I have a confession to make – I am a somewhat-reformed otaku. While I watch anime almost every day (thank you Funimation, Netlfix and my local library for fueling my addiction!), I’m definitely not as connected to the anime/manga scene as I was in my student days. We have an anime club for teens here at the library, and part of my role as a youth services librarian is helping maintain the YA graphic novel/manga section, so I’ve been familiarizing myself with our collection, as well as the reading habits of our teen manga enthusiasts.
I had a young adult come to the desk recently looking for some manga suggestions (in particular for some more action-oriented titles), and here are a few options I pulled from our collection – most of these manga are pretty old, but they’re still pretty decent titles, and worth checking out. They’ve all also been adapted into anime, which could be worth suggesting as well.
Note: While these titles have all been classified by the library as “young adult”, they may not be appropriate for all teens. These manga may contain violence, nudity or suggestive content (wherein lies much of the appeal to teen audiences), and as always, reader discretion is advised.
Annotations are taken from the library catalog.
1. Attack on Titan / Hajime Isayama
For the past century, what’s left of mankind has hidden in a giant, three-walled city, trapped in fear of the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they came from or why they are bent on consuming human-kind, but the sudden appearance of an enormous Titan is about change everything.
Hot-tempered 15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki, the hero of the popular fantasy-adventure Bleach , has the unsettling ability to see spirits who are unable to rest in peace. His sixth sense leads him to Rukia, a Soul Reaper who destroys Hollows (soul-devouring monsters) and ensures the deceased find repose with the Soul Society. When she’s injured in battle, Rukia transfers her sword and much of her power to Ichigo, whose spiritual energy makes him a formidable substitute Soul Reaper. But the orange-haired teenager isn’t sure he wants the job: too many risks and moral dilemmas.
Naruto is a ninja-in-training with a need for attention, a knack for mischief and, sealed within him, a strange, formidable power. R to L (Japanese Style). 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!
Vash the Stampede, the galaxy’s deadliest gunslinger, emerges after two years in hiding to help his beleaguered desert homeworld, Gunsmoke. But the Stampede’s many enemies have kept their motors running, and they’re back on his trail and determined to bring Vash to ground – hard! And a new crowd of bounty hunters, badasses, and brain-cases are also looking to cash in the astronomical price on his head!
Cute girl wizard Lucy want to join the Fairy Tail, a club for the most powerful wizards. But instead, her ambitions land her in the clutches of a gang of unsavory pirates led by a devious magician. Her only hope is Natsu, a strange boy she happens to meet on her travels.
Note (2): My partner and I are currently making our way through the Fairy Tail anime (I think we’re on episode 102 or something like that. We’re really enjoying it!