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Top 10 Manga You Should Have in Your Library

Today we are pleased to introduce you to our newest contributor here at TLT, Karen DeWysockie.  She reads graphic novels, I do not. I have tried, I really have, but they are just not for me.  But they are very important to libraries, so I wanted to make sure we had an informed way to talk about them. Voila’ – meet Karen D! Not to be confused with Karen me.  Here today are her Top 10 Manga that you should have in your library.

Photobucket1) Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi

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!

This classic is being reissued after being out of print for ten years. It is the manga that started it all for many young girls and with the reissue many new teens will fall in love with the magical girl genre.

Photobucket2) Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori 

One day, Haruhi, a scholarship student at exclusive Ouran High School, breaks an $80,000 vase that belongs to the ‘Host Club’, a mysterious campus group consisting of six super-rich (and gorgeous) guys. To pay back the damages, she is forced to work for the club, and it’s there that she discovers just how wealthy the boys are and how different they are from everybody else.

This hilarious series just ended but teens will love the hijinks that these characters get into! Filled with cross-dressing, slapstick humor, over the top antics, and maybe some love thrown in for good measure.

Photobucket3) Library Wars: Love & War by Kiiro Yumi

Fight for your right to read!
In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves—the Library Forces! Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the
Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she’s finally a recruit, she’s finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it out for her!

How can you not want a manga about fighting librarians who guard their collections in a world where freedom is limited. There is action, intrigue, and a little romance.

Photobucket4) Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto

Naruto is a ninja-in-training with a need for attention, a knack for mischief and, sealed within him, a strange, formidable power. His antics amuse his instructor Kakashi and irritate his teammates, intense Sasuke and witty Sakura, but Naruto is serious about becoming the greatest ninja in the village of Konohagakure! Believe it!

This shounen series (boys comic) is one of the most popular manga ever! It is over 50 volumes right now but teens love the ninja fighting. It is full of action, adventure and humor. Perfect for those reluctant readers.

Photobucket5) Bleach by Tite Kubo

Ichigo “Strawberry” Kurosaki was born with the ability to see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow — a malevolent lost soul — Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper, dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping the tortured spirits find peace. The Arrancars, Hollows that have attained Soul Reaper-like powers, have descended on Karakura Town. Led by Grimmjow Jaegerjaques, they plan to eliminate anyone who poses a threat to them. And their deadly hunt doesn’t stop with Ichigo and the Soul Reapers–the rrancars are after anyone with even a trace of spiritual powers!

Another long shounen series but it is full of action, adventure, and ghosts. The story is suspenseful and the fighting is top notch. There are several plot twists and Ichigo is a strong character that wants to rid the world of the dangerous Hollows.

Photobucket6) Children of the Sea by Daisuke Igarashi

When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does.Ruka’s dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans’ fish.  

This one is a bit different from the others and is a bit more mysterious in nature. The artwork is gorgeous and the story has a slower pace but teens will be drawn in by the sea. Children of the Sea is perfect for the teen looking for something unique in the manga collection.

Photobucket7) Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya

Tohru Honda was an orphan, living with her grandfather, when one day fate kicked her out of the house and she was forced to take up residence in a tent in the forest. Little did she know that the land she was staying on belonged to the Sohma family, a clan of beautiful and mysterious people. After stumbling upon the teenage squatter, the Sohmas invite Tohru to stay in their house in exchange for cooking and cleaning. Everything’s going well until she discovers the Sohma family’s greatest secret: when hugged by members of the opposite sex, they each turn into their Chinese Zodiac animal!  

This one is one of my personal favorites and it is a great title to have in your library. It is capable of being hilarious but also has moments that make you want to cry. This one goes past the anime and gives a more complex look into the characters and motives behind several plot points. Manga fans will agree that this is one of the most beloved series out there and has helped many people transition into reading manga.

Photobucket8) Fullmetal Alchemist by

Hiromu Arakawa

Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg…and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is an agent of the government, a slave of the military-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders…even to kill. Except his powers aren’t unique. The world has been ravaged by the abuse of alchemy. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher’s Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are…

Magic, action, adventure, horror, and plot twists drive forward Fullmetal Alchemist. This series is another title that your teens will clamor for because it is the original story behind the popular anime and with news issues still coming out the fans will be wanting to know the newest story lines.

Photobucket9) Yotsuba&! by
Kyohiko Azuma

From the nutty mind of Kyohiko Azuma, creator of the hit manga Azumanga Daioh comes the story of the new kid in town – little Yotsuba, a green-haired and wide-eyed girl who doesn’t have a clue… about anything With no knowledge of the world around her, and an unnatural fear of air conditioners, Yotsuba has her new neighbors’ heads spinning. Join the hilarious exploits of an out-of-this-world schoolgirl as her befuddled friends attempt to uncover the secrets behind this strange child in Yotsubato.

Here is a straight up comedy series that will make your teens giggle. It follows a young girl that finds everything new and enchanting but it calls for some strange reactions from other people. It can be paired with Azumanga Daioh by the same author. Both have the comedic elements that teens need.

Photobucket10) Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles by CLAMP

But they’re not the people you know. Sakura is the princess of Clow—and possessor of a mysterious, misunderstood power that promises to change the world. Syaoran is her childhood friend and leader of the archaeological dig that took his father’s life. They reside in an alternate reality . . . where whatever you least expect can happen—and does. When Sakura ventures to the dig site to declare her love for Syaoran, a puzzling symbol is uncovered—which triggers a remarkable quest. Now Syaoran embarks upon a desperate journey through other worlds—all in the name of saving Sakura.
Every library should have at least one CLAMP title in their collection. This particular series might be a bit confusing for the reader who has not read many CLAMP series but it is intriguing and packed full of adventure. The companion series XXXHolic should be included but is not a necessity.

Honorable Mentions
Emma by Kaoru Mori
Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama
Magic Knights Rayearth by CLAMP
Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino
Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki

PhotobucketHello everyone! I am Karen DeWysockie from Books Beside My Bed and I will be covering manga and graphic novels for Teen Librarian’s Toolbox. I am a youth librarian in search of a library and love blogging about books. I currently work at an academic library but that doesn’t stop me from reading and enjoying picture books and YA! Especially all the graphic novels and manga I can find!

Be sure to let us know if you have any favorite manga series that you think we missed in the comments.


  1. Great list! I'll second everything on here. Sailor Moon started it all for me, too, despite being an extreme non-girly girl, so I'm very excited that libraries will have the opportunity to collect it again.

    Also, LIBRARY WARS, EEE! I need to get caught up…

    I have to toss in one additional recommendation. Twin Spica, by Kou Yaginuma, is the most poignant manga I've read since Solanin rocked my world. I have a weakness for anything involving 20th/21st century space travel, but this story of a young girl training to be an astronaut in the aftermath of disaster is really beautiful.

  2. So glad that you have started this feature! I need all the help I can get with manga and comics.

  3. Nice picks. I feel that manga is often pushed to the side when it comes to talking about teen books. And thank you for not making a top 10 manga list filled with super hero comic books. I'll have to pick up the Library Wars series, the rest of your list is legit and you put it above Naurto, Bleach, and FMA? Color me intrigued.

  4. Thank you for this list! I recommend Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

  5. Raspberry says:

    I also have a couple of recommendations, “My Hero Academia” by Kohei Horikoshi, and “The Black Butler,” by Yana Toboso. The characters in both of them are so amazing, and so is the art! And I laugh so hard when I read “The Black Butler,” I just can’t help it! And all of these recommendations look really good, I should check them out sometime! I just got into the manga phase, and I just love all of the different art styles they have to offer! It makes me want to share it with everyone in the entire world!

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