I’m a 30 year old who loves graphic novels and manga. I grew up loving them at a young age, and although my mom didn’t understand my fascination with them, she was happy to see me enjoy a book… or twenty. I say twenty specifically because I fondly remember being so engulfed in a manga series that I stayed up past my bed time to know how it ended. Of course, I got in trouble and I felt bad, but looking back now it’s a treasured memory of my adolescence.

Manga are graphic novels that originated in Japan. They are read from back to front, right to left,  and have a distinct art style. My appreciation for graphic novels and manga is not just based on the story, its a love of the characters, and of the art. Its all the greats combined into one. Those of you who read manga may know that manga has many categories, but the three I wanted to mention today are shoujo, shounen, and comedy. Shoujo manga is geared toward young teen females, shounen manga is geared toward young teen males, and comedy is for anyone looking for a good laugh. Though the intended audience of manga is labeled in their catagories, anyone can read a shoujo manga and a shounen manga.

The shoujo manga I wanted to highlight today is one called “Kimi ni Todoke”, or its English title “From Me to You”, it has 30 volumes in the series. Our main character is named Sawako, and is known for her resemblance to the Sadako character in the horror movie “The Ring”. She is thus given the nickname “Sadako” and is misunderstood to be frightening, like her fictional counterpart, despite being sweet and timid in nature. She’s just a misunderstood teenager, too shy to fit in, longing to make some friends. The first friend she makes happens to be the most popular boy in class. To find out what follows, make sure to pick up this series to read. My little sister and I read this series and enjoyed the moments the main character stood up for herself or cleared misconceptions. Seeing the character grow and enjoy her high school life with friends warmed the heart.

If you also like shounen manga, be sure to check out “My Hero Academia”. This story takes place in a world where 80% of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks”.  Heroes and Villains battling it out. Our main character Midoriya Izuku wants to be a hero more than anything, but his power never manifested. He is one of the 20% of people who were born Quirkless. Bullied and ridiculed for not having a superpower is hard enough, but throwing away his dream of being a hero proves to be even harder. How does a chance encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all, give him a chance to change his destiny? Find out by reading this ongoing manga series. My husband and I watched the anime together as the episodes released. When it comes to watching anime, we usually like to wait until episodes build up a bit, but with My Hero Academia we just couldn’t wait.

For some chuckles pick up “Tonari no Seki-kun” or “My Neighbor Seki”. The story’s premise revolves around shenanigans, creativity, imagination, and distraction. At school, Rumi Yokoi’s assigned seat is next to Toshinari Seki. Everyday she is constantly distracted by her neighboring classmate Seki, as he indulges in elaborate games and somehow never gets caught by the teacher in the process. From dominos, to mecha models, to playing with cats and more, Seki always has something new to do, and poor Yokoi can’t fight the temptation to look.

For more graphic novels please browse the shelves or our online catalog. You can narrow searches down and specifically look in Junior, Teen, and Adult graphic novels. If there is a graphic novel you would like to suggest the library to purchase, please let us know!

As always, catch us on social media or comment below. If you have a library question, call 972-780-5052 or email librarians@duncanville.com.

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