For this reading year, I was introduced to mangas. I did read them from time to time but I didn’t really get into them until this year. If you don’t know, mangas are Japanese comics. Mangas get a bad rap for not being sufficient enough for a story, educational enough or could be demeaning to genders. However, mangas could be more engaging and entertaining than a prose novel. And this year was no exception. So if you are new to mangas or looking for newer ones, here are some great series to get you started:
Komi Can’t Communicate by Tomohito Oda
Komi is popular and well loved amongst her classmates. There is only one problem…she can’t communicate with any of them! This funny and relatable series put social anxiety in a whole new light. Join Komi as she tries to make 100 friends, in spite of her crippling disorder.
The Way of the House Husband by Kousuke Oono
What happens when a former yakuza member leaves it all behind…and becomes a househusband? This had me cracking up from the get go! I loved it so much, I recommended it to everyone I know. The premise behind this series is pure genius. I cannot wait to read more of it!
Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World by Keiichi Sigsawa
Kino travels with the trusty talking motorrad, Hermes. The duo are always together, with Hermes providing speed, and Kino providing balance. They stay in each country for no more than three days, as a rule—enough time to learn about each destination’s unique customs and people. And so Kino and Hermes journey ever onward… (Credit: Vertical)
Beastars by Paru Itagaki
I highly enjoy this one! The depiction of the herbivores and carnivores just played out so well that it makes it so relatable and realistic to both young and older readers. You could feel the tension, even it if wasn’t graphically depicted. What I loved about it it was that it felt more like high school drama that dealt with issues that modern high schoolers are dealing with right now. It was just so compelling and engaging that it makes me want to continue onto the next book.
Magus of the Library by Mitsu Izumi
This one of my favorites for the year! Not only does it contain a main character, Theo, who is both loveable and determined, this manga series about the passionate love for books and libraries…what’s not to love?!
For the Kid I Saw in My Dreams by Kei Sanbe
I couldn’t get enough of this mystery. Every twist and turn that occurs has me hooked at the edge of my seat. Senri watched his family get murdered. Every day, he gains power and money to discover what really happened on that dreadful night…
Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama
Perfect for fans of Harry Potter. A beautifully-illustrated story about a girl who longs for magic in her life and learns that, on the inside, she already is what she wishes she could be. Reminiscent of Studio Ghibli, this lushly-drawn story was voted one of the top 10 manga of the year in 2018 by the Japanese manga industry. (Credit: Kodansha Comics)
Go with the clouds, North-by-Northwest by Aki Irie
Kei Miyama is a 17-year-old with three secrets: he can talk to cars, he can’t handle pretty girls, and he works as a private investigator. One case has him searching for a beloved dog, another involves reuniting a woman with a man she fell for at first sight. And then comes a case that strikes close to home—searching for his own little brother.
Tag along as this globe-spanning journey unfolds…(Credit: Vertical Comics)
Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare by Yuhki Kamatani
Not only is high schooler Tasuku Kaname the new kid in town, he is also terrified that he has been outed as gay. Just as he’s contemplating doing the unthinkable, Tasuku meets a mysterious woman who leads him to a group of people dealing with problems not so different from his own. In this realistic, heartfelt depiction of LGBT+ characters from different backgrounds finding their place in the world, a search for inner peace proves to be the most universal experience of all. (Credit: Seven Seas)
O Maidens in Your Savage Season by Mari Okada
Kazusa’s first high school literature club meeting starts with five girls being asked, “What’s one thing you want to do before you die?” When one of them blurts out, “Sex,” it launches these new friends down a raucous, embarrassing, all-too-relatable path. (Credit: Kodansha Comics)