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Manga Before Flowers — Recommendation Post #1

A few things — no single manga is going to perfectly fit some of the great requests I’ve received in the last post, but I’m going to do my best to give people a few options that might work for them!  Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts if you think I’ve missed a good title.

Today I offer three series for Nitz the Bloody.

Nitz the Bloody requested “closest manga equivalents of ‘post-human superhero’ stories, like WildStorm and the Ultimate Universe? If I like the kind of darkly humorous, culturally relevant takes on science fiction, what in manga would be the best?

Danielle’s Recommendations:

1. Dogs, by Shirow Miwa, published by Viz.

dogs

Description: Boasting furious action, switchback plotting, magnetic characters and dazzling art, Dogs tells the story of four individuals struggling to survive a dystopian urban future by gun and sword and courage and luck.


2.  Eden: It’s an Endless World, by Hiroki Endo, published by Dark Horse.

eden

Description: Eden Volume One is both a brilliant love song to the post-apocalyptic survival genre and the beginning of a deep exploration on man’s role in the natural order. In the near future, a large portion of humanity is wiped out by a brutal, new virus that hardens the skin while dissolving internal organs. Those who aren’t immune are either severely crippled or allowed to live with cybernetically enhanced bodies. Taking advantage of a world in chaos, a paramilitary force known as the Propater topples the United Nations and seeks world domination. Elia, a young survivor searching for his mother, travels towards the Andes Mountains with an artificially intelligent combat robot. When he encounters a group of anti-Propater freedom fighters, a maelstrom of unique characters unfolds. Graphic, cyberpunk, and philosophical, Eden is a place where endearing heroes face a constant struggle for survival and violent surprises wait around every corner!


3.  Bokurano: Ours, by Mohiro Kito, published online by Viz here.

230px-Bokurano_v1_cover_front

Description: One summer, fifteen kids innocently wander into a nearby seaside cave. There they meet a strange man who invites them to play an exciting new video game. This game, he explains, pits one lone giant robot against a horde of alien invaders. To play the game, all they have to do is sign a simple contract. The game stops being fun when the kids find out the true purpose of their pact.


15 Comments

I had been interested in Eden for a while, but I’d never heard of Dogs or Bokurano.

Well, Bokurano is still being published online so you can check it out (the collection will be out early next year). Link to the site is in the post!

Eden is fantastic. How many volumes is it? I haven’t seen a new one in Previews recently.

Thank you, Danielle. Will definitely check out Bokurano online, and look into the other two in stores.

hi Greg, Eden is 18 volumes I believe. Dark Horse is probably only putting it out about once a year right now.

Sheesh. That’s annoying.

Hey Danielle, how many of these are published to completion in the U.S.? They all sound great, but I’m tired of all the hurry-up-and-wait series that I’m stuck in the middle of.

Hi Dane, none are complete yet. Unless someone specifically asks (like you) I’m not going to worry about complete or incomplete (although I will note if a series has been discontinued and most likely not recommend those unless I feel VERY strongly about the title).

Thanks! Eden looks like its 2/3 complete. My only fear is that if I wait for its completion, by the time vol. 18 is released, then some random vols. (say 6–9) will be out of print. That happened to me with Emma (only 7 vols. too!) and I had to use the Amazon Marketplace to find a seller.

I’d also recommend Battle Angel Alita and its sequel, Battle Angel Alita: Last Orders if you like dystopian SF manga.

Just wanted to point, IMO, Bokurano’s not really “darkly humorous”… It’s more “darkly depressing”. It’s heavy stuff, and even the “super robot” aspect of it is extremely dark. It’s realistic… if you assume reality is horribly grim.

That said, it’s a good manga and one of those you devour. Just not something to read when you are depressed lol.

CriticalFel,

It may depend on your sense of humour a bit — there’s certainly humour in Bokurano, even if it tends towards the gallows end. Just about anything Dung Beetle says, for instance.

It probably seemed less depressing to me when compared to the same author’s Shadow Star, and to the other depressing giant robot series, Evangelion. Something about how fate seems to be out to get the characters in those stories, whereas this one puts them in an inescapable situation, but often lets them find genuine personal redemption in the face of it.

[...] Danielle Leigh has a few suggestions. [...]

[...] Leigh posts her first round of manga recommendations at Comics Should Be [...]

Heh- I actually thought about how Dung Beetle may be funny sometimes after writing that post, but while I was reading the manga my only reaction to him was “what an asshole”.

Kitoh just hates kids, I guess.

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