meganbmoore: (7 seeds: hana/natsu)
[personal profile] chaila : Mangas that you would recommend to people interested in trying manga for the first time (asking for a friend).


(Further probing revealed that ladies and Sci-Fi are preferred.)

So, the Sci-fi part is a bit hard. Generally speaking, I watch a fair bit of Sci-Fi, but I don't read much. This applies to Japanese output as much as US output. I've seen a fair number of Sci-Fi anime, but haven't read as much manga in that genre. That said:

These first two are series that I only fairly recently discovered, and so actually have decent writeups of that I don't feel the need to revisit and see if I said anything about them that I wouldn't say now. (Not that I revisited posts on the others. Just saying.)

Karakuri Odette: A relatively short and absolutely adorable series about a teenaged girl who is actually a robot, and who goes to high school. Very very little actual science, but lots of adorableness with Odette making friends and learning about humans and human interactions and becoming obsessed with cute things.

7 Seeds: The only series I'm recommending here that isn't licensed in the
US, and probably never will be. This is a post-apocalyptic series about 5 groups of youths who were cryogenically frozen as a last ditch effort to save some of humanity from a meteor that was expected to wipe out most if not all human life. (My favorite team is the team of "rejects" who were only sent along just in case the teams made up of more prestigious members of society ended up being a bit too precious to survive post-apocalyptic Japan.) The various teams' pods were meant to only release them when environmental conditions were once again safe for humanity, but it's possible that they actually simply broke down. There's a huge variety of characters, both male and female, and a big emphasis that no one type of person or set of skills is better than the other. There are four main narrators, two male and two female, but the male narrators have less POV focus after their respective teams' backstories are told. There are parts that are thoroughly depressing and several volumes made me think I might gnaw my fingers off from fretting, and it is wonderful.

Basara: This is a post-apocalyptic manga by, Yumi Tamura, the genius who is also the creator of 7 Seeds, and it's ALSO a post-apocalyptic series with lots of female characters, but one that is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT IN EVERY WAY. (Except that with Tamura's huge casts, she ends up reusing basic character designs, which can get a tad confusing.) While 7 Seeds is very psychological and is about survival, Basara is a somewhat more conventional adventure/romance in structure. The apocalypse came and went and Japan is now a somewhat feudal society, built on the remains of the old, and there's the standard of the ruthless royal family with various members ruling over parts of Japan. The main character, Sarasa, lives in the Red King's kingdom. Her twin brother, Tatara, is the chosen one" who is supposed to overthrow the royal family, and so the Red King has her village attacked and Tatara is killed. So Sarasa hacks off her hair and pretends to be Tatara, claiming that it was actually Sarasa who was killed in the attack. Then Sarasa sets off to build an army and destroy the royal family. As one does. Along the way she meets and falls in love with a young man named Shuri, who, whoops, turns out to actually be the Red King, who also hates his family and is plotting to overthrow them, and thinks Tara is a dangerous force who will only end up hurting the kingdom. This inevitable angstorama reveal actually doesn't come into play for ages and ages, and much of the series is the two running around post-apocalyptic Japan (sometimes together, often not) finding allies and preparing to go to war with each other and having internal monologues about how they must destroy their enemy both for the people and to create a better world for THEIR ONE TRUE LOVE (aka, Secretly the Enemy). They also exchange messages via adorable messenger owls. Among the myriad of allies, the ABSOLUTE BEST are the pirate queen, the inventor/spy girl, and the flamboyantly crossdressing angsty actor. Like 7 Seeds, the array of women who are TOTALLY COOL YUMI TAMURA DOESN'T CARE IF THIS IS CONVENTIONALLY A COOL TYPE is pretty vast, and there are a variety of interesting relationships, with romantic relationships not always being prioritized over the others.

As you can probably tell, I'm not completely rational about the series, as it's one of the earlier series I fell madly for, and it's been one of my favorites for years and years. The series is licensed in the US, but some volumes are out of print. The publisher, Viz Media, has it available in digital format, though, and it can probably also be acquired through the library system.

Claymore: This one is fantasy, though there are some sci-fi elements going on off screen, and this is the only series here whose target audience isn't female. Claymore is an action series about part-demon women who go around their country slaying demons who pray on people. And then things go fubar and the organization they work for may or may not be evil and there may be rebellions and teams of swordswomen in black leather that make the entire fandom swoon. The warriors are all raised to be stoic loners with no personal connections, and so when we meet them, most have only had one or two important personal connections since childhood, if that. It's part of the shounen action genre, in which "we fight and yell at each other a couple times and then are BFF" is A Thing, and so its more reserved approach to the protagonists making personal connections is rather different from most shounen manga, and its primarily female cast is pretty unique. As a warning, it really is a very violent series, and body parts tend to go flying a lot.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: A much lighter series than any of the above save for Karakuri Odette. This is about a girl who discovers that she's the reincarnation of the moon princess, and has to find the reincarnations of her guardians, who are all named after planets. This is one of the big classics of the Magical Girl genre, and rightly so. The characterization can be rather basic, but in a good way if that makes sense, and the series just assumes that it's perfectly natural for all the destined guardians of the universe to be female (eventually, there are so many that you literally lose count, and it's glorious. Rather like Claymore, but with hearts and sparkles instead of flying bodyparts). And while there's a central romance, it never really takes attention away from all the girls and their friendships, and the boy in question has a habit of getting abducted, brainwashed, and poisoned, sometimes in combination.

Skip-Beat: This one actually has no sff elements at all, and I'm including it because I would feel like I was committing a crime against my soul if I didn't. Skip-Beat is about Kyoko, a veryveryvery traditional and obedient girl who quits school and goes to Tokyo with her boyfriend to support him in his career as a rising ambition. Except it turns out that said boyfriend is actually running around with other girls while she's cooking for him and working to keep his rent paid, and brought her along to be a housekeeper. point, it gets good because then she swears she will get EPIC REVENGE by...becoming a more famous idol than he is and sets off with singleminded, vengeful ambition. Except then it turns out that, well, she's actually GOOD at acting, and enjoys the work. Kyoko can be ruthlessly singleminded and analytical and vengeful one second and then squeeing over something cute the next. She also possesses the superpower of turning every single one of her rivals into her reluctant fangirls, and pretty openly platonically (or so we're told) crushes on the first of them, Kanae, who sometimes finds herself internally warring with her pride vs Kyoko's expected enjoyment of something cute and girly. it sometimes gets sidetracked by the (fairly reasonable) angst of the male lead/Kyoko's love interest, Ren, but never for too long, and is better than many series about not forgetting about her when that happens.
meganbmoore: (Default)
The main story of Basara wrapped up in volume 25. These two volumes, the last ones (Which is why they’ve been on the shelf for a few months…I don’t want it to be over. Expect trauma if Blade of the Immortal ever ends.) are collections of various short stories and novellas. The main things here, of course, are the novellas. Two are set post series, and the other is set 100 years earlier.

Katana, the prequel story, tells the story of how the four swords came to be scattered, and the first rebellion against the royal family, through the eyes of Tara, a woman who fought alongside the four leaders. We know going in that some of these characters are the great-grandparents of the regular cast, that they’ll fail, some will die, and the rest will be separated. Most characters have counterparts in the main story, though who they are isn’t obvious until the end. It’s entirely possible that it’s at least as tragic and angsty as the main story. If you’ve read Basara, then you know that’s pretty impressive. The tragedy, however, isn’t in who dies, but in what happens to the survivors, and how they live. And just like Basara is always Sarasa’s story, Katana is always Tara’s story, right down to the final, and hardest, blow.

spoiler stories )

The rest of the stories are a few fewback stories (Little Hijiri and Nachi! Also incredibly cute! Super hyperactive 10-year-old and super stoic and serious 10-year-old stuck on a drifting ship full of tangerines!) and looks into the lives of the surviving characters after the war. There’re also two AU stories, one of which features the cast participating in a musical context. I didn’t like it quite as much as the AU from a while back with Sarasa infiltrating an all-boy’s school (AU Tataras are always attacked, resulting in AU Sarasas going off to investigate and then panicking the AU Tataras by falling for the AU Shuris.) but the cast in musical bands is something else.

And I can’t help but notice that AU Shuris are always sweet and open and immediately protective towards Sarasa. Actually, this is true of regular Shuri, at least towards Sarasa. It’s just the rest of the world. (Yes, Shuri is a bastard. I love him beyond reason and most shoujo guys come up lacking when I compare them to him-just like most shoujo comes up lacking when I compare it to Basara-but he’s a bastard. Though part of it is that Tamura really does make him complex and never makes excuses for him-or letting him make excuses for himself-or creating easy outs for “angsty but not that bad” or pretending that he’s anything but what he is.) Then again, AU Shuri’s were never branded a slave as an infant by their fathers, had the fathers spend their lives trying to publicly get them killed and/or humiliated (preferably both) or sold into slavery by their brothers.

meganbmoore: (basara-branches)
[personal profile] salimbol  has posted a review in three parts of the first 10 volumes of Basara.  Spoilery for the death of a major character, but the character dies in Vol 3-4, and the death is crucial to the story.

Go read it.
meganbmoore: (Default)
[personal profile] salimbol  has posted a review in three parts of the first 10 volumes of Basara.  Spoilery for the death of a major character, but the character dies in Vol 3-4, and the death is crucial to the story.

Go read it.
meganbmoore: (basara-shuri)
Earlier, [profile] calixa decided she was going to watch the Rurouni Kenshin anime, then saw the sheer length of it and possibly got scared off.  I was, however, reminded of the sheer level of angst involved in Kenshin's scars, and am wondering:  can anyone beat that?


But you know, there are contenders for angsty scars.  Here are a few:

Scar in Fullmetal Alchemist:


Shuri in Basara:


Yum Moon in Emperor of the Sea:


Sandor Clegane in A Song of Ice and Fire:


Zuko in Avatar:


Honorable mention: Tokine and Yoshimori in Kekkaishi:


I'm not including the stardard eye/hand/arm loss as scars because...well, then it'd never stop.

Anyone else have any angsty scars contenders?  Gojyo and Harry Potter also come to mind, but it's too late to get into them. 

(Of course, I now find myself trying to remember the origin of Manji and Giichi's scars in Blade of the Immortal...I want to say we know at least some of Manji's, but not Giichi's.)
meganbmoore: (Default)
Earlier, [profile] calixa decided she was going to watch the Rurouni Kenshin anime, then saw the sheer length of it and possibly got scared off.  I was, however, reminded of the sheer level of angst involved in Kenshin's scars, and am wondering:  can anyone beat that?


But you know, there are contenders for angsty scars.  Here are a few:

Scar in Fullmetal Alchemist:


Shuri in Basara:


Yum Moon in Emperor of the Sea:


Sandor Clegane in A Song of Ice and Fire:


Zuko in Avatar:


Honorable mention: Tokine and Yoshimori in Kekkaishi:


I'm not including the stardard eye/hand/arm loss as scars because...well, then it'd never stop.

Anyone else have any angsty scars contenders?  Gojyo and Harry Potter also come to mind, but it's too late to get into them. 

(Of course, I now find myself trying to remember the origin of Manji and Giichi's scars in Blade of the Immortal...I want to say we know at least some of Manji's, but not Giichi's.)
meganbmoore: (princess tutu-knight and duck)
 Dear Author has put up some good reviews*well, one a while back, but I missed it...) of two shoujo I'm fond of:

Basara  (Megan's opinion is quite well documented)

From Far Away (Not one of Megan's absolute favorites, but she quite likes it.)

They also have a very good review of the Princess Tutu anime, which is likely the best anime I saw last year(I'd have to sit and seriously think about it and a couple others to be sure) and everyone should watch it.  *firm stare*

All reviews are unspoilery.  Go read them.

meganbmoore: (Default)
 Dear Author has put up some good reviews*well, one a while back, but I missed it...) of two shoujo I'm fond of:

Basara  (Megan's opinion is quite well documented)

From Far Away (Not one of Megan's absolute favorites, but she quite likes it.)

They also have a very good review of the Princess Tutu anime, which is likely the best anime I saw last year(I'd have to sit and seriously think about it and a couple others to be sure) and everyone should watch it.  *firm stare*

All reviews are unspoilery.  Go read them.

meganbmoore: (basara-branches)

and now, only 2 volumes of side stories left... 

ETA;  Implausible because you don't expect that kind of ending from this kind of story.  Not remotely because it was bad(because it wasn't.)
meganbmoore: (Default)

and now, only 2 volumes of side stories left... 

ETA;  Implausible because you don't expect that kind of ending from this kind of story.  Not remotely because it was bad(because it wasn't.)
meganbmoore: (basara-shuri)

As tends to happen when series I love are coming to an end, I’ve been putting off reading the last few volumes. So it won’t end. Anyway…

 
meganbmoore: (Default)

As tends to happen when series I love are coming to an end, I’ve been putting off reading the last few volumes. So it won’t end. Anyway…

 
meganbmoore: (bourne)
This has been going around the f-list a bit in various forms.  My fictional likes/crushes tend to remain relatively constant, as I'm really stubborn and generally end up comparing other characters to these, all of whom have been here for a year or longer(ok, technically, Bourne came back when the new movie came out...but he was there earlier)

In no order whatsoever.


meganbmoore: (Default)
This has been going around the f-list a bit in various forms.  My fictional likes/crushes tend to remain relatively constant, as I'm really stubborn and generally end up comparing other characters to these, all of whom have been here for a year or longer(ok, technically, Bourne came back when the new movie came out...but he was there earlier)

In no order whatsoever.


48 icons

Dec. 7th, 2007 04:59 pm
meganbmoore: (togari-itsuki objects)
20  x Basara
10 x Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning
18 X Togari

Teasers:

  

icons )

I was also going to have Twelve Kingdoms illustrations icons and Samurai Deeper Kyo and xXxHoLic manga scans icons, but I kinda stalled out...

48 icons

Dec. 7th, 2007 04:59 pm
meganbmoore: (Default)
20  x Basara
10 x Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning
18 X Togari

Teasers:

  

icons )

I was also going to have Twelve Kingdoms illustrations icons and Samurai Deeper Kyo and xXxHoLic manga scans icons, but I kinda stalled out...
meganbmoore: (basara-shuri)
There's actually a Basara manga scans slideshow MV (though it does also have anime pics.) I figured my chances of finding such a thing were about 1 in 500000.



I shall now ponder whether or not a person in need of cheering up would be wise to even think about watching a 9 minute MV for Hyakurin of Blade of the Immortal(because as much as part of me is going "OMG! A HYAKURIN ONE!" the other half is pointing out that that's some amazingly depressing and angsty material they have to work with...)

Yes, I fear I shall impose my therapy on you all day, but I shall remember that we were given LJ cuts for a reason in future posts.
meganbmoore: (Default)
There's actually a Basara manga scans slideshow MV (though it does also have anime pics.) I figured my chances of finding such a thing were about 1 in 500000.



I shall now ponder whether or not a person in need of cheering up would be wise to even think about watching a 9 minute MV for Hyakurin of Blade of the Immortal(because as much as part of me is going "OMG! A HYAKURIN ONE!" the other half is pointing out that that's some amazingly depressing and angsty material they have to work with...)

Yes, I fear I shall impose my therapy on you all day, but I shall remember that we were given LJ cuts for a reason in future posts.

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