My Top 10 Best Manga - Final
This is it! The final two stories, the best reads I've ever had the pleasure of, well, reading. If you haven't read the first two parts of this series I will tell you to stop right now and go read them. These two are my two favorite. Out of the ten I reviewed your number one might exist, you'll never know if you don't check out those hubs! If you have read them, I thank you and with that, let's finish this.
Parasyte, or Parasitic Beasts as it's known in Japan, is such an abstract manga. Written and illustrated by Hitoshi Iwaaki, it was serialized and published in 1990 and continued for five years before completing its run. Mentioned in part one of my best manga the style of art is similar in a sense to that of Bio Meat however, this would be considered a predecessor so Bio Meat would have emulated its style from this story. The similarities between the two go even further than just the style of art. Parasyte is extremely graphic. Here is why.
The parasite is an alien. When coming to earth in the form of a worm they implant themselves by burrowing its way into the head of a human host, transforming the brain. This effectively kills the victim, replacing their personality and intellect with that of the parasite. The parasite has a strong, almost instinctual desire to kill and eat humans. This is a major dispute between the protagonist and his parasite.
Shinichi Izumi is the hero of this sordid tale, a thoughtful and compassionate high-school boy whose hand is infected with a parasite. Throughout the story Shinichi is constantly put into difficult situations because of Migi, the name of the parasite, and he must struggle to coexist with an entity that doesn't belong in our solar system, let alone a teenage boys hand.
This story goes beyond the gore and misplaced moral code as Shinichi begins to become detached from humanity and his kind disposition turns into one of a cold and killer parasite, however the same could be said for Migi as he develops what could possibly be considered a conscience. The strange tale unfolds as other parasites come into contact and a plot unfolds that reveals the reason behind such mysterious killer creatures.
It's an odd story that profoundly impacted the way I might think about humanity and that what we consider human might just be the nature of living creatures. The outstanding message in this would be to "survive." If you feel you are prepared to read a gory, again sordid tale of misplaced morals and murder. Parasyte is exactly the thing you'd have to read.
#1- 20th Century Boys
Here it is, MY favorite manga of all time. As mentioned before the cover of a book has to catch my attention and this one definitely did not do that. I don't know what compelled me to read this. At one point I would spend time just randomly clicking titles of names, I think I just happened across this story and I was forever changed by it. How I write and how I think about what to write and so on is because of how well this story was portrayed. So without further ado, here it is, 20th Century Boys.
20th Century boys is a science-fiction mystery manga written and illustrated in 1999 by Naoki Urasawa. It has won numerous awards for its intriguing story and strange turn of events, it was so popular that a live action film was made in 2008.
One of my favorite things about some stories, which isn't done very often, but some all-time favorites for a lot of people (such as Dragon Ball, into Dragon ball Z then eventually Dragon Ball GT) was done with 20th Century Boys. You follow the childhood of several characters, all of which are important to the plot, then they grow up into their teens then adulthood. This was probably the single most important reason why I loved this story so much. You follow the life of the characters, this allows for a person to become more attached. It's not done very often but when it is, you enjoy the story more, this is what I've found in my time reading these kinds of stories.
Now when you throw that aspect onto the pile of supernatural-mystery-shenanigans you get an amazing thing, of course it has to be done correctly, which is exactly what 20th Century Boys did.
The year is 1969, a group of kids have a secret hideout where they do everything. The imaginations of a child are limitless if allowed to be. These boys go so far as imagining up a world where an enemy threatens all living things and the actions of heroic people save it. It's now the late 1990s, the boys have grown up and none of them have done anything profound in their lives. The protagonist is Kenji Endo. During this time an entity in the world is growing. A power that seeks to supersede all world powers and unite everything under one ideal. Doesn't sound too bad does it? Except that the true intention behind this unification is the eradication of humanity. Which is strangely similar to the imaginings of a group of young boys thirty years earlier.
You follow Kenji on his journey of discovering who this enemy is along with the reunion of his closest childhood friends. You watch a group of individuals fight against all odds to stop the destruction of the world. The story spans from 1969 to 2017 and you watch the progression of time change the characters and you see the world change and you become a part of it.
It will forever be my favorite manga. It was subtle, obvious, infuriating, disappointing, exciting, breathtaking and so much more. I found my eyes glued to the next page after next page for days. I don't just recommend this story, I consider it a requirement in anything you have ever read. It gives a different perspective on things and you just might come to realize that those closest to you, you might not know anything about them at all.
There you have it! My Top 10 Best Manga. I have read hundreds of manga and as I said before, I love the art, but I love the stories more. I'm a bit of a junky when it comes to these things but I don't just read manga. I've got a library of all kinds of authors from all over the world. I wanted to write reviews on stories that might change the perspective people have on Japanese comics (manga isn't just purely from Japan either, it's hugely popular in Korea, known as manhwa, also in China, known as manhua. You also get manga from France, just to clarify) Anime and manga are what is part of the culture of Japan, it is becoming its own thing here in America and that thing is somewhat frowned upon. I can appreciate cosplay and the almost "otaku" fascination with that kind of thing but I want you to appreciate the more intellectual and thought provoking stories that have come from that area. Put your bias aside and take a peek-see, you might just end up surprising yourself. Thanks for taking the time in reading these if you have, it's been a pleasure in writing and I hope to hear comments on your favorites!