2015 in retrospect: manga

Welcome! This is my favorite time of the year — the part where I get to sit down and take a look back and remember all the great things I got to experience over the past 12 months. Last year, if you are a regular visitor to this blog, you may remember that I spent numerous posts poring over my favorite musical moments from the year, along with a short post on the anime I watched, and then a Top 10 AMVs post as well.

This year is going to be somewhat similar, except…well, nah, it’s not, really. I’m not going to be doing anything music-related this year, partly because I don’t have the time, but more because I don’t have the motivation. Also, there were just an insane number of excellent albums and songs I listened to throughout the year that this year’s list would probably be twice as long as last year’s and…eh, I just don’t feel like it. To answer your burning question: No, I still don’t know what I think about Radiohead.

I do have some cool things I’m excited to post about this year though, and they’re all going to be manga/anime/AMV related, so we’ll just start with the smallest list first: manga. I didn’t read all that much manga this year; like I mentioned in this review, I don’t read manga very frequently, so my list is pretty darn small. I went on two high-density reading spurts this year around March and December, and that was it, so below is my paltry list of manga I read in 2015*, ranked from best to worst:

1. A Lollypop Or A Bullet
2. Koe no Katachi
3. Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki
4. Suiiki
5. Kakukaku Shikajika
6. Orange
7. Kids on the Slope
8. Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan
9. Sasurai Emanon
10. Omoide Emanon
11. Welcome to the NHK!
12. Haruka na Machi e
13. Lovely★Complex
14. Emanon – Sasurai Emanon Episode: 1
15. Hotel

A few notes from this list:

• Everyone — everyone — should read A Lollypop Or A Bullet. It’s an incredibly beautiful manga, although I won’t say anymore because the less you know about it going in, the better. I may publish a review on it, I have it half written but just don’t feel very enthusiastic about what I’ve got so far, and it’s been a couple weeks since I finished the manga now. Whether or not I do, read the manga.

• Similarly, everyone should read Koe no Katachi. It’s incredibly brutal to read but so effective at conveying what it’s meant to convey. I loved this manga.

• Suiiki is a manga that is not very high on MAL’s popularity chart, ranking in at #2,076, but it is a manga I really, really loved. It’s by the same mangaka who wrote Mushishi, and it has a very similar feel…rustic, mystic, and nostalgic, and it’s drop-dead gorgeous to look at. This is another one that comes highly recommended.

• Orange was great, but would have been better if they hadn’t bothered to try and explain the time-travel aspect of it. They should have just let it lie. I also found it amusing how the mangaka did all she could to fit every single possible high school romance cliche into the story, although in the end the story still took enough unique turns to keep me reading.

• Welcome to the NHK! was a freaking mess. Beautifully drawn, most of the time, but overly convoluted with characters that interacted in the most unbelievable ways. Also filled with way too many unnecessary sexual overtones. A fun read, but a little too out there most of the time to get really invested in.

• Hotel itself was a cool one-shot, but I read the collection of five one-shots which included Hotel, and the other four were just crap. Hotel is worth reading for sci-fi nerds like myself, but you can safely ignore the rest; they barely intersect with the story in Hotel at all and aren’t nearly as fun or interesting.

Come back over the next few days to see other Top lists of stuff from this year…it’ll be fun guys.

*Point of clarification: these are the best manga I read this year, regardless of when they were actually published/released.


About crakthesky

Early 30s and vocal about my subculture.
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