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Great Manga Dictionary - Not Much Else
Dec 27, 2007 by Obsessed
I got this book to function as a dictionary of all things manga (a term that is defined by the author of this text as Japanese ONLY created manga no Korean or Chinese creations are included). Fortunately this is how this book functions best as a dictionary. It fails to do little else.
Included in the book are small articles are all forms of manga from shojo to shonen to otaku to doujinshi. The best part about these articles is that they refernce manga titles found within the book according to the article's subgenre. Interested in horror or fantasy or pet comedies, but don't know what else is out there - check out this book.
Unfortunately, this book suffers from a few problems as well. There are instances of poor editing. On one page the word relationship is spelled relationshi and the period is missing.
Another problem is the zero to four star rating system. In short, it can't be used. The author's prefernce for all things Shounen Jump is obvious and if the work is old (think Tezuka) it is guarenteed a good review. Another problem with the rating system is that whomever decided upon the rating didn't do it consistently. Bobobobo (bo whatever) receives a rating of 2.5 stars making it better than average while Loveless receives 2 stars making it average. (Loveless is described as boring showing the author's roots in shounen manga. There is even a comment that in other manga the characters at least trade swords.) Another insult is that Godchild received the same rating as Bobo. And for Descendant of Darkness fans (myself included) 1 star. Whereas Love Hina gets 3 (granted it is a fun work, but come on). Tenshi ja nai! receives 2 stars and is described as trashy. However, anything Yu Watase does is not trashy or expected, but rather wonderful receiving an average 3 star rating (think H3 here). FMA receives a rating of 4 stars (which I happen to agree with) as does Naruto.
Another problem is that the book already needs an update. Many of the works are left with NR (not rated) ratings because the work could not be reviewed prior to publishing. This includes works like Vampire Knight, E's, Black Sun, Silver Moon, or Gunsmith Cats: Burst. Works that have been out for a year or more. However, to compensate for this problem Del Ray does offer a link on its website to get updated reviews (the link is in the book).
Also included in this work are subsections on hentai and yaoi. (Yuri is left to a small article. A major problem because many of the yuri works could not be reviewed by the author and are left as NR.) NR also appears heavily in the yaoi section. Only three yaoi works get four star ratings Shout Out Loud (deserved it), Wild Rock (never read heard it sucked), and Gerard & Jacques (I can't get over the girly art). Other fantasic works like Junjo Romantica (2.5 stars), Yellow (2 stars), and Brother (3 stars) receive lower ratings. Interestingly Love is Like a Hurricane is included in the NR catagory along with half the section. Additionally many works are missing from the yaoi catagory (Spell, Scandoulous Seiryo High, and many others). Admittly, I don't know anything about hentai.
Overall, I gave this work 4 stars as a dictionary. Great reference. If I were to rate it for its reliabilty in rating or its updated manga list I give it a 2 or 3.
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