Written by: Billie Clark
You might remember that forever ago I wrote a post about reading manga, without ever actually recommending any manga…. Well, that changes now! This post is all about five manga series I recommend to supplement their anime.
A lot of anime is based off manga. Some are short 1 or 2 episode OVAs, while others are 2 or 5 or 15 seasons long. Some anime strictly follow their manga plots, while others veer off or end before some of the most exciting parts of the manga. These are some of the reasons I recommend reading the manga after watching these anime (these might sound familiar):
The high school boys’ volleyball anime! Why is it on my list of manga to read after watching the anime? Because once you finish all ten episodes of season 3, you’ll want to keep going—and the manga does just that! The anime follows the manga really closely, so it might feel tedious to read the whole thing right after watching 3 seasons of the anime, but the pacing is fairly fast-pasted, which is typical of weekly serial sports manga. The important matches might span ten chapters, but it’s never boring!
4. 07 Ghost
When an almost 20-volume manga series is turned into a 25-epside anime, you know you aren’t getting the entire thing. The manga is well-drawn, and the characters are explored in more depth and detail in the manga. It isn’t a very long series, all things considered, and it is complete. I recommend checking it out for the story—it’s a neat mix of science-fiction, fantasy, and quasi-Catholicism, with a very character-driven story. It explores the darker nature of humans and humanity, without being too heavy, and has a nice balance of intrigue and gags.
3. Maid Sama!
I will never be over this manga. The fact that it is being released in 2-in-1 volumes is something that I treasure. The anime is very good, if you can deal with how ugly the school uniform is (you get used to it after a couple episodes, really) but the manga keeps the story going. In the manga you actually learn about Usui’s past—yeah, it’s important—plus, you know, shoujo endings! I read the manga before I watched the anime, and the anime diligently follows the manga story progression. But then, the manga keeps going.
2. Skip Beat!
This manga is still ongoing, while the anime only has 25 episodes. The anime ends before we get any of the really good stuff—like Kyoko and Ren having to act as siblings. The manga has so much great content, and some fabulous arcs, not to mention more grudge-Kyokos, more gags, and more Love Me!
1. Black Butler
I would say that this is the manga with the anime that most diverges from its original storyline. Halfway through season 1, everything goes sideways when the anime caught up to the manga releases, and season 2 is a mess. But the manga, oh man, the Black Butler manga is stellar. Season 3 of the anime (Book of Circus) and the Book of Murder OVAs, as well as the upcoming Book of the Atlantic film are all based of manga arcs that weren’t included in the original anime. These are arguably some of my favourite arcs in the series and there are other wonderful arcs that follow. The manga has over 20 volumes, and you slowly learn more about Ciel and Sebastian with each new mystery.
So there are my top five manga that I recommend checking out after you’ve watched the anime. This list is far from exhaustive—Fruits Basket is another one to read after you’ve watched, and I’ve been told that the Soul Eater manga has a much better ending than the anime, although I’ve yet to read them. Let me know if there are any other manga you would recommend reading after watching an anime—or before watching, or rather than watching!