Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find the prompts here.
I’ve been waiting for a topic like this. Besides young adult novels, I love to read graphic novels and manga. This week I get to share my favorites with you! It’s a shame that this list is so small because the list on manga could go on forever.
1. Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi
Sailor Moon was one of the first comic books and also one of the first anime shows that I ever got into. She was my introduction into these art forms and I am so happy about that because she isn’t automatically a great superhero just because she’s been given this transformation tool. She has to work through her shortcomings and come to terms with her new powers, the monsters that are attacking her city, and what this all means for her history and her future.
2. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
If Sailor Moon was my introduction to Japanese manga and animation, then Fruits Basket not only continued that education, but it also gave me insight into Japanese culture. While the basis of the story is around a curse of the Chinese zodiac, there are a lot of events and little things that are Japanese-centric: foods, festivals, etc. Tohru is a kindhearted heroine that sees the best in everything and while some might see that as naive, she never lets the haters get her down, even when she’s seemingly lost everything.
3. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
I picked this up almost two years ago when it was being recommended all over the place and it remains one of my favorite comics to this day. I anticipate the release of the combined volumes constantly. It’s a diverse story with so many aspects. It’s a love story, a war story, a story about family. There’s something for everyone here, though it needs to be said that it’s probably NSFW.
4. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, VC’s Travis Lanham, Mark Pannicia, and Emily Shaw
This is a relatively new series and I primarily picked it up when I heard that Lunella Lafayette (aka Moon Girl) is canonically the smartest character in the Marvel Universe…and she’s only nine years old! It’s was a lot of fun to read, the art was fantastic, and made me very happy to have read it. The story was very interesting because it’s all about Luna using her abilities to basically circumvent her abilities. It’s about conquering your fears, even when those fears deliver you the most epic BFF of all time…a Tyrannosaurus Rex!
I can’t wait for the next volume which just came out a week ago!
5. Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
What I love about this series is that you start out with a character, Light, that truly believes he can make the world right when he comes into possession of the Death Note, a supernatural notebook that will kill the person whose name is written upon its pages. In this 13 volume series you get to witness Light’s descent into madness and whether you can ever make things right by becoming the very thing you hate.
6. xxxHolic by Clamp
Clamp is an amazing team of manga artists and storytellers. xxxHolic is one of my favorite of all of their works. You meet Watanuki, a boy “cursed” to see spirits in the world around him and Yuko, a dimensional time witch, who grants wishes. Their adventures together do not necessarily remain in this dimension and learning about different spirits and their unique stories is an amazing journey. Coupled with their unique art style, Watanuki and Yuko crossover at times with the characters and artifacts from various Clamp works, a pleasure for fans.
7. Deadpool and Cable: Ultimate Collection by Fabian Nicieza, Chris Stevens, Mark Brooks, Patrick Zircher, and Shane Law
I didn’t know a lot about Deadpool when I saw the movie last year, but after having an absolute blast watching it, I decided that I wanted to know more about this character. The Deadpool & Cable collection was the only one my library had at the time so I don’t think this is in any kind of chronological order in the grand scheme of things, but I didn’t have too hard a time figuring things out. Deadpool continues to be a funny character on the page and I want to read as much as I can find because I don’t find him to be stuffy or airheaded or a jerk. He’s got rough edges, sure, but ones that make him interesting and fun.
8. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson
Another fairly new to me series, Squirrel Girl is a funny one that is adorable and has a past that I really need to read more about (apparently this is the girl you call for your babysitting needs – Jones/Cage anyone?).
This is the first collection in which Doreen Green (aka Squirrel Girl) goes to college. Imagine that when you’ve got a squad of furry creatures as your sidekicks!
9. Food Wars by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki
Whenever I watch a new anime, it’s become a habit to check and see if it’s based on a manga and luckily this one was! It’s so funny and based as it is around food and competition, it’s like watching a hot new show on the Food Network but amped up! I highly recommend this series for any fan of food based manga.
10. Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
Well of course I had to read a comic about a super hero from NJ! I don’t know if there are any others, but Kamala Khan was the first I’d ever heard of and I love her series thus far. The guest appearances from other Marvel faces is interesting, but watching her come to terms with her newly acquired powers and what it means to bear the mantle of Ms. Marvel is at times thrilling, worrying, exciting, and nerve wracking.