We all know at least one individual whose tastes can be hard to shop for. Manga is one of those brackets from which someone can be quite difficult to purchase for. It isn’t without good reason either, Manga is a vast sea of choices that will lead to some down right amazing adventures. While my list might not align with your picky reader, hopefully it will give you a few ideas on what to look out for.
Kase-San & Morning Glories is a delightful Pure-Yuri that follows one cute couple figuring out their feelings and relationship. One of many LGBT focused manga that I read and it is the prime joy of my collection. This is not a smutty read nor one that is concerned about ‘plot’. Instead this manga by Hiromi Takashima details out the day to day struggles and joys of Yamada-Chan and Kase-San as they figure out what their relationship means to them and where that leaves them. It is so beautifully drawn and written that you cannot help but to smile. This is a great addition to anyones romantic collection or for someone who enjoys substance over meager fan-service.
Sweet Blue Flowers is a LGBT focused manga that also tackles the struggles of a Yuri romance. What can I say, I love a good realistic portrayal of a romantic struggle. Takaki Shimura is a mad genius when it comes to propping up LGBT issues in manga. This story, much like Kase-San, brings us to the struggle of Fumi as she tries to come to terms with her broken heart after a sweetheart recently got married; catch is the sweetheart was a girl. Now with only her best friend Akira around to help, her open mind and heart may be the only thing that can cure her friends gloominess. There is a lot that this manga has going for it and the anime adaption is just pure brilliance. I cannot stress how dreamy and realistic this manga/anime feels.
The last Yuri on this list comes to use in the form of Bloom into You. While this one borders on the potential to be slightly smutty in future publications, this manga in particular is more of the direct ‘anime-inspired’ approach. The usual plot point of random character confesses to another character sort of approach. Nakatani Nio nevertheless creates a beautiful tapestry of love and finding out what those feelings actually mean. This manga has some really deep periods of exploration and wonderment as both Yuu and Nanami must figure out if this attraction is something more or anything but.
For the comically inclined might I recommend the gold standard that is Nichijou (My Ordinary Life)? What can I say about this manga turned anime that I haven’t already said. It reeks of a good time and it has all the right amounts of comical jab to make your sides hurt. Keiichi Arawi is either mad or brilliant as this manga is a gold standard and must have at all times. The anime was recently licenses saved by the fine folks over at Funimation and the manga has been recently stocked at various bookstore locations. I can fully say that I enjoy the comedy to the fullest and even the most picky of readers should be open to reading this brilliance.
Non Non Biyori by ATTO is like the more countryside chill version of Nichijou, but still carries some solid enjoyment. Baring awkward and unneeded swimsuit moment, Non Non Biyori is a brilliant manga that I often tote around as the countryside comedy for those who love a good laugh. The story follows several girls in a small farming community as they go about their day to day lives, trying to figure out the mysteries in life, while also passing their test and homework assignments.
Interviews With Monster Girls by Petos is the crowning gem of racial acceptance and a must own/read! Okay, never before have a I seen a manga tackle such important issues like this one has. The manga follows several Demi-human’s in their day to day lives at school. These range from vampires, snow women, dullahan and succubus. The manga is beautiful in the portrayal of these young women and their day to day struggles with just living a normal life in a society that still views them with stares and misunderstanding. That is until one special teacher steps up to help and of course the awkward addition of affection takes a step into the room, but beyond that this is a solid read.
Lastly I have to give some love to THE series, Kill la Kill. If you didn’t grab a First edition Omakase box that had the hardcover version, then hopefully I can find you one from Amazon. If not the regular edition is just as good and will gleefully shove you into the Kill la Kill world. The manga is by Ryo Akizuki and it is a faithful adaption of the anime by Studio TRIGGER. It has everything I could want and that is more Kill la Kill on the go. I mean there isn’t much else I can say about this cult classic anime and manga that already hasn’t been said on the internet. Go watch it over on Crunchyroll, Netflix or Viewster. The story remains the same as it follows Ryuko Matoi on her quest to figure out who was behind her fathers murder, all the while she becomes engulfed in a fight beyond her wildest dreams involving living clothes.
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