March 08, 2007

I can't live without …. part II

.... manga! Well, seeing as manga actually are a special type of books I could have talked about them in the last entry but I not only can't live without manga they're an obsession, an addiction for me, that's why I list them separately. Manga are Japanese black-white comics, to make it short (I'm sure there are much better definitions out there, just "google" manga and you'll see). I first came in touch with them in 1997. This whole mess actually started with a TV show named "Sailormoon" ( the correct term to be used would be "anime"; if a manga is succesful it is adapted for TV and that's called anime, again that's the short version, for more detailed info google it). It was first shown on German TV somewhere around 1995/1996 or even earlier, sorry can't remember when exactly I saw it first. I really liked the series and when I learned that it was based on a comic series and my mom (she's working in a bookstore) told me that it was to be published in Germany at the end of 1997 I wanted to give the books a try. On december the 6th 1997 I got the first two volumes (there were a present for St. Nicolas Day [which is celebrated in Germany on the 6th december by putting sweets and small presents into the boots of children]) and that was the start of a new obsession for me, though I'm quite surprised that it lasted that long (almost ten years by now...). At last count (last weekend) me and my sister ( which got infected with the "manga-virus" as well) own 806 manga. And there is still no end to it. Recently I discovered Online Manga. Though they are a cheap alternative and you can read series that are yet to be published in europe, I still prefer to read the "real" books instead of staring for hours on a computer screen. I could go on and on about manga for hours :-) ... Here are some of my favorites (though the same applies as with books: there is not one favorite but a list of favorites which is constantly changing):

- ONE PIECE by Eiichiro Oda , definitely one of my all time favorites. It's funny, full of adventures and I like the style of drawing. So far there are 42 German volumes (and I think 45 Japanese ones, but I'm not that sure about that figure) and fortunately it seems as if there won't be an end to that series in the near future. It's even harder to name a favorite character from the One Piece Universe. So far Zoro is my favorite but that might change.

- SEIMADEN/ZEUS/CANTARELLA by You Higuri, I like everything from You Higuri. Her drawings are my absolute most favorite ones. Just have a look at her artbook "Poison" and you'll see what I mean.

- NANA/PARADISE KISS by Ai Yazawa , just discovered recently but I'm already in love with her stories especially Nana. The Artwork is just amazing! Same goes for the (1st) ending song of the Nana anime.

- ANGEL SANCTUARY by Kaori Yuki, complicated but interesting plot and stunning artwork! There are so many turns in that story that it is captivating (is this the right word????) till the very last volume (which is 20). A must-read!!! Same goes for GOD CHILD.

- TSUBASA RESERVOIR CHRONICLE/XXXHOLIC/X-1999/RG VEDA/CARD CAPTOR SAKURA/WISH/MAGIC KNIGHT RAYEARTH/'CAUSE I LOVE YOU/TOKYO BABYLON/JUSTICE GUARDS DUKLYON/CLAMP SCHOOL DETECTIVES by CLAMP, if you love manga there is almost no way past Clamp. Their stories (mainly) have a deeper meaning and the artwork is first-class. They're legends already.

- FUSHIGI YUUGI/AYASHI NO CERES/ALICE 19TH/IMADOKI/ZETTAI KARESHI by Yuu Watase, sweet and romantic stories with the right amount of fantasy and adventure.

Other favorites include:

















... and many more ;-). Since 1997 the market for manga has changed a lot in Germany. While ten years ago there was only a handful of series available, nowadays there are so many series available (and the no. is still increasing at an amazing pace..) it's hard to decide what to read and to buy. I rather don't want to know how much money me and my sister already have spent on manga (one volume costs between 5 € and 6.50 €, it depends on the publisher and on the series) though our friends and family always know what to give as presents ;-). Although my parents are very supportive concerning this hobby ( better than spending my money on cigarettes or drugs...) my father is always saying that manga are rubbish and the stories stupid and not intelligent at all. Yet I learned a lot about Japan and the Japanese culture, way of living, history and legends and traditions. I even started to learn Japanese just because I really like to be able to speak another language and because Japnese is a really interesting language. So all in all manga have a certain educational value no matter what my father is saying. And though they are comics it still is reading, isn't it??? Better than watching the rubbish they show on TV. I certainly can't live without manga and that definitely won't be the last entry on that topic nor will this change in the near future!

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Hi
    I recommend these if did not already have them
    20th Century Boys
    Blade of the Immortal
    Deadman Wonderland
    D grayman
    Full Metal Alchemist
    Hajime no Ippo
    Lone Wolf & Cub (classic, the ending is one of my all time fav.)

    03 Jan 2009, 16:18

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