I’ve been trying to read more manga in the past few months, and decided it was time to talk about some of the ones I actually picked up. These are all incredibly popular manga, because I figured they’d be loved for a reason and the chance I’d enjoy them was quite high. Let’s see what my thoughts on these 4 manga volumes are!
Black Butler Volume 1 by Yana Toboso
Genre: manga, fantasy
Rating: ★★★★ – really liked it
In the Victorian ages of London The Earl of the Phantomhive house, Ciel Phantomhive, needs to get his revenge on those who had humiliated him and destroyed what he loved. Not being able to do it alone he sells his soul to a demon he names Sebastian Michaelis. Now working as his butler, Sebastian must help the Earl Phantomhive in this suspenseful, exciting, thriller manga.
I’ve always been interested in watching the anime, but for some reason felt like I couldn’t until I’d started the manga. I feel like it’s more fun to discover the story through the manga, and watch an adaptation afterwards, than it is the other way around. I bought the first volume secondhand, in case I didn’t like it, and gave it a try at the end of 2018.
I ended up really loving it! I knew immediately it was a series I wanted to continue. I’ve been lucky enough to stay away from spoilers, even though the manga and anime are quite a few years old now, so everything was a discovery for me. I loved the characters, I laughed out loud multiple times, and was so invested in the story.
I can’t wait to continue the manga, and watch the anime one day!
Attack on Titan volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
Genre: manga, science fiction, dystopian
Rating: ★★★★ – really liked it
In this post-apocalyptic sci-fi story, humanity has been devastated by the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they came from or why they are bent on consuming mankind. Seemingly unintelligent, they have roamed the world for years, killing everyone they see. For the past century, what’s left of man has hidden in a giant, three-walled city. People believe their 100-meter-high walls will protect them from the Titans, but the sudden appearance of an immense Titan is about to change everything.
Attack on Titan is another one I’ve been meaning to read and watch for years. It’s probably one of the most famous manga out there, clearly for a reason. Just like with Black Butler, I know it’s a story I want to continue. I haven’t bought the sequels yet, but I’ll definitely do so in the future. And watch the anime, of course! I might actually watch it first, before continuing the manga. Don’t kill me.
What I loved most about this is that it’s so brutal and action-packed. Attack on Titan doesn’t pull any punches, and that’s refreshing to me. People are getting eaten by titans left and right, and everyone is trying their best to survive. Count me in! I have to admit that I’m less attached to the characters here, however since this is a more plot-driven volume, I’m completely okay with that.
Ouran High School Host Club Volume 1 by Bisco Hatori
Genre: manga, contemporary, romance
Rating: ★★★.₅ – liked it
One day, Haruhi, a scholarship student at exclusive Ouran High School, breaks an $80,000 vase that belongs to the ‘Host Club’, a mysterious campus group consisting of six super-rich (and gorgeous) guys. To pay back the damages, she is forced to work for the club, and it’s there that she discovers just how wealthy the boys are and how different they are from everybody else.
A few years ago, I watched the anime Ouran High School Host Club, and quite enjoyed it. Although it was a bit cringy at times, I really liked watching the show and binged it. For once, I watched the anime before reading the manga! I think it did affect my reading experience though.
This is a cute, funny, and silly story about a girl who accidentally breaks an expensive vase and becomes part of her school’s Host Club to pay for the damages. It’s such an enjoyable read, especially if you want something light that you’ll be able to finish quickly, but it didn’t really stick with me. As I’ve already watched the anime too, I don’t think I’ll be continuing the manga.
Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 1 by Hiromu Arakawa
Genre: manga, fantasy
Rating: ★★★★.₅ – loved it
Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg…and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is an agent of the government, a slave of the military-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders…even to kill. Except his powers aren’t unique. The world has been ravaged by the abuse of alchemy. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher’s Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are…
We’ve arrived at my favorite of the bunch, Fullmetal Alchemist. Like with Black Butler and Attack on Titan, I haven’t watched the anime because I wanted to read the manga first. I’m glad I did because I simply adored the ride this volume took me on. I’m already in love with Alphonse and Edward! It made me laugh out loud so often, and put me in such a good mood.
I immediately ordered volumes 2-7 from a secondhand online store, and am waiting for the second to arrive to continue the series. I think I made a mistake ordering them secondhand though, because after realizing how much I loved it, I kind of want to buy the 3-in-1 editions instead. I think I’ll do that for volumes 7 and upwards, and slowly replace the secondhand editions I have of the first ones. I’m so excited to continue the series!
Those were mini reviews of 4 manga volumes I’ve read recently. I have read some others that I haven’t reviewed yet, and some that have gotten their own full review (like I Hear the Sunspot), and I’m sure I’ll continue to read many more this year. I’m really falling in love with this format of reading.
Have you read any of these? Which ones should I continue first? Do you have any recommendations for me? Next on my to-read list (aside from sequels) are Death Note, Fruits Basket, and Blue Exorcist.