Thoughts

Thoughts #43: My Favourite Manga/Anime

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When I was younger, I was really into anime and manga. This started at about the age of 14 or 15, and carried on until I was about 20 or so. Whilst I no longer read manga or watch anime on a regular basis, there are a few series that have really stuck with me, ones that I know I can go back to whenever.

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket

My first ever manga series, and the source of my online name, I absolutely fell in love with Fruits Basket when I first read/watched it. It’s about a young girl called Tohru who, through various circumstances, ends up living with the Sohma family. However, the Sohmas have a slight problem – the family has been cursed for generations, with 12 members of the family at each time transforming into an animal of the zodiac when under great stress or when they are embraced by a member of the opposite sex. It sounds very silly – but it’s honestly one of the most heartbreaking and wonderful series ever. I love every character, and Tohru is an adorable protagonist.

Death Note

Death Note

Oh Death Note. I remember the day I first watched you – I popped on the DVD, and eight episodes later, I was still sat there. This series is about a young, highly intelligent student called Light who discovers that when he writes names in a certain notebook, those people die. He can also dictate way and time of death. What begins as a crusade to rid the world of criminals turns into a high profile police case, which Light himself becomes involved in as part of the investigation team. This series is so so wonderfully dark and amazing – and the manga artwork is just fantastic. In fact, since it’s on Netflix I may have to do a re-watch…

Azumanga Daioh

Azumanga Daioh

Azumanga Daioh is one of those series I can put on when I’m feeling down and it will pick me up. The manga is presented in comic strips of four panels (although some stories cover slightly more), with humorous little stories in each. The anime explores some of these panels further, but is generally very loyal. It follows a young girl called Chiyo, who enters high school at the age of 11. A child genius, she soon finds herself an eclectic group of friends, each with their own zany personalities. One of the funniest mangas I’ve ever read.

K-ON!

K-On!

K-ON! was an absolute delight to watch – admittedly I haven’t read the manga. It’s about a girl who decides to revive her school’s music club, and the girls who end up joining. Together they form a band, and each episode pretty much revolves around their practice sessions – or lack of them. This series has produced some wonderful songs too.

Absolute Boyfriend

Absolute Boyfriend

The plot of Absolute Boyfriend is rather… well, typically manga/anime. A young girl accidentally orders an android boyfriend online, and after discovering she missed the deadline for the ‘trial period’, she has to pay for him. Okay, it sounds really really weird – but it’s actually seriously cute.

What are some of your favourite manga/anime series?

Past Features

Turning Off The TV #11: Tron Legacy

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Welcome to my regular Thursday feature, Turning off the TV! In this feature I recommend books similar to TV shows or films you may have enjoyed, both series and specific episodes.

The film this week is: Tron Legacy.

Tron Legacy

Sam Flynn, the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn, looks into his father’s disappearance and finds himself pulled into the same world of fierce programs and gladiatorial games where his father has been living for 20 years. Along with Kevin’s loyal confidant Quorra, father and son embark on a life-and-death journey across a visually-stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous. Meanwhile, the malevolent program CLU, who dominates the digital world, plans to invade the real world and will stop at nothing to prevent their escape.

Yep, I’m mixing it up this week with a film instead of a TV series! I’ve chosen Tron Legacy, a film I particularly enjoy for its visuals and soundtrack. It’s the sequel to Tron, released in 1982, and is just slightly more visually impressive… If you’ve not heard the soundtrack by Daft Punk, I recommend giving it a try. And now onto the recommendations!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I read and reviewed Ready Player One near the beginning of 2013, and I’m so happy to see that more and more of my blogger friends are reading (and loving!) it. Set in the future, where a massively multiplayer game called OASIS has become most people’s reality, the story follows a young man called Wade. Like everyone else, he spends most of his time on OASIS – and it becomes even more important to him after the creator of the game announces a lottery. The first person to solve his riddles and achieve the highest score will inherit both his fortune, and control of the OASIS. It’s packed full of 1980s references, as well as tributes and alludes to various video games, and is pretty much the nerd’s perfect book. I absolutely loved it, and frequently recommend it.

Lockstep by Karl Schroeder

Lockstep by Karl Schroeder

A more recent read of mine, Lockstep isn’t set in a virtual world – but it is based on one. On his way to claim a planet for his family, Toby McGonigall finds himself stuck and drifting in space. When he awakes, he finds that fourteen thousand years have passed, and many planets now operate on the ‘Lockstep’ system: hibernate for three hundred and sixty months, stay awake for two. To his shock, Toby learns that his family are still alive – and they are the ones ruling the system. His brother Peter is a tyrant, and has based the Lockstep system and cities and planets within it on a virtual reality game that he and Toby created and played as children. It also has a pretty cool cover, which I now know is by Chris McGrath, thanks to Carl!

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang

I read In Real Life just the other week, and a review will be coming soon! It’s the story of a young girl, Anda, who plays an online game called Coarsegold Online. She gets accepted into a females-only guild, and has to prove herself in order to be promoted to a full member. One of her fellow guild members, Lucy, invites her along on a quest – only it’s not an official one. They’ve been asked to rid the game of gold farmers by killing them on sight. However, Anda gets to know one of the gold farmers, who also plays in his spare time, and begins to question what is right and wrong within the game, as well as the real world. It’s a sweet story, that picks up on more real world issues and morals than many similar books. Plus the artwork is gorgeous, which doesn’t hurt!

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

I haven’t yet read The Eye of Minds, but I have a copy on my Kindle, thanks to Netgalley. However, I think it sounds pretty perfect for fans of Tron Legacy: set in our future, it follows Michael, who spends most of his time in a virtual reality game called VirtNet – as do most of the world’s population. The trouble begins when hackers start attacking the game, and taking players hostage. Michael finds himself recruited by the government in order to try and stop these hackers from taking over – but there’s a chance this could have a major impact on his life, blurring reality and virtual reality.

The .hack//Legend of the Twilight series by Tatsuya Hamazaki

.hack//Legend of the Twilight Volume 1 .hack//Legend of the Twilight Volume 2 .hack//Legend of the Twilight Volume 3

I think this is the first time I’ve included any manga in this feature – but the .hack//Legend of the Twilight series is one of my favourites. At only three books long (and twelve episodes in the anime) it’s a nice short series, especially if you’ve not read much manga before. The story follows two twins, Rena and Shugo, who decide to play an online game called The World together. But when Shugo’s character dies early on in the game, he finds himself in a strange bonus level – where he is given a bracelet by a mysterious lady called Aura. After making friends with a few more experienced players, Shugo and Rena aim to find out exactly who Aura is – and that’s when players of The World start dropping unconscious at their computers.

Are you a fan of Tron Legacy? Do you have any recommendations to add?