It started out as a normal day as an otaku. Get up in the morning, have some breakfast in front of my computer and check for any updates of my booked manga on Mangafox. There was nothing new so I decided to start my day off by checking the homepage for some recently updated manga. That's when I found it.
Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru. The story is about Minoru, a promising gymnast that is bullied and kicked out of his gymnastics club at university by his senpai. Feeling downcast and having no where to go, he is recruited by the university's Second Karate Club. As one of the three first years in the club, Minoru learns what it really means to be strong and grows with his teammates. The focus was obviously karate (who'da thunk?). It'd been recently updated by Deadbeat scans (5 chapters in a row!) and it was labeled as 'hot' so I figured I'd give it a try. Ooooooh boy. There went the rest of my day. It was so entertaining (both the cool factor and the comedy factor) that I spent the entire day reading the 53 chapters that were released. The main focus was school club life and a character's will to become strong. The story has a serious focus on Karate but is also spiced with dashes of romance, comedy and general fun humour. The art is absolutely beautiful (not shoujo but pleasing to the eyes... the boys were mmm material :D) and the storyline was interesting enough to keep me hooked.
So after my excitement with Karate Shoukoushi, I figured I needed more. Sooo I went on a search again, this time with the Martial Arts genre in mind. I didn't want to search through the genre in MangaFox so I figured I'd narrow down my possibilities by heading over to Baka-Updates. I typed in Karate Shoukoushi and looked at the 'Recommendations' area of its page. Thats where I found my second read.
Holyland. Yuu was severly bullied in middle school. Now as a highschool student, he's determined to prevent that from happening again. Not sure of where his 'place' in the world is, he wanders the dangerous streets at night, hoping to find a reason for his existance. Getting stopped and cornered by gangs were a regular thing and Yuu found that, to be able to defend himself, he needed to do something. He picked up a boxing book at the bookstore and so started his days as the Thug Hunter. This one was quite a bit different from Karate Shoukoushi. Unlike it, Holyland is the dark story of gang-related violence. The main character suffers from angst and PTSD from his dark times in middle school. His character seems weak at first but you're constantly amazed at how, despite his terror-induced shakes, Yuu never backs down from an enemy. The art isn't amazing but it certainly is made up for in the storyline. It drew me in and before I knew it, I was done all 73 chapters of its current scanlated releases. It is very dark at times and implies situations like suicide. You also learn a lot of the technical aspects of sports like Judo, Karate, Boxing, etc. There's a lot of street fighting (to be expected of a gang-related manga) but each one is spectacularly done. Although the art isn't amazing, the body shots and movement depictions are fantastic (Yuu is kinda yummy... if you get past his wimpiness a little... he's also VERY cool at times ;D).
Gamaran - To achieve a feudal lord position from his father, Naoyoshi has to look for the strongest fighting style to participate in his father's Unabara Fight Competition. The son who finds the strongest fighting style to win the competition would be named the next feudal lord. Naoshi finds Gama, the successor to the Ogame Style and together, they head to Unabara to become the best. Edit: I started reading this after the original posting of the blog and I have to say, it is incredible, as expected! The story, while intense in the fighting and sword styles, is laced with comedy. The concept of a competition is nothing new but the 'rules' to the fights are quite interesting (style vs style in a segmented battle royale). Gama proves to be quite the adversary as he cuts down one style after another... and such a cutie too haha. This manga is quite epic :)
Here are some ones I've already read/reading:
Tiji-kun. Too lazy to type out a description... which also means that while it was good, it wasn't an amazing experience for me. But the reason for that is because there are only 8 chapters out on MangaFox.
Full-Contact. Same thing, too lazy with the description. I've read 1 chapter... and it feels too shoujo and non-serious in terms of martial arts to promise me a good read. I may or may not give it up.
So what's next? While I'm waiting on Karate Shoukoushi and Holyland's updates, I can't just sit here and do nothing right? So I searched and searched... and found some prospective Martial Art mangas that I'll hopefully be reading as soon as I'm done this blog:
Worst - another gang-related high school manga...
Jackals - an assasination manga o.O not so much martial arts but lots of gore... looks to have beautiful art though... I can never resist beautiful art -_-
Do you guys know of any other serious martial art mangas that are a good read? PLEASE DO NOT SUGGEST KENICHI. I've seen the anime and while I understand that they are somewhat different, I don't want to spend my time reading it.
When suggesting, PLEASE DO NOT:
While I'm a sucker for beautiful art, the storyline is of utmost importance ^^