So as well as devouring as many books as I can find, I am also a lover of anime and manga. I have been a fan of anime/manga for about 13 years (if you count Pokémon then its got to be at least 18 years by now)… gosh that makes me feel a little old! Not only do I watch and read it, but I do dabble in drawing it from time to time, although I have been in an art slump for absolutely ages.
After being a fan for so many years I have definitely gathered quite a few favourites; I mean, who can help it when there are so many good series out there ❤
Now, I do have a rather long list of programmes/manga that I like, so I have decided to split my favourites into anime and manga. For those who don’t know, anime refers to the animated cartoon, whereas manga is the printed Japanese comic-style stories. Some manga become anime, and some are standalones. I also have cases where I prefer an anime over a manga (or vice-versa), or I like both versions at the same time.
It is a Monday which is usually a bookish post, so I am going to get this started. In no particular order, here are my Top 10 Favourite Manga!
Note: all images are taken from MyAnimeList where appropriate!
1. Shinshi Doumei Cross by Arina Tanemura- Okay, so Arina Tanemura was one of my manga idols back in the day. Not only is her shoujo art style beautifully cute and the ‘poster-child’ for all wannabe manga artists (especially in my pre-teens), but her stories are really enjoyable too. My favourite of hers was definitely this one: The Gentlemen’s Alliance or Shinshi Doumei Cross. It starts off as a typical romance manga, with a girl chasing her crush all the way to an elite boarding school to try and be his girlfriend. However, her crush is actually a twin who has been doppelganging as his brother for health reasons. The manga does get a bit emotional and dramatic towards the end, and I always love rereading this one ! ❤
2. Koukou Debut by Kazume Kawahara- Ahh, this series is so cute! I read this one years and years ago, but I still have such lovely nostalgic feelings about this. This is another shoujo manga. In it Haruna has just started high school (koukou in Japanese), and decides she wants to leave her softball devotion from middle school and instead find a boyfriend. However, she spent so much time on sport she has no idea about fashion trends, nor does she know how to get a boyfriend. Desperate, she asks a ‘cool boy’ called Yoh to coach her on love. This was really cute and funny, and I remember crying towards the end! ❤ Ahh, now I want to read it all over again 🙂
3. Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) by Yana Toboso- YES. I love this so so much. The art is amazing (I recently bought an art book of this series while in Japan), and the storyline is right up my street. Set in Victorian London, the Phantomhive family is struck by tragedy. All members seem to have perished, until the 12-year-old son Ciel suddenly arrives with a new butler, and starts running his family company with huge success. The butler Sebastian is actually a demon, and they two are now under a contract, dealing with London’s criminal underground and solving problems for the crown. Of course, once the contract is up Sebastian can eat Ciel. This is a beautiful manga, with imaginative stories, costumes, and a bit of humour too ❤ I love it so much!
4. 07 Ghost by Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara- I really enjoyed the world of this one, and the characters were great. In a world where the military use a unique power called Zaiphon, military student Teito Klein is one of the most promising cadets. However, he uncovers a secret about his past, and attempts to assassinate a high-ranking official called Ayanami and is subsequently arrested. Thankfully his friend releases him, and Teito escapes by seeking refuge in a church. It is here, among the unique group of priests, where Teito has to regain his memories and find out his purpose in life, otherwise he will be killed by Ayanami. It is quite a complex storyline as time goes by, but I really enjoyed it 🙂
5. Gakuen Babysitters by Hari Tokeino- Ahh, okay, this one is so so cute! It doesn’t have a huge or developed storyline, it is quite an easygoing manga about daily life. The manga centers around Ryuuichi and his baby brother Kotarou. Their parents are killed in a car crash, and the brothers are taken in by the chairman of an elite academy, along with her butler/assistant. Ryuuichi then pays her back by helping out at the school’s daycare. It is a very innocent manga, with lots of cute toddlers roaming around 🙂 I actually think they are going to get an anime next year, which would be quite interesting to see!
6. Shokugeki no Souma by Shun Saeki, Yuuto Tsukuda and Yuki Morisaki- Gosh, this is one of those manga that you can’t help but be addicted to. Souma Yukihira has always worked as the sous chef in his father’s restaurant, and has dreamt of taking it over when he is older. However, his father suddenly decides to close the restaurant and tour restaurants around the world, telling Souma he must go to Tootsuki Culinary Academy, an intense school where only 10% of students graduate. The school is famous for Shokugeki– or food war- where students battle using their cooking skills. The use of food in this one is amazing, Souma is so cool and overall this manga is a funny and strangely addictive read. I am a few chapters behind though, so I have a lot to catch up on!
7. Magi by Shinobu Ohtaka- I still have a lot of chapters to catch up, but this manga is really interesting! It does seem to be based upon elements of 1001 Nights. The main protagonist is Aladdin, a boy who has set out to explore the world after being trapped in a room for a long time. However, he also realises he is a Magi, a magician who chooses kings for the world and battling against those who wish to harm the fate of the world (and its spirit, Rukh). With djinn, magical weapons, a depth of characters and some well-timed comedic elements, Magi is a manga that combines entertainment with some hard-hitting topics such as politics, slavery, etc. It is definitely worth a read!
8. Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu by Kanan Minami- This one is a very cliché shoujo manga, but I can’t help but enjoy this one! Plus, the art is stunning, which really helps 🙂 Tsubaki always makes her sister’s hair looks nice and cute in the morning, but never does her own as she doesn’t think it suits her. She instead focuses on her studies, and is usually at the top of her class. However, she failed to be the top student when starting at her high school. Instead, the top student is the arrogant popular guy, Tsubaki Kyouta! After being rude to her Tsubaki chops off his hair, which leads him to make outlandish claims that he will pay her back by making her become his woman. It is a bit far-fetched but very typical in Japanese manga, and the clichés don’t stop there. However, I really enjoyed this story, I loved all the emotion and I am sad that the series has finished! 😦
9. Kono Oto Tomare! by Amyuu Sakura- This is a recent one that I’ve been loving, but I really enjoy its vibe. I don’t usually read a lot of music-based manga, but this one is done realty well. The manga centres around Takezou, who is the sole member of the high school’s koto (a Japanese string intstrument) club. The club needs new members, or it will have to be shut down. Suddenly, a delinquent called Chika appears, saying he wishes to join? I love Chika so much, and there is such a wide range of good characters in this one. I love the storylines, and I just wish it was easier to find out exactly how good and emotional the songs are in real life!
10. Amatsuki by Shinoby Takayama- Honestly? I find this story to be quite complex, especially when you have to wait a while for a new chapter. There are also loads of characters, so its hard for me to remember everything. That said, it is a really good series! I find it really unique, and I just love Toki. In the modern world, Tokidoki is flunking history. But there is this new technology to try and get everyone involved in history, where you can go to a center and relive the Edo era using special glasses. However, something happens and Toki is suddenly transported back in time! This has given him special powers, which also gains the attention of the gods and demons. Toki has to try and survive in this new era, as well as work out how to get back home. There is soo much more going on than simply that though, its well worth a read!
There we have it! I definitely have a lot more favourites than this, but these are a few that popped into my head. I generally prefer shounen and more action storylines, but when reading manga is is really nice to have some cute shoujo romance reads. It helps even more when the art is amazing! ❤
Next time I’ll show you my favourite anime series 🙂
Do any of you read manga? If so, which ones do you like? Let me know in the comments! 🙂