So I've got a favor / homework assignment for folks while I'm on vacation...
I've never been a big manga fan, mostly because I found the whole reading right-to-left thing difficult. But recently, something clicked, and I now find the process kind of fun... it's like re-learning to read in a way, and it's been awhile since I've been able to challenge my brain in that fashion. So I'm looking for some titles to sink my teeth into.
To help steer you into the right direction, here's what I've read so far and enjoyed: Kindaichi Case Files (first two volumes), Planetes (first volume), Yotsuba&! (first volume), a few random issues of the Epic run of Akira, and some random issue of Cowboy Bebop.
Here's what I've liked for anime, too, if that helps: Just about anything from Miyazaki (particularly Kiki and Nausicaa), Grave of the Fireflies, Akira, Robotech, Gatchaman, StarBlazers, FLCL, Cowboy Bebop, The Big O, Record of Lodoss War, Read or Die, Ninja Scroll.
As for the sort of thing I'm not looking for... no pr0n of any variety, as few giggling schoolgirls as possible, as little pointless fan service as possible, nothing that requires extensive understanding of the underpinnings of Asian culture, and though this probably falls under the first thing listed - and is clearly stated in the title of the post - NO TENTACLES! Because, ick.
Space, robots, swords, monsters, ninjas, and the like are all good, but by no means necessary. I mean, of the titles that I have read, I liked Kindaichi the most by far. Not enough good mystery comics in any country, I say. And, of course, that's the one TokyoPop decided they don't need to publish anymore. Razzafrazza...
So any suggestions that fit this sort of criteria are appreciated. Thanks and happy motoring!