As with my posts in regards to what Anime you should be watching, I would also like to share what Manga I have been reading as well. I have been able to catch up on some manga reading during my vacation (happening now). Plus there was a sale at my local Barnes and Noble where manga was buy two get the third free. Today is the last day of the sale though, so if you want to take advantage of it, go run to your nearest BN store!! Today I will cover three series that are still currently ongoing and are my current favorites.
Noragami (Stray God):
Yato is a minor God, with specialties in Calamity and War. He lacks a shrine, and has no followers. To rectify this, he works as a “delivery God,” charging humans five yen to grant their wishes. On one of his delivery excursions, he encounters Hiyori, who tries and saves him from an oncoming truck (without realizing he’s a God and it wouldn’t effect him). She almost dies, but Yato intervenes. Hiyori then becomes part Ayakashi (demon), with the affects that her soul sometimes slips out of her body from time to time. He soon after acquires Yukine, a soul who becomes his guide and divine weapon.
Noragami is a great series and volume 15 was just released a couple weeks ago. Due to its popularity, Kodansha Comics has been releasing one volume every month. Volume 16 just came out today. I started reading the manga shortly after my husband Brad introduced me to the anime on Netflix. What drew me to the series is the different take on Japanese Gods in present day and keeping the storylines and characters engaging. At it’s current volume, the third storyline has already started. Some of my favorite characters at the moment are the God Bishamonten, Yukine, and The Stray. If you watch the anime, the first part of season one covers the first three volumes of manga and season two covers the Bishamonten story arc, found in volumes four through six.
Food Wars! Shokugeki No Soma:
Souma and his father own a local restaurant. After being harassed and winning against some urban planning sharks, Souma’s father closes up shop and moves to New York to work as a chef in a high end restaurant. But that’s not before he leaves instructions for his son. Souma must attend the elite Tootsuki Culinary Academy, and learn various ways to become the best chef in the world. Only catch: the graduation rate is only 10%. At the first day’s orientation, Souma makes a declaration that he will beat every student in the academy. Furthermore, he has his sights set on becoming one of the Elite Ten, a group of Chefs who not only run the school, but their dishes are far superior than anything the culinary world has ever seen.
Food Wars is another manga I am currently reading after Brad had started binge watching the show on Crunchyroll. Even though the show is zany and has many near Ecchi/Hentai undertones (in the form of foodgasms), what draws me into the show is my love for Japanese food. What’s great about the manga is that the recipes for some of the food that is showcase end up in their respective volumes.
Viz Media is currently publishing Food Wars. Volume 12 was just released last month, and Volume 13 is set for release on August 2nd.
A Silent Voice:
Shoya is a delinquent who spends time giving and taking dares with his friends. One day a transfer student arrives. Her name is Shoko. She looks normal like every other kid, but has a disability. She is deaf. Shoya becomes a bully to Shoko based on her deafness. He eventually is ridiculed and shunned by his friends once it is found out. Years later as he contemplates suicide for his past deeds, he runs into Shoko again. Wanting to make up for his sins against her, Shoko starts a path to redemption hoping to reunite friends and taking back what was lost during those years.
A Silent Voice is the most serious out the two picks for this blog. Anyone who has been on the side of bullying and/or ridicule will immediately relate to this manga. The artwork is great and the storyline is emotionally engaging. You can help but feel that Shoya is an asshole at first, but you feel for him as he is genuinely trying to make up for lost time. Shoko is shy because she is deaf, but upon going past Shoya’s ridicule and realizing he really is making it up to her; she starts to open up.
Kodansha Comics has published all seven volumes, with the last one just coming out in May. I am currently finishing volume four and plan to buy the rest. A anime movie has been recently announced and will come out sometime in the fall.