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8 must-read mangas if you want to get into the genre

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Manga is the name given to Japanese comic books – which have striking characteristics that differentiate them from other comic books. The list goes from the way it is read and published, the layout, and all the way to features in the character drawings.

The origin of manga took place in the time of Oricom Shohatsu (Shadow Theater), in the 17th century, when artists traveled through villages telling stories through the shadows.

Now, with more access to Japanese culture globally, consumption of this type of genre and content has been growing. With that, how about getting to know a little more about some famous manga published? Here’s a list of eight must-reads!

Banana Fish

Published from 1985 to 1994, Banana Fish is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akimi Yoshida. In 2018, it was even adapted into an anime, which increased its success.

The story follows Ash Lynx, a 17-year-old gang leader in New York. He has an enormous genius and coldness when dealing with the world he lives in, which is marked by pain and loss. However, his life changed when Eiji Okumura, a young photographer from Japan, traveled to the United States to report on young people on the streets of Manhattan.

With several surprises along the way, Banana Fish has interesting content that talks about the mafia, investigation, and human complexity.

Tokyo Revengers

First published in 2017, and still in circulation, Tokyo Revengers is written and illustrated by Ken Wakui. In 2022, the work was ranked 12th on the list of the best 20 manga of 2021 by Kono Manga Sugoi! – an annual reference book series that features yearly rankings and reviews of manga.

The story follows young Takemichi Hanagaki. At the age of 26, he discovers that the Tokyo Manji gang murdered his former high school girlfriend and her brother. 

Shortly afterward, the character is pushed in front of a train. Instead of dying, Takemichi wakes up 12 years in the past. With that, he needs to find a way to prevent the murder of his loved one in the future by changing something in the past.

A Silent Voice

In this delicate manga, written and illustrated by Yoshitoki Ōima, we follow a story about bullying and redemption narrated by a young deaf girl called Shōko Nishimiya

During school, she suffers from constant bullying by Shouya Ishida, having to transfer schools. Years later she meets Shouya again, who now seeks to redeem himself for his actions. The Silent Voice was adapted in 2016 and surprised fans and critics.

One Piece

Written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda, One Piece tells the story of Monkey D. Luffy, a young man in search of a great treasure called the same name as the story. His goal is to become the king of pirates within a world full of adventures, enemies and fantastic missions.

One Piece is considered the most successful manga in the world with its anime adaptation being one of the most watched.


One of the most acclaimed sports manga in recent years, Haykyuu!! was written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. The story was published one individual chapter at a time in the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine, from February 2012 to July 2020.

Here, we follow Hinata, a young man who, despite his small height, is won over by the magic of volleyball. The protagonist joins the Karasuno High School to showcase his talent and willpower. By that, he helps his school return to their golden era of volleyball.

My Hero Academia

Published in 2014 and still in circulation, the My Hero Academia manga is written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi and has already been adapted into anime, films, light novels, and games. Since its release, the manga has broken some considerable sales records in Japan.

As for the plot, the story takes place in a world in which more than half of the population has powers, one of the only exceptions is young Izuku, also known as Deku.

One day, he puts his life at risk to save a friend. All Might, who ends up becoming his mentor, decides that if he passes his training, Deku will receive his powers – the only way for the young man to enter the acclaimed Hero Academia.

Death Note

Death Note is a manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata from 2003 to 2006. The story has been adapted into three live-action versions, a TV series and a musical.

The plot features Ryuk, a god of death, who drops a mysterious book into the world. Located in Japan, the book is found by a high school student named Light Yagami, who discovers that any name written in the Book of Death actually causes the person to die.

Peleliu: Guernica of Paradise

Published from 2016 until early 2021, this Japanese manga series was written and illustrated by Kazuyoshi Takeda. With a plot that addresses the 1944 Battle of Peleliu, the manga had the cooperation of historian Masao Hiratsuka

In the story, we meet soldier Tamaru, who dreams of becoming a manga creator. On each page, we follow his daily life in the battle between the United States and Japanese armies during the Second World War.


The article above was edited by Clara Rocha.

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My name is Clara and I am a student at Cásper Libero. I love going out, music, books, writing and listening to stories from different people <3