This blog allows OFPL staff members to share suggestions for reading, viewing, or listening. Our cataloger Shawnna shares some of her favorite titles. Although she spends her time adding new books to our collection, many of you will remember her from her years in Circulation. Shawnna’s fondness for manga is one reason our collection upstairs has been updated.
For me, when it comes to graphic novels, a compelling story is not as important as likable characters and beautiful art. With graphic novels, I can be a little shallow. I will tolerate a mediocre story if the art is good enough, but I won’t bother with a good story if the art is not to my liking. And my preference for art leans towards “manga” styles rather than “superhero” types.
Komi Can’t Communicate by Tomohito Oda
Blue Flag by Kaito
This is a slice-of-life romance/drama. It’s kind of standard manga fare with a high school setting and first love drama — but this one features a love quadrangle! Usually, you know how these stories are going to end right from the start. With this one, I’m not quite as sure, but the characters are likable enough that I’m excited to see how everything will unfold.
Wotakoi, Love is Hard for Otaku by Fujita
This series is packed with references to pop culture, video games, and anime/manga. The characters are all otaku trying to navigate love and life while keeping their geeky tendencies in check. I like that the characters are (young) adults. Even though it pretty much follows the same formula as most manga which feature high school kids, it’s still nice to see some of the drama revolve around the woes of working.
The Fox & the Little Tanuki by Mi Tagawa
This is one of those art over story types I mentioned. There’s only one volume available at the moment and the story is not particularly compelling – but the art! The characters are mostly all animals and they are so cute and fun. If you like animals and maybe Japanese folklore, give this one a go.
Inspired by Shawnna’s Suggestions:
Tokyo Geek’s Guide: Manga, Anime, Gaming, Cosplay, Toys, Idols & More – The Ultimate Guide to Japan’s Otaku Culture – Tokyo is ground zero for Japan’s famous “geek” or otaku culture—a phenomenon that has now swept across the globe.
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