Manga Recommendations — Manga For Beginners

  • Save

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

Naruto

  • Save
Click the image to read now
Source: amazon.com

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

Bleach

  • Save
Click the image to read now
Source: amazon.com

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 NarutoBleach 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

Vampire Knight

  • Save
Click the image to read now
Source: amazon.com

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.

Related post: Vampire Knight manga review

Fruits Basket

  • Save
Click the image to read now
Source: amazon.com

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

Fullmetal Alchemist

  • Save
Click the image to read now
Source: amazon.com

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 with 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 12, 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.

Related post: Fullmetal Alchemist Manga Review

Final Thoughts

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 🙂

10 Comments

  1. I’m moving to Japan in July, so this was perfect timing! I’m excited to learn more about manga, I’m going to be exploring more of your articles! Thank you!

  2. Hi Violet XD I have been reading Japanese manga since high school. Back then, I was bored with school and other stuff in life. (Now I look back) I was running away from reality and hide it in the Manga world. 

    Your first choice is good because Naruto also is the first manga series I read haha 

    Actually, back then, Naruto didn’t publish all the chapters, so I was following Naruto on and off. I also read multiple other mangas. Oh` You have Bleach too? Good 

    -> Why I don’t see One Piece? I think you are also a beginner too haha Sorry for laughing but every single otaku know about the best manga ever “One Piece”-> only “One Piece” is still ongoing. 

    Other two “Vampire Knight” and “Fruit Basket”… I never touch it. About your last choice “Fullmetal Alchemist”… back then I read a few chapters so (right now) I couldn’t remember the plot. 

    Besides, I am sure you are missing. For beginner manga, you should class it into their genre. Naruto and Bleach are the Shounen (action, adventure). I have read a few more Shounen genre. For example Toriko, Fairy Tail, Dragon Ball, Death Note, Air Gear, Slam Dum, etc… Oh, my list Shounen manga is long haha… So nostalgia because right now I really don’t have time to read those Shounen genres. Those Shounen mangas I just list-> I have been finished all of them in the past. I don’t read any new Shounen manga now.

    Your “Fruit Basket” belongs to Shoujo, and in that Shoujo genre, I know only one. It’s the most popular manga series, “Boy Over Flower” XD I totally love it because South Korean did make one drama series based on that manga -> It’s KBS World who invests to make that series in 2008 (Hmmm… Maybe I remember wrong about the year). I watch that series directly on KBS World channel a long time ago. Ann-kun ah`, you miss a lot haha

    I am really sorry you (because of show up) but “you need to work more” 🙂 ( If I don’t remember wrong, it’s mota speech of the main character of manga series “The Prince of Tennis” )

    1. Hello,

      Firstly, thank you for sharing your huge collection of manga you read 🙂 Glad to meet a fellow fan here.

      So to clarify some of your questions and some other stuff you stated:

      1. I didn’t put One Piece in simply because it is incomplete. 

      This post was made with the beginner’s perspective in mind – specifically international beginners in mind. For international audiences, manga can take 2-3 years to reach us from the latest volumes released in Japan through official translations and publications. Sometimes this process can go wrong and we may not get a volume for some years. Beginners may not understand the intricacy of the process yet and with that in mind, I put only completed series here so that beginners can get a complete feel of manga through a non-stop read of a series.

      2. I didn’t categorise them into genres because beginners may not know what they are

      Genres like shounen, should, josei, seinen, etc. are unfamiliar to beginners. What does shounen mean? What is that word? It may be confusing for them so I make up for that by summarising the plot. 

      3. I am not a beginner :’)

      I’ve been reading manga since I was really really young. I’ve studied the trends and the categories over the years as it is a major hobby of mine. 

      And yes while I still need to “mada mada dane” (yes I’ve read and watched Prince of Tennis. I was a huge fan of it when I was fifteen years old), keep in mind that my website/blog is meant to serve everyone in the manga community and I want to help them by giving fair recommendations. This means I may not be following ongoing manga trends on fan sites and forums as these people are die-hard fans who have been fans for ages (like me and you haha) which may not help beginners or confused fans.

      This also means I will not be revealing too much of my personal input on certain series that I loyally stand by and have been a fan of for ages. 

      I hope I managed to answer some of your questions and cleared up your confusion. 

      If you’d like, you can roam around my website/blog and see how I write in general so you get an idea on why my website/blog is to serve and help others first and foremost 🙂

      I’d love it if you continued to support me. 

      Violet(*^_^*)

  3. Finally, something for us beginners. This are all beautiful books with really cool stories. I have watched the naruto anime so I’m not sure I’ll want to read the manga anymore except you van verify that they’re not the same story on there. I’ll be sure to kick off my manga with this beautiful recommendations. Thank you for posting this.

  4. Hello there,

    First time when I heard about Manga was when my daughter came home telling me that her friend is reading Manga. I thought maybe she misunderstood the word and I did not give her to much attention. She continues telling me about her friend and Manga, and I decided to do a little research on my own. Surprise, Manga exists!

    The series is indeed fascinating, and I also saw kids who are drawing manga characters. I have to thank you for your article as my daughter’s friend birthday is approaching, I have some ideas when it comes to buying a present.

    To be honest, I didn’t know that there are different levels of Manga from beginners and so on. Do you have any suggestions for some experienced readers?

    1. Yup 🙂 You can go to my Manga Recommendations tab on the top of my website or click here to go to the page if you can’t find it. That list has a lot of manga for experienced readers.

  5. Hello

    Very interesting place

    As a beginner I didn’t know manga, your article is full of those heroes and I think Naruto would be a good start for me

    Naruto, to my knowledge, is one of the most popular manga sales worldwide, as well as my love of racing to win the respect of the village

    Thank you for your information and your enlightening article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Share via