Mind-Blowing Manga of 2017!

In celebrating all of the things that made 2017 awesome this week, today I’m going to share with you all my top seven manga serials that I absolutely loved and will always recommend to anyone in search of amazing stories in the graphic novel medium. Each one of these completely blew me away by either being excellently written, illustrated, or examining some subjects that are usually very challenging to explore respectfully and safely.

They will be listed from the seventh to my number one pick and will include the genre, a three to five elements that make them extraordinary, and links to any relevant reviews that I have written/recorded for them. I hope you all enjoy this list. ✌🏽

07. My Love Story!! (Ore Monogatari!!) by Kazune Kawahara, Art by Aruko
  • Shōjo, RomCom (Romance-Comedy)
  • Wonderfully pleasant and colourful cast of characters that all readers can relate to on one level or another.
  • Superb portrayal of positive friendship and familial values.
  • Delightful laugh-out-loud humour, and sweet, fluffy moments.
  • Touching, genuine, and engaging depiction of a healthy romantic relationship that undergoes many obstacles that are typical of adolescence romance.
  • One of the most feel-good, uplifting, and inspirational manga that I have ever read.
06. Orange by Ichigo Takano
  • Shōjo, Drama, Slice-of-Life, Romance
  • Beautifully written.
  • Incredible friendships that involve naturally flawed characters who work through their differences and obstacles to maintain their bonds, which sometimes includes romantic conflicts.
  • Friends actually stick up for one another in the face of bullying to help protect one another, which is a rare treat for the shōjo genre.
  • Deals with the serious subject of suicide and closely examines the grief and guilt that survivors have in the wake of said death without being harmful, or fetishising.
  • Slow-burn romance, some of it bittersweet.
  • Full review.
05. A Silent Voice (Koe no Katachi) by Yoshitoki Ōima
  • Shōnen, Drama, Slice-of-Life, Romance
  • Puts you in the shoes of a bully from an unfiltered and honest perspective, which includes their motives for behaving in such a manner, and the aftermath of guilt that comes with realising the damage they’d caused.
  • Intensely emotional examination of living with a disability that is laced with harmful cultural and psychological stigmas that are perpetuated, not only by friends and colleagues, but family members as well.
  • Fiercely exhibits the emotional and mental trauma that stems from being bullied and how its results truly are a life-long struggle, at times utterly crippling.
  • Impeccably crafted with great storytelling and quality artwork.
  • Full review.
04. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
  • Shōjo, RomCom, Slice-of-Life, Supernatural
  • A huge cast of comical characters with diverse personas, contagious humour, and authentic insecurities and shortcomings that make them all very individualistic and multi-dimensional.
  • Phenomenally illustrates how quality bonds of friendship are developed on trust and compassion, and that it’s okay to have flaws, which can help enrich those bonds further.
  • Loving female protagonist who’s compassion and selflessness inspires me to be a better person–a better friend and a better partner–every day of my life.
  • Very unique and original storyline that never lost its momentum.
  • First Impressions Review.
03. Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon and Mu (Ito Junji no Neko Nikki: Yon & Mu) by Junji Ito
  • Seinen, Slice-of-Life, Comedy, Memoir
  • Wonderful collection of anecdotes that portray what life is like for first-time kitty-cat owners.
  • The unique and strange artistic style utilised by Ito-san creates a creepy and hilarious reading experience.
  • Some of the anecdotes were a bit heartbreaking as well as it described the pain associated with losing a pet.
  • Full review.
02. Blade of the Immortal (Mugen no Jūnin) by Hiroaki Samura
  • Seinen, Chanbara, Historical Fiction
  • Mind-blowingly magnificent pencil illustrations and full page mandala-style finales for major plot fights that are exceptionally unique to the manga medium.
  • Marvellous homage to the jidai-geki (historical fiction) genre with unique twists and science-fiction facets that make it wonderfully original.
  • Flawlessly analyses the ideal of vengeance, and the evolution of contemporary culture in a society that is fiercely hesitant of letting go of deeply-rooted, traditional constructs.
  • Gorgeously graphic in violence and bloodshed.
  • First Impressions Review.
01. Planetes by Makoto Yukimura
  • Seinen, Science-Fiction, Drama
  • The story is sublimely character-driven and focuses heavily on the interpersonal bonds that they all share with one another and others around them.
  • Outstanding artwork that carefully showcases how the vastness of space can be a lonely and horribly claustrophobic environment.
  • Spectacular demonstration of space-life, including the emotional, psychological, and physiological effects from living in zero-gravity for extended periods of time.
  • Tremendously intelligent, scientifically technical, and provocative with mild political intrigue pertaining to space and lunar colonies.
  • Some of the best authentically realistic science-fiction I have ever read, across all mediums.
  • Full review.

Thank you so much for reading my post today! If you can, please share some of your favourite manga from 2017 with me down in the comments. I’d love to see what you guys enjoyed. Until next time, happy reading & happy otakuing!