I’ve been slowly dipping my toes into the manga universe, trying to expand my comics/graphic novel horizon. Moyasimon, for example — the 1st volume was very good. Beyond that, I’ve only read a couple of titles here and there.

Of course, like any good librarian I’ve been looking for lists to help me in my explorations.

Here’s a nice list from Robin Brenner via Jeff Vandermeer:

  1. Antique Bakery by Fumi Yoshinaga

  2. Clover by CLAMP
  3. Death Note by Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba
  4. Lone Wolf and Cub by Kazuo Koike
  5. Monster by Naoki Urasawa
  6. Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa
  7. Planetes by Makoto Yukimura
  8. Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma
  9. Ghost in the Shell by Shirow Masamune

And another, with handy genre hints:

  1. Rurouni Kenshin (chanbara) by Nobuhiro Watsuki

  2. Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind (fantasy) by Hayao Miyazaki
  3. Crying Freeman (crime) by Kazuo Koike
  4. Monster (thriller) by Naoki Urasawa
  5. Maison Ikkoku (comedy) by Rumiko Takahashi
  6. Berserk (fantasy) by Kentaro Miura
  7. Battle Angel Alita (cyberpunk) by Yukito Kishiro
  8. Blade Of The Immortal (chanbara) by Hiroaki Samura
  9. Nana (drama) by Ai Yazawa
  10. GTO (comedy) by Tohru Fujisawa

Some other lists are here, here, here and here

Of course, any reviews, suggestions and comments are more than welcome. In general, I like science fiction, horror and noir/hardboiled mystery so suggestions along those lines would be particularly helpful.

I already have some Nausicaa and Ooku lying around the house.

Comments

  1. #1 jake
    May 28, 2010

    You must add to your list Honey & Clover and Spice & Wolf.

  2. #2 Adam_Y
    May 28, 2010

    Ehhh… Death Note and Rurouni Kenshin are shonen which means they are marketed towards teenagers. They are not the best representations of what Japan can offer. Surprisingly I never did like Ghost in the Shell. It was too technical and really obtuse for my liking. The novels based off of the television series are better but need the context of the series to make complete sense. Full Metal Alchemist is an excellent comic.

  3. #3 John Dupuis
    May 28, 2010

    Thanks, guys. Your comments are appreciated.

  4. #4 Pierre
    May 28, 2010
  5. #5 sadpanda
    May 28, 2010

    In general, I like science fiction, horror and noir/hardboiled mystery so suggestions along those lines would be particularly helpful.

    2001 Nights
    Akira
    BLAME!
    Battle Royale
    Believers
    Domu – a Child’s Dream
    Eden: It’s an Endless World
    GUNNM (Battle Angel Alita)
    Ghost in the Shell
    Homunculus
    Hotel
    Kiseijuu (a.k.a Parasyte)
    Planetes

    More manga recommendations from other genres:

    Action(Fantasy & Sci-fi):
    Berserk
    Dominion Tank Police
    Gantz
    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
    Monster Collection

    Misc:
    Addicted to Curry
    BECK
    Bremen
    Fuguruma Memories
    Ouran High School Host Club

    Samurai/Historical:
    Blade of the Immortal
    Bokko
    Lone Wolf & Cub
    Samurai Executioner
    Samurai Legend
    Vagabond
    Vinland Saga

    Sports:
    Hajime No Ippo
    REAL
    Touch

    Slice of Life:
    Aruku Hito (The Walking Man)
    Harukana Machi-E
    Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou

    A good resource to search for information about manga, search by genre etc.. is http://www.mangaupdates.com

  6. #6 Kiyomi
    May 30, 2010

    You have a lot of good recomendations already but I’d add:

    xxxHolic by Clamp (Supernatual Comedy/Thriller)
    Hellsing by Kohta Hirano (Supernatural Horror/Thriller)

    Viz has some chapters/volumes of back issue manga online you can access through their Shonen Jump: http://shonenjump.viz.com/onlinemanga/onlinemanga.php website.

  7. #7 John Dupuis
    May 31, 2010

    Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate the suggestions. There’s enough to keep me going for a very long time…

  8. #8 LG
    June 16, 2010

    What manga you’ll end up liking really depends upon your reading tastes. I haven’t read Moyasimon yet, although I just took a look at a description of it and I think it’s going on my TBR list. Some manga are geared more towards teenagers or younger (which, in my opinion, does NOT mean they can’t be enjoyed by older readers), while others are geared towards older readers. Although I’m in my late twenties, I tend to really enjoy shojo (geared towards teen girls) and shonen (geared towards teen boys) titles. Too much of the stuff I’ve read that’s geared towards adults that has actually been made available in the US has either been too depressing, too dark, or too filled with techno terms for me.

    I disagree with Adam_Y’s comment – I really enjoyed Death Note (it’s resulted in some great discussions with others about what they would do if Death Notes actually existed) and Rurouni Kenshin (great fun, even if the fight scenes get a bit “are you kidding?”). Of course, I’m not saying everyone would or should enjoy them, but I think the “best of what Japan can offer” is REALLY subjective.

  9. #9 John Dupuis
    June 17, 2010

    Thanks.

    Somehow I guess I was sorta hoping all this input was going to help me figure out what to read next…not so much. Now the problem is narrowing down all the great suggestions!

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