Medieval’s Manga Recommendations for February

Here is the first article to derive from my Candlemas Resolutions.  You might expect the article on C. S. Lewis’ The Discarded Image soon, which shall meet another of these resolutions.  By the way, comment not only on the manga, but if you feel like there’s a better way for me to write these recommendations.  I’d like to make these posts as interesting as possible now that I’ll be doing them on a monthly basis.

Hachi Wan

1) 81 Diver by Shibata Yokusaru

You can read my thoughts on the series in this post.  (Incidentally, it seems like that post influenced D. M. Dutcher to do his own version of Quick Takes.  Click here for his post.)  Unfortunately, a Japanese person uploading 81 Diver was arrested.  If he was the only one, who knows if more chapters shall ever be released.  Actually, looking at the copious numbers of Japanese arrested for this crime is appalling.  Check out all the links under that article too!!!  Almost makes me want to stop reading manga online.  At least, Crunchyroll has a decent selection of legal manga.

cerberus-cover

2) Cerberus by Fukui Takami

This stands as the only horror anime on my list.  Certain elements of the manga remind me of Bleach, but it has a darker mood than that popular show.  Evil demons/monsters/youma/youkai/whatever-you-prefer named kuzure (Never heard of them before) are intent on devouring human beings.  Our hero, Kei, and a childhood friend suffer the misfortune of meeting one of these monsters while exploring a grave site.  But, within that graveyard is a grave protector named Yukifusa, with whom Kei makes a contract in order to save the life of his childhood friend.  Now, Kei becomes tasked with the mission of destroying kuzure lest his powers deplete, which will cause his demise.

Grave Protector

I promise that the fanservice is minimal in this manga and about all of it provided by the damsel in distress.

 

Some of the adventures in this manga are quite gut-wrenching, which is helped along by how evil the villains are.  The villainy of the kuzure render it impossible for me to put the manga down until I have seen the fiend receive his just deserts.  Not that the heroes are boring, but I can’t help but feel like I’ve seen these characters before.  All in all, I can’t recommend this title wholeheartedly.  I enjoy the manga, but cannot help but think that many other ones have the same quality though are perhaps not as dark.

warships

3) El Alamein no Shinden by Hoshino Yukinobu

This comic series contains various fables set in WWII.  I encourage everyone to read the first chapter, which is about a U.S. submarine which foils Hitler’s attempt to invade England during the Battle of Britain.  It’s awesome.  The rest of the stories strike me as disappointing–especially the chapter saying Pearl Harbor was revenge for U.S. sailors pillaging the Japanese countryside during the Meiji Era.  That’s taking too many liberties there!

Knkc

4) Koe no Katachi (aka A Silent Voice) by Yoshitoki Oima

This title was recommended to me by none other than Sean Bishop, the creator of The Freeloader.  Does he know how to pick great manga!  I found myself amazed at how well Oima was able to get inside the heads of high schoolers in order to create realistic and relatable characters.  Only a genius could have us liking characters whose faults are so much more prominent than their virtues!

cross to bear

 

The story follows a deaf girl’s entrance into a regular elementary school, which leads to this girl being bullied for her hearing disability.  The protagonist, Ishida, happens to be the ringleader in bullying Nishimiya until his deeds get out of hand.  Then, his fellow classmates turn on him and begin to bully him.  He loses all his friends and becomes a thoroughgoing misanthrope.  After elementary school, he decides that he needs to apologize to Nishimiya for his misdeeds, which actually leads to them forming a happy relationship and both becoming more human.

knk1

Do I generally read stories like that?  That I found such a story compelling should tell you how highly I recommend this manga!

pnnw

5) Koko ga Uwasa no El Palacio by Aoyagi Takao

One one hand, the premise for this story is strange: an amnesiac guys gets taken in by some female professional wrestlers.  Since they have no idea who he is or where he comes from, the head of the gym, Ouka, both names him and makes him their servant and referee.  With this series, the fanservice crosses the line into ecchi territory–probably about the same or slightly worse than Wanna be the Strongest in the World.  (N.B. I’m basing this off of what I saw in the preview of that anime.)  Despite the strangeness of the plot and excessive fanservice, the characters are quite likable and some moments have me guffawing uncontrollably.  I especially liked Ouka’s attempt to become classified as a good guy instead of a heel by pro-wrestling fans, which failed miserably.

kgunep1

A mediocre manga to be sure; but if any of what I wrote strikes you as interesting, give Koko ga Uwasa no El Palacio a shot.

loo1

6) Onikirimaru-den by Kei Kusunoki

Here’s a violent Sengoku-jidai manga for you!  It concerns the wanderings of a demon slayer who wields the only sword capable of bringing down oni.  The series reflects the Japanese penchant for character studies and can be quite dark.  I don’t know what to think of this one yet and might drop it.

tnynn cover

7) Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari by Aneko Yusagi and art by Aiya Kyu

Here’s a simple way to tug on Medieval Otaku’s heartstrings: in your manga, include a little girl who must completely rely upon a big brother or older fellow.  Works almost every time.  My predilection must have to do with the fact that my sister is ten years younger than me.  The identification is perfect.

demi-human

Be that as it may, this is an excellent comic with a lot of heart.  Based on a light novel, our hero is sucked into a fantasy world where he becomes the shield hero.  The other three heroes summoned to this world look down on him for his offensive incapacity.  Not only that, but an adventurer who joins him under false pretenses accuses him of rape, which leads to the loss of his reputation and ostracism.  The only member of his party becomes the demi-human slave he buys on the black market.  (Did I mention that this story can get quite dark?)  Will things ever look up for our hero?

okasumono-me

This story alternates between sweet, comic, and depressingly black.  I highly recommend it to fans of fantasy.

May some of these manga interest my dear readers!

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5 comments on “Medieval’s Manga Recommendations for February

  1. David A says:

    Some of these look very interesting.

    Any content warnings for each?

    Like

    • Well, all of them rise to the apex of sex and violence, so I can only recommend them to the most callous of my dear readers…

      No, I’m joking! The article warns about the ecchi in Koko ga Uwasa no El Palacio. Onikirimaru-den is often very gory and sometimes contains nudity. 81 Diver contains a Miss Fanservice but is rather tame otherwise. I can think of a few scenes in Tate no Yuusha which become quite gory, and the heroine has a large bosom, but the manga doesn’t exploit her–at least, so it seems to me. Similarly, Cerberus has at least three curvaceous characters, but fanservice seems to be far from its mind. Cerberus, however, can also be quite gory–especially when it tries to highlight the depravity of the villains. Though, it falls short of manga like Hellsing for example.

      On the other hand, I don’t remember any objectionable content in Koe no Katachi and El Alamein no Shinden–besides sections of the latter’s revisionist history. El Alamein is a manga about war however, and I might have forgotten a bloody scene or two.

      But, putting in content warning in future reviews sounds like a good idea.

      Like

      • David A says:

        Thanks.

        Not explicit nudity or sex scenes then?

        Yes, is important to add content warnings, because various productions could be ocassions of sin for some people. That’s why I add content warnings to even comments.

        Like

      • There is full nudity in Onikirimaru (not much though) and partial nudity in Koko ga Uwasa (often the greater part). But, no sex scenes thankfully.

        Like

      • David A says:

        Thanks… full nudity, that sure is problematic. More common in manga than broadcast series in certain time slots, and not many reviews put warnings regarding that.

        Like

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