So it looks like the Japanese bookstore in my town is hiring. I figured I’d go drop my resume off there this weekend. The more knowledge I posses of manga and Japanese books the better, so get in here and tell me about your favorite manga. What’s it about, why does it appeal to you, what language did you read it in, was it hard to understand, what type of reader would you recommend it to …it’s all fair game.
Monster for a great classic.
For more recent stuff, Beastars is great, and Chi no Wadachi is an absolute masterpiece.
Vagabond of course, is a must know. The Nekojiru manga are all really nice as well. Oyasumi Punpun too.
Oyasumi Punpun is a great recommendation if you want to end up depressed. www
Amazing manga though.
For how easy they are to understand… I would say aside from Beastars, these are all recommendations for people who like message or atmosphere heavy reads.
They’re easy to follow, but, they might be hard to read. Specially “Chi no Wadachi” on a purely psychological level. I think if you can relate to the themes in it, you’ll find yourself needing to take a break from it every now and then.
Monster is perhaps the best detective story I’ve ever read, and it has a really good anime adaptation. I think I still consider it today to be the best anime/manga in its genre.
Cells at Work, and Cells at Work Black, are the PG and 18+ version of a manga that I’d recommend for people who are interested in knowing how the body works. A lot of it is immunology.
Trying to think of another thing I read… I really like Levius est. I think Netflix began adapting it into an animation recently. It’s definitely for people who like sports anime more, but not really. Thematically it’s just “metal” boxing. It has a very steampunky feel to it.
On the food side of things, I think Shokugeki no Souma is one that everyone knows, but another cooking manga I really loved that’s sadly not as known is Yakitate!! Japan with more of a focus on baking/bread.
Great Teacher Onizuka is a manga I love but that to me seems mostly targeted towards young men. I really like humor in it, and I think it’s a good philosophy of life that’s presented in it.
I think that should be about it for everything that I can think of off the top of my head.
Some classics for me are Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura, in part because they were the first anime series I watched and loved and I then read the manga. I’ve only read them in English but I have all the Cardcaptor Sakura volumes in Japanese and plan to read them once I’ve done a bit more reading with the book clubs on here.
More recent manga that I’ve read would be Noragami (in English) and Yuru Camp (in Japanese with the Beginner Book Club).
Norgami is more supernatural and is about a minor deity called Yato who dreams of having his own shrine and does odd jobs to try to get enough money to build one.
Yuru Camp on the other hand is a slice-of-life, really ‘laid back’ manga about camping, it also has a really good anime adaptation. I’ve only read the first volume of the manga but given that the anime seems to have adapted the manga pretty faithfully I think the rest of the manga should be good.
Some other manga that I also enjoyed are Fullmetal Alchemist, Gentleman’s Alliance Cross, 07 Ghost and Bungou Stray Dogs. Bungou Stray Dogs characters are named after actual Japanese authors and have abilities whose names are based on a book or work by that author.
A manga I would love to read in Japanese is Gintama, it’s probably my favourite anime but it’s a long series and I imagine it would be quite hard to understand at my current level, plus there’s a lot of cultural references
I have the manga of this in Japanese on my shelf ready to read but I absolutely loved the anime adaptation of this, partly because I find human biology really interesting, especially the immune system and partly because it’s a pretty unusual setting for a series and I haven’t seen much else like it. Having looked through the manga the anime adaptation looks to be quite faithful apart from switching the order of some of the events about. I wish this series had been about when I was in school learning this stuff, would have made remembering it so much easier.
I’ve definitely read more manga than that but those are the ones that immediately come to mind.
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun simply because it’s hilarious and makes fun of typical shoujo manga tropes. The couples in this series are also way more interesting than what you get in regular shoujo manga in my opinion
Rose of Versailles a shoujo classic! I appreciate the fact that it’s mostly historically accurate. I also love the melodrama of 1970’s shoujo manga haha
Glass Mask this series is rather repetitive but it’s still one of my favorites! I really enjoy the determination of the protagonist!
Gundam the Origin A great way to experience the original Mobile Suit Gundam! Also the art is amazing
Touch and Cross Game by Mitsuru Adachi. Both of these series are fantastic and have really nice character development.
Captain Tsubasa I have no idea why, but I find the absurdity of this series hilarious… I’m probably just weird lol
Pokemon Special I recently discovered this one and feel kind of silly for reading it but It’s actually pretty fun I highly recommend it if you enjoy the Pokemon games.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that I have read all of these in English but most of them should be on the easier side since they are in the shoujo/shounen demographic
Okay, I’m going to reply to everyone all at once. Please keep the stories coming, this is great stuff.
@KurokawaMasumi I love your answer because you’ve incorporated a wealth of different genres into your recommendations. It sounds like maybe you have a leaning towards psychological thrillers, is that right? I’m also very interested in manga that show how immunology work or the japanese baking series. I’ll see if I can find some of these.
@DollyDaydream I get the feeling that you’ve been involved in the anime and manga world since you were a kid? I’m really enjoying the idea of a minor deity being a vaguely-employed bum with an inflated sense of self-importance. I’m definitely going to have to check that out.
And @Meminto you seem to prefer the shoujo genre. Care to share what speaks to you about it?
I meant for this to be a purely-for-research thread but now I want to read all of these things. I probably should have known that would happen, considering my track record.
One Punch Man. Watched the anime and read it in English before reading the Japanese (just 1 or 2 volumes though). It’s a fairly simple work in comparison to others. The plot is not as strong as I think it could be.
The series follow an OP character whose strength isn’t recognized by the hero association. He does hero activities for a hobby but his would-be spotlights are dimmed by misfortunes. A few have acknowledged him but what about the higher-ups and the world? Will he ever have adoring fans? Will he ever meet a worthy opponent?
I’m interested in seeing how the mangaka will develop the characters. Will it be as epic as fans are imagining or will it be a disappointment (to fans)?
Those who like My Hero Academia(?) might also like this, but it’s probably more suited to those who like action but don’t mind a weak plot. It’s also a funny manga to me.
It’s not so much psychological thrillers that I like, it just so happens that Monster is one of those manga that touch on subject like juvenile patho-psychology/ponerology. I suppose it’s also why I like the cooking/baking/immunology manga, because they too contain accurate information (well, they sometimes exaggerate the recipes, but it’s good enough).
Oyasumi Punpun and Chi no Wadachi I think I like because they remind me a bit of my own life, and the behaviors displayed are so accurate they read like very real although more extreme versions of it. I love it when manga are written in such a way that you can definitely imagine the same scenarios happening in the real world (same can be said for Monster).
That being said I’m not averse to more fantasy settings, either. They just tend to be more mainstream/popular and so I feel like I wouldn’t contribute by listing them.
Now all that being said, I remembered some more manga that I liked.
Gintama and Saiki Kusuo no Sai-nan are great gag manga, but they are definitely geared towards an otaku audience, since they have a lot of cross-references to other manga/anime/general japanese culture.
Itai no wa Iya nano de Bōgyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu is another good manga geared more towards people who are at least somewhat familiar with MMORPGs, or just that like games in that vein in general, and although I know this is a beaten to death genre, this particular title is different enough to not seem like just a mash-up of tropes. I think it started out as a light novels series.
Watashi ga Motete Dōsunda is a romantic comedy shoujo with a twist (reverse harem, protagonist is a yaoi fanatic), so definitely a recommendation for those types of otaku girls. I think they’ll be able to appreciate it the most.
Asobi Asobase I think is for people who for example like Nekojiru or Takashi Taniguchi’s works. It’s a surreal comedy manga.
Sakamoto desu ga? is another comedy I like, it’s more classic though.
Most of these are still ongoing too.
I don’t read much manga but I really enjoyed Berserk when reading it years ago. Unfortunate it will never be finished lol
Berserk is a medieval fantasy epic with multiple acts. You follow Guts through his younger years where he is a mercenary and then into his adult years after a unfortunate event takes place that is life altering for him. From then on he seeks out the one who has wrong him and fights through gods and demons to reach his ultimate enemy.
It can be pretty gory and sexual at times, but it really is a great serious and I probably dont do it any justice with my explanation
It’s been a while since I’ve read manga, but I second the recommendation of Bungou Stray Dogs I’ve seen below.
I also really like Haikyuu!!. It’s one of those rare sports manga where instead of sitting down and reaching for another volume, I actually wanna get out and do sports! But of course I always pick the next volume up after the gym
I don’t love everything about it, but Koe no Katachi is also one that’s close to my heart. Someone in the comments below was interested in manga with accurate info I believe? Koe no Katachi is a pretty accurate portrayal of the bullying and other daily life quirks that people with hearing problems experience. It gets less accurate as it continues, but it stays fun to read.
I don’t know if it counts as manga, but I also love Junji Ito’s works. He’s famous for his horror, which is indeed amazing, but my personal fave has got to be the manga about his cat. It’s hilarious, and very relatable as a cat owner.
Good luck with the job interview! Hope you get the job!
It’s a bit hard to remember what I’ve read, but here are some suggestions. Most seem to be in a realistic, slice-of-life setting so if that’s not for you you can skip these.
Barakamon is a relaxing one. The young calligrapher’s personal progress and how a good community changes a loner.
Genshiken is a full nerd-bomb about a manga/anime club in an university. It is quite realistic, even if the characters can be ridiculous.
Wotaku ni koi ha muzukashii is really nice. Short stories and great characters.
Kakukaku Shikajika is probably the best manga I’ve ever read.
Assassination Classroom is a very good and self-contained story.
Everything made by Naoki Urasawa is wonderful. And also Oshimi Shūzō’s work.
I second Junji Ito’s cat manga. It’s pretty funny!
Hmm, let’s see. I’ve read quite a few (in English).
My fallback manga has always been Fullmetal Alchemist - yes I’m kinda a basic manga reader but whatever, it’s really good even if it causes me mild existential crises whenever I read it. Haikyuu!! is another good one (I’m currently reading it in Japanese) to echo earlier posts. I’m a fan of a few older ones too, like Rurouni Kenshin and Berserk, as well as the more recent Vinland Saga and Akatsuki no Yona. Akatsuki no Yona is a shojo manga with a main character that’s actually rather strong (I find shojo heroines to be annoying wimps generally, but not Yona for the most part). There’s also an anime for it, but I haven’t watched it.
I also like one called Blue Period, which is about a graduating high schooler who finds an unexpected passion for painting and art, making him decide to pursue a career in it, starting with getting into a top art university. It’s rather inspiring but also very realistic in the struggles he goes through (and is going through - it’s still ongoing atm).
There’s also Gunjou Senki, which is a pretty brutal manga about a high school that is transported back to the sengoku era but instead of it being all sparkly and heroic they immediately have to fight for their lives as armed men led by one of Hideyoshi Toyotomi’s retainers begin murdering teachers and students. Dunno why exactly I really like this one, but I’m drawn in whenever I read it. Definitely a more mature manga, not for kids, but I would recommend it.
I haven’t read much manga (mostly because I can’t afford it) but the one I’d currently count as my favourite (at least, my favourite without having to do some possibly confusing justification) is Forbidden Scrollery, one of the official Touhou Project mangas. Since I’m fan of Touhou and very interested in Youkai (plus trash for anything cute) it basically worked out containing a lot of stuff I liked so it ended up being my current unconditional favourite
My favourite but that requires explanation is Kagerou Daze, the Manga adaptation(?) of the Kagerou Project songs. The whole thing with that being the manga doesn’t make much sense on its own and I don’t think you’d get much out of it if you weren’t already a fan of the songs (like I was and still super am) so I would highly recommend it… but only as part of the set of listening to all the songs and also reading the LNs first
I read everything I mentioned in English because I am not smart
I don’t read a ton of manga, as it seems like a really expensive hobby, but I really like the manga version of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. The art is positively gorgeous, and the story is quite a bit longer and more complex than the movie, which only really covers a part of the first book.
I’ve got a ton of BL manga and there a quite a few titles I could recommend. But, I’ll start off with some more mainstream titles
Ōoku: The Inner Chambers by Fumi Yoshinaga. In an alternative universe of old Japan, a plague targeting men has decimated the male population, and now the ruler of Japan is in fact a woman. This amazing series chronicles several generations of shoguns and the ongoing changes that take place in Japanese society due to men becoming a rare thing. Lovely art, court intrigue, original concept! <3<3<3
For horror-wibes: Uzumaki by Junji Ito. As the title suggests, the theme is about whirlpools, coils etc. Strange phenomena start to take place in this small town. We follow several characters here. It’s truly scary stuff and escalates toward the end. Don’t read before sleep!
For BL: 囀る鳥は羽ばたかない Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai Twittering Birds do not fly by Kou Yoneda. We follow Doumeki, a former cop who’s spent jail time and now recently joined a yakusa group lead by Yashiro. This is all yakuza intrigue and the strange “relationship” of sorts that develops between Doumeki and Yashiro. Lovely art, original story. What’s not to love! 18+!
I’ll probably be back with more stuff later on!
Yes, for the love of BL I can’t wait for August to come!
I have read tooooonnss of manga (especially BL, but I’m not gonna tattle too much about that), so it’s really hard to pick a favorite T_T Anyhows, here:
From MAL: “To young Oz Vessalius, heir to the Vessalius Duke House, the perilous world called the Abyss is nothing more than a folktale used to scare misbehaving children. However, when Oz’s coming-of-age ceremony is interrupted by the malicious Baskerville Clan intent on banishing him into the depths of the Abyss, the Vessalius heir realizes that his peaceful life of luxury is at its end. Now, he must confront the world of the Abyss and its dwellers, the monstrous “Chains,” which are both not quite as fake as he once believed.”
Why I like it: Well, personally when looking for manga, I look first at the artstyle. So I love the artstyle of this mangaka! The story is also weaved in a twisted, fairy tale style but with lots of bloodshed here and there. Currently, I have all volumes in Japanese and it serves as my practice for Japanese reading.
Akagami no Shirayukihime
From MAL: " Akagami no Shirayuki-hime depicts Shirayuki’s journey toward a new life at the royal palace of Clarines, as well as Zen’s endeavor to become a prince worthy of his title. As loyal friendships are forged and deadly enemies formed, Shirayuki and Zen slowly learn to support each other as they walk their own paths."
Why I like it: Again the art! I’d say I’m not fan of most shoujo; I can tell you all the shoujo mangas I’ve read since I don’t read a lot of them. But this one caught my eye because of its fairy tale-like setting. Plus, it doesn’t have most of the starting shoujo cliche that I try to stray away from. The heroine, Shirayuki, is not some wimpy, cutesy girl but a strong woman - a plus for me, I don’t like tsundere heroines.
Rom-com/Slice of Life –
Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
This story is about Narumi Momose, an OL who had her previous boyfriend breaking up with her because she is a fujoshi. Then at her new office, he met childhood friend, Hirotaka, a game otaku, who suggested that she try dating a fellow otaku, specifically himself. So the story revolves around these two, plus another two otakus in their office - a manga otaku and cosplay otaku.
Why I like it: Sometimes you just want chill manga where you can relate to the characters. While Narumi’s personality is someone I don’t really like in manga, I can relate to her being a working adult and fujoshi.
From MAL: "
When a mysterious light suddenly engulfs Earth, humanity is left petrified, frozen in stone. Thousands of years later, the world is teeming with vegetation, and forests have taken the places of cities that once stood proudly. One of the very first to emerge from their stone prison is Taiju Ooki, who finds that his good friend, a brilliant young scientist named Senkuu, has been preparing for his awakening. While Taiju wishes to save the girl he loves, Senkuu is determined to figure out the cause behind the strange phenomenon and restore the world to its former glory.
But when they free the infamously powerful Tsukasa Shishiou in order to gain an upper hand against the dangers in an unfamiliar world, they realize that their new comrade has other plans. Tsukasa sees their predicament as a chance to start over; free from the corruption and destruction wrought by technology, he will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. With both sides unable to see eye to eye, Senkuu and his devotion to science will clash with Tsukasa and his primal nature in what will truly be a battle of the ages."
Why I like it: I really like adventure/shounen stories related to science (as a scientist myself). Plus the concept of rebuilding humanity from stone age-like world, and the art is top notch. The way that the story unfolds, and the characters are also likeable. It’s really good. Plus there’s less “as long as there’s friendship, we can do this” trope in this manga as far as I know.
Lastly, my favorite genre!
Tightly clutching his Gibson guitar, Mafuyu Satou steps out of his dark apartment to begin another day of his high school life. While taking a nap in a quiet spot on the gymnasium staircase, he has a chance encounter with fellow student Ritsuka Uenoyama, who berates him for letting his guitar’s strings rust and break. Noticing Uenoyama’s knowledge of the instrument, Satou pleads for him to fix it and to teach him how to play. Uenoyama eventually agrees and invites him to sit in on a jam session with his two band mates: bassist Haruki Nakayama and drummer Akihiko Kaji.
Satou’s voice is strikingly beautiful, filling Uenoyama with the determination to make Satou the lead singer of the band. Though reticent at first, Satou takes the offer after an emotional meeting with an old friend. With the support of his new friends, Satou must not only learn how to play guitar, but also come to terms with the mysterious circumstances that led him to be its owner.
Why I like it: (1) Because it’s BL; (2) Because it has a really clear, smooth and beautiful art style. No questions and; (3) It’s very heart-wrenching.
Typically, BL genre is described to be fetishizing men or simply porn. But if you want someone to erase this idea in their heads, I’d recommend reading Given to them. For starters, it’s shounen ai, hence no explicit scenes. Kizu Natsuki, the mangaka, is also skilled in making manga that makes you cry. In addition, we have the music component. The anime successfully incorporated this element and Mafuyu’s song in the end is just
Is it really that obvious but yes you are correct.
I always watched cartoons as a child (I was born in the 90’s) and I watched the likes of Pokemon, some Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon without realising that they were dubs of Japanese anime. I think I properly discovered the world of anime and manga when I was around 12 as we got a computer and internet so you could look things up.
Thinking back on this reminds me that I’ve also read Chobits which I think was one of, if not the first volumes of manga that I bought. There definitely wasn’t as big a selection in bookshops back then, I remember having to get Waterstones to order my manga volumes in for me
Anime and manga were my first introduction to Japan and it’s culture as such and made me curious about the country as a whole, and now here I am today learning Japanese. I do still love anime and manga though, partly because I love art and drawing myself so I do love manga with nice art.
A few other manga I remembered I have some volumes of are Attack on Titan, Black Butler and Blue Exorcist. I’ve fallen out of love with those a bit, especially Black Butler.
Some other series that I have are Time Stranger Kyoko, Imadoki, I.O.N, Vampire Knight and Kobato.
Definitely recommend Noragami though, I gave a not too great summary of it but it’s a good manga.
After seeing this list I definitely need to have a sort through my manga collection…pretty sure I still have more that I just can’t remember
Edit: @Dailyhubble just reminded me that I also have the complete series of Death Note
Hey good luck with your application, all my fingers are crossed for you
Knowing how much people love advice they didn’t ask for on the internet - make sure you don’t focus too much on your knowledge of manga, and more on retail experience and customer service skills!
When I managed a game store anytime someone came in putting their knowledge of video games front and centre their application went straight to the bottom.
My favourite manga… nothing particularly exciting - Death Note and One Punch Man. Love em!
There are a lot of good ones, but I’ll limit myself to ones that began as manga instead of being an adaptation (sorry Higurashi and Umineko).
For Mahjong manga, both Akagi and Saki are very good. The first is more of a serious drama with a heavy focus on strategy, while the latter is a lighthearted sports manga with crazy Mahjong superpowers. They are very different, but I love them both.
For a psychological thriller that hasn’t been mentioned yet, Liar’s Game is pretty good. The tricks are much more mathematically and logically derived than many. The ending is meh at best, but overall it’s a really good series.
Kuroko’s Basketball is a fun one if you like sports manga. The characters have fun superpowers that make for interesting games.
Most of the rest that I’ve liked so far has already been mentioned or is an adaptation.
Thanks everybody for the support. A lot of these stories sound so fun! I think I’m going to stop by the bookstore today and maybe pick up a few volumes and check the place out. As far as working there it might be sort of a far-fetched idea, but I wanted to see if they needed someone to do social media and events coordination. I’m actually working full-time as a web developer but I’m thinking of starting up a side business doing web design and digital events for local businesses. The shop seems cool but their website is seriously lacking. I want to find a way to take the passion people have for manga and bring that energy to the website.
I’m probably getting ahead of myself. I haven’t even finished my resume because it’s a holiday weekend and I’ve been goofing off. Wish me luck, I’ll dive into these manga recommendations later when I’m not so hung over.