I apologize for another list. It would appear that my blog has been full of lists lately, but I wanted to make one last list for 2012.
This isn’t a list of manga that were released or ended in 2012. No, it is just a list of some good manga that I probably read in 2012.
The thing with manga is that there are really no seasons for manga. They start and end pretty damn arbitrarily, so it is pointless to only talk about manga that started this year.
Also, when I say manga, I am talking about entire series and not volumes. I actually wanted to make individual recommendations for many of these and I am going to do that at some point, but hopefully for now, this will suffice.
This list only has 5 manga on it because I am in a hurry to get this out before the end of the year. I have purposefully neglected to include some popular manga (like Koi dano Ai dano) and manga that I have written posts on like Kubera and Gakuen Babysitters (both of which are great).
Shingeki no Kyojion
All of the other manga on this list are relatively tame affairs. They will win your heart, occasionally break it and in general, make you happy when you read them. Shingeki no Kyojion is a bit of an exception to that.
This manga is brutal and horrifying. It is set in a future where humans have almost all been wiped out by giants.
I have never read or watched anything that made a post apocalyptic world look so downright depressing.
As you read this manga, you will start liking characters as you would in any given manga, but then just when you learn a bit about them, they will die. It is just that simple. This manga is brutal. Fortunately, most of the characters that die are not terribly memorable, but the most memorable thing about this manga is just how much the humans suffer.
This manga will make you realize that humans are weak and pathetic. If a threat like those giants ever came after us, we’d be screwed.
Oh and as you are reading, an intricate background plot will slowly unfurl and you will notice that this war is not a simple war between species.
Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei
This is a manga based on a novel, so if you prefer you can probably read the novel instead.
It is a simple story about a brother and a sister who go to a magic school. One key differences between this and any other magic school based story is that the school is split into talented magicians and non-talented magicians. The non-talented get a lot of hate and get looked down upon.
The main character and his sister are very interesting. There is a lot about them that we don’t know. They are shrouded in mystery and with each chapter, a little bit more of the world and a bit more about them is revealed. It is this sense of mystery that I love so much about this manga. I know very little about the setting, very little about the siblings and little about anything else.
The manga takes its time revealing all of this and it is all so interesting that you can’t help but want to read more.
I am not ashamed to admit, but this is arguably the first time that I am actually shipping a brother and his sister. I am doing this not only because they are so romantically compatible (it is also obvious the sister loves him), but also because their relationship is interesting. This isn’t an ordinary brother-sister relationship, it is not even an incestuous one, but there is something…something right below the surface that is itching to be explored.
I love it.
Kimi ni Shika Kikoenai
1 Volume or 4 chapters, that’s all there is to this little manga, but don’t be deceived; it is magnificent. It has a strange premise, but one you will get used to very quickly. I am not even going to talk about it because there is so little of it and I want to spoil nothing.
This manga is a very emotional experience. It will touch you, hurt you and make you love humanity.
This was originally released as a 4-koma that even got an OVA adaptation. Now, it has been remade as a manga.
Horimiya is very quickly turning into one of my all time favorite slice of school life/romance mangas. If you want a grasp on the premise, think Kare Kano.
The female lead is intelligent and cool at school, but a lot more “normal” at home. Reminds you of the Kare Kano female lead, huh?
The male lead seems to be a quite and totally isolated geek at school, but when he is outside, he reveals his tattoos and ear piercings. This is a bit different from the Kare Kano male lead.
The premise though is just a starting point. It quickly becomes unimportant as the manga starts up and the characters start building relationships with one another. And what relationships they build! From the friendship between the two guys to the friendship/possible romance between the male and the female lead, all of the relationships are exceptional.
I really, really like how much the main guy(Miyamura) genuinely cares about main lead (Hori). His feelings aren’t shown with empty thoughts, random tears, jealousy or arbitrary heart clenching. No, they are shown by all the nice things he does for Hori. He comes over and helps her look after her brother. He expresses concern and just ugghh, go read it already. He is super nice, and yet he never feels unnatural. His niceness is just a part of his relationship with Hori and she in turn genuinely cares about him to.
This is the kind of romantic buildup I really like to see. I really hope this manga’s potential is realized.
I also really like the art and character design. They are lovely.
Last Game is probably my current all time favorite Shoujo.
It is also one of the few Shoujo I know that normally tells the story from the main guys perspective.
The main guy (Yanagi) used to hate the main girl (Kujou), but then he fell for her. By the present time in the manga, he has been in love with her for almost 10 years. The only thing stopping his love is her cluelessness and his own shyness.
Okay….I will admit that doesn’t sound like a particularly original manga, but this manga actually IS really good. For starters, how many Shoujo manga do you know in which the main characters have had 10 or so years to build their relationship? On top of top of that, how many do you know that take place in university and not high school?
Yeah, the bulk of this manga takes place in university when they are twenty years old, so most of the teenage angst isn’t really there.
On top of that, Yanagi always wants to put Kujou’s happiness before his own romance. It is not like he is always capable of doing that, but he most certainly wants to.
I know calling her clue-less made Kujou look like an idiot, but she really isn’t one. She is actually a very likable lead. She is endearing, hard working and has a lot of love for her friends, especially Yanagi who has been helping her out since they were kids.
It is a very cute relationship and if I can’t convince you that it has something else going for it, then you should read it on that alone.