izilen: Ling Yao crying rivers (;_;)
[personal profile] izilen
What it says on the tin! Izzy likes stories. Izzy also likes pictures. Izzy looooooves stories told with pictures! It was natural that, should Izzy be feeling bored and in need of fictional characters in love, she would eventually, after exhausting such (rare) resources as Roy/Riza fic, turn to manga. Sadly, Izzy finds herself disappointed more often than not. She should also stop referring to herself in the third person.

I will tell you, briefly, what I've read, what I thought it would be, what it really was, and if I liked it!



In the order in which I read them:
   

Town of Evening Calm; Country of Cherry Blossoms


Author: Kouno Fumiyo
Genres: Drama, Historical
Volumes: 1

 
This is a manga set in Hiroshima in the year 1955, about how the atomic bomb and its consequences affected a few ordinary people's lives. It looked like it would be quite touching and it was. It dealt respectfully with the situation and, personally, afforded me a new perspective on it. It tells its story simply, quietly, with no pretensions. After I read this I thought it would be a good idea to read up on the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and what happened afterwards. Result? I cried all the damn afternoon. So, uh yeah. It's a good story! I warn however the historically sensitive.


   

Sakuran


Author: Anno Moyoco
Genres: Josei, Drama, Historical
Volumes: 1

 
This one was about a young girl who's sold to an Edo brothel. It tells us about her life form childhood to adulthood. About how miserable she is. I don't know. It was a bit too bleak and hopeless for me. Maybe I am too idealistic? PROBABLY. Who knows, this might have been deep social commentary. For me it was: wow, her life just gets worse! This is terrible! OH LOOK, LOOKS LIKE ITS GETTING BETTER! No, no it isn't, the end. Overall, for me, forgettable.

 


   
Kanata Kara / From Far Away

Author: Hikawa Kyoko
Genres: Shojo, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Romance
Volumes: 14


This was recommended by [livejournal.com profile] mekosuchinae when I complained about a terrible manga (Red River/Anatolia Story, blacklist it, now!) where a Japanese girl is whisked away to another world, and suddenly, MAGICALLY, BY THE POWER OF FORCED KISS, learns the language! She is then kidnapped and almost raped by Love Interest and so on and so forth. In this manga, Noriko, our heroine, is transported to a fantasy world after suffering an accident. She is helpless. She can't speak the language, she doesn't know where she is, and on top of that she is, it appears, part of a terrible prophecy. But Noriko perseveres, slowly learns how to speak the language of her new country, befriends her swordman rescuer, falls in love with him and eventually adapts to her new life.  Basically, where Red River and the like went horribly wrong, From Far Away did it right! Read it, it is delightful.

 
 

Crazy for You



Author: Shiina Karuho
Genres: Shojo, Romance, Drama
Volumes: 6

 
I picked this up because it was written by the same author as Kimi ni Todoke, a series I find adorable. I was looking for something cute! I got a story where a girl fall in love with a jerkass of a guy, knows it and continues to be with him while he continues to be terrible. I gave up halfway through because it didn't sit well with me, really, not the themes or the execution and I found the romance quite hard to believe or care about.



   
Gokusen
 
Author: Morimoto Kozueko
Genres: Josei, Action, Comedy, Drama, (ROMANCE!)
Volumes: 15 + Specials


Oh, man, Gokusen. I read this expecting a quick read with fun story and a great female character! I got it! Yamaguchi Kumiko (aka Yankumi) is that character. She is awesome. She, fresh university graduate, is enthusiastic about her job: teaching maths to delinquent high school boys while hiding the fact that she is a Yakuza heiress. I was expecting TEACHER BY DAY, YAKUZA BY NIGHT, etc. What I was not expecting was...everything else! Look, [livejournal.com profile] bookelfe tells you about it better than I ever could. Go, go read her post. Basically, for me? I did not expect to reread this several times, and to want fanfiction and to...SHIP THINGS. Look, of all the manga to give me kissing, this is it?!? (and really, I am not complaining that much).


Tune in later this week for the (not) exciting part two of Izzy reads manga and tells you about it (so that you can find the good ones and NEVER EVER read atrocious things such as Red River).

Izzy would also be really thankful for any and all manga recs. Really thankful.

P.S. Oh, god, why has my English deteriorated to this extent, why.

(no subject)

Date: 3 Nov 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (section III)
From: [personal profile] skygiants
GOKUSEEEEEEEEN \o/ \o/ As usual your feelings sum up mine excellently!

You have probably read much more manga than I! So anything I could rec you MAY WELL have read already. However, if you haven't tried 20th Century Boys, I highly highly recommend it. For the first few volumes it's about dorky kids who make up stories, and then find out thirty years later that their made-up stories MAY DESTROY THE WORLD, and they have to save it around the edges of taking care of their boring middle-aged real life. And then things get epic. And then they get more epic. For the first five volumes or so it is sort of One Girl Rule-y (although that girl is AWESOME. Yukiji, Strongest Girl in the World!) but then it gets into the second arc (which I am in the middle of, since I'm reading it as it comes out in the US) which centers around two teenaged girls, one who manages to conquer brainwashing by being a dorky rock-and-roll fangirl and one who ends gang wars just by walking into them and being that awesome. And it's glorious. (It's also, often, hilarious.)

I will also rec Pumpkin Scissors, which reminds me a bit of FMA in that it deals with similar themes and features a strong central small-military-unit nakama (and also, look, I am currently preconditioned to love blonde lieutenants! I AM NOT ASHAMED). It takes place three years after a terrible war; the protagonist is Lt. Alice Malvin, a shiny-eyed Very Heroic idealist who subscribes a little bit to the Yankumi school of problem-solving (i.e. CHARGE AT THE EVILDOERS, what do you mean there are three times as many of them and they have a tank, CHARGE). She's the commander of the war relief and reconstruction unit, which everyone else in the military sees as kind of a slacker no-account job, but she is VERY DEDICATED to it. In the first volume they pick up a ginormous human weapon who is a total sweetheart except when he goes berserker and becomes a one-man tank-destroying machine, and who's had no idea what to do with himself since the war ended except a.) be homeless and b.) pet kittens. (He pets a lot of kittens.) But then he meets Alice and her contagious idealism and spends the rest of the story lumbering around after her with hero-worship in his eyes, ready to take out as many tanks for her as she could possibly want, and it's totally adorable with a backdrop of extremely creepy military conspiracies. And even though Alice and Randel are not really much at all like Mustang and Hawkeye in personality, their dynamic hits a lot of those same buttons for me in terms of shared idealism and military partnership and complete trust and watching each other's backs.

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