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Best Manga Overall Announcement!
The results are in for the first Manga Awards Ceremony (2010) at long last! The moment you have been waiting for, has finally arrived! [Drum rolls]
But first, our thanks. We thank everyone for their participation in nominating, voting, discussing, critiquing, and suggesting ideas for future Awards Ceremonies. This wouldn't have been possible without the hard work of the staff and most importantly our cherished members and loyal fans of manga!
but secondly, let's review of how we got to the winner(s) of the Best Manga Overall Category.
and now, the winners from the Staff's choices:
and finally, what you all have been waiting for, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Members' winner choice [Drum rolls]:
Last edited by HegemonKhan; January 31, 2011 at 01:13 AM.
In here it is for me difficult to choose. Somehow I feel compelled to restrict my choice to FMA and DN only because the stories, the results of these manga are conclusive whereas the other ones aren't.
Naruto is definitely a no. I really can't give my vote to it because I am sure that the four others (I don't read berserk) are definitely better.
Berserk is another manga I can't give my vote to because I simply don't read it. I can rely on what others say but the manga is still ongoing. Certain plot twists can take down or take up the manga's overall level
One piece: same opinion as berserk with the difference I read it. This manga is a merchandising machine but this isn't sufficient enough for me to vote for it.
So for me it is between FMA and Death Note. Two different completely different manga, two mile-stones for their own reason. These are definitely two manga which will live on in fan's memories for a long time. If Death Note would have ended with L's death then I think it would have won because the genre and the story were more attractive. The mind game between the two main characters was truly superb with a lot of suspense. I can't neglect what came afterwards, the time jump screwed my appeal a bit.
FMA is very likeable because of the existential, humanistic questions which edward and alphonse always face in their quest. It is very great when a manga with a fantasy story manages you to philosophize about the position each character is in. The ending was fulfilling enough.
Last edited by Koen; January 11, 2011 at 11:40 AM.
Berserk: It's epic but I like to have fun while reading and honestly, some scenes were so depressing that I simply stopped reading the manga. And I'm not a big fan of the art.
FMA: FMA is an awesome manga with awesome characters & a good scenario. BUT I don't like the 20-30 last chapters mostly because I don't like "father" & because there wasn't much left to reveal. I like the homonculii (all of them) but their leader didn't do it for me. Plus, graphics are not always top notch.
Naruto: Naruto was my fav manga ... a long time ago. I'll just say this: at one time, I found sasuke cool & orochimaru powerful.
Death Note: Great manga, great characters (Kira, L, Near, Melo ...), great scenario ... But Death Note's world is basically our world. I prefer mangas that have their own fictional universe.
One piece: I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs ... I DO READ ONE PIECE. Each week, I'm waiting for it ... year after year after year ...
Last edited by zelllogan; January 11, 2011 at 12:19 PM.
I mainly lost my interest in Shounen -some exeptions remain-, so naturally my pick is Berserk. Although Death Note is a great story as well.
To me Berserk is pretty similar to the "big three" Naruto/Bleach/OP, just in a Seinen environment, simply because of the general setting: Swordfights, fantasy, focus on a powerful main character who has a lot of adventures.
But to me, it's somewhat of an upgrade of them: It doesn't feel so artificially watered down (people actually die ), gives room to real evilness and delivers a deeper main character.
NB: it gaves me an idea about what is the one piece. It's maybe a device (or devil fruit or something else) that can grant one wish. And guess what will be Luffy's wish.
Last edited by zelllogan; January 11, 2011 at 12:44 PM.
This is maybe THE most important of all awards. First of all, I would like to express what I feel classifies a work as Best Manga Overall:
For me, a title - for it to be qualified in this category - should fulfill quite a few factors, some of them being basic stuff (like brilliant story, setting and characters or technical aspects such as artwork and storytelling) but apart from that it should also appeal to a broad audience, i.e. readers of all ages and sexes.
Under that premise Berserk (and maybe even Death Note) don't do it for me. The former - no matter how brilliant it may be - is definitely not a title for everyone's taste. It has loads of heavily gory scenes and a good dose of sex. So, even among its target audience (Seinen) I can see a vast amount of readers who can't really get into the story for those reasons.
So, continuing with the remaining titles:
No vote here. Part I of the story was well-done for most parts, disregarding some ups and downs, but the discrepancy in quality between Part I and II is just way too big.
Problematic in its own ways as explained above (morally ambiguous in some ways but that's okay with me) but apart from that a great title. That is, until Volume 7. I'm one of the readers who were not able to get into Part II. Same problem as with Naruto.
The big plus with FMA is what Koen already mentioned: it's a completed story! But I'm in the same boat with zelllogan when it comes to the final quarter of the manga. It just didn't give me as much as the rest of the story. (Plus, I really don't like the artwork.)
Together with FMA one of the most amazing and best Shounen manga of the past 15 years for me. It is not perfect and we will have to see to which spheres Odacchi can bring this work but he did a pretty damn awesome job these last 13 years!
I love both, FMA and One Piece, for what they are so in the end it comes down to personal gusto and under that aspect One Piece easily takes the cake. It was because of One Piece I got into learning Japanese, I started devoting my time to the series with my own Wiki and am even working today for one of the companies that publishes the series in my country.
No real choice left for me but Berserk. I am a narutofan alright, but i can't be that blind. FMA is really good, the best shonen there is...but even this can't compare to near perfection of Berserk ('near' mainly because its not ended yet.). DN screwed up bigtime after the death of a certain character. And OP is the one that's going to win.
Also since when 'best' is synonymous to 'broader audience'?
Last edited by ashher; January 11, 2011 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
After all, we're voting for the "Best Manga". Quality and popularity are not the same. "Best" referrs to quality. Even very eccentric things can be ingenious.
Berserk imo plays out the options of Seinen in a perfect way. It does not make gore and sex to a self purpose, but embedds them very well into the story. They're only advanced options to bring the story forward. It can be way more refreshing than the sometimes rather childish level of "cruelity" a villain in a Shounen displays, and the options of nudity and sex can improve a story drastically when used well - once again it's not a self purpose, but all serves the story very well, on a level which simply isn't possible in Shounen.
I don't even mean to say that Seinen was "better" than Shounen in general, it just has more options which can be used. Berserk does use them in a very good way, which is a pro argument for it.
Ok, I might treat your post unfair here. What you mean is pretty much the "best work in average for everyone" I guess. But to me that's not a factor defining quality, so I oppose. The average colour of a colorful image probably is an ugly brown
Last edited by Roflkopt3r; January 11, 2011 at 01:19 PM.
I would never dare to question your final statement. I'm quite a big fan of several independent/cult manga and love titles others would probably label as fucked up or crazy.
Though for me, as mentioned before, the best manga really isn't *best* if it can only be enjoyed by a certain niche... my 2 cents regarding that question and everybody is more than welcome to disagree.
If that's how you're interpreting it, so be it. I wouldn't even stress the "broad audience" but rather the quality of "being able to appeal to readers". And if just a very small or limited fraction of consumers can get into something I don't see how it qualifies for the title of the best. That small fraction of readers can certify its quality but the vast majority can't... it just isn't *the best* to me.
(I don't even see how we have to drag this discussion... I really like Berserk and voted for it in some categories. But I don't see it fit for this category and that's about it.^^)
Last edited by Mr. Prince; January 11, 2011 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Don't wanna post another time... (OT)
^ hmmm... I can see i am getting dragged into a 'political' wordplay. Well what you said basically puts utmost importance on 'broader audience'...reducing the rest of the factors to a level of means to achieve that audience. When you state 'broader audience' as a pre requisite to 'best' and simply dismiss the class of Berserk for lacking it...it does in effect becomes best=broader audience.
Ehh its VERY hard to choose between Death note and FMA. Naruto, can't say its the BEST at all. Berserk and OP, never tried it ^^;
But in the end, Death note was my final choice. The plot twists and artwork, and concepts too, thumbs up to both the creators.
FMA is almost as good as Death note, plot, twist and concept wise, though the artwork is 'attractive' but quite unique in its own way. But there are some things that make it stand second after Death note.
May the best manga win
(I think) I voted for Naruto (hopefully, lol).
Naruto is simply the most "epic" or "Grandier" out of all of them, except possibly One Piece, however I only briefly looked at it, so it wouldn't be fair to vote for One Piece when not really knowing it fully.
I'd just would like to give my own personal comments/opinions about the semantics/definition discussion about what Best means as seen above, independently of the other posts above.
For me, after taking my first philosophy (101) class:
Best is quite a definitive/exact word.
Best = Highest Quality
Most Popular or Most Marketable = Highest Quantity
what's the Best answer for this:
4 (but only 1 person chose this out of 10000000000 people)
10 (but 9999999999999 people out of 100000000000000 people chose this)
I hope everyone agrees that 4 is indeed the BEST answer to 2+2, and thus you're agreeing that BEST = Quality and NOT quantity.
anyways, this is just the philosophical argument/explanation that I learned from my 101 philosophy class about what the defination of best is
you can replace the math equation with asking if the earth is flat or round too, and use ~1500-1600's with all of europe thinking the world was flat except 1 man, galileo who thought it was round. another classical example used for the same purpose.
so, even if literally no one at all reads a certain manga, it can still be the BEST manga despite that. Best (quality) and popularity/marketable (quantity) are mutually exclusive or independant of each other or unrelated.
or to say it another way...
best refers to the manga's story and content itself, and NOT pertaining to the (amount of) readers/people of it.
to say/prove this bluntly: A LOT of people can like CRAP. so, just because a lot of people like something, doesn't mean it's high quality, as indeed, it can just as much be CRAP (low/no quality).
or another analogy (generally more for/towards females):
almost everyone can have cotten/wool clothes, but few people have the finest silk clothing.
what's the best clothing? Cotton or silk? silk is, right? which is going to make you more happy? getting cotton/wool clothing from a guy or getting the finest most expensive silk clothing from a guy?
what's the best stone in a ring, an ugly granite rock or a beautiful sparkling diamond? Both Silk and diamonds are the better qualities of choices and thus the best choices as well.
Last edited by HegemonKhan; January 12, 2011 at 04:29 AM.
Well, can't really say I'm convinced by that string of arguments. Because first of all, as someone who has devoted a fair share of his time to arts (A levels in arts, now minor in literature), I can't agree with you comparing something "concrete" or let's say 'empirically proven' (2+2=4) to such an abstract concept which is quality or rather artistic quality. (Quality can be concrete, for example in vegetables, eggs or even clothes. It's a plain fact that a brand new pair of jeans is of better quality than let's say moth-eaten, ripped jeans. But in arts the aspect of quality is of a whole different story...)
In your analogies I can agree for most parts. They are practically no-brainers. But I could also come up with examples that would not be as definite. Let's take sports as an example. Which is the best sport? You can argue various ways around, like for example from the medical aspect sport A is the best but it's fucking boring. Whereas sport B may not be as beneficial to your health but you just love it for the sake of it and you have tons of fun. - Which sport is the best? (There are also factors such as personal preferences playing a role here which makes it even harder...)
And by the end of the day arts is also about personal preferences. Let's just take some school of arts such as Expressionism or Dadaism. Even though works from that epochs are nowhere near the level of works from the old masters or things created in the early middle ages from the technical aspect, which seems to carry most weight in deciding the quality according to your analogies (e.g. silk, diamond), there are still millions of people who prefer some Expressionist's/Dadaist's work and can enjoy them much, much more...
And as for this statement:
But it's a different story IMO if no one reads a manga and therefore can't judge said work's quality than gazillion of people reading it and saying it's crap or not their cup of tea... who can attest its quality if in the end no one gives two hoots about the title? It can be THE best for you, individually, but objectively spoken it is not.
That's why, all in all, I think the quality of being able to appeal to a vast amount of readers (especially readers from a huge range of ages and all sexes) is something that can definitely be included in the process of deciding which title really is THE best.
//sorry for the little excursus here... hopefully I/we don't bore anybody. xD"
Last edited by Mr. Prince; January 12, 2011 at 10:58 AM. Reason: added little sorry xD
For your analogies, you chose to compare the extremes (granite with diamonds) that are for the most part agreed upon by society in terms of which is "better". It is a good use of rhetoric, but what if you had a choice between a hand carved pure onyx ring or a diamond ring crafted of equal quality? Both are of high quality and equally marketable. It depends on the buyer to purchase which they think is "best". It's a preference, an opinion. I for one would choose the Onyx ring, regardless that the price is probably far less (which would be due to the resources used, not the quality of the product).
There are things that are generally agreed as "better" than others, but best is purely an opinion.
I've voted for One Piece, but though for me this award is one of the most important, I was a bit sad to vote since I haven't read neither Berserk and FMA (berserk is juste to gory for me and I'm kind of soft-hearted hahaha :P), and FMA...well I just don't know why xD
Anyway, I've decided to give my vote to One Piece for a variety of reasons
1. The simpliest reason is that the philosophy that this manga wants to make the readers understand is just simple and really noble. I mean, everyone of us has someone who already told us that it's important to follow our dream and bla bla bla, but what's different and interesting in One Piece is that even though the protagonists all have their dreams to follow, they still face up failures, and sometimes they have to resign themselves and find another way to accomplished their goals. I don't know, I mean even though its a fictionnal manga, it's still portrait the reality in such a good and pleasant manner that it's just funny and cool to read.
2. The story ain't that complex. I mean Oda found a way to create an extremely big universe, without having the reader to lost himself in it. There's a lot of people, stories, problems in the story, but even though the quantity is immensely high, it is still possible for the reader to understand all thoses problems and characters, without having a headeache xD. I don't know if you guys understand what I'm trying to say. Oda create a big universe, but explained it in a simple manner, yet deep, giving the opportunity to the reader to understand to the maximum the plot.
3. Each and everyone of us can refer to at least one of the main (if not all) characters of the story. Oda is a genius when talking about character development. He developed his character in such a way that we all have a deep attachment to them (well...those who read One Piece xD). The past of each one of the protagonists is so profound and emotional that every reader feels a bit of pity towards them, and each time the characters accomplish their goal, well were as happy as the character, and when he's facing failure, were as sad as them.
4. The fights are drawn and portrait in such a unique manner. Most of the fights of One Piece have a big emotion driving them. The protagonists doesn't fight for the fun to fight, but they each have a deep deep goal, giving them the power to fight anyone in this manga. And most of the fight, because of the goal driving them, become much much more interesting. And plus, the ability showed by some characters are really special, making the fight more unique and fun to watch.
5. The suspense in One Piece is top-notch. We never know what can happen and each and every chapter is unpredictable, and this feeling is really important for a reader when reading a story.
Well....those are my main reasons xD.