So, here are just some initial impression of a few manga. I would be able to go deeper into Samurai Deeper Kyo, having read around 26 volumes of it, were it not for the fact that I read this manga on and off. Whenever the volume of work increases or I get distracted by other series, this often gets pushed to the side. I’m not precisely sure why, it’s an extraordinarily well done. Perhaps my scruples about fanservice get in the way, which I’m happy to report has been greatly toned down at the point I’ve presently reached. How well all the other elements work in the manga indicates that it doesn’t really need it, which the mangaka, Akimine Kamijyo, seems to have realized by now.
First, let’s take Fairy Tail. Most people consider this one of the best manga currently out, but I find it too lighthearted. (I know, this is coming from a guy who enjoyed Slayers, Ruin Explorers, and Those Who Hunt Elves.) The problem is probably in my mood rather than in the work itself. Otherwise, the characters are very enjoyable–even if on the goofy side and not terribly complex. It kind of felt like reading One Piece, even though I found the characters in Fairy Tail more enjoyable. In any case, I’ve decided not to pursue this manga further.
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia (a.k.a. Tasogare Otome x Amunejia) has a rather interesting style of art, and one can tell that the mangaka desires to investigate the depths of the human psyche. Both of these things work in its favor; however, the characters don’t interest me too much. The boy with the capacity to see ghosts is rather bland. The ghost whom he sees, a high school aged young girl, shows the quality of being deeply pained but outwardly bubbly, a kind of character type which I’m usually drawn to. But, she’s not interesting enough to make me desire to read more. For an alternate opinion concerning the anime version, please see Marlin-sama’s excellent article.
Some of you may have seen the animated version of Samurai Deeper Kyo, which is rather mediocre. Conversely, the manga does not have annoying monsters called Kenyou and excels the anime in practically every level–except for the level of fanservice. By its deficiency, the anime is better in this regard.
The most striking feature of this manga is the terrible pride most of the characters possess. The all desire to be the strongest and look down upon any weakness. At the same time, many of them conceal a soft side which reveals itself when they show compassion to certain people–opponents even in some cases. Kyo seems to be the most hard-bitten of them all, but even he has a profound respect for others’ pride and a great fondness for Yuya, the bounty hunter who initially tries to bring him in. Then, one tosses in the original plot and spectacular, cerebral, and gut-wrenching duels in order to make this a true classic.