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kajarainbow ([personal profile] kajarainbow) wrote2009-06-11 02:02 am
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A ramble about crap manga, and the strangeness I love

So, I read a lot of Japanese comics. I do mean a lot. For an assortment of reasons (availability via certain sources online being one--I'm poor).

I run across a lot of stuff I'm just tired of. A lot of stuff with somewhat interesting premise that flat-out ruin it by thrusting tedious cliches in.

Example: A comics about cats having territorial struggles. Could've easily been interesting, whether it's done with full-out cats, or with catboys/catgirls. But this one I took a peek at just because of the premise had a magical collar everyone's trying to get, all kinds of silly powers, the Ultimate Wild Cat or whatever, a breed 'more wild than the norm', and the concept of a power-up just by tearing off ones collar. Essentially, it's a bunch of boring silly manga tropes with cat ears/tails tacked on.

Another example: a comic about a fairly nice person trying not to turn into a human-eating ogre. Except that it became increasingly evident that the creator was just following the typical Shounen Jump formula (i.e. Naruto/Bleach). I quit reading about the time the main character got tossed into the Underground Training Ground for a Training Ordeal.

On the other hand, there's some series that seem to somehow manage to pull off utter ridiculousness. Others reuse those tropes in a way that's at least somewhat passably tolerable, and their execution's at least enjoyable. But what I really want is the strange stuff. I'll enjoy some of the less 'out there' stuff, but it often isn't my favorite.

And while there're definite trends both visual and story/character wise in the stuff I've seen, there're some fairly different works. I've really liked a number of those. Stuff like Tekkon Tinkreet, Uzumaki, My Street (this one is Korean), Sexy Voice and Robo...

So, let's see. I wouldn't mind recommendations, actually. Not just Japanese comics, any kind of comics online or offline will do. Webcomics as well as printed comics.

I like surreality--not the bland "Look! Talking penguin, gamer girl, Satan as roommate!" crap found in so many webcomics, but more of a dreamy or hallucinative quality. I want stuff that arouse intense emotions in me just by their visuals, especially. FLCL, Kageoru, Listening to 11.975MHz, Tekkon Tinkreet, Milk Closet. (Not necessarily constantly trippy, but frequently so.)

I tend to like a certain macabre touch (thus my interest in the 'nice guy trying not to turn into flesh-eating oni' premise mentioned above and annoyance at its disappointing execution). Anything by Junko Mizuno, Higurashi no Naki Koro ni, Hellsing, stuff with amusingly grisly carnage or morbid outlooks. A number of the 'gothy' comics out there simply disinterest me, but Serenity Rose's an exception.

Perhaps the ultimate fusion for me would be cute, macabre, and surreal. The game Yume Nikki manages to combine all those elements as an example. Another example, Junko Mizuno's stuff is cute and macabre and often a little strange (a giant pig that sells meat cut off himself, Cinderalla wishing to become a zombie so she can join her beloved undead musician named Prince, just most anything in Pure Trance, and so on).

There're other sorts of comics I like, but those tend to be the types of comics I most want more of. I also wouldn't mind recommendations of movies/series/games/whatever in a similar vein. And, frankly, I'll sacrifice general quality in a number of aspects for something that stimulates me enough (though well-executed surrealism has its own challenges). This crazy shit energizes me. It's mental food for me. It fills my head with imagery. It excites me. I love it.

[identity profile] relee.livejournal.com 2009-06-11 04:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Hmm... I hardly read any manga and I think you've read all the manga I have, except maybe the ones I get from the Evil Transformation guys on the Process site. I dunno if that's your bag, it's mostly magical girls getting turned into magical girl bad guys, and shinto priestesses getting turned into horny three-eyed succubi via tentacocks.

Web comics...

Silent Kimbly has a hell of a lot of weird and surreal stuff, but it doesn't have that dark edge you seem to prefer. It's mostly puns brought to life.

Zebra Girl might work, it's basically the story of a young woman who gets transformed into a three eyed stripey demon and her friend who tries to turn her back. Lots of dark edge in this one, and a little cuteness. I dunno, it's worth a look?

Ever After is kinda neat, it's basically fairy tales in an insane asylum. Lots of pretty broken people and pretty, broken people that you might enjoy. Also lots of gratuitous violence. Unfortunately it just 'stops' suddenly and they don't seem to be making it anymore.

I check To Save Her pretty much every day. It's the third comic by Jennifer Diane Reitz. Some of my friends have issues with her as a person that spoils the comics for them, but I enjoy them a lot. She wrote Unicorn Jelly and Pastel Defender Heliotrope, and To Save Her takes place in the same multiverse. It's a lot darker than the other two, though, and involves some interesting existential horror. Or it tries to anyways, you be the judge?

Other things... Hmmm.... This guy? http://www.jimwoodring.com/ He does art that is pretty interesting.

There's this thing: http://www.oddwebsite.com/

Here's something to pass the time? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_legendary_creatures

This book someone reccomended to me might be good for you too? It's about aliens that reproduce via transformation. http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/jack-l-chalker/web-of-chozen.htm

There was something here but it's gone now... *looks* I found it. You would probably enjoy the Holders Series. http://theholders.org/

I guess that's it for now. If I think of anything else I'll send it your way. With any of this stuff though ymmv; you're an enigmatic person and though I get the feeling I understand you somewhat, it's possible you won't like any of the things I linked, or worse. Alas. I hope at least one of them hits your mysterious bone.

[identity profile] kajarainbow.livejournal.com 2009-06-11 07:23 pm (UTC)(link)
I'll actually generally enjoy the individual aspects I mentioned independently of each other. So you don't have to find some fusion of them all, I just enjoy such fusions.

Silent Kimbly is cute.

As for JDR, irrespective of what she's like as a person, her endings so far've left me fairly unhappy with her storytelling. It just seems to me like her stories tend to start out more strongly than they finish. I read all of Unicorn Jelly and Pastel Defender Heliotrope, and pretty much left off reading To Save Her at about the same time as Pastel Defender Heliotrope ended. Don't get me wrong, I've really enjoyed her works, it's just... they finish weakly. The overall impression I have of JDR's works is of interesting ideas, but confusing and muddled execution.

I took a look at Ever After before, but didn't really get into it. However, at the same site I'm actively following Sugar Bits. I find some things about its premise interesting and fun, and it mostly does it in a manner that doesn't make me groan too much.

I enjoy Zebra Girl and wish it updated more, though it does seem to be getting better at that lately (the change of format probably helps).

The other sites look fun. Will check them out later. I've checked out occasional entries from that Wikipedia list too.

[identity profile] relee.livejournal.com 2009-06-11 08:58 pm (UTC)(link)
I love Sugar Bits but I was worried it would fit in with those tropes you mentioned not liking so I didn't mention it. ^.^;;

I sorta know what you mean with JDR. I'm glad you checked it out.

I just thought of one more thing! It's odd I didn't remember it earlier. It's a series of hissatsu attacks from Super Robot Taisen 3, for the final enemies, and the very last one made me think 'oh this is like the sort of hissatsu attack Rainbow Monstah would have'.

I think the attack is called Nightmare at the End of the World. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz174h-3rEU&fmt=18

[identity profile] kajarainbow.livejournal.com 2009-06-11 10:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Sugar Bit sorta does indeed have some annoying bits, but not enough to 100% ruin the fun for me.

Interesting attack. Hmm. I like the shark mecha, though I would've liked for its shark-like attack to be more chewy.

[identity profile] relee.livejournal.com 2009-06-12 02:27 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah the shark was cool! I liked how it made its own ocean to swim around in.

[identity profile] potlan.livejournal.com 2009-06-11 06:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Parasyte. Enough said.

[identity profile] kajarainbow.livejournal.com 2009-06-11 06:43 pm (UTC)(link)
I enjoyed that one. ^.^

[identity profile] kowaiyukidono.livejournal.com 2009-06-12 08:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Check out One Manga and look for Kekkaishi. It's got a similar concept to Bleach, but done in a way in which a crazy Death-worshipping heathen can dig.

Overall, there's a lot of pretty good stuff there. I think there's a so-so scanslation of Sailor Moon.