I'm full of sushi . . .
I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes and even the belated birthday wishes that I've received recently. Thank you so much~<3
Well, since I'm full of food, I might as well sit back and read a bit. Though, I do enjoy reading manga/manhwa online, I can't help but feel bad that a lot of stuff I read doesn't get translated and published overseas. It's kind of sad to see that there are lots of fun, scary and interesting stories that seem to go unnoticed. Though there are a few manga down here that have been published, there are still tons and tons of manga that do deserve an English release.
Oddly enough, I don't see why more publishers who translate the material don't often do manhwa. Unlike manga, where it reads right to left, manhwa can be read from left to right because of the flexibility of the Korean alphabet. Also, the Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, has very simple lettering scheme and does borrow some Chinese characters, known as Hanja, which are incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation. I guess the lack of attention to manhwa might be due to the overwhelming demand for 'only' manga. Because of the over saturation of manga in book stores, not to mention the demand for Japanese translators over Korean ones, it seems like manhwa has a very limited chance of becoming known. Though, it doesn't help that some of the manhwa series which do get translated are not very popular to begin with. Nevertheless, if publishing houses do get a hold of a popular manhwa title, then maybe things might turn around.
Maybe I should stop rambling now . . . okay, here are some titles!Parasyte
- By Iwaaki Hitoshi
Do you like gore and horror? Do you like aliens? Do you like aliens who take over people's bodies? Do you like weird, twisted bodies that haunt your nightmares? Well, Kiseijuu
is for you! Strange aliens float to Earth and invade a human host's brain in order to survive. And what do they do once they've taken over a body? THEY EAT PEOPLE! Shin'ichi, a young teenager is taken over by a parasite, but stops it from invading his head by stopping it in his arm. The Parasite, later named Migi, takes over his hand and changes it into weird shapes and even talks to him, informing him about his strange, violent race who feed on humans. Compelled by Migi to stop them from trying to hunt them down, Shin'ichi must combat these nightmarish foes while struggling to keep his secret from others as well as his dwindling humanity.
Oh . . . and there's a penis-arm. Watch out for that.
The manga was written in the late 80's and early 90's, however, the anime, Parasyte the Maxim
, is set in our current time and has amazing animation. However, if you're squeamish to such material as blood, gore and horror, then you might be turned off by this one.Yona of the Dawn
/Akatsuki no Yona
- By Kusanagi Mizuho
In a land that sort of resembles the Three Kingdoms of Korea (not to be confused with the Three Kingdoms of China), Yona is a princess of the current emperor and lives in the lap of luxury and peace. With her swooning over her swooning over her hot cousin Soo-won (eww, he's your cousin!) and being teased on by her surly but hot bodyguard Son-Hak, she wants for nothing. Sadly, Soo-won kills her father in cold blood to secure his place on the throne, Yona and Hak are forced to flee and the murder of the emperor and his daughter is pinned on Son-Hak. Now out of her gilded lifestyle, Yona is forced to fight and take up arms against the armies that once protected her and must grow up fast in order to survive. After visiting a impoverished priest, she is predicted to be the reincarnation of the founding father of her nation who had four servants who have inherited powers from four great dragons. Her arrival is seen as a prophecy to bring back order to the realm and she searches for those four individuals with the dragons' powers. Along the way, she becomes more aware of the sinful state of her country and helps out wherever she can, growing stronger and giving strength and hope to others along the way.
It's an interesting read, especially those interested in a shoujo manga with adventure and action in it. The manga does cut back to Soo-won and how he's handling affairs of state in his laid back manner, however, the main characters and antagonists are very fleshed out and have their reasons for living the way they do. It's odd of me to be interested in a manga that's also tagged as a harem, but the harem themes are very minimal. Yona does travel around with six hot guys, but their relationships to her are not sexual or romantic, rather more out of duty and friendship if anything. There is one pairing that the manga is hinting to, but there hasn't been any consent to it. I've been meaning to look into the anime on Crunchyroll
, but I've been too interested in Sailor Moon Crystal
to be bothered with anything else. I might look into it . . . maybe.Nanatsu no Taizai
/The Seven Deadly Sins
- By Suzuki Nakaba
Demons, princesses, giants, fairies, wizards, knights, holy wars, a talking pig with a giant pig mother who carries a bar on her back, crazy battle armour that can make any Berserk
fan drool . . . HOLY SHIT, THIS MANGA IS EPIC! The Seven Deadly Sins are a group of knight known throughout Britannia for their unstoppable might and incredible power. Framed for the death of the Great Holy Knight of the Kingdom of Liones, the seven disperse to the winds agreeing to reunite once again. Ten years passed, the Holy Knights have become the dominant power ruling the kingdom, with the royal family kept hostage. Only Princess Elizabeth has escaped their clutches and goes on a search for the Seven Deadly Sins to free her home and family from tyranny. Luckily for her, she finds the leader of the SDS, Meliodas, first and he agrees to help her and find his fellow comrades. Though little do they know, the leaders of the Holy Knights are hunting them down and plan to release the Demon Clan unto the earth.
Yes, this is a shounen manga, but good grief is it entertaining and fun! The characters are interesting, funny and fleshed out, the battles are epic in scope and the artwork is very gorgeous for a shounen series. The anime covers the first big arc of the series, and even the animation there is still very good and doesn't deviate far from the source material. Yet, I look forward for them to work on the next arc of the series when it's finished.Witch Hunter
- By Cho Jung-man
Finally, a popular manhwa! *Throws confetti* Two-thirds of the world are controlled by Witches, women who've awoken great magical powers within themselves and use mana to summon spirits called Supporters to fight. With their overwhelming powers, they sought to take over the world once ruled by the humans who feared and despised them. With humanity backed into a corner, their only hope is an organization of Witch Hunters, a league of men, women and good witches who terminate and arrest violent witches to protect humanity. The story follows the escapades of Tasha Godspell and his Supporter Halloween, who are searching for a way to save Tasha's sister, who's become a psychopathic witch. Unbeknownst to them, their roles will play a greater role in to world and in the game which humans and witches play.
This is a pretty epic story with some inventive fight scenes, fun characters, elaborate settings and weblike drama. The artwork is some of my favourite work in manhwa with its intense blacks and style. Tasha is a greedy bastard with a heart of gold, but he's a very enjoyable character. All of the characters have their quirky side to them; be it Xing's doting on Tasha and his obsession over sunglasses, to Halloween butting heads with Tasha, to Taras' over-inflated ego and fear of his older sister Tania. It has a nice balance of humour, action and drama.The World is Still Beautiful
/Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushi
- By Shina Dai
Wait a minute . . . another shoujo manga? Nike is the Fourth Princess of the Water Dukedom, whose one of the only nobles who can call forth the rain by singing. The Sun Kingdom, who's the unstoppable power in the world has granted the poor Water Dukedom autonomy, in exchange of one of the princesses to be his bride. After losing to her sisters in rock-paper-scissors, Nike is chosen to be the future consort of the Sun King. After her long journey on foot and beating up the castle guards, she finds out that the Sun King, Livius the First, who had conquered the world three years after his ascension, is only a boy two or three years younger than her . . . and overdue for a growth spurt. After the most awkward of introductions, she's landed in prison for not summoning the rain and eventually escapes. After confronting him again, she can only summon rain unless the desires of others and the true beauty of the land are met in order to make a song. Despite butting heads, the two eventually get to know one another. After Nike saved him from an assassination attempt, Livi conducts a crackdown on those responsible and tells Nike to leave. Afterwards, she learns from Livi's butler about his hard life as a son of the former King birthed by a low class mother. With new resolve, Nike saves Livi from a fire by summoning the rain and he resolves himself on making Nike his consort. From there on, they'll have to face Livi's flirtatious uncle of a Prime Minister, Livi's rejected brat of a bride, Nike's family, traditional customs, other nobles, droughts and each other.
I don't know why, but I enjoy both Nike and Livi working on their rocky relationship and interacting with each other. Being together as a couple is a learning process as well as an act of accumulating love for one another. Each chapter they learn more about each other and grow as a couple . . . even though their journey of love is met with hilarious bumps on the road.Young Bride's Story
- By Mori Kaoru
Set in Central Asia at the end of the 19th century, Amira (sometimes spelt Amir depending on the translation) is sent by her tribe to be a bride of Karluk, a boy eight years younger than her from a neighbouring settlement. Even though most people find it odd that such an unevenly aged couple had been wedded off, Amira and Karluk grow fond of each other and make the best of their predicament. Amira, being from a nomadic tribe, is not only good at horseback, but also archery and amazes her new family with her hunting skills. Despite her new life with her new family, her brother is hellbent on annulling their marriage and his tribe is willing to take her back by force for their own needs. Caught between family, marriage and duty, Amira is determined to make her marriage last.
This is a very cute slice of life story, even though I kind of painted the main conflict of the story as a bit more epic. There's also a subplot that follows Mr. Smith, an Englishman who's been studying the region of central Asia as he is friend with Amira and Karluk. While he's escorted back to Turkey to catch his ship back to England, he comes across several brides from different regions and their stories as well. Although I'm not a big fan of slice of life stories, I do enjoy historical slice of life stories a bit more. The artwork from Mori Kaoru is spectacular and intricate, as expected from her previous manga series Emma
. Owari no Serafu
/Seraph of the End
- By Kagami Takaya and Yamamoto Yamato
Yes, this is a popular manga and a popular anime that's about to be dubbed . . . but I just love it to bits! Deadly viruses, vampires taking over the world and using humans as livestock, humans eking out a small civilization in hopes of re-creating its glory days, the military making pacts with demons to gain unthinkable powers . . . FUCK YES!
Yuuichirou is an orphan captured by vampires as a source of blood, along with his best friend Michael and the rest of the children at his orphanage. In an attempt to escape, he narrowly survives a sneak attack from a vampire noble, while the rest were slaughtered. Escaping to the surface, he's found by the military and vows to eliminate every vampire he comes across by joining the military. Unbeknownst to him, Michael was spared by becoming a vampire, vowing to save Yuuichirou from humanity. Even as they meet several years later, they're hellbent in saving each other in their own way as their ideals clash and their constant struggle with family and duty.