Welcome to my post on Manga Recommendations — Manga For Beginners.
So you’ve decided to jump into the world of manga. In that case, let me welcome you to the fandom ( ´ ▽ ` )ﾉ we’re glad to have you on board.
But what manga should beginners like yourself read? You must have gotten all sorts of recommendations from your manga/anime-loving friends but you would like to decide for yourself.
Allow me to direct you to your final choice by bringing you around what I would define as manga for beginners.
So without further ado, here are my five manga recommendations for beginners
If you ask any of your anime/manga friends, this series would come up quite a lot.
The anime is extremely popular with international audiences and is beloved by Japanese and international fans alike so the manga would also be just as popular.
Twelve years ago, the nine tailed fox wreaked havoc in the Hidden Leaf Village. The Fourth Hokage sacrifices himself to save the village by sealing the beast in the body of a baby boy. This boy, Uzumaki Naruto, grew up hated by the village due to the association with the demon fox. As such, Naruto vows that he will become Hokage and earn the respect of the village; to see past the association with the beast. However, Naruto is anything but a talented ninja. How is he to become Hokage?
This series is good for beginners because of its sheer popularity. The fandom is very big and information is always available to you as the series is long and has a lot of terminologies.
A perfect manga for beginners to understand how manga works due to all the help you can get.
Related post: Naruto Manga Review
Yet another big name in the anime/manga community. It’s sheer fanbase and popularity makes it a perfect manga for beginners.
Kurosaki Ichigo is a high school freshman who can see ghosts. This inevitably leads him to meet Kuchiki Rukia, a shinigami whose job it is to guide souls from the World of the Living to the Soul Society (where she comes from) and fight Hollows (monstrous lost souls that wreck havoc). When Rukia is seriously injured by a Hollow, she transfers her powers to Ichigo who becomes a substitute shinigami and fight Hollows in Rukia’s stead while Rukia recovers her strength in an ordinary body. Ichigo must now balance his shinigami responsibilities while also attending high school with Rukia being his guide.
Just like Naruto, Bleach has a loyal fanbase so the information is readily available. It also helps that the anime is popular too.
However, people are divided over how good the manga is, from the plot to the pacing so you may hear a lot of opinions on it.
Regardless, the huge fanbase makes this manga really good for beginners and will get you properly introduced into the manga world.
Related post: Bleach Manga Review
If you were familiar with Twilight before being interested in manga than this series can be a bridge for you.
Yuki Cross is part of the Disciplinary Committee, maintaining the order in Cross Academy. Her partner is Zero Kiryu, her close friend who hates vampires to the core and is a vampire hunter. In this academy, humans and vampires coexist which is why the Disciplinary Committee exists, to protect humans and maintain peace. However, have vampires really renounced their evil ways? The story becomes less and less straightforward especially when Yuki discovers who she truly is and what it means for her relationship with Zero and her childhood crush Kaname and her feelings for both of them.
Vampires, love triangles, complicated pasts, and an engaging story. If that isn’t like Twilight, then I don’t know what is.
This series is perfect for beginners who are looking for romance manga as the Japanese perspective on romance progression is different from the rest of the world.
And this cultural diversion can irritate those who are unaware of the Japanese culture.
With similarities to something international audiences are familiar with, this manga will be a perfect introduction to the Japanese form of romance progression and manga in general.
School life manga is really common in Japan and this lovely series will be a perfect introduction to Japanese school life (with a little bit of supernatural aspect).
Honda Tohru is an orphan living in a tent on Sohma property. When it collapses, she is taken in by Sohma Yuki (the school prince) and his cousin Shigure. Later, she meets Sohma Kyo and by accident, discovers the Sohmas have a secret: 12 members of their family live with a curse that when hugged by the opposite gender, they will turn into animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Tohru promises she wouldn’t reveal their secret and they let her stay at their place for free. So beings Tohru’s adventures with the Sohma family and their curse.
This series is good for beginners who want a manga with not much action-packed adventure and prefer something slower. Some slice of life manga can be pretty heavy but Fruits Basket is pretty lighthearted even though there is some drama.
A perfect introduction to the slice of life genre and it helps that there are two anime adaptations which emphasises it’s popularity and love among the fans.
Related post: Fruits Basket Manga Review
Want something is a little close to home (culturally)? Then Fullmetal Alchemist is the manga for you.
Taking place in the fictional country of Amestris (which kind of resembles Europe) in the early 1900s, brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric are on a quest to find a way to bring back their bodies. A mishap in attempting human transformation to bring back their mother caused Edward to lose a leg and Alphonse to lose his entire body — his soul now bound to a suit of armour, causing Edward to sacrifice his right arm. Edward becomes a State Alchemist (a title with a dark reputation) at the age of 15, using the title’s privilege to get unlimited research material and get closer to their goal. But the political circumstances in their country is changing and the two brothers will be caught in the middle of it.
This series is more international as it is set in an international setting and has an international cast despite being created by a Japanese mangaka. It is perfect for those unfamiliar with Japanese naming convention or culture.
In addition, this series covers serious topics like the consequences of war which will introduce you to the fact that manga can be used to tell a serious story.
In addition, this series has two anime adaptations which emphasises it’s popularity and it’s huge fanbase.
So here are my five recommendations of manga for beginners. With the manga’s sheer popularity and familiarity with international cultures and ideas, these manga are perfect for beginners in the anime/manga world. Of course, there are more manga that falls into this category but these are my personal recommendations. As always, if you want to discuss my recommendations and whether it is suitable for beginners, feel free to leave a comment down below, I’d love to hear it 🙂