Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted weekly by The Broke and Bookish and anyone is free to participate! This week’s subject is favorite graphic novels/picture books. But I already made a list about graphic novels for TTT, you can read it here! I decided to give manga/webtoons a shoutout for this list because the love I have for graphic novels is large, but I’ve already expressed it.
- Note: By mangas/webtoons I am also including Manhwas which are comics from Korea. I’m sorry I’m not including Manhuas (comics from China), I just haven’t read any as they are less prevalent than manga/webtoons/manhwas.
I’ve waited longer for manga to be completed than I have for books to be released (I waited about 6 years for one of my mangas to finally all be scanned into English). I’m just trimming it down to my (basically) favorite form each category or genre because it’s really too much to pick my favorite. Keep in mind though some of these genres indicate age groups, anyone can read any of these mangas and enjoy them. That’s just generally how they’re categorized in Japan/Korea.
- Note: If you’re here for Naruto, Inuyasha, One Piece, Pokémon, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, Tokyo Ghoul, Fruits Basket etc. I’m sorry this isn’t the kind of list with all the most popular ones. I’m here to introduce you to smaller, lesser known mangas. I haven’t read most of these “pillar” mangas (I watched Pokémon and Sailor Moon as a child), and I’m sure they’re great. But I don’t want to read them mostly because I feel like I will never EVER be able to catch up with them. Ever.
- Shojo: ~typically~ aimed at teenage girls
Oh classic shojo. This is the category I first started reading in when I was a teenager and I feel hard for ALL the romances. YES. I will always have a special place in my heart for shojo manga. I’m going with Last Game!
Last Game is about a guy named Yanagi who was always the best and most successful until Kujou transfers into his class. Kujou always manages to beat him and this goes on until college where Yanagi decides to play the “last game” and try to make her fall in love with him. It’s adorable, just go read it.
Close Seconds: Orange (Takano Ichigo), Kimi Ni Todoke and Snow White With the Red Hair, Boku No Hatsukoi Wo Kimi Ni Sasagu, Orange Marmalade
- Shounen: ~typically~ aimed at teenage boys
I confess, I don’t read a lot of shounen, and so therefore have very few choices when it comes to my favorite shounen. The one I’m reading right now is called ReLife. It’s about a man named Kaizaki Arata who is working a temp job as a 27-year-old man. His life is a bit of a drag and largely uninteresting until he receives a visit from a man who offers to give him the chance to relive a year of high school to participate in a study. It’s hilarious, so many grown up moments and realizing how lucky and easy it was to be a student. Like throwback to being a child. I want to go back.
- Josei: ~typically~ for older women
I discovered Josei late in my manga reading career and now I read almost exclusively Josei, which is kind of hard because it’s not as popular as shojo. Josei generally tends to have more serious and mature themes in its storyline (thought that’s not to say some shojo don’t have heavy themes). It’s more realistic and even more slice-of-life-like than shojo slice-of-life mangas.
Horimiya is probably one of my favorite. It’s about these two teenagers (seniors in high school?) who become friends after a couple unexpected events. At first it comes off as a shojo, but it’s really more Josei and I will fight you on that, thank you and goodnight.
- Most emotional romance/drama:
Can’t See, Can’t Hear, But Love.
This manhwa pretty much did me in. It’s a Korean webtoon I read about a year ago and the story has stayed with me. It follows the story of a man who draws webtoons and a woman who can’t talk. I still get emotional thinking about it. Just so you know, there is some abelist themes at the very end. I just want people to know about this and me liking it does not excuse these problematic instances.
- Favorite college age romance:
I really loved this manhwa, because it’s one of the first I’ve read that focuses on college; which is the stage I’ve just left.
Our Relationship Is AKA Something About Us (you can read it legally and fully here). It follows two college aged kids who have been friends since middle school and are now starting to grow apart for various reasons. Just so you know, YOU WILL SHIP THE COUPLE SO HARD.
- Favorite science fiction:
I’m not a HUGE fan of fantasy. I’ve always enjoyed slice of life mangas more. And this is kind of cheating because I didn’t actually read this manga, I watched the anime. But it was EPIC, and you can watch it on Netflix.
Sword Art Online is a science fiction fantasy manga/anime. It’s about these kids who get stuck in a video game. The only way to escape is to beat the game and the catch is if you die, you die in real life. It’s a great story and the game they’re all living inside is a fantasy world (which is why I say it’s science fiction fantasy). Really a quality anime. Although I personally wouldn’t recommend watching the second half (it’s pretty obvious where the first half ends), there’s some seriously graphic sexual assault/abuse that lasts throughout the whole second half, so be aware of that.
- Favorite Fantasy:
Again, I don’t read a lot of fantasy, and again sorry I didn’t read this one. I watched it but Noragami was absolutely fantastic.
Great characters, great story, interesting concept and very funny. Unique take and the heroine has quite a bit of agency. I was quite pleased. I think you can watch it on Funimation or Crunchy Role legally. Noragami follows Yato a kami (God) who is more or less forgotten. His sole purpose is to have his own shrine. But to have his own shrine, people have to remember him. His goal for his own shrine becomes complicated when a girl name Hiyori Iki demands his help.
Close Seconds: Orange Marmalade
- Favorite non-romance:
When I read manga, my thing is romance. I rarely read a manga/watch an anime unless it has a romance aspect to it. And my favorite non-romantic manga has to be Love So Life.
This manga has a tiny bit of romance in it, but it mostly focuses on a girl named Nakamura Shiharu who lives at an orphanage(?), or a social welfare center. And she becomes the nanny for these twins and you watch them grow up a little and it’s adorable.
Have you read any of these? I’m on the hunt for more to read, so let me know what your favorites are!!!