Hardest manga to read

Ian Wolf

Symphogear
AUKN Staff
The other day I finished reading "Ghost in the Sell 2: Man-Machine Interface". I would say that it's been the hardest manga I've yet to read for a number of reasons.

Firstly is the language used. For quite a lot of the time it is using self-made technical terms, meaning that you are constantly having to look in the small print at the bottom or side of the page to find what the author is actually on about.

Also, while the art in the book is great and increadibly detailed, it does make it harder to actually read the book because your distracted by everything. The fact that at least half the book is in colour, and uses quite a lot of bright colours makes it even harder.
 

Genkina Hito

映画男!!!
AUKN Staff
Ian Wolf said:
The other day I finished reading "Ghost in the Sell 2: Man-Machine Interface". I would say that it's been the hardest manga I've yet to read for a number of reasons.

Firstly is the language used. For quite a lot of the time it is using self-made technical terms, meaning that you are constantly having to look in the small print at the bottom or side of the page to find what the author is actually on about.

Also, while the art in the book is great and increadibly detailed, it does make it harder to actually read the book because your distracted by everything. The fact that at least half the book is in colour, and uses quite a lot of bright colours makes it even harder.

I found that pretty easy to read. Up until the tentacle part... Then I was like, "Oh, come on."

Hardest manga to read... Highschool of the Dead vol. 1 because it was so dumb.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
I don't know about "hard" but some series certainly take longer to read than others. Even something like One Piece is packed with so many little speech bubbles compared to most other similar series it feels like it can take a relatively long time to get through a volume.

Iryuu Team Medical Dragon, maybe.
 

Tachi

Mushi-shi
I'm yet to come across a Manga series that i found potentially harder to read than anything published from ladybird, however i do conceed that following on with the storyline in deathnote could confuse some (i have known friends to confuse exactly whats going on, some people just "don't get it" it seems)

Other than that i'd hazard a guess that me personally trying to read Negima would be a near impossible feat. Mainly because i can't stand the show.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
All of the early Mixxzine translated manga. CLAMP's early panel layouts were bad enough, but with Mixx's wobbly translations they became completely incomprehensible and took me ages to get through. It wasn't an altogether enjoyable experience.

Some handwritten doujinshi from the 90s take me a lot of squinting sometimes. Thank goodness (almost) everyone uses proper printed text, now.

In terms of decent releases, Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei and other series packed with in-jokes take me a while to read since I tend to comb every panel carefully rather than just reading straight through. Oooku's English version should take ages because it's all written in cumbersome faux middle English, but strangely I adapted very quickly and blaze through it far too fast.

R
 

Tachi

Mushi-shi
Rui,

Personal question for you; WHen you said "I tend to comb every panel carefully rather than just read straight through" does that take away from the running theme of the series as your on the verge of studying rather than reading through it?

Or are you reading Manga in Kanji and so it takes that bit longer to translate?

I've never tried to read Kanji (well apart from making sure that i have the correct words tattoo'd rather than "dragon, chicken, wonton") but i'd like to one day.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
If you read Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei and its incredibly dense peppering of references, you will understand the answer :) it even devolves into lists of examples which take up entire panels on a regular basis, each of which contains a different joke. And some of the jokes are very obscure or refer to things I don't know about (like sports stars).

It's not exactly a fast moving action manga so reading it slowly doesn't really matter.

R
 

Silanda

Completely Average High School Student
Ian Wolf said:
The other day I finished reading "Ghost in the Sell 2: Man-Machine Interface". I would say that it's been the hardest manga I've yet to read for a number of reasons.

Firstly is the language used. For quite a lot of the time it is using self-made technical terms, meaning that you are constantly having to look in the small print at the bottom or side of the page to find what the author is actually on about.

Also, while the art in the book is great and increadibly detailed, it does make it harder to actually read the book because your distracted by everything. The fact that at least half the book is in colour, and uses quite a lot of bright colours makes it even harder.

I knew what you were going to say as soon as I saw the thread title, and I entirely agree. MMI had all the technobabble of the entire run of Star Trek: Voyager, and didn't even have the decency to have a compelling plot under the jargon. It's a shame too, as GITS 1.5 was good. Nice art though. Perhaps Shirow wasn't happy with his story telling skills either seeing as for the last decade he's been confining himself to producing something where only his great draughtsmanship is needed: hentai. Wish he'd do another Dominion or Appleseed though....
 

20thCenturyBoy

Thousand Master
Bakuman is always a long read, but in a very good way :) It's a style that suits the series and at the end of a volume I always feel rewarded for it and feel I'm getting value for my money, and yet I'm still left wanting more.

I actually found Dragon Head to be a bit of a slog. It could really drag at times and while the background art was fantastic I think it spent a bit too much time focussing on this rather than moving the story along.
 

chaos

The Boss
I vote for Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei as well. I don't get any of the references to Japanese Sports, TV personalities, Musicians or Politicians there. It becomes quite tedious at some point and the only reason I kept reading to the end was because I'm too stubborn to admit I wasn't enjoying it.
 

Ian Wolf

Symphogear
AUKN Staff
20thCenturyBoy said:
Bakuman is always a long read, but in a very good way :) It's a style that suits the series and at the end of a volume I always feel rewarded for it and feel I'm getting value for my money, and yet I'm still left wanting more.

I agree with you there. It is a good read, but a long one. At least it is understandable in comparison to some other titles.
 

Akaihane

Dandy Guy, in Space
Definitely agree with you guys on Man Machine Interface. I love the movies and series, but after reading the first issue and a bit of the second ... I'm used to technobabble being a massive Sci-fi fan, but most technobabble is relatable in some way; in MMI most of it seems to be stuff Shirow has made up and is therefore unintelligible, even with his long descriptions. So from what I read of it, it was one big technobabble speel, with some action interspersed, with little plot and nothing to draw me to the characters. And as complex and delicate as the art is, it's not something I think of as being nice to look at, and just made my eyes tired very quickly (the version I have, the old single issues are colour all the way through with loads of CGI).

On a better note, the first few volumes of Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei took me forever to get through with the detailed explanations at the end, but when they thinned out those a little, it did make for much quicker and less tiring reading. But it's well worth the effort as it's just a lot of fun if you're a fan of satire.
 

Rosencrantz

Dragon Knight
Gonna chime in for MMI aswell, I swear half the time I didn't really know what was what.

It's a sure sign that your doing it wrong when it's mandatory to have a block of notes in the margin every 2-3 pages.
 

chaos

The Boss
Ok, I've got MMI sitting at the cupboard, I might actually go and read it and comment if I find it a more difficult read than Sayonara......

For most of it, I don't really care about technobable. So let's see how I fare....
 

Aaron

Combat Butler
Re:

Tachi said:
Other than that i'd hazard a guess that me personally trying to read Negima would be a near impossible feat. Mainly because i can't stand the show.
I had to give up on Negima. I read three volumes and besides The Shy One, The Robot and The Vampire, I couldn't remember who any of the characters were from one chapter to the next. The harem was just way too bloated to keep track of...I had absolutely no clue what was going on.
 

duoinchains

Brigade Leader
Re:

Rui said:
Oooku's English version should take ages because it's all written in cumbersome faux middle English, but strangely I adapted very quickly and blaze through it far too fast.

I struggled with the Thees and Thouests of OoKu. Loved the story and art prithee, loathed the language... reminded me too much of forced Shakespeare at school.


Physically... those daft 4-vol compendiums of series like Chobits... how on earth are you meant to read those properly without cracking the spine all to bits... and they're hardly portable. Bah.
 

EatStatic

Completely Average High School Student
I read the Ghost in the Shell 2 manga not too long a go, enjoyed the others so I was looking forward to it, but agree with what everyone has said, I really didn't enjoy it that much and is definitely one of the hardest manga I have read. I didn't like the CGI art style either, and the story seemed to jump around a lot, but maybe that was just me losing concentration on it because I wasn't enjoying it too much.
 

Mangaranga

Za Warudo
As much as I love it, I'm going to second Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei for reasons already stated (references etc.), however I'm also going to add Is This A Zombie?
It's just stupid and darts all around the place, and I have no idea what the hell is even meant to be going on. I literally finished the second manga just because it was sitting on my shelf.
 
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