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  • June 2010
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Manga: What Are You Waiting For?

I think everyone should read manga.

No, wait, that sounds wrong – and incredibly pushy, to boot – what I mean is that I believe that everyone should give manga a chance.  Just once.  Just one volume – less time than it takes to read a “real novel” (as much as I hate that term).

The problem with my belief is, of course, that it’s REALLY FREAKING HARD to get some people to pick up manga.  After all, it’s just those weird Japanese comics with the robots and the porn, right?  Wrong.  On so many levels.  Manga may be a distinctly Japanese art form, but it comes in as many genres and qualities as American comics and literature.  And sometimes, the genres of manga overlap with those of American books – the perfect jumping-off point for the reluctant manga fan.

If You Liked: Secrets of my Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita, the Vivien Leigh Reid series by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout, books about the glitz and glamour of celebrity life – and the struggles of being new to that way of life

You May EnjoySkip Beat by Yoshiki Nakamura follows the trials of a teenage girl, Kyoko, reaching for stardom – maybe for all the wrong reasons, as she’s only trying to become a celebrity to get revenge on the boy who used her and broke her heart.  If you’re looking for a fun, lighthearted read with lots of romantic drama, this manga comes highly reccommended.

If You Liked: Artemis Fowl, Evil Genius, and the occasional true crime novel – and sometimes a bit of fantasy when you feel like it

You May Enjoy: the highly acclaimed manga series Death Note, which has more plot twists and turns than a Snakes and Ladders board, and comes highly reccommended (it was on YALSA’s 2008 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list).  A bonus for those who like moving pictures with their drawn ones – there have been both live action and animated adaptations, both available in America.

If You Liked: Stephen King – actually, any horror novel you can lay your hands on, if it scares the pants off you, chances are you’ll like it

You May Enjoy: Junji Ito’s nightmare-inducing Uzumaki is one of the best and flat out scariest horror manga on the market.  What starts as a simple recurring pattern of spirals ends in an entire town being thrown into chaos.  H.P. Lovecraft only wishes he’d written this.

If You Liked: Twilight and other paranormal romances of its type; forbidden and dangerous love, after all, is the best kind

You May Enjoy: It’s less vampires and more traditional Eastern mythology, but if it’s drama, romance, and a clumsy Bella-esque heroine you’re looking for, you should check out Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya.  It begins like a typical comedy manga with a strange twist – people that turn into animals – and ends up being a total tear-jerker of a story.  And – no offense to you Twihards out there – Kyo Sohma is more of a man than any sparkly vampire will ever be.

Guest post by Katie, teen volunteer and Manga aficionado.

One Response

  1. Thanks for the great Manga suggestions!

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