media recommendations

MALA'S MEDIA RECOMMENDATION HELL HOLE

types
anime manga games
genres
horror post apocolyptic exploration sci-fi seinen romance josei slice of life

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Long days spent playing Breath of the Wild for hours. Putting on a cape and watching it flow in the wind. Beating guardians to death with the master sword. Screaming when the guardian music catches me off guard. "BOTW is wild because it feels so alive yet also empty at the same time. The beautiful open world is why I love it. I'd view it as.. meditation. Though I imagine if I expected a better story, I'd be rather disappointed.

Tagged: exploration, game
Dorohedoro

Dorohedoro is a seinen manga by Q Hayashida. Dorohedoro is one of my favorite manga ever. It is full of gore though, so it is not for the faint of heart. It's got beautiful detailed art that captures the gritty, decrepit world of Hole. Despite the horrible things that happen in Dorohedoro, the comedy is delightful and there is often an air of lightheartedness. There's also an anime that is 12 episodes. It only covers a fraction of Dorohedoro, and there will be no season two, because the studio behind it is now working on Chainsaw Man.

Tagged: seinen, manga
Girl's Last Tour

Another post apocalyptic manga that I adore. The artwork is beautiful. Tsukumizu always evokes the love I have for brutalism. The adventures that the two main characters go on and their dialogue truly make the story. I found Girl's Last Tour very comforting despite the melancholia.

Tagged: postapoc, manga
Shimeji Simulation

Shimeji Simulation is a story about a girl who spent two years in a closet. After emerging, mushrooms have grown from her head. It's a really bizarre story. I really like Tsukumizu's art and stories, and it has surpassed her previous work, Girl's Last Tour, for me.

Tagged: surreal, manga
Charcoal Feather Federation

There are many people who would dislike Haibane Renmei. While I love it's strange atmosphere, slowing pacing, and air of mystery, many people would find it unsatisfying and dull. It is one of my favorites despite how some people may viewed it as flawed.

Tagged: surreal, anime
OFF

OFF by Mortis Ghost has influenced everything I've ever written since playing it. The bizarre world, the strange art style, and the unique story is always on my mind. I used to play it once a year to re-experience what it felt like all over again.

Tagged: surreal, game
Revolutionary Girl Utena

Revolutionary Girl Utena is one of the most revolutionary anime ever, but it is also the reason I don't watch long anime anymore. It is such a painful watch, especially after you figure out everything that's going on, but the story is just so wonderfully crafted. I want to recommend it to everyone despite it inflicting 10,000 bits of psychological torture on me.

Tagged: josei, anime
Little Nightmares 1 and 2

I spent a very long time obsessed with Little Nightmares. The story, while difficult to grasp if you don't dig through every single bit of lore and background detail, is very fascinating to me. I also love the art style, the music, the concepts, everything about it. Little Nightmares 1 and 2 are both masterpieces to me.

Tagged: horror, game
Yume Nikki

I considered not including this because Yume Nikki is such a cult classic. It feels like I'm stating the obvious, but it felt wrong to not have it somewhere on this list. Yume Nikki is a game where you explore a hikkikomori's dreams. The game spawned an entire genre and continues to get zines, cosplays, and merch almost 20 years after release.

Tagged: exploration, game
Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight is a metroidvania by Team Cherry. I'm very bad at video games, so I often avoid very difficult games.. Yet I really love Hollow Knight. The feeling of accomplishment I get after beating a boss I struggled with for weeks is heavenly, but it's not just that. I love exploring in Hollow Knight. Every time I discovered a new area, found a new secret, or uncovered new dialogue, I just felt so happy. The lore of Hollow Knight is some of my favorite ever. It's a delightful well made game.

Tagged: exploration, game
Fallout New Vegas

Fallout New Vegas is one of my favorite games. I am very fond of the post apocalypse, and Fallout's world is one of my favorites though I always felt a very strong disappointment with Fallout 4. Fallout New Vegas, despite its dated graphics and some other issues, is one of my favorite pieces of fiction. The House Always Wins

Tagged: postapoc, game
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikuo

I am very fond of peaceful post apocalyptic work, so Yokohoma Shopping Log is very high on the list for me. It is quite possible in my top five list of manga.. It is about an android running a cafe. It's a very beautiful work with an air of melancholia I adore. The characters age and you relate to them losing their childhood as they grow older. The beauty and sadness of this world I feel isn't captured in many stories.

Tagged: postapoc, manga
Our Dreams at Dusk

Our Dreams at Dusk is a manga about LGBT people renovating buildings. This is a bit of simplification, but I like to say it like that because I imagine renovating buildings with my other gay friends and talking about our lives. Their various identities and emotional wellbeings are explored, and the artwork is beautiful.

Tagged: seinen, manga
Yon and Mu

While Uzumaki is Junji Ito's magnum opus, Yun and Mu in my eyes is just as much of a chef-d'oeuvre. It's just a manga about Junji Ito illustrating his life with his cats. I'd honestly recommend this to anyone who enjoys manga.

Tagged: comedy, manga
Love My Life

Love My Life is a yuri manga by one of my favorite mangakas, Ebine Yamaji. There are so many gay people in this manga. It's fun. There's also a movie, and I think both are quite enjoyable and the movie is not too far off from the manga. I know some people disagree though.

Tagged: romance, manga
My Heart is a Chainsaw

My Heart is a Chainsaw has an exciting start, but the book itself is long and very slow. I enjoyed it immensely. The protagonist is an indigenous girl named Jade living in a gentrifying town. She has an obsession with slasher films and the events in her life seem to be mirroring that of one of her films. The question is: is she delusional or is the world around her really that of a horror flick?

Tagged: horror, book
Yumi's Cells

Yumi's Cells is a webtoon I adore. I read it throughout high school. It is very long as it ran for many years. The artwork begins charming and simplistic and changes over time though I find every iteration of it to be cute. It's about an office worker's cells helping her with life (think Inside Out). The comedy in it is good, and I find the romantic tension in it to not be contrived.

Tagged: nichijoukei, webtoon
Uzumaki

Uzumaki is considered by many to be Junji Ito's magnum opus, and I agree. I find the story to be so beautifully made, and the love in it connects with me today. The horror is truly shocking as well. Of course, Junji Ito's art continues to be striking. I would do anything and everything for Shuichii.

Tagged: horror, manga
Remembrance

Remembrance is an RPG Maker game by Kyou Systems. It is very word heavy with charming art, and a story that makes me a bit nostalgic despite its darker take on it. I find it's exploration of trauma to be really sincere, and it has lingered in my mind after finishing it.

Tagged: exploration, game
Goodnight Punpun

Goodnight Punpun is one of the most miserable pieces of fiction I've read. A harrowing tale of childhood neglect, manipulation, and just the general darkness of the human psyche. The artwork is gorgeous in a strange unsettling way. I think about this manga frequently and the people who have come and gone from my life.

Tagged: seinen, manga
Hanamonogotari

Hanamonogatari is a manga that just started. It's about an elderly bisexual woman who finds an elder lesbian. It's a really sweet story so far, and there's not a lot of lesbian work about older women. It's honestly one of my favorite things at the moment despite it only being around 3 chapters at the moment.

Tagged: romance, manga
The Rust Maidens

The Rust Maidens is a book about the trauma a woman experienced watching the girls from her neighborhood turn into metal beings. It has some interesting body horror, and I think the way the women are written is good. The imagery is beautiful as well.

Tagged: horror, book
Memories of Emanon

Emanon Wanderer is a very beautiful manga illustrated by Kenji Tsuruta. The story is by Kaijo Shinji> I feel a lot of love for this manga. The beauty of it's story about and art combine to just make a really wonderful experience. It also has a sequel, Emanon Wanderer, which I enjoy but it doesn't quite capture what Memories of Emanon did for me.

Tagged: sci-fi, manga
HalOPE

HalOPE is a game by my friend Starbage. Currently it is a demo, but I think it's already very memorable in it's current form. It's about an angel with a hole in them exploring different worlds, interacting with various characters, solving problems, and opening doors. The characters who appear in each world are all very lovely, and Kail's pixel art is to die for as per usual. I am excited for the full release

Tagged: exploration, game
8:11

8:11 is by my friend Dubuk. It is a surreal horror game featuring angels, murder, and priests who aren't exactly in their right mind. It's full of very beautiful art, and it is one of the most memorable RPG Maker games I've played. Every character is an absolute darling, and the story is so fascinating that despite it's 6 hour length, it can easily be played in one sitting

Tagged: horror, game
Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue is a psychological horror movie about an idol who has transitioned into film experiencing... Something. Glimpses of the past? Glimpses of the present? A false sense of self? There's a lot going on in Perfect Blue. The movie is beautiful as well.

Tagged: horror, game
Flesh Blood and Concrete

Flesh Blood and Concrete is a game by the my friend Io. I beta tested it and watched it grow in popularity after its release. It has some of the most beautiful art in an RPG Maker game I've seen, and the concepts and setting continue to go through my mind today. It is haunting and Nika is so lovable.

Tagged: horror, game
Withers

Withers is a Yume Nikki fangame by the creator Garakuta. It is one of my favorites. The worlds are lovingly crafted and provide a soft mix of horror, surrealness, and peacefulness. Even in places that would be traditionally seen as scary, there is comfort.

Tagged: exploration, game