Andrew and Justin's Favorite Manga

Brilliant Books has a brand new manga section, so today, our resident manga nerds are sharing their favorite series.  How many have you read?

With our expansion in progress, we've freed up a whole bunch of space in our store, in fact, enough space to establish a whole new section!  And while we've had a Graphic Novels section for quite a while now, we decided it was time for a new section: manga.  Now, we're bringing in tons of new editions from tons of new mangas, so we figured we had to put out a list of our favorites!

But before we get into their recommendations, let's answer two questions for the newer fans of manga:  what is it, and why should you read it?  If you're already a fan of manga, scroll down to see the recommendations!


What Is Manga?

"Manga" (pronounced MON-guh) is an umbrella term for graphic novels and comic books that originate from Japan.  Mangas tend to feature certain, specific drawing styles, with dynamic, heavily stylized illustrations full of big eyes and spiky hair.  The genre first gained popularity in Japan and started gaining traction in the U.S. as early as the 1970s, and it's been steadily gaining popularity here since then.

In addition to specific stylistic trends, manga has two large distinctions from American comics.  First, mangas are usually published in black and white, with drawings that often prioritize detail and shading over bright colors—although colors are occasionally added for special editions.  Second (and most importantly, if you're reading manga), you read the panels of manga from right to left.

Why Read Manga?

We asked Justin why people should read manga, and he gave us five reasons.  Here they are:

1. Incredible, deep characters that drive the plot.

Over the course of reading a series, you get to know amazing characters through dozens of stories.  And the manga series below are largely character-driven, meaning that they feel grouded and human, in addition to being dynamic and exciting stories.

2. Creates lots of emotion that impacts the reader.

With dramatic stories and characters you learn to love, it's no surprise that great manga series can make you feel a good deal of emotion.  Whether it's vindicated glee at a villain's defeat, sadness at a favorite character's death, or nervous excitement for what comes next, these stories will pull you into a whole world—and it feels great.

3. Beautiful, intricate artwork.

The art in manga adds so much to the stories.  There are so many great manga artists, and once you find one you love, you won't want to look away.  And since the entirety of each manga is drawn by same artist, you can see how their concept of the character changes and grows along with the story.

4. Great pacing due to weekly serialization.

Since many mangas are published chapter by chapter with weekly releases, the story's pacing has to be consistent—plus the bound volumes get released at steady intervals.  Smooth reading + short wait times = ideal.

5. Lots of different genres and topics.

Just like with American comics and books, there is a giant range of manga.  The stories range from legendary battles between good and evil to romantic comedy and even horror.  So while most of our recommendations fall in the first category (what can we say, we like magic, swords, and demons), there really is something for everyone.  If you don't find something that's right for you on this list, browse our online manga section—or come into the store to see our physical selection!  We've got one of those now!

Now that we've established what manga is and why you should be reading it, check out the recommendations below!


Death Note

by Takeshi Obata & Tsugumi Ohba

A bored but brilliant student finds a god's notebook with the power to kill, and vows to use it to rid the world of evil.

First 3 Volumes  |  Final 3 Volumes


Attack on Titan

by Hajime Isayama

The age of men is over.  Giant, grotesque titans roam the earth, and what is left of humanity hides behind walls—but walls don't last forever.

First 3 Volumes  |  Latest Volume


My Hero Academia Ultra AnalysisMy Hero Academia

by Kohei Horikoshi

In a world where 80% of people have superpowers, one boy without powers dreams of becoming a hero.

First Volume  |  Latest Volume  |  Coming Next  |  Ultra Analysis



by Norihiro Yagi

 A new breed of half-monster warriors fight for the fate of humanity—but are they more monster than human?

First Volume  |  Final Volume



My Hero Academia Ultra AnalysisJujutsu Kaisen

by Gege Akutami

When an Occult Club project goes south, Yuji swallows a piece of a demon to gain the power to save his friend—and finds himself in the middle of a supernatural war.

First Volume  |  Latest Volume  |  Coming Next


Mob Psycho 100

by ONE & Kumar Sivasubramanian

Mob just needs to survive middle school...and his career as a secretly psychic assistant to a fraudulent mentor.

Second Volume (first is unavailable)  |  Latest Volume  |  Coming Next


The Promised Neverland

by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu

Three happy orphans discover they're being raised as food for demons.

First Volume  |  Latest Volume


Tokyo Ghoul

by Sui Ishida

After a date goes very wrong, Ken finds himself transformed into the world's first ever human ghoul hybrid.

First Volume  |  Final Volume


Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaba

by Koyoharu Gotouge

After a demon attack, a boy sets out on a dangerous path to avenge his family and save his demon sister.

First Volume  |  Latest Volumes



Looking for more?  Browse all manga online

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