

& by Okazaki Mari
volumes read:  1 (ongoing)
type:  josei, romance, nice art, age gap, oyaji!!!
From the mangaka of Suppli, which implies realistic characters and great art. The best part of this manga is that one of the two romantic interests is an ornery 45 year old hot oyaji surgeon.  FYEAH.

GunjoKamisama HajimemashitaRyuu no Nemuru Hoshi

Gunjo by Nakamura Ching
volumes read:  1 (ongoing)
type:  seinen, yuri, drama, nice art
Toxic, raw, destructive, and something you just can’t pull yourself away from.  Oh and fuck the haters who are put-off by the art that doesn’t fetishize the women.  That’s not the point.  And your taste in women sucks anyway then~

Kamisama Hajimemashita by Suzuki Julietta
volumes read:  1-7 (ongoing)
type:  shoujo, fantasy/supernatural, romance
While very popular, it only seems so amongst the leeching masses (despite the fact it’s licensed).  I’d love to see more raw readers pick up this series.  The main selling point is Suzuki Julietta :  her art, fun stories, and her likable characters.  Tomoe in particular is a treat–a tsundere fox spirit (complete with ears) that always looks fantastic in his typically traditional Japanese clothing.

Ryuu no Nemuru Hoshi by Shimizu Reiko
volumes read:  1-5 (complete)
type:  shoujo, sci-fi, drama
Okay, so you technically need to read all the Jack and Elena stories to get this far.  That is not a bad thing.  They are some of my favorite shoujo works ever.  Why don’t we see shoujo sci-fi like this anymore?

Division by Nishida Higashi
volumes read:  1
type:  BL, oyaji, some drama
Nishida Higashi–almost ’nuff said.  Division is like her ode to the unstable bad boy. He’s hot and he knows it.  He knows you think he’s hot and uses that.

Waste of My Time and Money Pick:

Touch! by Yamawomi
volumes read:  1
type:  BL
I crashed some terrible story gone wrong midway through.  I didn’t really understand who the characters were, what they were doing, what the point was… and what I did understand was either boring or annoying.  I don’t like my potential oyaji characters acting like 12 year old girls.  Oh and the hoodie eyes  reflecting his facial expressions trick got really fucking old, fast.

6 responses to “December 2010 Manga Recommendations

  1. Wow, I haven’t read Kamisama Hajimemashita in like forever; the last time I read it there were only 3 volumes translated. I also didn’t know that it was licensed.
    How come you don’t do this kind of post anymore?

    • It’s a fun little manga. I’m not sure if I’m just picky lately, but it felt a little repetitive as of the latest volumes? I guess it just needs a new focus/storyline. It felt pretty strong up to Volume 8-9-ish or so.

      Honestly, I assumed there was no interest. Almost all other posts get comments of some type, but these never really did. So I stopped. Even plain text post of recent purchases seemed preferred lol. So I figured no one cared about any recommendation lists from me. It was a nice opportunity to name some titles I’d never cover in detail though.

      • I have yet to read a long manga that doesn’t become repetitive. But I remember enjoying this one so I’ll give it another try.
        I’m actually familiar with most titles from your recommendation posts, but I’m guessing that it’s because they are already a bit old. It’s too bad no one showed any interest in those posts since I like reading about recommendations.

        • Yeah, there’s high and low points with a continuous story and that one is no exception. Overall, the characters make it a good read. Consistently strong long series are rare. Even some of my long favorites like Zankoku na Kami ga Shihai Suru have a story arc that I just don’t care about.

          I don’t shy away from older titles on these since I don’t have to go into detail (being from 2010 isn’t helping lol). I guess age didn’t stop me from covering Trafalgar, which I think is the least popular title yet, haha. I might reconsider trying this type of post since I seem to have more people floating around here now and they might like it. Thanks for the interest.

          • Love your cover on Trafalgar! (that said, I should have replied there instead really… ) Anyway, am sincerely looking forward to seeing more posts from you on similar covers :))))

            • Ha, thanks! It’s good to know someone besides me enjoyed that entry😀 I’m sure I’ll pick something old and unpopular yet fabulous again at some point.

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