Mangas I'm Reading

Since Takuya has had his chance to share the manga he is reading with everyone, I thought I should take the opportunity to do the same too. Unlike most, I tend to read a broad spectrum of manga genres. As such, I often come to a dead end when trying to explain the types of mangas that I read. As often as possible, I tend to gravitate towards mangas which are educational to some degree and extent while often avoiding romance or harems except for a key few. Better than explaining the type of manga I read, I figured it would be best to list it out. So, here we go starting with Number One.

1. One Piece
It probably comes to no surprise to see One Piece on the list but, its position is nowhere indicative of where I rank it. While I have no qualms with admitting that One Piece is an absolute masterpiece excelling at every aspect from the art to the story, it has never quite pulled me in. As such, One Piece tends to be the sort of manga that I would binge read, often letting multiple chapters pile up before reading it. When I do get around to reading it though, it is almost always fantastic. Highly recommended but, you already knew that. 

2. Shokugeki no Soma
Cooking-genre mangas/animes are not anything new but, never has there been one quite like Shokugeki no Soma. Combining great art for both its food and fan service, the visual presentation alone is enough to make most readers hooked. Nevertheless, Shokugeki no Soma delivers additional blows with great writing, intense battles and culinary enlightenment. No surprise then that Shokugeki no Soma's meteoric rise to top shows no signs of slowing down especially now with two seasons of anime adaptations under its belt. Just like One Piece, Shokugeki no Soma is serialized every week in Weekly Shounen Jump. So, to share the same magazine as One Piece is an achievement in itself. But, to stand toe to toe with it, that is Shokugeki no Soma for you.

3. Prison School
Winner of the Best General Manga at the 37th Kodansha Manga Award, Prison School is a class-act demonstration of perfect execution. With a story which makes absolutely no sense on paper and characters you would be forgiven for passing off as material for an R18 series, Prison School's genius lies entirely in its writing. Generating genuine suspense and mystery in an otherwise surreal scenario, Prison School will have you on a roller-coaster ride of page-turning binge reading. It also helps that the art is exceptional and its excessive use of fan-service almost borders on parodying the concept of fan-service. Brilliant in every aspect, should you suspend your belief of reality, Prison School is what every seinen manga should aspire to be. 

4. Ajin
Speaking of seinen mangas, Ajin. Period. When was the last time we had something as good as this? In the hyper-violent world that is Ajin's, the manga never lets down for a moment solely on the grounds that even it takes itself too seriously. Every panel, every plot point and every action is coldly calculated and happens for a reason. This is a manga with a purpose and does not beat around the bust to pad its length or pander to readers. Ajin does not care if you like it or not, it just keeps moving forward beckoning for you to keep up with it. So, if you ever needed a manga to take seriously, you now have Ajin. The only question is, can you keep up?
5. Demi-chan wa Kataritai
Shifting away from the heavy stuff, let us move onto something lighter in this cheerful slice-of-life featuring demi-humans in high school. Sounds overplayed and cliche? Well, I would not blame you for thinking so and this manga knows that too. For that reason, fan service in this series is almost non-existent and every chapter is geared towards exploring more into this alternate reality. Comedy is carefully sprinkled in with proper timing as not to devalue either the characters or the story. A light read it may be but, most importantly, Demi-chan wa Kataritai has direction. Which is more than I can say for many mangas vying for the high school slice-of-life genre.
6. Kami-sama no Iuutori Ni
The second part of the Kami-sama no Iuutori series, this manga is as complicated to keep up as the first. What started as a novel gimmick at the start of the original series has quickly spun out of control into massive proportions. It has come to the point where I am certain, most readers have difficulty keeping up with all the myriad of characters that are constantly introduced. That being said, Kami-sama no Iuutori is not a kind world with those many characters being relinquished almost as quickly as they were introduced. Intelligent, punishing and awkwardly charming, Kami-sama no Iuutori is unique and in a very good way. That is why I keep coming back for more.

7. Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou
My guilty pleasure, Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou or MonMusu for short is the undisputed champion of all monster girl genre mangas. On paper, there is absolutely nothing great about it. There is extensive unnecessary fan service with a story revolving around one guy and a tonne of girls, well, monster girls in this case complete with a side serving of comedy. Basically, it is your typical harem slice-of-life manga but, with monster girls instead of normal girls. So then, what on Earth makes Okayado's Monster Musume so good? Aside from the obvious being the monster girls as a unique factor, Monster Musume is actually a very well written manga. Dialogues, pacing, plot lines, comedic timing, jokes, gags and character personality, everything is thought out earnestly and this shows when every single girl feels like a truly unique character rather than being your typical archetype of a character. Most of all, it means Monster Musume is entertaining and that keeps me coming back for more every month.

8. 12 Beast
Another work by Okayado, this time we have one of his newer works 12 Beast. Released alongside Monster Musume which is still in serialization, one wonders how he has the time to manage this. Still, 12 Beast is not a rehash of Monster Musume's magic formula but, instead, relies on a complete different tone tone. All the inner workings of a winning formula is there as seen in Monster Musume but, with a more action oriented direction. The series is still young and I am keen to see how it develops from here on forth.

9. Nanatsu no Taizai
If ever there was ever a manga where the saying "do not judge a book by its cover" were true. Then, that no truer words can be used to describe Nanatsu no Taizai or, as most know it, 7 Deadly Sins. From the outside 7 Deadly Sins looks rather bland and unexciting especially with its more retro pencil sketch art-style. Beneath all that, lies a manga filled to the brim with unbelievably exciting fight scenes and a linear coherent story which continues to pull you in. The art style is probably the series' strongest suit with sharp, clean lines making for very easy to follow epic battles. Strong characters and good writing just serves as the icing on the cake. It just so happens to be the winner of the Best Shonen Manga at the 39th Kodansha Manga Awards, no big deal.

10. Jin
Number 10 is a little bit of a curve ball and a manga probably unknown to many. Jin tells the story of a modern day neurosurgeon who is transported back in time to the Edo Period in Japan where he strives to survive as a doctor. His ground-breaking actions which save the lives of otherwise deceased individuals shakes the roots of history and throws him straight into the thick of Edo-time politics. Highly educational, Jin is an undeniably intelligent manga especially if you have an interest in medicine.

11. Haikyuu!!
Literally saving the best for last, we have the aptly named Haikyuu!! In contrast to what most people would think, I strongly believe that Haikyuu!! is most definitely Jump Comics' strongest asset at this very moment. Haikyuu!! a simple story about high school volleyball gets everything right and I mean, everything. From the art to the writing, Haikyuu!! is an absolute standout and is my pick for the best manga at this very moment. If you have not read it yet, do yourself a favor and read it. For I absolutely guarantee you will not regret it.

With that, my little list comes to an end. Of course, there are several other mangas that I am currently reading that I had not mentioned. But, those are generally fairly generic and not worth too much of a mention. Who knows? Possibly I may cover them in the future. Let me know what you thought of the list in the comments section below. Until next time, thanks for reading and have yourself a wonderful day ahead!


Popular Posts