Good afternoon, everyone! It’s time for another Topical Tuesday- and today, I have a pretty broad topic to discuss: Manga.
I was stuck on a topic you see, and a friend recommended I talk about my favorite genre- but the thing is, I read manga 99% of the time nowadays, and I have a very eclectic range with it on things I enjoy. While I can never seem to enjoy a science fiction novel, science fiction in manga is regularly enjoyable for me. I read horror manga to fight my anxiety and get mentally stronger. There’s just no end to what manga does for me!
Of course, even I have certain genres that draw me to them when it comes to manga. I have a hard time enjoying sports ones, for example. And there’s a lot of those out there! A sports manga can be great, but it gets boring seeing the drama and not really learning about the sport that much. And I’ve seen that issue a lot in sports manga.
For me, my favorite genres are probably a mix of horror, supernatural in general, romance manga, and good ol’ slapstick comedies. Since there’s a lot of sub-genres and even a lot of crossover with these genres, I’m going to talk about each of them just a bit, just to give you an idea of my mind and what I notice.
First off, horror. I don’t like ALL horror, by any means. I tried reading Corpse Party but something about it just kinda… Didn’t work with me. It’s not necessarily the gore in it- I’ve read plenty of others with gore and creepy stuff. I just didn’t handle it well.
For me, I tend to spend a lot of time looking for and reading ‘play or die’ manga as I call them. They’re also known as “High stakes”. These manga tend to be about some form of a ‘game’ where if you lose, you die. Not all of them are actually games, mind you- but they’re close enough. My absolute favorite of this genre is the lucrative Alive: The Final Evolution by Tadashi Kawashima. Other good ‘play or die’ stories include Dolls Code by Runamu Kinashi, High Rise Invasion by Tsuina Miura, and the renowned King’s Game by Nobuaki Kanazawa (though to be honest, King’s Game: Origins was way better in my opinion).
I like other manga that have horror in them too. I especially like psychological horror that really surprises you time and time again, such as Happy Sugar Life by Tomiyaki Kagisora. The title alone threw me off- I didn’t expect it to be horrific as much as it was. Another really good one that’s more standard horror is the Ghost Hunt series by Fuyumi Ono. It’s a great mix of ghost and ghoul hunting with psychic power and scientific reasoning.
Now that I’ve finished sharing so many horror stories I’ve read, let’s talk about the light-hearted shoujo and comedy manga that I adore reading after a particularly scary horror story. There’s plenty of subcategories and mixtures when it comes to comedy manga as a whole. One example is the manga Yandere Kanojo by Shinobi, a somewhat cliche story about a delinquent and an ace student falling in love. The gags in this one are just far too humorous and regular. I’ve read it probably five times already. It’s a good read if you need a dumb joke to lighten your mood. Another good comedy is Kaeru no Ossan by Zenyuu Shimabukuro. It’s far from any normal manga I’ve ever read. I mean, I’ve heard of half human creatures, but never a human body with a frog head.
Swerving away from the horror and hysterical, I’d also like to talk about some romance manga that swerve off the beaten path in ways you might think they fit the previous categories. Chimoguri Ringo to Kingyobachi Otoko by Abe Youichi is a supernatural romance- that all starts when the hero’s sister is turned into a goldfish by the mysterious fishbowl man. Is it weird enough yet? Let’s say it is, because I could talk about it for an hour trying to explain the insanity.
A less insane fantasy romance is Akagami no Shirayuki-hime by Sorata Akizuki. This is a typical forbidden romance of sorts, as it relates the tale of a woman of lesser standing and a prince. It’s a very complex manga, and at times it’s hard to keep up, but the characters are well played out and overall, I just really enjoyed the series. Seeking a more comedic love story? The Devil is a Part Timer is a great story that starts with the concept of rebirth, and ends with the idea that the Devil isn’t as bad as he’s cracked up to be.
I think I’ve rambled on enough- you clearly get my point. While I read a great variety, I still have certain types in the genre that I pay heed to. For me, getting out of my comfort zone is hard, because I sometimes don’t recognize what it is.
Do you have a genre you recommend, or a book in the genres I listed? I’d love to hear about them from you! I’m always up to hearing your recommendations! Who knows? It might just end up in my next Topical Tuesday! Please never hesitate to comment- whether it’s in response to something I said, or an idea you’d like me to explore in another blog post. That’s all I have to request… and thank you for reading my manga mayhem!