Reading manga is something that I have always loved doing. To me, a manga can be better than a book at times. The characters can be a bit over the top sometimes but that is what makes them so charming. And the stories that I always stumble across in the manga section of the bookstore’s shelves are really amazing *cough*Pandora Hearts*cough*
But alas, not many people here, even in the bookish part of the blogosphere, read manga. That kind of makes me sad because not only because I won’t be able to squee over manga as much as I want to but also because I won’t be able to crazily recommend a manga that I absolutely love. If I do, I will probably just be politely ignored unless the person I recommended the manga to is also especially into reading manga.
So. I’m going to try to
force persuade you people to try out manga… and maybe even come to love it?
Reason One: If you want, you can read manga for absolutely free online.
Yes, it’s true! You can probably find any manga title you want on websites like MangaHere that offer free fan scanlations. And the scanlations actually have a lot of quality and hard work put in them, so don’t be afraid of running into a bad translation. They are out there but there are also a lot of quality ones. It would be much appreciated if you supported the mangaka and publisher but if you are just trying out manga it wouldn’t hurt 😉
Reason Two: You will be expanding your horizons!
If you are one of those people who are always wanting to try new things, then trying out manga might be exciting for you. And even if you don’t, I still urge you try out manga.
Reason Three: If you want to read a certain story, there will probably be a manga for it.
Seriously, the world of manga covers so much ground that it is hard to not find a story you will be interested in. Do you want to read a emotional story about kid cyborgs who kick terrorist butt? There is a manga for that. Do you want to read a story about a crazy city with equally crazy people with gangs and with a dose of supernatural. There is a manga for that. Do you want to read a story about a group of girls coming together and kicking butt with superpowers? There’s a whole genre for that called the Magical Girl genre (it’s a pretty good genre, really, especially when you find the gems).
Reason Four: The over the top characters are actually pretty well done.
In manga, sometimes a character’s personality will be outrageous. And, um, those character’s personalities are actually written pretty well most of the time, in my experience. I actually take them more seriously in manga than I do in regular books.
Reason Five: Along with the story, you get some pretty visuals!
This is more of a preference thing. If you don’t like exaggerated eyes and every-color-of-the-rainbow hair than manga style art might not be for you… But for me, they are perfect. What surprises me most is how a mangaka can take the general aesthetics of the manga art style and add their own flare to it. And sometimes, the mangaka can make the normally cutesy art and turn it into something brilliant. Like pretty much anything drawn by Jun Mochizuki is brilliant.
Reason Six: You get to learn a new reading style!
Some may not like the way manga is read, and I get that. But I never found it to be a hard style to learn. It’s just the panels and “chat bubbles” being read from right to left. Not the words. Besides, if you do try to learn the reading style, you will be using some brain power! Which is always good 😛
Reason Seven: Manga is just pretty awesome.
Okay, maybe not all manga is awesome. But a lot of it is.
Fruits Basket– This is probably one of the most well-known ‘gateway manga’ out there. I mean, even I got introduced to the world of manga by reading this! I will admit that this manga is very happy-go-lucky and cutesy at first. But after a few of volumes, things get deep and depressing. Secrets rear their ugly heads and things get pretty dark. Fruits Basket does even all of the sadness with some sweet and light moments, though.
Pandora Hearts– Ah, Pandora Hearts. When will I ever stop recommending this masterpiece? Probably never. Anyways, this is my all-time favorite manga series, and for good reason. The characters are fleshed out and intriguing, the art is freaking beautiful, the twist are to die for and are always shattering my theories, the atmosphere is (mostly) dark and mysterious, and it is is constantly making allusions to Alice in Wonderland (in a way that only adds to the story, of course). What more could you want?
Kimi ni Todoke– If you love stories that are heartwarming, fun, and sweet, Kimi ni Todoke is for you. Unlike most shojo manga, Kimi ni Todoke focuses on friendship just as much as it focuses on romance (maybe even more). Plus, I find it rather refreshing that Sawako isn’t just ‘plain’ but just plain scary-looking (scary enough for her to become a social outcast for most of her life). Although I think that she is absolutely adorable.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica– This manga series is often categorized as part of the Magical Girl genre and it should be since it has the traits that most series in the genre share. But Puella Magi Madoka Magica is one those unique gems I was talking about earlier. It takes the regular template of the Magical Girl stories and deconstructs it completely. This series isn’t as girly cute as it is dark, sad, and thought-provoking.
Higurashi: When They Cry– If I were to say anything about this series, I would say that it is a masterpiece of a murder mystery. The manga does have a very unique story structure that might take some getting used to, though. I’m just going to explain it since it’s not exactly a spoiler. At the end of every arc, normally every character dies. And then the story resets and is told in a different way. Every different story arc gives a clue about what is really causing the murders. This isn’t for every murder mystery fan because of the story structure, but I still recommend it nevertheless.
Kitchen Princess– Cutesy is probably the best word to describe this. If I want some brain-candy to read, this is one of the series that I turn to.
Death Note– This manga has often been called one of the best manga to ever be created of all time. And awhile I don’t exactly agree with that (I don’t like the fact that almost all the woman in this manga are easily manipulated), I do see why people would think so. Death Note is a mystery series(with some supernatural thrown in) about the battle between idealism and justice. And it is quite the battle to read!
What Will You Choose?
Are you going to try out manga? Or are you going to avoid it? Whatever your answer is, please say so in the comments. I would really like to know 🙂 (If you don’t want to read manga, I totally respect your decision!)
If these recommendations don’t seem good for you, feel free to ask for some more 🙂
Now that Lottie has finished obsessively pushing people to read manga, she has only one warning: try it once, but know that you may never be able to come back. Of course you may hate manga and come back… But hopefully that doesn’t happen 😛