5 Manga you Will Never Forget

1. ハイスコアガール (High Score Girl)
Japanese Difficulty Level: ☆☆

Did you grow up playing video games in the 90s? Were you a fan of Street Fighter 2? Do you remember the old days of playing video games at arcades? If you do, you’ll love this nostalgic look at the life of video gamer Haruo and his romantic comedy adventure. What happens when he meets a girl who has won 25 rounds in a row of Street Fighter and is challenging him next?



2. エンゼルバンク (Angel Bank)
Japanese Difficulty Level: ☆☆☆☆

Did you like the J-drama Dragonzakura? Did you know the sequel to it is this manga? Ino-Sensei quits her job as a teacher at Ryuzan high school and becomes a job consultant for people changing jobs. While Dragonzakura was a guide for succeeding at college entrance exams, Angel Bank is a guide for people trying to get a good job. Some of the advice probably wouldn’t apply outside of Japan, but it is a lot of fun to see a manga look at the Japanese working world. There was also a J-drama made of this as well, but the manga goes way more in depth.



Hunter X Hunter3. Hunter x Hunter
Japanese Difficulty Level: ☆☆

If you like the major Shonen Jump manga like DBZ, Naruto, or Bleach, you will probably like this. The story starts simple, with a boy (Gon) on a quest to search for his father by becoming a “Hunter,” a profession of danger and adventure. This manga has some of the most random manga elements mixed together (tournament, card-game style fighting, alien-insect invasion, elections) an original system of power/level gaining, and no boring drawn out fighting. This was made by the same manga artist who wrote Yuyu Hakusho.

4. 宇宙兄弟 (Space Brothers)
Japanese Difficulty Level: ☆☆☆☆

The story of two brothers with the dreams of becoming astronauts. Sounds like a cheesy premise but it is an incredibly touching and motivating manga especially if you feel like you don’t know what you should be doing with your life. The younger brother is already a pro astronaut and will be the first Japanese man to land on the moon. The older brother, just fired from his job for headbutting his boss, has decided to reignite his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut, and catch up to his younger brother who managed to get ahead of him. This manga really gives an amazing look of the challenges and adventures of being an astronaut, and not giving up on what you’ve always wanted to do.


るろうに剣心5. るろうに剣心 (Ruroni Kenshin)
Japanese Difficulty Level: ☆☆☆

Rurouni Kenshin is one of the major classic Shounen mangas (written in the 90s). It takes place during the early Meiji era in Japan, telling the story of a samurai assassin named Kenshin. After being a key (fictional) figure in the major war that brought about the peaceful era to Japan, Kenshin wanders the countryside of Japan offering protection to those in need to atone for everyone he has slain. The visuals in this manga are beautiful, it combines both history with action, and is on top when it comes to exciting battles. The anime series ended significantly before the manga finished and missed out on the most amazing parts of the series which concluded the story perfectly. So if you’ve seen the anime, but never the manga, start reading from volumes 18 and on. 


Read any of these manga? What did you think? Do you recommend them?

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


5 Manga you Will Never Forget — 10 Comments

  1. Has anybody here read 子連れ狼 (Lone Wolf and Cub)? I’m almost positive that I’ll like it, but as I don’t know its difficulty level am considering reading るろうに剣心 (Ruroni Kenshin) instead.

    • Daniel,

      I just briefly skimmed through this manga, and while I don’t think it is harder than kenshin in terms of vocabulary and grammar, there is no furigana, which might bother you. Kenshin, like all shonen manga, has furigana.

    • I LOVED 子連れ狼 in my native language and about a year ago I bought many of the books in a used books store. Unfortunately for me, the lack of furigana, the onslaught of kanji-compounds and what I believe was polite language made me put them aside. I look forward to revisiting them in the future though!
      Oh, and ハイスコアガール seems awesome :)

  2. What about 金田一少年の事件簿 – Kindaichi Case Files? It’s the reason why I started Japanese in the first place, and also the reason why I’m still putting up with it.

    • I haven’t read it myself but I hear it’s pretty popular. You mind giving a Japanese level and brief description of it here for the people who might want to check it out?

  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kindaichi_Case_Files

    It’s quite similar to Detective Conan, which I absolutely like as well. As far as I know, only a few volumes have been scanlated, unlike the latter which is ongoing. I don’t know its Japanese level though. I suspect it to be quite advanced. I watched the J-Drama (hardsubbed alas) and didn’t know most of the words.

  4. If you don’t mind the ecchi comedy genre, Sora no Otoshimono just finished and is, hands down, the funniest manga I’ve ever read. It has furigana as well.

  5. For beginners to intermediate level is it recommended to read manga with furigana only? I’m currently reading Yotsubato and I do enjoy it, but I’m skipping those unknown kanji and just reading the kana (of course I still don´t know the meaning).

    When I get to higher level will I do the opposite or should I stop depending on furigana right now to stop developing a bad habit?

    • Above all else, I’d recommend reading manga that you enjoy reading. Furigana is a very helpful aid, but it doesn’t have to be your deciding factor. On the other hand, it’s not “bad” in any way to let yourself use it if it’s available. You’re still reading real Japanese, after all =)

      For Yotsubato in particular, it’s generally OK if (like Yotsuba) you don’t really understand what the adults are talking about. Just do your best and enjoy it – the missing pieces will fall into place on their own as you study more.

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