Source: ゴッドテイル from pixiv

Onto the next half of the hitlist, since I’m pretty bored at the moment and I don’t have much to do :P Since the first part had like five mangas on show, this part will also have another five that I am considering to blog. The list here includes D.Gray-Man, Highschool of the Dead, Naruto, Saijou no Meii and Veritas. Two new faces in the mix, as a few mangas that I used to blog on have either been canceled, completed or dropped from consideration ie. Medaka Box, Ane-Doki and Yakitate Japan.

D.Gray-Man ディー・グレイマン

Katsura Hoshino
Currently Scanlated Chapters: 191 (Monthly)

Details: Akuma, monsters born from dead souls mistakenly recalled by their loved ones to the living world, are the weapons of the Millenium Earl, who is intent on the destruction of the world. Allen Walker has been cursed with an anti-Akuma weapon as his left arm and an eye that sees the former soul of the Akuma since his youth. He is also one of the few who contain “Innocence”, a substance that allows him to kill Akuma and fight the Earl. With these powers, he joins the Black Priest Organization as an Exorcist and sets out with other Exorcists to stop the Earl’s attempts to annihilate the human race.

My Take: DGM used to be one of my favourite series in JUMP. It has been up-and-down in the past year or so due to Hoshino’s illness, which is sad since the hiatuses have really hurt the series. Formerly in Weekly Shounen Jump, it was then transferred onto Jump Square, a monthly publication, as it seemed apparent that Hoshino isn’t healthy enough to sustain a weekly serialization. Pity really cos I hate waiting. The story of DGM is very layered and well told and the characters are all just loveable. It says a lot to have villains that a fanbase loves just as much as the heroes. Rather than just get dropped, I was glad to see that it was moved to Square, as having a monthly is much better than having the story stop abruptly.

There have been some noticeable changes since the move to Square though, as the art is now somewhat different. I’m getting used to it but I still to this day say that I loved the art that it had in the first few volumes, rather than the art it currently has. It does look unique now but I just don’t like how the faces are drawn anymore. The story is still there, which is good but the redesigns on the villains are comical at best. To quote a friend, they look like “glorified hookers” more than villains at this point, with their sleeveless white vests, leather pants and knee high boots. This is significantly different to their old look, which was more gothic and elegant with suits and what not. They now look like circus acts, which I guess is quite fitting given that their leader the Millenium Earl is pretty much a clown.

Anyway, with the current arc focusing on one of the main character’s paths, it’s been quite engaging again and I will be updating on this when chapters come out. It shouldn’t be too hard now that it’s a monthly.

Chances of Blogging: HIGH

Detail Source: ONEMANGA

Highschool of the Dead 学園黙示録

Daisuke Sato & Shouji Sato
Currently Scanlated Chapters: 23 (Monthly)

Details: A mysterious, lethal disease is on the loose worldwide, resulting in a catastrophic death rate of humanity, and the increasing rise of attacks, caused by the living dead.

In Japan, several high school students and a school nurse have banded together to escape Fujimi Private High School shortly after it was attacked by “them.” The group now attempts to figure who or what was responsible for this plague, and in the meantime, attempt to survive the present apocalypse.

My Take: Since Ane-Doki and To Love-Ru are now finished, I noticed that there is a major lack of fanservice on my list. Not anymore! HotD is a very fun manga which I chanced upon a few years back. I read it in one go and the setting and premise took me in immediately. Think of it this way, it’s like a highschool manga version of every zombie movie or game you’ve ever seen and played. Hell, there are even fun little homages to it’s genre cousins.

I haven’t actually been keeping track on the latest HotD chapters in a while but I’ve just received news recently that an anime adaptation is in the works, and that the manga will soon be out of hiatus (meaning that I didn’t really missed out on much in the first place). Another pull other than the setting was the art. I actually kinda like it, from the way characters are drawn to the details of a disaster-ridden Japan. Also, a healthy amount of fanservice helps and the women in the manga are very kind on the eyes.

The manga is just damn fun and if you love zombie movies and the like, this manga is definitely a must-read. When new scans come out, you can be sure to read up on my take of it here. Anyways, here are some fun trivia that I found on HotD’s wiki entry:

  • The manga contains at least one reference to the film Shaun of the Dead on the first page of Chapter 3, in which a gas station attendant bearing an uncanny resemblance to the protagonist, Shaun, where the only difference is that saimon has more facial hair, is shown with a blank stare, along with his signature cricket bat beside him. The kanji on his name badge reads 才門 – “saimon”, a nod to Simon Pegg.
  • In Chapter 3, “Democracy Under the Dead”, when Komuro and Miyamoto split up of the rest of the team (due to a fire between them), and agreeing to meet each other at the police station, is a reference to Resident Evil 2 when the game’s main characters Leon and Claire are separated by a fire after leaving the crushed police car, and swearing that they will meet each other at a police station.
  • One of the main characters, Kohta Hirano, bears similarity to the creator of the Hellsing manga series, Kouta Hirano.
  • Several locations that are generally seen in the zombie genre are visited throughout the later chapters, including a mall similar to the one seen in Dawn of the Dead.
  • “28 Years Later” is seen on a shirt, a reference to the 28 Days Later film series.
  • In Chapter 22, “Dead Rush”, the gun store shown on page 16 looks remarkably similar to the gun store that the film character Andy is stranded in across the mall parking lot in the remake version of Dawn of the Dead. It also contains fundamental portions from said film.

Chances of Blogging: HIGH

Detail Source: ONEMANGA

Naruto ナルト

Masashi Kishimoto
Currently Scanlated Chapters: 482 (Weekly)

Details: Twelve years before the events at the focus of the series, the nine-tailed demon fox attacked Konohagakure. It was a powerful demon indeed; a single swing of one of its nine tails would raise tsunamis and flatten mountains. It raised chaos and slaughtered many people, until the leader of the Leaf Village – the Fourth Hokage – defeated it by sacrificing his own life to seal the demon inside a newly-born child, whose origins are as yet unknown. That child’s name was Naruto Uzumaki.

NOTE: The anime equivalent of Shippuden starts at chapter 245

Villain

My Take: The giant gorilla in the room, I don’t think anyone who follows manga have not have heard of Naruto. It’s grown so big internationally that it’s insane the amount of popularity it has nowadays. It’s also another one of my fav Jump series, as it’s actually one of the main reasons why I got into manga in the first place. Before Naruto, my only knowledge of anime was Dragonball and even then I wasn’t sure that there were more out there. So yea, Naruto was the series that got my foot into the otaku door.

The series now is nearing it’s last stretch I’d say, as things have been picking up lately and more villains are dropping dead like flies. Even though there aren’t many villains left to face, it’s still not clear who the final boss is. It may be Madara, it may be Kabuto but that’s where the fun lies. Unlike Bleach, I’m not following this out of obligation and although Kishi does have some unfortunately writing habits (like the way there are always flashbacks right before someone dies), I still find this fun to follow. The fact that Naruto is also now getting stronger and stronger, the fight between him and Sasuke is gonna be epic (even though Sasuke has been having way too much face time lately and Naruto has been a bit pathetic getting punched around, given false hope and then falling sick). Either way, I still find myself waiting for the next chapter so the fire is still there for Naruto.

Chances of Blogging: HIGH

Detail Source: ONEMANGA

Saijou no Meii 最上の命医

Takashi Hashiguchi
Currently Scanlated Chapters: 16 (Monthly)

Details: A medical drama focusing on a young man named Mikoto Saijō who was saved as a child by a skilled surgeon. After recuperating, he vows to dedicate his life to becoming the world’s greatest pediatric surgeon.

After receiving his license in America, Mikoto moves back to Japan and is hired by Heisei Central Hospital, which recently lost its pediatric surgery department. Mikoto’s objective now is to reinstate the department, despite opposing pressure from the assistant director of the hospital.

My Take: I’m pretty sure this is a relative unknown, since I haven’t since much written of it even though it’s been going on since late 2007. I think it may have something to do with the slow scanlations. I actually stumbled upon this after looking up mangas written by Yakitate Japan’s mangaka, as YJ had one of my favourite art styles. It was shocking when I found out that his next manga was about a pediatric surgeon, since I haven’t actually read much about medical manga. Seeing that it was a monthly, I thought it would be a great pickup since I loved medical tv shows like House and Scrubs.

The beautiful art is still there and the characters are pretty cool. The main character Saijou actually seems to do no wrong, since I’ve seen him perform impossible surgeries one after the other. While cool, it seems weird for me to consider him as a doctor given how young his face looks. Anyways, the characters actually mirror Yakitate’s, as Saijou reminds me a lot of Azuma (since they’re both geniuses) and his female counterpart Sena reminding me of Tsukino (Sena’s so cute). There are actually more similarities in the other characters but I’m too lazy to list it out here :P It’s not too similar with Yakitate as a series though, since it doesn’t focus on puns and comedy as much as YJ. Even so, it’s still pretty fun to read and I love how detailed the explanations are for each of the surgical procedures that they do.

Chances of Blogging: MEDIUM

Detail Source: ONEMANGA

Veritas 베리타스

Yoon Joon-sik & Kim Dong-hoon
Currently Scanlated Chapters: 66 (Weekly)

Details: Gangryong Ma was the boss of his middle school, getting in fistfights almost every day. He thought that winning those fistfights was what it meant to be strong. That all ended when he met Lightning Tiger, a man whose power dwarfed that of any man Gangryong had ever met before. After arguing, begging, and jumping through hoops for a year to prove his loyalty, Gangryong convinced Lightning Tiger to be his master.

For two months, Lightning Tiger taught Gangryong the secret of ki manipulation by way of the Enlightenment Of Thunder and Lightning (EOTL), a traditional Korean martial art passed on through the centuries to one student at a time. By properly refining and focusing his Ki, Gangryong learned not only to increase his overall physical strength, but he gained the ability to create devastatingly powerful lightning attacks. When the two months were up, Lightning Tiger left Gangryong, warning him of an inevitable battle against a strong enemy and hoping that they might one day see each other.

Months later, Gangryong was approached by an ominous group of men. He was presented with a box, and was told that it contained the arm of Lightning Tiger, whom they had supposedly killed. These men were from Reunion, a multinational organization whose main goals were the collection, evolution and eventual perfection of traditional martial arts and the creation of artificial ki, or natural energy, which could be used to make people more powerful. They forced Gangryong to enter a special school designed to train suitable fighters in the fighting styles that had been collected and created by Reunion.

Now, within Reunion, Gangryong finds himself a flash-point for controversy. As student of a sworn enemy of Reunion, there are many who want him dead. As the sole practitioner of EOTL, there are many who desire to see his success, so that they may use his techniques. All the while, Gangryong must work to uncover the secrets in the training he was given, so that he may achieve the power he seeks, and finally avenge the presumed deceased Lightning Tiger.

My Take: The token manhwa in the list, it’s one of the most adrenaline-packed series I’m currently reading. There’s always plenty of awesome fights and so many different fighting styles to take into account (some fictional). I picked this up off a recommendation from a friend and I read through it in one go cos it hooked me in pretty good. The art is amazing and I love how detailed the characters look. While the setting is pretty generic, there is no lack of excitement as the fights are always refreshing, as every fighter has unique styles. With the protagonist being the underdog in the eyes of everyone else at the highschool, his fast development is very appealing, even if he is a bit butch and looks like a serial-rapist if you didn’t know any better. The current fight looks to be very exciting, as two of the stronger forces in the series face off. Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint.

Chances of Blogging: HIGH

Detail Source: WIKIPEDIA

Alright, that’s it for the list. Hopefully I can get the ball rolling soon, since the new Deadman Wonderland and Veritas chapters just came up. I think I can get one of the two up within the next few days in time for the weekly JUMP, so stay tuned.