Archive for the ‘Manga’ Category

Catching Up With The Big Three

Posted: September 23, 2010 in Manga

The war is on! It’s pretty rare to hear of someone who loves anime and manga not to hear about these three manga. In Japan, they’re known as the Big Three: One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach.

After finishing up with Bleach and Naruto this week, I feel very content in having the stories up-to-date in my head, yet sad that I can’t read chapters in bulk anymore. It’s probably a good thing because the next day, I usually have red eyes from staring at the screen so much. (O_O) Now there will always be people who prefer one over the other two. Me? I actually like all three! (^_^)

Thinking about starting these massive chapterific manga? Welcome to the stat comparison!

Naruto

This is actually the first of the three that I watched (not read). My friend had the first 125 episodes on some DVDs. Yay for bulk watching! I was a faithful watcher, probably watched until the 60th episode of the Shippuden arc. After that, I couldn’t take filler anymore, so I caught up with the manga. Hahaha. In this manga, you follow the young troublemaker Naruto, who has a huge dream of leading the village he lives in as “Hokage.”  At first it starts of with the characters becoming ninjas and going on ninja missions, preventing wars, and fighting along the way. There are a lot of plot elements including revenge, finding the “way of the ninja,” being driven to despair, and friendship. A pretty intense friendship, I should add. What’s cool is that everyone has some sort of unique power or move, so the fights aren’t boring.

# of Chapters: 511 (as of 09/23/2010)

Unworldly Element: Ninja techniques

Read if you like: ninjas, ninja moves, kids who want to follow their dreams, ninja fights, mythology, elements (like water, earth, fire), guys in midriffs, a really questioning relationship between two guys

One Piece

Out of all three, One Piece has to be my favorite. Why? All the characters are so awesome, and it’s freakin hilarious. While the other two get really serious, One Piece keeps the humor almost every chapter. Everyone’s so random too, they’re not all ninjas or shinigami. I keep wanting to read more and more! In this one, you follow atheyoung pirate Monkey D. Luffy with dreams of crossing the Grand Line and becoming “King of the Pirates.” (Sound familiar yet?) He eats the Gomu-Gomu fruit, which makes him a rubbery man. He can pretty much stretch anything. Hehe! Weakness? Not being able to swim! Sucks fir a pirate!! On the way, he gathers a bunch of people for his pirate crew and all of them are seriously awesome and funny in their own way. What’s cool is that everyone has a reason for joining his crew so you get a lot of character development. I just love how Luffy is stupid and won’t take no for an answer. Haha. It’s the longest out of the three.

# of Chapters: 597 (as of 09/23/2010)

Unworldly element: Devil Fruits which give random powers

Read if you like:  pirates, people gaining powers by eating devil fruits, variety of fighting moves, friendship, character development, unique cosplay ideas, adventures, cute reindeer, rubber and stretching

Bleach

I began watching this one, then turning it over to the manga. The filler was also unbearable. No idea why it’s called Bleach, but it became super popular. In this manga, you follow the young hothead Ichigo who gains the powers of a shinigami (Death God). He uses them to send ghosts back to Soul Society, or heaven. But the plot becomes much, much deeper than that. How? You kind of have to read it. It plays between humor and seriousness where character relationships are funny and fights are deadly serious. You get so many fights between characters that it’s freakin crazy! And the artwork in the fights are extraordinary! Even though mostly everyone uses swords, every sort of weapon or enemy has two or three different forms so the fights get more intense as the battle enrages.

# of Chapters: 421 (as of 09/23/2010)

Unworldly element: Shinigami powers.

Read if you like: wondering what happens beyond death, sword fights, fights in general, rescue missions, talking stuffed animals, big-breasted chicks (Oh yeah, there are a LOT)

[Spoiler]
Well, now I’m beginning to notice a trend between the three. Characters always like to get stronger. Naruto did the two year thing. Now One Piece? Bleach is pretty much an ongoing “getting stronger” manga, in which Ichigo somehow masters every skill 100x faster than normal.
And I think it’s kind of cool how everything’s getting tied to the beginning now. Each of these manga rely heavily on backstory to explain a current situation or relationship. It’s mostly to show how and why characters turn out the way they did. How the hell do the writers imagine a plot 400 chapters later and tie it to the beginning?? I love Naruto’s and One Piece’s history. Bleach totally just mindf***ed me. LOL

Do you have a particular favorite? Comment below!

Anime vs. Manga

Posted: September 14, 2010 in Anime, Manga

You rarely hear anybody liking both these two mediums. Anime enthusiasts will argue that it’s more visually appealing, it’s in color, and the action is amazing. Manga enthusiasts will oppose saying that manga artwork is much more beautiful, the manga contains the true story, and the action is just as good.

Let’s say you hear about a new series. How the frak do you start…watch or read it? Well, let’s look at each medium’s strengths and weaknesses.

Production: Unless you lived in the 1990s, anime and manga are both equally produced weekly. When it started to be imported to USA, Japan was years ahead, so USA aired a couple of episodes daily, all dubbed. Now we see that it varies with network. In Japan though, they are now produced every week.

Shonen Jump: A weekly manga magazine produced in Japan.
TV Tokyo: A major Tokyo television station that specializes in Anime.

Viewing/Reading: Anime just takes a simple flip of the television, computer, or click of the play button. Watch and enjoy. The thing you have to remember about manga is that it’s read RIGHT to LEFT, TOP to BOTTOM. If that bothers you because you’ve been reading left to right your whole life, then you might as well stick with the anime.

Artwork: Manga is visually consistent. Sometimes it gets better toward more recent material. That’s because the artist is improving on technique or getting used to the format. Anime will go through many artists, and sometimes the quality can go really bad in a couple of episodes. However, you can get some pretty awesome action sequences. But color vs. black and white? That’s your call.

{Rurouni Kenshin}

Story: Anime lags behind the manga and often produces filler. An example would be Naruto. There are 100 episodes of filler before the Shippuden saga. Although it was a decent effort, the stories really sucked balls. An extreme example is Pokémon, which is 99% filler. Manga will always have the most recent story, but it takes a few chapters, about 3, to coincide with an episode of anime. If you like to be ahead, stick with the manga.

Scanlations (Translations)/Subbing (Dubbing): If you’re like me who likes authenticity, then you might as well discard any sort of American translation. They’re “ok,” but sometimes you miss a few culture things. Like in One Piece, the “Okama” way is called “O Come My Way” in USA. I’d really like to see how they come up with the transvesite kingdom translations.

You can usually find good scanlators for the manga. Scanlators are people who erase the actual manga Japanese characters in speech bubbles and translate them for English audiences. Thank heaven for people like these! Depending on the story, you’ll get a fuller dialogue and explanation with the manga since the characters are written. Although you get the occasional speech bubble that’s blank.


{One Piece}

That bothers me. =(

Subbing for the anime is a little inconsistent because of listening issues and using English. In terms of dialogue, they have a time limit of 20 minutes. Much of it (and story) must be sacrificed. However, the voices they pick for characters are usually superb. Japanese voices always sound badass! If you’re watching one with lots of girls, you can bet a lot of them will be high-pitched and whiny. 😉


{Bleach}


{Tenchi Muyo}

Some scanlators and subbers like to use foul language and others are more restrictive. In terms of production, they usually get it within a day or two of Japanese release.

Cost: With the recent pull of onemanga and mangafox, it’s pretty hard to find a consistent place to read manga. You probably have to go to Manga-specific Web sites now. For anime, you’d either torrent it or if you’re lucky you can find a good site that streams. Just look at Watch-[insert anime title here].get. If you want to support the creators, Volumes are about $10 with 8-10 chapters and DVDs are about $20-25 with 4 episodes each. For old anime, they have box sets that could range from $20-50.

Conclusion: It all depends on what you’re willing to put time for. An episode of anime takes 23 minutes, while a chapter of manga is about 15-17 pages, usually 5 minutes each. Anime is easier to get through because it only involves putting eyes to the screen. Twenty minutes per episode is a very good deal, but if the subbers and dubbers aren’t to your liking, then you’ll have to put up with it. But it’s in color! Manga is the way to go if you like reading and don’t mind pictures that are stationary. You probably get more character and story development with the manga. In-between panels and black and white leave more to the imagination!

Me? I don’t mind either way. I for one grew up with anime, but later on I couldn’t handle the fact that some stories are inconsistent and that anime lags behind. So I started reading manga. I think for any sort of romantic / comedy stories the manga can be enough to satisfy with. However, awesome fight scenes deserve to be watched in animation. =)

Which one do you prefer? Agree or disagree about a section? Leave a comment!