Growing up I used to watch a lot of anime, Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Inuyasha, and Yu Yu Hakusho. I was so into it I went as Goku for Halloween one year. The thing with anime, for me, was I could never get into the Manga versions. Something about reading a book from back cover to front cover and from right to left confused me! It also didn’t help that my local library didn’t have any teen manga series that I would like. Plus by the time they did get a series I was into, I had already moved away for college.
Fast forward to life as an adult but also an adult that works in a library, I have discovered how much I love manga. Look at my check out list and you will notice that the only things I have checked out are manga! That’s why I have decided to compile a list of the manga that I have discovered at the library. Who knows, maybe you will be able to discover something new too!
First though, I thought I would throw a little manga knowledge your way! So, what’s the difference between manga and anime? Easy! Manga is a printed book, so you read it. Anime is an animated TV show or movie, so you watch it! You may have also heard the terms Shonen and Shojo, those just tell you who the target audience is for that particular manga. Shonen manga targets tween and teen boys, while Shojo targets tween and teen girls. Some examples of Shonen manga are Fullmetal Alchemist, My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, and Naruto, while some examples of Shojo manga are Sailor Moon, Snow White with Red Hair, and Tokyo Mew Mew. Now, on to the list!
My Hero Academia
This was the very first manga series I decided to try because I absolutely love the anime and so I decided to begin my manga journey with something I knew I would love. As I have previously mentioned, I struggled with the whole reading a book from back cover to front cover and from right to left, but not for long. This is a great manga for anyone that wants to dip their toes into manga.
It tells the story of Izuku Midoriya who is born in a world where superpowers (called Quirks) are commonplace, however Midoriya is one of a small number of people born without powers (Quirkless). Eventually Midoriya meets his idol All Might, who bestows his power to Midoriya and promises to mentor him while Midoriya attends the hero course at U.A. High School. I really enjoyed the wide variety of quirks and how they are utilized. Plus, there are some bizarre hero names.
One thing I have tried to do this year is step outside of my comfort zone and one of the ways I have done that is by reading something I wouldn’t normally read. One example of that is Fruits Basket which is a Shojo manga. I was directed to this series by one of the other teen librarians (Thanks Laura!) and I also watched a couple episodes of the anime so I figured I would read the manga.
In this story we follow Tohru Honda who is both an orphan and homeless. Having to move out of her grandfather’s house and not wanting to be a burden on her friends, she lives in a tent in the woods and supports herself. Along the way she moves into the Soma household where her popular classmate Yuki Soma lives; it’s while living with the Soma family, Tohru learns their dark and tragic story. I don’t want to give any spoilers, except to say that it involves the Chinese zodiac.
I’m not very far in this series, maybe volume two or three, but so far I have found it enjoyable. In this story, Senku Ishigami is a teenaged scientific genius. A mysterious light turned people into stone for 3,700 years, until one day, he manages to wake up. I really enjoy the science that takes place in the story and it’s actually pretty accurate! Just ask Kari Byron from Mythbusters!
If you enjoy both manga and anime then be on the lookout for Anime Club! Anime Club will be starting Thursday December 9th from 6:00-7:00 pm and is open to anyone grades 6-12! We meet once a month to watch the first 2 episodes of a chosen anime and eat imported Japanese snacks. Each time a different anime genre will be feature: horror, slice of life, romance, mecha, etc. The anime will be both subtitled and dubbed in English. For December we will be watching the first two episodes of My Hero Academia. BTW don’t forget to check out our collection of Anime in the A/V Department or at your local branch!