2009. Already. Well, my awards will contain five categories, will only consider German releases, AND only manga I bought and read! Makes sense doesn’t it?! Therefore the manga pool for the possible winners is a bit small and only focuses on the MANLY releases of the year (or: see topic). Below you can find my decisions.
Best Ongoing Manga:
This was just impossible for me to choose. I love both series and both just to have the most fascinating volumes released in the same year! I guess the two will just have to share the throne, sorry.
* Eden (Egmont)
* Blade of the Immortal (Egmont)
Best Finished Manga:
* Astral Project: Moonlight (Carlsen) – Astral Project started brilliantly, continued to shine and then in the last volume struggled a bit with the high expectations it awakened in the volumes prior. However, it was still one of the best manga I’ve read and worth every penny. I continue to wonder if it’s just me who greatly enjoyed this manga.
Best New Manga:
* Ikkyu (Carlsen) – I expected it to be an interesting read, but it was not only interesting, but food for thought. I agree, the art is nothing special; it’s simple and rudimentary, yet in its simplicity is its strong point. It neither rivals the story nor does it overshadow it. It’s just there to support and not for show (unlike in Air Gear and other manga).
* Eight (Carlsen) – Eight’s ending was by far the biggest disappointment. I reviewed the manga and despite my critique I still thought it was a very fun story complemented with beautiful art. The fact that it was canceled after 3 and a half volumes, even though he was allowed to write an extended ending, hurt the manga a lot and made this my biggest disappointment for the year 2008.
* Speed Grapher (Carlsen) – I never had high expectations for it (that’s why it’s not in “Biggest Disappointment”), but I was surprised by its low quality. Even the packing and design couldn’t save this manga from its abysmal quality (I’m a bit exaggerating). As so often anime tie-ins suffer from their short volume span and the fact that they’re only additional money-making sources. Quality is not needed, as a loyal fan base most likely already exists, who’ll buy them no matter how good/bad the merchandise is.
Big News, but too lazy to write a more detailed post now: Tokyopop.decancels all Kodansha series (Beck, Cromartie High School, School Rumble, Perfect Girl and Hell Girl) because Kodansha doesn’t let them “refresh” their license for their series (via their newsletter). No titles licensed by Carlsen, however, are affected.