I love manga. Not only are they entertaining stories, but they also offer an interesting glimpse into another country’s culture. The manga I’ve chosen for this list aren’t “popular”. I found them by digging through websites and doing random searches.
**Remember: read from Right to Left**
#1.) Wild Wing
Genre: Action, One Shot, Romance, Shoujo
Author: Yumi Kirro
Summary: Miyabe lives a carefree life of luxury in her father’s laboratory, constantly monitored by servants because her body is too weak to venture into town. She’s told stories of mutated creatures living outside town – horrible abominations overcome with savage desires. During her monthly field-trip, she accidentally falls into a river and is whisked downstream.
My rating: Loved it! It’s an original, interesting plot that immediately caught my attention. The theme revolves around science being a double-edged sword – beneficial, yet terrifying in its power and uncertainty.
Genre: Action, adventure, comedy, fantasy, historical, romance, shoujo, supernatural
Author: Hikawa Kyouko
Sequel: Otogimoyou Ayanishiki Futatabi (just skip past the first chapter, which is an unrelated short story)
Summary: Suzu is a seemingly ordinary village girl who happens to attract spirits. As a girl, she was taken under the wing of a young man named Shinkuro and taught how to control her powers. Shinkuro left the village to challenge the Sorcerer summoning demons into their world and never returned. All Suzu has to remember him by is a flute.
My Rating: An interesting take on sorcery and demons. I really like Suzu, because she can be both a beautiful lady and also an accomplished, fearless sorceress. She’s so sweet and kind that she can only summon lower-class demons, but she’s capable of casting powerful magic.
#3.) Nousatsu Rock Star
Genre: Comedy, one shot, romance, school life, shoujo
Author: Kikuchi Kamaro
Summary: Fujisaki Maki had a peaceful school life with many friends. One day, she saves Nobitani, a nerdy weakling constantly being bullied, and unintentionally turns the bullying on herself. With Nobitani as her only remaining friend, she’s shocked to discover that he’s not who he says he is.
My Rating: Maki and Nobitani make the cutest couple. She sacrifices everything to save him and he repays her with his undying loyalty, plus a few perks related to his ‘other identity’.
More Chapters: Nousatsu Rock Shounen
#4.) Fruits Basket
Genre: Romance, fantasy, school life, tragedy
Author: Natsuki Takaya
Summary: The enigmatic Sohma family shares a great secret: its members are possessed by spirits of the Chinese Zodiac. When they are hugged by members of the opposite sex, they transform into their Zodiac animal! Tohru Honda, an orphaned high school freshman, is given lodging by the Sohmas in exchange for taking care of household chores. The humble Tohru is quite grateful for the Sohma family’s generosity and the longer she stays with them, the more they realize what a blessing she is in their lives as well
My Rating: This is the first manga that actually made me cry, and not just little sniffles but actual tears rolling down my face. It’s a beautiful story of heartbroken, dysfunctional people coming together and healing each other’s wounds. I highly recommend it.
#5.) Heart Assassin
Genre: Comedy, one shot, romance
Author: Sora Kakeru
Summary: Kanazaki is the new kid in school and already has a reputation for being a die-hard delinquent that should be avoided at all costs. The teacher asks Fujisawa to give him a tour of the school and her kindness attracts the very scary Kanazaki.
My Rating: A very cute, quick read. Kanzaki is a real character. His outside is indeed scary, but he’s just a mushy, confused teenage boy.