Img source: asia.nikkei.com

If you’re a manga fan, you undoubtedly already have your favorite manga comics. But if you’re just getting started or want to know what other people think, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the manga most worth your time.

Cardcaptor Sakura

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Img source: Amazon.com

While this popular story is based on some common manga tropes, with a carefree girl suddenly finding magic powers and a guardian and then embarking on a quest, this is more than your average story. Sakura has to capture fifty-three different magical cards, each of which has a power that will hurt her in some way.

Some of the cards are quite dramatic while some are more ordinary, but the way they are used is absolutely unique and fun. Sakura ultimately has to fight the power that controls the cards and gains the use of them herself. What truly makes this manga stand out, however, is the complicated subplot when Syaoran Li enters the picture and begins competing with Sakura for the cards.

This effective story does a great job of laying out their complicated relationship and then gradually moving them from antagonists to friends to lovers. The romance is never too sudden or over-realized. If you like a good romance action story, look for this on Mangakalot or your favorite manga app.

Claymore

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This is a long, involved story that begins by introducing us to the Yoma. The Yoma are demons who live by eating humans. Once they feed, the Yoma take on the appearance of the person they ate, as well as the person’s memories, meaning ordinary people find it almost impossible to detect a Yoma. Only the half-demon, half-human Claymores can tell the difference.

This series of stories follows a Claymore called Clare as she hunts the Yoma. We also get introduced to a boy named Raki and a series of warriors and their backstories. Clare and Raki become good friends—more like siblings than lovers—and the character development arc of the stories is profound.

What makes this manga great is a combination of the artwork and the complex story. The plot line not only tells us the main story of Clare, but also takes a lot of surprising and entertaining twists in the battle against the Yoma. The artwork is fast-moving, easy to follow, and brilliant.

Hellsing

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Img source: pinterest.com

What makes Hellsing stand out is that it never tries to be deep. From start to finish, it is completely honest with us: it’s entertainingly ridiculous violence, like the best corny horror movies. If you go into it knowing that, and if that’s what you enjoy, you’ll see immediately why Hellsing is a beloved manga.

Hellsing is all about vampires, and not the romantic, innerly-tormented vampires of modern teen heartthrob novels, but rather the old-fashioned, violent kind of vampires. The story follows one vampire, Alucard, who works for an organization that protects the royal family and the British Empire from supernatural threats.

On the other side is an army of Nazi vampires determined to take down England. In the resulting storyline we gets massive battles, attempted conquests, monstrous vampires, and tragic backstories. It’s an amazing ride that you’ll enjoy from start to finish.

Soul Eater

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Img source: deviantart.com

Set on an alternate Earth, Soul Eater exposes us to some interested human-like species like the Weapons and the Witches. The Witches are a kind of demigod set of figures with strong magical powers. The Weapons are humans with the ability to shape shift themselves into weapons which ordinary humans are able to use.

The trouble starts when the god of madness wakes up and provokes a battle between the witches for control of madness. The first 17 issues of the story follow this battle and new evolving threats as they appear.

What makes this a great manga is the exceedingly memorable characters and the opportunities for character development that have been built right in. There is also some gender swapping, some evil characters that end up being redeemed, and a fascinating world-building side.

These are just a few of the best manga out there. No one review can cover them all, but these are enough to get you started in the wild and wonderful world of manga.

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