Posts tagged “manga

My Top Five Manga Obsessions

In case anyone didn’t know I am a HUGE fan of manga (Japanese comics). When I’m not reading novels or trying to write novels, I’m usually hunting for the latest copies of my favourite manga and there are quite a few series that I am currently obsessed with.

cover1Skip Beat…this one is a bit of a cheat, since I’ve been obsessed with it for years. But I thought I would share it as my number one because I have yet to fall out of love with this funny, romantic, and at times suspenseful series.

Kyouko Mogami lived solely for her childhood friend Shoutaro “Shou” Fuwa. She follows Shou to Tokyo so that he may realize his dream of becoming a famous singer. When his dream is realized, Kyouko overhears the truth behind his decision to bringing her with him: he was using her as a maid.

Shocked and enraged, Kyouko swears to take revenge by outdoing him in show business. With a new look and a new attitude, she joins LME, the agency where Ren Tsuruga (Shou’s rival and the #1 actor of LME) works, in the hopes of achieving her goal of destroying Shou’s pride.

Along the way, she discovers her true self, makes new friends (and enemies), and finds herself at the heart of some interesting situations that will change her life, and the lives of all others involved, forever.

coverYona of the Dawn. Words cannot describe how epic this series is. The heroine grows from a spoiled, pampered princess to a warrior in hiding. Also, this series probably has the most complex characters I have ever read. You find yourself rooting for everyone (despite all the bad that has happened) to somehow be friends again at the end.

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Soo-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when she witnesses her father’s murder!

cover4Yamada and the Seven Witches. This manga was a complete surprise for me. But one word:  HILARIOUS! The supernatural elements in this manga are important plot twisters and much random hilarity ensues.

Ryuu Yamada is a second-year student at Suzaku High. Ryuu is always late for school, naps in class and gets abysmal grades. His life is a dead bore. The beautiful Urara Shiraishi, on the other hand, is Suzaku High’s brightest student.

One day, without explanation, their bodies are swapped! Ryuu ends up in Urara’s body, and Urara in Ryuu’s.

cover2Noragami. This was another unexpected, but very pleasant surprise. It’s got great characters, and the central story about a god without a shrine and worshippers but who is trying to get into heaven is such a cool idea. (That summary doesn’t really do it justice and the manga is so much more than that. But I can’t go into a lengthy description without spoilers.)

Yato is a minor god whose dream is to have a lot of followers worshipping him and praying to him. Unfortunately, his dream is far from coming true since he doesn’t even have a single shrine dedicated to him. To make things worse, the only partner he had to help him solve people’s problems, had just quit the job. His godly existence and luck just might change when he stumbles upon Iki Hiyori and saves her life; a feat which also leaves her in quite a predicament so she is stuck with him until her problem gets resolved. Together with Hiyori and his new partner-weapon Yukine, Yato will do everything he can to gain fame, recognition and just maybe, one shrine dedicated to him, as well.

cover3SDK (or Samurai Deeper Kyo). Since I’ve read this manga series over ten times without getting bored and discovering something new each time, it has to go on my top five list. It’s male-focused with a heavy emphasis on action and violence but has moments of comedy.

At the dawn of the 17th century, at the end of the era of civil wars, in a world of chaos, the epic Battle of Sekigahara was joined.One man emerged from the largest battle ever fought on Japanese soil; a terrible warrior of unspeakable power, he was nicknamed ‘the unconquerable.’ Kyoshiro is a peaceful medicine peddler who harbors the soul of an assassin. He accompanies a young bounty hunter across Japan in search of a murderer and on a quest to discover the terrible secret of his own identity.

These are my top five, but trust me when I say it was hard to choose. I have so many manga that I am obsessed with but that does mean I don’t want recommendations. I’m always looking for more great reads! (Especially one’s like Skip Beat…the one month wait between chapter updates is killing me…and it’s even longer to get the bound editions at Chapters.)

Who else is a manga fan? Got any that you are absolutely obsessed with?

Please share,

Rika Ashton (aka Shameless Manga Addict)

 


Graphic Novels, Manga, Comics…A Rose by Any Other Name

Kaleigha over at Wicked Scribes recently posted about novel to comic book adaptions and whether or not they should be included as part of a series if they are only rewrites (or reinventions) of the original works. Personally, the geek in me is for anything graphic novel related, but I understand the limitations of such works…as well as their strengths.

Art sample from SWORD OF DARKNESS by Kinley MacGregor

Case in point, let’s take a look at some recent (and not so recent) adaptations of some of my favourite books and series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter, and Nalini Singh.

Marvel has created comic books adaptations of Ms. Kenyon’s novels Lords of Avalon novels, written under her penname Kinley MacGregor. While I personally adored the adaptations, I know not everyone was a fan of the artwork, as well as the fact that some of the minor interactions between characters had to be cut out. On the other hand, the artists for this series did an amazing job using colour and keeping the basic story line and event descriptions the same. Compared to the novels, the sex scenes in the comics were not as explicit, and included more for furthering the plot.

On the other hand, if we look at the manga adaptations of Ms. Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series, the major as well as minor interactions between the character remain intact. Partly, this is due to the publisher’s decision to split each novel into two separate mangas – like the last Harry Potter film was split into two movies. Not to mention the improved level of artwork.

Artwork which is further improved in the Chronicles of Nick series – the third of Ms. Kenyon’s series to be adapted into manga format.

Romance publisher, Harlequin, has also been on the comic/manga bandwagon for a while. They’ve adapted most of the Harlequin Presents line into mangas, as well as recently transforming Ms. Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series into graphic novel format.

I also came across a manga adaptation previously done for Ms. Singh’s novel, Desert Warrior, from Harlequin’s Silhouette Desire line.

Opening from DESERT WARRIOR by Nalini Singh

More artwork from DESERT WARRIOR

Can’t say I’m the biggest fan of the artwork in Desert Warrior – though this is a much older adaptation and the dated artwork is to be expected – but it’s certainly a creative way to introduce new readers to novels. Not to mention if they make a graphic novel adaptation of Ms. Singh’s Guild Hunter series, I’d be the first in line to buy.

Though the artwork varies from novel to novel, all the graphic novel adaptation outlined in this post have strengths. Each of these graphic novels is a unique platform on which to engage new readers, plus the visualized scenes reaffirm the importance of key events in the novels. Graphic novels introduce readers to characters, setting, and story in a new light – strengthening the writer’s vision and founding an incarnation of this world in the readers’ minds.

Could…would you get on the graphic novel bandwagon or has that train firmly departed?

Rika Ashton

(aka Graphic Novel Advocate)

P.S: A special thanks to Kaleigha for inspiring this post!