Top 10 Drama Manga of 2008
1. A Bride's Story
A Bride’s Story tells the tale of a beautiful young bride in nineteenth-century Asia. At the age of twenty, Amir is sent to a neighboring town to be wed. But her surprise at learning her new husband, Karluk, is eight years younger than her is quickly replaced by a deep affection for the boy and his family. Though she hails from just beyond the mountains, Amir’s clan had very different customs, foods, and clothes from what Karluk is used to. As the two of them learn more about each other through their day-to-day lives, the bond of respect and love grows stronger.
(Source: Yen Press)
Bakuman follows the story of high school student Moritaka Mashiro, a talented artist who does not know what he wants to do with his future. One day, Mashiro draws a picture of Miho Azuki, a girl he is secretly fond of, during class but forgets the notebook at school. He comes back to find that his classmate Akito Takagi is waiting for him with his notebook. Takagi tries to convince Mashiro to become a manga artist for his stories, leading to Mashiro's disagreement, citing his late manga artist uncle, who died from overworking.
Takagi incites Mashiro to meet with Miho Azuki, Mashiro's crush, and tells her the two plan to become manga artists. In response, Azuki reveals her plans to be a voice actress. Mashiro proposes to her that they should both marry when Azuki becomes a voice actress for the anime adaptation of their manga. The two then start creating their manga, under the pen name Muto Ashirogi, in hopes of getting serialized in Weekly Shounen Jump.
3. Watashi-tachi no Shiawase na Jikan
"I have something I don't want to lose"
"So much so that these terrible feelings have grown."
A pianist who attempted suicide 3 times, Juri, is taken to help her aunt at a prison where murderers who killed indiscriminately are sentenced to death. There, she meets a man named Yuu who took the lives of 3 people. A mother's antagonism--a brother's death... Together they embrace the violent rebellion in their hearts caused by the large, deep scars they carry. However, before long, they both embrace an earnest hope in their hearts. "I want to live"...
An adaptation of novel by South Korea's most popular female novelist, Gong Ji-Young.
(Source: Psycho Pandas)
4. Billy Bat
The story is set in 1949 and follows Japanese-American comic book artist Kevin Yamagata as he draws the popular detective series "Billy Bat" for "Marble Comics." When he learns he may have unconsciously copied the character from an image he saw while serving in occupied Japan, he returns to Japan to get permission to use Billy Bat from its original creator. Upon arriving there, however, he becomes embroiled in a web of murder, cover-ups, and prophecy that all leads back to Billy Bat.
It is soon evident, however, that the truth of Billy Bat's nature is far larger than Kevin could ever guess, spanning millennia and across the world.
5. Princess Jellyfish
The story centers around Tsukimi Kurashita, a huge fan of jellyfish (kurage, a wordplay on the "kura/mi" and "tsuki/ge" in her name) and a girl who moves to Tokyo to become an illustrator. She moves into "Amamizukan," an apartment complex that is full of fujoshi (diehard female otaku) with a no-men-allowed rule. However, one day, Tsukimi invites a stylishly fashionable woman to stay at her room at Amamizukan—only to discover that the guest is not who "she" seems to be.
Fate brings two people who live in the same condo together on a typical afternoon. Ozawa (26) has just broken up with her boyfriend of five years and was in the process of trying to rebuild her life when she meets Oyamada who lives a couple floors below her. He is somewhat of a loner although he does have a few friends and his room is cluttered with all the random stuff that his impulse shopper brother sends him. Ozawa takes an interest with all the things in his room and the two start a friendship that slowly turns into something more.
7. Sekaiichi Hatsukoi: Onodera Ritsu no Baai
Onodera Ritsu has just transferred from his father's publishing company to Marukawa Shoten. Assigned to the shoujo manga division, he crosses path with the person he'd least expected to meet. Takano Masamune is the editor-in-chief of the division Ritsu's been assigned to, and the two seem get off on the wrong foot right from the very start when Takano unexpectedly kisses him. However, there is more to than what meets the eye: Takano is actually Saga, Ritsu's senpai and high school love, whom Ritsu had thought to have played him for a fool by taking his affections for granted when he confessed and summarily dumped him.
8. Yowamushi Pedal
Otaku Sakamichi Onoda has just entered high school and plans to join the anime club. In middle school, Onoda didn’t have any friends with whom he could talk about anime, games, Akihabara and other otaku things, and he is hoping he can make such friends in the anime club, but he finds out it's been disbanded. In order to reestablish the club he tries to find 4 other people who would like to join.
Since he was a little boy, Onoda has ridden his mamachari–a bulky bicycle with a step-through frame mainly used for short rides, such as for casual fun or to pick up groceries–to go to Akihabara every week to check out or buy otaku things. Fellow freshman Shunsuke Imaizumi and bicyclist, while training, notices a boy (Onoda) riding his mamchari up a steep road.
Freshman and road racing cyclist, Shokichi Naruko visits Akihabara to get some Gundam plastic models for his younger brothers and meets Onoda who catches his attention because of the his cycling skill on the mamachari and later find out they go to the same school. Later on, both Naruko and Imaizumi try to convince him to join the bicycle racing club, but will he?
9. Higurashi WHEN THEY CRY: Massacre Arc
This is regarded as the chapter where "the best situation has been provided," but it takes the courage of a certain character to change the course. This will answer everything, however there is one chapter left - Matsuribayashi-hen. (Source: Wikipedia)
10. Kimi no Iru Machi
Kirishima Haruto lives in a small town in Hiroshima and is just about to enter high school when Eba Yuzuki, a mysterious girl from Tokyo suddenly decided to go to high school in the countryside and despite his objections, she moves in to his home.
Haruto must now put up and take care of this clumsy freeloading city girl and at the same time, make sure his long time crush Kanzaki Nanami doesn't get the wrong idea! Note: this manga is set in the same universe as Suzuka.