Anime-manga have arguably been Japan’s most popular cultural exports, ever. The anime industry is massive, but it wouldn’t have existed if it were not for the manga industry. For the uninitiated, manga stories are published weekly, bi-weekly or monthly in magazines in usually black and white ink. This is done to keep the costs low and put less creative pressure on artists (also known as mangaka).
One word encompasses everything about the manga Monster – “brilliant”. This seinen isn’t a traditional manga; it’s actually quite the opposite. The story revolves around the moral and ethical dilemmas of Dr. Kenzou Tenma, who chooses to save the life of a child instead of that of the mayor’s life. However, people around him start getting murdered and all fingers point to the little boy.
The manga’s storytelling relies heavily on its characters and the interactions, as well as their monologues. Although the art is mediocre at best, its compelling story, plot twists and intense thrills more than make up for its lack of aesthetics.
One Piece really needs no introduction. It has been the favorite childhood anime of millions of children across the globe, and that is because it follows a fairly simplistic story line – Monkey D. Luffy is on a quest to find the One Piece, a great treasure that is buried inside the ocean Grand Line.
Written by a Japanese mangaka, this story actually occurs in ancient China. It is about the naive dream of young Shin, who wants nothing but to become the greatest general in all of China. Unlike other shounens, Kingdom doesn’t magically make Shin an OP character. His struggles, both physical and emotional, are extremely real and relatable. The manga also focuses a lot on internal and external political aspects of various Chinese kingdoms involved, which is complemented by extremely detailed art.
Since the story takes place over a period of several years, it also showcases how many of its characters gradually grow and evolve into becoming more mature human beings. It is a perfect read for shounen fans who are tired of generic stories flooding the manga industry.
Sports anime have become a huge deal in the past 5 years or so, with Haikyuu and Kuroko no Basuke being two of their most popular examples. However, one of the original sports anime on basketball, Slam Dunk, founds its origins in its manga.
The Berserk anime and manga franchises have seen their fair share of drama. However, this segment will focus completely on the manga.
Our seinen protagonist is Guts, an ideal young boy who is betrayed by his sensei, someone who he loved and respected. He now thirsts for blood, and things are made more difficult for him because of the constant misfortune that he keeps on facing. However, his monstrous strength and his resilience are what keep him afloat.
Action and/or fantasy fans will love this one, but getting through the first few volumes can be quite a drag, since the art is dated and the plot moves very slowly. It is definitely worth the wait, though.