drcpunk (drcpunk) wrote,

Manga Habit

I have developed a manga habit. acrobatty thinks there might be a pill for it, but I am dubious.

Tokyo Babylon -- finite series, 7 volumes, though it kind of intersects with other Clamp series. mneme did a one paragraph lovely spoof of the first two volumes, but it gets much less formulaic after that. Volumes 5-7 are one breakneck sequence. I had a blast talking about TB with mnemex and convincing him that I was right. I want to see the live action movie, Tokyo Babylon 1999, preferably with subtitles.

X/1999 -- a bit of a sequel to the above, but also to several other Clamp manga. I've got a random collection of what's been done to date -- it ended mid-endgame, and may or may not ever be completed. I like it primarily for the continuation of the TB storyline, where an already sick and twisted relationship gets even more sick and twisted, and it rings emotionally true. This manga is very loosely based on the Book of Revelation, and reads like a cross between that and X-Men.

Descendants of Darkness -- there's about 14 vols of which 10 are now in English. It ends in mid-story line because of difficulties between author and publisher. Has a dashing and utterly disgusting villain, and good character development. That is, the main character (whom everyone else is in love or lust with) is a dead guy who works for the Ministry of Hades, and, while he looks young and bishonen, he has been doing this for 90 years, and it's killing him inside. In the last major completed story, he basically tries to commit suicide, which makes perfect sense. (He does not succeed.) In the one that left off in the middle, his partner has decided that he needs kick ass spirits to become more powerful, which follows logically from all the stories that came before, and gets into serious trouble as he looks for the biggest baddest spirit he can find. What keeps me from being bothered by the kid making the cliched mistakes is that these mistakes flow so logically from what has gone before. mnemex made a lovely on-target comment about volume 5: "The Count is writing fan fiction! He's writing bad fan fiction!" The anime is really good, distilling the essence of the first four major stories and making changes that improve them.

Sanctuary -- finite series, 9 volumes. Two guys are working together to try to change Japan. One's in politics, and the other's in the underworld. Good character stuff all around, though I'm not sure how well the politics work, and one thoroughly disgusting criminal who somehow manages to be charming, even though one would never want to be within a mile of him.

The Devil Does Exist -- teen soap opera. Kayano's mother is marrying the school principal, and she's slowly falling in love with the principal's son. Probably potentially infinite. The first volume works as a stand alone, and was, I think, intended as such. Kayano continues to be thoroughly clueless, though it works because she is a confused adolescent.

Anne Freaks -- just started this one. The title character is a perky assassin, gathering a couple of guy misfits to try to kill her father, who is the head of some weird cult o'assassins, near as I can tell.

Hellsing -- Not sure how many volumes. I saw the anime first, and liked it, despite a lot of ludicrous plotting. The manga has better plotting, but really ugly art, especially in action sequences.

Mai the Psychic Girl -- 3 volumes total. Fun read, but art gets muddy, and there are some parts of the story where I have a problem with certain plot threads being dropped. Still, I was able to take a bunch of ideas from here and rework them for Cthulhupunk.

From Eroica With Love -- Probably the first manga I ever read, in photocopy, with a printed English translation that was a bit, ah, wonky. It's now being translated into English. It's still good. Lovely convoluted plots. A homosexual art thief in a complicated love/hate relationship with a homophobic West German officer.

Gorgeous Carat -- Just read the first volume, and I gather it's finite, at 4 volumes. It sounded like it had some of the qualities I enjoy in Eroica. And, it does, but Eroica blows it out of the water. GC is fun, but my suspension of disbelief cracked, and it gets a lot of exercise. Okay, jewel thief Noir essentially buys a young aristocrat, Florian, because the family needs money. Check, Florian agrees to this out of a combination of honor and anger.Check. Noir has Florian whipped into unconsciousness when he gets tired of Florian's sulking. Okay, I had no idea that it probably should've had an indication of, um, explictness, but okay, that's packaging.

Florian escapes when he hears that his mother's dead and the family mansion burned, and later works with Noir. Ignoring the small detail that someone whipped to unconsciousness is not getting up and going anywhere, will probably be scarred for life, is likely to get infection, and certainly is still going to be feeling the effects past the next scene or two, I've got a real problem buying the emotional relationship between the two. Okay, I can see Florian sticking around on the grounds that he's an honorable idiot and he did voluntarily sell himself for money, even though the whole business of saving the family name so his mother can live in the style to which she is accustomed is kind of moot with her dead and the family mansion gone. I can maybe seeing Florian not utterly despising Noir. That's stretching things, but, okay, Noir did keep him from getting arrested due to someone else's machinations, and did save his life. But, I cannot buy that they'd have only the usual manga will-they-won't-they-titillating-power-struggle after that, and I just can't buy the line, "Somehow, I can't seem to hate him." Okay, it's a translation, but I suspect it's more or less accurate.

Not that any of this will stop me from reading the rest of the series.

Revolutionary Girl Utena -- Sigh. I love this one. It's a 3-season anime. It's a movie (the one part I've not seen). It's a 5-volume manga. It's a stand alone manga. All variations on a theme. What's not to like about a girl who's decided to be a dashing prince who rescues people? Jury's great, too -- a passionate, kickass fencer bitterly resenting those who believe in miracles, because miracles did not happen for her.

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