Favorite Manga Series
Escaflowne - This is one of the manga versions of my favorite anime series. The tv series, manga and film all have slightly different stories but all have the girl Hitomi (her last name changes) sent to another world to save it from destruction from a rather insane villian, a common theme in all versions of the story (the tv show had three). The manga was made after the show but from an earlier draft. So Dilandau is from the same country as Van and Hitomi actually merges with an Energist instead of controlling one. Balgus has a daughter Shion, and it was Dilandau who murdered Van's mother (in the series she died years before the start of the story). Dornkirk was originaly from Earth but not in the manga.
. HACK // Legend of Twilight Bracelet - The manga of the video game series. Twilight Bracelet takes place 4 years after the game. It is mostly a piece of comedy so shouldn't be taken seriously, pokes fun mostly at video games (RPG's) and people who spend time online playing them. They have now animated this series ( what were they thinking :) ).
Magic Knight RayEarth I & II - Three schoolgirls are warped to another world to save it (twice). Pokes fun at manga in general at times and has a serious (but strange) plot.
MegaTokyo - My favorite online manga. You have to be a fan of video games and anime to 'get' some of the jokes but it's still funny to see the trouble they get into trying to earn enough money for plane tickets home. The first three chapters (two volumes) are available in print, check Waldenbooks and such. [edit: five volumes are now available.]
Gunslinger Girl - I started reading this one after reading about it on Megatokyo. Good art but might be a disturbing plot for some. Girls that have been orphaned or abandoned, or would otherwise would have died in horrible accidents are placed in Italy's Social Welfare Agency where they receive artifical bodies and brainwashed into assasins. There are three volumes and an anime. I was disappointed in the anime, *they killed off* Angelica. That pisses me off, she was recovering in the manga but no it was only a 13 episode season. When the hell did half seasons become so damn popular. They did such a good job with the Beethoven scene but then they had to go ruin it by killing someone off.
Spice and Wolf - A merchant finds the goddess of the harvest, the Wise Wolf Holo, in his wagon after a harvest festival and he agrees to help her get to her ancestral home in the far north. Loaded with a bit of financial info and merchant trades it isn't too heavy on the politics of money and makes for intriguing plots of kingdoms trying to destroy one another without raising a sword.
At one point they travel with a sheperd girl who wants to study at the church and then a young boy who wants to be amerchant. Both end up helping in their own ways to getting Holo closer to home.
Later they travel with a mercenary guild to protect an agent of their merchant guild and survive a coup attempt. Finally they settle in Holo's ancient homeland and start a spa / cafe type business. The series ends with their wedding and a hint the Wise Wolf is pregnant (she jokes about names but she meant the child and not the cafe).