What is happening, everybody? Today is not only Monday, but it is also a special Monday. Typically, I’d be bringing you the regular edition of the weekly Ani-Monday article. But this week, I decided to do a special edition that I like to call Manga-Monday.
For this article, I will be talking about three of my favorite manga series that I think you should read.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
A gripping historical fiction by mangaka Makoto Yukimura. That takes us into the world of Vikings from the early 11th century. I’ve talked about this series in a previous Ani-Monday. But I don’t think I stressed enough how much of a masterpiece this story really is.
The story follows Thorfinn, a young Norseman. Who witnessed his father killed by a band of Vikings led by the ruthless Askeladd. Thorfinn is taken in by the Vikings and grows up to be a fierce fighter on the battlefield. He swears to one day kill Askeladd and avenge his father.
Throughout the series, we follow Thorfinn’s journey as his life changes dramatically through the years. The setting is gritty, as most of the locations are based on actual war-torn countries from the Viking Era. The action scenes are bloody and violent, which some of the most brutal fights you’ll see this side of Berserk. But probably the most impressive part about this story is the character development. Just seeing how each main character goes and changes after each trial and triumph they go through, you really feel like you’ve gone on the journey with them.
If you’re a non-manga reader and you want a darker, grittier story along the lines of something like Game of Thrones. Vinland Saga ia something you’ll want to check out.
The Quintessential Quintuplets
Going in a completely different direction than the last entry. The Quintessential Quintuplets is wholesome, funny romantic comedy. In a way reminds me a bit of a show like How I Met Your Mother.
Futaro is a high school student from a poor family who is top of his class with the best grades. One day, he is offered a tutoring job of a wealthy business man’s daughter. That he gladly accepts, thinking it’ll help his family pay off debts. After getting off on the wrong foot with the daughter, he tries to smooth things over. While following her back to her apartment building. Is is there that he discovers that not only does he have to tutor one girl. But, he has to tutor 4 other girls as well -and they’re quintuplets!
With this revelation, Futaro must find a way to appeal to all five girls. A few of which already seem to hate him, while also trying to get each one of them to pass.
But what makes this story unique is the fact that the whole thing is told as a flashback. At the beginning, we are told that Futaro marries one of the quintuplets when it’s all said and done. But we aren’t told which one until almost the very end.
So throughout the story, it’s up to you to try and guess which one ends up being the bride. Based on the interactions and hijinks between Futaro and the girls.
I was absolutely hooked on this series the first time I read it. I loved all the characters and their respective quirks. The comedy is well-written, legitimately funny, and the concept of figuring out who the bride is kept me itching to continue. For being sort of a harem manga, it is very wholesome to little-to-no fan service which I feel is a positive for the series. Overall, it is my favorite rom-com manga series that I’ve read so far. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of that genre.
Spy x Family
One series that succeeds in mixing some fierce action scenes with lighthearted, comical moments is a newer series known as Spy x Family.
This new Shonen Jump series follows a spy known by the codename Twilight. He is a top-tier spy and master of disguise who completes every mission without fail. However, in order to track a new target who only makes appearances at his son’s private school. Twilight must take on his biggest challenge yet: becoming a family man.
In order to infiltrate this private school, Twilight adopts a young girl named Anya. He begins training her to pass the entrance exam. But Anya is no ordinary girl: turns out, she’s a telepath who can read minds. Twilight also comes across a woman named Yoru. A seemingly shy and awkward woman who ultimately agrees to pretend to be his wife in this venture. Oh, and she’s also secretly an assassin known as; Thorn Princess.
Together, they must work to keep up appearances as a loving, well-to-do family. While also keeping their personal lives a secret from the world and one another. It won’t be easy, especially when one of them can literally read their minds.
This series only has two physical volumes available in the states so far. But, I can tell already this is going to be a very funny, entertaining Shonen series.
If you’re new to manga and are intimidated by the thought of jumping into a long-running series. Spy x Family is a newer series that you can get into now and read as the story progresses.