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Discussion of Manga only.
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Astro Boy
Tetsuwan Atomu (Mighty Atom)
Mangaka - Osamu Tezuka
[Genre: Action/ Sci Fi)

There's a reason why some stories become the worldwide phenomena that they are. A robot created by Dr. Tenma to replace his son Tobio who died in a car accident, Astro becomes not just a superhero who fights evil, but also a huge beacon of hope as he advocates and stands for a world without discrimination and unfair treatment of any human or robot.

Other than the story itself there were so many things that I loved... The introduction of a story by Tezuka as a character in the story - Loved that. The breaking of the fourth wall - Great. The comedy, at times appearing in the midst of a tense action moment - you'd think I wouldn't like it, but it was just so funny, I enjoyed it so, so much! Also, with very few exceptions, all the manga I read are one complete story from beginning to end. The fact that this was more like a collection of stories, with each story being a new adventure, really made it a great reading experience.

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Mangaka - Junji Ito
[Genre: Horror]

For so long I have heard people talk about the WTFness of Ito's world ... I am so glad I am part of that weird and wonderful world now!

Uzumaki is the story of a spiral madness that slowly takes over a small town whose inhabitants fall victim to everything from psychotic acts of self mutilation to horrific physical transformations. I loved how the story moved from slightly weird incidents to really scary occurrences to its absolutely fantastical conclusion.

After this one I also read Tomie as well as quite a few of the short stories from the Itou Junji Kyoufu Manga Collection. Wow. Crazy concepts. Frightening atmosphere. Amazing art. And really, really creepy. Loving everything by this mangaka!

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Well, this was quite a challenge. I thought it would be easy to list my top 5 manga, but as I was going through all the ones I've read, I realize I love them all so much! Anyway, after much deliberation (I actually started off with about 20 titles in my top 5!), here’s what I think are my absolute favourites. Looking at it in one place like this, I realize they are all so very different from one another... Iconic heroes and psychopathic villains, sci fi and fantasy, romantic pasts and terrifying futures - they're all here.
What are some of your favourites? Any manga that changed your life forever?

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Mangaka - Kentaro Miura
[Genre: Action, Dark Fantasy]

First of all, Phenomenal art. I think this manga features some of the most exquisite and amazing artwork that I have ever come across.

A child born from a hanging corpse. An overly ambitious leader. A pendant and a path to another realm. Through brutal bonds and terrifying battles, we see the rise and fall - of people and positions - as well as of dreams and beliefs. I love that there is no one true hero, or one ultimate ideal. Everything is lofty. Everything is questioned.

Such a powerful story. So many everlasting images.

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Mangaka - Masamune Shirow
[Genre: Cyberpunk]

Phenomenal work! Shirow's style of art ('Ghost in the Shell' was my first read), is so unique and just so perfect for the world he creates ... I am in absolute awe of this story set in a futuristic world with all its power centred in the utopian city of Olympus. Slick politics, tender romance and thought-provoking philosophy meld in this dystopian drama as we follow ESWAT members Deunan and Briareos and witness a whole new world.

Truly a masterful work of art.

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Billy Bat
Mangaka - Naoki Urasawa & Takashi Nagasaki
[Genre: Thriller, Crime]

Multiple generations come together in this story that spans the earth and the moon and has at its heart an ancient scroll with a very powerful secret.

Through all the mystery and all the madness, one thing that comes through regardless, is to never ever give up on what you love doing.

Urasawa is my favourite mangaka and I absolutely loved this story.

Oh and remember: the Bat is always watching!!

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One Piece
Mangaka - Eiichiro Oda
[Genre: Adventure, Fantasy]

You know, there is a reason why some stories become so popular and universally loved. Just started on this epic journey (yes I am aware that I am super late to the party on this one, and who knows when I will ever get all caught up) but I just had to say how very much I am enjoying this fantastic story about pirates and treasures and heroes and villains!

Also, absolutely Love the character of Roronoa Zolo. I predict he is destined for greatness in this amazing adventure!

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Bamboo Blade
Mangaka - Masahiro Totsuka & Aguri Igarashi.
[Genre: Sports, Comedy]

Just finished reading this really fun manga. It all started off with Kojiro, a high school teacher, in such financial distress as to take on a Kendo challenge just for the promise of free sushi for a year! In that less-than-noble pursuit though, Toraji Ishida manages to put together 5 girls who come together as a team, and truly understand and incorporate Kendo, the way of the sword.

I really enjoyed this manga. And I also learned a bit about Kendo, which is pretty cool!

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Did anyone every read this? It looks pretty cool and I got a free sample on my Comixology account (I read everything digital now).
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