Manga Recommendations — Manga for Kids

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Welcome to my post on manga for kids.

Ok…I said I wouldn’t do a post recommending manga for kids because of how difficult it is to make one, but then I thought about it a bit more and I was like, “eh, what the heck. There is manga actually aimed at children so I’ll do this post based on that”.

If some of you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a bit of context:

A few posts ago (actually, it would be a lot more by then lol), I mentioned that I would not do a post recommending manga for children because children mature at different times and what I would consider age-appropriate will be different from what you will consider age-appropriate.

Related post: Age Appropriate Manga

However, upon publishing that post, I did a little more digging and realised, “oh, there is actually more children-based manga than I thought previously”. So…today, I’ve decided to retract that statement of mine and post manga recommendations for kids.

Your welcome, parents (⌒▽⌒ゞ Now, you will be able to select manga for your young children based on my list.

Disclaimer: I meant what I said in the beginning in that age-appropriate manga is subjective so please don’t hold me responsible if a manga on this list is not to your child’s liking. Thank you 🙂

Doraemon

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Source: amazon.com

I actually grew up watching the anime adaptation in Chinese so I thought this series was from China at first but I found out later in life that it was from Japan lol.

Doraemon tells the adorable story of the titular character himself, a time-travelling robot cat sent to help this clumsy kid Nobita Nobi with his everyday problems. However, rather than helping, Doraemon sometimes causes even more problems to the exasperation of Nobita and his friends.

This manga is a classic because it ran for so long and the reason why it is still popular today is because of the parents introducing this title to their children, allowing the children to see what their parents loved when they were their age, subsequently growing up with the same fondness for the cute little cat robot.

This manga is actually categorised as “children’s manga” so parents don’t have to worry about graphic scenes or anything like that. You can buy all the copies you wish and let your child read without fear.

Cardcaptor Sakura

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Source: amazon.com

A beautiful manga that is beloved by many girls to this day. Although not as famous as Sailor Moon, this is a manga that will always put a smile on your face because Sakura is such a lovely heroine (definitely less annoying than Usagi (゜▽゜;) that’s for sure).

Our young hero, 10-year-old Kinomoto Sakura stumbles into the basement of her house and accidentally releases a deck of magical cards from a book called Clow Cards that were created and named after the Sorcerer Clow Reed. The guardian of the cards, Cerberus tasks Sakura with retrieving the cards. And so, Sakura and Cerberus work together to retrieve all the Clow Cards, meeting new friends and allies as they progress.

The heroine is 10 years old so the manga will be automatically toned down for children of that age even if the manga itself is not categorised as a “children’s manga”. I honestly don’t remember this manga being for children exclusively but Sakura herself being so young just allows the content to be kid-friendly.

In addition, Sakura is a great role model for little girls out there because she is honest, sincere, and pretty brave for her age. If I was a mum right now, I would definitely introduce this manga to my own daughter (≡^∇^≡) because of how a great protagonist Sakura is.

Yotsuba&!

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Source: amazon.com

The actual name is “Yotsuba-to” as the “to” or ”と” in Japanese means “and”, thus the use of the ampersand in the title.

Yotsuba&! follows the everyday adventures of Koiwai Yotsuba, a five-year-old girl as she relocates to a new city with her adoptive father. She is quirky by nature, highly curious, and frequently gets into trouble — you know as normal kids do. Follow Yotsuba as she lives her life day by day.

Here we have another interesting heroine who is a lot more realistic than my previous titles. We have a more realistic setting with more realistic “problems” that kids go through day in, day out. I think this manga is very relatable to the children as well as the parents. I mean, it’s not easy raising children, let alone curious ones.

Yotsuba&! is a very relaxing read that parents and children can enjoy together. I highly recommend it (⌒▽⌒)☆

Dragon Ball

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Source: amazon.com

Enough fun for the girls, what about the boys?! Well, ask and you shall receive.

Son Goku is a fighter and trains hard at this profession. After battling tons of foes from Earth, he learns he is actually a Saiyan warrior from space and now has to fight foes from space too.

This title is a genuine classic as its anime adaptation was the one that catapulted anime and manga into widespread popularity. I don’t know anyone who wasn’t influenced by this title and there is no doubt that children of this age would also be enthralled by this series too.

Most parents who want to introduce this series to their kids usually get them to watch the anime but I know some parents who want to introduce their children to manga because they want them to read more, even if it is comics and nothing else. If I was the parent, I would stick with the manga as anime networks also included some pretty heavy anime that you might not want your children to see (depends on preference though…) so stick with books kids! ∩(︶▽︶)∩

Dragon Ball is one of the greatest shounen classics of all time so young boys, if you want something exciting to read, pick up a volume of Dragon Ball today.

Chi’s Sweet Home

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Source: amazon.com

Japan is more of a cat nation than a dog nation so it’s no surprise that a lot of their children-targeted stuff has a ton of cats in it. We even have a manga about a cat so we can hazard a guess on how much Japan loves their cats ~ヾ(^∇^)

A young kitten wanders from her mother and siblings and becomes incredibly lost. When all hope is lost, a young boy, Youhei and his mother take the kitten home and adopt her as their pet. This kitten is subsequently named “Chi” and so this manga is basically about Chi as she lives with this family, learning about them and their lives.

If “awww” doesn’t escape your mouth as you read my short summary of this manga than I don’t know what to say ɾ⚈▿⚈ɹ

What better way to introduce the world of anime and manga to your young children than with a manga about a cat: No violence, no sexual stuff, not even much about humans. Chi’s Sweet Home is a beautiful manga that you and your children will definitely enjoy.

Final Thoughts

Out of all the manga I’ve listed here, only one is categorised as a “children’s manga”. That manga is Doraemon. 

This was why I didn’t want to make this list because there isn’t a lot of manga under this category and I know how many parents pay very close attention to the official ratings of anything that their kid wants to see.

Chi’s Sweet Home, for instance, is for the seinen demographic. If you have been following my posts, you would realise that manga aimed at this demographic is usually pretty violent and sexual. If an unsuspecting person wishes to dig deeper, they might be in for a rude awakening.

Therefore, I’m worried that parents would not really approve of my suggestions as they are not “officially” marked for children.

Having said that though, children do mature at different times and I’ve tried my hardest to make a list that is generally alright for children to see. It is ultimately the parent’s choice and I hope that my list has helped with the process of choosing a little easier.

As always, if you have any opinions on the manga I’ve picked for children, feel free to comment down below, I’d love to hear it 🙂

16 Comments

  1. Manga for kids is a difficult subject to cover as you state but I agree with you that using discretion, you can find some that will fit the bill for them. This brings up the question of whether there is a market for such a genre and if so, maybe some gentle prodding to creators might allow for more to be published.

    I think there is a market and would love to see more developed for the kids. After all, the more that we spread the love of the genre, the more we will grow the segment going forward? It seems to be a no brainer for me. The selections that you highlighted are all fine for kids.

    I do understand your reluctance to approach the subject, but you have done a wonderful job of covering it with this article and review of the selections. I would pass on these in a heartbeat to any of my grandchildren, and I am sure they would love them all. Thanks for taking this plunge!

    1. Yes, I do agree that the creators should try to appeal to the parents/children as well because as you said: “there is a market” for manga.

      Sadly though, the market for anime and manga is always dependent on the trends of the audience and right now, the isekai (another world) genre is becoming prominent in both anime and manga — not specifically kid-friendly as it has quite a bit of violence and sexual innuendo. I know that in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s, manga aimed at children were really popular but people become interested in different things and well, optimistic kids manga isn’t in right now. 

      In addition, what kids like to see these days also change so a little violence and realism here and there is becoming a lot more common in manga “aimed at kids” if that’s how you would put it. Personally, I wouldn’t mind exposing children to a little realism but some parents disagree with my views. No surprise there.

      It’s hard to cater to a genre where what’s appropriate is so subjective so perhaps what manga needs to have is a range of “kid-friendly” content that is parents can pick from, like a “read at your own discretion” kind of thing but for parents. I like to think parents know what will affect their kid so I will trust in their judgement 🙂

      I’m glad that you brought the fact that creators need to try and cater to children more because manga is a great medium and I would like to see its reputation be a little cleaner and not have it associated with sad, lonely people who have no life.

  2. I was just thinking of a children´s manga for my daughter and nephews when I came across your article. I think my daughter will love Doraemon and it´s good to know that it is classified as children´s manga. I will definitely check this out.  My nephews have been watching the Dragon Ball anime, but I will introduce them the manga to make them read more instead of watching it. Thank you for sharing this manga options.

    1. Go for it! Doraemon is a lovely manga, I’m sure she’ll find it interesting 🙂 The Dragon Ball manga came BEFORE the anime so just tell them that the manga is the original source. Always works for me!

  3. Wow! Thanks a lot for sharing this interesting post about manga recommendations for kids. I actually grew up with most of the manga you suggested above as well. The best manga for me is Dragon ball and Doraemon. But, if you ask me which one is most recommended manga for kids, then it is definitely Doraemon. I think Dragonball is for 10 to 12 years old and above since the story is based on fighting and wars.

    This brings back a lot of memories. Thanks a lot for sharing this post. I will definitely come back here for reference.

    Thanks
    Samm

    1. Yeah…Dragon Ball is a bit of a wildcard since it DOES include fighting and it DOES include war but it really depends on parent’s preference ultimately and while I could have selected a better option, I wanted something that a lot of people are familiar with in their own childhoods and Dragon Ball just happened to come up.

      This post was hard to make. I had to consider everything that the manga has in terms of content but alas, I can’t remember every single detail so I just hope for the best.

  4. Thanks for this very helpful recommendation on manga for kids, growing up I never had the chance to enjoy this as a kid but my boy actually loves it and I’m looking for a perfect manga for him and you have given me a good choice, dragon ball, which I believe he’s going to love without any doubt. I have you to take for this. 

  5. Wow you made my book hunting more interesting ,your content proves to quality,  that’s good collection of a anime manga u got, I used watch dragon Ballz didn’t know they had books feels good to bring back the good old days,  do have seqeuls of your work? You got it spot on on your books.

    1. Well, Dragon Ball is not MY work haha, it’s Akira Toriyama’s and yes, there are sequels! Dragon Ball Z is one of them which tells Goku’s fighting life as an adult with his own son and more. 

  6. Hi Ann,

    Reading books is my hobby when I was just 7 so this article is so enjoyable for me. In this article, the writer mentioned some manga books for the kid but I think it is not only for kids but also for Youngers. Because as a young I also love those books very much. There are so many books mentioned in this blog but I personally like most” Doraemon” especially Doraemon & nobita characters. So I think books do not only give us knowledge but also live entertainment as well. As well as I would like to request Ann to give us that kind of blogs more.

    1. You want me to write more blogs about manga for children? I guess I could try but as I mentioned, it’s a hard topic to broach since it’s so subjective but I’ll try my best 🙂

  7. Hi, your post about manga for kids is very helpful for kids I love my kids to read and this your recommendation will be perfect for him and one thing I loved about your manga is plain without violent and sexual words. When i was a kid I love manga but then I don’t know the meaning until now you have exposed me to a solution for my son who I love him to read this will keep him busy. Your post is helpful for parents I will share your post on my social media for other parents to see.

  8. Hi Ann,

    First of all, it’s an awesome article from my point of view as a book lover. Reading books is the best habit for anyone because it releases mental growth. In this article, the author shows some best manga books for the kid. All those books are very interesting & attractive but for me, Dragon ball is the best of them. Where son Goku is a fighter & trainer who is looking so cute in the picture. I think every parent should read this so that they can choose perfect books for their children.

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