Manga Readers Recommend
At the meeting room in the Hopewell Branch library, Manga Club is wolfing down wasabi peas and “Happy Panda” cookies filled with strawberry frosting. A fan-made music video for an anime is playing in the background and the members of Manga Club, all from the local junior high and high school, are talking over each other to discuss their recent favorites. Manga are comic books from Japan, read from left to right. They encompass all genres from romance to mystery to science fiction. Anime are Japanese cartoon series, again ranging in genre and audience age. Like books that are made into movies, many of the series discussed below exist as both anime and manga. And like movies, they have a ratings system indicating the intended audience for each series.
Here are Hopewell’s Manga Club recommendations:
Teens are caught between the world of the living and the world of the dead in a place that looks a lot like high school. Worse, the school is run by the capricious and powerful student Angel. One resourceful group of students takes up arms to get their lives back.
Evan’s review: lots of action!
The Holy Empire of Britannia wrests control over Japan, renaming it Area 11. Resistance groups are easily defeated until exiled Prince Lelouch receives an ultimate mind control weapon from the mysterious girl C.C.
Evan’s review: full of really intense situations
On a walk to check out their new neighborhood, Lupin "courts" another dog while her owner Teppei isn't looking, shattering his dream of a litter of purebred puppies. To make up for her mongrel's wayward wooing, Suguri offers to work at the pet store Teppei manages. Her adventures in canine antics have just begun!—publisher’s note
Megan’s review: This is an interesting series for dog lovers, but don’t read it around cats!
Watanuki is haunted by ghosts and spirits. One night, he meets a mysterious witch, who claims she can help for a price. In desperation, he accepts, but soon he's employed in her little shop-a job which turns out to be nothing like his previous work experience complete with crazy customers from the mysterious land of Clow.
Megan’s review: This series is for the philosophical type with a good sense of humor.
Suddenly terrible “Angels” arrive on Earth leaving apocalyptic destruction in their wakes. With human existence on the line, the only weapons strong enough to fight them are the Evangelions: robots developed by adults and controlled by teenagers. The three young pilots, Shinji, Rei, and Asuka battle the Angels and their inner demons: the motivations that cause them to fight.
Jake’s review: brilliant with fantastic art
Twelve years ago, the Village Hidden in the Leaves, was attacked by a fearsome threat. Today, the village is in peace, and a troublemaking kid named Naruto is struggling to graduate from Ninja Academy. His goal may be to become the village leader, but his true destiny will be much complicated. –publisher’s note
Logan’s review: Cool. Awesome characters and epic fighting scenes
Vivian’s review: You get invested in the characters.
Megan’s review: What’s not to like about ninjas?
Maebara Keiichi, a transfer student, comes to a peaceful rural village in Hinamizawa. After being accepted in the club, Maebara finds out his new friends may not be all they claim to be.—publisher’s note
Asher’s review: It starts out cute, then quickly descends into madness and horror.
Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see ghosts, but this ability doesn't change his life nearly as much as his close encounter with Rukia, a Soul Reaper and member of the mysterious Soul Society. Rukia lends Ichigo some of her powers so that he can save his family; but much to her surprise, Ichigo absorbs every last drop. Now a full-fledged Soul Reaper himself, Ichigo and Rukia must protect the innocent and help spirits find peace.—publisher’s note
Vivian’s review: interesting plot
Sword Art Online
A Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online has been released where players control their avatars with their bodies. One day, players discover they cannot log out, as the game creator is holding them captive unless they reach the 100th floor of the game's tower and defeat the final boss. However, if they die in the game, they die in real life—publisher’s note
Sarah’s review: Good. Just good.
Students of the Sinigami techinal school for weapon meisters defend Death City and try to create a “Death Scythe”. To do so they must collect the souls of 99 evil humans and 1 witch.
Patrick’s review: The series is great at combining exciting and funny moments. In one scene they will be fighting an evil monster, then arguing comically the next.
When Christie settles in the Artist Alley of her first ever anime convention, she only sees it as an opportunity to promote the comic she had started with her boyfriend. But conventions are never what you expect and soon the whirlwind of events sweeps Christie off her feet and changes her life. Who is the mysterious cosplayer that won't even take off his sunglasses indoors? What do you do when you fall in love with a guy who is going to be miles away from you in just a couple of days?—publisher’s note
Claire’s review: Realistic and at the same time crazy. Good facial expressions.
Hopewell’s Manga Club meets on Wednesdays at 6pm. All teens are welcome.
- Miss Emily