Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Top Three Anime/Manga of the Moment

In the spirit of lighter hearted posts, I bring you this: three of my fave mangas.

This is by no means a concrete list. I have many loves, but I had to pick three. Just three. *pets the other manga* It doesn't mean I love you any less....

1. Bleach

This is written and drawn by Tito Kubo and is still an ongoing series. We're up to volume 28 in tankoubon (collected copies - like trades or graphic novels for American comics).

Ichigo Kurosaki is the main character - he's a red headed teenager who can see ghosts. He's been able to do this his entire life and it's more annoying than anything else. The series starts up when a girl appears in his bedroom. She's surprised that Ichigo can see her, because she's a Soul Reaper and humans shouldn't be able to sense her. Rukia (the Soul Reaper), is hunting a Hollow. Creatures that prey on and *eat* humans. In the battle with a Hollow Rukia is wounded and 'loans' her powers to Ichigo to defeat the Hollow. Somehow, even after she recovers, she can't get her powers back from Ichigo.

Eventually other Soul Reaper's come looking for Rukia and things do not go well. They don't approve of this mixing of Soul Reaper and human. Renji (who is awesome and fun!) forces her to come back to the Soul Society with him, and (because what she'd done, giving away her powers is illegal in the Soul Society) she's going to be executed. Ichigo does not hold with this crap, and finds a way to follow them back to rescue her. (He takes some friends, but that'd require a looong explanation.)

They....rescue Rukia, but there's something else going on that leads to even *bigger* problems with the Hollows and that's where we are in the manga at the moment. :)

2. Fruits Basket

This was a 23 volume series that recently ended in America.

Tohru Honda is a normal high school girl. Well, mostly normal. She's *unendingly* cheerful and up beat. *Nothing* is allowed to ruin her happy! And she happens to live in a tent in the woods.

Her mother died in a car accident and she was living with her grandfather. However his house needed remodeling and he moved in with his son for the time being. Tohru convinced him that she had a place to stay, which is why she's living in the woods. (She hates to cause anyone any inconvenience - she's always worried about others, never about herself.)

One day she comes across a house in the middle of the woods where one of her classmates, Yuki Sohma lives with a relative of his - Shigure Sohma. They're nice enough, but sort of odd. Turns out where she's been camping is all Sohma property. They're kinda rich (trust me, understatement of the century there). She begs to be allowed to keep living on the property in her tent, but collapses because she hasn't been taking care of herself.

A landslide buries her tent (she was in Shigure's house at the time). The boys, being boys, arrange that she can live with them, providing that she cooks and cleans. They were tired of take out and dirty rooms. :) Yuki's showing her up to her new room and some crazy guy (aka Kyo Sohma) crashes through the roof, trying to fight Yuki. Tohru, not knowing that Yuki's actually kind of bad ass himself, lunges at Kyo to hold him back.

Whereupon Kyo turns into an orange kitty cat.

Tohru, in shock, collapses into Yuki and Shigure, who turn into a rat and a dog, respectively.

The Sohma's have this curse, see. :)

3. Wish

This is a four volume series by CLAMP - who, you know, may be manga gods. I'm just saying.

The main characters are Kohaku, an angel, and Shuichiro Kudo, a mortal doctor.
Walking home from work one day, Shuichiro notices Kohaku (she's tiny! like a doll!) stuck on a tree being attacked by a crow. He rescues Kohaku and, in return, she (technically the angels/demons don't have sexes in this series, but English lacks a non-gender specific pronoun, so they get referred to as male/female) offers to grant him a wish. Shuichiro, though, is satisfied with his life - he has a decent home, good looks, and a well-paying job as a doctor - so he doesn't request anything. However, Kohaku is honour-bound to grant the wish, so she stays with him.
Kohaku stays at Shuichiro's house upon the idea that she still needs to grant his wish. She helps with chores like cleaning and watering and tending to the trees.

Throughout her stay, another angel, Hisui and two demons - Koryuu and Kokuyo - come to live in Shuichiro's house, as well as the two servant demons of Koryuu; Ruri and Hari. Kokuyo is the son of Satan and is in love with Hisui, who is one of the four Angel Masters controlling the four elements: earth, wind, fire, and water; with wind being her element. Kokuyo admits that he made love to Hisui and that's how they ended up together.

Despite his new housemates, Shuichiro remains as stoic as ever. Although he doesn't persist in making a wish, without realising it, he grows attached to Kohaku. Kokuyo realizes that Koryuu, Ruri, Hari, and himself feel good around Shuichiro. He tries to tell Hisui but is always interrupted by God in one form or another.

Then Kohaku is suddenly forced back to heaven against her will by God because she has the important task of hatching the eggs from the Tree of Life by singing to them. However, Kohaku deeply misses Shuichiro. Shuichiro is missing Kohaku, too. He holds onto the earring he managed to get, trying to prevent Kohaku from returning to heaven. They both realize that they have feelings for each other.

Kohaku can't take the pain of being away from Shuichiro so she goes back to Earth without God's permission. Both of them are very happy to be reunited. Shortly after that, the three remaining Angel Masters come to Earth to reveal God's punishment for both Kohaku and Hisui. Hisui's punishment was that she was stripped of her Angel Master status and is banished from heaven. Hisui was joyful and thanked them. (Meaning she can be with Kokuyo - they couldn't really be together before...angel...demon, you can see how this would be a problem.)

However, Kohaku's punishment was that she would not be able to use her powers and will remain in small form for a hundred years. Kohaku is devastated she won't be able to grant Shuichiro's wish. But Shuiciro's only wish was to be able to stay with Kohaku forever, so she *can* grant his wish, even in tiny form!

Shortly after this, Shuichiro suddenly has a heart attack and dies while tying his shoes on a walk with Kohaku. This is terribly, terribly sad, and I cry *every time* I read it. Every. Time.

Usyagi (he's a bunny!), God's messenger, comes down and gives Kohaku a message in the form of a flower. Kohaku was to slumber for a hundred years and when she wakes up, Shuichiro will have been reincarnated. Kokuyo and Hisui are sentenced to look after Kohaku while she is sleeping. See, her 'punishment' wasn't so much a punishment. God knew what was going to happen and arranged it so He could place her in the tree and let her sleep (this could only be done when she was in tiny form).

A hundred years later, the reincarnation of Shuichiro, now 16, passes by his old house and Kohaku wakes up. Shuichiro has no memory of Kohaku and their relationship starts all over again.
And it is too cute! *hugs CLAMP collectively*


  1. CLAMP are the gods of manga. Those ladies rule the manga world.

  2. It's true. No one can deny it. :)


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