If You Liked This, Read That: Manga Edition

Posted September 29, 2016 by Jamie in Discussions // 4 Comments

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Hey guys! I’ve been getting some requests to talk about the different manga that I read and like, so I thought I would do a full post of it. I’m going to tie together some YA novels that I enjoyed that closely resemble some of the manga I read and liked. While not all of them are completely similar, I think the tone of the story is the same and there are some elements that resemble one another so you should give them a try.

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If you liked…

If You Liked This, Read That: Manga EditionHarry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on June 30th 1997
ISBN: 0747532745
Pages: 223
AmazonChaptersTBD
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Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard! The first book in the "Harry Potter" series makes the perfect introduction to the world of Hogwarts.


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If You Liked This, Read That: Manga EditionFullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 by Hiromu Arakawa, Akira Watanabe
Published by VIZ Media LLC on May 3rd 2005
ISBN: 1591169208
Pages: 183
AmazonChaptersTBD
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Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg...and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is an agent of the government, a slave of the military-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders...even to kill. Except his powers aren't unique. The world has been ravaged by the abuse of alchemy. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher's Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are...


Why I Recommend It

Fullmetal Alchemist (FMA) is one of the best manga series I have ever read. At 26 volumes, it is quite an undertaking (it took me 10 hours to read it all), but it is SO worth it. The ending is just beautiful and I think the story itself is one of the best I’ve ever read. A mix of magic and learning to let go, I think if you are a fan of Harry Potter it will relate well to FMA. There is a lot of politics and intrigue in this one plus lovable characters (and lots of ships!) so you’ll be very invested in this.

If you read and enjoy it, I also recommend watching the anime! There are two: Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood but you can just watch Brotherhood and understand what is happening. Honestly, even if you’ve never read Harry Potter or you didn’t like it that much (although IDK who these people are), I recommend checking this one out.

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If you liked…

If You Liked This, Read That: Manga EditionThe 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Also by this author: The 5th Wave, The Last Star, The Infinite Sea
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 7th 2013
ISBN: 0399162410
Pages: 457
AmazonChaptersTBD
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After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.


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If You Liked This, Read That: Manga EditionAttack on Titan, Volume 01 by Hajime Isayama, Sheldon Drzka
Published by Kodansha Comics on June 19th 2012
ISBN: 1612620248
Pages: 193
AmazonChaptersTBD
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In this post-apocalytpic sci-fi story, humanity has been devastated by the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they came from or why they are bent on consuming mankind. Seemingly unintelligent, they have roamed the world for years, killing everyone they see. For the past century, what's left of man has hidden in a giant, three-walled city. People believe their 100-meter-high walls will protect them from the Titans, but the sudden appearance of an immense Titan is about to change everything.

Chapters list:
1. To You, 2000 Years From Now
2. That Day
3. Night Of The Disbanding Ceremony
4. First Battle


Why I Recommend It

Really Attack on Titan is marketed as Japan’s version of The Walking Dead but I think there is so much more to it than that. Yes, there is a lot of blood and gore and the art doesn’t shy away from that. However, there is also a mystery and politics and figuring out exactly what titans are that will keep you flipping pages, just like how I felt with The 5th Wave and it’s alien creations. This one is still currently running (one chapter a month, usually around the 6th of the month), but is slated to be done either end of 2017 or beginning of 2018, so you can take your time to catch up and wait for the ending to fully be done or you can binge it all now (again, it took me about 10 hours to read from start to current chapter) and wait (im)patiently with the rest of us.

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If you liked…

If You Liked This, Read That: Manga EditionGossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar
on April 1st 2002
ISBN: 0316910333
Pages: 224
AmazonChaptersTBD
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Welcome to New York City’s Upper East Side, where my friends and I live, go to school, play, and sleep—sometimes with each other.

S is back from boarding school, and if we aren’t careful, she’s going to win over our teachers, wear that dress we couldn’t fit into, steal our boyfriends’ hearts, and basically ruin our lives in a major way. I’ll be watching closely . . .

You know you love me,
gossip girl


Read…

If You Liked This, Read That: Manga EditionOuran High School Host Club, Vol. 1 by Bisco Hatori
Published by VIZ Media on July 5th 2005
ISBN: 1591169151
Pages: 178
AmazonChaptersTBD
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One day, Haruhi, a scholarship student at exclusive Ouran High School, breaks an $80,000 vase that belongs to the 'Host Club', a mysterious campus group consisting of six super-rich (and gorgeous) guys. To pay back the damages, she is forced to work for the club, and it's there that she discovers just how wealthy the boys are and how different they are from everybody else.


Why I Recommend It

Rich kids with too much time on their hands so they keep themselves occupied by doing things only rich kids could do. Both Gossip Girl and Ouran have a scholarship kid who turns things on its head. Plus there is drama and angst and so much romance that you will be squeeing the whole time you read this. This one is over the top sometimes but in the best of ways and I LOVED it. It’s completed with 18 volumes and is a fun and quick read that you won’t even notice the time passing.

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If you liked…

If You Liked This, Read That: Manga EditionThe Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers on January 26th 2016
ISBN: 0670785474
Pages: 482
AmazonChaptersTBD
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New York Times bestseller Alison Goodman’s eagerly awaited new project: a Regency adventure starring a stylish and intrepid demon-hunter!

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?


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If You Liked This, Read That: Manga EditionBlack Butler, Volume 01 by Yana Toboso, Tomo Kimura
Published by Yen Press on January 26th 2010
ISBN: 0316080845
Pages: 192
AmazonChaptersTBD
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In the Victorian ages of London The Earl of the Phantomhive house, Ciel Phantomhive, needs to get his revenge on those who had humiliated him and destroyed what he loved. Not being able to do it alone he sells his soul to a demon he names Sebastian Michaelis. Now working as his butler, Sebastian must help the Earl Phantomhive in this suspenseful, exciting, thriller manga.


Why I Recommend It

Like The Dark Days Club, there is the element of “Who Dunnit” and trying to stay out of sight of the police in Black Butler. The characters in Black Butler are all morally gray and do some questionable things but they are doing what they think is right for them and I’m kinda okay with it.

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If you liked…

If You Liked This, Read That: Manga EditionHex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Also by this author: Rebel Belle, Miss Mayhem, Lady Renegades
Published by Hyperion Book CH on March 2nd 2010
ISBN: 1423121309
Pages: 323
AmazonChaptersTBD
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Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag-along ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.


Read…

If You Liked This, Read That: Manga EditionSoul Eater, Vol. 01 by Atsushi Ohkubo
Published by Yen Press on October 27th 2009
ISBN: 0759530017
Pages: 208
AmazonChaptersTBD
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Maka is a weapon meister, determined to turn her partner, a living scythe named Soul Eater, into a powerful death scythe - the ultimate weapon of Death himself! Charged with the task of collecting and devouring the tainted souls of ninety-nine humans and one witch, Maka and her fellow meisters strive to master their weapons as they face off against the bizarre and dangerous minions of the underworld. But the meisters' own personal quirks may prove a bigger obstacle than any sultry enchantress!


Why I Recommend It

Both HEX HALL and SOUL EATER entertain the idea of kids going to school to learn more about their magic and abilities in order to succeed and defeat evil. There are some fun shenanigans that happen in both and really great characters that develop so well your heart just soars when they accomplish something new. If you haven’t read Hex Hall, Soul Eater is also similar to any “Magic School” YA story (but Hex Hall is my favourite out of all of those). Soul Eater is complete with 26 volumes, however there is a Soul Eater Not! series that follows a new cast of characters but still checks in on the old favourites.

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If You Liked This, Read That: Manga EditionQueen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
Published by HarperTeen on May 3rd 2016
ISBN: 0062409727
Pages: 306
AmazonChaptersTBD
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As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.
Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.


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If You Liked This, Read That: Manga EditionPandora Hearts, Volume 01 by Jun Mochizuki
Published by Yen Press on December 15th 2009
ISBN: 0316076074
Pages: 192
AmazonChaptersTBD
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The air of celebration surrounding fifteen-year-old Oz Vessalius' coming-of-age ceremony quickly turns to horror when he is condemned for a sin about which he knows nothing.

Thrown into the Abyss - an eternal prison from which there is no escape - Oz meets a young girl named Alice who is not what she seems. Now that the relentless cogs of fate have begun to turn, will they lead only to crushing despair for Oz, or will Alice provide him with some shred of hope?


Why I Recommend It

Pandora Hearts is an Alice in Wonderland retelling with magic and intrigue and something just a little different, quite like Queen of Hearts (and, really, any version of Alice in Wonderland). If you are a fan of any type of retelling, this one will fit the bill for you with interesting art, some great characters, and questions that will keep you guessing the whole time. Pandora Hearts is complete at 24 volumes and will probably take you about that much time to read them all.

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Have you read any of these manga? Are you going to check any out?

4 responses to “If You Liked This, Read That: Manga Edition

  1. My heart broke a little when I saw Pandora Hearts (,: Gosh I love that manga to death. I would sacrifice all my books to have Break alive and kicking again. I’m kinda sad that Fallen Syndicate isn’t gonna translate Vanitas no Carte. Or maybe I’m just lazy to travel that one hour to the bookstore to check if they have the translation zzzz

    I’m not sure if I would compare The 5th Wave with Shingeki no Kyojin. The 5th Wave seems to focus a lot on the romance aspect and SnK is just gore, philosophical stuff and mystery. I liked SnK, The 5th Wave… not so much. Then again, I’ve only watched the movie for The 5th Wave so what do I know? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • I’ve read the books and while there is a romance element, the core of the story is about saving the world and there are weird and cool plot twists focusing on what it means to be human, just like in SnK, which is why I compared the two. The movie wasn’t a good adaptation of what the story actually told but the books are much more nuanced than what you saw in the movie.

  2. I’ve seen plenty of post about book recommendations but it’s rare to have posts that include manga, so I read this one straight away! Some great recommendations here, FMA and Ouran are great, and I’m about to start Pandora Hearts! Excellent post! 🙂

    • I tried to pick some that were like the core of how I got into manga so that I can force, I mean, encourage others to also read them!

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