Anime/Manga Recommendation

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Throughout the years, from childhood to the present time, I’ve read and watched a fair amount of manga and anime across different genres and styles, more than I could care to count or remember. But only a select few titles managed to engage and captivate me. I realize that it could take lots of time and efforts to search for anime and manga series from the myriad of available titles. That very reason drove me to compile a list of those series I consider worth-checking, with links to the English versions of the manga and anime included, and share it with you. So now you should have plenty of materials to keep you entertained, just in case you need more 😉

Please note the links are provided for your reference only. If you’re truly interested in the series that you know is already licensed in your country, I highly recommend that you purchase it from the authorized publisher/distributor directly. This way we can continue to support the authors, and encourage publishers to translate/sub more Japanese anime/manga.

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EXCELLENT READ. THESE ARE THE SERIES YOU DEFINITELY DON’T WANT TO MISS. THE SERIES THAT CAN LEAVE LASTING IMPRESSION ON YOU, THAT MAKES IT NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO MOVE ON:

Candy Candy by Mizuki Kyoko and Igarashi Yumiko

Albert and Candy-main

  • Why: a masterpiece, the mother of all shoujo, anyone who claims to be a shoujo fanatic must read this, and the ending is quite fitting with the tone of the whole story. Note: To maintain the enjoyment level, I highly recommend to defer reading the novel adaptations and watching the anime until after you finish reading the manga. While the novels act well as supplementary pieces, they don’t give a conclusive, definite ending, if that’s what you’re looking for. However, there are plenty of clues in the novels that point toward a HEA for the main protagonists (if you’re inclined to check it out, here are the translated letters from the old novel and CCFS for your reference). As for the anime, it does little justice to the beautifully crafted original masterpiece, draggy at some parts. So I will leave that last.
  • Genre: romance, drama, historical setting (Edwardian era in America and England)
  • Format:manga, novel, and anime
  • Status: completed
  • Note: be warned that the English scanlated version is riddled with many mistakes that can affect the overall feels of the story. I’ve translated and corrected some of the scenes, and you can find them here for your reference.

Emma by Mori Kaoru

emma

  • Why: forbidden romance premise, accurate depiction of the era, well written characters and romance development, and perfect ending
  • Genre: romance, drama, historical (Victorian England)
  • Format: manga and anime
  • Status: completed

Akage no Anne (Anne of Green Gables) by author: L.M. Montgomery, illustrator: Igarashi Yumiko

AnA-C1

  • Why: classic literature, charming characters, Igarashi’s beautiful drawings, one of Mizuki’s inspiration for writing Candy Candy
  • Genre: romance, drama, historical
  • Format: manga and anime
  • Status: completed

Toshokan Sensou (Library Wars) by Arikawa Hiro and Yumi Kiiro

1660588_618296081592166_259475896_n

  • Why: this series has it all. Humor, suspense, action, and of course romance. The premise may seem a bit over the top but that didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. All in all, it’s a very entertaining story. The best thing is the ending. Rest assured you won’t be dissatisfied. And yes, she did find her ‘prince’ in the end.
  • Genre: romance, action, dystopian society
  • Format: light novel, manga, anime, and live-action movie
  • Status: main story in all formats completed, manga sequel ongoing, 2nd live-action movie to be released in October

Love So Life by Kaede Kouchi

LSL-15cover

  • Why: modern day Albert & Candy, age-gap romance, cuteness and adorableness abound, realistic development and progression, satisfying ending what more could you ask?
  • Genre: romance, drama, slice-of-life
  • Format: manga and light novel
  • Status: main story completed, light novel ongoing

Meiji Hiiro Kitan and Meiji Melancholia (sequel) by Rikachi

MHKMM

  • Why: Japanese Meiji era Albert & Candy, age-gap romance, spunky heroine, charming hero, lovely art combined with rich plots and colorful characters make superb story, sweet but mature romance with realistic touches
  • Genre: romance, drama, slice-of-life, historical
  • Format: manga
  • Status: Meiji Hiiro Kitan completed (only first few chapters are available in English), Meiji Melancholia ongoing

Hapi Mari by Enjouji Maki

HM

  • Why: arranged marriage done right topped with a perfect ending, a not-so-ditzy heroine, and not to mention plenty of smutty scenes 😀
  • Genre: romance, drama, smut
  • Format: manga
  • Status: completed

Rurouni Kenshin by Watsuki Nobuhiro

RK

  • Why: a fallen hero, a feisty heroine, plenty of angst and action, plus subtle yet poignant romance
  • Genre: historical Japanese (early Meiji era), action, a touch of romance
  • Format: manga, anime, and live-action movies
  • Status: completed

Mayme Angel by Igarashi Yumiko

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  • Why: pretty art (well, it’s Igarashi’s, so that’s pretty much expected, interesting premise,
  • Genre: historical (the wild west), drama, romance
  • Format: manga
  • Status: completed (no English version available)

GREAT READ. WHEN YOU HAVE TIME, YOU WANT TO CHECK THESE OUT. SOMETHING THAT WILL ENTERTAIN YOU WITHOUT A DOUBT:

Nodame Cantabille by Tomoko Ninomiya

ndc

  • Why: all around a well written comedy, a must if you love classical music, not very high on romance but certainly very entertaining. Guaranteed will make you laugh, if that’s what you need 😀
  • Genre: slice-of-life, comedy, romance
  • Format: manga, anime, jdrama, and kdrama
  • Status: completed

Hikari no Pansy by Okumura Mariko

Pansy v11 - Cover-1

  • Why: another classic manga that reminds me of Candy Candy. Blue eyed, blond haired prince with green eyed, blond haired girl. The ending is quite satisfying too.
  • Genre: adventure, drama, romance, fantasy, comedy, historical?
  • Format: manga
  • Status: completed

 Hana Yori Dango by Kamio Yoko

HYD

  • Why: bad-boy-turn-good, kick-ass heroine
  • Genre: school drama, romance, drama
  • Format: manga, anime, jdrama, tdrama, kdrama, cdrama, indodrama, indiadrama
  • Status: completed

Haikarasan ga Tooru by Yamato Waki

hksgt

  • Why: classic
  • Genre: historical Japanese (Taishou era), romance, drama
  • Format: manga, anime, and jdrama (no English version available)
  • Status: completed

Hakushaku to Yousei by Tani Mizuki (novel) and Ayuko (manga)

hsty

  • Why: spunky heroine, charming hero who knows how to use sword and gun, and fairies
  • Genre: historical (Victorian England) fantasy, action, mystery, romance
  • Format: light novel (book 1-6, 8, book 7) manga, and anime
  • Status: completed

Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) by Isayama Hajime

snk

  • Why: sometimes you need a variation, sometimes a break from romance, sometimes you want something dark and gory with plenty of actions and mysteries to solve
  • Genre: action, dystopian society, mystery
  • Format: manga, anime, and live-action movie
  • Status: main story ongoing, spin-offs completed, anime ongoing

GREAT STORIES. THEY POSSESS THEIR OWN AMAZING ATTRIBUTES AND STILL WORTH CHECKING. BUT…

Garasu no Kamen by Miuchi Suzue

GnK-anime

  • Why: if you love drama, this series is brimming with it, literally and figuratively. Like Candy Candy, this one was also inspired by Daddy Long Legs, but unlike Candy Candy, everything is clear. No guessing games, no subtle romance allusions. We know who are the OTP. BUT it’s not finished, and who knows if it would ever reach its conclusion. The mangaka has been dragging this for decades.
  • Genre: romance, drama
  • Format: manga and anime
  • Status: manga ongoing, anime completed but doesn’t cover the whole story

Georgie! by Izawa Mann and Igarashi Yumiko

Georgie-Abel

  • Why: not sure why I included this, not too fond of the heroine fickle attitude, much less the storyline and the dreadful ending. But the beautiful illustrations by Igarashi are hard to pass.
  • Genre: historical (19th century Australia/England), romance, drama
  • Format: manga and anime (sub only avail to ep 22)
  • Status: completed

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This page is currently being revamped, so you might see changes every time you access it.

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