Time to study with the School of Love Digital Manga Sale (Ends 03/08)

Learn the Language of Love!

Get ready to open your books, and take diligent notes because the School of Love is now in session! Collected in this amazing digital manga sale is some of the most heart-pounding and blush-inducing school romances Kodansha has to offer – discounted up to 50% off! 

Save BIG on fan-favorite series like the magical boyband inspired rom-com Star⇄Crossed!!, or dive into the sensational tsundere series Don’t Toy With Me, Miss NagatoroIf you need some magic in your life try the modern fantasy romance Negima! Omnibus. And if you’re looking for anime-inspiring manga look no further than series like, Rent-A-Girlfriend, My Little Monster, and School Rumble. All these stories and more can be yours at a price that won’t break your heart!

But be sure to take advantage of this sale before school’s out! Visit one of our participating digital vendors to see how you can save during this limited time offer: Bookwalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kindle, Nook and izneo. Sale runs from March 2nd to March 8th!

 

~School of Love Digital Manga Sale~

March 2nd to March 8th
See below for the full list of titles being offered during this sale,
and click on the links below to read chapter 1s FREE!

Featuring:

Star⇄Crossed!! (Vol. 1-2)

Sale also includes:

Aho-Girl: A Clueless Girl (Vol. 1-6)
Ao-chan Can’t Study! (Vol. 1-4)
Beware the Kamiki Brothers! (Vol. 1-3)
Manga Dogs (Vol. 1-2)
My Little Monster (Vol. 1-7)
My Wife is Wagatsuma-san (Vol. 1-7)
Negima! Omnibus (Vol. 1-9)
Nodame Cantabile (Vol. 1-13)
Our Precious Conversations (Vol. 1-4)
Paradise Residence (Vol. 1-2)
Queen Bee (Vol. 1-2)
Rent-A-Girlfriend (Vol. 1-3)
School Rumble (Vol. 1-11)
Star⇄Crossed!! (Vol. 1-2)
Suzuka (Vol. 1-9)
The Prince’s Black Poison (Vol. 1-5)
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches (Vol. 1-10)
Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro (Vol. 1-3)
Ex-Enthusiasts: MotoKare Mania (Vol. 1-3)
Fuuka (Vol. 1-10)
GE: Good Ending (Vol. 1-7)
Love Hina Omnibus (Vol. 1-3)
MabuSasa (Vol. 1-2)
Magatsuki (Vol. 1-5)

Need laughter in your life? Checkout the Our Fools In April Digital Manga Sale! (Ends 4/6)

Everyone could you a few more laughs in their life right now and to help we’re making some of our most foolish characters and stories part of an amazing April Fools-themed event – the Our Fools in April Digital Manga Sale!

From silly and outlandish slice of life laughs from series like CITY, and Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu, to fantastical comedies like Crocodile Baron and The Knight Cartoonist and Her Orc Editor, and even a few rom-coms like Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku, this sale will have you laughing your cares away at a price that won’t bring you down.

But don’t stop there, we still have our 99¢ Vol. 1 sale happening right now letting you explore even more of what Kodansha Comics and VERTICAL have to offer.

So give all these amazing series a try for 99¢ a volume, and then catch up on the rest for up to 50% off at all participating digital vendors including: BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kindle, Nook and izneo. Sale runs from March 31, until April 6.

~Our Fools in April Digital Manga Sale! ~
March 31 – April 6
Click on the featured titles for more info or to read Chapter 1s FREE!

Aho-Girl
Alicia’s Diet Quest
Ao-chan Can’t Study!
Cells NOT at Work!
CITY
Crocodile Baron
Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro
Ex-Enthusiasts: MotoKare Mania
Good Dog, Cerberus!
Goodbye! I’m Being Reincarnated!
Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu
Kiss Him, Not Me
The Knight Cartoonist and Her Orc Editor
Magical Sempai
My Roomie Is a Dino
Saint Young Men
The Dorm of Love and Secrets
Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku

Manga Harvest Sale! 11+ digital series up to 50% off! Ends 10/21

This year’s seasonal harvest is in, and we’ve got some tasty treats for your reading pleasure! Whether you like cute cooking time, mouthwatering masterpieces or … wait is that human flesh???

For this week’s digital sale, we’re featuring 11 of our most savory hits, including Sweetness and Lightning and Crocodile Baron. The whole harvest of digital series are now up to 50% off at our digital retail partners: Apple Books, BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kindle, Kobo MyAnimeList, and nook. Sale ends October 21st!

~ Manga Harvest Sale ~
October 15-21

Click on the cover or links to read Chapter 1s for FREE!

Aho-Girl
Alicia’s Diet Quest
Are You Lost?
Blissful Land
Crocodile Baron
Drifting Dragons
Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live?
Kitchen Princess
Starving Anonymous
Sweetness and Lightning
Yuri Is My Job!

You may want a bit of wine to go with all that food … ah, perfect timing! Starting this week, we and our pals at ComiXology Originals are completing the internationally renowned wine manga The Drops of God in English for the very first time! Click here for more information about this exciting announcement!

Drops of God Wine Salon

Oh for those of you interested in fine dining and wine IRL, this weekend connosseiurs of fine wine and fine manga will be celebrating the opening of the Drops of God Wine Salon in Napa with the creator Tadashi Agi!  Come join the party at Ad Hoc at Yountville in Napa Valley on October 20th and The Bazaar by Jose Andres in Beverly Hills on October 21st.

To learn more about these events and the Drops of God Wine Salon, please visit http://dropsofgodwinesalon.com.

The BIG Back-to-School Manga Sale! 90+ digital series up to 50% off!

Sad summer’s over? Ready for school … ? You’re in good company! This week’s BIG digital sale features all kinds of your fellow students in every imaginable school setting! We’re not even sure how some of these characters have time to study! So tell your sensei and grab your senpai, cuz this massive list of academia-related titles is up to 50% off!

Whew, have we got a lot of manga set in school … That’s right, this week 90+ of our school-themed series are now up to 50% off at our digital retail partners: BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kindle, MyAnimeList, and nook. Sale ends on September 16.

And to help celebrate our school-manga theme, here’s our digital-first debut of the week! What more embarrassment can you face after you accidentally confess your love to your crush? Learn more in our new digital-first title Queen Bee, which debuts September 10—TODAY!


Click on the cover and read Chapter 1
FREE!

And here’s the complete lineup!

~ The BIG Back-To-School Manga Sale ~
September 10-16
Click on the link to read Chapter 1 for FREE!

Ace of the Diamond
Again!!
Aho-Girl
Air Gear
Ajin: Demi-Human
ALIVE
All Out!!
All-Rounder Meguru
Ao-chan Can’t Study!
Aoba-kun’s Confessions
Arisa
Asahi-sempai’s Favorite
Attack on Titan: Junior High
Beauty Bunny
Beware the Kamiki Brothers!
Boarding School Juliet
Chihayafuru
COPPELION
Days
Defying Kurosaki-kun
Devils’ Line
Domestic Girlfriend
Elegant Yokai Apartment Life
Farewell, My Dear Cramer
The Flowers of Evil
Gakuen Prince
The Garden of Words
Genshiken Omnibus
Gleipnir
Goodbye! I’m Being Reincarnated!
Happiness
I Am Here!
I Want to Hold Aono-kun so Badly I Could Die
I’m in Love and It’s the End of the World
Interviews with Monster Girls
Karate Heat
Kigurumi Guardians
Kira-kun Today
A Kiss, For Real
Kiss Him, Not Me
Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight
Kitchen Princess Omnibus
LDK
Let’s Dance a Waltz
Liar x Liar
Living-Room Matsunaga-san
Love and Lies
Love in Focus
Love’s Reach
Lovesick Ellie
Magical Sempai
Magus of the Library
Manga Dogs
MARS
Mikami-sensei’s Way of Love
Missions of Love
My Boy in Blue
My Boyfriend in Orange
My Brother the Shut-In
My Little Monster
My Sweet Girl
My Wife Is Wagatsuma-san
Mysterious Girlfriend X
Negiho: Mahora Little Girls
Negima!
Nodame Cantabile
O Maidens in Your Savage Season
Our Precious Conversations
Paradise Residence
Parasyte
Peach Girl
Peach Heaven
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth Side: P4
The Prince’s Romance Gambit
The Quintessential Quintuplets
Ran the Peerless Beauty
Real Girl
Say I Love You.
Sayonara, Football
Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei
School Rumble
Shojo Fight
Shugo Chara!
A Silent Voice
A Springtime with Ninjas
Sweetness and Lightning
Tsuredure Children
Vampire Dormitory
Waiting for Spring
The Walls Between Us
Welcome to the Ballroom
Witchcraft Works
That Wolf-Boy Is Mine!
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
You Got Me, Sempai!
Your Lie in April
Yuri Is My Job!

 

 

Post-Valentine’s Day! Love Is a Battlefield Sale! 60+ romance manga with a twist up to 50% off on digital

Post-Valentine’s Day! Love Is a Battlefield Sale!
Congratulations, you’ve survived Valentine’s Day, again. But let’s be real: romance doesn’t begin or end on February 14, in real life—or in manga! In fact the so-called most romantic day of the year might just be the prelude to one wild emotional rollercoaster ride. And as well-read fans of Kodansha Comics’s extensive romance-manga lineup know, love can be as tough as or tougher than any battle in shonen manga.

So, to get you through to next year’s Valentine’s Day, at least as far as manga is concerned, this week we’ve selected a massive 60+ romance manga series with a twist, and put them at 50% off at all of our digital retail partners: BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, and nook. (Sale ends February 25.)

~ Love Is A Battlefield Sale  ~
February 19-25
Click on the link to read Chapter 1 for FREE!

FUNNY!
Aho-Girl
Boarding School Juliet
The Full-Time Wife Escapist
Hotaru’s Way
I’m in Love and It’s the End of the World
I Want to Hold Aono-kun So Badly I Could Die
Kiss Him, Not Me
Lovesick Ellie
Magical Sempai
My Wife Is Wagatsuma-san
Princess Jellyfish
The Prince’s Romance Gambit
Tokyo Tarareba Girls
Tsuredure Children
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

CUTE!
Aoba-kun’s Confessions
Beauty Bunny
Can I Kiss You Every Day?
Kigurumi Guardians
A Kiss, For Real
Kamikamikaeshi
Love and Lies
Love’s Reach
Our Precious Conversations
My Boy in Blue
My Boyfriend in Orange
Waiting for Spring

That Wolf-Boy in Mine!
You Got Me, Sempai

TEARJERKER!
House of the Sun
Drowning Love
Kira-kun Today
Perfect World
Real Girl
Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty
Your Lie in April
A Silent Voice
I Am Here!

TROUBLESOME (BUT HANDSOME)!
Beware the Kamiki Brothers
Defying Kurosaki-kun
Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight
LDK
Living Room Matsunaga-san
Mikami-sensei’s Way of Love
My Little Monster
Peach Girl
Peach Girl Next
The Prince’s Black Poison
Say I Love You.
A Springtime with Ninjas
The Walls Between Us
Liar x Liar

SAUCY!
Ao-chan Can’t Study!
Black Panther and Sweet 16
Cosplay Animal
Domestic Girlfriend
Gakuen Prince
Kakafukaka
Missions of Love
Moteki
Peach Heaven
Peach Mermaid
 

Happily ever after … ? Hope ya found the kind of love you were looking for!

Back to School Bad Girls Sale: Peach Girl + 13 series up to 50% off on digital! (ends 9/3)

Time for back to school. Yeah, may not be the most exciting idea at first, but think of all the next-level adventures and shenanigans you’ll be having in the new school year!

And to help rev you up for the madness, this week we’ve handpicked 14 manga series featuring, uh, girls dealing with problematic reps, and put them on sale discounted up to 50% off for our Back to School: Bad Girls Sale at all of our digital retail partners: BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, MyAnimeList, and nook! (Sale ends September 3.)

Just like in your new classroom, you might see some new faces and some familiar faces in the roster—like Peach Girl, the sasstastic shojo classic that is back with a vengeance and debuting on digital today! Not only will Peach Girl be a part of this sale, but there’s also a special comiXology bundle deal (volumes 1-8) for only $44.99, so you can catch right up!

Peach Girl
By Miwa Ueda

Miwa Ueda’s ‘90s shojo megahit Peach Girl is back! Suntans and bleached hair were never quite so problematic, and high school drama was never quite so …. dramatic! This digital reissued edition combines the original English-language run of Peach Girl and Peach Girl: Change of Heart.

It’s not easy being beautiful. The envy, the jealousy, the vicious rumors spread by your best friend. That’s life for young Momo. While everyone thinks that Momo is a wild party girl, the reality is that she is shy and honest. Can Momo confess her love to her classmate Toji, or will her best friend Sae steal him away? It’s a bittersweet drama of growing up and fitting in that will charm girls everywhere.

 

~ Back to School! Bad Girls Sale  ~
August 28~September 3

Peach Girl
(individual volumes at 50% off, volume 1-8 bundle @ $44.99)
Again!!
Aho-Girl
BLAME! Academy and So On
Boarding School Juliet
Fuuka
Kigurumi Guardians
Liar x Liar
Magical Sempai
Mysterious Girlfriend X
The Quintessential Quintuplets
Tsuredure Children
Real Girl
Shojo Fight!


Next week … it’s Back to School Sale Part 2: Bad Boys! 
See ya then!

Romance is in the air: digital manga up to 50% off thru Feb 19!

What kind of love are you looking for? 
Romance season is ON! Looking for that special someone? Trying to plan a surprise for your sweetie? Or maybe you’re just looking for something more than plain ol’ “romance” per se … Hey, why don’t you get a clue from some manga 😉 

Starting February 6, Kodansha Comics is offering a whopping 67 romantic manga from all genres for up to 50% off at all of our digital-partner platforms: BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, and nook. This offer will last for 2 weeks (ends February 19)!

Been away from romance … or romance manga? We’ve picked up some of our recent favorites by powerhouse creators like Akiko Higashimura, Ema Toyama and Mari Yoshino. Check out the Chapter 1 previews and see if there’s something you like! 

Kodansha Comics Romance Manga Sale (February 6-February 19)
Click on links below for free Chapter 1 previews!

manga by Akiko Higashimura
Princess Jellyfish
Tokyo Tarareba Girls

manga by Ema Toyama
Aoba-kun’s Confessions
I Am Here!
Missions of Love

manga by Mari Yoshino
Beauty Bunny
Peach Heaven

manga by Taamo
House of the Sun
I’m in Love and It’s the End of the World

manga by Robico
My Little Monster
Our Precious Conversations

manga by Rin Mikimoto
Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight
Love’s Reach

manga by Jun Yuzuki 
Gakuen Prince
The Prince’s Black Poison

As seen as Anime
Aho-Girl
Appleseed Alpha
Clockwork Planet
5 Centimeters per Second
From the New World
Fuuka
The Garden of Words
Love and Lies
Love Hina
Negima!
Nemiga! Omnibus
Nodame Cantabille
School Rumble
A Silent Voice
Suzuka
The Gods Lie.
Tsuredure Children
Unlimited Fafnir
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
Your Lie in April

Shojo / Josei Romance
A Springtime with Ninjas
Black Panther and Sweet 16
Cosplay Animal
Drowning Love
The Full-Time Wife Escapist
Hotaru’s Way
Kigurumi Guardians
Kiss Him, Not Me!
LDK
Let’s Dance a Waltz
Living-Room Matsunaga-san
Lovesick Ellie
My Boyfriend in Orange
My Brother The Shut-In
The Prince in His Dark Days
Real Girl
Say I Love You.
Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty
That Wolf-Boy is Mine!

Shonen / Seinen Romance
Cage of Eden
Devils’ Line
Domestic Girlfriend
The Flowers of Evil
Forget Me Not
Happiness
I Want to Hold Aono-kun So Badly, I Could Die
Imperfect Girl
Magatsuki
My Wife is Wagatsuma-san
Mysterious Girlfriend X

All-Time Manga-to-Anime Sale! Your favorite anime’s original story up to 50% off

Attack on Titan, The Ghost in the Shell, The Seven Deadly Sins and more … You may have seen these anime, but didja know they're all based on manga from Kodansha Comics?

For one week only, we're showcasing series that were originally a manga then adapted into an anime during The All-Time Manga-to-Anime Sale! Check out the list of series that's 50% off at all our digital retail partners: BookWalkercomiXology, Google Play, iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, and nook. Sale runs through January 22!

—All-Time Manga-to-Anime Sale — 
all volumes up to 50% off through January 22!

Ace of the Diamond
Aho-Girl
Air Gear
Air Gear Omnibus
Ajin
All Out!!
Altair: A Record of Battles
Appleseed Alpha
Attack on Titan
Basilisk
BLAME!
Cage of Eden
Chihayafuru
Chi’s Sweet Home
Clockwork Planet
Days
Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Elegant Yokai Apartment Life
Fairy Tail
5 Centimeters per Second
Flying Witch
Fuuka
The Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Giant Killing
The Heroic Legend of Arslan
Hozuki’s Coolheadedness
Interview with Monster Girls
Inuyashiki
Kiss Him, Not Me
Knights of Sidonia
Kokkoku: Moment by Moment
Land of the Lustrous
Love and Lies
Love Hina
Mushishi
Mysterious Girlfriend X
Negima
Negima Omnibus
Ninja Slayer Kills
Nodame Cantabile
Noragami: Stray God
Parasyte
Princess Jellyfish
Princess Resurrection
Pumpkin Scissors
Rave Master
Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei
School Rumble
The Seven Deadly Sins
She and her Cat
A Silent Voice
Space Brothers
Spoof on Titan
Suzuka
Sweetness and Lightning
Tsuredure Children
Unlimited Fafnir
UQ Holder
Welcome to the Ballroom
Witchcraft Works
Yagyu Ninja Scrolls
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
Your Lie in April
Yozakura Quartet

Wanna know about the latest manga-to-anime series?
Check out the Winter 2018 Manga to Anime Guide!

Kodansha Comics Gift Guide 2017 Part 3: Manga from Me to You

Kodansha Comics Gift Guide 2017

Are  you  looking  for  the  perfect  gift  for  your  manga  loving  friends  and  family  this  holiday  season? Or perhaps you’re looking for the perfect series for someone who’s new to manga? With so many series to choose  from –from  shonen  to  shojo,  from  action-packed  series  to  drama-driven  ones,  from  series  for younger  readers  to  the  experienced fan –it  can  be hard to  choose  just  one  title  in  what  seems  like  an overwhelming sea of stories.

But never fear – Kodansha Comics’s got your back! Our Gift Guide is in full swing once again this year, and from classic tales to new fan favorites, we’ll help guide you to the perfect manga that’s sure to put a smile on someone’s –or your own –face!

 

Part 3: Manga from Me to You

There’s nothing quite like getting an amazing manga recommendation from someone – and then being able to bond with or make new friends when you discover you like the same series. But what could be better than getting a manga recommendation from the folks who help bring it to you? Our third, and final, part of our Gift Guide is a gift from us to you – our personal favorite staff picks! If you haven’t checked these series out already, we hope you come to love them as much as we do!

Aho-Girl (Ages 16+)

Emi Lotto, Assistant Production Manager

Life in 2017 is hard. We live in a world where none of us know what to believe, and you might think conscious engagement and critical thinking are for chumps. Well, you may be right. Let clueless high schooler Yoshiko Hanabatake offer you a master class in the life-changing magic of tidying up all those pesky thoughts that are stressing you out. You’ll learn to concern yourself with the important things, like where your next banana is coming from, or perfecting your sweet dance moves for the summer festival, or how to get your stick-in-the-mud crush to stop studying already and just come hit the beach with you. So grab a banana, turn on some Cutie Cure, and leave the rest to take care of itself. The unexamined life may be the only one worth living.

Aho-Girl Volumes 1 – 4 are available now!

 

Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju (Ages 16+)

Tiff Ferentini, Publishing Associate

I have manga to thank for cultivating a lifelong love and passion for many of my interests today – one of which is my love for Japanese history and culture. So naturally, with its dash of history, plot rooted in rakugo, and cast of incredibly compelling characters, I knew from the start that Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju would earn its place on my list of all-time favorite manga.

There’s so much going on in Descending Stories that it’s hard to pinpoint one single factor that draws me to the series. Haruko Kumota’s elegant art style and masterful story telling skills – which introduced me to an entertaining world engrained in Japanese culture like none I had discovered before – certainly were among the first things that caught my attention. But as the series progresses, I find myself more and more captivated by Rakugo’s diverse and deeply developed cast of characters – particularly Kikuhiko, and his complicated relationship with Sukeroku and Miyokichi.  Discovering your passion, your identity, who it is you exactly are, what it is that drives you, how you can live a life that is originally and uniquely your own – we see Kikuhiko grapple with and confront these challenges and more throughout the course of his life – a life which, thanks to Kumota, we get to see come full circle: starting from childhood, to his early days as a rakugo artist struggling with his craft, all the way to him being a well-established, seasoned veteran. It’s the kind of storytelling, character development, and relatability I’ve never quite seen before in a manga, and Kumota leaves me spellbound, constantly yearning for more – eager to turn the page, to grab the next volume, to dive deeper and deeper into Kiku’s story.   Take that, add some arguable, underlying commentary on gender and sexuality, and you have the ingredients to what kind of manga captivates me the most – an enchanting story driven by a real, complex protagonist; that tackles what it means to discover and drive oneself, and what it means to be human.

Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Volumes 1 – 4 are available now!

 


Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (Ages 13+)

Stephen Pakula, Senior Production Manager

Out of all the manga we’ve had the pleasure of publishing in 2017, for me, personally, Ichi-F has been the most memorable project – as both a reader and a publisher. Kazuto Tatsuta’s humble, honest account of the clean-up efforts at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake is both fascinating and informative – offering truth and light on a topic often shrouded in fear and mystery. The English-language version of Ichi-F has also been adapted to read in a left-to-right reading format, allowing those who may be unfamiliar with manga, but who still want to read and learn more about the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the accessibility to dive into Tatsuta’s story – of the challenging work, of the trials faced by the local citizens, and of the unique camaraderie that built up between the workers as they faced the invisible threat of radiation on a daily basis. 

Whether you’re looking to discover a new graphic memoir for yourself, long to read more nonfiction manga, or know someone who’s wanted to hear an authentic, candid, first-hand account of the aftermath at Fukushima, you’ll not want to miss checking out Ichi-F.

Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power is available now in one single, complete volume!

 

Kigurumi Guardians (Ages 13+)

Lauren Scanlan. Editor 

My taste in manga has always been pretty divided — I love a good romance just as much as I enjoy a wacky adventure story. So when Kigurumi Guardians came into my life, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Fourteen-year-old Hakka is a fun, plucky protagonist, whose belief in her friends and in the goodness of all people makes me hope that she and her friends succeed against their evil adversaries. Her sassy kigurumi partner, Ginger, is a good foil to Hakka’s enthusiasm, protecting her from others and her own insecurities, when the need arises. The fact that he and the other kigurumi happen to turn into attractive men doesn’t hurt, either! Hoshino-sensei’s past as a BL-artist shines through in Kigurumi, with a host of good-looking men and women who straddle the line between sweet and sexy, though the plot keeps things fairly tame (so far!).

All in all, Kigurumi Guardians is a love letter to shojo manga, a goofy but earnest take on a adolescence, good vs. evil, and the magic of a kiss.

Kigurumi Guardians Volumes 1 – 3 are available now!

 

To Your Eternity (Ages 13+)

Ben Applegate, Publishing Director

There’s no other way to put it, so why beat around the bush: To Your Eternity is the best new manga of the year. It begins with a dying wolf pulling itself, bleeding and desperate, across a bleak Arctic landscape, but where it will end no one knows but Yoshitoki Oima, its creator. Only two volumes in, we’ve met and left behind characters, landscapes, entire villages. Oima is recognized as a brilliant artist and writer for her moving seven-volume series A Silent Voice, about a girl who can’t hear and the boy who bullied her. On its surface, To Your Eternity is as different from A Silent Voice as it could possibly be: With its spiritual (even theological) themes, unusual protagonist, and invented language, it is the very definition of “high concept.” But this is no dry treatise, nor is it some avant-garde experiment. This is a manga about things we all experience: survival, friendship, loneliness, loyalty, grief, growing up. And it’s on this level – the level of “feels” – that fans of A Silent Voice will love To Your Eternity. It is both epic and intimate in a way that’s highly reminiscent of the work of the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka, who was also fond of reincarnation as a device to take the reader on a journey and show how humanity is united by our capacity for struggle and love. It’s a message we all need to hear.

To Your Eternity Volumes 1 – 2 are available now!

 

Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty (Ages 16+)

Haruko Hashimoto, Editor

A love story isn't complete without a ghost. I stand by that. But first, this manga immediately drew me in with its impeccable, polished art. Morino captures the character’s emotions so well in their expressions and eyes, whether it’s fear, ambivalence, compassion, or anger. It's my favorite take on shojo art styles right now. Her covers and color pages just stopped me in my tracks—they look like high-quality movie stills.

 

What I stayed for, is the earnestness of the characters, particularly our protagonist: a teenager named Tetsu. The story opens with him working really hard as a part-time housekeeper at a huge estate, taking care of his two little sisters, and quitting his beloved soccer team to focus on making ends meet. When he meets Shizu, the daughter of his wealthy employers, she is secreted away in a secluded building, and he realizes something isn’t right. Shizu doesn’t remember much, and never feels like she’s all there.

This story is about two kids trying their best to be honest with their fears and shortcomings. They grow on their own terms, and while it can be brutal, there are truly heartwarming moments. At times, it is also heartbreaking to see how much emotional labor Tetsu takes on and processes. Though, it is refreshing to see a male protagonist in a shojo manga finally do that, while also balancing loads of domestic labor. Of course, this story’s also about ghosts. And honestly, some of the ghosts are doing the best they can.

 

While there’s a good sprinkling of hijinks and light-hearted humor, this story is still grounded well in reality, which is why I got so invested. For one, Morino takes the difficult question of Shizu’s mental health status and adds a filter of the supernatural around it. While Morino writes a seemingly hollow character in Shizu (who comes in and out of consciousness as separate personalities), the author is explicit about how wrong it is to exploit someone who may often be very uncertain of themselves—a relatable trait which Tetsu shares. Throughout the series, Shizu grows immensely, maintaining her own agency in powerful moments. Tetsu is an encourager and a witness to that, while also confronting his own inner demons. Morino’s ability to write intimate, interior moments so genuinely is my favorite part of this story. It’s the reason why I read manga at all.

If you checked out last year’s staff picks, you probably already know how I describe my favorites. And it’s true for Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty as well: This got some real certified emotional tears from me. I’ve cried at several key scenes. Read it and guess which parts!!! It’s short and sweet at only 6-volumes (like my other ugly cry faves: A Silent Voice and That Wolf-Boy is Mine!).

Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty Volume 1 is available now!

 

This wraps it up for our Gift Guide series this year! We hope we’ve given you plenty of ideas for what to wrap up for your loved ones – and put on your own wish list!

All of us at Kodansha Comics wish you a safe and happy holiday. Thank you for helping us make 2017 a great year to read manga – we can’t wait to give you more in the New Year!