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A Discussion of Manga

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by jackelgull, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    For those who don't know, manga is basically the name for Japanese comics. There are several key differences though
    a) American comics are dominated by two publishing companies, Marvel and DC. Manga is not.
    b) There is more variety in manga. Comics are mostly super heroes in the real world, as far as I can tell. Manga has superheroes, yes, but they have different settings, and thus seem less repetitive.
    c) There are a large section of manga targeted towards a female demographic (It is a genre called shoujo. The "male" manga is known as shounen). American comics don't have this effort of targeting of female readership. Maybe this has changed and I haven't heard about it.
    d) Manga is cheap. Comics are not.

    Do you read it? Do you like it? Do you have a favorite genre/manga? Anything that bugs you?

    I'll go first. I like manga, mainly because I can get it free off of one of those manga sharing sites. But I also feel the stories I find to be compelling. I know a lot of good manga, but my favorite would be Hayate the Combat Butler. It's a comedy action series with a fair amount of romance, but mainly comedy. The comedy can get dark, so if that isn't your thing, then it probably isn't for you.

    As for pet peeves, I'll be honest, I feel bad Shoujo as a whole is more uncomfortable than bad Shounen. Now the difference between Shoujo and Shounen is this- Shoujo is more focused on romance, while Shounen includes much more action. The drawing styles are also generally different. What bothers me about Shoujo though, is that its tropes are a lot more uncomfortable than Shounen. A bad shounen manga is generally a cheese fest about the power of friendship, just lame. A bad shoujo might include have a girl get together with a guy who is an absolute douche to her, but the heroine can't help but love him anyway, even though there seems to be no redeeming features. There might be an almost rape subplot in which the perp gets away with a light slap and a chastisement from the heroine. I know human relationships are complicated, but that doesn't seem healthy to me, and I don't think pop culture should depict this model of romance as a positive one.
     
  2. Wolfbeckett

    Wolfbeckett Jerkin' and nonsense.

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    I'm a huge anime nerd but I never got into the manga thing. The only one I've ever read front to back was Angel Sanctuary, because the stupid OVA made me want to know what would happen next. Other than that I've read bits and pieces of a few here and there but could never stay invested in one long enough to finish it.
     
  3. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald 老仁森林

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    Well we have something in common then. This is actually the only manga I read.

    SOOOO
    I want to hear your opinion on this: I've found that Hayate's debt is bull.
    First of all it was his parents debt to the yakuza, but more importantly it was forced on him by Nagi for paying of the Yakuza. So if Nagi really cares about him at all, she could just relieve him from the debt at any time, no?

    Also, I do think the whole manga went downhill after Mykenos, what's your opinion on that?
     
  4. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    I always felt that the debt was Hayate's excuse for not thinking about things that will trouble him. Maybe Athena has such a hold on his heart that he's just not ready for romance yet, but Hayate doesn't realize that's why, and rationalizes it as the debt thing.

    As for Nagi not absolving him, Nagi seems too self absorbed to realize that absolving Hayate of his debt is something she should do if she truly loves Hayate. She's made massive strides in the right direction, but she still has to grow as a character.


    As for the series quality after the Mycenos arc, I don't exactly feel it went downhill per se. It feels more like the series abandoned plot in favor of developing character. I mean, Nagi begins to take responsibility for her own life after Mycenos, it's a long road, but it doesn't mean the development isn't there.
    The best way I can put it is that the Mycenos arc was the most concise that Hata Kenjiro has ever been in the series. So on that front I suppose you can say there has been a decline. But I have faith in the serie's ability to impress me, and even if overall quality has decreased, it doesn't mean the chapters aren't enjoyable.
     
  5. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald 老仁森林

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    All good points really.
    Except that the frequency of battles against giant robots has declined to an inaproproiatly low level.

    I might have been bitter about Luca coming into the story. I didn't feel she fit, especially since it was established that Hayate is interested in Athena.

    Edit: I do think the manga has gotten an upswing for the better this year though, aside from leaving that new villain thing hanging.

    So which one of the gals is your favorite? :p
     
  6. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    I read some, but they're not a top priority on the list of things I need to catch up on. Wonder what happened in Vinland Saga the past half-year or so.
     
  7. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    I liked Ruka, or I suppose I should say I didn't hate her. After her arc was over I felt that both Hayate and Nagi had grown as people because Ruka came into their lives. At least it wasn't as bad as the most recent girl who fell in love at first sight, and after Hayate encountered her in Nagi's grandfather's dungeon (that sounded worse than I intended it too). Though in Hayate the Combat Butler, you never know what's coming around the corner, so I'll wait and see...

    As for my favorite gal, it's probably Hinagiku. I know many ship Athena and Hayate, but I feel that their ship has pretty much already sunk. If Hayate went for Athena as he is now, it would feel too much like he's trying to repeat the past, which I don't feel to be very healthy. I also think that the clock tower chapters in which Hayate and Hinagiku discuss losing their parents due to debts is pretty touching and heart warming. At this point the hamster girl has gotten annoying, while Hayate x Nagi is creepy. Many if Nagi ever grows up and doesn't look like an eleven year old, I might be okay with it, but even then, she's too self centered for me to root fully for her. So Hinagiku it is.
     
  8. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    I tried to start reading Hayate but didn't get far because the site I found it on kept dumping me into ads. Got a recommendation for a good source?
     
  9. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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  10. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    I've never really been into manga, but I've watched anime in extremely controlled doses. Guess that's close enough, especially since a good chunk of anime are adapted from manga (though I guess light novels are more popular source material these days)? :mischief:

    Where I grew up manga and anime were staples of a lot of the Asian-American kids, so I associate them with Asian-Americans as much as I would with nerd subculture in general. In fact the overwhelming majority of my close friends in high school read some sort of manga and watched anime on a regular basis; I was the oddball out I guess.

    I'd probably read more if I wanted to but never really got the urge to. Maybe I'll try some josei someday. I always get a bleh reaction to everything.

    One of the few manga I've managed to 1) read most of and 2) do so because I genuinely wanted to (and not because someone pestered me to), was Yotsuba, by that same guy who made Azumanga Daioh. It's great and charming, fluffy and sweet without being saccharine, and meaningful in its own way. For those who don't know, it just follows around a 4 year old girl living her daily life (as well as her family and neighbors/friends, to a lesser extent). Basically like Seinfeld, except with a Japanese kid (who is realistic and authentic enough, in my opinion, while still being endearing and interesting). Oddly, the main character serves as one of 4 chan's mascots, since her hair is in the shape of a 4-leaf clover for some reason (even though everything else in the manga is fairly 'realistic').

    This sort of stuff is common in romance in general, I believe, even in the West (doesn't Twilight feature a dick of a boyfriend/husband character for the MC?), so it's not just a shoujo thing, but it does pop up in Asian media quite a bit. The good ol' "all you need to do is get a girl is act like a jerkwad". Posted this a while back i nthe daily graphs thread about it:




    I have heard that being overpowered (by, obviously, a devastatingly handsome man) is a common female fantasy, so I assume that probably explains it - to an extent (note that this is just a fantasy, I think it's safe to say most women with this fantasy aren't interested in this sort of thing in real life).

    My experiences with shoujo are rather limited, so I can't say much about it otherwise. Other than discussing it with my (female) friends, my only exposure to it comes from a very few, carefully selected anime adaptations I watched a while back.

    Actually, I can probably name them all right now:
    - Kobato - based on friend's recommendation; the main male is a dick but has some redeeming qualities; kind of bleh otheriwse
    - Kimi ni Todoke - surprisingly, for not just a shoujo or a manga/anime but any story about teens in general, it features teenagers being mostly nice to each other, and the main male is pretty alright, if a bit too much of an impossibly perfect nice guy; actually, as much as I enjoyed it, my main beef was that the series sometimes felt too stereotypically girly
    - Special A - main male is kind of aloof and cold but he's relatively decent; the story seemingly has some more actiony elements mixed with the classic shoujo; kind of bleh otherwise
     
  11. Thorgalaeg

    Thorgalaeg Deity

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    i dont read neither Japanese comics nor american comics, only european comics.
     
  12. Evie

    Evie Pronounced like Eevee

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    While I read manga, I have to echo that. Even American comics are somewhat more diverse than alluded in the original post, but European (especially Franco-Belgian, but all of Europe) are every inch as diverse as manga, with the same wide-demographics approach. They're not *better* than manga, but they're what I grew up with, so while I like both, I tend to prefer the franco-belgian comics. More memories, more in tune with my culture.
     
  13. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Junji Ito is a very good creator of horror drawings. He creates the whole manga, but in my view his storytelling is not close to being as notable as his images :)

     
  14. Thorgalaeg

    Thorgalaeg Deity

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    Dont know that much about manga, but I dont see how it can in any way be as diverse as European comics. Most mangas are about some cyber-girl with huge eyes and huge tits fighting in a futuristic Techno-Tokyo all looking exactly the same. However Eurocomics range from Tintin or Asterix to Manara erotic stories including any possible degrees and styles in the middle.
     
  15. Lillefix

    Lillefix I'm serious. You can.

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    I am also one that has mostly read european comics, and have the impression that manga is mostly cyberpunk. What if we take a more conciliary tone and ask the manga-experts if they can give an overview of the different genres and give a good example of each, so perhaps the people with now knowledge of this can find something interesting.
     
  16. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    Sigh.

    Okay, I don't know much about European comics, but from your descriptions, they don't sound more diverse than manga. I'm not going to deny that robots pop up alot in manga, but they hardly dominate the industry, and in most cases they aren't the main focus or in the premise of the manga.
    Manga has mangakas like Adachi Mitsuru who has become a kind of cultural icon for writing great sports stories full of youth, friendship, victory and romance to Rumio Takahashi who is well known for her fantasy series such as Inuyasha. There is also a large erotic section which I don't know much about, but I have heard there are some good stuff in there. Manga encompasses a great range of genres, ideas and styles.

    Again, I'm no expert on European comics, but manga is more diverse than people think. And what did you guys read to form the impression that manga is about robots? I'm curious, because until recently, three manga were the most popular in the overseas market- Bleach, Naruto and One piece. And by popular I mean chances are if you have read manga, one of these was your first introduction to it. None of them seem particularly robot heavy.
     
  17. useless

    useless Social Justice Rogue

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    The only manga i have ever read and will continue reading is Jojo's bizarre Adventure, which regardless of one's personal taste, is the best and correct answer when asked what Manga one reads.
     
  18. GreekAnalyzer

    GreekAnalyzer Back from the Dead

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    I would like a similar treatment for European comics as well.
     
  19. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    I think I have already mentioned Adachi Mitsuru and Rumio Takahashi, but let me introduce some more specific manga recommendations-
    a). Salad Days: A pretty sweet series which is a collection of first love stories. I feel that the male and female romance is pretty good, and the man doesn't always get the woman, and that's life, especially with first loves.
    b). Kingdom: Great action series. It's a manga that takes place during the era of warring states in China. Not historically accurate, but it doesn't feel insulting. If battles and politics are your thing, this is probably for you.
    c). Noragami: The premise of this series is that there are gods in Japan watching over people. Yato is a vagabond god with little to no influence due to the fact that no one worships him. He gets by offering help to people for five yen. He meets Hiyori who through a series of circumstances comes into closer contact with Yato and they develop a relationship. It's much more than the romance, but detailing the plot would take too long. Yato is an interesting character, as he learns what it's like to have people in his life that he cares for and what he's willing to do to protect them. I think the pacing is pretty good and the romance between Yato and Hiyori is just right.
    d). Molester man: This is probably the series that surprised me the most. When I picked it up, I thought it would be a god awful gag manga that would entertain me with its horribleness. It turned out to be the story of a guy who is mistaken for a molester beginning a romance with the best friend of the girl who mistook him for a molester. It's based on a true story, and Molester man comes across as likable, and charming.

    I second this. Could someone also recommend a site to read European comics in English?
     
  20. mech654

    mech654 Prince

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    The only manga that I am reading Attack on Titan. Through I don't read much manga because it is not high on my reading priority, and I prefer to simply watch anime.
     

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