I’m making my way through Yotsubato and am currently on the 12th volume. I’m reading them all fairly easily now, really only having to look up the occasional new word or verb now and again. I have a number of other manga in my collection (Rent a Girlfriend, A Couple of Cuckoos and some others) but find them to be a little too difficult to read.
I was wondering if anyone can suggest something that I could read after completing Yotsubato that won’t be super challenging but is a step-up in difficulty nonetheless.
I’d recommend reading Aria the Masterpiece (originally published as two series: Aqua and Aria). The language is generally straightforward, but there are specialized terms, and occasionally sci-fi terms show up too.
According to https://learnnatively.com, Aria the Masterpiece is slightly harder than Yotsubato (level 22 versus level 19), so it’s probably a good fit difficulty-wise. You could probably find other recommendations from that site too if you want.
I’d recommend 少女終末旅行 (Girl’s Last Tour). It’s a slice-of-life where two young girls explore a post-apocalyptic megacity. In general I found it even easier than Yotsuba, but there are a few sections that get a bit philosophical or can be tougher to understand due to the unfamiliar setting. It’s mostly lighthearted but it also packs a few big emotional punches.
The manga goes two volumes beyond where the anime ended and provides a more satisfying conclusion. If you’re unfamiliar with the anime, it’s beautiful and worth checking out once you’ve finished the manga through volume 4.
It gets a 21 difficulty rating on Natively (compared to Yotsuba’s 19).
Have been reading Polar Bear Café, I would say overall it is a little bit harder than Yotsuba, but it gets easier to read as the manga found a good sweet spot in dosing the humor and daily life. Also a great anime to watch.
(This isn’t meant to be a direct reply to seanblue. Oops.)
If you go this route, keep in mind that the first chapter starts out really difficult. Push through it, and things settle down a bit after that.
My recommendation for moving up the difficulty ladder is レンタルおにいちゃん. It starts out fairly simple, and doesn’t get too difficult, but still moves you into a genre different from Yotsuba. That can help make it easier to branch out into other genres.
Aside from that, it would help to know what genre you enjoy. A more difficult manga you enjoy can be much better than an easier one you don’t.
And if you want as comfort manga, something easy as Yotsuba that you can retreat to if other manga are being a bit difficult, there’s always 三ツ星カラーズ.