I don’t consider myself a big fan of manga. It’s not that I dislike it, there are some series that I like quite a bit. But I don’t read a lot of it, so I find that I easily get lost and frustrated when I start a volume that is filled with in-jokes and little asides that are clearly meant for people who have read much more manga than I have.
Luckily, that isn’t the case with all manga. If you love to read, but are a little afraid to dip your toes into the ocean that is manga, these five series are a great way to ease into the complex world and enjoy a good story without getting overwhelmed!
1. Nana by Ai Yazawa
Two women meet on a train to Tokyo. They’re both named Nana and they’re both twenty years old. Beyond that, they couldn’t be more different. Nana Komatsu is looking for love while Nana Osaki seeks stardom. Though when they become roommates in the city, their lives become completely intertwined. Nana is all about love, friendship, music and would be great for fans of young adult literature.
2. Gangsta by Kohske
Gangsta takes place in the city of Ergastulum, a haven for violence and organized crime. Worick and Nic are ‘The Handymen,’also known as muscle for hire among the gangs. When they take on a job that is more than it seems, they’re thrown into a terrifying battle that has no room for heroes. Gangsta is a gritty action story for mature readers. While it is sometimes hard to keep up with the large cast of characters, the story moves quickly and the two main characters are incredibly intriguing.
3. Museum of Terror Vol. 3 by Junji Ito
I am purposely recommending only volume three for this list. The first two volumes of Museum of Terror consist of short stories all devoted to Ito’s legendary schoolgirl villain, Tomie. Volume three is a straightforward collection of horror stories that are perfect for fans of slasher films and Stephen King. These stories are terrifying and gruesome and Ito’s vibrant artwork brings it all beautifully to life. Warning: for mature audiences only! (this one can get a little gory!)
4. The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service by Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki (Illustrator)
If you’re a fan of Buffy or Supernatural, you’ll probably love this one! A group of recent graduates are both endowed with supernatural abilities and are unable to find employment. They come together as an agency to lay the corpses of unquiet spirits to rest for pay. The series is set up in a “monster of the week” style, focusing on individual cases in each volume and overarching plot lines tying them all together.
5. Suppli by Mari Okazaki
Suppli is a slice of work life. The story follows Minami, a twenty-seven year old office worker trying to find her place in both her career and her personal life. She has recently broken up with her longtime boyfriend and realizes she has nothing to call her own. The story is quiet, mundane, and sensitive, focusing on the developing friendships and romantic entanglements around the office.
These five series are an awesome introduction to manga for fans of different genres, but there are plenty more. What other series would you suggest?
YouTube Channel: NZAnimeManga
Featured image via Wiki How