I know, that really bothers me too. Except for some of the characters in Fullmetal Alchemist, the girls in manga really annoy me.
However, there are a few redeeming factors... I'm starting to get into cosplay, and it's really common for girls to dress as male characters (exciting!). Also (if I may mention how much I love FMA again) there are some excellent female voice actors who play male characters. I know these have more to do with manga culture than with manga itself, but eh. It helps sometimes.
I love FMA! Its Awesome :D
Yh manga Characters are all pretty androgynous, I would like to get into cosplay but none of my friends will do it with me :( and i dont want to go to a cosplay thing alone, I'm too scared X(
I understand that! A friend of mine does it all the time and it looks like a lot of fun. I definitely wouldn't go to a con dressed up alone though. And I think I'll have to hide this hobby from my snobby friends at school, but ah well. :)
I love the style, the stories, and just the whole... culture around it.
Except the fact that because I like to have a real copy of the issues, I burn holes in my wallet buying these thing. It's like this icon I have that says: Manga is my drug of choice, because when you're addicted to manga, who has money for drugs?
Noooo!!! Once you get started you will be hooked and you will find yourself spending vast amounts of money on it!!! And then it will drive you CRAZY when you start reading a series that isn't finished yet and you have to wait several months between chapters while they're being translated into english and you feel like it will be FOREVER before you finally get to see whether or not Ren and Kyoko get together!!!! /rant
But I wish One Manga wasn't closing down... I'm going to miss all that beautiful, FREE manga... le sigh.
Mangafox? Awesome thanks, i'll have to check it out! My roomate and I are (if you couldn't tell) avid Manga fans. I'll direct her to this site, although Skip Beat is apparently not available there anymore either. :'( Also, Spectrum Nexus has scans too, although they're always really behind in updates.
I can't say much for the storylines, I don't really read that many. The reason I avoided it though has to do with two factors. One, in 7th grade, everyone decided that japan was six billion times better than anything america has ever produced and a lot of my friends stopped consuming american media altogether, dating only asian guys, and a lot of them even chose new japanese names. I found this dumb and excessive so I steered clear. Two, the art style seemed more and more repetative, to the point where I could almost imagine a big "manga-machine" churning out every character. What exacerbated this image was the fact that when I read books on how to draw in a traditional american comic book style, the options were varied and it was encouraged to have a style and experiment. When I read books on how to draw manga it seemed like they were teaching me an algorithm that needed to be followed every time. As Lar De Souza once said (I'm paraphrasing), "Don't draw manga first, learn to draw people well, realistically first. Learn to draw the human form first. I've seen so many artists with so much potential ruined by manga because it puts them in a set pattern and they never grow." Granted, sometimes manga and anime can be artistically gorgeous and new and refreshing. But 90% of it follows the algorithm, so I avoid 90% of it.
Having worked in a bookstore, I really wish I'd had more money to spend on manga when I had staff discount. Because it's pretty expensive (since you can read one book really quickly) but I really like a lot of it.
There are some fantastically drawn and really unique series out there, especially the ones that are less well-known because they aren't popular and/or haven't been made into anime. I got really into watching episodes of Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemist online, and saw most of DBZ when I was younger, but in a lot of cases I find the manga comes across as a little more mature than some of the TV shows. Mostly because it doesn't have the filler episodes whilst they're waiting for the writers to come up with the official story arcs.
If you're a fan of dystopian/apocalyptic/cyberpunk style stuff I absolutely recommend Biomega by Tsutomu Nihei. It's probably not for younger readers as there's a lot of graphic violence and horror in it, but the artwork is some of the most original stuff I've seen.
Also, if anyone has any volumes of 'Blame!' by the same author, please can I borrow them?
I find that, because manga is more of an umbrella term for its medium, it has the potential to be very enlightening.
Granted, because most of the world is only exposed to anime and manga that's syndicated, it's often mislead for only being targeted to "12 year old who are willing to watch 12 episodes dedicated to ONE flipping fight." For the innocent bystander, manga is only seen as comic books about ninjas, preteens saving the world, and people who play intense card games.
Now, while shonen manga IS a large genre in manga, it simply isn't the only one. While I've seen people outgrow their Pokemon/anime phase, I've also seen people adapt from genre to genre. I'm not trying to belittle manga in the shounen genre at all, and I'll admit that Digimon was my personal hook as a little runt. However, I've seen my selections change from romantic shoujo (my favourite to read when I was 14) to psychological seinen (which I was honesty reading an hour ago).
I simply think that, because there's so much variety, there's something for everyone.