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21 Manga Series You Should Read As A Beginner

It's pronounced "mahn-ga", not "mang-a".

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1. Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto

Shueisha / Via tobixlover.deviantart.com

As one of the Big Three manga, Naruto is well-known in both Japan and the rest of the world. It follows the adventures of Naruto Uzumaki, an amateur ninja who hopes to become the Hokage (the leader of his village). Filled with folklore, mesmerizing battles, and some perverted humor, this series is a quick and rewarding read.

2. Bleach by Tite Kubo

Shueisha / Via animevice.com

Ichigo Kurosaki is a normal high schooler until he meets Rukia Kuchiki, a Shinigami (Death God). As Ichigo becomes a Shinigami himself, he must fight evil spirits and keep the human world safe. What with how much action and creativity Kubo packed into this series, it's not surprising that Bleach is the second of the Big Three.

3. One Piece by Eiichiro Oda

Shueisha / Via onepiece.wikia.com

Perhaps one of the best representations of Shonen manga, One Piece is the last of the Big Three. Monkey D, Luffy and his crew, the "Strawhat Pirates", travel the seas to find "One Piece", the world's greatest treasure. Filled with supernatural abilities, sea monsters, and romanticism, the story follows Luffy as he journeys to become the Pirate King.

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4. Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

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Who could resist this dark psychological thriller? When a death note falls into Light Yagami's lap, this high schooler has the ability to kill anybody anywhere. This thriller centers around Light's ambition to rid the world of evil while evading L, a genius detective determined to capture him.

5. Hunter x Hunter by Yoshihiro Togashi

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Dive into the world of hunters, a dangerous profession that ranges from hunting criminals to discovering new species. Gon Freecss is a young, ambitious, and naive boy who wants a hunter license so he can find his father. Be careful though, this story quickly becomes darker than you'd expect.

6. Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima

Kodansha / Via manga4readers.com

A light, fun-filled adventure that focuses on Fairy Tail, one of the most renowned magicians guild. This series is set in world filled with magic, dragons, and of course, friendship. Follow Natsu Dragneel and Lucy Heartfilia as they battle against evil and forge new friendships along the way.

7. Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino

Hakusensha / Via books.simonandschuster.ca

Manga can have romance too! In this series, Yuki Cross serves as a member of the Disciplinary Committee, protecting order within Cross Academy. Cross Academy isn't your normal school, however. Vampires also attend this institution and it's Yuki's job to protect the human students if necessary. When Yuki's feelings get in the way of her job, things get heated.

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8. Detective Conan by Gosho Aoyama

Shogakukan / Via conan-anime.com

Shinichi Kudo is a talented detective, but when he runs into the Black Organization during one of his cases, things take a turn for the worse. Two members force him to take a poison, but instead of dying, Kudo transforms into a child. Adopting the pseudonym Conan Edogawa, Kudo chases after the Black Organization in the hopes of returning to his normal self while solving cases on the side.

9. Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arukawa

Square Enix / Via animevice.com

In an attempt to resurrect their mother through alchemy, the Elric brothers (Edward and Alphonse) disfigure their body. Now they must search for the philosopher's stone, the only hope they have left to restore their bodies. Along the way, however, they discover and battle a hidden organization with dangerous motives.

10. Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama

Shueisha / Via fnac.pt

Read the manga that started the unforgettable TV show, Dragon Ball Z! Inspired by the great Chinese novel, Journey to the West, follow Goku as he learns martial arts and searches for the seven Dragon Balls, which, once assembled, can grant any wish. Unfortunately, Goku must battle the numerous villains who seek these mystical balls too.

11. Claymore by Norihiro Yagi

Shueisha / Via animevice.com

Claymore has both breathtaking illustrations and a moving storyline. In a world filled with Yoma, shapeshifting monsters that feed on humans, Claire serves as a Claymore, a female warrior-for-hire that exterminates these beasts. However, Claire isn't your ordinary Claymore. She hides a dark past.

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12. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya

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Tohru Honda, an orphan, meets the bizarre Sohma family, who are possessed by the Chinese Zodiac. When stressed, weak, or hugged by someone of the opposite gender (not in their family), each member turns into their specific zodiac animal. Albeit dark at times, this manga series is cute and incredibly romantic.

13. Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi

Shogakukan / Via books.simonandschuster.ca

After falling into a well, fifteen-year-old Kagome Higurashi is transported into the Sengoku Period where she meets the half-demon Inuyasha. Beautifully crafted with folklore and mythology, this storyline focuses on Kagome and Inuyasha as they gather the pieces of the magical Shikon jewel.

14. Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo

Kodansha / Via behance.net

If you've seen the amazing film, then you should read the manga! After a nuclear explosion destroys Tokyo, World War III begins. By 2019, a new futuristic city called Neo-Tokyo has been built within Tokyo Bay, but is plagued by anti-government terrorism and biker gangs. Read about the insane adventures of Kaneda, one of the leaders of the biker gangs, as he becomes involved with Espers.

15. Mirai Nikki by Sakae Esuno

Kadokawa Shoten / Via true-gaming.net

One day, Yukiteru "Yuki" Amano is given a special diary that can predict the future by his imaginary friend, Deus Ex Machina, the God of Time and Space. What Yuki doesn't know, however, is that he must compete in a battle royale with twelve other people, each having a diary with similar abilities. The last one standing will become the new God of Time and Space.

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16. Berserk by Kentaro Miura

Hakusensha / Via animewallpaper.creativeyouthmedia.com

Guts is an orphaned mercenary who seeks revenge on his former comrade and closest friend, Griffith. This manga is set in a medieval European-like world filled with horrifying monsters, both human and supernatural. Be warned. This manga is intense and chockfull of gore, death, and suffering.

17. Gintama by Hideaki Sorachi

Shueisha / Via yesasia.com

Drop. Dead. Hilarious. This is one of the funniest manga you'll ever read. Follow Gintoki Sakata and his friends, Shinpachi Shimura and Kagura, as they complete random tasks to pay their rent. While set in the late Edo period, Sorachi makes this story his own by adding in "Amanto," or aliens, as part of the setting.

18. Gantz by Hiroya Oku

Dark Horse / Via darkhorse.com

The brutality and gore of this manga rivals that of Berserk, but the storyline is just as interesting. After Kei Kurono and his friend die in a train accident, they are transported into a room with a mysterious orb. They, along with other recently deceased people, are tasked with defending humanity against various alien invasions.

19. Hayate no Gotoku! by Kenjiro Hata

Shogakukan / Via spiraken.com

On Christmas Eve, Hayate Ayasaki finds out that his parent have not only abandoned him, but pushed their enormous debt onto him. After saving Nagi Sanzenin, a wealthy young heiress, from kidnappers, Hayate has a second chance at life...serving as Nagi's butler. This series is both funny and lighthearted.

20. The World God Only Knows by Tamiki Wakaki

Shogakukan / Via spiraken.com

Keima Katsuragi is known as "The God of Conquests" because he can conquer any 2D girl in his video games. When he gets mixed up with Elsie, a demon from Hell, Keima must use his abilities to help capture evil spirits. How? These spirits dwell within the hearts of young girls. Keima must capture the hearts of these young girls or suffer the consequences.

21. Toriko - by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro

Shueisha / Via comicvine.com

This series will make your mouth water and your stomach grumble. Filled with action and food, this manga focuses on Toriko, a Gourmet Hunter who travels the world looking for delicious food to complete his full-course meal. He's joined by the shy and worrisome chef Komatsu who seeks tasty and interesting ingredients too.

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