2009 Great Manga Gift Guide
Ahh I am getting pretty happy with the amount of graphic novels that are coming out by various publishers, in the next couple of months. I took an interest in Yuricon‘s call for reader/reviewers to provide a graphic novels gift list. At this time, reading graphic novel takes about 55% of my time. I believe that these lists, are a great way to push forth favorite or great manga titles to be shared.
I notice some interesting discussion issues that are brought up by Deb Aoki
debaoki: let’s face it, manga is still considered an exotic, misunderstood genre to many mainstream US comics fans.
debaoki: i live for the day when i see manga reviewed/profiled more frequently on NPR, NY Times, LA Times, Entertainment Weekly, etc.
I agree with probably the first one, but then again I wonder where does publishers send graphic novels, since I am not sure if it is that widely distributed, as I hear a classmate complain how limited the Borders in Staten Island mall wouldn’t have as much Graphic novel content as a Manhattan Borders.
The second point, I see as something I see stating as a small feature in the Librarian trade magazines, so yes, it will be good to see graphic novels reviewed/profile more frequently on mainstream papers, but my only issue – how much of the news that will be in mainstream paper, won’t be redundant repetitive news for people who are readers of graphic novels?
Anyway!!!! Back to this Manga Gift Guide List! There is no clear theme in what I read, since I read a lot. I will try to separate it into gifts for a type of reader though. So this list is an actual push for what I loved to read, and seeing if other bloggers will be rec-ing similar books or else. ^_^
1-Oishinbo a la Carte (Viz-$12.99) [Multiple books]- The plot of Oishinbo is a competition between a father and son, to see what is the best in terms of eating. This is a long running 100+ Japanese food manga, that Viz has gotten to be translated into English. Because the amount of books, and time it takes for translating. Viz has taken an approach of selectively choosing themes of what would be reflecting certain food cuisines in Japanese culture. What I love about this series is the fact that there are lots of explanations, and the fact that it makes me hanker for certain foods. At times though there is a food racial superiority reflected, but no matter, since I absolutely adore Japanese cuisine. There are environmental issue mentioned in this book, that should send a message to readers. I am actually hopping that American/English publishers will take the Japanese example to push forth stories of their own to detail historical perspective, and importance of food. Cook books are fine, but descriptive stories, recipes is a great draw! I have read, Sake, Rice, Japanese Cusine, Ramen Goyza, and Mixed Vegetables.. and each of the books, have color pages at the beginning with easy to make recipes. For the food readers.
2-Kingyo’s Used Books (Sig) By the time there is enough for a book to be printed. I am quite sure this will be a recommended book to read. Kingyo’s Used Books detail in a series about the history of Japanese manga, and with the magical dimensions of the bookstore, mentally I wish there was a store such as that. This is a series that is actually available to be read for free on a website. This title will probably be on a print on demand list. Not sure if this is the right time to rec this book, since there is no book to buy, but to read the electronic version – and to build buzz, is pretty nice. For the book readers.
3-The Walking Man – (Fanfare Pub- $16.99) [Oneshot]- I reviewed this last spring, and I have to say what my opinion about this book didn’t change as much. I like the black and white detailed artwork, and think that it is a great attraction for people who like detailed pencil work. The biggest reason why I would recommend this, is the appeal for adult readers. I showed this book to a coworker, and she shared a genuine interest in the book, and the plot. Now the plot is pretty self-reflective, but it is good for reminding/promoting a healthy lifestyle. For the the nature and self-help readers.
4-Black Lagoon-(Sig – $12.99) [Series] Very violence and with a dark anti-hero sentiments that makes an “adult” question what is happening with this series. I think of this as a strong Rated R film. Black Lagoon is for a pretty specific niche group of readers, but for forgetting about your life being frustrating, and knowing that there are other possibilities for hardship, then this might be for you then. What attracts me to to this series, is the strong cast of female characters. There are currently 8 books out. This series is probably going to interest adults, and older adolescents, on contents of weapons and emo-ness of some characters. But mostly I believe this story is about the gun fights. For the adventure and action readers.
5-Dr. Slump – (Shonen Jump-$7.95) [Series] This title is always going to find its way on my list. Yes Akira Toriyama’s known for Dragon Ball, but nothing can take away from the fact that this was his gag humor jump off point. Perhaps not a lot of people would get it, but for the random laughs, about a robot girl who loves to have fun, and create mayhem, what can go wrong? This series is suited for an adolescent reader. There is 18 books in this series, and I am not sure if there are readers who would gush about this series left and right, but yep the obsessed fan that I am.. banzai! Nycha and Hohoho as well! For wacky invention comic readers.
6-Chibi Vampire – (Tokyo Pop-$10.99) [Series] Oh this series is not as dramatic or as emo as Vampire Knight or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but this is a unique twist to the vampire genre of books. Imagine a seemingly normal girl from a vampire family who consistently has nose bleeds anytime she gets nervous? Trying to hide the fact that she is a vampire, and her conditions, leads to some interesting situations. For vampire readers.
7-Future Lovers – (Deux -$12.95) [2 volumes] Okay this is a pretty sweet yaoi book. I really enjoyed the first book, and the second book rounded out the story of two completely opposite men, who just happened to fall in love with each other. Throw in grandparents, and there’s some disapproval, but you can say that they are won over. For yaoi readers.
8-Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture – (Del Rey) – Perhaps similar to the explanation of Oishinbo and Kingyo’s, is this coming of age story, of a college student who had the ability to see beyond the naked eye, the micro-organisms. What responses would people around him, or micro-organisms react? This series spawn in Japan an anime, and cute mascot products. For biology loving readers.
9-Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney – (Del Rey – $14.95) [2 volumes]- This is a manga representation of the popular DS game series. The stories in this book are drawn/written by different authors to show a different fan perception of how the colorful funny cast would act when they’re not in the courtroom. Reading this series is bound to be fun for people who have played the game, and perhaps some spoilers for those who haven’t. For video game readers.
10-Detroit Metal City (Viz -$12.99) [Multiple books]- GO TO DMC! GO TO DMC! GO TO DMC! Okay okay, this is a strange choice. Why would I recommend Detroit Metal City? Because it is funny. This book has a man who wants to sing folk song, but instead is a very very popular death metal rock star. Read as his life gets turned upside down as he tries unsuccessfully to regain his normality. This manga is actually a popular move, and anime series. For rock music readers.
Okay staring at my list, I actually gave my recommendations for more shonen titles and what not. I also made recommendations for titles that I know for a fact that are actually still in print by publishers. I tried to think about recommending shoujo titles, and some classical. Unfortunately, those are actually products of companies that have closed or the licenses has expired, and the publisher couldn’t renew it. For this holiday season though, graphic novels are a great gift,for people of all ages, and if you would look at the list of the manga bloggers out there who contributed their recommendations.. then happy readings!
Oh my coal book suggestion has got to be Absolute Boyfriend. No offense for the Watase Yuu fans out there, but the dramatics of this book is enough to make a non-shoujo fan hurl. I am a female, but there’s only so much sappy teen angst before you say enough is enough.