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Old 2009-08-26, 06:56   Link #1
Fionen
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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I Need Something New to Read

I'm trying to figure out which manga series to buy. I haven't been reading as much because I'm twenty-seven and not interested in reading the typical shoujo manga anymore. You know, the ones about teenage girls that fall in love and how everything goes wrong at school.

I recently discovered that there is a type of manga genre meant for women in their twenties and thirties. Its called 'josei'. Unfortunately, it sounds like most josei have sexually explicit scenes and I want to avoid that.

So, I was hoping that you guys could help me find some well written, non-sex-crazed manga that is aimed at a more mature female audience. I do like stories with a little bit of magic/supernatural thrown in but its not a requirement. If it helps any, my all time favorite series is Please Save My Earth by Saki Hiwatari. It would be awesome if there was another manga as amazing as PSME but I don't know if that is possible. ;_; I also liked The Demon Ororon but I felt like it dragged on a bit.

I'm curious about what you guys think of Red River, Solanin, Flock of Angels, Suppli, Nodame Cantabile, and Forest of Gray City.

Thanks for any and all suggestions!
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Old 2009-08-26, 07:21   Link #2
Kimura sensei
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Nodame Cantabile - I have never read the manga, but the anime is great. The manga is probably not worse than the anime.

I don't know many other josei stuff, and from those you mentioned... This is the only one I know...
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Old 2009-08-26, 08:02   Link #3
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Nana can be appreciated by mature audiences. Honey and Clover, Paradise Kiss, and Pet Shop of Horrors are josei. Midnight Secretary is quite nice and somewhat light with the undertones.

All of the mangas you mentioned there, I only know Nodame and Please Save My Earth and both are amazing. I liked Pet Shop of Horrors. I didn't check Honey & clover and Paradise Kiss, but the animes were great.
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Old 2009-08-26, 09:35   Link #4
TCman
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Hi,

suggestions on some good Josei manga? I can recommend Bunny Drop (Usagi Drop) which is recently licensed by Yen Press. Another good one is Honey & Clover as earlier suggested- licensed by Viz Media (there's also 2 anime adaptations of the manga). Another good one is Hyakki Yakoushou (josei, super-natural, mystery and slice of life) - licensed by Aurora Publishing. There's also Kimi wa Pet", i.e. You Are My Pet("Tramps like US"), it sounds/looks quite perverted when you see/hear the title and cover for the first time, but in reality is sweet and pure - licensed by Tokyo Pop.

Hope you like them all,


Good luck!

Last edited by TCman; 2009-08-26 at 10:58.
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Old 2009-08-26, 09:36   Link #5
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I Second NANA ...you should read it
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Old 2009-08-26, 10:16   Link #6
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Personally I think you're looking for Honey and Clover more than NANA, but that's just me....NANA personally reminds me of those American teen dramas like "The O.C."

And Nodame Cantabile is an enjoyable series, though I'm a bit biased (classical music nut).
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Old 2009-08-27, 09:26   Link #7
Fionen
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Those are a lot of good suggestions. I'm going to read the first chapter of each one online, if available, and then make my final decision.
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Old 2009-08-27, 17:00   Link #8
Irenicus
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Although I don't know much about Josei and all the good ones I know are already being recommended, I figured giving seconds to what I like wouldn't do any harm, so...

- Usagi Drop is warm, interesting, and probably connects much deeper with people 25+ than kids like me who still likes it very much. I doubt you'll be disappointed.

- Nodame Cantabile is arguably the best of josei manga. Try it out yourself I guess, but everybody really does love it.

- Solanin is probably to your taste as well (it's actually seinen btw). I dropped it but there was a very good reason why no one else should. Personally I wasn't in the mood for those "realistic" stories where people's lives were just a little too close to, well, real life, but you are looking for exactly that. It *is* well done, however.

- Kimi wa Pet (in English "Tramps Like Us") is a fun one. As was said above the title and the premise misleads you to think it's going to be worse than it is. It's actually a rather sweet romance.



Also, try some seinen (josei's equivalent for guys). It's a far bigger field at least in terms of Western exposure and covers things from otaku fares to gorefests to historical epics and slice-of-life's, but if you narrow it down to the mellow ones then you might just find your new favorite manga there. Sometimes these demographic monikers fail to tell actual genres involved.

For example, Honey and Clover's author came out with a new manga a year or so ago, March Comes In Like A Lion (March Lion for short), which, though with only one volume and a few chapters scanlated and no English release in sight, is already very, very promising. Warm, a little sad, and it seems to be setting up for some great character development.

The seinen work My Girl by Sahara Mizu is often compared to Usagi Drop as it shares several common themes, though it has a much sadder and more mellow tone to it, so if you like Usagi Drop try that as well.

And one of the most imaginative fantasies in manga is the critically acclaimed Music of Marie. Not many in the West know of it but for those in the know it is almost universally loved.

Finally, it's a bit out there as a recommendation, but how about Emma? Victorian romance, convincing, lovable characters, wondrous art, you know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddwkc
Midnight Secretary
That's smut out-and-out. Good smut, mind (though I don't care for smut), but the OP's not asking for one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fionen View Post
I'm going to read the first chapter of each one online, if available, and then make my final decision.
Not enough, IMO. One chapters rarely exemplifies a manga. NANA for example started out wonderfully, intriguing setting, characters, etc., yet one didn't know at all where it would go.

It chose to go the dramatic route, similar as Theowne said to American teen dramas. Some people like it a lot, I admit it's a good manga, but I seriously dislike all the horrible (as in not nice, not in "bad") characters and all the dramas going on so I dropped it. To me it was just a far better done and more serious version of those high school shoujo manga.

Of course, I'm a college age guy, so it's probably different viewpoints going on.
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Old 2009-08-27, 17:21   Link #9
jedinat
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Hyakkiyakou Shou is one of my favorite josei manga.

Bara no Tameni is also pretty good.
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Old 2009-08-27, 18:44   Link #10
Fionen
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I'm fine with making my decision after reading one chapter. I just won't buy the next book if I end up not liking it.

I've decided to get Hyakki Yakoushou (Beyond Twilight) or Honey and Clover. Those were the two that stood out to me. Please tell me that Beyond Twilight doesn't turn into a gory mess like Pet Shop of Horrors. It was awful. >_<

I didn't like Solanin. It was too pessimistic. I thought it was josei because other sites have listed it as such. I didn't even know that josei and seinen existed until a few days ago. So, I'm still trying to figure out what the difference is. I'll consider seinen the next time I look into new manga.

I added a lot of the suggestions to my list of manga to read. So I'll get around to them eventually.

Edit: I just discovered that Beyond Twilight won't be out until 2010. :P I guess I'm going with Honey and Clover. lol

Last edited by Fionen; 2009-08-27 at 19:27.
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Old 2009-08-27, 20:14   Link #11
jedinat
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Why are you buying the books at all? (Very nearly) everything is available online in scanlation form. Read everything that seems interesting and then buy the ones you really like and would read again. There's also a lot of manga you can't buy in English (Bara no Tameni being one). Manga is too expensive to waste money on series you might end up hating...
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Old 2009-08-27, 22:14   Link #12
Fionen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedinat View Post
Why are you buying the books at all? (Very nearly) everything is available online in scanlation form. Read everything that seems interesting and then buy the ones you really like and would read again. There's also a lot of manga you can't buy in English (Bara no Tameni being one). Manga is too expensive to waste money on series you might end up hating...
I have many reasons to buy the books. I need my manga to be portable but I don't own a laptop. I hate reading it online because my chair and monitor suck and I feel like I have to hurry. Half of the manga experience is having the actual book in my hands. (I'm so glad I didn't read Please Save My Earth as a scanlation.) It does help, money-wise, that I can borrow some manga series from my friends. I think the best reason to buy the books is to support the authors/artists and the people that work so hard to make them available in the U.S. and other countries.
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Old 2009-08-27, 22:16   Link #13
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@Jedinat: Some people (though I don't know if it holds the same for the op), like me, prefer reading and holding the actual book rather than through the computer. Usually for me if the manga is short, the first chapter should be enough gauge for the quality of the rest (ideally speaking that is, though it has worked for me quite well).

@Fionen: Sad to know you didn't like Solanin. I liked how down-to-earth the author handled the brevity of the situation the characters got into.

Moving on, aside from Honey and Clover, Victorian Romance Emma (not josei exactly, but really good stuff there), you might want to try Ohikkoshi by Hiroaki Samura, though not as contemplative, this is kinda similar to Honey and Clover in terms of setting and comedic values.

Hataraki Man, which is once again seinen (but honestly, that shouldn't really stop you), that focuses on a woman trying to strive in the competitive and sexist world of journalism. I'd recommend Sakuran as well (from the same author) if only the scanlations didn't have crap translations. Oh, well.

I haven't finished Basara yet, but I found it quite an entertaining read nevertheless. I certainly liked it more than Please Save My Earth.
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Old 2009-08-27, 22:21   Link #14
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jedinant wasn't saying to just read manga online. He said that you can use online manga to get an impression of whether it's the sort of thing you may like, and then buying the series you know will be worth your time.
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Old 2009-08-27, 22:36   Link #15
jedinat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fionen View Post
I have many reasons to buy the books. I need my manga to be portable but I don't own a laptop. I hate reading it online because my chair and monitor suck and I feel like I have to hurry. Half of the manga experience is having the actual book in my hands. (I'm so glad I didn't read Please Save My Earth as a scanlation.) It does help, money-wise, that I can borrow some manga series from my friends. I think the best reason to buy the books is to support the authors/artists and the people that work so hard to make them available in the U.S. and other countries.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fevvers View Post
@Jedinat: Some people (though I don't know if it holds the same for the op), like me, prefer reading and holding the actual book rather than through the computer. Usually for me if the manga is short, the first chapter should be enough gauge for the quality of the rest (ideally speaking that is, though it has worked for me quite well).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theowne View Post
jedinant wasn't saying to just read manga online. He said that you can use online manga to get an impression of whether it's the sort of thing you may like, and then buying the series you know will be worth your time.
I worded that badly as I didn't mean actually reading online at all--I can't stand doing that. I download everything and read through a manga viewer (Hamana is the best). I guess I can understand (not really, lol) that you dislike reading on a monitor (I have a very good monitor and a fairly comfortable chair... it's where I spend all my time after all, lol). There is something special about reading from an actual book, which is why I suggest buying the book secondly as it gives you something extra for that reread of a manga you know you enjoy. Theowne is right that I'm mostly suggesting reading scanlations as a means to ensuring you will like it all the way through... I have numerous times gotten all the way to the end of a manga only to realize that I didn't really like it at all. Many, many manga have great first volumes but go steeply downhill in subsequent chapters.
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Old 2009-08-30, 23:48   Link #16
becky0311
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Red River - I really enjoyed it. It has a few sex scenes but they are not explicit or vulgar in any way. It's pretty long, but I found myself never really getting bored. You should consider reading it.
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Old 2009-09-01, 01:19   Link #17
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I second Red River. It has historic storyline with a few twist here and there. And just like he becky said, there were few suggestive scenes but nothing too explicit so it's safe to read. It's long but it's a good kind of long
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