Updated: Mar 7
Brief History of Manga
Manga (pronounced maawng-guh) has a deep and rich history in Japan. It is said that manga has been around since the 12th century in Japan. However, according to historians, there is an important difference from the current manga in comparison to the 12th century manga. The role manga had changed because of the cultural and historical events following World War II versus pre-war ear of Meiji. The Japanese culture and art transformed when Japan became turbulent and instable because of World War II. Before World War II, manga focused on the culture of Japan and being aesthetically beautiful. Manga took on a new role during the war, as propaganda to sway the people’s views on the war and the relation with Western Nations.
Post-World War II is when the manga industry began to change from propaganda to entertainment. When Allied Occupation of Japan; in other words when the USA/ Western Nations occupied Japan, it became a turning point for the manga industry. The USA bought different their ideals and culture shaping much of Japan. Moreover, it allowed manga artist to explore different topics away from propaganda and war related art. Having loosen the rein on creative art it gave birth to Tezuka Osamu (the God of Manga) the creator of Astro Boy. Astro Boy is one of Japan’s most iconic and influential characters. Tezuka Osamu helped paved the way to the manga we all know and love today. Manga has become has had developed greatly since the 12th century and has become a huge part of the Japanese culture, especially the pop culture. Manga has brought us some of the best mangas/anime we have today, Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Sailor Moon, etc.
My 10 Top Mangas
*All the following mangas are completed
If you like anime, then you probably read the manga for your favorite anime. If you don’t then it’s ok. I’m going to tell you why you should read manga. Manga provides way more details to anime you watch. Most mangas are complete so if that anime you like doesn’t have a season 2 then you’ll get the closure you need. Sometimes you discover character and storylines you like and enjoy. You may also be head of the trend when a new anime comes out. So if you haven’t read a manga but you are interested in reading some hear are some of my favorite mangas I have read and reread.
10. Mizutama Honey Boy
Genre: Romance, Gender Bender, Comedy, Slice of Life
Mei Sengoku is the captain of the kendo club known to be a very strong person, physically and mentally. Shirou Fuji, is a boy with a strong feminine aura. What will happen when these two cross paths?
I really enjoy this manga because it challenges the gender norms of what is believed to masculine and feminine. Each character is true to their nature and accepting of who they are. It is a cute and wholesome manga that has you smile the entire time you are reading it.
9. Black Bird
Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Drama, Ecchi, Harem
Misao Harada has been able to see demons since she was a child and has vague memories of a boy who protected her from these troublesome creatures. On her 16th birthday, Misao is suddenly wounded by a classmate who turns out to be a demon. When all hope seems lost, Kyou saves her, revealing himself as the leader of a Tengu clan. Kyou gives Misao two choices become his bride or die at the hands of other demons.
Black Bird was one of the first mangas that I read were I realized I couldn’t read this in public. When I was a young adolescent some of the scenes were a little spicy for my young female self. The romance between Misao and Kyou is a cute and sweet romance that I wanted when I was young. This is a great read for anyone that wants a great romance with a balance of spicy scenes.
8. Code Breaker
Has an anime and OVA
Genre: Action, Supernatural, Comedy, Shounen, Romance
Sakura Sakurakouji a popluar high school girl trained in martial arts becomes entangled with the new transfer student Rei Oogami.
I enjoyed this manga because all the characters were likeable, and no one was dead weight. The manga was able to keep me captivated the entire time. It a great blend of comedy and action with hints of romance.
7. Daytime Shooting Star (Hirunaka no Ryuusei)
Has Live Action Film
Genre: Romance, Slice of Life, Comedy
Suzume Yosano is a 15-year-old girl who has lived in the countryside her whole life. Now, Suzume must move to Tokyo to live with her uncle. On her way to her uncle's house, a strange man helps her when she gets lost, and on her first day of school, she learns that he is her homeroom teacher, Satsuki Shishio. Her blossoming high school life in the city has just begun!
This a classic rom-com manga. Suzume is a fun and likable girl who happens to want to know what love is. Through trail and tribulations, she learns more about herself and what real love is. This is an enjoyable manga if you are looking for something not to heavy but still good.
6. Last Game
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life
Naoto Yanagi, heir to the Yanagi business conglomerate. Idolized by his classmates for his athleticism, looks and intellectual competence. Naoto lived like a king until Mikoto Kujou a plain, gloomy-looking transfer student joins his class. Mikoto disrupts his daily life.
Last Game is a great romance manga. I enjoyed seeing the budding romance between the main characters (MC). However, this manga goes at a very slow pace and the female MC is the reason they discovered the Law of Density. Overall, I thought it was a cute and funny Shoujo manga.
5. Hibi Chouchou
Genre: Coming of Age, Romance
Suiren Shibazeki is a beautiful young girl that captivating everyone, especially boys. As a result, Suiren now rarely speaks and maintains an expressionless face. Kouha Kawasumi, a talented karate student who is just as quiet as her. Kouha saves her from a group of boys, jump-starting the heartwarming romance that blossoms between the two soft-spoken youths.
I recommend this manga to anyone that wants something sweet and pure hearted with little to no drama. This is just a great read to get lost in. It wholesome and innocent for anyone wanting a leisurely manga. You definitely will not regret reading this manga.
4. My Little Monster (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun)
Has an anime
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Shizuku Mizutani is a cold and uninterested person. All she cares about is to become a successful working person like her mother. However, her world changes when she is encounters Yoshida Haru, a delinquent who had quit school after a violent fight got him suspended.
This is a fun manga to read. The interactions between Shizuku and Yoshida had me laughing out loud. Despite it having a simple premise and characters that have stereotypical archetypes the manga was executed nicely. This is one of those mangas that is so heartwarming and relatable. You can feel as though you can understand the thoughts and feelings of the characters.
3. Blue Spring Ride (Ao Haru Ride)
Has an Anime and Live Action
Genre: Drama, Romance, Slice of Life
While most girls desire popularity among boys, Futaba Yoshioka wants the exact opposite. She starts acting unfeminine and indifferent to boys, allowing her to make some “friends” along the way. Until Kou Mabuchi reenters her life. Kou was Futaba first love, but the past in the past. How will Futaba and Kou face each other now that they both high school students?
I don’t know what it is about this manga that has me coming back to it? I must have reread this manga at least 50 times. The story is simple, but the characters are well rounded. Futaba is an ordinary girl with nothing extortionary about her but what has me loving her is her perseverance. She able to stand tall after being knocked down. She is a very relatable and loveable character. This manga tugs at the heart strings for no reason but it is a relatable manga.
2. Kiss Him Not Me
Has an anime
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Reverse Harem
Kae Serinuma is an overweight second-year high school girl who spends her days obsessing over fictional boys and fantasizing about men being in love with each other. However, Kae's entire world is turned upside down when her favorite anime character dies. Heartbroken, she locks herself in her room and cuts off all contact from society. When she finally emerges a week later, she has slimmed down to have become a radiant beauty!
This great manga to read. The anime does not do it justice. It funny, quirky and a wonderful representation of a weeb. This manga had me laughing and smiling. Although this is a great manga there is one big issue that many readers may not enjoy or like. The beginning of the story is fatphobic. However, the fatphobia part wasn't so prominent making it an enjoyable read. The manga is filled with light humor and cute "shippy" moments,
*Couldn’t decide between the following mangas. Both are very dear to me.
Has an anime
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
After the accident in which she lost her mother, 16-year-old Tohru Honda moves in with her grandfather, but due to his home being renovated, is unable to continue living with him. Claiming she will find someone to stay with but also fearing the criticism of her family and not wanting to burden any of her friends, Tohru resorts to secretly living on her own in a tent in the woods. However, one-night Tohur is discovered by Yuki Souma, the "prince" of her school, and his cousin Shigure Souma. Tohru accidently discovers their secret. How will Tohru and the Souma react to her knowing?
Fruit Baskets holds a special place in my heart. It is the very first manga I ever read. I had watched the original anime and fell in love it. Being left on a cliffhanger and knowing there was no season 2 I had to know what was going to happen, so I read the manga. This manga is what lead me to own and read so many more manga. I absolutely love this series. It is a wholesome and beautiful manga. it brings true pleasure and happiness to my soul.
1b. Vampire Knights
Has an anime
Genres: Mystery, Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo, Vampire, Supernatural
Yuki's earliest memory is of a stormy night in winter, where she was attacked by a rogue vampire and rescued by Kaname Kuran, a Pureblood vampire. Now ten years later, Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of the headmaster of Cross Academy. At her side is Zero Kiryu, a childhood friend whose hatred for the creatures has left him determined to never to trust them. This coexisting arrangement seems all well and good, but have the vampires truly renounced their murderous ways, or is there a darker truth behind their actions? In this world of secrets, nothing is as it seems. The price of misplaced trust may even be worse than death.
This is also a manga that absolutely love. This is the first manga I ever bought with the little money my parents gave me as middle school student. I’ll let you know now this is not an amazing manga. The MC Yuki is actually not a great character, but she is likeable. I myself do not understand why I love this manga, but I do. The characters are beautifully drawn for a 2004 manga. I absolutely love the two male MCs’. The plot is a simple love triangle with a supernatural twist. Although this manga gets a lot of hate, I absolutely love it. I recommend you read it for your self and make your own judgements about it.
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