Like long running comic book arcs and TV shows that are well into their sixth season, manga are complex and take a lot of motivation to dive into. There’s not much of a difference between manga and graphic novels aside from the fact that the former is originally from Japan and is read right to left.
Manga encompass all sorts of themes and genres. Even if you’ve never picked up a copy, you might recognize some titles due to the large influence they’ve had on storytelling and the fact that a large percentage of them get adapted into anime.
Whatever the reason you are here reading this article, be that a love for anime or because you want to experience something different, it’s never too late to get involved with this form of storytelling. Check out 5 of the most acclaimed manga that are coming out this year:
Like many other manga, “Dragon Quest” started off as a very successful video game. It told a standard fantasy story of a medieval world that gave you the chance to witness a lot of sword fights. The one thing that distinguished it from the bunch was that it featured a good story and that the art was developed by “Dragon Ball” creator Akira Toriyama. Monsters were added and now, on this new iteration, we follow Kleo, a little boy who dreams of becoming a monster slayer. He’s whisked off to a strange land and instead of slaying monsters he’s forced to train them. It’s one part “Digimon” and two parts “Pokemon;” if you were a geeky child, you’ll feel right at home.
According to Barnes & Noble: “Aoi Tsubaki inherited her grandfather’s ability to see spirits—and his massive debt to them! Now she’s been kidnapped and taken to Kakuriyo, the spirit world, to make good on his bill. Her options: marry the head of the inn her grandfather trashed, or get eaten by ayakashi. But Aoi isn’t the type to let spirits push her around, and she’s determined to redeem her grandfather’s IOU on her own terms!”
Reviewers describe this book as a classic manga story told well, featuring lots of lore and mythology and a very eastern perspective that’s sure to surprise and reel in newcomers.
Dive!! is a sports manga, a popular and very entertaining genre in Japan. These types of stories are framed by sporting competitions, always giving the reader something exciting to look forward to and relying on the appeal of underdogs facing impossible odds. Dive!! focuses on a diving teams’ attempts to qualify to the Olympics despite the fact that they’ve just lost support from all of their sponsors and have been charged with a new coach.
This year sees the release of One Punch Man’s 15 volume, which means that there’s a lot of catching up to do if you want to jump onboard. One Punch Man has been a phenomenon, starting off in 2009 and being adapted into a successful anime. It follows Saitama, a superhero who’s capable of beating opponents with a single punch, who’s grown bored with his superpowers. The manga has had a lot of success in the US, becoming a New York Times Bestseller and earning an Eisner Award nomination in 2015.
My Hero Academia is another long running manga that has spawned an anime and a couple of movies, all with international success. Vigilantes is a spin off of the original story, focusing on three new characters that have no impressive superpowers. In this universe, powers are known as quirks, and can range from impressive super strength to someone who’s just capable of running faster than average. Vigilantes follows Koichi, a convenience store clerk, who acts as a vigilante on his spare time and ends up getting involved in very dangerous situations.