Along the same lines, One Outs is a baseball psychological thriller by the same author and has a much better ending (in my opinion)
Since the rest of the thread seems to have you covered when it comes to being relatable to the average customer, here are some of my favorites that might not be as well known:
阿波連さんははかれない1 is a recent favorite of mine. It’s a bit of a twist on the formula of “weirdo loner at school is brought out of their shell by a kind friend” – in this story both of the main characters are weird loners and every chapter tackles some crazy scenario they get into because one makes wild assumptions and the other just goes with the flow. It’s hilarious and heartwarming and I’m dedicated to spreading the good word so more people can appreciate it. There’s no official English translation yet so you have a chance to get ahead of the curve on this one
ねねね2 is a nice little one-volume standalone romance. It’s a period piece about an arranged marriage between a man in his 30s and a girl in her teens; he’s made a vow (unbeknownst to her) to keep things platonic until she comes of age, but she (unbeknownst to him) is committed to doing her best to be a suitable wife, and of course hijinks ensue as a result. Their relationship develops very sweetly and awkwardly and it’s just good feels all around. I read this one in Japanese quite a while ago and it wasn’t too hard, though there is an English version if you’d rather.
外つ国の少女3 for something with gorgeous art and a dark, melancholy setting. It’s about a little girl who inadvertently curses anyone she touches, and the kindly monster who took her in when she was abandoned by her family. The Japanese is a little difficult at times since “Sensei” is a pretty old demon guy and can use some archaic grammar, but at least part of the series has been translated to English as well.
Finally, 甘々と稲妻4 isn’t too hidden (it got an anime adaptation a few years ago) but it is definitely a gem. It follows a recently-widowed man who wants to do right by his daughter and keep making her food that will remind her of the time they spent eating together while her mother was alive. Each chapter features a new recipe and a scene where they cook together, which I know isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I really love it. The whole series to date has been translated, but the only real difficulty on this one is that it has a lot of cooking terminology.
1: No English title yet, though if I had to devise one I would say “I can’t figure out Aharen”
2: NE NE NE
3:The Girl from the Other Side
4: Sweetness and lightning
I adore Tokyo Ghoul, Sui Ishida is my favorite mangaka of all time. I’m a huge fan of his colored art outside of the manga too; super dark and can be abrasive, but very watercolor-esque
I also recommend listening to Aphex Twin while reading it
This is a really good read. I don’t think the Japanese is too hard, so I recommend giving that a try (you have support of furigana, so it’s mostly about vocabulary knowledge).
Some more manga favorites for me:
The Drops of God by Tadashi Agi & Shu Okimoto. This is an absolutely brilliant manga on the theme of wine. A world-renowned wine critic passes away. The only way for his son to get his inheritange is by correctly identify 12 bottles of superb wine from his fathers critical writing alone. It’s just that he knows nothing about wine! How can a story about wine be this thrilling! I have no idea, but this manga it’s really well-written and there’s some great art.
What did you eat yesterday? by Fumi Yoshinaga. This is a slice-of-life type of manga about two gay men going about their ordinary lives and what they cook for dinner. There are the typical problems adult people have, such as their parent getting older and more frail, stress at work, but also life’s small enjoyments such as meeting up with friends after work. This manga is heartwarming and sweet and while I do think of it as BL, there are no explicit scenes, just a ton of cooking since that’s the central theme throughout.
Nr.6 by Atsuko Asano & Hinoki Kino. This manga is futuristic, dystopic, and has some BL themes mixed in to boot. A gripping story, action/thriller with some great original ideas. It’s likely a really good read (since the anime adaption was fabulous), but last time I tried, I failed (it was just too hard, even with the furigana back then 8 years ago). I still recommend it!
Obviously, I completely agree with others recommending Death Note and Gintama - Both are well worth reading.
There is just soo much great stuff out there! ^>^
I have up to around volume 20 of Black Butler but I sort of fell out of love with it, maybe I should try re-reading it though, it has been a while and I obviously liked it enough to buy more of it
I don’t think anyone has mentioned Yotsuba yet!
If I were working in a bookstore and someone came in asking to buy their first manga, I’d definitely recommend this one. It’s a great slice of life, very funny and family friendly, and is perfect for someone who is starting out studying Japanese - not least because of all the great resources here in the forums, and on Youtube, and our weekly readings!
Well, like all longer series, it does have it’s slower moments. Still I find it a great read. But, it’s not like you are indebted to continue just because you’ve invested yourself into something. I think one should be honest and just go for what one likes at the moment. Perhaps, there are other manga out there that you’d enjoy more right now, but still have to find!
Considering its complex plot, the multiples interpretation that could be given to the ending, the touching characters development and the deep critique of modern society I would say that without a doubt my favourite manga is:
For Japanese comics, I have only ever read Vagabond and Battle Royale but I think they are both great.
I’ll be scanning the posts here to see if there’s more short-span series’ like these for me to attack next
Haven’t seen Sket Dance being mentioned yet, aside from the ending it’s really great. The author was an assistant to Hideaki Sorachi (Gintama) and that really shows through the work.
Dorohedoro because it’s grotesque and surreal, but beautiful and generally awesome.
BLAME! for similar reasons
Hunter x Hunter, manga, anime, movies, the old version, the new. Simply adore it.
And Rurouni Kenshin.
Both in English, but read them online. (the anime in Japanese)
I thought the films were great
Hooo boy, where to even start…
Urasawa’s stuff gets a blanket recommendation, but I’m particulary fond of 20th Century Boys and Pluto. I just love how he manages to take seemingly absurd premises and take them well beyond what you’d expect them to do.
As for stuff currently running, Beastars is an obvious thing to recommend, but I also have a serious soft spot for Spy X Family and Dr. Stone. I don’t know how one managed to make a spy thriller wholesome, but they did.
For something a little more niche, I recently stumbled upon Team Medical Dragon and Yuureitou. With the former, I’m bummed that the translations just come to a halt in the middle of the final arc, but I guess it won’t be too long until I can fix that little issue. Meanwhile, the latter’s got a couple pacing issues in the first half, but it really pays off in the second and it’s the kind of thing you won’t see done much in general.
Kengan Ashura and it’s sequel series Omega meanwhile are some of the best battle manga you’re gonna get. It’s just a shame the former’s anime looks the way it does.
I’d say Berserk but at this point the series makes me feel like a battered housewife with how irregular new chapters are coming out.
If I enjoy my reread I might continue it in Japanese instead of English. That’s part of the reason I’m not really buying manga in English anymore, I want to get them in Japanese instead (plus I’m running out of shelf space)
Me too! They were surprisingly well-made for live-action movies.
Favorite Manga include:
Kaze no Tani no Naushika by Hayao Miyazaki, you may have heard of him… *g
Almost anything by Naoki Urasawa - I just bought the complete Yawara first edition on Monday - yay!
Appleseed by Masamune Shirow
the Munakata books by Hoshino Yukinobu
the Yokai Hunter books by Morohoshi Daijiro
and many more
I saw it recommended so many times I decided to check it out. It has furigana and I like weird stuff, what could possibly go wrong. So I bought it last week but I just now had a quick look.
There is some messed up stuff going on in these books. It certainly didn’t disappoint but I wasn’t prepared for it either. It’s like Twin Peaks with entrails flying around. I’m not even sure I want to understand more of it than I do now. The dog still needs to go out for her evening walk and I’m genuinely uneasy to go out into the fields at dusk.
Sorry about that! Yes, it is really unnerving, freakish stuff! And, yeah, things develops as you get further in the volumes as well (let’s just leave it at that). I was also really affected by Uzumaki, which I though impossible, it being a manga and all. I now know better! (and so do you now! )