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Please renew my faith in manga

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Post #663579
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5:55 pm, Mar 25 2015
Posts: 184

Read Monster, it's awesome and the women are amazing... Like every character in this manga!

I'd recommend more but most of my favorites have already been mentioned and I'm on my cellphone so writing is kinda hard. I just really wanted to recommend Monster. Pleeeeease read it!

Post #663586
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8:47 pm, Mar 25 2015
Posts: 24

I relate to you 100% - it's difficult to find mangas with amazing female leads without the fan service or requirement of a male rescuing them/saving the day. Though there is a deeper reasoning as to why that is the case, we are not here to discuss that haha.

I second Claymore: Lots of action and a plethora of strong female leads from crazy to well rounded

Variante: Strong female lead who gets an ability she didn't want. Has a lot of angst, I can't remember it too well except that I really liked how it didn't skip over the fact that something traumatic happened to her, explored her psyche, and showed her dealing with her unwanted abilities.

Tomodachi no Hanashi: Really great manga about friendship between 2 girls, first supporting then breaking stereotypes about the male and female gender. Really sweet, but it's not a series.

The Kidnapping of Minja Jo's Boyfriend: Funny, strong girls, who are leaders of high school gangs. It's a manhwa, if that makes or breaks it for you. Also on the short side, but still good.

Ichi: Really awesome about a woman named Ichi who is incredibly skilled in sword fighting (if you read and like this manga, do not watch the movie - typical trope of the girl needing to be saved in the end, which never happened or happens in the manga). Unfortunately, it was cut short, but that doesn't mean it ended abruptly, it was nice but left me wishing it was longer.

I hope there are no discrepancies and that you like the mangas I recommended! I'm still holding out hope for great mangas with well rounded female leads as well smile

Post #663589 - Reply to (#663586) by Vitiate
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9:04 pm, Mar 25 2015
Posts: 950

Quote from Vitiate
I second Claymore: Lots of action and a plethora of strong female leads from crazy to well rounded

Never could really get over the fact that this is made by the guy who drew one of my very absolute favorite manga of all time (Angel Densetsu) which was hilarious and had endearing characters... whereas I find Claymore to have unsympathetic characters and is a rather convoluted and boring action manga, decidedly not hilarious... but hey a lot of people like it. Just sad the mangaka has done basically NOTHING else.

Post #663590 - Reply to (#663589) by jedinat
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10:09 pm, Mar 25 2015
Posts: 24

Quote from jedinat
Never could really get over the fact that this is made by the guy who drew one of my very absolute favorite manga of all time (Angel Densetsu) which was hilarious and had endearing characters... whereas I find Claymore to have unsympathetic characters and is a rather convoluted and boring action ma ...

I've never read Angel Densetsu, but since it is comedy I can understand why you can't get over that it is the same author. Yes, most characters are unsympathetic, but some are and some develop into sympathetic characters. I don't think it was too convoluted, perhaps it was the translation since it's difficult to explain important plot twists from another language. Definitely not hilarious and a pretty serious manga. To each their own smile

Post #663592 - Reply to (#663573) by lalalarry
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Mr. Brightside

10:24 pm, Mar 25 2015
Posts: 128

Quote from lalalarry
It's not that I'm not into manga anymore, don't get me wrong, I still LOVE manga, but I consider myself a feminist and a lot of mangas I read just destroy my faith in humanity. Like in bleach, all the female characters who are supposedly strong also nearly always need to be saved by a male character and the objectification of women is crazy in manga. Completely unnecessary up the skirt shots, zoom ins on cleavage, tiny waists+massive rack+the skiimpiest outfit ever, even if the character is supposed to be a warrior, her armor is so useless and would provide no support whatsoever for her supersized breasts.

Also, I've found a lack of character development in depth in many female characters, reasons why I dropped series such as kimi ni todoke, girls of the wilds and nisekoi

Damn, I feel that way all the time. There's so much sexist crap I see in the world that just makes me want to give up all hope -- I don't think its specific to manga or anything though. Sexism exists everywhere, and yeah Japan is a particularly backwards country but there's still plenty of people writing good stuff. The ratio is just worse than most other countries. wink

As to recomendations, not wanting Yaoi or Yuri seriously cripples my abbility to give recommendations but here we go...

Gosick - Victorian mystery with a dash of the romance and the supernatural. Great, main female character is a genius detective who definitely gets a fully fleshed out backstory, personality, ect.
Meteor Methuselah (AKA Immortal Rain) - Si-fi/fantasty action/adventure/romance. MC is a female assassin. Complete badass. Has to save the male lead's (a goofy nice guy) bacon so many times. Good palate cleanser if you're sick of women needed to be saved all the time.

...if you want something a bit darker (by which I mean a lot darker)...

Tenshi Kinryouku (AKA Angel Sanctuary) - Fantasy epic w/ a dash of mystery, horror, romance. Classic so you might have read it already. One of my favorites. Eventually involves a massive cast spanning angels, humans, and demons of pretty much all variety. Has some strong female charachters, some not (the same can be said of the male characters.) Be warned, disturbing, dark, ect. at various points.

(P.S. As a bonus, I'd also like to recomend my favorite oneshot - 100 Dollar wa Yasu Sugiru $100 Is Too Cheap - About a female bounty hunter. Short and a tad goofy, but still great. Don't want to say more just read it. biggrin)

"We can not resort to simplistic or extreme solutions which substitute myths for common sense."
― Jimmy Carter
Post #663595 - Reply to (#663586) by Vitiate
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Just another otaku

10:43 pm, Mar 25 2015
Posts: 196

Thank you to everyone who has made suggestions ^.^ I can't wait to go check them all out, keep em rolling in!

Quote from Vitiate
I relate to you 100% - it's difficult to find mangas with amazing female leads without the fan service or requirement of a male rescuing them/saving the day. Though there is a deeper reasoning as to why that is the case, we are not here to discuss that haha.

That's a good point, I think that this is a very valid point of discussion and now thinking about it more, I feel like it's actually more necessary than ever to have this conversation and openly discuss sexism in manga but perhaps in a more appropriate thread. Thus, I have started a new thread in another forum, open for discussion to anyone who has an opinion on this topic smile


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3:26 am, Mar 26 2015
Posts: 152

you can try tetsuwan girl too!

Fairytales: Beautiful lies. </3
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First-Class Logic

11:40 pm, Mar 26 2015
Posts: 90

Out of curiosity, may I ask why you hated Vampire Juujikai? I'm a feminist as well and recall rather liking it (though it was pretty heavy on the "tragedy porn"), and its portrayal of female characters was acceptable to me a few years ago (when I was even more radical about feminism).

Anyway, I'm going to heartily (pun intended??) second Pandora Hearts. (I will never stop pimping it. Ever. wink ) Absolutely gorgeous art and story, characters all over the spectrum, and it will by all means break your heart (and then mend it again... and then break it... xD). The females range from physically strong (Alice) to emotionally strong (Sharon sure can be a rock through a crisis) to everything in between. The author handles her characters with a great deal of respect, regardless of gender. Nobody is 100% black or white. Really, I can't sing its praises enough. One of the most important works of contemporary literature, in my very humble opinion. It's technically shounen but has more of a josei feel. It's an example of manga that really can't be classed by silly demographics.

I'm also going to recommend to you Karneval (strong female and male characters alike, has a lot of heart), Mother Keeper (haven't read the most recent chapters, but as far as I remember, there are female characters who are both strong and sexy, without really being sexualized), and Dokuhime (if you're looking for a story where women are oppressed but show incredible strength and integrity in spite of their circumstances). A lot of Korean webtoons are pretty avant-garde and progressive, too. Lately, I've been really into Black Haze (which has a female antagonist and female characters running the gamut from normal to strong, same as the male characters) and Dice (Yun Hyunseok) (which has female fighters taking beatings like their male counterparts as well as a pretty empathetic portrayal of female sexuality later on, though there's still a "save the girl" plot at one point). I've also heard Abide In the Wind is pretty good, but I haven't read much of it yet. And I know there are loads of josei and more romance-oriented webtoons out there that I have yet to read but that I'm sure are worth at least checking out.

I'm going to go even a step further and recommend you play the Ace Attorney games (actually more like visual novels) if you haven't already because if you want to see a spectrum of female characters, you'll find them there -- from victims to killers to protagonists to antagonists to sexy to frumpy -- you name it. As a whole, the series does a really great job handling all of its characters and subverting stereotypes. (For example: Mia, who dresses sexy, is an incredible lawyer and the protagonist's indispensable mentor, who's murdered in the second case but isn't "fridged" and ends up bringing her own killer to justice through spirit channeling when even the protagonist can't, and who ends up getting quite a lot of character development thereafter; and Athena, who worked hard to become a lawyer in order to save a friend and whose strength comes from her emotions, from traditional femininity, which is often perceived as a weakness rather than a strength, even in the Western world.) In any case (pun intended again??), it's really a very charming series in its own right (-sigh-), so I can't recommend it enough.

In general, if you're looking for strong female characters in manga, I would stay away from Shounen Jump and the like. Especially these days, that magazine is horribly formulaic -- the Harlequin romances of shounen manga, if you will -- and so the role of females likely will be as well. bigrazz Good luck!

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5:08 am, Apr 30 2015
Posts: 8

Slice of Life/Drama (may contain comedy):
Welcome to Room #305! - about homophobia, some romance and comedy. NOT yaoi.
Again!! K checked your list and saw it's there already
Space Brothers - about people trying to become astronauts
Honey and Clover - students, romance n stuff
Kanojo o Mamoru 51 no Houhou - about trying to survive the aftermath of an Earthquake

Claymore female leads

I am a Hero - zombies. Takes 15 chaps to get going. Has some female leads.

Yawara! - about a Judo girl

Misc/mystery (dunno):
Omoide Emanon -bout a girl who has a memory going back to the first life form on Earth
20th Century Boys - has some female leads at different times

There's a manga called Ooku which is about some matriarchal alternative version of Japan a few hundred years ago....not read it but you might like it.


5:18 am, Apr 30 2015
Posts: 189

arguably Medaka Box. While there is alot of fansevice. It also descontruts idea s like the Mary Sue. For example, the main character/female lead Medaka can perfect pretty much anything. But because social interactions don't have a perfect answer she has difficulty relating to people, which makes things hard for her because all she really wants is friends.


5:38 am, Apr 30 2015
Posts: 85

lol FMA as the standard is a bit too difficult. since it is really good. but you can try this:

akatsuki no yona (the girl is useless at first, but she will overcome it and become more badass. so give it a time, i almost drop this manga at first, but i'm glad i dont)
pandora hearts (the story a bit confusing at first, but it has a great plot...and twist)
noragami (funny and awesome art)

i want to add some more, but i'm afraid i will get too far from what you want to if i add more to the list...

Post #758397
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8:47 am, Apr 11 2018
Posts: 6

I'd like to second Chang Ge Xing. The female protagonist has a strategic mind, decent martial arts skills, and a detailed, rich profile of admirable traits along with very human flaws and a layered family background. Character growth is also a thing. And the art is just plain beautiful - breath-taking, even.

Gosu has a male lead but the female characters are not portrayed particularly poorly.

All Rounder Meguru probably has the best female characters in a martial arts/fighting manga I've ever read, though. There is partial nudity, but it's not specifically for the hetmale gaze. The female fighters show skin not in gratuitous locker room scenes, but at their weigh-ins and matches.

Hope that helped!

90s child waiting for last chapters of Glass Mask to be scanlated.
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10:49 am, Apr 13 2018
Posts: 19

If you are interested in something fresh and unique in terms of female leads, try the manga Arte.
It's about a female artist trying to prove herself in an all-male artistic society, facing many hardships because of her gender. I do like the main herione quite a bit and I like other female characters in this manga too.
For me, one of the best mangas I've read in a while. Unfortunately, it is quite slow to update but it's still worth checking out.

Another interesting manga is Kusuriya no Hitorigoto. The female lead is... charming, to say the least.

Thirding (?) Chang Ge Xing but be prepared that the artist is facing legal issues right now, so it's impossible to say, if we will ever see a continuation of this amazing manhua.


4:02 pm, Apr 13 2018
Posts: 126

I love that your request lists series that you hate rather than what you love
I'll have to try that
hate is life

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