While pining on figuring out what to write about next I was given the suggestion to pick a handful of manga at random that I had absolutely never heard about from a grand list, read them, and then rant and rave about them. I loved the idea so I decided to go with it. Out of a list of close to 3,500+ titles, I chose the following six manga to read. I call it the random manga roulette because hopefully out of these six there will be at least one series to warrant the effort of going through this entire exercise. Hopefully. As a heads up; I will not be linking to any of these, nor let the source of the images be known either. All you good boys and girls out there in internet-land can find your way around just fine without me. These are also listed in no particular order, outside of the order I actually read them in. With that out of the way let’s spin the cylinder and see what we end up with, no?
Author: Youn In-Wan Artist: Yang Kyung-Il
What it’s about? China’s greatest ‘genius monk’ Haomei is minding his own buddha business meditating when he notices what looks like a shooting star in the sky. That’s what he tells himself anyway, until he realizes it’s not a shooting star at all but a flaming school bus (hold off on the Magical School Bus jokes please). It crashes near by, prompting him to check it out. Fast forward to him answering questions from the other monks at the temple that he resides in, where they ask questions regarding the ‘real truth’ and all that philosophical stuff. After dropping off his religious regards of the day to the ‘headmaster’ of the temple Haomei walks over to their storage shed / shack where we see a girl / woman / female in a white button down shirt (and nothing else) in a torn and battered state, her legs covered in bruises. As he begins to attend to her wounds we return back to the other monks of the temple and their current dilemma, a voluptuous woman in lacy black attire is walking around with a peace pipe in one hand and a business card in the other. The monks tell her to get her (sexy) ass out of the temple. She replies to this by holding up said business card which reads ‘Moby Dick’. Moments later the temple is attacked by a giant tsunami with one lone fishing boat floating on top of it. Haomei realizes there’s trouble afoot so he runs out to find our luscious lady amist the wet remains. She introduces herself to him by presenting another business card, this one reading ‘Club HoneyComb’. Upon looking at the card himself Haomei is suddenly attacked by a bear. His life is spared only due to the quick thinking actions of the gal whose wounds he had be treating. Still confused, the lady in black addresses the entire situation at hand. The female adorend in just a shirt next to him is ‘Iesus Nazareth’, the child of god that saved mankind two thousand years ago. Her own name is Janjira, and she is the child’s child’s child’s child of Lucifer himself (and no, that was not a typo). Apparently after all the chaos that happened two millennium ago Lucifer’s crew thought they had everything under control until the apostles of Jesus himself had taken matters into their own hands with Iesus. So now they’re back, god and Satan can’t interfere, and the kids are picking up their slack. Plus they’re angry, and stuff.
Should I read it? Yeah, go for it. Two hot chicks representing jesus and satan, a buddhist monk stuck in the middle, and the fate of the world at stake. Not bad. Action’s nice, Janjira’s power is pretty cool, art is ok. Let’s Bible! is said to be in two parts, but as of this entry only the first part is available translated.
Lines worth noting:
Haomei: I was of the belief that only spirits and fairies would have survived such a strange and horrible accident.
Haomei: SIX CYCLES OF SAMSARA!
Author/Artist: TAGUCHI Kenji
What’s it about? Our story opens up on the very first day of high school in some quaint, innocently random town. We find two youngsters making their way among the falling leaves to their first steps as high school students. One is enthusiastic about what the future may hold, and the other, well doesn’t give a damn. Meet Konoe and Jin, fraternal twins. Konoe is the brother with a pleasant demeanor and kind soul. Jin, his sister however, is the complete opposite; she’s a super strong ‘vigilante’ if you will whose violent (yet somehow heroic) antics have not only made a name for herself, but entangled her brother into it as well. Konoe hopes that with the start of a new school life that things will be given a fresh new start, and that somehow his sister’s nature as a playable character in a Streets of Rage game will change for the better. Unfortunately a few punks are already making trouble for them, leading Konoe to wonder if anything will change at all.
Should I read it? I suppose you could. It’s not entirely funny, and the characters aren’t exactly original, but there is a part of me that is slightly curious to see how bad ass Jin can be. I would likely enjoy seeing the flip side, in wondering how long Jin can keep up her appearances in school before the cat is really out of the bag. Don’t get your hopes though, Ane Pani is only one chapter, so take it as a quick snack and do what you will with it afterwards.
Lines worth noting:
Konoe: But I suck at being feminine!
Konoe: Thanks to that fake smile I have neuralgia!
The Prince’s Cactus
Author: Xu Ci Artist: Misha
What’s it about? Mon Hin-Dan was the victim of traumatic childhood expierence that left her hating sunlight. Couple that with her body’s weak nature in handling sunlight and it looks like Dan-dan (what she’s usually referred to) doesn’t exactly enjoy half of her day on a daily basis. As if this wasn’t bad enough Dan-dan has made her way to Greece (!) to attend her sister in law’s wedding, in the summer. Being in the Mediterranean during that time results in some of the hottest, sunniest times you may ever find yourself in, which obviously doesn’t bode well for Dan-dan. Already annoyed at the universe being against her she looks around the port to find her escort to her sister’s wedding when she bumps into a tall, blonde young man in an expensive suit. She pardons herself and tries to walk past him, looking for shade from the sun beating down on her. Our lanky bystander isn’t just happy with a pardon and so he fires back at Dan-dan (verbally) that is. Turns out that he’s Prince Elian, his mother is actual royalty and his father is a descendant of Queen Victoria herself. So this guy’s been born with confidence (read: arrogance). Dan-dan doesn’t give a shit who he is however, and reprimands him for his behavior before ‘accidentally’ bumping him into the water and getting onto the boat to her sister’s party. With a smirk on her face she bids a coy farewell as he swims back to the pier. Later in the day Dan-dan finally meets up with her sister and her husband to be, where they have formal introductions. As she aims to head to bed her sister introduces her husband’s son, who (wait for it) just happens to be Prince Elian himself. The two have nothing but evil glares for one another, and this is where the story begins, as Dan-dan points that in this situation that with her sister marrying his father she would actually become his aunt, making her his aunt, and of higher authority then him in the household. Big trouble in little old Greece.
Should I read it? Yeah, I would definitely say it’s worth a read. I believe it’s only eight chapters, but they’re each around 30 pages in length. I like Dan-dan’s personality, the prince not so much. I’m not talking about him being arrogant or snobbish, just more like his character in general isn’t anything special. The plot is worthwhile too, but be forewarned of the amount of talking, there’s an abundant amount. Art is acceptable, though there are moments where Dan-dan looks pretty hot. One thing I’d like to point out is that I myself am Greek, and having been to Greece I question where the prince got those bald, black bodyguards. I guess that’s just a ‘manga thing’, most of the time the bodyguards tend to be bald and black, aren’t they? Haha. I was pleasantly surprised when Elian mentioned the fortune telling being done with the remains of one’s coffee. My grandmother had done that all the time, and it’s still something that’s carried out and respected to this day in Greece. Pretty cool. I don’t understand the title though, there aren’t really cacti in Greece. Oh well.
Lines worth noting:
Dan-dan: Greeks are so selfish and loud!
Elian: I say, you are really easily hated.
Author/Artist: Park Sung Woo
What’s it about? The kingdom of Goguyreo is in the middle of the war, one that’s been going on for decades. In need of talented warriors to aid and lead them Yuan Ohrang is sent out into the enemy’s territory in search of his oldest brother (note that brother in this case is more of a comrade and not of an actual blood / family relation). As he’s sent off on his mission Yuan’s master (pretty big name as a warrior and general) passes away, leaving the next in command as Yuan’s second oldest brother. Unfortunately for Yuan this guy doesn’t like him (in fact he’s always been jealous of Yuan’s martial art prowess) so without warning Yuan is suddenly labeled as a traitor and immediately hunted down. He barely escapes his homeland, but he’s done with it a price as he’s close to death. As he’s ready for death to take him away a beautiful maiden bestows her presences upon him, healing him as he drifts off into unconsciousness. The next time he opens his eyes he finds himself in the middle of a village of other refugees as they’re being attacked, prompting Yuan to help them out by kicking the ass of the opposition. And so begins the tale of Yuan punching horses and taking names.
Should I read it? Yeah. It’s typical shonen more or less, but it’s not half bad. I’ll admit that the way the action is portrayed can be a little confusing, but it’s definitely more than tolerable. I like how the plot develops, and again, the art could use some work, it’s rough and resembles Fujisaka Ryu’s work in Houshin Engi. The real fault this manga has is that it introduces too many characters far too quickly, leaving you overwhelmed. They aren’t fully fleshed out either so you’re left wondering if they were just there to occupy a panel and be done with it. Once the real plot of the series is established though, things become much smoother. This series is still ongoing by the way, though it’s been several months since the last update.
Lines worth noting:
Yuan: WHITE TIGER AVALANCHE!
Enemy: DAMN HE BROKE THROUGH MY BAEK PA HWANG KYUNG!
Author/Artist: KITA Yasuaki
What’s it about? Satou Jubei has moved to a new home and is looking forward to a renewed life in his new high school. Things sound pretty normal until you find out that Satou is an expert at kicking ass and a gigantic pervert. I mean really perverted. Somehow those two traits coincide with one another, for him at least. On the way to school he roughs up some punks, all the while wondering what his introductory speech should sound like. Finally making his way to school, and then his homeroom he finds himself friends with his homeroom teacher (pictured above with his eloquent statement), cringing at his seat being in front of Victoria, trying to hide his hard on from the girl sitting diagonally from him, and battling the punks he encountered earlier in the day who know have a Yakuza in tow. Sounds like another normal day for Satou Jubei.
Should I read it? Maybe? This shit is weird. I would like to say it’s akin to Cromartie High School, but CHS is much weirder and not as locked down into ‘reality’. It’s more like a perverse and oddball Great Teach Onizuka if you will, just nowhere near as funny, and not really as ’empowering’ so to speak. As of this entry there’s only three chapters available, so the question is whether or not there will be more fighting taking place to contrast against the perverse nature that runs pretty thick in Kenka, otherwise things will got old pretty quickly. The pages that start off the first chapter are something else though, not bad, but I can’t entirely say they’re ‘good either’. If anything it’s as if someone painted over some rough 3d models. This brings me to the art, which is, uh, a mixture of comical yet realistic. It works, though it suffers a bit when there’s action involved. I have to admit that Satou’s homeroom teacher is hilarious / awesome. Also, shit is Victoria ever ugly. Eww.
Lines worth noting:
Satou’s homeroom teacher: Believe me, I know high school girls best!
Satou’s homeroom teacher: TO DYE HER IN YOUR OWN COLORS, HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF DOING THAT?
Author/Artist: Shinjo Mayu
What’s it about? A young, frail girl finds herself lying on the ground, cold, hungry, and wet from the pouring rain. Moments later two young, male twins find her, but question what to do with her, asking themselves the consequences of helping her out versus finishing the errand they were sent out for in the middle of this storm. We then find ourselves in the posh apartment of a group of tall pretty boys where one of them is awaiting the return of the twins. It seems that the twins had gone out to bring back some pastries. Cue the twins walking in with said pastries in hand, and the girl right behind him. Naturally they all freak out at the sign of a girl as they’re in a dorm for males only. They ask her to wait in the bathroom as they assess the situation. She does so but is then greeted by someone in the shower stepping out of it and asking for a towel. The other guys run in to alert of that, but they’re met with a loud shriek. Showerman gets some clothes on and they all sit down to figure out what’s going, but the girl suddenly faints, prompting them to take her to the hospital. There they find out she has amnesia due to some unknown mental trauma. So with nowhere to go and no clue on who she is and what to do, the story of the group of pretty boys and their discovery begins.
Should I read it? Nah. It’s not really bad, it’s just the run of the mill pretty boy harem with one girl schtick. There’s not much to take in here, I’m sure they’ll cycle through the lives off the guys and go deeper into her past but it’s hard to really care for any of them. The art is all over the place too, sometimes it’s really nice, and sometimes the proportions are horribly off. Once again the title makes no sense in relation to its content either.
Lines worth noting:
Sumire: I just can’t cry!
Yamato: I’m not a rich kid like you!
A few things worth noting:
- One of these manga are clearly Korean. I like that. I think there’s a market for Korean manga here in the states that hasn’t been fully explored yet.
- Let’s Bible! sounds like an activity you’d teach at Sunday School, not the name of a series staring a Buddhist monk.
- I’ll admit that while it’s a guilty pleasure, I did like The Prince’s Cactus. Being Greek has nothing to do with it (of course).
- The page with that horse punching in ChuRangYulJun is a winner, you have to check out the manga just for that page.
- Kenka Shoubai is a little too weird for me. I’m positive I’d find myself wanting to take it more seriously then enjoying the oddball comedy angle.
- Somehow Jin wearing pantyhose in Ane Pani doesn’t make sense to me.
- Midnight Children is a club track I’ve heard in the past, I’m sure of it.
I really liked this excerise. If you liked this too I would love to do it again (hence this being #1, in hopes that there are more in the future). Let me know guys, and thanks for reading.