If you’re new to manga and not really sure where to start, Valkyrie from Revolutionary-Readers has some great advice for you! Read on to discover her top five favorite manga for new fans!
Manga is a form of comic originating in Japan. It is similar to comics here in America, partially because American comics have influenced the development of manga through the ages. But even though manga may have been influenced by American comics, manga has always been a strong part of Japanese culture, being traced back to illustrations on scrolls from the 12th and 13th century.
Nowadays, the manga style most of us have become familiar with has become an iconic part of Japan, along with the animated counterpart of manga, called anime. Fans of different manga series can be found not just in Japan, but all over the world, making manga and its popular style popular across all demographics.
I saw manga in my local library when I was around five years old and picked it up. Ever since then, I’ve been a huge manga fan. If you’re interested in getting into manga, here are my top five picks of manga for new fans.
Best Manga For New Fans of the Genre
1. My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi (Boku no)
My Hero Academia takes place in a world where people have suddenly started developing superhuman abilities called quirks. Soon, people begin to utilize their new quirks to become super heroes, while others use theirs to become villains. Sadly, young Izuku Midoria is born completely powerless, making him the target of his bully and past childhood friend, Bakugo Katsuki. Despite all this, Izuku dreams of attending the school for superheroes, U.A., and becoming as strong as his role model, All Might. But when Izuku is given a chance to not only gain a quirk, but gain one of the strongest in the world, his life will never be the same.
In the short time My Hero Academia has been released, it has gained a huge fanbase. You can’t go anywhere in the anime and manga community without hearing about MHA, and I’m not surprised. The variety of characters are likeable and the plot is interesting. MHA has its twists and turns, and keeps surprising you. It’s one of my top recommendations and a great way to ease into this genre.Buy on Amazon
2. Soul Eater by Atsushi Okubo
Maka and Soul are students at Death Weapon Meister Academy, a school whose purpose is to teach meisters and their demon weapons how to vanquish evil. Soul is a demon weapon and can transform into a scythe, and Maka — being his meister — is the only one who can wield him. Together they must collect the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch in order to create a death scythe that will allow them to graduate. After losing their collected souls, they must collect them all over again, but this time the journey will be more dangerous, and the stakes much higher. Accompanied by their friends Black Star and his demon weapon Tsubaki, will they be able to gain the souls, or is something worse coming?
Soul Eater was one of the first manga I read and really enjoyed. I’ve recently been binging the animated counterpart on TV as well. To be honest, I was a little too young when I read it, since it was made for older kids and I was in second grade. Still,Soul Eater is a fast-paced fantasy/action manga with a dark edge. Being one the first manga series I read, I am slightly biased to give it a good rap, but there’s no doubting it’s an excellent read that I highly recommend.Buy on Amazon
3. Unmagical Girl by Ryouichi Yokoyama and illustrated by Manmaru Uetsuki
Before he died, Mayuri’s dad was the creator of the popular magical girl TV show Pretty Angel Nirvana. But its been years since the show was bought out and the original generation of the show forgotten. Now Mayuri is a lonely otaku (an otaku is someone heavily interested in the anime/manga community), and lives in a tiny apartment full of anime memorabilia and survives off instant ramen. One day, Mayuri receives her father’s old computer. But she soon discovers it’s no ordinary computer when she turns it on and the protagonist of Pretty Angel Nirvana, Pretty Angel NirBrave comes out of the computer! But living with a real-life magical girl isn’t at all as magical as Mayuri expected it to be. NirBarve is a slacker, freeloader, and refuses to get a job despite Mayuri already struggling to survive. Plus, not everyone in the real world is accustomed to dealing with a girl in frilly pink clothing, using giant magical blasts in public. How will this magical girl survive in a not-so magical world?
I honestly believe this manga is extremely unappreciated. The third volume of the series was never published in America or Japan, and I’ve never heard anyone talk about it, despite it being the funniest manga I know. I am a huge magical girl fan, and I fall head over heels for anything maho shojo-related (maho shojo is another word for the magical girl genre). So obviously I had to read Unmagical Girl when I came across it in a Barnes and Noble. The series pokes fun at the magical girl genre, especially at the anime series Precure/Prettycure, which makes me very happy because I love Precure/Prettycure. The humor in Unmagical Girl is unbelievably funny. It breaks the fourth wall more than once, and that’s the humor I love.Buy on Amazon
4. Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui
Out of all the classes you want to be in, you do not want to be in class 3-E. The class is composed of the worst students, both in behavior and academics. The classroom is located miles from the school campus in an abandoned building, the schoolwork is grueling, and the teacher is a yellow octopus-like being.
Out of all the things the new students of class 3-E were expecting that year, it wasn’t their new teacher, Koro-Sensei, a sea-like being that resembles an alien, can move at Mach 20 speed , destroyed the moon, and for some reason, wanted to be a teacher. After the government fails to kill Koro-Sensei, they ask the students of class 3-E to assassinate him for a reward of ten billion yen. None of the students have killed anyone before, let alone a powerhouse such as Koro-Sensei, but they become determined to kill him. But the more time they spend with Koro-Sensei, the more they learn about him and themselves, and are faced with the choice if they should kill Koro-Sensei at all.
Despite its name, Assassination Classroom is a rather lighthearted and humorous manga. It made me laugh more than once, despite the ending of the series which made me cry. A lot of my friends like this manga, as much as I do. It has unique character building, and makes you feel like you yourself are in this world, sitting in class 3-E. The only thing I would recommend is to stay away from the live-action Assassination Classroom they made. It’s really bad.Buy on Amazon
5. The Devil is a Part-Timer! by Satoshi Wagahara
After being defeated by a powerful hero Emillia in his conquest of the magical world Ente Isla, the demon lord Satan and his general Alciel barely escape through an interdimensional portal to safety. But the world they arrive in is one without magic…Earth! Without their powers, Satan and Alciel are reduced to powerless human forms and are forced to live in a tiny studio apartment together in poverty. Under the alias as Sadao Mao, Satan gets a job at a fast food restaurant MgRonald’s and survive off minimum wage pay, all while avoiding the hero Emillia who’s made her way into the human world to track Sadao down.
Yet another humorous manga, The Devil is a Part-Timer! is one I enjoy more than other manga. Unlike the other funny manga on this list, TDP-T! appears to be mostly funny while it gets a more fantasy element in further volumes of the series. I do recommend this series for younger and beginner manga fans, as it provides a good basis for what to expect more of in the manga community.Buy on Amazon
Valkyrie is a 12-year-old middle grade/YA book blogger featured on Revolutionary-Readers. Valkyrie has a soft spot for villains, a hankering for twisted tales and a passion for princesses who are actually cyborgs. Read more from Valkyrie at revolutionary-readers.com.