Remembering the golden Age of Manga in Libraries (and a list of manga titles)

Remember when manga was on the cutting edge of library provision a few years ago? Heady times when it seemed like the easiest way to attract teens into libraries was to invest in a manga collection and run a manga art event*.

Oh sure there were the occasional blips, including parents discovering their children paging through shonen-ai** or even worse hentai, because library staff were not aware that not all manga is for young readers; and library borrowers having conniptions when encountering teens cosplaying a Death Note Shinigami*** but overall nothing too major.

In the drk ages of 2006 the September edition Teen Librarian Monthly was a Manga Special, designed to introduce librarians to manga. You can read a copy here: TLM: Manga

I also wrote an article for the Public Library journal, which is readable here: Turning Japanese. I will just say that I was not responsible for the article title.

It all seemed so easy with publishers like Tokyopop running regular ReCon events around the country and of course manga and cosplay still had an aura of underground cool. Then Tokyopop imploded, Tanoshimi disappeared and for a long while there seemed to be fewer titles available.

Even worse**** happened, manga went mainstream and nowadays everyone and their gran seems to know what cosplay is, and a lot of them attend conventions together, dressed up as their favourite characters.

Nowadays the largest providers of manga in the UK are Kodansha, Viz Media and Self Made Hero with their Manga Shakespeare line; then there are UK-based indie manga creators and collectives, the oldest and best-known being Sweatdrop Studios and Umisen-Yamasen.

Even though manga appears ubiquitous, sometimes guidance is required by those that feel that they do not know enough to make safe choices when it comes to stock; so I have decided to put together a list of recommendations suitable for teen readers (13+).

An important thing to remember is that popular manga series can extend to many volumes, Naruto, for example, ran to 72 volumes and One Piece is currently on 79.

Some of these titles are well-known, others less so

Assassination Classroom – Yusei Matsui
Attack on Titan – Hajime Isayama
Animal Land – Makoto Raiku
Black Butler – Yana Toboso
Bleach – Tite Kubo
Cirque du Freak – Darren Shan, Takahiro Arai
Death Note – Tsugumi Obha
Fairy Tale – Hiro Mashima
Fullmetal Alchemist – Hiromu Arakawa
Gon – Masashi Tanaka
I am Here – Ema Toyama
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Hirohiko Araki
Kitchen Princess – Miyuki Kobayashi
The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya – Puyo
Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations – Kenji Kuroda
Monster Hunter Orage – Hiro Mashima
Monster Soul – Hiro Mashima
Musishi – Hiro Mashima
My Hero Academia – Kouhei Horikoshi
My Little Monster – Robico
Naruto – Masashi Kishimoto
Nausicaa – Hayao Miyazaki
No.6 – Atsuko Asano
One Piece – Eiichiro Oda
One Punch Man – ONE
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Kenji Kuroda
Read Or Die – Hideyuki Kurata
Shaman King – Hiroyuki Takei
Shugo Chara – Peach Pit
Shugo Chara Chan – Peach Pit
A Silent Voice – Yoshitoki Oima
Tegami Bachi – Hiroyuki Asada
Tokyo Ghoul – Sui Ishida
Tokyo MewMew – Reiko Yoshida, Mia Ikumi
Tsubasa – CLAMP
World Trigger – Daisuke Asihara
Your Lie in April – Naoshi Arakawa
Yu-Gi-Oh! – Kazuki Takahashi

* this still works

** this happened to me

*** this also happened

**** worse… or better? I think better

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