Top 5: Manga You Thought About Reading, But Didn’t

5. Pluto


4. Blade of the Immortal


3. Akira


2. Lone Wolf and Cub


1. Astro Boy



  1. I’d add Monster & 20th century boys

  2. Does partially reading any of these count? I read the first four volumes of LW&C (acronyms rock!!) and, though it’s been years and years, keep meaning to go back and finishing it… guess I answered my own question.

  3. Gon!!!

  4. I picked up Pluto on the recommendation of one of the writers here earlier in the year. It’s a great story even if the end fizzles out a bit. The story of the robot living with the composer in the first volume was particularly good.

    Akira is one of my favourite comics of all time and is so much better than the already excellent movie. This one’s a no-brainer if you have any interest in it.

    I’ve always wanted to get into Lone Wolf but the sheer amount of books has put me off for years. 

  5. thought about reading…and did read them…and liked them all. I still can’t figure out why many of the loudest manga critics have never actually read much, if any, manga. Furthermore…if you are a comics fan, why express so much hatred for another form of comics…does anyone rant and rave about webcomics or newspaper strips?

  6. Lone Wolf and CUb got me back into comics.  It’s not the big-eyed sci-fi/fantasy most people think of when discussing Manga.  It reads as a gripping historical fiction story with realistic art. 

     If anyone remembers the Nomad series from the mid ninties, or even the earlier issues of the most recent Cable series, you can see that they were greatly influenced by the story.

  7. I’ve heard several recommendations from stff and friends about Pluto so I may have to pick it up. I’ve actually got the movie of Lone Wolf and Cub from Netflix awhile ago and still need to watch it.

  8. I’ve often wondered where I developed my own aversion to manga (and I know I’m not alone). I decided to put my prejudice aside to try Pluto and I’m really glad I did. I fully intend to read Lone Wolf & Cub and Urasawa’s other series.

  9. I’ve only read the first volume of Pluto but it is terrific.  As is 20th Century Boys.  Naoki Urasawa is a beast.

  10. Unfortunately, you’ve got me.  I have yet to read any of those despite knowing I should.  Time for a trip to the library.

  11. Turns out they’ve got 3 of the 5.  I’ve got some reading to do.

  12. Except lack of freetime I can’t think of a reason why you shouldn’t start reading these titles except Astro Boy.  I haven’t read that one because I expect it to be a bit childish and oldfashioned.  I would recommend "Berserk" instead.

  13. Read PLUTO. Just do it. 

  14. @Koen, Astroboy does indeed show its age a bit, but as with all Tezuka stuff it is definitely NOT childish by today’s standards…there’s serious stuff going on and people die. Tezuka understood buddhism implicitly and the first noble truth of "Suffering Exists" makes it into all his stuff.

  15. I have thought about reading all of those…weird.

  16. I loved Lone Wolf and Cub, but every adventure manga I’ve looked at since then has paled by comparison. Oishinbo was really good though, if you liked the ProjectX books.

  17. How about Bakuman? It’s a comic about making comics–first volume just came out, it’s by the guys who created Death note

  18. Just finished the only 2 volumes B.Reaction last night. Wrote a review about it and will be online soon.

    But hey the recent manga that really caught my eye has been:

    – ZEDMAN
    – AIKI
    – Tenjho Tenge (still reading it)

    Zedman’s very much like an ULTIMATE marvel character, while AIKI is more like Shang Chi meets the current Antman and Tenjho Tenge is an homage to manga highschool brawlers with that wholesome 80s style of female exploitation.

    I’m starting to realize that I like my manga violent but not shockvalue violent whereas it’s obvious I’d read any damn sick comic (pretty evident everytime I buy something from AVATARPRESS)

    Still, it’s nice to see someone enjoy the classics: Blade of the Immortal, Pluto, and Akira. I should re-watch it (Akira) later.

  19. I read a couple issues of Blade of the Immortal; it was ok, but I got no interest in picking it up again.

    A manga I *did* like, though, was Suikoden. That was actually pretty badass, even though it’s apparently based on a video game. Color would’ve really helped, though.

    The problem, of course, is that I judge manga the way I judge any comic or book and I’m a picky motherfucker.


  20. I read

    – Akira vol. 1, didn’t like it much… very over the top and felt unpolished

    – Blade of the Immortal vol. 1 – 5 … nice but not good enough to spend this HUGE amount of money to get them all and I don’t have a library around, where I could rent them

    – Lone Wolf & Cub Vol. 1… really liked it, but it wasn’t going somewhere, no big overall story arc that SLOWLY develops in the back. Felt like a collection of Single Issue arcs and so I didn’t buy vol. 2. (if you like single issue, CLASSIC samurai honor and all AND Frank Miller-esque stuff, try this, not blade of the immortal)


    Now I didn’t read Pluto, but 20th Century boys until vol. 8 and it’s just so EXPENSIVE, because the series are SOO long. I don’t know why I have this TOO-EXPENSIVE feel with a 50 issue vertigo arc, but with manga it’s there. But 20th century boys is the VERY best out of all of those and maybe I contonue it someday, OR I try Pluto, which is only 8 volumes and done by the same guy/team as 20th century boys.

  21. @Diabhol  hahah! you are the only other person I’ve heard of who read Suikoden! I liked it too.

    Nothing wrong with being picky. There’s a ton of crap manga out there.

  22. Bakuman #1 was awesome.

    So was Scott Pilgrim, also a manga.

  23. I JUST got into "Lone Wolf and Cub" after putting it off forever and MAN do I love it;

    great picks, Josh!

  24. Pluto and Akira are required reading. Great stuff.


    I don’t read a lot of manga but I did read the Battle Royale manga last month. I plowed through the whole thing since my friend had it. I have never been more disturbed by anything I have ever read. EVER. Seriously, some of those images are going to stay with me for a while.

  25. i have only read Blade of the Immortal vol.#1  and it is dam good 

  26. Naruto is another good read. Ninja fighting and drama can’t beat that.

  27. One of the things I love about this website … expanding my horizons by suggesting new reading options. Thanks! I read the entire Zot! series last year at Conor’s suggestion (I think). That was Manga inspired, I believe … "Blade of the Immortal" looks interesting … so does "Lone Wolf and Cub" …

  28. Lone Wolf & Cub is I think the best manga ever in my opinion. It’s realistic and you learn much about Japanese history and culture. The drawings are awesome! I would add 20th century boys and Monster, both written and drawn by Naoki Urasawa. When I think about it, it’s strange that I still haven’t read Pluto as it’s made by my favourite manga artist and mixed with Tezuka. Tezuka is a legend!

  29. I read Pluto vol. 1 in one sitting at a Borders about a month ago and was very pleasantly surprised with my level of enjoyment! Luckily my library has the next few volumes which I still plan on reading, but then it will be back to the bookstore to read the rest. 

    Before I read Pluto I was admittedly close-minded about manga.  Now, I already have a pretty good list of things I would at least like to dip into.  Astro Boy, Lone Wolf and Cub, and Akira definitely are included.

    One of my LCSs has that big AKIRA vol. 1, so that might have to be next for me as far as manga is concerned.

  30. Battle Angel Alita is so awesome but no one knows about it 🙁