Top 10 Manga To Sweep You Through the Summer

Alondra Flores, Staff Writer

1. Black Butler
An oldie but a good one, “Black Butler” has amazing artwork, with each cover featuring a different character on it. The design of each character is based on the 19th-century, Victorian era. When Ciel Phantomhive is at his lowest point, his only hope is the devil themselves, so he sells his soul to avenge his parents’ death. The devil, which is named Sebastian Michaelis, serves as Ciel’s butler to the very end. Though the manga’s plot is somewhat of a cliché at this point, it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is an amazing manga to pick up. It gives a Sherlock Holmes vibe to it, and I love mystery and gloomy mood. The series does have a little action, but this is not its biggest feature. I recommend this if you are looking to read an oddly funny but also very serious manga.

2. Blue Period
As someone who would like to consider themselves as an artist, this manga caught my attention. The story follows a high school student named Yatora Yaguchi, a delinquent with excellent grades, who starts to develop a passion for art. I love that each page is drawn to more of a traditional style, in all the colored planes, which look as if they were watercolor painted. The story also touches on mental health, showing a teenager trying to make it out into the future. It also features great representation of gender identity. If you’re an artist, this one is for you, but even if you’re not, it’s still a must-read for its character development and representation.

3. A Man and His Cat
If you love cats or own a cat, you’re going to love this one. “A Man and His Cat” is such a cute, wholesome story about an old man and his cat, as the title says. The cat was born and raised in a pet shop, where no one would pick him because he is an “ugly cat.” Having no hope left, the cat sits in the shop and waits for death itself to take him away, until one day a widower named Fuyuki comes and chooses him. This manga brought me to tears learning all about Fuyuki and his childhood and every moment he and the cat spend time together. I love that while Fuyuki is trying to figure out how to take care of a cat, the reader also learns the proper ways to take care of a cat. It’s such a sweet story to just read on a sad day to lift up your mood.

4. The Frog in the Well Does Not Know the Ocean

This was one of the first Mangas I ever picked up that didn’t have a corresponding anime. This one could be a little similar to “Bakuman,” a more popular manga about a duo trying to become manga artists, though “The Frog in the Well” goes more into the life of an already publishing mangaka going almost into ruins and having all his hard work become canceled. Thirty-two-year-old Tohno Naruhiko has been spending 10 years on a fantasy manga, but in the series, his manga series gets canceled. Now he has to leave his comfort zone and get his creative mind working. I love how we get to see some panels of the manga he is working on and the progress he goes through to get it done, from idea to publication. It gives an insight on how some mangakas get published, and what goes into it. It also is a slice of life: we don’t only get to see him working on manga but also how he interacts with the townspeople. It is ongoing with 3 volumes published and more to come. I highly recommend this one if you’re only looking for a chill manga to read.

5. The Way of the House Husband
You’ve heard of housewives, but have you ever heard of house husbands? A former Yakuza, Tatsu is now retiring and becomes a house husband, taking care of the food, cleaning, and shopping. This is as simple as it gets. Just a man doing his chores and normally living life, or so you think. The manga’s characterization is fantastic, as his personality doesn’t match that of a gentle husband, so it still makes it look like he is doing something illegal when all he is doing is going shopping and getting deals on all the necessities for the house. It is of course a comedy, so it’s a good one to enjoy and just have a laugh at.

6. I Think My Son is Gay

This manga warms my heart every time I read it. Tomoko is a mom, very sweet and kind, and she is starting to suspect that one of her two sons is gay. The son is in the closet, but the door is made of glass, as the mom can see right through her son. It shows a lot about how the mom is trying to prepare herself for when he comes out. I love that she is always trying to figure out her son without ever pressuring him into telling her anything. It shows how a mom always knows what’s going on with her children, and I just love a supportive mom.

7. Given
Who doesn’t love a good love story about music? In “Given,” we follow our main character Ritsuka Uenoyama, who just wanted to take a nap at his usual spot when he sees someone already there holding what seems to be a guitar. He later finds out the boy doesn’t even know how to play it, and soon they become friends through music. It is also a good LGBTQ recommendation, though the main point isn’t on sexuality. “Given” goes more into how someone deals with grief and learning to say goodbye. It also focuses on love and how there are more ways than one to show love.

8. Spy X Family
You might know the anime spy x family. When I first heard of the manga, it was during quarantine. At first I thought it was getting over hype and what not. I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and picked up the first 2 volumes. It follows a family of three: a father, a mother, and a daughter, they all have a secerct they keep from each other. The father, Loid forger, code name twilight, is an undercover spy who has to build a family in order to save the world from. The wife Yor an assassin and then finally the daughter, anya a telepath. I love the way it has action, but also it’s a comedy. It is funny and entertaining the whole manga follows as we see each and every member of the family live their double life.
If you’re not so much into action but would love to get into it, this one is a most there isn’t too much or too little a well balanced story.

9. Sasaki and Miyano
A story of young love and manga. Miyano loves to read boys’ love manga and one day he meets a guy by the name of Sasaki who is interested in the genre and would like to get to know it or so he says. This one is such an adorable manga, the characters are so funny and interesting. This manga is great at showing same gender relationships, and how the norm of life didn’t affect Sakurai falling for miyano, and though miyano hasn’t even thought of ever liking the same gender, but for sakurai there is a sparkl.

10. Living Stone
This manga was out of my comfort zone, so trying something new helps me keep an open mind to other geners. Though I rank it the number 10, it is good. Sakurai and Amano both are psycholith collectors and cleaners, which means they are the collectors and cleaners of the living stones. Every living stone is a soul of a person and they try to keep them clean as possible and without any damage. It goes into the matter of life and death, it has a bit of gore here and there since it does touch on death and all different ways it happens. There are some sensitive topics so if this isn’t for you no pressure. I like how even though the duo has to see all these deaths, all these tragedies, it is still mentally draining for Sakurai while Amanon is not completely fazed by it.