If you don’t already Know, I’ll be hosting a Read-a-thon in January. This will take place January 7-13, 2018 and there will be 25 Challenges. If you haven’t yet, check out the Announcement. I am super excited to be hosting this Read-a-thon, so I’ve decided to recommend some Manga for some of the Challenges. Some of these I’ve read and some of them I haven’t, but I’ve heard a lot of positive things about them.
Award Winning Manga:
Doraemon by Fukiko F. Fujio – The series has also been adapted into a successful Anime. The story revolves around a Robotic cat names Doraemon, who travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a pre-teen boy. I haven’t read this one, but I looks really funny and creative.
Case Closed by Gosho Aoyama – I haven’t read this one, but I’ve been wanting to read Case Closed for a long time now. I used to catch the show on TV when I was younger and I always liked it. Case Closed is an ongoing Detective Manga series. The story follows an amateur detective who was transformed into a child while investigating a mysterious organization, and solves a multitude of cases while impersonating his friend’s father and other characters.
Bleach by Tite Kubo – Bleach follows the adventures of the hot-headed teenager Ichigo Kurosaki who inherits his parents destiny, after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper. I haven’t read this one, but I’ve Seen Some of the Anime and I love the Premise of it.
Yo-Kai Watch – I’ve watched the Anime, but I haven’t read the Manga. This would be a Great gate way book for kids to cross over to Japanese culture and folklore. It’s a funny and cute children’s manga series about an ordinary boy who saves a ghost-shaped yo-kai who in turn gives him a special “yo-kai” watch which he can use to collect yo-kai friends, and later call on them to help him collect more yo-kai. It’s a fun series with an extremely predictable and repetitive plot that would probably remind most people of Pokémon.
Manga Centred around Folklore & Mythology:
Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya – I’ve read all 23 Volumes of Fruits Basket, I decided to read this after watching the Anime, and it was actually the Series that got me into read Manga. This was so cute! It made me laugh. Now, I wholeheartedly admit that the premise is weird and unlikely, but, hey, it’s fantasy. Anyway, if you can get past the initial outlandishness, you discover a story full of heart and darkness.
You will have characters in Fruits Basket that you will outright hate at the start, and then over time, come to love them. Experience the ridiculous emotional rollercoaster as you follow their transformation and development. You won’t get enough of it.
Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima – I have not read Fairy Tail but I love the Anime. This is one of my favourite amines and manga I really admire the bond between the Fairy Tail members. I can’t to get around to reading this, and I would highly Recommend this series to other Manga Readers.
Natsume’s Book of friends by Yuki Midorikawa – A gentle sort of supernatural crossed with slice-of life tale. I never read this one, but I’m planning to on watching the Anime soon. The series is about Natsume, an orphaned teenage boy who can see Spirits, who inherits from his grandmother the notebook she used to bind spirits under her control.
Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama – I’m pretty sure that most people have heard of Dragon, So I’m’ going to keep this short. I haven’t read it, but I used to watch the Anime on TV when I was young, and I really enjoyed it watching it.
Romance, Slice of Life, or Comedy:
Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori – I read the first Volume, and I enjoyed it, It is a bit different the Anime, which I absolutely Loved, but it was still good. It’s Cute, quirky, and funny. Personally, I thought the anime was better; The artwork in the Manga isn’t the Best. But still a good manga, and an awesome anime!
My Neighbour Totoro by Hayao Miyazaki – This is a story about two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, Who’s family moves to a “haunted house” and encounter acorns falling from the ceiling, soot sprites, and a gigantic Camphor Tree to name a few. Best of all they encounter Totoro. Satsuki and Mei go on many adventures with Totoro and discover the ways of a Totoro. This comic book interpretation of My Neighbour Totoro takes the reader through the whole story – in four volumes – with the text spoken in the film. I haven’t read this, but I loved the Movie.
I’ve heard that this is literally the movie, in graphic novel format, scene by scene, with all the dialogue, put into GN format, which is fine and fun for fans, but may be missing the whimsy and heart for those who’ve never seen the movie.
Kiss Him, Not Me by Junko – I’ve seen a few episodes of the Anime, and this is extremely funny. I’m looking forward to reading this Manga, and would highly recommend it. So the basic premise is that this obsessed-with-boy-love otaku girl’s favourite character dies, and so she goes into mourning and loses a bunch of weight and when she comes back to school all the hot Guys are suddenly in love with her. But she just wants them to like each other.
Orange by Ichigo Takano – This is a series that focuses mainly on friendship. I haven’t read it, but I’ve been hearing a lot about it.
Skip Beat by Yoshiki Nakamura – It is the story of Kyoko Mogami a 16-year-old girl who discovers that her childhood friend and romantic goal, Sho Fuwa, only keeps her around to act as a maid and to earn his living expenses, while he works his way to become the top pop idol in Japan. Furious and heartbroken, she vows revenge by beating him in show business. Another Series I haven’t read but really want to.
A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima – This one sounds extremely interesting, so this is another one I’m really excited to read. This series takes on a subject that’s big in the educational community: bullying. The protagonist of this is a former bully who wants to make amends with the girl he bullied in middle school.
Drama, Action, or Adventure:
Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa – This is set in a fictional universe in which alchemy is one of the most advanced scientific techniques, the story follows two alchemist brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, who are searching for the philosopher’s Stone to restore their bodies after a failed attempt to bring their mother back to life using alchemy. I’ve watched the Anime and highly recommend it.
Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic by Shinobu Ohtaka – I really love the Anime, this series is pretty popular right now. A playful manga series based on the stories from Arabian Nights! A fantasy adventure with a good blend of comedy. We have the ever famous Aladdin starring in this series With a magical flute that summons his friend, Ugo. Ugo is a shy, headless djinn. Aladdin is trying to help him recover his head and this book begins their adventures.
Chrono Crusade by Daisuke Moriyama – I watched the Anime and I was so involved in this story. What an endearing tale this turned out to be. There great characters and concepts lying at the core of the over the top demon fighting nuns trappings, which honestly are pretty fun themselves.
Karneval by Touya Mikanagi – I watched some of the Anime and enjoyed it and the art in the Manga looks pretty so I really want to read this. Nai searches for someone important to him, with only an abandoned bracelet as a clue. Gareki steals and pick-pockets to get by from day to day. The two meet in a strange mansion where they are set up, and soon become wanted criminals by military security operatives. When Nai and Gareki find themselves desperate in a hopeless predicament, they encounter the country’s most powerful defense organization, “Circus”.
Hunter X Hunter by Yoshihiro Togashi – The anime is actually one of my favorites, but I still haven’t read the Manga. It’s about a boy named Gon, looking for his father who is a Hunter. Gon’s main goal is to find his dad and figure out why he left.
Soul Eater by Atsushi Ohkubo – Soul Eater is about a group of students who attend a school for aspiring demon hunters. The story follows Maka, an scythe wielder and her partner, Soul, who transforms into the scythe she uses.
Black Cat by Kentaro Yabuki – This is about a pair of bounty hunters, one of which is a former assassin. I read this originally when I was in high school after watching the Anime. I liked it a lot back then. And I’ve recently started re-reading it.
One Piece by Eiichiro Oda – This is one of my favourites. I first started watching the Anime to this when I was young on 4Kids, then years later I started watching the Funimation Version and I’ve recently been reading the Manga. I am a hard-core One Piece fan. I have been since forever. I remember watching it on TV as a kid. Then they stopped airing the show for some reason. This manga is not meant for everyone and it is a huge dedication, but once you start reading it…. It is almost impossible to stop.
Fantasy, or Paranormal:
Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba – The main character in Death Note is Light, an outstandingly smart student who believes he can use the power of the notebook to pass judgement on the population and eradicate evil, creating a new world. I haven’t yet read this, I’ve watched the first episode of the Anime and the Live Action Movie.
Black Butler by Yana Toboso – I watched the Anime first. I liked it so much that I now want to pick up the Manga. Apparently, the anime industry has once again decided to end a series before the manga counterpart ended. Black Butler introduces the young Earl Ciel Phantomhive, who inherited his title and his job as the Queen’s dog from his deceased father. I love this Series Not only is it set in the Victorian era, it has a unique plot and such a loveable set of characters.
Horror, Demons, or Vampires:
Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida – I read the Manga after watching the Anime, and I really enjoyed it. I would highly recommend this to Manga readers, especially those that love Horror. This manga is interesting. A world where humans and Ghouls lives together, even the human’s know of there existence. I absolutely adored the anime when I watched it, and since I needed more of this amazing universe in my life, I moved on to the manga. The art is incredible, and the story is the one I already know and love – eerie, bloody and dramatic.
Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino – I’ve not read the manga, but I enjoyed Anime very much. This was a fun vampiric manga set in a school where there are “day students” and “night students”. Yuki Cross is a security guardian who protects day students from the night students. Zero is a guardian as well, but he hates vampires, unlike Yuki. However, Zero’s life will take an unexpected turn!
D. Gray Man by Katsura Hoshino – I love this series, I saw the Anime of it a long time ago, and it was so good. In this one we first meet with Allen, we find out about his history. Allen Walker is cursed. He tried to bring his adoptive father back to life with the aid of the mysterious Millennium Earl, only to end up with an eye that can see Akuma – demons created by the Millennium Earl.
Bloody Mary by Akaza Samamiya – I definitely enjoyed this way more than I should have but it’s shounen ai so of course I did. A vampire called Mary succeeds in finding another boy called Maria and desperately asks for him to kill him which should be no problem for a priest with the ‘powers of exorcism’. However, Maria hasn’t even heard of such a thing. I love the mystery behind both characters. This is a really interesting read! I really liked the concept of a vampire who wants nothing more than to die.
Mystery, Thriller, or Psychological:
Elfen Lied by Lynn Okamotto – Despite the cover, Elfen Lied is an extremely serious manga. The main character, Lucy, is not a regular human…she’s a Diclonius, human-like in every way except for two cat-ear shaped horns and transparent/invisible arms called “vectors” in addition to the two normal human ones. The story maintains many plots and sub-plots, and contains many sad and tragic elements combined with graphic-violence and nudity, Elfen Lied is very brutal & Gory, although it does have a great story. It does show Frequent and very graphic violence. I haven’t read the Manga, but I enjoyed the Anime.
Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki – I haven’t seen the Anime or Read the Manga, this series was recommended to me by my Sister and I still haven’t watched it. So I don’t actually know a lot about it. Alien parasites have arrived on earth and are using humans as hosts, and they are feeding on other humans. That’s basically all I know about it.
A Manga that is Related to something you previously Read:
For example a sequel, prequel, alternative setting or side story
Tokyo Ghoul: re by Sui Ishida – In the sequel series to Tokyo Ghoul, Haise Sasaki has been tasked with teaching his special squad of half-ghouls how to be outstanding Investigators, but this is complicated by the troublesome personalities of his subordinates and his own uncertain grasp of his Ghoul powers. I’ve read the Original series and Loved it, so I can’t wait to be able to read this one.
Shugo Chara Chan by Peach-Pit This manga in one word? Cute. Ridiculously cute. And humorous, especially if you like 4-koma gags. , Naphthalene Mizushima –
Boruto by Ukyō Kodachi , I’ve seen the Anime and I really loved it. I’ve heard that it’s a great continuation of the original series (probably not a good idea to start here though, you should definitely read Naruto first)., Masashi Kishimoto , Mikio Ikemoto – I haven’t read this
A Manga that was Published in 2016/2017:
Bloom into you by Nakatani Nio – I’m really excited to get around to reading this one. This looks super cute. This is a sweet romance between a girl who doesn’t want to be loved, and another who has never felt that special love for anyone else. Anyway, if you like tender yuri stories, or slow burn romances, or if you’re looking for something with a nuanced appreciation of sexuality, then I’d recommended this one.
Princess Jellyfish by Akiko Higashimura – I’ll be honest. When I first heard the title, I thought this was some odd magical girl manga. But from what I’ve heard, it’s the story of a girl who meets a cross-dresser and learns that there is power in your appearance.
A Manga with a Main Character who Transforms:
Pandora Hearts by Jun Mochizuki – This is my absolute favourite, I cannot begin to describe how amazing this series is. The artwork is gorgeous. Whether it’s an action scene, an emotional moment, or horror and madness, the artwork always delivers. Though the comic relief isn’t as frequent as some other series, it’s well done. As for the story, I have never seen a more twisted take on Alice in Wonderland. Ever. I highly recommend it, I cannot recommend this series enough.
Tales of Zestiria by Shiramine – I’ve played the game this series is based off, and the first volume is a pretty solid adaption of early game play. The artwork is good and I really liked it.
Tokyo Mew Mew by Mia Ikumi – I read this Manga ages ago after watching the Anime, and I would like to re-read it soon. I found Tokyo Mew Mew to be an interesting read. It may be a little cutesy, and gets into love relations plenty of times, it has a good art style, interesting dialogue, and even a few jokes now and then, as is expected with a Shoujo manga. I’d recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the genre, like Sailor Moon, Shugo Chara, or Cardcaptor Sakura
A Manga with a main character who Identifies as LGBTQ+
Love Stage by Eiki Eiki – Very easy to read, and very enjoyable. Izumi is the youngest son of a family touched by fame: father is an actor, mother is a model turned into an actress, brother is a member of a successful music group. This manga is RIDICULOUSLY funny and cute and everything I have been craving for what feels like forever.
Super Lovers by Miyuki Abe – This story is not like I expected it to be. It’s unbearably sweet. I picked this up after watching the Anime, the premise seemed cute. I liked the initial characters and story a lot.
A Guy Like You – This is a Web Manhwa. The story is actually very solid, in my opinion, as the relationship between the two characters (and the secondary characters) slowly develops. The supernatual touch is also interesting, and I will admit this is a story that had me hooked after only a few chapters. The art is downright beautiful. The characters are very real, with well developed personalities. Some of them have downright tragic backstories, I really enjoy the story so far, and I am hopelessly addicted.
A Manga with a Name in the title:
Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto – I’m pretty much a die hard fan of the Anime, I’ve never read the Manga. The world building was amazing. The action and the villains were epic. What I really loved about this Anime above all else were the characters of this series. So hopefully the Manga Lives up to my Expectations.
Cardcaptor Sakura by CLAMP – This is one of the best manga of my childhood and the anime for this was on all the time when I was younger and I really enjoyed watching the show, but the manga differs from the anime a bit, which isn’t a bad thing. Also, Almost everyone is queer! Tomoyo tells the reader that she’s in romantic love with Sakura, Touya and Yuki end up together, and Syaoran is attracted to Yuki and Sakura throughout the series. Same-sex attraction is completely normalized.
The Case Study of Vanitas by Jun Mochizuki – I love this manga! When Jun Mochizuki finished Pandora Hearts I was so sad, but when she announced she would start a new series about vampires living in the steampunk Paris era, I was so excited. Although, I was a bit Hesitant, I didn’t want to compare this story with Pandora Hearts, but what if her newest manga wouldn’t be as great? Luckily that wasn’t the case, I even think this manga has actually even more to offer than Pandora Hearts! It starts off so dark, which means it will probably become even darker in the next volumes!
Pandora Hearts was one of my favourite manga series, so I have been itching to read more of Mochizuki’s work. Happy to say this met and exceeded my expectations; full of great characters, French culture/folklore, Gothic overtones, and a dash of steampunk – I can hardly wait to read more!
Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi – So the story is about an ordinary junior high school student who just turned 15 and gets dragged into this medieval world where she is the reincarnation of a priestess who was once the guardian of the powerful jewel called the Shikon Jewel. Her traveling into this fantasy world awakens a sealed half-demon named Inuyasha who was sealed to a tree by a sacred arrow by the deceased priestess Kikyou. This has a really interesting and Complex Storyline.
A Manga that has been adapted to Live Action:
Boys Over Flowers by Yōko Kamio – This manga is about Makino Tsukushi, coming from a poor family with very low income, yet she goes to a school for rich people “Eitoku”. She suffers a lot as she is the only poor student at school, she doesn’t have any friends and everyone treats her badly. Makino’s only wish was to remain invisible in Eitoku to avoid getting into trouble. But one day she stands for her classmate against the F4 gang. As a result, the whole school turns against her.
Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki – I used to watch this a few years ago. I still didn’t watch the whole anime and I haven’t read the Manga, but I quite like the Premise. Rurouni Kenshin is the story of a wandering swordsman -Kenshin – carrying a sword that cannot kill and the mysterious past he can’t outrun.
Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama – The anime is amazing, I loved every second of it. I was blown away with it. So I now would like to read the Manga. This Anime was also introduced to me by my Sister. This definitely a darker sereis than what I’m used to and kinda reminds me of Tokyo Ghoul, but it was really good. I’m really interested in actually purchasing the Manga. If you’re interested in something that has a lot of action with a weird twist then I would definitely recommend this. =
Have you read any of these? What recommendations have I missed off that you also enjoy? If you have any other Manga to recommend, leave them in the comments.
A lot of these will work for multiple challenges, and if you would like to confirm if any of these fit for other challenge or If you would like recommendations for any of the Other Challenges, you can ask me on twitter, either @CoffeeandBook18 or @MMReadathon, I’d be happy to help.
Also, Just to remind everybody, You can read multiple volumes of manga in a series to have them count for multiple categories, but you can’t use the same volume of manga for multiple categories.