January 2011 Manga Recommendations

Here’s 10 manga of varying type and vintage that caught my fancy for the month of January. I’m technically aiming for the end of each month, so it’s a tad late!

January Manga Recommendations:

Please, Jeeves by Katsuta Bun (and P. G. Wodehouse)
volumes read: parts of 1-2 (2+ ongoing)
type: josei, comedy, British period piece, boy candy, nice art
Please, Jeeves is a manga adaptation of the Jeeves stories by P.G. Wodehouse, where the now generic butler name Jeeves originated.  The resourceful valet Jeeves is so dry, yet clever and benevolently! manipulative.  He gets Bertie out of all sorts of situations like marriage engagements arranged by hellish “nephew-crushing” aunts, all while discreetly disposing of some of his more flashy clothing choices.  That part just kills me–a hideous polka dot tie is one of the few things that can evoke an emotional response from the placid Jeeves. I think Katsuta Bun does the work justice.  It is incredibly charming, both in characters and art.  I can’t love it enough.  (Sample art @ tumblr 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Thermae Romae by Yamazaki Mari
volumes read: 1 volume (2+ ongoing)
type: seinen, slice of life, comedy
A Roman architect is transported to modern day Japan and gets a crash course in modern baths!  From natural hot springs to scary bidets, his reactions are priceless.  This title won the 3rd Manga Taisho award and is crazy popular in Japan.  It also boasts the most awesome manga covers ever. /coverwhore (Sample art @ tumblr 1, 2, 3, 4)

Soko wa Bokura no Mondai Desukara by Katsura Asuka
volumes read: 1 volume (complete)
type:  mature, comedy
Features a high school girl who constantly attracts and is victimized by perverts (of all ages/sex).  She finally gets lucky and meets a pervert not interested in her.  Because he’s a lolicon.  Or will that end up working against her?!  An adult comedy published in the Manga Erotics F magazine.  Instant cred.

[sen] zyouya no chigiri by Okadaya Tetuzoh
volumes read:  1 volume (complete)
type:  BL, fantasy, historical, hot tattooed boy candy (guh!)
A BL title with a touch of fantasy and there’s no cliche long-haired beauty in sight–yay!  In fact, there’s a short-haired, muscular, tattooed beauty and a more grizzled warrior.  Pretty good story, but of course I’m dirty and am drawn to the naughty stuff depicted in Okadaya’s tasty style.   (NSFW sample  1 and 2 @ tumblr)

Shingeki no Kyojin by Isayama Hajime
volumes read: 1-2 (3+ ongoing)
type:  shounen, action, horror/bit gory
Despite my wariness of shounen manga (heartbreak from never-ending series that decline or favorites prematurely canceled), I gave this one a go.  It’s an action title that keeps you guessing at what will happen next. Humanity is besieged by human-eating giants.  They are humanoids themselves, but  are uncommunicative and have creepy, vacant stares.  This is punctuated by the penetrating eyes of the largest giant, the only one with a hint of sentience. Frantic, brutal, and interesting, of course.  Stupidly popular in Japan, not so much here.  Yet.

Kabe no Naka no Tenshi by Bikke
volumes read: 1 volume (complete)
type:  BL, fantasy, fluffy romance
Bikke is a talented artist.  And she’s also a cocktease.  Or she’s not teasing enough of them, idk.  Lots of shoujo/BL with cute boys fawning over each other, but very little to no “action.”  But rejoice, for this title is BL!  It’s a cavity-inducing sweet story about two angel paintings that come to life.  One of her better works.  This also ran in Opera magazine,  which automatically makes it awesome.

Kaze ni Natte Uta ni Natte by Hashiba Maki
volumes read: 1 volume (complete)
type:  shoujo, drama
A story about an 8 year old who wants to commit suicide when he grows up and a man named Jeff, a self-proclaimed angel who convinces the boy otherwise.  Or was it the other way around? I love Hashiba Maki and she writes touching stories about bonding with young children.  Also aligns well with my older Racish manga obsession.

I am a Hero by Hanazawa Kengo
volumes read:  1-3 (5+ ongoing)
type:  seinen, slice of life, horror, stop-reading-before-bedtime
Nominated for both the 3rd and 4th Manga Taisho award for good reason. It’s not easy covering slice of life and horror in the same story. The key phrase for this title is “wait for it.”  Honestly, I didn’t think the zombies were  nearly as scary as the delusions.

Ou no Ibara by Togawa Mitomo
volumes read:  1-2 (2+ ongoing)
type:  shoujo, historical, romance, admirable female lead, royalty
A shoujo historical romance not too unlike Togawa Mitomo’s other titles of the same genre–all not ground-breaking, but solid, enjoyable works.  I think it will be another long one.  But I hope it moves on to the more interesting, older Epina soon.  I appreciate a strong-willed young woman who is admired not just for her beauty, but her smarts and charisma in a romance title.

Merry Checker by Suzuki Tsuta
volumes read: 1 volume (complete)
type: BL, suits/glasses, big cuddly teddy bear
I’m a fan of Suzuki Tsuta, but this is my favorite work as she managed to squeeze in two of my favorite types of guys into one work.  A tsundere suits/glasses wearing blogger meets up with a soothing, but huge dude  who everyone  online thought was a cute high school girl.  Except he doesn’t even act like an annoying high school girl–he’s just a cuddly teddy bear.  He  eventually sinks those claws into the other guy.  Very gently, of course!

Falling From Grace Pick:

Faster than a Kiss by Tanaka Meca
volumes read: 1-8 (8+ ongoing)
type: shoujo, comedy, student/teacher romance, older man
The first few volumes started out as pure, fluffy shoujo fun with a stubborn female lead and the “perfect” shoujo love interest: a caring, protective teacher/husband who has a bit of a “bad boy” side to keep things somewhat interesting.  Throw in a cute little brother and innocent romance, it was entertaining enough for a shoujo fix.  I like watching Ma-kun dote on his family and would eventually like to see them get closer.  So why the hell does it keep introducing new characters that I just don’t give a shit about?  Sigh, shounen manga isn’t the only never-ending type… It’s getting old guys–go have sparkly shoujo sex and get over it already.   and let me watch?!

6 responses to “January 2011 Manga Recommendations

  1. I am a Hero and Shingeki no kyojin are my favorites from the last year – although I have yet to read many other titles, including Mushi to uta, Thermae Romae, Ooku, and so on.

    You have a nice blog here. 🙂

    • Thanks 🙂 I was pleasantly surprised by both of those titles–I can see why you’d like them so much. It’s hard to pick what my favorite title of last year was.. perhaps Natsuyuki Rendezvous. But Thermae Romae is definitely worth a shot 😀

  2. I’ve sooo been waiting for this! I actually have a list of your recommended series, so that I’d be able to buy it little by little xD
    I have a teeeny favor to ask, could you please upload just a teaser pic for Thermae Romae I’m just super curious about what the art’s like^^

    Soko wa Bokura no Mondai Desukara – this is not a brand new series, is it? I have a feeling I’ve read it before, but since I was totally kanji-dumb back then, I could barely figure out what they were talking about. But I remember I liked it quite a bit.

    And Bikke! Man, I haven’t read any of her/his series, but I’ve come across this mangaka @ Feel Young Magazine’s site, I’d love to read his/her works.
    Speaking of Feel Young (And Craft), do you know if any online places offer subscription to them? I’ve decided to subscribe to 3 mags, and I’m still deciding on the 3rd one, CDJapan doesn’t offer subs to those two magazines T^T

    Also wanted to thank you for the information regarding American cities^^ Thank you! It’s quite useful to me^^

    • Thanks 🙂 Sometimes I find odd appeal in things that others might not enjoy/dismiss, but I hope most of the stuff I list turns out good for you and others. :3

      I had a few images laying around in my tumblr for Thermae Romae, so I edited the entry here and linked them. Quick fix!

      Soko wa Bokura no Mondai Desukara is not new–it’s from 2005 and I got it like ~1 year ago myself. I posted the cover on my MAL profile before (this rec list is basically my replacement for that practice haha). I’m kanji dumb myself, but thankfully you can get a lot from the context. 🙂

      Bikke is interesting–beautiful color works, but honestly, I wasn’t as impressed as everyone else with her early manga (both art and writing). When Ame Nochi Hare came out, I finally started to really like her and the one here is good. She’s growing and expanding her range. I’d like to read her stuff from Feel Young.. I bet it’s good. :3

      I don’t do magazines, so I don’t know any websites that offer subscriptions to foreign buyers. I remember hearing that bk1 was starting to do that a while ago, but never looked into it.

      No problem and thanks for shared enthusiasm for manga :3

  3. I am stunned by Thermae Romae. Two things I like, Ancient Rome and Onsen, in a here-to-fore never before seen combination. That showercap image is also killing me. He’s really rocking that yukata as well. XD

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s