Thursday, April 10, 2008

Manga Love

Manga. Japanese comics that are in black and white and usually follow the stories of teenage protagonists. The plots are usually heavily cliche' but you know what? I still love the stuff.

In case you can't tell by looking at the visuals in this entry, some of my favorite manga is of the Shonen variety. In fact, Shonen manga was the first manga I ever picked up. I bought four graphic novels on a Thursday before work five years ago. What were they? Dragon Ball vols. 1-2 and Dragon Ball Z vols. 1-2. I would have bought InuYasha manga that day, but the asking price for the slightly bigger sized editions of those books was $15.99 so I passed I brought Goku and the gang instead. I've been hooked on manga ever since.

Some of the most popular manga artists have admitted to being huge fans of Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball (in Japan, the manga for second part of the DB series, DBZ is also called Dragon Ball) and you can see the influences in their works. As repetitive as it can get, I love all these colossal fights that wipe out buildings and tear up the landscape. There have been a number of fights like these in other manga like Bleach, and Naruto. Some of my favorite fights in these series? Gohan vs. Cell. Gohan going Super Saiyan 2 and beating the crap out of Cell and then defeating him with only one hand is still one of the greatest moments in that manga. For Naruto, well Naruto vs. Gaara is still at the top of my list. Yeah, I realize the constant power-ups Naruto and Sasuke had during their fight made for an epic battle and Naruto used even more power from the demon fox within, but I'll still take Naruto vs. Gaara over Naruto vs. Sasuke any day. I think protecting one's friends made for a better battle as opposed to trying to save a friend from leaving who was clearly being more of a jerk than usual. Naruto's 2000 hit combo, summing Gama-Bunta, transforming into the demon fox, man, that fight was awesome!! For sweet Bleach fights, well I've always been a fan of Ichigo vs. Kenpachi for a number of reason. Ichigo literally came back from the dead, much to Kenpachi's surprised and really pushed him to his limits. Kenpachi is one of the few truly bloodthirsty, combat junkies in the Bleach world. This guy loves to fight and I thought that brought even more to the table in that battle.

Rurouni Kenshin has what I'd consider probably one of the best stories in all of manga, surpassing everything else I've mentioned. On top of that, I feel that Nobuhiro Watsuki draws some of the best action sequences, and I'm not just talking about manga, I'm talking about in general. Watsuki is also a huge fan of American comics and some characters models from Marvel comics have crept their way into a few of his designs. As for my favorite fights in RK, well there are far too many to list. So I'll just say that I don't think there's been a fight in this series that I didn't like. No joke.

I was originally gonna mention a few other mangas but this entry is already turning out to be a bit longer than I planned, so I cut it off right here and discuss more manga in another entry.


Tommy said...

Heh, Sasuke needs to end up a blind hobo at the end of the series who eats beavers to survive. Bishie characters that are dicks and everyone fangirls over tend to irk me.

I can tolerate bishieness if the character is cool, though the feminization of things can be extremely grating nonetheless.

If you check out Final Fantasy 12, look for a character named Larsa. A site had him mistaken for a girl. XD

I'm a big DBZ fan myself. I had a nerdgasm when Goku went SSJ3 against Fat Buu. Maybe everyone else can make jokes about all the yelling, but eff it, that was intense.

Everyone's all freaking out, the clouds are shifting around Goku, the entire world is shaking. I bought the Best of DBZ Vol. IV soundtrack for Bruce Faulconer's transformation theme and the DVD of the episode itself.

"And to go---even further---BEYOND!!! EAHHHHHHH!!!"

Funny thing about Kenshin, is when reading about it on wiki sometime last year (haven't seen the series or read the manga though), there was mention of a character influenced by Venom and I posted an image for the Spideyfan peeps, but I don't think I got a response.

Reggie White Jr. said...

Man, I could not agree more with you on Sasuke. Dude is an emo chump and I would stand and applaud if he died. He'd be a bit more tolerable if someone slapped the emo out of him.

DBZ is my stuff. My jaw hit the floor when Goku transformed into Super Saiyan 3 against Fat Buu. That whole scene was epic. You like the dub soundtrack too? Man, that makes like 4 other people that like it. I can't stand the Japanese music in DBZ. Most of the songs with lyrics are fine but the rest of the score is crap.

Heh, you know who I was talking about when I mentioned Watsuki-San being inspired by Marvel comics. Nice!

Tommy said...

Heheh, yeah, I'm one of the peeps who likes the dub soundtrack.

I did get some of the Japanese tracks though to expand myself a bit if you will.

Bit by bit, I'll probably work on getting the soundtrack cds.

I've also yet to play any of the newest fighting games with DBZ. The last one I got was Budokai 3, and there's been several since then. I wonder where the game engine is at by this point?