We based this list of manga you must read on what Japanese bookstores recommend according to research by Manga Mogura. Take a look:
Hotaru no Yomeiri is a historical romance manga by Oreco Tachibana. It’s currently one of the most popular manga series among female readers. As of December 2023, there are three tankōbon volumes. These collect chapters released on Shogakukan Ura Sunday and MangaONE. Meanwhile, Comikey has English licensing rights, with 30 chapters available as of January 2024. Try this title if you like romantic suspense!
2. You and I Are Polar Opposites
Seihantai na Kimi to Boku is a high school romance manga series by Kocha Agasawa. You might recognize this name as the mangaka of The Ramparts of Ice, a must-read completed manga for male readers. You and I Are Polar Opposites has five tankōbon volumes as of November 2023. At the same time, 48 chapters in English are available on MANGA Plus by SHUEISHA. This romcom is relatable and easy-to-follow, a great representation of how opposites do attract!
Note: Viz Media licensed You and I Are Polar Opposites for English publication on October 2023. Plus, you can expect the first volume in your favorite manga and comic bookstore by May 7, 2024! Meanwhile, The Ramparts of Ice still has no news of English licensing and publishing as of January 2024.
3. Daemons of the Shadow Realm
Speaking of English publications, you might want to add Yomi no Tsugai to your bookshelf. This supernatural adventure shōnen manga is by Hiromu Arakawa. Yes, that’s the same genius behind one of the most popular manga series, Fullmetal Alchemist. Square Enix Manga & Books has released three volumes as of December 2023. Also, the latest volume just came out in Japan last January 2024. If you’re a fan of Koyoharu Gotouge’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, this title is surely a must-read manga series.
Another supernatural adventure story you might want to get into is Gokurakugai by Yuto Sano. In 2023, this title received recognition from Next Manga Award and Tsutaya Comic Award, ranking ninth and seventh respectively. English chapters are available on MANGA Plus. Likewise, Viz Media publishes the manga English digitally on its website.
Pro Tip: Subscribing to official manga reading platforms like MANGA Plus and Viz Media gives you access to the latest releases. At the same time, you support the author! Consider checking out the various payment options and get access to an entire digital vault of manga chapters.
Tadatoshi Fujimaki of Kuroko’s Basketball and Robot × LaserBeam fame is back with an exciting action comedy series. Kill Blue is about a 40-year-old hitman who turns into his younger self. Consequently, he has to relive middle school while in a middle-aged mind. Being a quite popular title in Japan, English publications are available on Viz Media and MANGA Plus. Read new chapters with the rest of the world as these platforms make them available simultaneously with Japanese releases.
Angō Gakuen no Iroha by Nisio Isin is an action manga with distinctions. In particular, Next Manga Award ranked it the fourth best print manga in 2023. Meanwhile, the National Bookstore Employees’ Recommended Comics of 2024 list ranked it 10th. What makes this title interesting is how translators find the series challenging to translate. For instance, the manga’s original translator expressed how it was “impossible to translate,” which led to replacements. True to its title, you must decipher for yourself why Cipher Academy truly is a must-read manga.
Another title on the Nationwide Bookstores Employees’ Recommended Comics of 2024 list is Nue no Onmyōji. This supernatural action manga by Kōta Kawae is about a boy who can see spirits. One of whom is Nue, a powerful spirit. Together, they train vanquish evil spirits. So far, only three volumes are available in Japan. However, global audiences can enjoy along with Japanese fans through simultaneous English releases via MANGA Plus and Viz Media.
If you’re looking for modern slice of life stories, Bless by Yukino Sonoyama is one to follow. In this manga, two insecure high schoolers come together to achieve their individual dreams. One longs to be a model while the other wants to be a makeup artist. Although their dreams are unique, the theme of overcoming insecurities is a universal experience. Official English releases of Bless are available on K Manga. Furthermore, its original publisher, Kodansha, will also release English versions through its US chapter.