I didn't really like the ending for 21st CB when I first read it. I mean, the whole revelation of "him" being the real friend was good and all, very clever and all considering Urasawa planned that shit from the very beginning. But overall I felt the series took a dip in quality after 17/18 volumes.
Have you seen the movies? Not a fan of them myself, but they expanded on the manga's ending a bit more. Would have preferred an anime instead, but what can you do?
As for Inoue's art, I don't know if I would say it isn't as detailed. To me, at least, it's gotten more 'grittier' as the story has progressed, and perhaps the way it has progressed means he's challenged himself more. The art definitely looks better on paper than it does online.
Don't know if you seen this yet. There's lots of footage and even a documentary on there somewhere.
Anyway, thanks for the links, and I'll check those out and let you know what I think.
Just got and finished the last volume of 21st Century Boys this morning. What an excellent ending. I'm glad it didn't end with 20thCB Vol. 22 because that left WAAAAY too many thing unanswered.
And also, I'm back to Vol. 30 of Vagabond, and I've noticed that Inoue's art isn't as tight as it was before. It's hard to describe, but there seems to be a little less effort afforded to detail after he took his hiatus around Vol. 20. Still looking forward to Vol. 34 next week, however...
You might want to check out Hideout first as it's shot, although it's up to you. Also, 'Rainbow' from the same author is meant to quite good as well. It's set in a prison, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. He is known for is extreme violence as you will soon see. But like I said earlier, he's so under appreciated and such an amazing mangaka.
As for 20th CB, I really need to pick up the last three volumes. I need vol.22 and the last two volumes of 21st CB to complete. I never, ever EVER buy manga from high street book stores as they charge ridiculous prices. Something like 20th CB would cost anything from £10 and above, on amazon they're like £6 or just a bit under
Unfortunately there's only scanlated version available online at the moment for GB and Hideout, but they're still worth a read for now. Although I prefer owning physical copies myself more than anything. If I really like a manga that I've read online, I will still buy the official versions if or when they become licensed.
So do you collect the normal editions of Vagabond, then? 3-in-1 Viz Big editions for me since 2010, although they take much longer to come out. His art is incredible, though. I was going to get Water a long time ago, but never got around to it.
And I'm really surprised Billy Bat hasn't been licensed yet. It's shaping up to potentially be his finest work yet.
And the best way I can think of to describe Gantz for you is that it's sort of a sci-fi Berserk, though it's not nearly as deep as Berserk. Fantastic, detailed artwork (though admittedly Oku uses a lot of computer work to enhance his art), brutal violence, and a story that you absolutely cannot guess where it's going. Yeah, that's kinda like Berserk, right?
And at this point, especially after 20th/21st Century Boys, I will read anything by Urasawa that is professionally translated. I've been writing Viz Media on a regular basis to see if they are planning to do Billy Bat, which I want to read so bad I can taste it! No response so far... :/
And you left out Otomo! don't tell me you don't like Otomo?
Are there professional English translations of Green Blood or Hideout - I really don't like fansubs...
I am currently in a re-read of Vagabond since the translated Vol. 34 comes out in a few weeks and it's been, like, a year since the last one. Inoue's art is just breathtaking, the amount of detail in every panel, especially the foliage in the backgrounds usually blows me away that that much time and effort was put into one panel! I picked up his art books Water and Sumi just to get more stuff from Vagabond. Not that Sumi's bad, but I cannot recommend Water highly enough if you haven't seen it, it's all color work...
Aye, all are truly fabulous artists, each with their own unique style so it's hard to choose one over the other. Urasawa is definitely up there as well. In fact he might even be considered underrated in the artistic department because the way he connects his complex stories with his simple, yet beautifully drawn and effective art is second to none in that category.
I have not read much of Gantz yet, only seen a few panels here and there.
And you might want to check some works from Kakizaki Masasumi, another fab artist who doesn't get the recognition he deserves, such as Green Blood and Hideout - both very gritty and dark manga, although the latter might just be the best short manga (9 chapters I believe) series I've ever read.
Someone resurrected your Favorite Artists thread and I was astonished to find that you like Takehiko Inoue, Junji Ito and Kentaro Miura as much as I do. I rarely ever come across people who've even read one of these guys and here you've read all three.
I would also add to that list Naoki Urasawa (20th Century Boys), Hiroya Oku (Gantz) and Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) all of whom are exceptionally talented as well.
I'm a fan of a number of American artists as well, but most often when I see people mention their favorite manga artists, mine are never among them. So, thanks...