5 Must-Read Japanese Manga Books

japanese manga

When you’re learning Japanese, reading Japanese manga comics may help you build your vocabulary and comprehension skills. Aside from that, though, you should read Japanese manga comics because they’re fun and entertaining!

Modern Japanese manga originated in Japan in the mid 1900s. The word manga literally refers to comics and cartoons. You can find manga in many genres like romance, sports, comedy, and science fiction.

Manga can be sequential with many volumes in a series, or it can be one self-contained story. Originally, the artwork was only in black and white, but color manga have become much more popular. Many manga stories have also been made into films.

Since Japanese manga has been around for decades, there are many series to choose from. Reading Japanese manga is a great way to learn to read and speak Japanese. Here are some of the most popular Japanese manga comics.

1. “One Piece”

One Piece” was written in 1997 and includes 41 volumes. The adventure series centers around the main character, 17-year-old Monkey D. Luffy, who is in search of the “One Piece” treasure that was hidden by the legendary pirate Gold Roger.

2. “Dragon Ball”

Dragon Ball” appeared originally in the “Weekly Shonen Jump,” a best-selling manga magazine, from 1984 to 1995. The martial arts adventure series includes 519 chapters.

“Dragon Ball” follows the life of the protagonist, Goku, who searches for highly-coveted mythical objects called Dragon Balls, which can summon wish-granting dragons. If you like “Dragon Ball,” check out part two of the series, “Dragon Ball Z,” which was also made into a TV series.

3. “Naruto”

Even if you just started learning Japanese, you have probably heard of “Naruto.” This martial arts action series tells the story of a young ninja who wants to become the Hokage, or leader of his village. This manga series was adapted into Japanese anime, and has also been made into a movie.

4. “Golgo 13”

Golgo 13” was released in 1968, and is one of the oldest and most well-known manga series. Duke Togo, aka Golgo 13, is mysterious, specially-trained assassin. Even though the series has gone on for decades, readers are still left in the dark about his origin and his past. “Golgo 13,” was also made into an anime TV series.

5. “Berserk”

Berserk” is a fantasy  manga series which takes place in Europe during medieval times. The main characters are the orphaned mercenary Guts, and the leader of the mercenaries, Griffith. “Berserk” was written in 1988 and was later turned into a movie.

Check out these manga series and see how much of the Japanese language you can understand. If you get stuck, ask your Japanese teacher for help. While you’re reading, write down any words you don’t understand. You can look them up, or ask your teacher during your next lesson.

Reading Japanese manga is a great way to have fun while you increase your comprehension and Japanese vocabulary.

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