The Favorites Alphabet: D

Welcome to another installment of the Favorites Alphabet, where the Manga Bookshelf battle robot ruthlessly assess the titles in our respective collections to pick the manga title from each letter of the alphabet that makes us feel all floaty, whenever possible. We’re trying to stick with books that have been licensed and published in English, but we recognize that the alphabet is long, so we’re keeping a little wiggle room in reserve.

“D” is for…

Dominion | By Masamune Shirow | Published by Dark Horse Appleseed is the most ambitious, and Ghost in the Shell the most popular, but I have to admit that I find Dominion and its alternate universe sequel Dominion Conflict One to be my favorite Shirow manga, and one I keep going back and rereading.  It’s the funniest of his works, particularly Conflict, and the Puma Sisters were a major influence on “catgirls” in the Western fandom.  The environmental message is also strongest in these works, with the plotting devoted to ecoterrorism, and set in a future so miserable that if you go out without an oxygen mask, you die.  Most of all, though, Dominion revels in its property damage, and it may rival the Dirty Pair in sheer amount of destruction seen in a series.  Leona is a hothead who does not know the meaning of the words “Stand down”, and in Conflict, where her love interest and morality chain Al is missing, she’s even worse.  Dominion is just sheer fun, and a title I hope that Shirow eventually returns and wraps up some day.  – Sean Gaffney

Dororo | By Osamu Tezuka | Published by Vertical, Inc. – I could very easily have given this slot to Moto Hagio’s A Drunken Dream and Other Stories (Fantagraphics), but if I’m going to be completely honest, the title for this letter that I can read over and over again and take near-complete delight in is this truncated bit of action-fantasy lunacy from Tezuka. It’s about a guy whose greedy father sold all of his body parts to demons to get power, and now the kid has to use his prosthetic body and mad swordsman skills to go get his limbs and organs back. He’s also got a spunky kid thief tagging along, as one does in these circumstances. I could have read about a dozen volumes of this story, but there are unfortunately only three, probably because Tezuka was always doing a million things at once and one must prioritize. It’s hardly Tezuka’s most ambitious work, but, for my money, it’s a prime rendering of his defining qualities: passionate social critique and eye-popping entertainment. – David Welsh

Dororo | By Osamu Tezuka | Published by Vertical, Inc. – Once upon a time, when I was a brand new reader of manga, I was terrified of Osamu Tezuka. I found his status as a master so intimidating, I was actually afraid to read his work lest I be forced to face my own incompetency as a reader. Then, in a moment of madness, I bought Dororo, and less than a chapter in, I realized what it actually meant to be a master. Not only were my fears unfounded—Dororo was a truly thrilling and emotionally affecting manga—but it was Tezuka’s mastery of the craft that made the work so accessible, even today.  Dororo may not be my very favorite of Tezuka’s works, but it will always be special. – Melinda Beasi

DVD | By Kye Young Chon | Published by DramaQueen – Even though DramaQueen has only managed to release two of DVD’s eight volumes so far, I’ve seen enough to deem this my favorite manga/manhwa starting with the letter “D.”  When Ddam’s boyfriend dumps her, sick of her quirky attributes like the ability to see illusions, her suicidal plans are thwarted by a bizarre pair of fellows, boob fetishist Venu and punk DD, who proceed to attempt to cheer her up in their own inept way. The story is playfully told, with various amusing excursions, and the mystery of Ddam’s gradually solidifying illusions is tantalizing. I continue to buy DramaQueen’s new releases, in hopes that this will help fund more DVD, but really, I am not very hopeful. Thankfully, TOKYOPOP Germany finished the series, so there’s always the Google Translate route. – Michelle Smith

What starts with “D” in your favorites alphabet?