Top 10 Adventure Manga of 2004
1. JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Steel Ball Run
Originally presented as an unrelated story, this series was later officially declared a part of the JoJo storyline. The series stars Gyro Zeppeli, who uses a set of steel balls that spin incredibly fast, and Johnny Joestar (Jonathan Joestar), a former hot-shot jockey who was crippled by an ambusher and lost his fame and fortune. They race, along with others, in a mad-dash across America for 50 million dollars, reminiscent of The Cannonball Run.
Towards the end of the 19th century, Allen Walker officially joins the organization of Exorcists that destroy the beings known as Akuma; mechanic weapons made by the Millennium Earl with the suffering souls of the dead. Allen has both a cursed eye and an anti-Akuma weapon as an arm, bearing the power of "Innocence", a gift given to him as an apostle of God. Allen, along with his fellow Exorcists must put a stop to the Millennium Earl's ultimate plot that could lead to the destruction of the world and all who live on it.
By night, junior high student Yoshimori Sumimura is a "kekkaishi"--a demon-hunter who specializes in creating magical barriers around his prey. By day, Yoshimori's got some other demons to battle: an addiction to sweets and a seriously crotchety grandfather! Yoshimori's pretty 16-year-old neighbor and childhood friend, Tokine Yukimura, is also a kekkaishi, but their families are feuding over who is the true practitioner of the art.
4. 1/2 Prince
When Feng Lan's brother encouraged her to play the virtual reality game Second Life, he told her that as a girl, she'd be doted upon. To prove that she could be a better player than him even without a handicap, she was granted her special request for a male avatar. Her adventures in this online RPG begin, as she discovers both the game and what it's like to be thought of as a boy.
5. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Plus
On a stormy night, Princess Zelda and the shrine maidens fear that the reason for these events is that Vaati's seal is weakening. She summons Link and brings him to the castle so he can protect her and the other maidens while they open the portal to the Four Sword Sanctuary. When they do, however, a shadowy figure appears from the portal. This figure was Shadow Link, who then kidnapped the shrine maidens and sealed them in crystals. Link follows him to the sanctuary where he retrieves the Four Sword to destroy this doppelganger. The Four Sword is a magical sword that splits the wielder into four clones of himself. Vaati is once again released and wreaks havoc on the once peaceful kingdom.
6. Samurai Champloo
Mugen is a rough-around-the-edges mercenary with a killer technique and nothing left to lose. Jin is a disciplined samurai who's as deadly as he is reserved. Fuu is a young waitress with a good heart and a resourcefulness that emerges when you least expect it. These three unlikely companions are about to begin a journey that will change all of their lives.
It's a dangerous quest for a mysterious samurai that will see our squabbling group of heroes get into and out of trouble more times than they can count (which admittedly, isn't very high). From the cynical gentility of the nobles to the backstabbing of the Japanese underworld, Mugen, Jin and Fuu will face threats from without and within as they hurl insults and throwing stars alike. Ancient Japan is about to get a lethal dose of street justice -- Champloo style. And it will never be the same.
7. Koukoku no Shugosha
An elite military unit conducts its duties alongside sabertooth tigers trained to assist their human masters. The Royal Kingdom invades the Empire in their desire for world dominion...after the disastrous opening battle of the war, the unit fights to save not only itself but their comrades from the enemy.
Ito adapted Daisuke Satō's [Satou] Imperial Guards (Kōkoku [Koukoku] no Shugosha) alternate-history war novels in Shueisha's Ultra Jump magazine. The Imperial Guards manga was a runner-up in the 9th Japanese Media Arts Awards, the 11th Tezuka Cultural Prize, and the 1st Manga Taisho Awards.
8. Tom Sawyer
From the creator of Saikano comes this manga take on the Mark Twain classic.
9. Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro
Kuro, a little tomboy garbed in pitch-black with a little-tomboy-sized coffin on her back, heads out on a journey to find a certain witch. In the company of her faithful bat friend, Zen, Kuro encounters all manners of people and places which fire the readers imaginations. Told in 4-koma (four panel) style with beautifully rendered art, Shoulder-A-Coffin Kuro is a manga that manages both dark and gothic and irresistably endearing on just about every page!
Robot is an all-color manga compilation compiled and edited by the elite manga artist Range Murata, character designer for Studio Gonzo's Last Exile and Blue Submarine No. 6. Murata's hand-picked contributors come together in a mind blowing experiment of what happens when top manga artists work in the unusual medium of color.
1. Groundpass Drive (MURATA Range)
2. Picnic (NARUKO Hanaharu)
3. Pez - Ch.1 (ASADA Hiroyuki)
4. Angels at the Planetarium (TAJIMA Sho-u)
5. Carogna (ITOH Mami)
6. Wasteland - Ch.1 (ABe Yoshitoshi)
7. There Goes Suzume Robo!! - Ch.1 (SABE)
8. Hemohemo (YUG)
9. Oputon (OKAMA)
A short oneshot about a girl dreaming of a oputon in her dream.
10. Dragon Fly - Ch.1 (MAESHIMA Shigeki)
In an future apocalyptic world the church once again has regained power, but not to do good, but to serve evil. Cloned priests, called "dragon fly" of the kirihito church use their power, however a shinigami has appeared to stop them and reclaim her past...
11. Dream of the Empty Cage (MIGGY)
12. Biting Summer Play (MIURA Yasuto)
13. Sedouka - Ch.1 (NAGASAWA Shin)
Enraged over the slaughter of its cubs a mighty wolf kills and devours every human it comes across until a strange being suggests something a bit more brutal. By keeping a small child alive wars will rage and millions will die. The wolf would need a new body to guard the sickly girl and that body is named Juujirou.
14. Ebony & Ivory - Ch.1 (YASUDA Suzuhito)
15. Primary Color Book - Ch.1 (HAKUA Ugetsu)
16. Eventyr (HACCAN)
17. Dragon's Heaven (KOBAYASHI Makoto)
18. Angels (KINUTANI Yuu)
Angels is a 9 page manga depicting a woman destroying some kind of machine in order to release "angels" - with unexpected results.
19. Clash! Revenge of Hunk Kung Fu vs. Ugly Kung Fu! Find a Groom! (NEKOI Mie)
20. Moonlight (SANBE Kei)
1. Dragon Fly - Ch.2 (MAESHIMA Shigeki)
2. Ebony & Ivory - Ch.2 (YASUDA Suzuhito)
3. There Goes Suzume Robo!! - Ch.2 (SABE)
4. Wasteland - Ch.2 (YOSHITOSHI ABe)
5. Hana (MAEDA Hirotaka)
6. Stars and Blue (Miggy)
7. Pez - Ch.1.5 (ASADA Hiroyuki)
8. “Velvet” Monochrome Version (TAJIMA Sho-U)
9. Sedouka - Ch.2 (NAGASAWA Shin)
10. Delicious Adventures (YUG)
11. House of Fish (Teikoku Shounen / Imperial Boy)
12. The Depths of November (MIURA Yasuto)
13. Eventyr (HACCAN)
14. The Oni Smiles When You Mention Next Year (NEKOI Mie)
15. Majo no Jouken (Conditions of a Witch) (Dowman Sayman)
16. Within The Mirror (SANBE Kei)
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