The English-speaking know Johji Manabe best as writing the Caravan Kidd, Outlanders and Capricorn mangas. He also co-created anime like A Dog of Flanders (1975), Galaxy Express 999 (movie, 1979) as an animator and co-wrote anime after his own Outlanders (OVA, 1986) and Capricorn (OAV, 1991).
Born in 1964 in Japan, he debuted as a mangaka in 1984. His plots develop in his inner sci-fi and fantasy worlds with huge bio-mech warships, action, hilarity and sword-swinging amazons stealing your heart.
Besides, he's famous for amateur manga (Doujinshi) after own and other author works. He also released the Tail Chaser, Ogin and Koisuru Ushi-Chichi mangas also belonging to hentai. His mangas published so far are:
* Caravan Kidd (1986)
* Outlanders (1986)
* Capricorn (1988)
* Drakuun - Ryuuhimehei (1988)
* Ginga Sengoku Gunyuuden Rai (1991)
* Wild Kingdom (2000)
* Ginga Sengoku Gunyuuden Rai Ibun (2004)
* Ogin (2004)
* Boukun Tyrano-san (2005)
* Oniku de Chu (2005)
* Tail Chaser (2005)
* Tobari no Uchi Derakkusu (2006)
* Rin x Mama (2008)
* Koisuru Ushi-Chichi (2009)
Johji Manabe' Outlanders manga (1986) combines action, comedy, drama, ecchi, romance and sci-fi elements. It features Wakatsuki Tetsuya, a photo reporter witnessing and involved in ET invasion. Finding himself after consciousness loss on their spacecraft run by Princess Kahm, he has to play her fiance. Like most Manabe's works, it blends sci-fi with some fantasy pieces - the swordsmen theme penetrates his many mangas. The manga is easily read containing many comedy and ecchi elements. It's one of his biggest works - 8 volumes.
A similar story is Caravan Kidd manga (1986) set on an Earth-like planet. Wataru escaped from home for new impressions and met Babo, an immoral businessman and his future partner in their suspicious deals. They familiarize with Mian Toris, a mysterious girl easily destroying aircraft with a sword stroke, considered an Armageddon forerunner and a most dangerous and wanted criminal. For rescuing her life she thanks Wataru and Babo by making them her slaves. Behind a criminal story image, it's a funny adventure manga with a lot of humor and ecchi.
The Drakuun manga (1988) is more of fantasy with some sci-fi, ecchi, romance and comedy. Set in 2077, the Romunilian Empire controls the Griffel continent except some separatist states like Ledomiam. Dragon Princess Karula, of its Olzen dynasty, comes to the imperial city of Belgorand for alleged ceasefire but actually to assassinate Emperor Gustav. In her escape Karula loses her dearest.
Gustav survives to mobilize the empire against Ledomiam with a war or Karula ultimatum. She has to flee to a free trade city of Zaaru, Nopland where she joins a circus as a sword-swinging star Raym and companions Chen and Dard, a border guard commander. They rush to rescue her sister Queen Rosalia captured by the empire.
Sadly, some of his works like Capricorn (1988), Wild Kingdom (2000), Ginga Sengoku Gunyuuden Rai (Galaxy Warring State Chronicles, 2004) weren't translated into English. Only a Capricorn-based OAV was shot and translated.
Galaxy Warring State Chronicles is the writer's biggest manga with 27 volumes. The hero, Rai, starts as a galaxy army soldier trying to unite all the galaxy and takes on a huge spaceship with brave friends. A 52-piece TV series, Thunder Jet, was shot after the manga and we hope it'll also be released in English.
Johji Manabe's manga won't make you bored as his plots are always in action. If you like adventures in a world of modern technology and "medieval" swordsmen, full of humor and romance, stick to any of the above-mentioned works that won't leave you disinterested.