Manga is the Japanese word for “comics” and consists of comics and print cartoons (sometimes also called komikku コミック). In the West, the term “manga” has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th century.
In Japan, people of all ages read manga. The medium includes works in a broad range of genres: action-adventure, romance, sports and games, historical drama, comedy, science fiction and fantasy, mystery, horror, sexuality, and business/commerce, among others.
“Manga” as a term used outside Japan refers specifically to comics originally published in Japan. However, manga-influenced comics, among original works, exist in other parts of the world, particularly in Taiwan (“manhua”), South Korea (“manhwa”), and China, notably Hong Kong (“manhua”). In France, “la nouvelle manga” has developed as a form of bande dessinée (literally drawn strip) drawn in styles influenced by Japanese manga. In the United States, people refer to what they perceive as manga “styled” comics as Amerimanga, world manga, or original English-language manga (OEL manga). Still, the original term “manga” is primarily used in English-speaking countries solely to describe comics of Japanese origin. (by Wikipedia)
Some of the top Manga comics and Graphic novels for 2011 are:
1) Rosario Vampire Season II 6
The main character of the series is Tsukune Aono, a boy who mistakenly gets enrolled to Yokai Academy, a special school unknown to humans that teach various monsters to coexist with humans. He later meets and befriends Moka Akashiya, a vampire who soon takes a liking to the sweet taste of his blood, and throughout the series, befriends other girls who take an instant liking to him for various reasons: Kurumu Kurono, a succubus, Yukari Sendo, a witch, Ruby Tojo, another witch, and Mizore Shirayuki, a yuki-onna. The main characters are members of the school’s newspaper club, the Yokai Times, run by Ginei Morioka.
2) Sailor Moon Kodansha 1
Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), and together, they fight the forces of evil!
3) Codename Sailor V 1
It is about Minako Aino, a cheerful schoolgirl who finds out that she has magical powers that she must use to protect the people of the Earth. This series is the basis for the sequel, Sailor Moon.
4) Blade of the immortal 24
There’s going to be a massacre at Edo Castle! While the bitter Kagimura believes that he’s sending his forces chasing after Anotsu and the entire Itto-ryu crew, Anotsu fakes them all out and risks his life in one mad dash back to Edo Castle grounds!
Manji is an immortal swordsman, who has been cursed with eternal life. He has grown tired of living with all the death he has created. He has no skills other then those of killing, thus he forms a plan to regain his mortality: he shall kill one hundred evil men for each good one he has killed. The old witch who afflicted Manji with immortality agrees to Manji’s proposition and Manji is set on his path to kill one thousand evil men. On his journey he meets a young girl, Rin, who has her own vengeance to seek against the sword school whose members slaughtered Rin’s family. Rin and Manji journey together, each hoping to find some kind of peace. In their way are many varied enemies. Rin and Manji are almost constantly under attack and must learn to live their lives, avoiding being consumed by revenge.
5) Berserk 35
Set in a medieval Europe-inspired world, the story centers around the characters of Guts, an orphaned mercenary, and Griffith, the leader of a mercenary band called the Band of the Hawk (鷹の団, Taka no Dan?). Themes of isolation, camaraderie, and the question of whether humanity is fundamentally good or evil pervade the story, as it explores both the best and worst of human nature.
6) Gantz 19
Gantz tells the story of Kei Kurono and his friend Masaru Kato who die in a train accident and become part of a semi-posthumous “game” in which they and several other recently deceased people are forced to hunt down and kill aliens armed with a handful of futuristic items of equipment and weaponry.
7) Yotsuba 10
Yotsuba is centered on Yotsuba Koiwai, a five-year-old adopted girl who is energetic, cheerful, curious, odd, and quirky—so odd and quirky that even her own father calls her strange. She is also initially ignorant about many things a child her age would be expected to know, among them doorbells, escalators, air conditioners, and even playground swings. This naiveté is the premise of humorous stories where she learns about, and frequently misunderstands, everyday things
8) Black Butler 7
The series follows Sebastian Michaelis, a demonic butler who is bound by a supernatural contract to serve Ciel Phantomhive, the twelve-year-old head of the Phantomhive noble family and the business-savvy owner of the Funtom company, a toy manufacturer. In return, when Ciel has finished all of his tasks, including avenging his parents’ deaths, Sebastian will be allowed to kill him and take his soul.
9) Soul Eater 7
The series follows the adventures of three students at a school called the Death Weapon Meister Academy (or DWMA for short), known as meisters, who use demon weapon companions with human and weapon forms. These meisters, Maka Albarn, Black Star, and Death the Kid, seek to turn their weapons, Soul Eater, Tsubaki, and the Thompson sisters respectively, into “death scythes” for Shinigami, the Grim Reaper and head of the DWMA, by having their weapons consume the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch.
10) Negima 31
A dark sinister tale befalls ten-year-old Negi Springfield and class 3-A. One year after Negi’s arrival at Mahora, two representatives from the Magic Academy arrive at Mahora with the news of the disappearance of a mysterious artifact known as the Star Crystal. The Star Crystal holds a power that not even the Thousand Master could control. Even though the reason or the cause behind the Star Crystal’s disappearance is a mystery, the effects of the artifact begin to envelop Negi and his students. Surrounded by a menacing power, Negi and the class must cope as the dark power harass and attack the class at a moment’s whim. Simultaneously, Negi places his thoughts towards his missing father, while the supporting cast do all they can to provide assistance.
See additonal pages for information and images of your favorite Manga series.