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Essential Manga – Otaku Digest

Essential Manga – Otaku Digest


Last week we talked about a few manga titles that not everyone may have read or  even heard of. This was partly due to them being published by Tokyopop and not republished by another company. It is shame we do not have more manga related content and it is the aim for Otaku Digest to be far more across the board when it comes to all things Otaku so watch this space.

This week however we are going to look at some of the better known manga titles that no matter the publisher, an otaku will always have some form of these in their collections. Every collector has those titles that they will never get rid of nor lend to even the closest of friends. The usual disclaimer applies: these are my suggestions for the essential manga to any collection but if you feel I missed something please let us know in the comments.

3. Fruits BasketNatsuki Takaya


So it was a toss-up between Fruits Basket and Chobits for this spot on my list since they were both a must for my collection and are still picked up for a read every now and then. Fruits Basket tipped ahead in the race only due to the fact it is my personal preferred manga series of the two. It is another title that I have expressed my love for before now and will continue to push it forward as a must read for manga lovers.


One of the more long running series (obviously not cruelly drawn out like some are nowadays) on this list it is a series that kept fans coming back for each volume. This was never a series that went away following Tokyopop ceasing publications as it was near instantly picked up by Yen Press and has even had collectors editions released. No matter what your looking for in your manga, you are pretty much guaranteed to find it in this series. It has your fantasy, drama, comedy, romance with a reverse harem thrown in their for good measure, what is not to love? Not to mention some of the best written characters and relationships you will find in any manga, check it out if you haven’t.

2. Fushigi YuugiYuu Watase


One of the oldest anime titles in my collection and perhaps others but it is a staple series in particular for young women kicking off their manga collections. Also one of the only manga series on this list not to have been originally published by Tokyopop but originally published by Viz Media for English readers way back in 1999 (or by Gollanz Ltd depending on where you live).

Also known as Fushigi Yuugi: The Mysterious Play or Curious Play the manga series ran across eighteen volumes making it the second longest manga series on this list. I will admit that this manga might not be everyone’s cup of tea with the fact it is on the older side. You can still get copies of this manga showing its longevity, but what amazing about this entire series is that there are still prequel series being adapted for the universe it has been built around. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea but if you like your comedy, adventure, action, fantasy and romance manga this is most definitely the manga series for you and is also a great start of manga.

1. Sailor Moon/Cardcaptor Sakura

cardcaptorsakura1No shock that these two manga series made their way onto this list and they have to share that top spot for me since they are such iconic titles. Sure every anime fan knows that there are anime series for these. But sometimes it’s unclear whether they know there are manga series too. Also these two go together since they are of the same magical girl genre and two of perhaps the most iconic magical girl series in particularly for myself. These were two series I was determined to own since they hold such nostalgia for me.


What is quite ironic about these two series is that their manga series are quite different to the anime series, this was of course before Sailor Moon Crystal was released. Sailor Moon dates back to the early nineties and is the oldest manga on this list but it has stood the test of time becoming one of the most popular anime series of all time no matter magical girl. It is iconic and every otaku needs to have every volume of this in their collections. Where Cardcaptor Sakura differs is the anime was highly censored compared to the topics in the manga, those who are not familiar with it will be shocked by the changes. Another iconic series that has stood out and aged like a fine wine and now even has its own anniversary celebratory anime and manga to be released. These two manga are gems of their genres and manga in general.