Random Musings: Picking My Next Monthly Review Project

Now that I have completed my monthly Blade of the Immortal review project it is time for me to tackle something new. And, as promised, I am putting it up to a vote and letting readers of Experiments in Manga help decide what that will be. I am looking for a project that will last roughly six months to a year, isn’t a sword-fighting epic or period piece (basically, a different genre than Blade of the Immortal), and is something that I’m interested in reviewing. Don’t expect any scathing posts to come out of this project—this is manga that I already know that I like or for which I have an established affinity. To aid in the selection of my next monthly review project, I have narrowed down the choices to the following five options:

Mermaid Medley
Children of the Sea, Volume 1I keep hearing that mermaids are the next big thing, but they’ve been around for a while. I don’t have a particular interest in mermaids, but I do love water and legends. Using a loose definition of “mermaid,” this option will include in-depth reviews of  Daisuke Igarashi’s Children of the Sea, Young-Hee Kim’s Evyione: Ocean Fantasy, Rumiko Takahashi’s Mermaid Saga, and Osamu Tezuka’s Triton of the Sea. I might try to do something with Reiko Shimizu’s Moon Child, too.

Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki
Parasyte, Volume 2Parasyte may very well be my favorite horror manga. It’s also one of my favorite manga series in general, so I’ve wanted to give it a little more attention at Experiments in Manga. Originally published by Tokyopop back in its Mixx days, Parasyte was later picked up by Del Rey Manga. Del Rey Manga is no more, but happily Kodansha Comics rescued the series. (Upcoming live-action and anime adaptations were recently announced, too!) I’ve already reviewed the first volume of Parasyte, so this option will include in-depth reviews of the remaining volumes.

Real by Takehiko Inoue
Real, Volume 1I honestly believe that Real is one of the best comics currently being released in English, and I haven’t reviewed a single volume of the series. But I love it. Inoue’s artwork and storytelling is fantastic and his characters have incredible depth. Even if you’re not into sports (in this case wheelchair basketball), this series is well worth checking out. This option will include in-depth reviews of all twelve volumes currently available in English as well as reviews of any future volumes that are released.

Usamaru Furuya
Genkaku Picasso, Volume 2The first Manga Moveable Feast that I hosted at Experiments in Manga featured the work of Usamaru Furuya. At that time I reviewed the first volume of each of his series available in English, and I’ve always meant to get around to reviewing the rest of them. This option will include in-depth reviews of Genkaku Picasso, No Longer Human, and Short Cuts. If I’m feeling ambitious, I may also attempt to review Furuya’s artbook Flowers (which hasn’t been released in English.)

Year of Yuri
12 DaysIn the past I’ve read and reviewed yaoi and boys’ love manga. I’ve also read and enjoyed yuri manga, but for some reason have never gotten around to actually writing any in-depth reviews. It’s probably about time I change that. This option will include twelve in-depth reviews of manga and other comics with yuri and/or lesbian themes. I haven’t finalized the list yet, but expect a variety of genres, demographics, and styles. Some titles will be out-of-print, but I will review more recent releases as well.

So, what’ll it be? My fate is in your hands.

(The poll will be open through the end of November!)

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  1. Oh gosh, this is so difficult! Parasyte is one of my absolute favorites too, so I would love to see you review that, but Usamaru Furuya doesn’t get nearly enough love (sad to see No Longer Human didn’t do so well for Vertical, one of my favorites, too). But then the yuri one seems interesting too…

    We seem to have similar manga tastes. :)

    • One of the reasons I’m putting it to a vote is that I couldn’t bring myself to decide! So, I’m shifting the responsibility. ;)

      It’s all great manga that I would love to review at some point. :)

  2. I’d want to see Parasyte closer to when the anime comes out, actually you watch anime, a comparison project might interest me more there.
    Mermaids does sound interesting though, never realized how many mermaid things I’ve read. If that one does get picked, you missed Tropic of the Sea (Satoshi Kon), and I’m sure at least some stories in Petshop of Horror involved horrifying mermaids and sea creatures. And if you want to toss in an anime, Mr Bride is a Mermaid is always an option (and is on Netflix), lots to do here! Put a comedy in there.

    • Oh, a Parasyte comparison project could be interesting, thanks for the suggestion! I’ve never tried writing a manga vs anime post, but I have enjoyed reading them.

      The only reason Satoshi Kon’s Tropic of the Sea is missing is that I’ve already reviewed it. Actually, it was what got me thinking about all the different mermaids in manga that I’ve come across. Should Mermaid Medley take the vote, I’ll be sure to look into what else is available in English; maybe I can dig up a comedy, too.

      • Toss the live action movie in there too! Then again, I think they’re making two, right? But yeah, I’d be interested in knowing how all three size up.

  3. I agree this is a hard choice … though the above commenter makes a good case for delaying Parasyte, so I don’t feel bad about not voting for it. Ultimately, I cast my vote for the mermaids because … Children of the Sea AND Evyione AND Mermaid Saga? How can I note vote for that…

  4. I was hoping to see Animal Land as an option, but since it’s not, I can get behind REAL just as much.

    Looking forward to whichever series ends up getting chosen :)

  5. After suggesting Berserk the other day, I was also thinking of suggesting instead something different from sword swinging. I was going to say Twin Spica or Slam Dunk. But the ones you listed above are really good choices. Ended up voting for Parasyte (down to the last 2 vols myself). Do think that Furuya needs more love tho.

    • I’m glad you expressed interest in Berserk; I would love to feature the series somehow. Twin Spica is also a wonderful manga. I was sad to see that it didn’t do very well for Verical. I’ve only read about a third of Slam Dunk, but it’s great. I wish I had more time to devote to all the awesome manga out there!

  6. inter4ever says

    I am interested in reading a full review of Real from you. Your previous posts which you briefly reflect of volumes you read made me very interested in reading it. I might place an ILL order for it soon to read it along your reviews :)

    • Real is a fantastic series! Even if it doesn’t win the vote, I definitely want to devote some reviews to the manga.

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