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Stop Everything You’re Doing And Read These 17 Manga

They are like really long picture adult picture books, but better.

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Manga is a medium that everyone can appreciate.

Makoto Shinkai / CoMix Wave Inc.

Manga is a style of comic books and graphic novels. There are many different kinds of stories which makes it easy to get into, but finding a series that suits you is half the battle.

The following is what I think are a good mix of manga that almost anyone can pick up – and won't be able to put down.

1. Bleach by Tite Kubo

Tite Kubo / VIZ Media LLC

Publisher's Summary:

"Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see ghosts, but this ability doesn't change his life nearly as much as his close encounter with Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper and member of the mysterious Soul Society. Ichigo quickly learns that the world he inhabits is one full of dangerous spirits and, along with Rukia, it's his job to protect the innocent from Hollows (an evil spirit that preys on humans who display psychic energy) and help the spirits themselves find peace."

Why I feel it should be on this list:

Bleach is one of the big manga series that introduced many to the medium. It's great for those who are just looking to dip their toes in manga before exploring more.

Get it here:

Google Play ($7)

Amazon ($4 to $8)

2. Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto

Masashi Kishimoto / VIZ Media LLC

Publisher's Summary:

"Twelve years ago the Village Hidden in the Leaves was attacked by a fearsome threat. A nine-tailed fox spirit claimed the life of the village leader, the Hokage, and many others. Today, the village is at peace and a troublemaking kid named Naruto is struggling to graduate from Ninja Academy. His goal may be to become the next leader, but his true destiny will be much more complicated."

Why I feel it should be on this list:

Naruto has been around for ages, and is a manga classic. Do you like ninjas? Well then you're probably going to like Naruto. The series ended last year, so you can read the story in its entirety and not have to wait for the next volume. But beware, IT'S REALLY LONG!

Get it here:

Google Play ($7)

Amazon ($4 to $6)

3. Full Metal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

Hiromu Arakawa / Yen Press World

Publisher's Summary:

"Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art, and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg...and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is a agent of the government, a slave of the military-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders...even to kill. Except his powers aren't unique. The world has been ravaged by the abuse of alchemy. And in the pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher's Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are..."

Why I feel it should be on this list:

Full Metal Alchemist is set in an amazing world that will make you pull up Google to research more about it. The plot touches on a lot of deep topics that'll make you question your morals. I know I did.

Get it here:

Google Play ($7)

Amazon ($7 to $10)

4. Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba

Tsugumi Ohba / VIZ Media LLC

Publisher's Summary:

"Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal...or his life?"

Why I feel it should be on this list:

A title that I feel anyone can enjoy. The premise is simple and the plot takes you places you didn't expect. The characters feel real and well written. It's easy to get into, and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Get it here:

Google Play ($7)

Amazon ($4 to $10)

5. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya

Natsuki Takaya

Publisher's Summary:

"Tohru Honda was an orphan when one day fate kicked her out of the house and on to land belonging to the mysterious Sohma family. After stumbling upon the teenage squatter, the Sohmas invite Tohru to stay in their house in exchange for cooking and cleaning. Everything goes well until she discovers the Sohma family's secret, when hugged by members of the opposite sex, they turn into their Chinese Zodiac animal!"

Why I feel it should be on this list:

You will have characters in Fruits Basket that you will outright hate at the start, and then over time, come to love them. Experience the ridiculous emotional rollercoaster as you follow their transformation and development. You won't get enough of it.

Get it here:

Amazon ($4)

6. Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki

Nobuhiro Watsuki / VIZ Media LLC

Publisher's Summary:

"The story of Rurouni Kenshin takes place during the early Meiji period in Japan. It tells the story of a peaceful wanderer named Himura Kenshin, formerly known as the assassin Hitokiri Battōsai. When arriving in Tokyo, he meets a young woman named Kamiya Kaoru, who was in the middle of a fight with a murderer who claims to be the Hitokiri Battōsai from her swordmanship school. Kenshin decides to help her and defeats the fake Battōsai. After discovering that Kenshin is the real Battōsai, she offers him a place stay at her dojo as she notes Kenshin is a gentle person instead. Kenshin accepts and begins to establish lifelong relationships with many people, including ex-enemies, while dealing with his fair share of enemies, new and old. "

Why I feel it should be on this list:

CLASSIC. I say classic a lot, but I'm not going to stop. Rurouni Kenshin is a well paced tale of a samurai's journey to put to rest hatred and inner turmoil. Won't disappoint.

Get it here:

Google Play ($7)

Amazon ($4 to $10)

7. Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama

Akira Toriyama / VIZ Media LLC

Publisher's Summary:

"Meet a naive young monkey-tailed boy named Goku, whose quiet life changes when he meets Bulma, a girl who is on a quest to collect seven "Dragon Balls." If she gathers them all, an incredibly powerful dragon will appear and grant her one wish. But the precious orbs are scattered all over the world, and Bulma needs Goku's help (and his super-strength)! With a magic staff for a weapon and a flying cloud for a ride, Goku sets out on the adventure of a lifetime..."

Why I feel it should be on this list:

Nearly EVERYONE has heard the name Dragon Ball at one time or another. It has been around since the early 80's and still continues to be relevant 32 years later. I have strong nostalgia for this series and can still remember how exciting it was to follow Goku's story for the first time.

Get it here:

Google Play ($7)

Amazon ($4 to $6)

8. Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori

Bisco Hatori / VIZ Media LLC

Publisher's Summary:

"One day, Haruhi, a scholarship student at exclusive Ouran High School, breaks an $80,000 vase that belongs to the "Host Club," a mysterious campus group consisting of six super-rich (and gorgeous) guys. To pay back the damages, she is forced to work for the club, and it's there that she discovers just how wealthy the boys are and how different they are from everybody else."

Why I feel it should be on this list:

I have a soft spot for Shoujo manga. You'll laugh, cry and fall in love with the whole cast of characters. I wish it didn't have to end. 😔

Get it here:

Google Play ($7)

Amazon ($4 to $9)

9. One-Punch Man by ONE

ONE / VIZ Media LLC

Publisher's Summary:

"Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem—he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on! Every time a promising villain appears, he beats the snot out of ’em with one punch! Can Saitama finally find an opponent who can go toe-to-toe with him and give his life some meaning? Or is he doomed to a life of superpowered boredom?"

Why I feel it should be on this list:

A fairly new series that has made a huge splash in the manga and anime world. It pokes fun at a lot of the stereotypes found in manga. You would think there wouldn't be much tension in battles where the protagonist can destroy any opponent with one punch, but they somehow found a way.

Get it here:

Google Play ($7)

Amazon ($4 to $8)

10. World Trigger by Daisuke Ashihara

Daisuke Ashihara / VIZ Media LLC

Publisher's Summary:

"A gate to another dimension has burst open, and invincible monsters called Neighbors invade Earth. Osamu Mikumo may not be the best among the elite warriors who co-opt other-dimensional technology to fight back, but along with his Neighbor friend Yuma, he’ll do whatever it takes to defend life on Earth as we know it."

Why I feel it should be on this list:

World Trigger is still being published, and so far it's story arc is full of promise and possibilities. Some believe it to be very underrated and expect it to blow up in popularity in the near future.

Get it here:

Google Play ($7)

Amazon ($4 to $10)

11. Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi

Naoko Takeuchi

Publisher's Summary:

"Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), and together, they fight the forces of evil!"

Why I feel it should be on this list:

Read the series that started it all for many people. Another gateway series that got many into anime and manga and is one of the most popular manga series of all time.

Get it here:

Amazon ($9)

12. Claymore by Norihiro Yagi

Norihiro Yagi / VIZ Media LLC

Publisher's Summary:

"A Claymore - a female warrior named for the sword she carries - travels from medieval village to village to destroy Yoma, monsters who disguise themselves as humans and who are almost impossible to kill. Claymores are half-humans, half-demons who willingly transformed themselves by mixing their blood with monster's blood. Claire, nicknamed silver-eyed killer, is such a powerful Claymore, she can slay a Yoma using only one hand. But she must constantly struggle to keep from becoming a monster herself."

Why I feel it should be on this list:

It's about superhuman women, who wield giant swords, and get paid to ruthlessly destroy demons. Do I need to say more?

Get it here:

Google Play ($7)

Amazon ($4 to $10)

13. Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo

Katsuhiro Otomo

Publisher's Summary:

"Welcome to Neo-Tokyo, built on the ashes of a Tokyo annihilated by a blast of unknown origin that triggered World War III. The lives of two streetwise teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, change forever when paranormal abilities begin to waken in Tetsuo, making him a target for a shadowy agency that will stop at nothing to prevent another catastrophe like the one that leveled Tokyo. At the core of the agency’s motivation is a raw, all-consuming fear of an unthinkable, monstrous power known only as Akira."

Why I feel it should be on this list:

Some consider this to be one of the most important manga ever written. It's six volumes and even has an movie adaptation that took part in making anime popular in America. Read it.

Get it here:

Amazon ($17)

14. Hana-Kimi by Hisaya Nakajo

Hisaya Nakajo

Publisher's Summary:

"Japanese-American track-and-field star Mizuki has gotten herself a transfer to a high school in Japan...but not just any school! To be close to her idol, high jumper Izumi Sano, she's going to an all-boys' high school...and disguising herself as a boy! But as fate would have it, they're more than classmates...they're roommates! Now, Mizuki must keep her secret in the classroom, the locker room, and her own bedroom. And her classmates - and the school nurse - must cope with a new transfer student who may make them question their own orientation..."

Why I feel it should be on this list:

I'll be upfront and say that I'm partial to this series because it was the first manga I had ever read. It got me into this whole mess, damn this series! A great mix of yearning romance, humor, and drama.

Get it here:

Amazon ($4-10)

15. Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama

Hajime Isayama

Publisher's Summary:

"In this post-apocalytpic sci-fi story, humanity has been devastated by the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they came from or why they are bent on consuming mankind. Seemingly unintelligent, they have roamed the world for years, killing everyone they see. For the past century, what's left of man has hidden in a giant, three-walled city. People believe their 100-meter-high walls will protect them from the Titans, but the sudden appearance of an immense Titan is about to change everything."

Why I feel it should be on this list:

A series that is still being published, and has everyone clamoring for more. The world in Attack on Titan is incredibly well thought out, and if you crave action, look no further.

Get it here:

Amazon ($6-7)

16. Inuyashiki by Hiroya Oku

Hiroya Oku

Publisher's Summary:

"Ichiro Inuyashiki is down on his luck. While only 58 years old, his geriatric looks often have him written off as a pathetic old man by the world around him and he’s constantly ignored and disrespected by his family despite all that he’s done to support them. On top of everything else, his doctor has revealed that he has cancer and it appears that he has little time left in this world.

Just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse, a blinding light in the night sky strikes the earth where Ichiro stands. He later wakes up to find himself unscathed, but he soon starts to notice that there’s something…different about himself. However, it turns out that these strange, new changes are just what Ichiro needs to take a new lease on life and now it seems like there’s nothing to stop him from being a hero worthy of the respect that he never had before…unless, that is, there was someone else out there with these same “changes”…"

Why I feel it should be on this list:

A newer manga that is full of promise for those who enjoy more dark, graphic stories. Inuyashiki is written by the same author as Gantz, which is another very popular manga series.

Get it here:

Amazon ($1-12)

17. 5 Centimeters per Second by Makoto Shinkai

Makoto Shinkai

Publisher's Summary:

"Takaki Tohno quickly befriends Akari Shinohara when she transfers to his school. They grow closer to each other due to similar interests and attitudes; for instance, they both prefer to stay inside during recess due to their constitutions. As a result, they form a strong bond.

Upon ending their school year, Akari moves to Tochigi, due to her parents' jobs. The two keep in contact by writing letters, but eventually begin to drift apart."

Why it's on this list:

This series is actually one I revisit every now and again. I cry every time I read it.

It made me appreciate the heartbreak and disappointment we all experience in life.

Get it here:

Amazon ($14)

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