Manga - A style of Japanese inspired comics, typically rendered in a wide eyed innocent art form, combined with extreme variation of interests from little girl's magical girl shows to very adult sex and violence.
Welcome to Manga page where I will be happy to introduce you to some of my favorite manga titles, and resources for seeing/reading them on the web. I hope to point out where one can find picture files, reviews, translation resources, etc. These pages will be under continuous construction as I find time to add to them. I eventually plan to have at least one page posted for all of the below titles, and will eventually post multiple pages with information about titles, authors, and related subjects, as gleaned from interviews, net rumors, etc. To check out a particular page either click the hyperlink for the title of the manga, or the associated highlighted picture.
3x3 Eyes - (or 'Sazan Eyes') tells the story of the 'Sanjiyan' Pai who looks like a girl but has a third eye which, when it opens, she becomes a magical monster known as "Sanjiyan". When the eye is closed she is a very naive, caring, and charming young woman. But when it opens, she becomes very magically powerful, and very cold and uncaring. Her people were supposed to be immortal, but she seems to be the last of the Sanjiyan, and she is on a quest to become human. The story is also about Yakumo Fujii, whom she sought out to obtain his help in her quest to become human. Shortly after they meet, he is severely injured by a monster seeking her, and she binds his soul to hers, to save him. He is now her wu, and cannot be killed unless she is killed. Theirs are a series of adventures on Pai's quest to become human. It's monsters, magic and fantasy set in modern day Tokyo and alternate dimensions.
Appleseed was one of Masamune Shirow's ("Ghost in the Shell", "Dominion: Tank Police") masterworks. In this comic, Deunan, and her cyborg friend, Briareos, are brought in from a post-apocalyptic wilderness, and allowed to join the police forces of Olympus, the most perfect, utopian city ever created by man. But if it's so perfect...why do they need a police force?
Ayashi no Ceres - Like Oh My Goddess! gone bad, Ayashi no Ceres is about young 16 year old Aya Mikage, and her twin brother, Aki, who are about to have the worst birthday of their life! It seems she is the reincarnation of a heavenly tennyo, whom their ancestor had forced to remain on earth by stealing her hagoromo (a beautiful robe). She married him and bore him three children. But things went wrong. Now the family is cursed with children, especially young girls, who develop the powers of the heavenly tennyo at age 16, and have sworn revenge on the family. The family has learned that they must identify such girls on their 16th birthday, and kill them...
Battle Angel Alita (also known as Gunnm) details the life of a female cyborg from when she is first found dumped on the scrap heap of a huge junk yard beneath the floating city of Tiphares. Doc Ido, a top cyborg specialist, finds her ruined body with the brain shut down in hibernation, but still intact. He repairs her, only to find she's totally amnesiac. However, it seems that she had incredible fighting skills in the past...and she hasn't forgotten them. The doc himself is a bounty hunter on the side, and when she discovers this, she insists on joining him in his line of work, despite his protestations. She turns out to be quite good at it, and later at even deadlier sports. Recently new Battle Angel Alita stories have been published as Gunnm: Last Order.
Cannon God Exaxxion - by Kenichi Sonoda (of Gunsmith Cats fame), is a new science fiction series about a boy and a female android helping to defend the earth against the invading Riofaldians, who want to colonize the earth. The promo summarizes it thusly: "Rebellious teen inherits a big responsibility (ensuring the freedom of planet Earth from oppressive, shifty aliens) and a big gun (and I mean BIG, with legs!) to deal with his problems. Expect usual teen-age mistakes, but on a grand scale." It promises to redefine the giant robot story for the 21st century!
Dirty Pair - as done by Adam Warren, has to be among the finest works of science fiction ever published as a manga. "The Lovely Angels" fight crime and terrorism in the year 2141 A.D., a period of time when, thanks to the warp drive, mankind has spread to over 3000 worlds and numerous space colonies throughout the galaxy. Acting as special trouble shooting consultants for the Worlds Welfare Work Association (WWWA), the angels always get their man. But unfortunately they all too frequently may get more than a few innocent bystanders as well. Obviously it's not their fault! If it were, the Central Computer wouldn't clear them everytime!
Dominion Tank Police (New!) - By Masamune Shirow of "Ghost in the Shell" fame, the Tank Police help maintain law and order in a futuristic, sometimes chaotic city. In the first volume one of their main nemesises are a pair of criminal android twins. In the second volume, after having been captured and reprogrammed, they are drafted into the police force to help fight the crimes they used to commit!
Futaba-kun Change - Shimeru Futaba is a young man in junior high and a member of his school's Pro Wrestling club. Futaba is just starting to get a crush on a girl named Misaki, who is trying her utmost to catch his attention as well. Then one day he discovers something shocking: suddenly he finds that when he gets excited, he changes gender. His entire family has this same quirk, starting at puberty. His biggest problem in all this is that whenever he tries to get close to Misaki, he is fighting the change that turns him into a her. And it is vital that he keep his changing ability a secret. This manga by Aro Hiroshi is a slapstick romantic comedy featuring Futaba haphazardly trying to start a relationship with his friend Misaki while fending off hormone-addled classmates and a perverted older sister.
Ghost in the Shell - Ghost in the Shell is probably the master work of the master story teller, Masamune Shirow. In the year 2029, the boundaries between virtual reality and the real world are fading. Artificial Intelligences (AI's) are getting more sophisticated. Most people have interfaces implanted into their brains, making it easy for them to interact with computers. But it leaves them open to be manipulated as well. Major Kusanagi is a cyborg with very little human left, except for her brain which is encased in a titanium shell. She is assigned to a squad, Section 9, whose job it is to track down criminals, manipulated androids, and ghost-hacked humans. She gets her ultimate assignment to track down the Puppet Master, who easily slips in and out of one computer network after another.
Great Teacher Onizuka - A very funny comic about a guy in his early 20's, a recent college graduate and former delinquent, who has troubles with getting a good job, and picking up girls, in that order. He decides to become a school teacher to pick up young girls. In the process he becomes the most popular teacher in the school, and dedicated to his job. Japan seems to have a tradition of these teenage sex comedies. In the U.S. I think this guy would have been at risk for a quick arrest. Except that in the first three mangas that I read he seems to be too busy intervening in the lives of kids at risk to actually score with any high school girls.
Gunsmith Cats - Rally Vincent is a both a beautiful woman, and a crack bounty hunter in Chicago. Her expertise with guns, taught to her by her father, makes her a fearsome adversary in any contest involving arms. Her friend, Minnie May, is a precocious explosives expert who likes to make her own grenade specials. Together they are a team, Gunsmith Cats. This Japanese manga by Kenichi Sonoda is remarkable for its attention to detail about fast cars, firearms accuracy, and details about Chicago, which Kenichi and his art team visited as part of their research for this series.
Love Hina - Love Hina is another teen age angst comedy about a young man, Urashima Keitaru, trying to make it into Tokyo University. But he's failed his entrance exams twice. So while studying for his exams he moves into his grandmother's place, the Hinata Inn. Unbeknownst to him is the fact that his grandmother departed awhile ago, searching for romance, and had turned her place into an all-girls dormitory for young girls also studying to eventually get into the universities. So now he's the only guy surrounded by a bevy of beautiful young ladies, whose reactions towards him vary from male intruder in their living space to welcome diversion from studying. Needless to say, it doesn't do much for his chances of passing his entrance exams.
Lum - Also known as Urusei Yatsura. What can I say...Lum is just another boy meets female space alien romance story. In the first story, Ataru, is presented with the challenge by a group of space aliens...a little contest. He is to represent all of the Earth. He gets 10 days in which he has to catch the alien's daughter, Lum, and touch her horns. If he fails, the aliens will take over all the Earth. Never mentioned prior to the start of the contest is that Lum can fly. Course, he succeeds at the last minute, and cries out "For marriage" meaning that he wants to marry Shinobu, the girl in his class that he leches on all the time. But Lum thinks that the proposal is for her, and she accepts. The aliens decide that Ataru will make a fine son-in-law, and leave Earth alone, leaving Lum behind with her "fiancee". Ataru of course is a horrible lech who can never dedicate himself to one woman. And Lum, while exceedingly cute, possesses a nasty electric shock if she ever gets mad, not to mention advanced alien technology.
Mai the Psychic Girl - Mai is an ordinary teenage girl - well, apart from the fact that she can telekinetically move things with her mind, that is... Mai comes from a long line of protectors in which the women of her family line use their powers to protect their family and friends under them. Mai herself, doesn't take her powers too seriously, until she draws the attention of the Wisdom Alliance, a group who seem to be targeting children with strong psychic powers - but for what reason? Mai flees their clutches, with help from several new-found friends, but freedom comes at a cost - and eventually she has to confront the ones who want her the most...
Maison Ikkoku - Maison Ikkoku is a romantic comedy by Rumiko Takahashi. It is a story of unrequited love revolving around the lives of the hapless perpetual student, Yusaku Godai, the beautiful manager of his apartment Kyoko Otonashi...and the crazed tenants of apartment building (Ikkoku-kan) where they live.
Neon Genesis Evangelion - The ultimate giant mecha show, Neon Genesis Evangelion features a world that was devastated in the year 2000 by the appearance of two giant alien beings, called angels, and referred to as Adam and Lilith. From the body of Adam, scientists have been able to clone their own giant biomechanical beings, Evas, controllable by teenagers who happened to be born nine months after the appearance of the first two angels. It is now 2015, and the first of the next 15 angels have arrived. All of humanity's other weapons are ineffectual and only the Evas, piloted by 14 year old Rei, Shinji, and Asuka, stand between humanity and the angel's attacks. I now have picture galleries posted for Asuka Langley, Rei Ayanami, Shinji Ikari, Misato Katsuragi, Mana Kirishima (New!), and miscellaneous Evangelion characters (New!), as well as the Angels themselves.
Oh My Goddess is a Japanese manga in which a young university student, Keichi, tries to call a friend, and through the wonders of a wrong number, gets the Goddess Help Line instead. He is granted one wish by Belldandy, which he doesn't believe. So since he is on the short side, and says that he has no luck with women because of this shortness, his wish is "I want a goddess like you to be with me always!" His wish is granted...for better or worse.
Parasyte - An ordinary high school student finds that his body has been invaded by an alien organism, and an intelligent, alien being has taken over his left hand. He is just adjusting to this fact, when he learns that other parasytes have taken over other people, by attacking their heads instead, and now they are man-eating monsters with human faces. And he can't do anything about it.
Ranma ½ - This comic series follows the problems of a boy named Ranma Saotome, a 16 year old martial artist in training, who has the problem that he turns into a girl whenever he gets hit by cold water. Hot water turns him back. This curse is a result of falling into one of the cursed pools of Jusenkyo, while sparring with his dad (who fell into a different pool and now turns into a panda when he gets wet). If this isn't problem enough, he finds that he has been engaged to be married to the daughter of the dad's best friend. When the two meet for the first time, it is hate at first sight. Then there's the fact that his father has previously engaged him to another girl. And there's a Chinese Amazon named Shampoo who is trying to kill female Ranma, and marry male Ranma, not knowing that they are the same person. Do complications pile up? You bet! Is this the most engaging farce in all of manga-dom? Probably!
Sailor Moon - The ultimate magical girl show, Sailor Moon features 5 teenage girls, blessed with the magical power of being able to turn into super-heroines, who save the world whenever evil threatens. Girls love the Sailor Scouts for the strength they show. Boys like them for their short sailor school uniforms. Nuff said.
Video Girl Ai - Youta is feeling like a real loser when he finally works up the courage to tell a young girl who is in his class, Moemi, how much he likes her, only to find out first that she really is in love with his best friend, Takashi, and wants his help in approaching Takashi. Feeling down, Youta rents what turns out to be a special tape from a video store, a tape for a video girl known as Amano Ai. Only she turns out to pop out of the TV, to become his real life video girl. Video girls are designed to be whatever young men want them to be. They are not supposed to have any feelings of their own though. But Ai was played on a broken VCR, and she comes out defective, with human feelings. At first she seems willing to be his plaything, except she doesn't get anything right. Then she decides she's going to help him with his love life...
Caution! I know Karate...and seven other words in Japanese!
Manga Links Page