View Full Version : Specific Manga Discussion

2009-06-29, 11:10 PM
Alright, so as many of you have probably noticed, I have recently been asking for input from other members of the playground for advice on suggestions for manga that I should read. Only later did I realize, that while I definitely enjoyed reading these manga, that thread wasn't really a great place to discuss them.

After realizing this, I have decided to launch the Manga Discussion Thread! Every monday, I will name a new manga to discuss.

Therefore, let us begin! All opinions, positive or negative, are welcome. While you can discuss any part of the manga you wish, I highly recommend that you consider:
- character development
- art style/quality
- speed of plot development
- character interraction
- action
- the presence or absence of plot holes
- general overtones (grim dark vs. super cute and cuddly)
- changes in the manga over time

If there is a manga you would like to see discussed on this thread that does not appear on the list from the "Looking for a new Manga" thread, send me private message. In the event that I don't end up reading it and adding it to the "Looking for a new Manga" thread, I'll definitely work it into the schedule for manga to review for this thread.

Current Manga: Bleach
Next Manga: Bleach

2009-06-30, 10:02 AM
Unfortunately, I'm not very good at discussing stuff in terms of overall speed of plot or plot holes, but...

1) Character development: There is some, although one could accuse the development and progress of the characters as being extremely easy to do since they started out as being somewhat flat. That said, it's nice to see Naruto as something more than just an idiot hero (as of the current chapter in the manga, he's much more of the regular, selfless kind of hero than the idiot one).

The development of some of the other characters wasn't too bad, either, I think. Despite being a secondary character, Shikamaru had some interesting progression, growing from a lazy genius kid to a (more) responsible adult; Gaara learned to cast away his "I HATE PEOPLE BLAAARGH" self and became a loved and respected leader of the very people who feared and hated him. Sasuke's development was quite good, too, if you can get past the rather...curious execution of it. Maybe it's just me, but it's not often that you:

: have a character who starts of burning for revenge against someone, then later takes up that person's cause due to a revelation.

Other than Naruto himself and a handful of other characters, though, I do feel that a lot of the other characters get shafted in terms of development, though the fact that the cast list is colossal probably has to do with that. Sakura in particular: between the beginning of the manga and now, it doesn't seem like she changed all that much aside from new powers and harboring different thoughts for Sasuke. Despite being in the original main trio (Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke), she's a bit more of a background character. Also, practically none of the adults seem to change all that much: Kakashi is still Kakashi, Tsunade is still Tsunade, and so forth. Not a whole lot of change there.

2) As far as weekly shounen series go, Naruto's artwork may actually be one of the best ones. Even outside of weekly shounen action series, you could do a lot worse than Naruto. I find the action pretty easy to follow, the scenery to be good...the art is pretty good in general. Kudos to the mangaka for being able to come up AND illustrate 5000000+ different ninja techniques.

The style is flexible as well (although to be honest, that could be said for most manga)--the gritty scenes feel visually gritty, the comedic scenes feel visually comical, and so forth.

3) The character interaction in Naruto is pretty varied for a shounen manga, especially later in the series. How the Akatsuki pairs interacted is different from how Shikamaru and Akuma interacted, and so forth. One could accuse Naruto of having a fairly limited social interaction with others outside of combat (he seems to act either cocky and brash or clueless and stupid, especially before the time skip), though this is fixed later in the series.

The change in how Naruto interacts with adults and his teachers is fairly interesting; as I recall, he starts off being a class clown and talks back to his teachers due to being a brat, but (much) later on he talks back to his teachers because of his newly gained insight and knowledge--he has a reason to argue with them and go against their word.

4) The action in Naruto is very good, which is probably why it's one of the most popular mangas around. As I said before, the fact that the mangaka comes up with a billion different ninja techniques helps keep the action fresh. Naruto's tendency to use Rasengan all the time is annoying, though given that it's his most powerful attack (not counting his later Wind Rasengan) it's understandable. He makes up for it by using his shadow clones if creative ways (a lazier author might have made the shadow clones do nothing but one or two things all the time, but luckily Naruto's mangaka avoids that). I particularly like the more unique powers in the series, like the ninja puppets, Gaara's sand techniques, and that...dude's bone ninjutsu (I forget his name). I do wish the Sharingan wasn't so broken, though, and that the Uchiha clan members weren't so hax. Itachi was...okay, but Sasuke? :smallannoyed: The whole "I summon Manda to escape the explosion" thing was just cheating, seeing how he wasn't supposed to have any chakra left.

That said, the Combat Commentary does tend to irk me. :smallannoyed: Less talking, more killing! :smallfurious:

5) Naruto's tone is pretty generic for a shounen manga--it sits somewhere in the middle of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs Cynicism, leaning heavily towards Idealism. The heroes tend to win, the bad guys sometimes get a change of heart, and the main character is a hero; however, people do still die, the bad guys win at times, and tragedies happen. I can't say much more since tone (GRIMDARK or otherwise) doesn't affect me too much--I've liked saccharine series as much as I've liked GRIMDARK ones.

Overall, the Naruto manga is pretty good. You could do better, probably, but you could do a whole lot worse. It's flawed, but it's an enjoyable read. One must wonder how much better it would've been if it weren't for the pressures of being in Weekly Shounen Jump.

2009-07-01, 03:52 PM
...man, people don't like talking about manga around here, do they? :smallfrown:

2009-07-01, 05:52 PM
...man, people don't like talking about manga around here, do they? :smallfrown:

I blame Naruto.

2009-07-01, 05:56 PM
I blame Naruto.

Hey, don't blame him! Believe it!:smallwink:

Seriously though, I'd say that 13_CBS seemed to hit things pretty well.

I'll just add that Naruto (the character) has been growing in his awesome by leaps and bounds lately. In my opinion, at any rate.

2009-07-01, 06:26 PM
...man, people don't like talking about manga around here, do they? :smallfrown:

No, they just don't like talking about Naruto.

2009-07-01, 06:31 PM

Alright, so what manga would you want to talk about? We could always have a Bleach hating session, but the mods might be displeased.

2009-07-01, 06:38 PM
Well we know Naruto was fashioned after DragonBall, even down to the 2.5 year timeskip.

Also the humor was taken from there as well in how serious and funny it would be at the same time.

Naruto himself is not completely fashioned after Son-Goku, but is a close approximation, and they pretty much grow in the same way over the course of the stories.

I don't really know what to say other than being an updated ninja-version of DragonBall that has a good story.

Competing with One Piece, and Bleach means there is a lot of comparison between them in how the speed moves along in the series. Naruto sets the pace some weeks while other leaves it to one of the other two.

The key story elements are great as well as character designs. Having the tale of The Gallant Jiraya present with its main cast members as the Legendary Ninja, as well as many other cultural infusions into the series makes for great reading and learning tools about another culture on top of its humor and drama.

Each person maintains their set personality even through growth and keep something to look back to notice who they are and who they have become and what key elements of the story took them there such as recent events.

All in all a pretty good manga and has popularity for good reason.

2009-07-01, 06:55 PM
I've come to the conclusion that Naruto is a good story, poorly written.

There's oodles of great character concepts, but not a whole lot gets done with them. Sakura is one particularly glaring example of this.

But, the biggest problem is that the whole world revolves around Naruto. Characters seem to just come into existence for the soul purpose of how they interact with him.

For instance. There are 5 Ninja Villages, 6 if you count Sound. Of them, only the Leaf Village seems to really have any history. You get a smidge here and there, but for the most part it's all pretty generic bad guys outside the Leaf. The group that seems to have the most history outside the leaf is paradoxically the newest, which is the Sound.

And which promptly gets discarded after it's purpose in the story is done.

I don't really mind Naruto either. Kind of odd but somewhere along the line he seemed to become a somewhat believable Ninja. I can kind of forgive the orange jump suit (since it's an intentional Dragon Ball reference). There's a bit of a "crazy like a fox" thing to his character. Too bad it doesn't actually say that certain aspects of his personality WERE from the result of the Nine Tails. (Sounds like it comes from... his mother of all things)

There aren't a whole lot of characters that I really can't stand oddly enough. I hate Sasuke, but he's something you're supposed to hate I figure. Only problem is that for awhile it seemed like he was trying to be pulled in too directions, essentially, "fan service" vs "decaying anti hero".

A recent Anime episode kind of shows how Orochimaru decayed in a similar manner. Granted it's not that he was blinded by revenge, but he was blinded. And arrogant. And short sighted. Considering Sasuke is to be his replacement, it's fitting that they are both characters who rot. It looks like the author has realized what exactly Sasuke actually is finally. A selfish whinny brat who doesn't appreciate what he actually has, and is unwilling to acknowledge that he's made mistakes.

He's going to clash hard against Naruto. Which is good, because it's the whole point of making someone like that.

Funny thing is after some of the filler arcs... it's looking like the people doing the Anime have a better understanding of what the story is about.

The character interaction is probably this Manga's weak point, pretty forced and arbitrary at points. Not very natural. What's worse, is that it seems like in response to people saying the plot is predictable... unnatural curves started being thrown in.

It's better to have a natural story than an unpredictable one. Which is not the same thing as being original. Everything has been done already, and I think people shouldn't worry so much about originality, so much as having the characters drive the story.

Plot seems to suddenly be advancing WAY too fast right now too.

That being said? I still do like it. Artificially fast moving plot aside there's some good build up going on. And there's some interesting abilities that the characters use. Sometimes with a lot of imagination. (Naruto and Shikamaru especially). And like I said it is a good story, but it seems to be poorly organized.

It'd make a better video game or campaign setting than a Manga, I think.

2009-07-01, 07:08 PM
Plot seems to suddenly be advancing WAY too fast right now too.

I disagree. We're actually getting progression at the moment, which is a wonderful thing in manga -- especially when compared side-by-side to Bleach every week. Naruto is the one that seems to be progressing at an acceptable pace. Bleach on the other hand... let's just say I'm drawing parallels with Maison Ikkoku here...

2009-07-01, 07:30 PM
All opinions, positive or negative, are welcome.

I hate Naruto. I hate the terrible lackluster art that people try to say is good or event decent. The faces suck, the clothes suck and the depictions of combat suck. Silly people try to say it's good because two other poorly drawn mangas, Bleach and One Piece, are super popular and visually suck as much. What they don't understand is that no matter how many people read the manga the art doesn't become any better. It's pretty much objective. There's extremely little detail and depth. Everything is about terrible face and eye close ups. Because the author can't draw faces properly he sticks whiskers on his protagonist and silly piercings and tattoos on his enemies to add some detail.

The story is garbage. Character motivations are a joke. A big bad guy decides to wipe out villages and hold nations hostage because his puppy died and people said things to him he didn't care for. Another character has his whole family killed and decides that anyone that judges him needs to have his family and friends all killed to even begin to understand him a little.

The themes are terrible. "Power of friendship" and "prepubescent teens can do anything" are the predominant values expressed.

No, they just don't like talking about Naruto.

I blame Naruto.
So do I.

2009-07-01, 07:58 PM
Now my question is...how much of the above is because the mangaka is lazy/is a poor artist and how much of it is because of the schedule crunch?

Edit: Not to excuse the apparently poor quality of the art, of course, but just out of curiosity.

2009-07-01, 08:25 PM
I'll add that I don't hate Naruto, and still keep up with it out of actually still liking a few facets of it; like many shounen manga, it suffers from the supporting cast being far more likable and interesting than the main characters.

Rogue 7
2009-07-01, 09:41 PM
I will pretty much echo everything that 13_CBS said, as it pretty much hits my opinion of the manga square on the head. I find it to be quite good for what it is, which is, obviously, a shonen fighting manga. I don't go into it expecting very deep storylines or terribly complex character motivations, because, well, it's a damned shonen fighting manga. I'm here to watch characters beat the ever-living snot out of each other.

For instance. There are 5 Ninja Villages, 6 if you count Sound. Of them, only the Leaf Village seems to really have any history. You get a smidge here and there, but for the most part it's all pretty generic bad guys outside the Leaf. The group that seems to have the most history outside the leaf is paradoxically the newest, which is the Sound.

And which promptly gets discarded after it's purpose in the story is done.

I honestly enjoy this aspect of the worldbuilding, and I think Naruto actually has excellent worldbuilding. It means you can fill in the blanks yourself and make things the way you want to.

2009-07-01, 10:51 PM
The themes are terrible. "Power of friendship" and "prepubescent teens can do anything" are the predominant values expressed.

It's a Shonen Jump property. Power of Friendship is an editorial mandate. And the teens are well past prepubescent by now, thank you very much.

I stopped seriously caring about the story itself a while ago, like several others here. IMO, it's mostly managing to swing wildly between new heights of absurdity and flat out suck (notable recent low points: fight scenes that pass for reasonably good Magic Eye drawings, in that if you look at them cross-eyed in the right way you might be able to figure out what is supposed to be happening.) Now I'm mostly following it for the new absurdities and especially for the half-explored good ideas that even now still get strewn about in the wake of the shonen cliche train.

Lord Seth
2009-07-02, 12:13 AM
Pre-time jump had a lot of problems with it (Sakura being almost completely useless, an annoying amount of deus ex machinas) but it was still fun reading. I thought it improved after the time jump initially, but then it went downhill so badly that I just stopped reading it.

EDIT: I think this guy (http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/new-guys/yrt/readright/8825-rshot1) sums up my feelings about Naruto better, and more comically, than I can. (I don't necessarily agree with his thoughts on the other manga, but on Naruto he's almost completely spot-on with what I think)

2009-07-02, 12:18 AM
It means you can fill in the blanks yourself and make things the way you want to.

That's not evidence of good worldbuilding, that's exactly the opposite. Anybody can half-ass something and not explain why things are the way they are.

2009-07-02, 01:34 AM
I've been enjoying Naruto, probably because of the way power scales in it. There is clearly a maximum power level in Naruto that hasn't been shown in any of the other manga/anime series' that I've read, other than Histories Strongest Disciple.
It was always obvious from the start of Naruto that Naruto was going to become the most powerful character in the series, but what I like is that all of his enemies have been deliberately shown at the start of the series, as well as their general power levels, and they still havn't been surpassed by him yet, neither had his mentors until recently, but only because when Nagato attacked Konoha, Naruto had all of Konoha's resources behind him, where as Jeriah went alone against an enemy he had no understanding of.
Unlike Bleach and Dragonball, there is no "leveling up" or Super-Powered enemy arse-pulls.
I guess I ignore parts of Naruto that I find questionable though, as I have a tendency to try and enjoy things, even if they are poor quality. Except for music, and Twilight, which after getting to the point where he sparkles, I just had to put down in disgust.

2009-07-02, 05:21 AM
Unlike Bleach and Dragonball, there is no "leveling up" or Super-Powered enemy arse-pulls.


Kyuubi against Haku.
Curse Seal Level Two.
Sasuke training his *chakra control* by running up a tree for a night or so -- and becoming ten times faster as a result.
"You have ten puppets? WELL I HAVE A HUNDRED SO THERE"

To name a few.

2009-07-02, 06:52 AM
I honestly enjoy this aspect of the worldbuilding, and I think Naruto actually has excellent worldbuilding. It means you can fill in the blanks yourself and make things the way you want to.

Yeah, that doesn't seem like world building. It's more like getting a model airplane kit with some of the pieces missing.

2009-07-02, 07:38 AM
No, they just don't like talking about Naruto.

You know? For people who doesn't like to talk about NAruto they had a lot to say...

I haven't read Naruto, but a friend of mine does, he is really dissapointed at the manga right now due to the end of Paine's arc.

And because people seem to be stupid, based on who they've chosen to be the new Hokage.

2009-07-02, 08:30 AM
I think that we've gone way past the point of spoilers by this point.

But, since you did it anyways...

Naruto convincing Pain to give up his quest to build an A-Bomb capture the tailed beasts and use their power to terrify people into peace although a bit questionable, does fit with the themes of the story.

... Bringing everyone back from the dead after killing them? That's just stupid. What is this, Marvel?

Danzo pretty much had to become the new Hokage for a number of reasons. People making bad choices seems to one of the major themes. There are people who do not want peace. Be it for glory, or revenge, or because they're afraid of looking like wimps.

There were no other good candidates really. Kakashi, Shikamaru, and Naruto aren't experienced enough. And the first two likely aren't powerful enough (seems to count for a lot).

He makes for a good target. For both Naruto and Sasuke. Even Madara really. What it basically comes down to is that he's the Hokage, because his regime is going to be toppled.

... Possibly as soon as next issue. Unlikely, but the way the plot is racing ahead it's not impossible. None of the other Hokage candidates are likely to get a lot better soon. So it's probably going to go back to Tsunade unless he gets killed off too. Which is probably going to happen soon.

I don't think it's going to be long before Naruto becomes Hokage.

Of course, a downer ending isn't out of the question either. Naruto fails to bring back Sasuke, and fails to become Hokage. He dies doing something heroic. Maybe they put his face up on Mount Rushmoore Ninja anyways because it was just that awesome what he died doing.

Neko Toast
2009-07-02, 12:53 PM
I hate Naruto. I hate the terrible lackluster art that people try to say is good or event decent. The faces suck, the clothes suck and the depictions of combat suck. Silly people try to say it's good because two other poorly drawn mangas, Bleach and One Piece, are super popular and visually suck as much. What they don't understand is that no matter how many people read the manga the art doesn't become any better. It's pretty much objective. There's extremely little detail and depth. Everything is about terrible face and eye close ups. Because the author can't draw faces properly he sticks whiskers on his protagonist and silly piercings and tattoos on his enemies to add some detail.

To comment on the art style rant, clearly you've never seen Shin-Chan. The art of that show is far from great, but that doesn't mean it's a terrible series.

Also, this is the third time that I've seen you and each time your opinion has seemed rather harsh, despite this one not referring to its audience in a negative way. Still, I think you can try a little harder to not be so abrasive.

Back on topic, I don't necessarily like the show, but at the same time I don't dislike it. This and other shows like it (One Piece and Bleach are done in a similar style) are just not my cup of tea. I think seeing the beginnings of the dubbed version may have been a turn off for me as well, but I've seen later episodes and it does seem to get better.

When I do watch the show, I always find myself rooting for Naruto. He's quite the lovable underdog.

2009-07-02, 02:26 PM
When I think of Naruto, I literally have to think of it as either pre- or post-time skip. They're just so different.

I really liked pre-time skip Naruto. Yeah, it had some issues with virtually all the female ninjas being pushovers, but I felt like it progressed in a manner that actually made sense. Naruto was creative in how he fought, his changing of villains/jerks into the good guys made sense: he could connect with gaara as another vessel with a tailed beast, neji's hang-up was thinking he couldn't go against fate and Naruto shows him you can make your own destiny.

Orochimaru was a great villain because he appeared so dang evil, Kabuto left you desperate for more information. We didn't get a huge amount of detail about the other characters, but it wasn't really all that important, because we knew what we needed to.

Then came the time skip. Naruto really felt like he came back weaker. In addition, people kept heaping praise on him, but what they said didn't match what was actually shown. As an example, Naruto and Sakura fight Kakashi full out and in a whole day they can't beat him (when he supposedly has a very limited amount of stamina) without using knowledge that no normal enemy would have. Yet, all the characters run around saying that Naruto is suddenly on par with Kakashi? Then there's also the emotional immaturity. Even in the very beginning, the manga makes a big deal about how Naruto was actually really emotionally mature about failure, and loss. Yet after the time skip, practically the mere mention of Sasuke and Naruto loses it. Naruto also lost all his creativeness in battle. He continually lost his cool in battle and wouldn't follow orders from Kakashi. All in all it felt like he came back from a few years training as if he'd become an immature brat.

Then we have the Uchiha. I don't like how the entire plot has come to revolve around the Uchiha. That's all I'm going to say on that one.

Finally, I don't like that Naruto somehow never found out that the 4th Hokage was his father.

Now, I can say that I like where things have headed recently, mostly because the manga has had some time away from Sasuke and the Uchiha. Naruto finally feels like what I had expected after the time skip. The fights have become interesting again and I feel like I'm suddenly interested in what's going to happen. Oh, though I don't like how the conversations have been handled recently. I felt like Naruto's conversation with Pain was pathetic, he basically told him he should stop what he was doing because he was going to bring peace to the world....somehow. Even worse, when Hinata told Naruto she loves him... yeah he freaks out at the time, but since then? It's as if it never even happened.

So I still read the newest chapter every week, but only recently have I actually been excited by it.

2009-07-02, 02:51 PM
Yeah, the "Hinata gets hurt, Naruto jumps all the way to six freaking tails, but then later it's just meh" bit frustrated the Hell out of me.

...Maybe because I think they're a cute potential couple, but still.

2009-07-02, 05:38 PM
I more meant that he hasn't talked to Hinata about it. It's as if the two of them never even met during the fight.

2009-07-03, 10:40 PM
Finally, I don't like that Naruto somehow never found out that the 4th Hokage was his father.

Did you miss the chapter(s) where they told him, then? And the one where
He talked to his dad's spirit that was tied to the final seal on the Nine-Tails?

Also Kakashi having a little chat with his own dad right before all of Konoha got rezzed, which was a blatant waste of pages. I'm probably in this until the end, now, but the only fights I'm likely to really care about are going to be when Sasuke gets his butt handed to him (gogo Killerbee! Also WTF Kishimoto on the 'bite Karen for healthpacks' thing.)

2009-07-03, 11:18 PM
I dunno why people have issues with Bleach, sure yeah there is super awsome level ups (Shikai, Bankai, Vizard/Arrancar, Ressurection Form, 2nd level of that, and that's just Shingami and Arrancar) but at the same time it looks like the only thing left for Ichigo to do is learn a little more from his Inner Hollow (prolly Cero and a few tricks)

The current arc has been by far the best arc in the manga and I enjoy it. I even bought a few of the volumes (the early chapters 1-8 and 17-19 :P).

Sorry to get off topic of Naruto (I don't read it, but I've noticed a lot of people hating Bleach). Now if Death Note becomes a topic, I'll contribute (first Manga series I read/paid for)

2009-07-03, 11:41 PM
Did you miss the chapter(s) where they told him, then? And the one where [snip] (gogo Killerbee! Also WTF Kishimoto on the 'bite Karen for healthpacks' thing.)

I more mean, that Naruto grew up not knowing. And that Jiraiyah didn't figure it out/tell him if he did. It's like not knowing your father was prime minister, and nobody ever telling you.

As for the Karen thing, I remember reading somewhere that Kishimoto wasn't even planning on Sasuke's group staying together but he was given an order to do so. Result? We get members of Sasuke's party suddenly developing powers they never had previously.

2009-07-04, 12:11 AM
I dunno why people have issues with Bleach, sure yeah there is super awsome level ups (Shikai, Bankai, Vizard/Arrancar, Ressurection Form, 2nd level of that, and that's just Shingami and Arrancar) but at the same time it looks like the only thing left for Ichigo to do is learn a little more from his Inner Hollow (prolly Cero and a few tricks)

Eh...I have my own opinions of Bleach, which I shall unleash like a swarm of angry bees when we come around to discuss it.

2009-07-04, 12:59 AM
If we get around to it, have to go through One Piece next.... I'm sick of pirates

2009-07-04, 03:47 AM
If we get around to it, have to go through One Piece next.... I'm sick of pirates

While I think pirates are more awesome then ever. But are we somehow not discussing other manga here? Even if it's just other Jump manga?

2009-07-04, 10:15 AM
While I think pirates are more awesome then ever. But are we somehow not discussing other manga here? Even if it's just other Jump manga?

It's Naruto week. Next week is One Piece.

2009-07-04, 03:50 PM
I realized that I need to give people a little heads up so they actually have time to read the manga if they haven't, so from now on I'll be announcing the reading for the next week, at the same time as opening up the new weeks topic for discussion.

I chose One Piece from the list because I figured a lot of people have read it. Don't worry, I'll be getting away from shonen jump for a little while after One Piece.

2009-07-04, 07:25 PM
Ok, so I'm gonna have to wait til we get to a Manga I like (I only like 2)

2009-07-04, 07:47 PM
I agree with the thing about Naruto's father being the 4th. On the first episode, I actually first thought it was EXPLICITLY stated that he was his Father. Eventually I found out that it was apparently a "secret". What a dumb direction to go in.

It would have been a good direction to go in if Naruto said something like, "Yeah, by this point I had pretty much figured." Or another person comes in, "Wait... you mean you didn't know? Wow... that's..."
"Why didn't you ever tell me Kakashi Sensei?!"
"... This is really dumb even for you Naruto. It was pretty obvious."
"No it wasn't."
Sai pops up from around a corner, "... Even I figured that one out."
"What? Even you."
*hangs head* *depression lines*

That being said, really dumb that he hadn't figured it out.

The Hinata thing I suspect is probably an issue of there's just not enough space in each issue to cover everything. I HOPE that's the problem, and not so much that it's been decided her role is already finished, her character is done with, and so she's just going to get ignored now. (That... happens a lot in this series)

2009-07-06, 07:17 PM
- character development
- art style/quality
- speed of plot development
- character interraction
- action
- the presence or absence of plot holes
- general overtones (grim dark vs. super cute and cuddly)
- changes in the manga over time

So...One Piece, eh?

This review will be somewhat curious, since I actually stopped following One Piece shortly after the Straw Hats defeated the CP9. Thus, my "review" of it will be of the series from the beginning until that point.

One Piece. Of the Big Three (Naruto, Bleach, One Piece), One Piece is the only one I don't bother following. Which is a bit strange since it may very well be the best of the three, but I'll explain why later.

1) If I recall correctly, the main characters didn't change all that much in terms of personality over the course of the series. Luffy is still an idiot hero who dreams of becoming the Pirate King and is fiercely protective of his friends. Zoro is still the stolid, battle-hungry swordsman. Sanji is still the suave womanizing cook. And so forth.

This is actually a bit rare for shounen action series, I think, since most of them are about idiot heroes who grow up a bit and become less idiotic and more heroic. Naruto, for example, grew and changed for the better overall (while, uh, Ichigo...changed for the worst :smalleek:), but Luffy's personality? Not much change that I can remember.

The only major character progressions that I can remember is Nami's Haley-esque love for gold getting toned down (due to earlier events) and Robin becoming a little more trusting, I suppose, after the final clash with the CP9? Otherwise, the characters are pretty static.

2) The art quite good for a shounen weekly series--as with Naruto, you could do a lot worse than One Piece in terms of art. The mangaka also gets credit for making One Piece incredibly varied. Check out the series from beginning to its latest released manga chapter, and consider the following locales:

a) Various pirate towns
b) Various jungles
c) Not just a city, but an entire civilization in the clouds
d) A pseudo-Egyptian place
e) A canal-ridden water city
f) Two very different prisons
g) An ice world

...among many others. And each location is populated by a unique-looking collection of peoples and creatures.

Another bit of credit goes to the mangaka for making most of the pirate crews look somewhat varied. It would've been easy for him to give all the pirates in the series the stereotypical collection of raggedy shirt, raggedy coat, pirate hat, eyepatch, and peg leg, but instead the mangaka went and made all sorts of unique crews, each with their unique style of dress. In terms of art, One Piece may be the best of the Big Three. (That said, I do wish the mangaka wouldn't draw women's torsos as being disturbingly vase-shaped.)

3) It's been some time since I've read One Piece, but I don't recall the plot ever being too slow or too fast. The incident with Baroque Works might have been the longest, maybe, but that's about it.

4) As for character interactions, I don't remember One Piece being anything special in this regard. It's light-hearted and pretty typical of shounen action series.

5) The action in One Piece is quite excellent, which it has to be in order to be one of the most popular shounen mangas. One Piece's gets credit, though, for also being very inventive with its Devil Fruit powers.

You start with a simple, almost lame premise: dude has a body with the consistency and conductivity of rubber. Everything Luffy can do is based off of that (plus, apparently, a hell of a lot of strength training), which includes throwing long-range punches, throwing lots of long-range punches, using himself as an anti-cannonball shield, being immune to electricity, being very resistant to bludgeoning, increasing and withstanding blood and adrenaline flow, making himself bigger (and somehow stronger :smallconfused:) by blowing air into himself, etc. Most other series just pulls magic abilities out of a hat or through an INTENSE SHOUNEN TRAINING MONTAGE, but not so much for One Piece.

6) Mood of One Piece? Anti-GRIMDARK. It's not always bright and fluffy (there's a lot of blood, for instance), but it's definitely one of the lighter series you'll come across.

But on top of being fairly bright, One Piece is also very silly. I'll get to this later.

7) As for changes in the manga over time...like most shounen series, One Piece doesn't jump the shark all that much. The manga, as far as I can tell, keeps you entertained with bombastic fight scenes, dazzling new locales, and a moving plot. I don't think much else changes, aside from the characters getting new powers and abilities.

So, with all that, why don't I like One Piece?


It's too silly and over the top.

This isn't to say that One Piece is a bad manga, it's just that I don't like it. I simply don't like overly silly and crazy manga or anime series. I couldn't stomach One Piece after a while, the same way I've never really liked Gurren Lagann or Excel Saga, despite the popularity and good reputation of both series. I don't like the silly costumes (Candy Pirates? This guy? (http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/onepiece/images/c/c8/Emporio_Ivankof.jpg) Really?), the silly character designs, all the snot flying out of the characters' faces whenever they cry, etc. Maybe it'll work for some of you, but for me...meh. I like strange manga series, and unique ones, but crazy ones simply aren't my type.

However, if you do like crazy over the top action series, One Piece is the manga for you.

2009-07-06, 08:49 PM
Starting today, and for the rest of the week, we will now be taking on One Piece. In the mean time, don't forget to start reading Karin the story of the world's most harmless vampire for next week!

2009-07-06, 11:41 PM
Can I nominate claymore, mahou sensei negima, full metal alchemist or soul eater for another week? Since those are the ones I read most frequently.

2009-07-07, 02:03 AM
Looks like I'm gonna have to wait even longer to find out why many people hate Bleach :P

2009-07-07, 02:08 AM
One piece is the only one from the big three that I followed. I agree with everything CBS said. But there's one more thing that I like from one piece. The sense of adventure. It got the sense of adventure bootload more compared to naruto or bleach. It's not simply fighting or saving the world, it's about crossing new frontier and finding new places.

Lord Seth
2009-07-07, 02:37 AM
One Piece is my least favorite of the "big three." While I thought Naruto went downhill pretty badly after the time jump (not immediately--it was great at first after the time jump, but then later went downhill), it at least kept my interest longer than One Piece did. I can't even figure out what it is about it I don't like...all I can say is that I lost interest in it before Naruto, while Bleach (despite its various flaws) still managed to keep my interest up even to this day.

2009-07-07, 02:11 PM
For me, out of the big 3, One Piece has been highest on my list. It has a basic formula and sticks to it. Not only does it stick to it, but does so extremely solidly. It's consistent to expectations and I'm getting exactly what I want out of it.

2009-07-07, 05:15 PM
I too rank OP as highest of the big 3. It is actually the only one of the three that i follow because i like it, rather than because of a vague sense of wanting to know the plot since i already read that much.

It is silly and over the top, and that's what makes it good (IMO, etc. etc.). 13_CBS was also spot-on when it came to the powers. It is much more inventive than i've ever found Naruto (Where lately it seems every character only knows 1 or 2 techniques and uses those and only those. Pain almost seemed to lamshade this...) or Bleach (Seriously, each chapter usually consists of the following happening: Someone uses an attack (Usually some variation of a laser beam, lately...). Someone unleashes his/her Shikai/Bankai/Ressurection (sp?) etc. END.)

Damn, nested paranthesises. :smallamused:

2009-07-07, 10:56 PM
And the introducement of the rising stars for some reasons felt way more epic than the typical introducement of new set of villains/ set of characters. You know what the strawhat pirates had gone through to get there, and you can feel that the other rising stars are in par of them, and they will be the next generation's legends.

Actually, I don't really care about the fights in naruto, one piece, or bleach. I like the adventure more. In one piece, I always enjoy the intermission adventure more, compared to the fight. After a decade of reading manga, one battle scene feel like just another battle scene except if they're particularly different.

2009-07-08, 05:48 PM
- Character development: I like how the character development has been handled so far. While the characters have mostly only shown an increase in power lately, that's partly because they were so much stronger then everybody else originally. I think that what we would normally interperet as character development just can't happen in a story where once an adventure arc is over, you hop on your ship and don't return for a really long time.

- Ar style/quality: I agree that the mangaka has managed to keep his artwork fresh and flavorful. The settings are quite diverse as are the powers depicted. I don't feel like I'm seeing the "nameless ninja 2532" we get from Naruto.

- Speed of plot development: Hit and miss, partly just because it's all over the board. The arc with crocodile took freaking forever, while the thriller bark one was over relatively quickly. Strangely, while I felt a strong attachment with the crocodile arc due to the presence of the princess, she also turned me off on it because she never stopped crying (for soooo long.)

- Character interraction: A minor failing I suppose. If for no reason other than that the characters haven't changed their personalities that much and so everything that can be said pretty much has. I think this is part of why the crew is currently split up. We always see the characters together, why not look at each of them on their own.

- Action: Pretty impressive. I have a difficult time following the action in manga sometimes, but I usually don't have that problem with one piece. That's a pretty nice compliment coming from me.

- The presence or absence of plot holes: Really, the world's too crazy for me to think about plot holes. The only thing that you might be concerned with is why all these pirates don't get taken out by powerful members of the navy while they're weak, and the answer is because of dragon and all the absurdly powerful pirates out there that are keeping the world government constantly busy. This is actually a big issue for me. It's tough to have a world where the power of the characters can scale well, but One Piece has handled it excellently.

- General overtones (grim dark vs. super cute and cuddly): I think the story can be a little too crazy on occaision; though, I just have a good time reading it most of the time.

- Changes in the manga over time: I like that the crew had to change ships. I like that the crew members have been added slowly instead of all at the beginning, and that the crew really suffered as a result of not having them around (ok, so not the skeleton, but I don't think anybody really cares about him anyway).

When I first started reading One Piece, I didn't like it and much prefered Bleach and Naruto. I had a friend who loves OP and managed to get me to back into it, and now I'd have to say it's my favorite of the three.

2009-07-08, 05:51 PM
I think that's the one thing about One Piece (hurr hurr, I made a pun :smalltongue:): it's much less flawed than either Naruto or Bleach.

Ironically, it's also the only one of the three I don't read. Goes to show my tastes in manga, huh? :smallamused:

2009-07-08, 06:34 PM
I think it's that usually you aren't concerned about the world coming to an end in OP, where as that is definitely a concern with Naruto and Bleach.

Even if something happened to the crew in OP, you know that the world would keep on turning.

2009-07-08, 06:54 PM
Oh I love One Piece! While I recently began reading Bleach, and like it a lot, One Piece is definitely better. I don't like the current arc though...the creepy dude is creepy...

2009-07-09, 01:20 PM
You mean Ivankov?

2009-07-10, 10:34 PM
I've been rereading Karin again this week. I have...quite the review readied for Monday. :smallamused:

2009-07-11, 09:43 AM
I had another thought on One Piece.

Too often in manga I have 3 problems:
1) I can't tell who is talking. Sometime I have to look at the text for an entire page to actually piece together which text bubble comes from which characterd. One Piece has a fairly significant amount of text, yet I don't think I've ever had this problem.
2) I can't tell characters apart. This happens most frequently when there's a blond and a brunette and the brunette gets surprised. You know how frequently when there is a surprise shot or a drama shot the character gets washed out. Suddenly you realize that the faces look exactly the same. The characters in One Piece are so diverse that this has never happened to me. Well, at least not that I can remember.
3) I have a tough time following the action. Not in One Piece though.

Also, I was thinking that Ivankov may be the first character with weird powers that isn't a devil fruit user. At least I think he/she isn't a devil fruit user.

2009-07-12, 11:39 PM
Apologies for the double post but this also serves to bump the thread now that we have a new manga to discuss, namely Karin, the story of the loveable vampire girl... who is the exact opposite of every vampire you have ever heard of.

Please read this fun manga and post your opinionsn. Don't forget to start reading Angel Densetsu for next week while you're at it!

Rogue 7
2009-07-13, 10:20 AM
Read it a while ago on a whim (thank you, Onemanga!). Cute, fairly interesting, and a decently realistic* love story. Usui's a good dude, but not really particularly notable aside from that.

But man, the ending. How stupid was that? The parents decide, almost randomly, to erase their daughter's memory just because she's going to go live a normal life? The problems were all resolved! It's just that all family dinners have to be at night!

*for given values of "realistic", seeing as how we're dealing with Vampires here.

2009-07-13, 06:26 PM
Ah, Karin (http://www.mangafox.com/manga/chibi_vampire/). I'm a sucker for (male oriented) romantic comedies, and this one is easily one of the best, and definitely one of my all time favorites. :smallbiggrin:

Art: For the most part, Karin's art is very well done. I think it stuttered a bit at the very beginning, mostly due to how I thought Kenta was drawn--I actually found him to be somewhat repulsive-looking when I looked at the early chapters :smalleek: I must give credit to the mangaka for her ability to draw a wide range of moods and emotions as well. Although the series is mostly light and comedic, Kagesaki (the mangaka) can also convey the seriousness of the scene when necessary. Angry characters actually look angry, seriously depressed characters look serious, etc.

That said, I do think that, at times, some of the characters' faces look a little...off? Blocky? The usual culprit for this is Maki. There's just something about their profiles that makes me go :smallconfused: at times. Also, an unfortunate side effect of having Karin turn on the water works at a drop of a hat earlier in the manga (when things were more comedic and light-hearted) makes it slightly more difficult to take the later dramatic scenes more seriously, since her facial expressions for both such scenes are mostly the same.

As a side note, given how Karin is portrayed as being fairly voluptuous, I'm quite glad that the mangaka didn't fill the panels with endless fanservice.


Karin being primarily a comedy series, the characters have relatively exaggerated and simple outer personalities: Karin is a ditz, Kenta is serious and hard-working, Maki is mischievous, Anju is emotionless, Ren is disgruntled, Henry is a coward, Kalera (this is how I'll be spelling her name for this review) is domineering, Yuriya is :smallannoyed:, and Elda switches between :smallbiggrin: in among her family and :smallfurious: among everyone else.

This isn't to say, though, that the characters are flat. Not by a long shot. All of the above characters have their own backstories and complex personalities--all of them feel like they're (exaggerated, eccentric) people and not just comedy pieces running around in a manga book. Karin is a ditz, but she's also deeply caring, easily embarrassed, intensely shy, and kind. Kenta is serious and hard-working, but he's also sincere, disciplined, dutiful, and loving. Even the side characters have their own depth: Creepy Child Anju is shown to be openly weeping in the middle-late chapters, Ren is shown to be very protective and caring of his "annoying little sisters", Henry has plenty of back bone (Papa Wolf), and Kalera is shown to be not so much a Baroness as much as she simply likes having things under control for the sake of peace and her family. In short, the characters of Karin have exaggerated outer personalities but still have plenty of depth, or at least enough to be more than just flat plot devices.

Meanwhile, the character development in Karin is relatively subtle since there's little of the "idiot hero matures and becomes a great hero" sort of obvious, drastic changes to the characters. The personalities of the characters don't change all that much: from beginning to end, Karin is the same ditzy girl, and Kenta is still the same serious boy. Much like, you know, most people their age.

Instead, the character development comes from their conquering of various obstacles in their lives. They suffer and they learn and they grow, and the changes they undergo have much more to do with their attitudes towards one another. In any case, I don't think changes in personalities is the main focus of the series.

You could, however, accuse Karin herself of being a bit of a crybaby, since she does tend to cry an awful lot. For some readers, especially readers who binge and thus see large sections of the manga at once, this can become tiring. I also found Yuriya's constant "grr I hate Karin" attitude to be a bit annoying after a while, as justified as it was.


It's difficult to make any real comments about a plot aside from whether or not it's cliche and if it has any plot holes (none of which apply to Karin). The premise isn't exactly new, especially to westerners (muggle meets vampire, muggle and vampire fall in love, drama ensues), but it's how it's handled that makes Karin stand out. First of all, how many of you have heard of a vampire romance that wasn't GRIMDARK or darkly angsty? Not a whole lot of those, right? I'm personally thankful that we didn't have yet another "OH WOE IS ME AND MY VAMPIRIC CONDITION" series, and instead have "OH WOE IS ME AND MY VAMPIRIC CONDITION AND MY HILARIOUSLY AWKWARD RELATIONSHIP WITH MY BOYFRIEND". It's definitely not an angsty series (despite the troubles that the characters encounter), and I'm very glad for that.


I enjoyed this manga primarily because of its occurring theme, loneliness and companionship, and I thought that the mangaka conveyed this emotionally and dramatically without crossing over into the wangst territory. Kagesaki could have very easily made this into a super-angsty story where people mope about their problems all the time, but she did one better and didn't go for that--instead, she made it a heartwarming tale about how a lonely boy and a lonely girl find companionship and love with one another. It's not one frequently touched upon by other manga series in its genre, so it's also a very refreshing theme to read about if you want to stick with shounen.

The ending:

Despite Rogue 7's protestations, I found the ending to at least make sense. We're frequently informed that Karin rarely sees her family due to the differences in their sleep cycles, and with Anju gone there's simply no one left among her family to talk to. It's somewhat weakened by the fact that we see quite a bit of the Maaka family nonetheless, but the logic behind Karin's memory erasing is that, by making her believe that she's an orphan with no siblings, she can easily move on and forget about the fact that she has a family but will rarely see them.

Granted, having Karin somehow strike a balance between being with Kenta and being with her family might have fitted the overall theme of loneliness and companionship a lot more, but even the best series have their flaws, I guess.

On a personal note...[very personal stuff up ahead, caveat lector]

I found myself being curiously affected by Kenta's initial problems with his father. I can understand his hatred against the man he loathes to call his father since his family situation is similar to mine. I didn't have it nearly as bad as Kenta and Fumio did, since my mother didn't get pregnant with me at age 15 and had to drop out of high school (Mom had me when she was in her mid-thirties, actually), and I didn't have to live in total poverty, nor did I have to take up part-time jobs to support the family--I grew up pretty normally, in fact, something which I'll eternally be grateful to my mother for.

Nonetheless, I did grow up with intense feelings of hatred and dislike for my father since I felt that he had abandoned us, his family, and particularly my mother, his wife, and I blamed him for the hardships my mother had to suffer as a single parent living in a country whose language she did not know. Thus, it struck me on a personal level when I was reading the arc where Shuusei tries to look for his son and wife and tries to apologize--I saw Shuusei as my own father, Fumio as my own mother, and Kenta as myself, and I realized that everything Kenta said to Shuusei were things that I wondered about my own father.

It's...a curious feeling when a Japanese comic book series aimed at 13-17 year old boys strikes you like that.

2009-07-14, 06:56 PM
Hrm...I guess people around here don't like talking about Karin all that much.

Decoy Lockbox
2009-07-15, 01:38 PM
This thread needs more Berserk!


2009-07-15, 01:42 PM
Nice page breaker.

2009-07-15, 02:08 PM
I guess more of Karin has been published than the 40 chapters on onemanga (I couldn't find any more mangafox). And apparently it has an ending :smallfrown:

Yeah, and could you spoiler that please?

2009-07-15, 02:11 PM
Read the rest of Karin at mangafox.com.

Lord Seth
2009-07-18, 02:07 PM
Having read the Karin manga, I'm going to agree that the ending makes no sense whatsoever. Usui's frustration at it seems to mirror the reader's: It makes no sense, isn't really explained well, and just happens for the sake of happening.

Incidentally, I'm a little confused about:
It was established that half-vampires are sterile. Okay. I'm confused about whether that applies to Karin and Usui, as at the end they note she's become pretty much identical to a human, so I don't know if that whole sterile thing is still in effect or not. I did like the "afterstory" but I wish they had at least touched on that...

Incidentally, did anyone else think while they were reading it that "This is like Twilight...only done right"?

2009-07-18, 02:33 PM
I thought we're going to discuss bleach? Why aren't we discussing it, after naruto and one piece, to complete the shonen triumvirate?

2009-07-18, 02:53 PM
Apparently not. Angel Densetsu is next, which was made by the same person who made Claymore.

2009-07-19, 05:06 PM
Yeah, i'm still waiting to find out why people hate it :P

2009-07-20, 03:08 PM
Alright everybody, we are now officially moving to the discussion of Angel Densetsu. Due to popular demand (or perhaps unpopular, I'm still not really sure) next week will be Bleach!

What are your thoughts on our lovable, almost-freak-of-nature?

2009-07-21, 01:02 PM
I can only say that I prefer bleach before the soul society ark. Before that, it's a quirky and original series. After that, it turned into another endless-fighting shonen manga, with power creep, training montage just to defeat an enemy , then after he managed to defeat that enemy, what a twist, there is a stronger enemy. I need to be even stronger! Ad nauseum. I'm rather bored at that, because, after more than a decade reading shonen manga, a fight became just another fight except.

Yeah, I also prefer yuyu hakusho before the tournament arc. Flame of Recca was also amazing and original, just before the stupid tournament.

Now I like to read the 'in between adventure' more than the actual fight. And bleach almost got none of it.

2009-07-21, 01:28 PM
Fri, we're supposed to be talking about Angel Densetsu. :smalltongue:

2009-08-05, 11:07 AM
Dead Topic? Oh well

2009-08-05, 01:39 PM
REBOOT. Sorry about dropping off the face of the earth guys... it's a long drop.

Alright, we'll hit up Bleach for the rest of this week and all of next before moving on to Deadman Wonderland.

I'll start us off by saying...Aizien, you are a magnificent bastard.

2009-08-06, 03:00 PM
I'll start us off by saying...Aizien, you are a magnificent bastard.

Agreed, it seems he's got a plan for everything.

I'll start by saying that of the big three, this is the one I read every week. I personally am biased to the series as there are only two mangas I have ever read, Death Note and Bleach. In general, how everything is happening is interesting to me, with the twists and turns in the series, while predictable to people that read more mangas than I, I myself enjoy the twists. I really don't know really what to say about the series, except that I like it.

Maybe when I read why people dislike the series, I may get some insight on the finer workings and see if I can see other peoples point of view

2009-08-06, 03:05 PM
Well there is something of a sword equivalent to beam spam some of the time. A lot of panels are devoted to flashes of light to show that one person swings their sword even harder than the other. My other big complaint would have to be the whole, incredibly-life-threatening-injuries-but-not-character-death issue.

For me, Aizen isn't awesome just because of his plans. What he did to his leutenant gives me the creeps. He qualifies as a magnificent bastard to me because once one of his plans is actually revealed, he doesn't try and hide it or sugar coat it at all.

2009-08-06, 09:16 PM
I suppose, I gotta give you that one. Even I am tired of Cero blasts, and beams and such. I haven't seen too many pages on which who hits harder recently, but that could because of what's currently happening in the arc.

As for Aizen, yeah, he hasn't sugarcoated it at all, and the fact he's been working on it for so long gives me a suspicion that he has a few more tricks up his sleeve yet.

The biggest part of the series I look forward to is the Shikai and Bankai releases we haven't seen yet. My ultimate release I wanna see is Captain-Commander Yamamoto, now there the beat down will begin.

2009-08-07, 12:47 AM
My personal suspicion is that Aizen is himself a part hollow. He mentioned that there is a limit to how powerful a person can become and they have to either become part hollow or part human/shinigami to overcome it, but we're running into a lot of people on each side that have essentially done that. This tells me that Aizen has got something up his sleeve more powerful than just being a really badass evil shinigami, and I think the logical conclusion is that he made himself part hollow after perfecting the process on others.

2009-08-07, 07:02 PM
It's a good theory, would explain why he's such a powerful shinigami after all. Besides lack of fear there has to be another reason for why the espada just say "Why ARE we listening to you?" *insert jump and kill here* But then again Tosen is strong enough to cut off Grimmjow's arm, so i could see why they wouldn't just attack Aizen :P.

If you don't read scanlations, don't look at the spoiler
As for todays bleach chapter, I gotta say, that's a way to kill an Espada who rules over death. Trap him and blast him out of the sky, all for a little trade of trapping Urahara for a month in a barrier :P. Although I have my suspicions that even with all the power of kido and a bankai it still won't be enough...

Come to think of it I just remembered something about the hollow form of Ichigo, the inner hollow stated that sometime in the future he'd reveal more powers to Ichigo, and not to die by that time.... I wonder if it'll be the same powers hollows get like Cero and Sonido instead of Shunpo (same move, different characteristics and depending on who is fighting who, undectectable at first to poeple not used to seeing it used against them :P), time will tell.... hopefully it should be the last training montage.... at least we don't get a tournament style thing in the series :P

2009-08-08, 12:20 AM
I hate the series. The amount of fights going on simultaneously is ridiculous and it's not like the art is all that great. Even if you think the level of art is good what the guy is drawing sucks. The vast majority of backgrounds are just sky and clear white or black. The characters and everything in general lack a lot of detail. If fighting is going to be extremely central to the story the illustrator shouldn't skimp on details in the clothing/weapons/faces/etc. There's pretty much zero story or character development besides characters defeating enemies and becoming stronger. The "twists" are also irrelevant. If anything they make the manga annoying because there are never any "normal" fights where two characters compare their skill/speed/technique/etc and that's it. Instead you never what know will happen next because a character might reveal some new power from his weapon. Plus characters routinely hold back for no real reason as a plot device. They pretty much never skip the first form of their weapons as an example. There is no suspense because you can't really ever seriously think a character looks like he's going to lose anytime soon because he might just whip out another power. The mass fighting once again is just plain dumb. Do you really want to wait a year for this current set of match ups to finally end?

Innis Cabal
2009-08-08, 12:52 AM
Huh, missed One Piece discussion sadly...but Bleach and Deadman Wonderland. I can do.

As far as Bleach goes..well clearly my participation in the Free Form game Bleachitp sorta tells the story. Its not for everyone, but its better then Naruto. I don't understand the complaints about the art. Simple and elegent beats out crazy and complex sometimes. The characters may not all be deep, but all character have a similar depth. Which is impessive when you consider the cast roster. Not much more to say. Like the current manga arc, but avoid the anime for the most part so can't really comment.

You like what you like really...

2009-08-08, 08:51 AM

I'll have to agree with Nothingclever, actually. Kubo Tite seems to think that, since it's a shounen manga, there should be a lot of action. Which works pretty well for some series, but in the case of Bleach...well, there is indeed too much of a good thing.

Kubo Tite can draw fairly well. However, nowadays it feels like he doesn't really try. Take, for example, Espada 1's attacks (http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/362/14-15/), which are almost entirely Ceros. Ceros are possibly one the easiest, if not THE easiest attacks to draw in the history of shounen manga-- you make the character point at something with some part of their body (or in this case, their weapon), and then draw a big white cone. There's nothing decorating the cero, nothing to make it look more interesting: it's just a big, plain, white cone. And the most powerful Espada's (or, perhaps, the 2nd most powerful) main gimmick is to fire lots of those.

Boooooriiiiiing. At least Espada 2 looks cool.

The same argument that Tite Kubo uses lots of shortcuts for his art can be leveled against this (http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/369/06/) and this (http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/369/11/).

Due to the constant action, there's very little time to focus on character development. Granted, this being a shounen weekly series there's only so much time you can devote to characters and the plot before the 13 year olds get bored, but Bleach, as I said before, overcompensates. The Hueco Mundo arc has been pretty much nothing but fight scene after fight scene after fight scene, and since fight scenes must be kept serious in this manga, the characters don a cold, humorless, and analytical personality. Again, this is a case of too much of a good thing: cold, humorless, and analytical fighters, if done well, make for badassery. But when everyone does it, and no one does it particularly well, it gets stale real fast. These "Bleached personalities" (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IncrediblyLamePun), plus the combination of constant action, are the primary obstacles to keeping the characters from developing.

The mangaka tries to keep things interesting by throwing out twists every other chapter or so: this arrancar can do this, this shinigami can do that, these vizards appear, and so forth. Which would be great if the mangaka, once again, didn't use them so often. They're still fairly interesting, I suppose, but twists aren't supposed to be "fairly interesting", they're supposed to be "AWESOME". And nothing in Bleach has been "AWESOME" for several years now.

The idea behind Bleach was really cool: empathic swords that can transform and do all sorts of craziness, characters that are (or were) interesting, a fresh take on the afterlife and how we deal with it, etc. But Tite Kubo screwed all of that up by forcing too many uninteresting fight scenes down our throats, and I believe that it's these fight scenes that spawn almost all o the other problems in Bleach: lazy art (fight scenes are time intensive to draw, I think, and weekly shounen series are on a serious time crunch), little to no character development, etc.

Lord Seth
2009-08-08, 11:30 PM
I like Bleach, personally; my favorite of the Big Three. Naruto's been uninteresting ever since the first post-time jump arc, and One Piece for some reason has never appealed to me.

Though the farthest so far I've read so far is to the very beginning of the Hueco Mundo arc, so maybe it got worse after that.

2009-08-09, 07:13 AM
I dunno, the fights are one of the reasons I enjoy the manga. I don't notice any art issues with it, I mean yeah there may be some lines and details missing but overall I don't notice it.

The ceros, yeah I agree, over used. But the 2nd espada isn't using an attack that acts like a cero, it barely looks like it. in earlier chapters it looked like a form of mist that eats away at your flesh, but because he's trying to hit a larger target he uses a larger attack, which gets less misty as it size increases from what I've seen.

I dunno, it sounds like some people want the series to drag on and on and on if they don't want all the fights all at once. The espada are more powerful then most of the captains, even with bankai, so of course they are going to have issues fighting them. Hence why the visoreds came to save the day (sort of) and started fighting as well. Although even with their power I dunno how strong they are in comparison.

Yeah I could be without the twists so much. Reading the english versions I bought of volumes 1-8 and 13-27 (yeah I'm missing four :P) the detail was there, and there was a large story going on, but almost no twists ever other chapter. I dunno, we could do without the twists for a while.

2009-08-09, 07:33 AM
I already said my stance on bleach. I'll say it again. It's simply boring.

As I said, I much prefer bleach before the soul society arc. Now it's all fight, fight a stronger opponent, gasp, the stronger opponent isn't left handed! and then, there is another STRONGER opponent, what a twist!

It's like dragonball, only with sword. But back then, I love dragonball, mind you. It's simply that I've read manga for so long, that simple fights aren't interesting anymore for me.

2009-08-09, 09:22 AM
Though the farthest so far I've read so far is to the very beginning of the Hueco Mundo arc, so maybe it got worse after that.

Uh, yeah. The beginning of Hueco Mundo until now is the worst part. Which is amusing, since the manga's been stuck in Hueco Mundo for a very, very long time now. I believe TVtropes calls it Arc Fatigue?

2009-08-10, 08:08 PM
I wish they'd concentrate a bit more on Ichigo. I honestly don't care all that much about most of the captains except Zaraki Kenpachi. I'd much rather that everybody finds out what happened at the battle after the battle is already over.