Top 10 Sci Fi Manga of 1997
Kazuhiko is a young, but already deeply wounded black ops agent of a baroque, retro-tech future - pulled out of retirement to escort Sue, a mysterious waif, to a destination she alone knows. Suu and Kazuhiko have never met . . . yet she knows him, having grown up since the age of four with her only human contact being two distant voices: that of her elderly "grandma," General Ko, and of Kazuhiko's dead girlfriend, Oruha. And Suu has been kept in that cage all these years because of what she is, and what the Clover Leaf Project found her to be -- a military top secret, and the most dangerous person in the world.
(Source: Dark Horse Comics)
Hiroki Endo's Tanpenshu is a two tankōbon series long collection of various short manga by Hiroki Endo. "Tanpenshu" is Japanese for "short stories".
"The Crows, the Girl and the Yakuza" Originally published in 1996 in Monthly Afternoon. A lone yakuza member takes refuge from a gang war with a young woman who seems to have formed a strange relationship with crows. During his time with her, he comes to reconsider the course of his own life.
"Because You're Definitely a Cute Girl" Originally published in 1996 in Monthly Afternoon. A young girl's bewilderment over sex is overloaded by her widower father's decision to take a lover, driving her to a sudden swing from passive indifference to reactionary violence.
"For Those of Us Who Don't Believe in God" Originally published in 1997 in Monthly Afternoon. Centers around a group of college drama students preparing and performing a play depicting a conversation between a serial killer and the sister of one of his victims. The process causes the group to reflect and ultimately confront their own individual problems.
"Hang" Originally published in 2000 in Afternoon Season Special Edition.
"High School Girl 2000" Originally published in 1999 in Afternoon Season Special Edition. A semi-autobiographical story featuring Hiroki Endo being distracted from doing work.
"Platform" Originally published in 1996 in Monthly Afternoon.
"Boys Don't Cry"
3. Excel Saga
When discussing conquest, Il Palazzo's motto would most likely be "start small." ACROSS, a group devoted to carrying out and accomplishing the ideals of absent-minded yet bishounen Il Palazzo, feels that the first step in conquering the entire planet would be conquering a single city. This city just so happens to be Fukuoka, where our story takes place.
Along with the "help" of overly energetic Excel and oft-dead Hyatt, the leader (and self-proclaimed Lord) of ACROSS strives to make the planet better through domination. Elgala, whose personality constantly irritates Excel, joins ACROSS in volume 8.
Meanwhile, Dr. Kabapu (the Dr. part is very important!!) starts the Department of City Security, in hopes of protecting the city from people who would want to conquer it. Watanabe, Iwata, and Sumiyoshi, three slackers, join his staff, and are later joined by Misaki Matsuya, who missed the introductory staff meeting.
Helping Dr. Kabapu is Professor Shiouji, the most brilliant scientific mind in all of Fukuoka (who just so happens to be a VERY blatant pedophile). The professor creates Ropponmatsu, an android modeled after a female human. After she explodes in a bomb crisis (accidentally caused by Excel and Hyatt), he creates a second model more to his tastes (if you know what I mean).
With intelligent humor that (most of the time) is anything BUT random, well developed characters, an amazing storyline, and actual action, this isn't like the anime, and that's not a bad thing.
4. Desert Punk
After a nuclear war turns most of the Earth into desert wastelands, surviving humans had used the sands in order to survive. One of them is a professional mercenary named Sunabozu, who makes a living by hiring himself out to anyone who needs his talents.
One day Fumiki meets a strange dog at the factory. A dog who can understand human speech and push blades out from its forehead. The mysterious number "23" is carved onto its ear. Although there are many unsolved mysteries about the beast, the two begin to communicate and build trust. "23" arrived at the town following the voice of a higher power which said, "Observe mankind." Meanwhile a giant organization is moving behind the scenes to capture "23." The leader Kiryu wants "23" so that he can control "Tokoyonokuni, the land across the ocean of the dead, ancestors and human spirits. A paradise of eternal life and decadence."
(Source: Anime News Network)
6. Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface
Taking place a few years after the first Ghost in the Shell manga. The series follows the mysterious Motoko Aramaki as she runs an investigation into an incident at an organ factory and its consequences. She's on the run to clean up the mess and save herself in the process. Meanwhile the former members of Section 9 investigate Motoko to find out who she really is.
(Source: Anime News Network)
7. Devilman Lady
Fudou Jun is a highschool teacher and takes a trip with a group of students. While there, a group of martial artists staying nearby take a strange interest in the girls. These men are actually demons and after changing into their true form break into the cabin to rape the girls. One gets Jun and violates her.
She feels her soul being torn apart and transforms into Devilman Lady. With newfound powers and strength she kills all the demons and protects the girls from any further harm.
What are these demons and why did she turn into a hybrid of one? What does this mean for her and for the rest of humanity?
8. Project ARMS
From Ryoji Minagawa and Kyoichi Nanatsuki comes a world of nano-machines, cybernetic assassins, powerful telekinetic opponents, and secret organization dedicated to bringing forth the next evolution of humankind. Containing all the best elements of sci-fi, spy fiction, and conspiracy theory stories, Project Arms is about kids whose arms transform into grotesquely deformed super weapons.
9. Buzzer Beater
Hideyoshi is a homeless boy living in New York in the near future, who survives by hustling other kids in basketball games. But now he's been drafted into a pro team-a pro team with a very unique goal. There once was a time when humans dominated the game of basketball. But times have changed, and now the physically superior alien players have taken over the game, and there are barely any human players next. But Hideyoshi's team—the first all-human team to compete in the Space League—intends to change all that, and bring the championship back home to Earth.