Great Manga Series For 10-12 years old

Hello hello! I’m back once again to pen a guest piece on my friend Tabrizia’s blog. For today’s post, we’re going to be focusing on a number of titles that are aimed at younger readers, ages 10 to 12 to be specific. While most of the manga that gets licensed & translated here in the States is targeted to readers of a slightly older demographic, there’re still plenty of great titles out there for juvenile readers out there. Let’s shine a spotlight on some of those today!

Yuzu the Pet Vet by Mingo Ito

11 year old Yuzu, has been feeling down as of late. Her mother has recently been hospitalized with an illness in her lungs, and her father passed away several years ago. This causes Yuzu to have to move in with her uncle, the lead veterinarian at the Blue Sky City Bow Wow Meow Animal Hospital. She’s not the biggest fan of animals upon arrival, but the more she observes and spends time with them, the more she grows to love them! With having to cope with her mother’s illness, in addition to petty squabbles that happen amongst elementary schoolers, Yuzu’s newfound connection with the animals at the hospital helps her become stronger and take on life one day at a time!

Wonder Cay Kyuu Chan by Sasami Nitori

For those who are fans of cat manga, be prepared to add another title to your collection! Presented in full color and in a yonkoma format, dour-faced Hinata doesn’t seem to find a lot of joy in life. That is, until he sees a cat in a box on a snowy, cold day. Hinata takes this cat home, and names it Kyuu-chan, deriving the name from the adjective cute, which he very much is. And what transpires is a family-friendly story, not only regarding comedic animal mischief, but funny shorts where Kyuu-chan does other things like rush to a job he’s late for, or have snafus while making his own lunch.

Little Witch Academia by Trigger and Yoh Yoshinari

What started off as a short film by Studio Trigger in 2013, took a big step when it became a full-fledged manga series. Young Akko has just enrolled at the renowned Luna Nova Magical Academy to try her hand at becoming a witch. The only problem? Akko doesn’t come from a magical bloodline. But that’s not going to deter her! Inspired by a legendary witch who was known as Shiny Chariot, Akko aims to show the world that wizardry is not a bad thing, and that she will never quit until she makes her dreams come true.

Zo Zo Zombie by Yasunari Nagatoshi

In this gag manga, 5th grader Isamu hears a rumor that zombies have recently been seen at a park by his house. When he goes to investigate, he discovers that those rumors are indeed true! Finding one in a sandbox, this zombie begins to follow Isamu everywhere he goes, sometimes with rather gross, but comedic, consequences. But Isamu doesn’t really have much to worry about. All the zombie wants to do is be friends with Isamu! Definitely a title to bookmark for middle grade readers with an interest in gross humor.

Splatoon by Sankichi Hinodeya

Based off of the popular third-person ‘ink’-shooting game from Nintendo, Splatoon also boasts its own manga series! With the Turf Wars about to get underway, the team who’s able to ink the largest amount of Inkopolis’ terrain in their team color will be declared the victors. The problem here is that Team Blue is a major underdog in the tournament, with a cast of characters that don’t inspire much confidence. But when the team leader Goggles, a plucky sort who’s big on teamwork, helps his team bring a bit of creativity to the table, everyone begins to realize that Team Blue may not be as down and as out as they originally appeared!

Yo-Kai Watch by Noriyuki Konishi

Another manga based on a popular video game series! Yokai is a word in Japanese that refers to supernatural spirits from Japanese folklore. And when Nate Adams receives what’s known as a yo-kai watch (from who else, a yokai!), he now has the ability to see yokai everywhere he goes! The more yokai Nate communicates with and gets to know, the more friends he’s able to make. But it won’t be all smooth sailing for Nate. Rival yokai crop up as well, and it’ll be up to his newfound yokai friends to make sure that nothing bad befalls their new friend!

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki

I’m sure many of you know this title already! From the Academy Award-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, Nausicaä’s plot sees the earth slowly sinking underneath the Sea of Corruption, after mankind set off a major ecological disaster in years prior. Princess Nausicaä realizes the precarious position the planet finds itself in. When prophecies and visions come her way of earth in better days, Nausicaä must use her special ability to communicate with the planet’s insects to help save things before it’s too late.

Super Mario Bros. Manga Mania/Kirby Manga Mania

And finally, here’s a twofer to conclude things! Two of Nintendo’s most recognizable franchises, Mario & Kirby, also have manga series in Japan that have been circulating for decades. Thanks to VIZ Media, fans can now read some of these zany adventures in English for the first time! With humorous characters and scenarios all throughout, these two titles are sure to delight young readers, as well as older ones, who love their corresponding video games. Happy reading everyone!

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