Top 10 all-time favorite Japanese comics

ini top ten manga menurut Jason Thompson.manga komik nomor 1.(tinju bintang utara rasanya judul indonya), nomor 3 dan nomor 10 pernah saya baca dulu waktu STM. yang lain pernah liat tapi belum pernah baca. ad yang mau kasih penjelasan satu2?

1. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Volume 1 by Hirohiko Araki, published by Shonen Jump Advanced / VIZ Media

© Hirohiko Araki / Shueisha

Author and Artist: Hirohiko Araki

Publisher: Shonen Jump Advanced / VIZ Media

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The best thing about being a manga editor is when you get towork on one of your favorite titles. After years of dreaming thatsomeone would release it in English (and doing a FAQ about the series, I got to be the editor of the VIZ edition of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure combines horror, mystery, humor and shonen manga battle elements, and the art is fabulously weird and metrosexual. It's one of the few shonen mangathat has really memorable dialogue. Araki rarely uses a clichéd phrase,and he produces melodramatic lines that would be at home in the mostoutrageous superhero comics.

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2. Panorama of Hell

Panorama of Hell by Hideshi Hino, published by Blast Books

© Hideshi Hino

Author and Artist: Hideshi Hino

Publisher:Blast Books

Hideshi Hino is a great artist, but his best work is out of print; the Hino Horror Seriesmade an unfortunate decision to reprint several of Hino's lesser workswhile passing up some of his untranslated masterpieces like Kaiki and Shinin Shojo (although the first few books in the series are good). But Panorama of Hell is incredible.

Special effects artist Screaming Mad George working on the Englishrewrite! A plot involving World War II, nuclear war, family trauma andthinly disguised autobiography! And one of the best endings of anycomic ever! The only problem is that its plot elements were laterrecycled in other, lesser Hideshi Hino manga, such as Hino Horror: The Collection.

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3. The Left Hand of God, The Right Hand of the Devil

The Left Hand of God, The Right Hand of the Devil manga by Kazuo Umezu from Shogakukan

© 1987 Kazuo Umezu/Shogakukan

Author and Artist: Kazuo Umezu

Publisher:Shogakukan Inc.

Kazuo Umezu is a genius. I think that the greatest artists arethose who sacrifice their social lives, families and health for theirwork, for the "DIY and draw comics week after week until you go crazyfrom isolation" aesthetic. Umezu is one of these artists. I respect himbecause his best work has that deep, trippy and cosmic edge, because heseems to make minimal use of assistants, and because he draws the besthorror comics I've ever read. (Sorry, Hino.)

I first started studying Japanese so that I could read Umezu's post-apocalyptic nightmare Fourteen. I edit VIZ's edition of The Drifting Classroom, but for pure horror, The Left Hand of God is his best, most effective manga.

4. The Rose of Versailles

The Rose of Versailles (Berusaiyu no Bara) manga by Riyoko Ikeda from Shueisha

© Riyoko Ikeda / Shueisha

Author and Artist: Riyoko Ikeda


It's a shame that this manga has never been properly releasedin English. (Apparently Ikeda is asking for too much licensing money.)Cross-dressing, gender confusion, revolution, palace intrigue, and theglamour and romance and tragedy and history of 18th century's a marvelous shojo manga.

I admit that I prefer the early parts of the story, when thecharacters are still cute, to the later parts, when everybody lookslike androgynous skeletons and their noses and chins are so sharp theylook like knives. A great series, though.

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5. The Antique Bakery

Antique Bakery Volume 1 by Fumi Yoshinaga, Digital Manga Publishing

© Fumi Yoshinaga

Author and Artist: Fumi Yoshinaga

Publisher:Digital Manga Publishing (DMP)

Visit Digital Manga Publishing's The Antique Bakery page

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Perhaps this one doesn't quite deserve the top honors -- the endingisn't the best and, a more general Yoshinaga problem, her art is justwindow-dressing for the text -- but Yoshinaga is one of the few artistswho I feel genuinely tries to use manga to explore unexpected themes and aspects of human behavior. Her dialogue is without equal in manga. Flower of Life is also excellent, and her boy's love manga is good as well.

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6. Everything by Moyoco Anno

Sugar Sugar Rune  Volume 1 by Moyoco Anno, published by Del Rey Manga / Kodansha

© Moyoco Anno / Kodansha

Author and Artist: Moyoco Anno

Visit Del Rey Manga's Sugar Sugar Rune page

Visit TokyoPop's Happy Mania page

Visit VIZ Media's Flowers & Bees page

It's impossible for me to pick a single favorite series by Moyoco Anno. The sadly under-appreciated, shojo fantasy-romance splendor of Sugar Sugar Rune? The hyperactive sitcom of Happy Mania,in which her art develops from a sort of crude Erica Sakurazawaimitation to a powerful, distinctive style? The sex-comedy hijinks of Flowers & Bees, complemented by a demented rewrite by Carl Gustav Horn? Heck, she even illustrated the Japanese novelization of Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy. An excellent, diverse, talented artist.

7. Maison Ikkoku

Maison Ikkoku Volume 1 by Rumiko Takahashi, published by VIZ Media

© Rumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan

Author and Artist: Rumiko Takahashi

Publisher:VIZ Media

Visit VIZ Media's Maison Ikkoku page

This series is very important to me, being the first anime I really got into (I discovered the mangalater). In no time I, who had previously only read "serious literature"and horror novels, realized that I actually loved romantic comedy manga.

I'm also a big fan of Masakazu Katsura's Video Girl Ai. I guess I'm just too hypocritical and ashamed to put his panty shot-centric manga in the Top 10. Also I have a soft spot for Kei Kusunoki's Yagami-kun no Katei no Jijo, her untranslated gay/Oedipal love comedy, and Hiroshi Aro's sex-change fantasy Futaba-kun Change. These are the kind of things that filled my head in late adolescence.

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8. Lone Wolf and Cub

Cover artwork from Lone Wolf & Cub volume 1 graphic novel

Kazuo Koike / Goseki Kojima

Author: Kazuo Koike

Artist: Goseki Kojima

Publisher:Dark Horse Manga

Visit Dark Horse Manga's Lone Wolf and Cub page

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As sleazy and repetitive as it gets at times (but it ain't as bad as Wounded Man or Path of the Assassin),this is still a great read. Kojima's artwork has a lovely, organicfeel, a little warmer than the more defined and macho work of HiroshiHirata (who's also excellent). It's one of those long, epic storiesthat really transports you to another place, to the forests and townsand capitals of Tokugawa-era Japan... a recreation of an entire world,down to every detail.

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9. Iron Wok Jan

Iron Wok Jan Volume 24 by Shinji Saijyo, published by Dr Master Publications

© Shinji Saijyo

Author and Artist: Shinji Saijyo

Publisher:DrMaster Publications

This manga is really repetitive and kind of inane --but I can't put it down. Apart from the fact that it is a food manga the best things about it are the savagely exaggerated artwork and the generally anti-heroic mood.

The main character constantly acts like a complete jerkhole toeveryone he encounters. Everyone hates, hates, hates Jan throughout themanga, and Jan also suffers his share of humiliating defeats.This "he never gets a break and he never gives one" attitude isrefreshing compared to the moralizing "I, with my omnipotent powers, amblinding you and driving you insane because you knocked over myfriend's ice-cream cone" attitude of something like Yu-Gi-Oh.

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10. Devilman

Devilman manga by Go Nagai from Kodansha

© Go Nagai / Kodansha

Author and Artist: Go Nagai


I borrowed Devilman (along with Violence Jack, precursor to duller post-apocalyptic manga like Fist of the North Star) from Patrick Macias back in the day. Together, they make a double punch of apocalyptic 1970's chaos, with Devilman adding a sheen of respectability and noble tragedy by way of Milton's Paradise Lost.

Devilman in particular is a great read (it's available in aKodansha Bilingual edition), although Go Nagai has real ups anddowns... he's done lots of total garbage, and his earlier work is farbetter than his later work.

11. Evil God Legend (Jashin Densetsu)

Evil God Legend (Jashin Densetsu) manga by Kentaro Yano from Gakken

© 1987 Kentaro Yano/Gakken

Author and Artist: Kentaro Yano


Even though it's not particularly good, I feel like I should mention Kentaro Yano's H.P. Lovecraft manga, Jashin Densetsu ("Evil God Legend"), which came out in conjunction with the Japanese edition of the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game. This is a list of my favorite manga, not necessarily the best manga, right?

Yano does have some other credits doing romantic comedies and such. I should also mention Daijiro Moroboshi's Yokai Hunter, a bizarre horror/sci-fi mangainfluenced by Lovecraft and assorted Asian mythology. Moroboshi drawsin a super-detailed, fine-line, yet cartoony style which vaguelyreminds me of Hayao Miyazaki, another artist who narrowly escapedmaking it onto this list.

Suggested Reading

Interview with Jason Thompson