Some of you may not know about manga, or may have never even heard of the word, so let me tell you what it is. It's a comic...but not like your traditional Western style "Superman", "Batman", or "X-Men" type comics, no. It's a Japanese comic which looks more like a novel, except you read from right to left and there are pictures to go with the text.
Most stories deal with some mature topics, while some are fantasy (think LOTR but with pictures
). Most can be purchased from chapters.ca (although most hardcore manga fans such as myself tend to translated scanned versions straight from Japan).
NOTE: I DO buy the actually mangas from chapters.ca, but only the really good series that I enjoy and feel worth keeping.
Below you will find some of my personal favourites along with a brief plot summary.
Death Note : 108 chapters (end)
If you're a fan of "Saw", you'll love this story. It's about a bored shinigami (death god) that purposely drops his Death Note into the human realm. A Death Note can kill anyone who's name is written within it (there are some requirements so that no two or more person is killed from 1 name being written). The Death Note is found by "Light Yagami", a bored straight-A's student who uses it to punish criminals and take the law into his own hands and tries to create an ideal world where he is god. The police sees him as a murderer and enlists the help of "L", a genius, but mysterious figure who helps the Interpol solve tough cases. So now the battle of wits begin between L and Light: the first to have his/her identity found loses, and ultimately dies...
The road to hell is paved with good intentions...
Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO): 200 chapters (end)
About an ex-gang member who decides to be a teacher. He is given the toughest class with all the bad apples, but manages to - one by one - turn them good using his own methods. This is a really funny story and can get pretty serious at times too. There is often a lesson/moral at the end of each story.
Slamdunk : 276 chapters (end)
Slam Dunk is not just about basketball (as its title obviously implies). It is also a funny and inspiring look into the development of a character, as he learns and matures through adolescence. This is the story of Hanamichi Sakuragi, a freshman high school student in Shohoku High, who has the dubious honor of having been rejected by fifty (that's 50!) girls he courted in his junior high years. Hanamichi, being a proud one, hated having such a dismal "batting average" with girls. His last rejection was from a girl who chose a basketball player over him. So, any mention (or even hint) of the word "basketball" from his classmates gets them a lump on the head courtesy of a Hanamichi head-butt!
Thus Hanamichi wallows in despair... until he bumps into Haruko, who notices Hanamichi's height and athletic build and innocently asks, "Do you like basketball?" Hanamichi is instantly smitten by Haruko's beauty and confidently answers, "Of course I do!" when the reality of it is he has never even held a basketball in his entire life!
So like any other lovestruck boy, Hanamichi goes about proving his love for basketball in order to impress Haruko. But it is easier said than done, as he encounters many obstacles, primarily another freshman named Rukawa Kaede. Rukawa was a basketball MVP player in his junior high years and a strong contender for Rookie of the Year in their district, and he is the one who Haruko admires! Likewise, things don't go easy in the basketball club when he decides to join and show off after inadvertently butting horns with the club leader and Shohoku High basketball team captain Akagi, who just happens to be Haruko's older brother!
But for Haruko's love Hanamichi will endure anything, and thus begins his trials of learning basketball from the ground up and getting along with his teammates in the basketball club, and eventually the Shohoku High team, which include both Rukawa and Akagi!
This is a very good series, but sadly not available on chapters.ca because it's so old, but if you're interested, I managed to find translated copies of the manga in PDF format, so you can PM me
I can post up more recommendations later on if people are interested.