I love to read manga. You can say that mangas are my bibles (but don’t worry, I’m not that obssessive). The vast variety of stories and styles can attract almost anyone to read them. So I tried to vary my top manga choices for 2009 and this is what I came up with.
Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning Vol. 6-9
By Kyou Shirodaira; Eita Mizuno
The mystery of the Blade Children continues with an introduction of a dangerous foe who is out to kill the Blade Children. Spiral just gets better and better with each volume. It’s a dramatic series though the artwork might mislead people. Most of the characters in this series are likable and each of the Blade Children have their own unusual personality quirks. The newest member introduced looks friendly but turns out to be psychotic. How nice…
Nana Vol. 14-19
By Ai Yazawa
Yazawa is an awesome storyteller. I don’t know how she keeps track with all the complications occurring in the series. So much drama going on in Nana and I like it! Sometimes it’s overwhelming and you start to wonder if any of the characters will get a happy ending. Why won’t the Demon Lord leave them alone? (Wish I could say more but I don’t know how to do that without spoilers)
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading Clover. The way Clamp tells the story and how they fashioned the panels is poetic. The book doesn’t revolve around a single main character. It can be split into parts where one section concentrates on the present and the other delves into the past. This release combines the original 4 volumes into an omnibus for 20 bucks. It also contains pretty color illustrations inside so its well worth the money.
Reading Club Vol. 1
By Cho Ju-Hee; Suh Yun-Young
Reading Club is actually a manhwa (Korean comic) but I think it deserves a spot on this list. What makes this comic interesting is its mix of the shojo style and the horror genre. The first volume basically introduces the characters and the general idea of a cursed book. A few scenes did freak me out that included a severed tongue and a ridiculously long neck. This series has a lot of potential and I look forward to reading more.
Battle Royale Ultimate Edition Vol. 5
By Koushun Takami; Masayuki Taguchi
What can I say about Battle Royale? It’s an awesomely classic series. This heart-pumping, teeth clenching manga ends in this fifth installment of the ultimate edition. If you’re a fan of the movie or novel, I highly recommend you read the manga. It goes more in depth into the characters’ pasts and you might end up getting attached to them (my favorite was Shinji Mimura). I think Masayuki Taguchi did a great job wrapping up the series. I was very satisfied. The manga is explicit in more ways than one. There’s so much guts and nudity that I was afraid of reading this in front of my mom for she would probably have a heart attack.
Peacemaker Kurogane Vol. 1-2
By Nanae Chrono
Peacemaker Kurogane is one of the few historical mangas I’ve read. It revolves around the Shinsengumi, a special police force during the Shogunate period in Japan. This series is basically part 2 of the previous Peacemaker series and takes place three months after the final volume. What attracts me to this series is its concentration on the characters rather than the historical events. The characters seem to propel the plot forward. Not only do the characters have to deal with enemy forces, they have to fight within themselves. Nanae Chrono does a good job conveying the characters feelings through her artwork. Highly recommended!
Trigun Maximum Vol. 14
By Yasuhiro Nightow
It’s finally here. Dark Horse Comics released the final volume of the explosive Trigun series. We’ve seen Vash go through wasteland hell and meet very interesting characters along the way but it’s time to finish the journey with an ultimate showdown with Knives. The art style is unique and combines western styled backgrounds with manga styled characters.
Air Gear Vol. 11-14
A manga about rollerblading doesn’t sound too exciting does it? Well, Oh!Great takes it up a notch with people learning how to rollerblade to claim territory and participate in battle type racing (which escalates to actual combat later on). I know, I know. It sounds ridiculous- fighting by rollerblading. But the way Oh!Great explains the concept and how he designs the battles makes the manga more intiguing to read. His art style is also stylish and detailed, and there’s plenty of fanservice for the boys in here.
Nabari no Ou Vol. 1-2
By Yuhki Kamatani
I didn’t think I would like Nabari no Ou. After Naruto, it’s hard for me to get into another ninja manga. Naruto is too long for me so I needed to find a new source of ninja goodness and I found Nabari no Ou. There is something about this series that catches my eye. Maybe it’s the weird characters or the strange humor but after reading the first volume, I found myself wanting more. I feel that the plot will get more complex and Miharu won’t be having a peaceful life after all.
Soul Eater Vol. 1
By Atsushi Ohkubo
This is a fun little series. The first three chapters introduces three sets of characters and shows the relationship between meisters and their “weapons”. It’s an interesting concept and I can already tell that many mishaps will occur on their adventures. The art style is cute yet mature. But don’t let that fool you. I wouldn’t recommend it for young children since there are a few nudity scenes.