Top 10 Anime and Manga Series by Stew

Last month I made a list of my ten favorite comic books of all time, and I really struggled with something while making the list…

“Should I include the manga series in this?”

In the end, I decided to reject it. For me – and this is strange – for me, the manga and the comics are different. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. As immature or whatever they are, comic books will always be, to me, superheroes first and foremost.

When I read a comic book, whether it’s indie, Marvel, or DC, I want it to be about superheroes. I’m not saying it has to be kid stuff, because you can tell great stories from Capes across all age groups. But when I read a comic that isn’t stylized superhero action, I always think… “Aren’t there other genres for this?”

But with manga, I’m more receptive to stories that have come of age or a slice of life. why? I don’t know. I’m just me. Probably because the first series I read were comic books, and that’s what I’ve been trained to like for the nerve track they made.

Are there a lot of action-packed manga on this list? Yes, there certainly is. But I also really enjoy the more entertaining series that are about much less stakes. For me, manga is where anything goes. It’s the same comic book tree, but a remote branch.

Well, on my tree anyway.

You are discovering your own trees.


Over the past year, I’ve decided that I need to bubble up my manga a bit.

Admittedly, I’m a pretty basic bro when it comes to anime and manga. I wouldn’t even pretend to have some deep knowledge of hundreds of soap operas. I’ve read many series, some of which I had a fleeting love for, while I really got attached to each other.

So last year, I thought “let’s just buy a bunch of litter and see what gets stuck”.

Image credit: Rob Stewart


While it’s not the only book from that group that I’ve loved (I also enjoyed The Promised Neverland so much and thought Spy X Family was worth following up in a day), Komi Can’t Communicate was the easy winner (yes, even more than the FMA acclaimed). ).

The series revolves around a group of high school students, but centers on Komi who suffers from disabling social anxiety. She becomes friends with Tadano when he discovers that she’s just not cold and out of sight, and from there her high school enthusiasm follows as Tadano helps her try to make 100 friends.

The series is funny and wonderful, and I thoroughly enjoy everything that happens. It reminds me of another book that I love, but I’ll touch on later…


Spot #9 came down to two options for me: Yu-Gi-Oh! Or Pokémon, but in the end, it was an easy call for one reason: I love the anime of both, but I didn’t get into Pokemon as a manga.

Yu-Gi-Oh manga is crazy, at least, its first playback is. It’s hardly a card game at all; I think this appears in one volume, and hardly at all resembles what we know as Yu-Gi-Oh. The general tone of the first series is much darker and more sinister. The games included are wild, the story of making Yugi friends and getting into the spirit of the Millennium Puzzle is fun.

Then the series is basically rebooted as we know it as Yu-Gi-Oh, and it still runs because the card game is just as fun to play or watch. And we got the popular Abridged YouTube series from it, and my wife and I still quote it to this day.


The cat and mouse in this book are formidable. It has some of the most heart-pounding moments I’ve ever read.

Oh boy, I wish this was higher, but I can never wrap my head around how weak the back half of this series is compared to the first half. It starts out pretty strong and intense for the first 6 volumes, but changes the formula and feels like it’s lost the magic.

However, even at its worst, it’s still pretty good. It’s just comparing a good story to what used to be a great anecdote. I’m not saying “read the first six volumes and then assume that’s how it ends up being”. But… it could have ended there and be fine.


This was the first manga I ever read. It sat on a shelf next to the cash register at the bookstore I worked at in college, and it had beautiful hardcovers with adorable animated women on it.

Make no mistake, Love Hina is a fan service series. It’s all about the lost main character dorky being surrounded by beautiful girls, constantly in the states undressing, all of whom eventually fall in love with him. It is no more tactfully wrapped than girls are regularly wrapped in clothes.

Still… there’s some heart here. All the characters will be fully reincarnated by the end of the series, and they feel like they are living and breathing people. There are a lot of funny moments too.

There’s also a lot of Keitaro’s face sliding first into their arms.


This is probably the most straightforward “comic bookie” out of every series on this list. That is without a doubt why it brings me such happiness. It’s a comfort food manga for superhero fans.

Unlike much of the Shonen Jump movie series, Black Cat goes in and tells its story in 20 volumes and exits. It doesn’t last a god damn like One Piece, Naruto or Bleach. You don’t invest half of what’s left of your existence in this chain.

And I really like the story! It’s full of villains with fantastical powers! Charming heroes! Such organizations cannot be trusted! Destructive weapons! It’s very loud and cruising around the medal for 20 volumes. And Eve is one of the most sophisticated and funny characters in a short series.

Hilariously, you can look at this and Death Note – both from Shonen Jump – and see one really fun difference. Death Note is basically just a manga as an animation, word for word. The Black Cat anime is a huge departure from the manga, telling the whole story in a completely different way. I wonder who makes those decisions.


Oh my goodness this series is amazing. Music. animation. Settings. It is breathtaking.

The closest I’ve come to the People In Giant Robot Suits Fighting Some Other series I’ve ever been in, I was a huge Escaflowne fan when I first saw it. The story of a girl who can predict the future and is transported to a fantasy world hidden from the view of the earth.

You just have to watch this. It’s a great.

And the villain behind it all is Isaac Newton, although that was never explicitly stated, and I get a kick out of that.


There was a period of time when I loved Phoenix Wright more than anything else in the entertainment stratosphere.

And to this day, if you were asked to name my top video game franchises, only Pokémon beats Ace Attorney. Devoured the first several games in the series, from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney through to Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. I fell a bit off after Apollo Justice admittedly, but I think I could always play these games if I wanted to go back to them.

I’m somewhat less familiar with manga and anime than I am in games, but I’ve absorbed some of them. It includes everything that the initial games gave us: colorful characters, strange scenarios, big characters, and interesting situations.


I always feel uncomfortable talking about this series because the creator recently found out it’s from underage porn.

But I read these books before I knew it, and I was struck by the historical context and the act. Glorious art.

See, I loved this book. I still love this book, and I feel really bad for that. I wouldn’t buy anything else this pervert makes, but… I’ll keep reading RK over and over and enjoying it.

moving in …


Despite being known as a loud dumb action series with people charging for episodes simultaneously and blasting big explosions at each other, the history of Dragon Ball is pretty cool. It starts out as a wacky fantasy series more concerned with laughter than having a whole lot of scenes.

But smoothly and naturally, the tone changes, and the book becomes more and more of a threat as more and more threats emerge.

After that, he starts to step back a bit until he finds the perfect balance between silly humor and big action. This is why my favorite arc is Buu Saga. It retains the devastating explosions and battles of Dragon Ball Z, but brings back the goofy spirit of Dragon Ball. It’s the best of both worlds!

Tell me you don’t think Frieza Saga would have used Gotenks or Hercule to let some air out of the balloon now and then. You can not.


I’ve read Azumanga Daioh countless times.

and I’m laughing

all

single

time.

That’s funny. I know every gag and prank and little bit to come, but it’s all done so well that they dump me anyway.

It’s a short crime series (only four volumes) and it translates into a truly bizarre anime that flaunts its own weirdness. But I simply cherish it. If you have never read this book, I urge you to look for it.

This is why I have a weak spot for Komi Can’t Communicate. This tale of a group of high school friends meet and are there for each other and sometimes threaten their teacher with a knife.


Damn, I was really supported in Komi Can’t Communicate and The Promised Neverland; I have purchased several volumes from both of the past few months and haven’t touched them yet. I should really work on it, but I’m having a hard time finding moments to read.

Trying to watch more than 300 movies a year will do.

Next year I should set my sights on reading manga. This feels so expensive! Maybe I’ll watch things for free on Crunchyroll instead.

Until next time… take care of yourself!

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