Manga on the Brain
Though previously content to satiate my manga habit with only Bleach or Naruto, I’ve grown to see that the wonderful world of manga has much more out there to enjoy in the way of action-themed books. So without further hesitation, I’ve decided to include a couple of finds that can possibly help you start off on your own journey of manga self-discovery; think Eat-Pray-Love but with flying ninjas and magic spells.
At a Glance: Classic struggle between good and evil with a terrifically original twist.
Synopsis: Armageddon has occurred in the future and a select few people exist in the present with the special ability to travel to the post-apocalyptic realm of “Psyren” in the hopes of changing the world’s fate. Along the way they are met with many challenges including mutant creations, foreign lands and bad guys who generally have a knack for causing worldwide chaos and destruction. Did I mention that everyone has awesome psychic powers as well? Definitely worth checking out if you like anything related to superheroes with anti-hero personalities.
Notes: So surprised by this book! It started a little slow for me but when it took off I was glued to the pages. The dialogue evolves as the story progresses and gets darker. The series is also completed so you don’t have to worry about scouring the earth to find the next book!
At a glance: Boiling this book down to 3 key points I’d say: Lots of fighting, unique story and amazing art
Synopsis: Drifters are people throughout the ages (primarily warriors) who have for whatever reason been transported at the brink of death to a world where time knows no bounds. Though much in the dark about their ultimate mission in their new land, the Drifters witness things in this mysterious new world that threaten the native population, resulting in…you guessed it, a heroic struggle against a great evil. In particular they are tasked with defeating the “Offscorings,” or “Ends,” who are people once revered on Earth but died horrible deaths most often attributed to betrayal. It’s the perfect historical fiction and action mash up. In what other manga do you see Billy the Kid fighting alongside Hannibal against the likes of Joan of Arc and Rasputin??
Notes: WOW. If you’re into historical fiction then you’ve got a goldmine in Drifters. Personally loved this book from the moment I started to read. Takes a while to receive translations for whatever reason, but they are very much worth the wait.
Synopsis: In this reality there exist humans and the occult, creatures who in some cases can take human form but for the most part are noticeably different. All is content within the city of Dominica until a shady blonde shows up offering the main character Colin a mysterious mission he can’t refuse. Colin’s own story is not near as simple as it seems and he soon finds himself dragged into a conflict of increasingly epic proportions. Filled with suspense and intrigue, this book is a definite page-turner.
Notes: Too cool. If you wanna read Sin City with a flair of both X-men and Powers, Chan and Shoemaker definitely made this book for you. Each new panel will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Synopsis: This awesome manga follows the plight of a young Viking named Thorfinn. The book really sets its roots deep in Danish mythology and the historical detail is so well done that I almost think kids would benefit from having all their history lessons provided by Yukimura himself. The polish on the artwork and the dialogue between characters magnificently accentuates the most interesting facets of 11th century warfare.
Notes: If you’re like me and usually go for the stuff with super-powers and the like, you’ll have to forego them for this book, but for good reason. The attention to detail in the artwork more than makes up for any lack of excess fantasy.
Hopefully as a fellow manga fan I’ve given you a fair count of some action books to put in rotation and if you’re new to manga some much needed manga-related exposure. If anybody knows any other great manga we should all be checking out, drop a comment ASAP. I know this post was limited to action, but all genres are appreciated!