Slice Of Life
Guts, a former mercenary now known as the "Black Swordsman," is out for revenge. After a tumultuous childhood, he finally finds someone he respects and believes he can trust, only to have everything fall apart when this person takes away everything important to Guts for the purpose of fulfilling his own desires. Now marked for death, Guts becomes condemned to a fate in which he is relentlessly pursued by demonic beings.
Setting out on a dreadful quest riddled with misfortune, Guts, armed with a massive sword and monstrous strength, will let nothing stop him, not even death itself, until he is finally able to take the head of the one who stripped him—and his loved one—of their humanity.
Volume 14: Berserk: The Prototype
Punpun Onodera is a normal 11-year-old boy living in Japan. Hopelessly idealistic and romantic, Punpun begins to see his life take a subtle—though nonetheless startling—turn to the adult when he meets the new girl in his class, Aiko Tanaka. It is then that the quiet boy learns just how fickle maintaining a relationship can be, and the surmounting difficulties of transitioning from a naïve boyhood to a convoluted adulthood. When his father assaults his mother one night, Punpun realizes another thing: those whom he looked up to were not as impressive as he once thought.
As his problems increase, Punpun's once shy demeanor turns into voluntary reclusiveness. Rather than curing him of his problems and conflicting emotions, this merely intensifies them, sending him down the dark path of maturity in this grim coming-of-age saga.
Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan
They wanted to die for their own reasons.
Juri Mutou is the daughter of a once-famous pianist whose career came to an end after giving birth to her. After a traumatic event she experienced as a teenager, Juri has attempted suicide three times and has come to hate her mother. With her life clouded due to a dark past, her aunt Monica, a member of the clergy, invites her to visit a convict sentenced to death.
Yuu is a death row inmate charged with murdering three people, leading to many attempts at ending his own life within his jail cell. He frequently receives letters from Monica, who hopes to help him, but sees this as an act of pity. But when Yuu decides to meet Monica to say that he wants her to stop sending letters, he encounters Juri, a meeting that would change both of their lives.
Lonely high school student Kei Kurono isolates himself out of a growing cynicism toward his fellow man and the cruelty they are capable of enacting. One day, while waiting to take the subway to school, Kei's classmate Masaru Katou leaps onto the tracks in an effort to save a drunk man. Driven by an uncharacteristic desire to rescue someone else, Kei follows Katou down into danger. While successful in saving him, the two boys are killed by the train.
Kei wakes up beside Katou in an apartment full of strangers and furnished by a giant black orb with a glass-like outer surface. After finding out that everyone in the room has recently died, words appear on the black ball tasking them with killing a strange creature. The ball equips Kei and the others with power suits and mysterious guns before sending them off to collect this bizarre bounty.
Although Kei discovers the mission to be far more deadly than originally suspected, he manages to survive. He is teleported back to the apartment where he and the other survivors are rewarded point values according to their actions in battle by the black sphere, which a fellow survivor says is called "Gantz." Despite his death earlier that day, Kei is granted the ability to return to his daily life with one condition: he can be uprooted from his day at any time and summoned back to the apartment, where Gantz will task him and other recently deceased with the assassination of another target.
While Katou dreads the inevitable return to Gantz, Kei finds himself living for the sole purpose of carrying out these missions. Thriving in the heat of battle and learning to care about himself and his comrades, Kei faces escalating monstrous threats that begin to bleed out into his normal life outside of Gantz.
Two years have passed since the CCG's raid on Anteiku. Although the atmosphere in Tokyo has changed drastically due to the increased influence of the CCG, ghouls continue to pose a problem as they have begun taking caution, especially the terrorist organization Aogiri Tree, who acknowledge the CCG's growing threat to their existence.
The creation of a special team, known as the Quinx Squad, may provide the CCG with the push they need to exterminate Tokyo's unwanted residents. As humans who have undergone surgery in order to make use of the special abilities of ghouls, they participate in operations to eradicate the dangerous creatures. The leader of this group, Haise Sasaki, is a half-ghoul, half-human who has been trained by famed special class investigator, Kishou Arima. However, there's more to this young man than meets the eye, as unknown memories claw at his mind, slowly reminding him of the person he used to be.
In the town of Kurouzu-cho, Kirie Goshima lives a fairly normal life with her family. As she walks to the train station one day to meet her boyfriend, Shuuichi Saito, she sees his father staring at a snail shell in an alley. Thinking nothing of it, she mentions the incident to Shuuichi, who says that his father has been acting weird lately. Shuuichi reveals his rising desire to leave the town with Kirie, saying that the town is infected with spirals.
But his father's obsession with the shape soon proves deadly, beginning a chain of horrific and unexplainable events that causes the residents of Kurouzu-cho to spiral into madness.
Hachimitsu Private Academy, an elite all-girls high school, opens its grandiose doors to male students for the first time in its history. The five males who enroll, however, are a merry band of perverts who are unable to communicate with girls! This cluster of misfits is composed of the foreign delinquent Shingo, the strange and sickly "Jo," the overweight "Andrei," the intelligent "Gakuto," and Kiyoshi, the most normal person of the bunch.
Feeling troubled due to their lack of female interaction, the five boys embark on a dangerous mission to peek on several girls while they are bathing. However, owing to a series of mishaps, their operation ultimately fails, resulting in the boys' actions being exposed to the entire school.
For their crimes, the boys are sentenced to one month of imprisonment by the menacing Underground Student Council. Little do the unforgiving beauties of the council know, the boys' perverted and unusual antics are just going to worsen.
There is something a bit twisted inside of the teenage girl Madoka. It comes out one day when she has to deal with a groper on a public train. He may be scarred for life by the time she's finally through with him. But for her, at least, this encounter may only be the beginning...
Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu
A 34-year-old NEET loses his life saving a stranger in a traffic accident, only to wake up to find himself reborn as the baby Rudeus Greyrat in a new world filled with magic. The child of the adventurers Paul and Zenith Greyrat, his innate talent for magic is immediately recognized when he turns two, and the magic tutor Roxy Migurdia is brought to his home to refine him into a mage. With a tremendous amount of magical power and a wealth of knowledge from his original world, Rudeus seeks to fulfill his only desires from his previous life—to not repeat the mistakes of his past and die with no regrets.
Daisuke Suwa is a reserved high school student who lives with his widowed mother in a faraway rural town. At school, he behaves like a womanizer who is interested in all girls except the shy Hinako Aikawa, whom he claims is pretending to be a "sweet virgin." One day, Daisuke gets caught up in an argument between two of his admirers and seeks shelter in a church. He hides inside a confessional, only for Hinako to enter the church and mistake his voice as that of a priest. She asks for him to listen to her confession, to which he has no choice but to comply.
Hinako divulges that she was sexually abused by her step-father while she was still in junior high school, which led to her giving up a baby boy for adoption. Now aware of her secrets, Daisuke can't help but empathize with her. However, as the pair become closer, can his compassion turn into something more?
Wishing she would live up to the ideal, Kanzaki Nao's father named her thusly for "honesty." Nao has more than lived up to her father's wishes—even exceeding them and earning the label of "a foolishly honest girl." This makes Nao the least qualified candidate for the high stakes "Liar Game," where winning requires deceiving the opponent out of their money and losing means receiving massive debt; however, that doesn't stop a box containing a hundred million yen in cash and a card informing her of her participation in the game from arriving at her doorstep, nor does it stop her from being promptly tricked out of the entire sum of money. Upon hearing that a genius swindler, responsible for the bankruptcy of a major corporation, is being released from jail, Nao goes to the swindler, Shinichi Akiyama, to enlist his help. With that, the two are drawn into the dark, greed-filled, and deceptive world of the Liar Game.
There is a rumor that a magician lives in the tent by the abandoned theme park; some even say his magic is real. However, before he starts his show, he always asks his audience: "Do you believe in magic?"
For Yoon Ah-ee, magic seems like a distant memory. Faced with the harsh reality of poverty, she spends all her time studying, working, and taking care of her younger sister in the absence of their parents. She no longer believes in the wonders of magic, just like her skeptical classmate Na Il-Deung, who has been brought up to believe that a good education is the only way to approach life.
When Ah-ee stumbles into the abandoned theme park and has a chance encounter with the magician, her life is changed forever. Annarasumanara reveals a philosophical, heartwarming, and thought-provoking story of what it means to grow up into the person you want to be.
20th Century Boys
As the 20th century approaches its end, people all over the world are anxious that the world is changing. And probably not for the better.
Kenji Endo is a normal convenience store manager who's just trying to get by. But when he learns that one of his old friends going by the name "Donkey" has suddenly committed suicide, and that a new cult led by a figure known as "Friend" is becoming more notorious, Kenji starts to feel that something isn't right. With a few key clues left behind by his deceased friend, Kenji realizes that this cult is much more than he ever thought it would be—not only is this mysterious organization directly targeting him and his childhood friends, but the whole world also faces a grave danger that only the friends have the key to stop.
Kenji's simple life of barely making ends meet is flipped upside down when he reunites with his childhood friends, and together they must figure out the truth of how their past is connected to the cult, as the turn of the century could mean the possible end of the world.
When Tatsuhiko Kido moves to the city to attend art school, all he wants is a normal college life full of fun, friends, and cute girls. But his life takes a dramatic change when he peers through a hole in his apartment wall and sees his neighbor Emiru Ikuno masturbating while facing his direction. To make matters worse, he was caught peeping by Emiru, so he barges into the next room to apologize. Unfortunately, he falls into a compromising position with Emiru who quickly snaps a photo and blackmails him into having a mutual peeping relationship. And to make matters more interesting, he learns that Emiru is in his class at school!
Although initially curious and only somewhat peeved by their relationship, it begins tearing at Kido's psyche, his sanity, and the relationships he has with other women. Despite its smutty appearance, Nozoki Ana is a deeply psychological story about guilt, eroticism, and finding love in strange places.
Dead Tube is a website that hosts videos from the macabre to the sensual. The more graphic the video, the more views it receives; and online, this is a sordid business.
Tomohiro Machiya is a member of the Film Research Club and has always been an avid fan of filming. One day he is confronted by Mai Mashiro, an attractive girl on the swim team. She asks him to film her nonstop for two days straight. But, on the second day of filming, Machiya witnesses Mashiro brutally murder one of their classmates. However, someone else takes the fall for the crime, and Mashiro gleefully informs him that their film was a "winner" on Dead Tube.
As more and more of the school starts to get involved with Dead Tube, many quickly get in over their heads from the punishments for failing the contests. And, since he helped with Mashiro's video, Machiya must participate, and continue filming for this deadly game.
Thorfinn, son of one of the Vikings' greatest warriors, is among the finest fighters in the merry band of mercenaries run by the cunning Askeladd, an impressive feat for a person his age. However, Thorfinn is not part of the group for the plunder it entails—instead, for having caused his family great tragedy, the boy has vowed to kill Askeladd in a fair duel. Not yet skilled enough to defeat him, but unable to abandon his vengeance, Thorfinn spends his boyhood with the mercenary crew, honing his skills on the battlefield among the war-loving Danes, where killing is just another pleasure of life.
One day, when Askeladd receives word that Danish prince Canute has been taken hostage, he hatches an ambitious plot—one that will decide the next King of England and drastically alter the lives of Thorfinn, Canute, and himself. Set in 11th century Europe, Vinland Saga tells a bloody epic in an era where violence, madness, and injustice are inescapable, providing a paradise for the battle-crazed and utter hell for the rest who live in it.
In 16th century Japan, Shinmen Takezou is a wild, rough young man, in both his appearance and his actions. His aggressive nature has won him the collective reproach and fear of his village, leading him and his best friend, Matahachi Honiden, to run away in search of something grander than provincial life. The pair enlist in the Toyotomi army, yearning for glory—but when the Toyotomi suffer a crushing defeat at the hands of the Tokugawa Clan at the Battle of Sekigahara, the friends barely make it out alive.
After the two are separated, Shinmen returns home on a self-appointed mission to notify the Hon'iden family of Matahachi's survival. He instead finds himself a wanted criminal, framed for his friend's supposed murder based on his history of violence. Upon being captured, he is strung up on a tree and left to die. An itinerant monk, the distinguished Takuan Soho, takes pity on the "devil child," secretly freeing Shinmen and christening him with a new name to avoid pursuit by the authorities: Musashi Miyamoto.
Vagabond is the fictitious retelling of the life of one of Japan's most renowned swordsmen, the "Sword Saint" Musashi Miyamoto—his rise from a swordsman with no desire other than to become "Invincible Under the Heavens" to an enlightened warrior who slowly learns of the importance of close friends, self-reflection, and life itself.
I Am a Hero
Insecure 35-year-old Hideo Suzuki is forced to work as a mangaka's assistant when his own series fails due to low sales. As he struggles through a mundane life plagued by hallucinations, he comes to realize that his relationship with his girlfriend isn't that great, suspecting that she may be cheating on him with her ex-boyfriend. After confronting her about the possible affair, however, Hideo feels bad about his inquisition and decides to visit her house to apologize.
But the world as he knows is about to be overturned. At first, not much seems to have changed, but he soon realizes that society has become a living nightmare, as the horrifying reality of what is taking place around him finally begins to sink in.
The story revolves around Ken, a man from an upper-class family that was orphaned young due to his family's involvement with the Yakuza; he became a high school delinquent known for fighting. The only thing that motivates him to take action is through his romantic affections for a classmate, Yumi. After learning she decided to move to Korea to become a police officer, Ken leaves his life in Japan behind and tries to follow in Yumi's footsteps; due to unforeseen circumstances, he incidentally becomes the head of a local gang and tries to hide it from Yumi. As the leader, the gang is renamed the Sun-Ken Rock Group.
Volume 12: Trigun: The Lost Plant
Kenzou Tenma, a renowned Japanese neurosurgeon working in post-war Germany, faces a difficult choice: to operate on Johan Liebert, an orphan boy on the verge of death, or on the mayor of Düsseldorf. In the end, Tenma decides to gamble his reputation by saving Johan, effectively leaving the mayor for dead.
As a consequence of his actions, hospital director Heinemann strips Tenma of his position, and Heinemann's daughter Eva breaks off their engagement. Disgraced and shunned by his colleagues, Tenma loses all hope of a successful career—that is, until the mysterious killing of Heinemann gives him another chance.
Nine years later, Tenma is the head of the surgical department and close to becoming the director himself. Although all seems well for him at first, he soon becomes entangled in a chain of gruesome murders that have taken place throughout Germany. The culprit is a monster—the same one that Tenma saved on that fateful day nine years ago.
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