Please welcome guest poster for today, author Sadie Forsythe. Sadie has written The Weeping Empress, which is her only work thus far. I asked her if she would do a post here, and I now know what this post will be about. I'll let her say the rest.
I don't have a lot of time recently. Who does, right? But one of the things I do in my scarce free time is read a ridiculous amount of manga (and the occasional manwha). I'm especially drawn to those dark, twisted tales that make me shutter to think what might actually go bump in the night. While I've never been the type to easily real off titles and mangakas, after a little thought and a quick glance at the electronic shelves to remind myself who drew what, I've come up with a list of my twenty favourite dark mangas.
But before we get on with the morbid goodness, a few caveats. This list is obviously restricted to those mangas that I happen to have come across. There are no doubt tons of good titles out there that belong on this list, but aren't there because I haven't read them yet. Additionally, it is also limited to the ones that I happen to recall at this precise moment in time. It is almost a certainty that tomorrow I'll think of one I loved and wish I had added. Too bad you'll never know, but I will. Lastly there are a few fabulous and unquestionably dark mangas that top every such list--I'm thinking Gantz*, Death Note, maybe even Claymore--I'm excluding them. We all know they're fabulous. Why say it again? This leaves more room for other less know stories.
So, here they are in no particular order. (Honestly, picking out 20 favourites was hard enough. Asking me to rank them among themselves would be beyond hellish.)
1. Alive by Takahashi Tsutomu
2. Gunslinger Girl by Aida Yu
3. Blade of the Immortal by Samura Hiroaki
4. Berserk by Miura Kentaro
5. Dokuhime by Mihara Mitukazu
6. Kurobara Alice by Mizushiro Setona
7. Hellsing by Hirano Kouta
8. Dogs: Bullets & Carnage by Miwa Shirow
9. Vagabond by Inoue Takehiko/Yoshikawa Eiji
10. Homunculus by Yamamato Hideo
11. Wolf Guy by Tabata Yoshiaki/Yugo Yuuki
12. Concrete Garden by Kotobuki Tarako
13. A Fairytale for the Demon Lord by Kim Yong-Hwan
14. Lamento - Beyond the Void by Nitro+Chira/Chayamachi Suguro
15. Cossette no Shozou by Katsura Asuka
16. Kami no Kodomo by Nishioka Kyodai
17. Kara no Kyoukai by Nasu Kinoko/Tenkuu Sphere
18. Dance in the Vampire Bund by Tamaki Nozomu
19. Kiyomerareta Yoru by Motoni Modoru
20. Hotel by Boichi
So there they are, my top twenty. The list probably tells you more about me than an afternoon full of conversation. While the stories cross the genres, each is dark in its own way, the art is relatively similar - there are no wide-eyed Shougo heroines here. On that front I suppose I could easily have simply said "anything by Mihara Mitukazu, Ktobuki Tarako, or Mizushiro Setona," and have had just as honest a list. But if, like me, you find the darker side of man appealing check these out first.
What do you think - disagree, something not quite dark enough for you, have something to add? I'd love to hear about it. I'm always on the lookout for the next best read.
*I'm linking to Baka-Updates simply for the ease and convenience of having all of the synopses in one place. If you like what you see there (and are able) you should of course buy the book and support the artist.
Until next time,