Top 10 Action Manga of 2003
The samurai didn't stand a chance. First, the aliens invaded Japan. Next, they took all the jobs. And then they confiscated everyone's swords. So what does a hotheaded former samurai like Sakata "Gin" Gintoki do to make ends meet? Take any odd job that comes his way, even if it means losing his dignity.
Included one-shots: Dandelion, Shirokuro, Bankara-san ga Tooru
2. Saikyou Densetsu Kurosawa
44 years old, single, working in a construction company for his entire life. All Kurosawa wants is a little respect from his co-workers. And a little popularity won't hurt. Unfortunately Kurosawa's plans fail miserably from time to time and one day, he finds himself right in the middle of a fight against...delinquent middle schoolers?
3. Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE
"The world is a very small place, but for those who know it...it is very, very large. And the world, when it is viewed by those who 'know'— is far larger than just one world can hold!"
The famous CLAMP brings back the characters from all their creations for an ultimate showdown in this multi-dimensional tale.
This is the story of four travelers, bound by fate and by prophesied future. Sakura is the princess of Clow Country, and possessor of a strange power that promises to change the world. Syaoran is an aspiring archaeologist and her childhood friend. When Sakura is endangered by the plan a certain man has for the future, the princess' memories are scattered across dimensions in the form of feathers, and Syaoran is forced to go on a desperate journey to retrieve them. They are accompanied by Fay D. Flourite, a magician running from the horrible truth of his past, and Kurogane, a rough-mannered ninja trying to get back to his world. However, the ability to cross worlds demands a great price, and each of them must pay the Dimensional Witch with what he or she values most. In order to save his princess, Syaoran must give up his relationship with her. Even if he gathers all of Sakura's memories, she will never remember their past together...
But the world is not so simple. The very moment these four made this decision, their destinies are sealed into a tragic course...as everyone in the group has their own secrets. Visions of the future are seen, and prophesies are made. The cruel future which lies ahead reads only of betrayal, abandonment, devastation and anguish.
4. Lunar Legend Tsukihime
Shiki Tohno sustained a life threatening injury as a child, and due to that incident he was sent away from the Tohno household and was given to a relative to be raised. Years later, when Shiki is in high school, the head of the Tohno household--his father--dies, and he is ordered to move back in by his sister Akiha, who is the new head of the household. However, Shiki holds a huge secret. Ever since that injury, he has been seeing lines on objects, and only with a special pair of glasses is he able to stop seeing them. Also he is unable to remember anything well from the time before his accident. The day he moves back to the Tohno household is the day he stumbles upon a woman named Arcueid Brunstud and decapitates her with one stab of his knife in a temporary fit of insanity. When she suddenly showed up beside him later alive and well, and ask him to be her bodyguard, Shiki's journey to unravel the mysteries of his past begins.
5. Negima! Magister Negi Magi
After graduated from a magic academy, 10-year-old genius boy Negi Springfield was assigned to a huge Japanese school as an English teacher for practical training. To his surprise, the 8th grade class assigned for him is all-girl. In addition to teaching (and being teased by) those 31 pretty girls while trying to keep his magic capability in secret, he's also looking for clues about his father, who was once known as "Thousand Master" but mysteriously disappeared years ago.
The story begins in 1629 Shizuoka during Tokugawa Tadanaga's rule. The daimyo staged a tournament where the participants fought with real steel Japanese swords rather than bokken, against his vassals' strong objection. The story revolves around the first match between the one-armed swordsman Fujiki Gennosuke and the blind samurai Irako Seigen and deals with the circumstances that led the two to participate in Tokugawa's tournament.
Year 2130 -- after the third world war, large contaminated areas known as "Blackspots" formed all over Japan. Large Walls were used to quarantine off these "Blackspots". In time, signs of inhabitance appeared within these wastelands. Among the survivors who had been abandoned inside the Blackspots, labeled as "those who were unneeded", came forth possessors of uncanny abilities -- Fire, wind, brute strength...they were defined by their supernatural abilities. Others, fearful of their powers, expelled them and named them --- Needless!
8. Full Metal Panic
A sergeant by the name of Sousuke Sagara is assigned an important task. That of guarding high school girl Chidori Kaname. Sousuke is a military genius, gaining high rank at an early age, but because of his strange upbringing, he lacks social skill. Now, he finds himself as a fish out of water as he attempts to protect a girl from an evil organization and turn in his school work on time.
Ginta Toramizu is a 14-year-old kid who doesn't have a lot going for him: he's near-sighted, doesn't do well in school, sucks at sports, and to top it off--he's short! But Ginta is a dreamer and has had the same dream 102 times, always in the same fantasy world, where he is a hero blessed with all the abilities he lacks in real life.
Then one day a supernatural figure appears at Ginta's school and summons him to a mysterious and exciting new world! In this strange universe filled with magic and wonder, he is strong, tough, agile--and he can see without his glasses! Thus, Ginta begins a mystical quest in search of the magical items known as "ÄRMS," one of which may have the power to send him home. Joining him on this epic journey are his companion Jack and the valuable living, talking, mustachioed iron-ball weapon known as "Babbo," which everyone wants but, it seems, only Ginta can possess!
10. Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls
The Iga clan and the Kouga clan have been sworn enemies for more than four hundred years. Only the Hanzo Hattori truce has kept the two families from all-out war. Now, under the order of Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa, the truce has finally been dissolved. Ten ninja from each clan must fight to the death in order to determine who will be the next Tokugawa Shogun. The surviving clan will rule for the next thousand years.
But not all the clan members are in agreement. Oboro of the Iga clan and Gennosuke of the Kouga clan have fallen deeply in love. Now these star-crossed lovers have been pitted against each other. Can their romance conquer a centuries-old rivalry? Or is their love destined to end in death?
(Source: Del Rey)