Manga Classics for Budding Enthusiasts

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Are you interested in manga and don’t know where to start? Or have you read some popular manga such as “Attack on Titan” or “Tokyo Ghoul” and want to expand your manga repertoire? If so, this is the booklist for you!

Manga is for everyone, but it definitely can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming at first if you do not know where to start reading. There are so many amazing recent series out there, so it is easy to forget about the manga that helped build the foundation for the manga we love today. The manga featured in this list were all first published in English before 2010 and are now complete so there is no waiting for that last chapter!

The first manga I read was “Bleach by Tite Kubo and I loved it as much as the anime. Reading that first manga really pushed me to read more and more. Eventually, I could not stop and now I read my manga in Japanese! If you are interested in reading the manga many librarians like myself grew up with, check out these classics!

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If you’re looking for more book suggestions, we’re happy to recommend them! Use this Book Recommendation form to send us some information about what you like to read and we’ll curate a list just for you.  

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Bleach, Vol. 1

Hot-tempered 15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki, the hero of the popular fantasy-adventure Bleach , has the unsettling ability to see spirits who are unable to rest in peace. His sixth sense leads him to Rukia, a Soul Reaper who destroys Hollows (soul-devouring monsters) and ensures the deceased find repose with the Soul Society. When she’s injured in battle, Rukia transfers her sword and much of her power to Ichigo, whose spiritual energy makes him a formidable substitute Soul Reaper. But the orange-haired teenager isn’t sure he wants the job: too many risks and moral dilemmas. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby. 

Boys Over Flowers Vol. 1

Tsukushi Makino has been accepted into the snobbish Eitoku academy. From a middle-class background and poor compared to her classmates, Tsukushi is determined to get her diploma. Standing in her way is the gang known as F4 — four handsome but vicious rich kids who rule the school and attack anyone who gets in their way! This popular series features drama, romance, humor, strong girls, and cute boys. When her only friend, Makiko, accidentally offends F4 leader Tsukasa, Tsukushi boldly defends her. Enraged, Tsukushi puts the dreaded red tag in Tsukushi’s locker — a sign that she is now a target for the abuse of the F4 and the entire school. But when Tsukushi fights the gang with their own weapon, Tsukasa finds himself falling for her! You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby. 

 

Dragon Ball

Before there was Dragon Ball Z, there was Akira Toriyama’s action epic Dragon Ball, starring the younger version of Son Goku and all the other Dragon Ball Z heroes! Meet a naive young monkey-tailed boy named Goku, whose quiet life changes when he meets Bulma, a girl who is on a quest to collect seven “Dragon Balls.” If she gathers them all, an incredibly powerful dragon will appear and grant her one wish. But the precious orbs are scattered all over the world, and Bulma needs Goku’s help (and his super-strength)! With a magic staff for a weapon and a flying cloud for a ride, Goku sets out on the adventure of a lifetime…  You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby. 

Fullmetal Alchemist

Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg…and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is an agent of the government, a slave of the military-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders…even to kill. Except his powers aren’t unique. The world has been ravaged by the abuse of alchemy. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher’s Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are…

Naruto

Naruto is a ninja-in-training with a need for attention, a knack for mischief, and sealed within him, a strange, formidable power. His antics amuse his instructor Kakashi and irritate his teammates, intense Sasuki and witty Sakura, but Naruto is serious about becoming the greatest ninja in the village of Konohagakure!  You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby. 

Ouran High School Host Club, Vol.1

One day, Haruhi, a scholarship student at exclusive Ouran High School, breaks an $80,000 vase that belongs to the ‘Host Club’, a mysterious campus group consisting of six super-rich (and gorgeous) guys. To pay back the damages, she is forced to work for the club, and it’s there that she discovers just how wealthy the boys are and how different they are from everybody else. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby. 

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 1

The first installment of a magical adventure series that sees girls fighting evil! Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), and together, they fight the forces of evil!

Skip-Beat!

Kyoko always thought that Sho, whose family took her in when she was small, was her prince charming. However, when Sho heads for Tokyo to make it big as a musician, Kyoko goes with him and has to quit high school to support his dream. But soon, being in the big city makes Kyoko realize that she has show business ambitions of her own! You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby. 

YuYu Hakusho, Vol. 1

Yusuke Urameshi was a tough teen delinquent until one selfless act changed his life…by ending it. When he died saving a little kid from a speeding car, the afterlife didn’t know what to do with him, so it gave him a second chance at life. Now, Yusuke is a ghost with a mission, performing good deeds at the beshest of Botan, the spirit guide of the dead, and Koenma, her pacifier-sucking boss from the “other side.” But what strange things await him on the borderline between life and death? You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.