My favourite and very recommended Manga titles

Appleseed Battle Angel Alita (Gunnm) Dragon Ball Miyuki Five Star Stories Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind Outlanders 3x3 Eyes Video Girl


by Masamune Shirow
published by Seishinsha, 1988-present, 5 volumes @ Y880.

As the earth recovers from nuclear war, the utopian city of Olympus emerges as a powerful force. Controlled by a central computer called Gaia, and sparsely populated by synthetic humanoids called ``bioroids'', even utopia turns out to have its problems. Appleseed is the story of Deunan Knute and Briareos Hecatonchires, former outsiders who are now key members of Olympus' E-SWAT team.

Battle Angel Alita (Gunnm)

by Kishiro Yukito
serialized on Business Jump, 1991-1995, 9 volumes @ Y500.

In the future, land-dwellers eke out a living from the garbage discarded by Zalem, a giant city which floats above them. Ido Daisuke finds a girl's intact head amongst the flotsam, and attaches it to a military-grade android body, christening her Gally. To Ido's surprise, Gally turns out to have the mindset and abilities of a crack soldier. Gally embarks on a long, bloody journey to reach Zalem, the unreachable utopia, and uncover the mystery of her origins.

A unique manga with elements of the cyberpunk/action/martial arts/SF genres. Unfortunately, it was rudely terminated with a slapdash ending, like Kiseiju. Despite this, Kishiro's art and storytelling ability is undeniably another step forward for the manga industry.

Dragon Ball

by Akira Toriyama
serialized on Shonen Jump, 1985-1995, 42 volumes @ Y390.

An RPG arcade game-style series with Son Goku searching out the location of the seven powerful Dragon Balls. When they are brought together, the balls will grant the possessor one wish. Lots of toilet and sexual humor, and later on, loads of action. Very silly, but addictive, and lots of fun.

``Hey, I know this sounds odd, but Toriyama Akira should be given credit for his unique artwork and designs... and the story is pretty good if you just read the first three volumes or so... (actually, it ain't that bad until you get past vol.12 or somewhere around there.)''

``I actually liked it more after it got more serious. It seemed too much like Dr Slump in the beginning - I liked Dr Slump, but I was expecting something more different. One thing I love about DB is watching Gokuu grow up and I actually liked that `enemy character even stronger than the last' thing. I think though, that Toriyama should have ended it after the Freeza battle. I mean, Freeza was the strongest in the universe and Gokuu beat him. (Vegeeta was supposed to be the strongest when he first appeared but I kinda figure that was just his ego talking) After that, what can you do? The cyborgs and Sel (Cel?) are a real letdown after Freeza.''

Toriyama abruptly ended it in Shonen Jump #25, 1995, just as a new tournament was about to begin. In a situation which could have been a straight replay of Togashi Yoshihiro's Yu Yu Hakusho ending, Toriayama humbly explained to readers that he'd had enough and he couldn't take it any more.


by Mitsuru Adachi
serialized on Big Comic 1980-4, 12 volumes @ Y360. 5 wide-ban volumes @ Y680.

Wakamatsu Masato lives with his step-sister, Miyuki, whom he does not have blood relationship with. Their father is always working oversea (in fact, he has not appeared in the manga at all...) and left the two of them living by themselves in Tokyo. Miyuki is cute, nice, sensitive and very popular among guys around Masato. Masato has a girlfriend at school whose name is Kajima Miyuki, who is pretty and gentle, the ideal dream of every highschool boy. It took years for Masato and his sister to realise whom they love and care most after a lot of events. The manga is very nicely written, with excellent layout, interesting story and character developments, refreshing art style and filled with youth and emotion. It also shows the dramatic improvement of the author's skill.

Five Star Stories

by Mamoru Nagano
currently serialized on Newtype, 1988, 7 volumes @ Y900.

Grand, sprawling interstellar empires saga. Distinctive ``look and feel'', especially the mecha designs. There is an electronic book published by Sony, The Five Star Stories Chronicle 2. (Nagano once talked about using Silicon Graphics computers to render fleets of mecha.)

Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind

by Hayao Miyazaki
serialized on Animage (Tokuma Shoten), 1986, 6 volumes: 1-4/Y690, 5-6/Y380, anime comics 6 volumes @ Y380.

* The story is set thousands of years in the future after a war and the ensuing ecological holocaust has destroyed most of the Earth and wiped out almost all of humanity. The destruction occured during the now-legendary Seven Days of Fire when genetically designed monsters called God Warriors destroyed the world in a horrific war. Thousands of years later there are only small kingdoms and fiefdoms that remain along the edge of the Sea of Corruption, a vast forest of fungus and plants that give off poisonous gases and cover most of the Earth. The people of these kingdoms must fight a continual battle to keep the fungi from contaminating their meager farmlands. Most of the knowledge of earlier technology has been long lost. There are still some technological items such as airplanes and airships and tanks, but they are kludged together from ancient pieces of other machines dug up from the ruins of ancient cities.

Nausicaa is the princess of the kingdom of the Valley of Wind, a coastal kingdom where the continual winds from the sea provide power (via windmills) and keep the fungi spores from the Sea of Corruption at bay. Nausicaa is an expert pilot who flies about on her jet-powered glider (called a mehve which means "seagull"). She explores the forests (wearing a gas mask) studying the plants and giant insects that live there. When treaty obligations force the Kingdom into joining a larger war, Nausicaa is forced to become a warrior woman and lead her Valley's troops into a pointless battle. Torn between following her duty as her people's leader and her obsession to prevent the war from spilling into her Valley, she stumbles onto the true secret of the ecology of the poisonous forests and the insects.


by Johji Manabe
published by Hakusensha, 1986-87, 2 wide-ban volumes @ Y1700.

* Humanity has held dominion over the earth for a long time. But that's only a long time in human terms. An elder alien race once called our bright blue planet home. Aeons before mankind had pulled itself out of the muck, these strange beings abandoned earth for the stars. But now . . . they want it back. Welcome to Johji Manabe's epic space opera, Outlanders, a star-spanning tale of romance and galactic war!

3x3 Eyes

by Yuzo Takada
currently serialized on Young Magazine, 1987-present, 20 volumes @ Y500, anime comics 4 wide-ban volumes @ Y790.

Yakumo, a reasonably ordinary high school student, one day runs into Pai, a strange girl bearing a letter from his dead father. Pai is believed to be the last of the Sanjiyan Unkara, a 3-eyed race with the ability to grant immortality. Yakumo soon finds himself on the verge of death, but Pai saves him by making him her `Wu', a soulless, unkillable being. Pai wants to be human, and there are ways it can be done; Yakumo thinks it would be a nice to have his soul back, too.

So the quest begins, ranging across many countries, Pai's mind and the ancient land of the Sanjiyans. Fair slices of action, humor, intrigue, H, and solid art and storytelling - it belatedly won Kodansha's 1993 best shonen/seinen manga award, more on the strength of the first few volumes than anything churned out in recent years. The quality of 3x3 degenerated visibly after around volume 11, when Takada began work on other major projects such as Blue Seed and the Nukunuku anime.

Video Girl

by Masakazu Katsura
published by Shonen Jump 1990-93, 15 volumes @Y390.

please check out my own page on this manga !

The manga descriptions in this page were taken from the Usenet Manga Guide which is compiled and edited by Iain Sinclair and can be accessed through .

* The section on Nausicaä was written by Marc Hairston and the full text can be accessed through .

* The section on Outlanders comes directly from its US publisher Dark Horse and can be accessed through .

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Created Feb 06, 1997
Last updated Feb 09, 1997