Posted by psgels on 17 August 2012 with categories: Manga Experiment

Hotel – Ch.04: Wow. I think I understand now why this manga by Boichi was recommended to me. Here this story starts out similarly to the second chapter with a sick girl who turns out to be pregnant, and from there on it changes… oh boy, it changes. This one took me completely by surprise and I spent about a minute with my mouth open. Good stuff. Hotel would make a fantastic anime with the right people working on it, by the way.

Shingeki no Kyojin – Ch.02-03: One thing that I did notice now that I’m checking out multiple chapters at a time is that with some series, I find it very difficult to remain interested. Before starting these chapters I told myself to read up till chapter 4, but during chapter 3 I already noticed that I was trying to force myself through it. The art for all of the giants in this manga is really impressive, and the creators made this interesting world where they’re basically running humanity into extinction, but I dunno: I don’t really get the same urge to check out what comes next. I know it’s all build-up, but at this point none of the characters really stands out as interesting.

Coelacanth – Ch.02-03: And this one did manage to keep my attention, and I wonder why. I mean, it’s not the best I’ve read during this experiment, and it suffered here and there from being too vague with its dialogue (something I’ve been noticing with a number of other shoujo manga as well), but still: its murder mystery half turned out to be a little darker than expected with hints of pedophilia for more things to come, and the romance half felt surprisingly dark.

That alone however probably isn’t enough to really get my attention, so what did this episode have as well? I guess that it kept me guessing: these two chapters were being really vague in where they actually wanted to go to, and the twists kept it fresh. Oh, and the dialogue that was clear was very straight to the point, and very un-shoujo like, for something with so many shoujo elements.

A Lollipop or a Bullet – Ch.04-06: This manga really has a knack for drama: it loves the saying “a picture says more than a thousand words”, and it loves to casually hint to the disturbing stories of its characters. Only very few panels actually show the darkness of this story. On top of that, the faces in this manga are also really expressive: they show exactly how the characters feel.

Dengeki Daisy – Ch.01: In the preparation of next season’s surprisingly huge batch of shoujo romances, I ended up checking a critically acclaimed shoujo manga: Dengeki Daisy. Unlike the other shoujo I’ve checked out for this experiment, this one was fairly typical in its set-up: it’s just a school life story and nothing beyond that, with a mysterious guy watching over the lead female. This however did feel rather refreshing for a shoujo romance, in that both the guy and the girl had a personality, the drawings were dynamic and energetic and it could be funny when it wanted to. Still, what worries me is that the build-up to the good parts is going to be too long again.

Takemitsu Zamurai – Ch.01: This one is a samurai story, with a very distinctive art style. Everything looks crude and messy, but there is actually movement between the panels. The story and set-up don’t say much yet after only the first chapter, and it mostly dealt with an eccentric ronin who moved into a new village with a lot of hints at murder, but it did give a good description of how these people lived, including small details like the focus on a kid’s hands or an octopus salesman.

Suiiki – Ch.01: From the author of Mushishi, here is a story about a girl who enters this strangely nostalgic dream-world, filled with slice of life. I really like the background art for this one: it is crude at points and looks a lot like rough pencil sketches, but in those sketches the artist stuffed a ton of details. Beyond that, this was just a really charming chapter. Great characterization and very down to earth and believable characters.

36 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    … That was different. I’m not sure whether I love how twisted and absurd it is or hate how random it is.

  2. Cytl says:

    Oh boy, that chapter of Hotel was soooo messed up. Maybe one day we’ll see an OVA or something of Hotel, let’s just hope.

  3. someloser says:

    need some delicious horror, Might I recommend some of Junji Ito’s works? such as uzumaki, a story about a town that’s obsessed with spirals

    also would like to recommend, SOIL, a mystery horror, about odd happenings in a town, and the complete disappearance of a family.

    penguinbear.com

  4. chirisagi says:

    Finally decided to catch up with your manga posts, and I’m so happy you’re reading Hotel! It’s amazing(ly messed up haha).

    Adding on to your list o’ recommendations:
    Solanin – It’s acclaimed slice of life manga by Inio Asano. The art style is unique for it’s genre (imo) and one of my permanent favorites.
    and Subarashii Sekai/Wonderful World – also my Inio Asano; seinen.
    Stargazing Dog – seinen/slice of life. This is an amazing quick read if you can find it.
    Superior – Fantasy/Adventure/Shounen manga
    Kimi Ga Uso O Tsuita, Bloody Monday, GOTH, & Battle Royale – psychological(/action)

  5. wicked says:

    I’d say ch 4 is when Shingeki no Kyojin gets crazy. This manga does something really not typically shounen, which is there’s little to no victories

  6. reese says:

    Chapter 4? Believe me, that’s when you’re not going to want to stop.
    I felt the same way you did going through the other 3 chapters, but after that… wow. I couldn’t put it down. But that’s just me ofc :)

  7. JaK says:

    btw superior sucks couldn’t even read it for 5 chaps too damn shoujo and the main chara just pisses me off

    • tktym says:

      yeah superior is pretty much the same thing happening over and over. . .just read Hotel though . . . awesome stuff, The tuna chapter is my favorite one! I was laughing throughout the whole thing, so awesome.

    • chirisagi says:

      To each there own I guess. It is one of those “you like it or you don’t” mangas. But you do realize… it also has shoujo in the list of genres right? I forgot to add it in, but I do believe most shoujo mangas are “shoujo”.

  8. Cytl says:

    Even with the plot-twist to come soon, Shingeki no Kyojin is most of the time not about the characters themselves, but about them facing and fighting against complete despair, seriously I can’t imagine a worst world to live; specially with the new development of the previous-to-last chapter (not gonna spoiler it).

  9. Nic says:

    Shingeka no Kyojin takes a little time to establish its true purpose. Believe it or not, a lot of its focus is on mystery, which you get very little of at the beginning.

    And when that manga starts being interesting, it goes really all out.

  10. Pax says:

    “Hotel would make a fantastic anime with the right people working on it, by the way.”

    I kinda doubt it, this is one of those manga that I don’t see working as an anime. Tsutomu Nihei’s manga also fits in this category.

  11. Will says:

    Ok I was confused since Hotel was marked as one-shot for a long time on MyAnimeList and shouldn’t have 4 chapters. I got it that MAL changed stuff without me knowing and they eventually merged Boichi’s one-shot together.

    • boo says:

      “Hotel” aka Boichi 作品集 HOTEL is also a collection of short stories circa 2006-2008, probably that’s why. It includes the title story as well as several other.

  12. Will says:

    If you want another good One-Shot collection: Sister Generator.

  13. red CODE says:

    Give Shingeki no Kyojin another couple of chapters and you definitely won’t regret it!

  14. Taji says:

    Psgels, you should really get on the manhwa train, if you’re not already (korean manga). Tower of God, Freezing, Nobelesse — all amazing manhwa. I’m currently of the mind that manhwa’s are outstripping mangas in terms of quality.

    But definitely check out Tower of God. That’s one amazing manhwa: http://mangafox.me/manga/tower_of_god/

    • Pax says:

      hmmm so you’re recommending Psgels, Freezing…I imagine you’re new around here.

      I for one can’t think of a single manwha that I would recommend right now. Especially web comics from Korea, like Tower of God & Nobelesse, seem to be quite popular nowadays, don’t really get why.

      • Taji says:

        lol, my bad. The person that recommended me ToG also recommened me Freezing, so I thought it was going to be good too. But I just read some… and I’ve realized it’s an annoying ecchi… I totally take back my recommendation!

        Tower of God however, I have read, and is quite nice. :)

        • CherylHew says:

          A manhwa I’d recommend is Nowhere Boy. The first 2-3 chapters are incredibly stupid but once you get past that, the story takes a depressing twist and really tugs at your heartstrings. Not to mention that the art is incredible and very polished.

  15. Bosom says:

    Dengeki Daisy began well but ended up draging and having a bit too much angst so i droped it.

    Also you should check Undercurrent is a single volume manga, kinda similar in a way to Natsuyuki Rendezvous, but in seinien and more slow paced.
    Claudine…! is another single volume manga that is quite recommendable, of the creator of The Rose of Versailles.
    Also check some Taiyou Matsumoto (The guy who wrote Tekkon Kinkreet) and Inio Asano stuff they have great mangas, and most of them are quite short.

  16. Will says:

    I honestly doubt that Psgels will like Freezing.

    • KaZuHiRo says:

      I was supposed to hate Freezing but ended up liking it quite by a substantial lot. I don’t know what was wrong with me.

      • someloser says:

        people have their own tastes. If you like fanservice stuff then it’s probably your taste. However, the author, lin dal young, is the one you should probably be worried about. He’s pretty infamous for starting one work and not finishing it before starting another work.

  17. Emi says:

    Just wanted to recommend Kiwaguro no Byrnhildr. :) and possibly Adekan

  18. signorRossi says:

    Regarding Takemitsu Zamurai (which I recommended among others), Matsumoto refines the art in later chapters/volumes and it becomes less messy with fewer brush strokes in general, and the characterization of a lot of appearing characters will be top notch. Matsumoto also includes some little ‘side’ stories here and there that are lot of fun to accompany the main story-arc.

  19. wicked says:

    Suiiki is a great pick up, only a couple volumes. It’s a bit slow paced, but well worth reading

  20. Guigas says:

    Shingeki no Kyojin isn’t worth it.

  21. KaZuHiRo says:

    Psgels try Afterschool Charisma. This one’s seinen and mystery.

  22. SixFlags says:

    Since you liked Suiiki,

    you may also want to check out Kaikisen – Return of the Sea.

    It’s a well written and drawn manga by a director more known for his anime: Satoshi Kon

  23. Pax says:

    The artwork style in Takemitsu Zamurai is a bit different from other Matsumoto manga, it fits the era in which the story is told, if you used “crude” as to mean something negative when the author himself, who has plenty of experience as a mangaka, wants to use this style then I think it has more to do with your taste than with the quality of the artwork. Anyway, I have seen plenty who dislike Matsumoto Taiyo’s drawing style, not just in this manga, I for one like it.

  24. aoi says:

    As somebody else said, Sunny is a lovely read.

    Also: Undercurrent, Annarasummanara (<– very unique art)

    Episodic series: Shinya Shokudou, Skyhigh (a bit like Jigoku Shoujo), Tonari no Seki-kun, Pet Shop of Horrors

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    @Bam Read the Mob Psycho entry.

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