If you’re Filipino, yes I love mangoes too. But I’m talking about the sequential art kind.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about the visuals: Top Ten Favorite Graphic Novels/Comics or Ten Comics on My TBR or Top Ten Favorite Picture Books.
As much as I love the Marvel Universe, I prefer Japanese manga over comics and graphic novels. Sure, I enjoy Saga and Monstress but I realize that I don’t enjoy it as much as I do manga. With manga, I can marathon 4-5 in one sitting. When I read graphic novel, I can only read a volume at a time before I lose interest. And it’s trippy when I read manga before a graphic novel; my brain is so used to the right-to-left reading of panels that I get slightly confused. XD
Reading manga and graphic novels can help you with your GoodReads goal. They’re usually less than 200 pages and they have pictures. PICTURES! I enjoyed the Miss Peregrine books in graphic novel form, probably more than I did the book. Same with Prodigy by Marie Lu. I’m looking to get my hands on Champion as soon as it comes out. I rediscovered my love for manga late last year when I started watching more and more anime. Blame it on our Crunchyroll, Hulu Plus, and Funimation subscriptions. Most of these anime are adapted from manga… and some become manga after the series. Reading the source material after you watch a movie or show sounds a bit strange but with anime, I find that I love it.
So here are five manga recommendations that I’ve read and loved followed by five that are on my TBR. And I’ve watched the anime for all of them.
On my READ pile:
- One-Punch Man by ONE. I’ve talked about this manga and anime before. Our hero’s name is Saitama and his superpower is what the title suggests. He is so powerful that he defeats foes with a single punch. Where’s the fun in that? Well, everything is fun in this manga. All the characters from the heroes to the villains are all amazing. I mean, the anime had me laughing within the first three minutes. When I got to that part in the manga, I laughed yet another five minutes solid. I really do love everyone in this manga. It’s not just funny but the journey Saitama goes through as an unknown hero yet he’s the strongest out of everyone is so human. And really, have you seen the artwork? So awesome.
- Orange by Ichigo Takano. I saw both collected chapters on Book Outlet and was tempted to buy them. I might still do that if they’re still available. The anime cut straight to my feelz and having only read the first volume so far, I know the manga will do the same. I can’t really explain what this is about without giving it away but this slice-of-life manga deals with time travel, magical realism, and romance. A group of friends meet up years after their high school graduation to celebrate the life of a friend that they lost. But what if they can save him? I know the main story is completed so this is a perfect one to marathon.
- Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun by Izumi Tsubaki. I found this out by chance. It was under my recommended titles in Hulu. Then as luck would have it, I saw the manga at Kinokuniya that very same week. The manga is as fun as the anime; still laugh out loud funny and Hori-senpai is still the coolest. It’s about a young high school boy who is actually a mangaka, a manga artist. He enlists the help of his fellow high schoolers with his art as well as inspiration for storylines. I’m telling you, it’s hilarious.
- Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki. This is one of my favorites both in manga form and anime. And yes, live action too. This is the story of a wandering samurai trying to make up for what he did in the past. He wields a reverse-edge sword so that he can no longer take a life. It’s beautiful, poetic, action-packed, funny, endearing, and it’s all the feelz. Read the manga. Watch the anime. Watched the live action. Experience this story.
- Barakamon by Satsuki Yoshino. I recently read Volume 1 at the Little Tokyo Public Library and I was immediately brought back to the warm and fuzzy feelings that I had when I watched the anime. This is about a young calligraphy artist who was forced to take a break and reflect on his life at a very rural town. Being a city boy, he had reservations but with the warmth of the locals, he slowly adjusted to the relaxed and simple life. The selling point of this story is the local population of the town. Naru and the others welcomed Handa so warmly that it warmed my heart. The manga is still ongoing so hopefully, I can be with these characters for a long time.
On my TBR pile:
- Your Lie In April by Naoshi Arakawa. This is one of my all-time favorite anime. Sure, it’s one of the newer ones but oooh boy, I rewatched episode 18 so many times. Not to mention the addictive opening songs. I do have a copy of the manga and I am interested to see if it will give me the same feelz. I might read them and have the piano pieces ready to play in the background. I know it’s going to break my heart all over again.
- Black Butler by Yana Toboso. Yes, my lord. Watch it in Japanese, you’ll thank me later. I’ve always wanted to read this manga ever since seeing a complete-ish collection at the Little Tokyo Public Library. Now that I watched the whole series, I’m obsessed. It’s about a young Earl Ciel Phantomhive and Sebastian Michaelis, “one hell of a butler”. Ah, I’m just obsessed.
- K-On! by Kakifly. This is no question my favorite music anime. I saw the later chapters/volumes at Kinokuniya and I am so tempted to pick them up. It’s about their college lives, after their high school light music club. It also includes what Azu-nyan did after her senpai’s graduation. I get so invested in these characters that I want to know what happens to them after the show ends. Thank goodness we have manga for that.
- Usagi Drop by Yumi Unita. I’ve been told that the manga ending will make me want to rewatch the anime just so I’ll forget about the manga ending. Being me, I already spoiled myself for that and yes, I did rewatch the anime ending. Whut? I mean. Anyway, I would still love to read the manga.
- Antique Bakery by Fumi Yoshinaga. This. I would give anything to have physical copies of this manga. The Korean live action and the anime versions are HILARIOUS. And they don’t hold back. This is about an adult man who was abducted as a child. As an adult, he runs a cake shop. His employees are the heart and soul of the show and oh man, the yaoi rocks!
There you have it. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and based on these titles, give me your recommendations. If you’re into anime, I would love to chat. I have an Anime Planet account to keep track of my shows. Feel free to check it out.