My Top 5 Manga Series

Quick introduction time!

The best way for me to introduce myself – other than writing my About page – is telling you guys my favourite manga and anime series, that way you’ll know where my interests stand.

Here’s the first half of those two:

5) Seraph of the End/Owari no Seraph

Seraph of the End, Takaya Kagami and Yamato Yamamoto, Volume 1

The world has come to an end. A raging virus swept across the Earth, killing nine tenths of the population. Vampires and demons have arisen and enslaved the surviving children. Yuu is one of children. Along with the ‘family’ he lived with at the orphanage where he was before the apocalypse, he is forced to live in the underground vampire city and donate his blood to his captors. That is until a failed escape plan saw all of Yuu’s ‘family’ murdered by a vampire. Yuu was the only one to survive and escape the city, and now he’s out for revenge. 

This is a new manga series for me. I started watching the anime in May and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to start reading the manga.

I love the world this series is set in – post-apocalyptic with loads of demons and vampires, demon infused weaponry and lots of opportunities for a good fight.

I especially love the rivalry between the Japanese Imperial Army and the vampires – how humans hate vampires because they are monsters, but vampires hate humans because apparently they were the reason for the virus and they have spoiled the world with their greed. It makes it seem like humanity is the real monster, rather than the bloodsucking vampires.

I’ve yet to become attached to most of the minor characters, but I’m in love with Shinoa as a female main character. She’s amazing – cute, funny, crazy and a strong fighter. Even though I don’t ship her with Yuu (I will put my hand up here and admit that I am a Yuu x Mika shipper) I wouldn’t mind if she ended up being with him, because I like her so much.

I am very fond of Mika and Yuu – together and as separate characters. I just want to gather them into a hug and squidge them together! I can’t wait to see how their relationship grows and develops, especially after the events of volume 4.

I’ll be interested to see where the series goes after volume 4 (which is where I assume they’ll finish off season 1 of the anime). I think Seraph of the End is going to be a series to watch – I don’t think it’s going to get as popular as Naruto, or Attack on Titan, but I imagine it’s going to be rather big.

4) Hiyokoi

Hiyokoi, Moe Yukimaru, Volume 1

Hiyori has returned to school after taking a year out to recover from an accident. Painfully shy and the shortest girl in the school, she struggles to make new friends and interact with others. Then she meets Yuushin – the tallest guy in the school – who she falls for because of his kind smile and encouragement to bring herself out of her shell.

I watched the one episode they made of Hiyokoi and immediately sort out the manga.

Yes, it’s a shojo when all the other series on my top 5 are shounen, but it’s such a cute love story.The dynamic these two have together when they’re standing next to each other is just the sweetest. I mean just look at them! She’s so short and he’s just so tall! I ship them based on appearance only.

I’m also enjoying Hiyori’s personal development story – how she starts off as someone who hides on the first say of class because she is too embarrassed to introduce herself, and then how she becomes more confident in herself and makes more friends not just because of Yuushin’s help, but also through her own determination.

Hiyokoi is just such a lovely story to read – it has it’s darker moments including a suicide attempt, arguments and the usual relationship troubles and misunderstandings, but in the end it’s one of those manga series that has the ability to lift your heart out of a pit of darkness. For a shojo manga it’s pretty good.

3) Noragami

Noragami, Adachi Toka, Volume 1

Minor god Yato has a dream – to build his profile as a god, gain a load of worshipers and have hundreds of shrines built to him across Japan. Then he meets Hiyori who is having trouble keeping her spirit inside her body after a near death experience. The pair’s destinies become intertwined when Hiyori approaches Yato for help in fixing her problem.

This is another reasonably new manga series for me, but one that has impacted greatly upon me.

The thing I love most about Noragami is the culture background it is based upon – that is the Japanese gods.

The story itself is amazing, but I just love the cultural references in this manga. I especially love that Kodansha Comics have put a big section at the end of each volume that explains the culture references made in the manga.

I also love the main trio of characters – Hiyori, Yato and Yukine have such a good dynamic between the three of them. I ship them as one big happy family, with Hiyori and Yato as the parents and Yukine as their troublesome son.

2) Bakuman

Bakuman, Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Volume 1

Fourteen year old Mashiro has a secret dream of becoming a manga artist, but after his uncle died a failed mangaka he gives up on his dream – that is until fellow classmate and aspiring writer Takagi approaches him with the proposal to join their efforts and create a manga together. But in an industry where you either sink or swim, can Mashiro and Takagi achieve their dreams of becoming successful manga creators?

I started reading Bakuman as a way to understand the process of drawing and writing manga – this was when my housemate and I decided to start creating a manga together and I knew almost nothing about the genre.

Before I started reading the series I didn’t know that it was by the same author and artist as Death Note, since I had only watched the anime and not read the manga. After the first couple of chapters it becomes very clear that the artist and author for the two series are the same – they even make references to Death Note in the first volume!

I love this series because I started it wanting to learn the process behind creating manga, but I ended up falling in love with the story – will Mashiro and Takagi ever get an anime? Will Mashiro and Azuki ever get together? The series is filled with amazing minor characters as well as major ones.

In the process of writing this post I’ve only got one more volume to read, which I am desperately trying not to read until next week in order to make the series last.

1) Blue Exorcist/Ao no Exorcist

Ao no Exorcist, Kazue Kato, Volume 1

Rin has never learnt to fit in. He has a chip on his shoulder and an inability to make friends. Then he discovers that he is the son of the evil Lord Satan and all hell breaks lose. After awakening his demon powers and losing a treasured family member, Rin joins the True Cross Academy school for exorcists with the dream of killing his biological father and ridding the world of his demonic presence. 

In my opinion, Blue Exorcist is one of the most underrated manga series out there.

Seriously.

I’ve come across so many people on social media who love the anime, but very few people know that the manga is 10 million times better!

With the anime they only animated until volume 4 of manga – there are so far (as I am typing in June 2015) 12 volumes out there in English (with volume 13 coming out in a week!!!).

And if you think the anime was good, seriously, you should read the manga.

Jeez Louise, you Blue Exorcist anime fans know nothing about heartache if you haven’t read the manga.

The author, Kazue Kato, is a genius. I love her style because she moves things on quickly – there is never a quiet moment, barely ever a moment to breathe reading her chapters. And I love that about her work, because you never feel let down reading a volume. Something always happens. There is never a filler in sight.

I can’t recommend the Blue Exorcist manga enough.

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