Aaaaand it’s hump day again, whop whop. This week’s topic is non-written novels – manga, comics, audiobooks, yada yada. And hey would you look at that, I like all of these things. If you’d like to participate in T5W, here is the link to join the group!
If you’re even a semi-regular viewer of this blog, none of these titles should surprise you.
5. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
23 volumes long. (I own 9 or so, but have read all 23)
This series I started reading when I was in high school (actually, all five series I’ve listed I’ve been reading since high school. Each one has been read over and over throughout the past decade). This particular series is a light-hearted comedy with hints of romance following a girl who finds herself taken in by her classmate and his family after she’s discovered living in a tent on the family property. She then stumbles across the family’s secret – the family is cursed by the signs of the zodiac, each one transforming into an animal when hugged by the opposite sex.
It’s cute, it’s funny and at times it gets kinda dark. It’s super good.
4. Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba
12 volumes long. (I own 9, but used to own all 12. Long story that I’ll likely make a post about at some point)
I’ve noticed this series becoming rather popular again lately, especially with people who haven’t really read manga before. Well. Good, I say! Buy manga! Read manga! If you liked this series and want others, check out this list, ask me for more recommendations! The manga sections of stores in my area have gotten smaller lately – buy more so the sections get bigger again! Do it!
If you haven’t read or heard of this series before, it follows a young man who picks up a notebook dropped by a shinigami, a god of death. When a name is written in the notebook, that person dies. This series explores good and evil and lawfulness and chaos and all the gray areas of life. And it’s a super good thriller. Ahhh I love this series. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve reread it.
3. InuYasha by Rumiko Takahashi
56 volumes long. (I own 25 or so but have read all 56)
Inuyasha was my gateway anime (and gateway manga). It’s the one I have the most nostalgia for and will be a fan of for life. I’m slowly collecting the episodes on dvd and now that I think of it, should look into finding a bluray box set or something.
This series following a young woman, Kagome, who is dragged into an ancient well on her family’s shrine only to emerge 500 years in the past, smack in the middle of the Japanese Feudal Era. This is the feudal era of myth though – full of demons and spirits and lore. The story takes off when Kagome finds Inuyasha, a half-demon who has been pinned to a tree and kept in a deep sleep for 50 years.
This series man. Action, comedy, romance, tragedy, drama, conspiracy, EVERYTHING. I love this series! Both the anime and the manga are fantastic, so pick whichever one you want.
2. Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
27 volumes long. (I own all 27)
Honestly this one might be tied with my number one. Depending on the day, these two can swap places. I’m very happy to see this series picking up steam with readers who are just getting manga as well. This series seriously deserves every bit of praise it gets. One of the most intensive, epic, funny, serious, emotionally draining, entertaining series I’ve ever read, manga or otherwise. It just has everything.
For those who haven’t read it, it follows a pair of brothers as they try to regain their bodies. When the boys were young, their mother died. They attempted the forbidden art of human alchemy to revive her but severely underestimated the price. In exchange for their mortal crime, Ed lost his arm and leg and Alphonse lost his whole body. Now only his soul remains, tethered to the suit of armor you see in the cover. This series, man. This. Series. I need to reread it. Again.
1. Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki
28 volumes long. (I own all 28)
My favorite series ever I think (maybe tied with #2). It follows a young man living in Meija Era Japan who during the bloody Bakumatsu revolution acted as a manslayer, killing hundreds of people. He now wanders aimlessly, having vowed to never kill again and protect everyone he can, but his past has a way of staying with him.
This series, if you hadn’t guessed, is historical fiction. The characters in it are based off real historical figures from the time period and between chapters, the author will give little blurbs of where he got his inspiration. I love this series. I’ve said that about every one listed here but I seriously love this series. It has action and comedy and suspense and plot twists and history and all sorts of stuff. I love it so much.
So overall, if you take anything away from this post, it’s that if you don’t read manga already, you should really give it a chance. There’s some fantastic storytelling to be found here. Happy reading.