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My favorite manga

After the article My favorite anime you asked me to write a list of my favorite manga.

As you know I'm a big fan of Japanese comics, even if I don't actually read many of the newer ones. Let's say that this collection is a bit of a list of "great classics" in my opinion timeless.

Tokimeki tonight

ときめきトゥナイト by Koi Ikeno, 1982-1994

Romantic and delicious 80s manga starring a young witch. Hilarious and extravagant, as well as the anime. You will love it.

Batticuore notturno - Ransie la strega cookingwiththehamster
Batticuore notturno - Ransie la strega | ©

Capitan Harlock

宇宙海賊キャプテンハーロック by Leiji Matsumoto, 1977-1979

Many of you have surely seen an episode of the anime at least once in your life, but how many have you read the manga instead? Believe me, the comic version is a total, incredible and moving work of art.

If you miss it, you absolutely have to fix it.

Capitan Harlock cookingwiththehamster
Capitan Harlock | ©

Dear Brother

おにいさまへ… by Riyoko Ikeda, 1975

Ikeda san is known to the general public mainly for her most important work, Lady Oscar, yet Dear Brother is not second in drama, beauty of the tables and style.

The plot develops according to an interlocking process and deals with strong and mature themes such as death, illness and drug addiction within a Japanese school setting of the 70s.

Caro fratello cookingwiththehamster
Caro fratello | ©

Neighborhood Story

ご近所物語 by Ai Yazawa, 1995-1997

As you know, I love all of Yazawa san's works and therefore Neighborhood Story could not not be included in this list. A sweet, teenage and trendy shōjo that I talked about in the author's study.

Cortili del cuore cookingwiththehamster
Neighborhood Story | ©

Galaxy Express 999

銀河鉄道999 by Leiji Matsumoto, 1977-1981

I am a great lover and nostalgic of the works of the master Matsumoto, you will have understood, which is why I also added this title to the list. Moreover, it fits perfectly into the stylistic and narrative universe of other works by him, starting with Captain Harlock. If you like this genre you will be charmed, if you don't know it let yourself be charmed by this milestone.

Galaxy Express 999 cookingwiththehamster
Galaxy Express 999 | ©


by Mihona Fujii, 1998-2002

Has anything more iconic and anthropologically accurate ever been released regarding Japanese fashion (with particular reference to Shibuya)? The answer is no, GALS! it is a small masterpiece, a jewel that as a girl made me dream of being part of that colorful world at the foot of building 109 between the end of the 90s and the beginning of the 00s. I just love it!

GALS! cookingwiththehamster
GALS! | ©


ジョージィ!by Mann Izawa, 1982-1984

Put aside any memories of the anime that you have seen on television and approach this manga without preconceptions. Like almost all the original works, Georgie too is distant from the product proposed by Italian television, as always hyper-censored.

Georgie is actually a beautiful manga, mature and poignant. Trust me, you will reevaluate it.

Georgie cookingwiththehamster
Georgie | ©


こどものおもちゃ by Miho Obana, 1994-1988

A work known to the general public as Rossana, due to the anime and the name of the protagonist translated in this way in the Italian version.

If in the Italian version everything has been simplified as a childish and funny story, the Japanese manga is obviously more mature and has the bitter and deep notes of the Bildungsroman.

 Il giocattolo dei bambini cookingwiththehamster
Kodocha | ©

Lady Oscar

ベルサイユのばら by Riyoko Ikeda, 1972-2018

Most known and appreciated work of Ikeda san which, in its manga version, has evident and profound dissimilarities compared to the anime version. Struggling and historically quite accurate, the manga goes beyond Oscar's death, reaching the near-settlement of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Here you will find an in-depth study on the author and the manga.

Lady Oscar cookingwiththehamster
Lady Oscar | ©

Midnight Diner

深夜食堂 by Yaro Abe, 2007-

The most beautiful and personally most awaited title of recent years: it made me crazy and in love! This time the transposition on the small screen was performed in an exemplary way, if you have not seen it, run to retrieve it on Netflix. Once you have looked at it and read it, you will want nothing more than to go for a drink and a bite to eat at an izakaya in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

La taverna di mezzanotte cookingwiththehamster
Midnight Diner | ©

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 by Hirohiko Araki, 1987-

Iconoclastic manga following the adventures of members of the Joestar family. If like me you are passionate about unbridled quotation, this epic is for you: the references to music and cinema are really many.

Le bizzarre avventure di JoJo cookingwiththehamster
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure | ©

Marmalade boy

ママレード・ボーイ by Wataru Yoshizumi, 1992-1995

Even for Marmalade boy the same rule applies: don't be fooled by the memories of the anime (translated in a mawkish way with Piccoli problemi di cuore).

The manga is a mature work, even with dramatic tones. Really very beautiful and deep.

Marmalade boy cookingwiththehamster
Marmalade boy | ©


NANA ―ナナ― by Ai Yazawa, 2000-

A manga that certainly needs no introduction, considered by many to be Yazawa sensei's masterpiece. I wrote about it in an article dedicated to the author.

Nana cookingwiththehamster
Nana | ©

Neon Genesis Evangelion

新世紀エヴァンゲリオン by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, 1994-2013

One of the most iconic and representative manga of the Japanese society of the 90s is definitely Neon Genesis Evangelion which, together with the anime, contains all the psychology and drama of that lost decade in an apocalyptic key.

Neon Genesis Evangelion cookingwiththehamster
Neon Genesis Evangelion | ©

Paradise Kiss

Paradise Kiss ―パラダイス・キス― by Ai Yazawa, 1999-2003

Yet another work by Yazawa which is absolutely worth reading and which fits on a narrative level with Courtyards of the heart. A mature manga, like Nana. I have explored it here.

Paradise Kiss cookingwiththehamster
Paradise Kiss | ©

Ranma 1/2

らんま½ by Rumiko Takahashi, 1987-1996

Ranma 1/2 has not only the merit of making people laugh, but also show many sides of traditional Japan and China in a hilarious and unique way. I wrote about it in a dedicated article.

Ranma 1/2 cookingwiththehamster
Ranma 1/2 | ©

Sailor Moon

美少女戦士セーラームーン by Naoko Takeuchi, 1991-1997

Sailor Moon, a title a myth. A timeless success, an anime that she made her fall in love with and a manga that is in many ways far from the animated version. Obviously also in this case more mature and structured. If you are a fan you cannot not read it, you will love it.

I explored this work in an article dedicated to the author and high fashion.

sailor moon cookingwiththehamster
Sailor Moon | ©

Video Girl Ai

電影少女 VIDEO GIRL AI by Masakazu Katsura, 1989-1992

A concentrate of what were the dreams, illusions, technology and comedy in Japan of the 80s in a manga designed for children and that made a generation fall in love.

Video Girl Ai cookingwiththehamster
Video Girl Ai | ©

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