AnnaSartin's avatar


  • Cincinnati, Ohio USA
  • Joined Aug 31, 2014
  • ? / F

Anime-Planet Staff Picks - Manga

These recommended manga are hand-picked by members of the Anime-Planet staff; personal favorites chosen for a variety of reasons such as exceptional art quality, compelling storylines, great character development or just an overall "can't put it down" feel that keeps you coming back for more. The A-P staff is a diverse group with a wide range of interests, so the manga recommended here is equally diverse. You'll find series from many different genres, and the titles' ratings can range from family friendly to adult-only fare.


Recommended by:  naveniel

Why naveniel recommends this:  "I am lucky enough to be French, country where this series was licensed... And for a good reason. Arago is the tragic tale of two brothers you will love as much as you will hate. Beautiful character development with a driving story inspired by the old Celtic tales of Europe. Dive into this manga knowing one thing: Arago wants his revenge, and he will stop at nothing to attain it."

2 Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan

Recommended by:  Starra

Why Starra recommends this:  "I know this is a super popular series and 'baby's first anime' if you will. But please bear with me here. The manga is a lot more in-depth than the anime would have you believe. The story is super intriguing and well-written, the characters are pretty complex for a shounen and the overall atmosphere is highly compelling. It's the sort of series that leaves you thinking about it and wondering what the hell is going to happen in the next chapter, because even if people accurately predict some things, there have been several instances of the author throwing some really impressive curveballs that nobody even got close to guessing and they always catch the fandom entirely off-guard. You find out bits and pieces of information here and there, and sometimes there'll be a reveal that will make you go 'Holy crap, it was right there all along!', which are personally my favorite parts of the series. That, and everything/everybody is connected and has a reason for happening. Do be warned, though, that there is a good amount of violence and gore."

3 Ayakashiko


Recommended by:  Rastamepas

Why Rastamepas recommends this:  "Cute character designs, mellow mood, and heartwarming chapters."

4 Barakamon


Recommended by:  AnnaSartin

Why Anna recommends this:  "This is a very enjoyable series. The main character's "fish-out-of-water" story is more than just a comedic tale of a city slicker dealing with the challenges of living in the countryside; it's a story of personal growth as he slowly adjusts to his new life, bonds with his new community and gradually moves toward independent adulthood, diverging from the rigid goals and expectations that have defined his life up to that point and contributed to the extreme anxiety he's dealt with since he was an adolescent. The manga goes well past the anime, so if you are already a fan of the show this is absolutely a must-read."

5 Bloody Mary (Akaza SAMAMIYA)

Bloody Mary (Akaza SAMAMIYA)

Recommended by:  AnnaSartin

Why Anna recommends this:  "Bloody Mary is compelling, intricately plotted and suspenseful. The mystery surrounding Mary's past keeps the plot moving forward, and his bond with Ichiro Rossario di Maria strengthens over time as they both are forced to stare their inner demons of guilt, self-loathing and grief square in the face while fending off vampires, dealing with ruthless humans, and unraveling the mystery of Mary's unstable alter ego 'Mary'. The characters can make you laugh one minute (Mary's wacky antics are highly amusing to watch) and punch you in the feels the next, and every time I finished a volume it felt like slow torture waiting for the next. Also, the art in this series is lovely. Highly recommended for vampire fans."

6 Claymore


Recommended by: Rasacera

Why Rasacera recommends this:  "Would you like to read a series with well-written female characters, monsters, violence & gore, a complicated story set in a medieval-inspired setting, and huge freaking swords? Look no further! Claymore has everything you might need to fill that newly formed Berserk hole you might have. This series has got it all and a well-thought-out progression of plot to make you unable to put it down."

7 Death Note

Death Note

Recommended by:  TheOriginalMadD

Why D recommends this:  "I know that Death Note is one of the most popular media franchises of the last few decades spanning a long range of adaptations from Video Games to sub-par American live-action remakes but that's what those are, adaptations and nothing else! Even it's most faithful and most popular adaptations (its anime version) comes nowhere close to the original the amount of detail Takeshi Obata put in each panel is breathtaking at times. Death Note is a modern-day manga classic and everyone should at least try it."

8 Gakuen Alice

Gakuen Alice

Recommended by:  blueepeas

Why blueepeas recommends this: "Gakuen Alice is one of my favorite mangas of all time. It is definitely a classic. The story is about a girl named Mikan Sakura who finds out her best friend Hotaru Imai has transferred to a prestigious school called Gakuen Alice or Alice Academy. Desperate on not letting her friend go, she decides to run away from home and joins her friend in this new school. Upon enrolling in this school, she learns that it is a school for kids who have special powers called Alices. At first glance, Gakuen Alice seems like a manga targeted towards children with a normal predictable story but you'll be sorely mistaken as the manga takes a deep dive. It gets more serious as the story progresses. Probably the best thing I love about the story is it basically has everything; romance, adventure, action, school life, magic etc. I'd recommend it to those who like strong heroines, a dark plot, romance, comedy, and special abilities." 

9 Goblin Slayer

Goblin Slayer

Recommended by:  Grizz

Why Grizz recommends this:  "Goblin Slayer is a man on a mission. A mission of revenge, to gut and kill every goblin on the planet in any brutal, practical and out of the box ways he can think of. However one day he saves a young priestess, who can't bring herself to leave him alone. Can she save him from his dangerous mission?"

10 Goodnight Punpun

Goodnight Punpun

Recommended by:  JamesSofort

Why James recommends this:  "A very interesting and well-written story accompanied by a unique mix of art styles. One of Inio Asano's best manga."

11 Hitorimi Haduki-san to.

Hitorimi Haduki-san to.

Recommended by:  ChalamiuS

Why ChalamiuS recommends this:  "An incredibly cute story about a 25 year-old office lady whose sister is a bit too helpful with finding a boyfriend. There's just one small problem... neither Haduki-san or her recently acquired boyfriend knows how dating is supposed to work. I like cute things, okay?"

12 Alice in Borderland

Alice in Borderland

Recommended by:  YariMari

Why Mari recommends this: "Post-apocalyptic battle royale style manga where the “participants” have to actively join potentially deadly games or else they die. What makes me love this manga is the creativity of the games. Many of them are named after popular games like “hide and seek” and “catch the flag”, but not as child-friendly (or at all). Since the games are vastly different from one another they will not bore you or feel repetitive. The manga also encourages you to try and figure out a strategy along with the characters, giving you enough time and just the right amount of clues to come up with your own guesses for beating each game. I recommend this manga to those of you who like psychological manga that explore the dark parts of the human psyche, and who aren’t afraid of a little blood now and then."

13 JK to Sutego no Akachan

JK to Sutego no Akachan

Recommended by:  blueepeas

Why blueepeas recommends this: "An incredible and realistic short story that centres around teenage pregnancy. Two Highschoolers, Momoko and Wakaba. Momoko is flashy and outgoing, while Wakaba stays withdrawn and introverted. Despite their contrasting natures, they are linked by their connection to a single baby. A messy, complicated story that magically finds its feet and unravels its complexity. The adept character development and touching yet gruesome moments give life to the delicate subject, as in an enjoyable movie. Certainly a good read, trust me you won't be disappointed." :))

14 Karneval


Recommended by:  agreypastel

Why agreypastel recommends this: "I highly enjoy this series due to the main characters' development - especially Gareki's. The story and the world behind it is complex, yet simple. The villain's side versus the hero's side can be compared to some modern-day debates, making it all the more interesting. The storyline is writing with that thought in mind, hinting at what's to come in the future in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Also, fans of superhero abilities, like me, will love the powers of some of the characters."

15 Kuzumi-kun, Can't You Read the Room?

Kuzumi-kun, Can't You Read the Room?

Recommended by:  Rastamepas

Why Rastamepas recommends this:  "Simple nice art, decent story, fun characters."

16 Mashle: Magic and Muscles

Mashle: Magic and Muscles

Recommended by:  ReAerith

Why ReAerith recommends this:  "Another great manga that is similar to One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100, a comedy masterpiece with an Overpowered main character who just doesn't really care about too much."

17 Menhera-chan


Recommended by:  JamesSofort

Why James recommends this:  "Menhera-chans a short yet heartwarming story, with nice and clean art and funny characters ."

18 Orange


Recommended by:  Demelza

Why Demelza recommends this:  "When you think of the shoujo genre it’s often associated with cheerful romantic stories and an uplifting, cute, aura. However, instead of a pure boy meets girl tale, Orange explores much deeper topics with a focus on mental health. This is a series about regrets, what if’s, and how you would change the past if given the chance. It’s not all pretty, but it’s a fantastic series that conveys a sense of realism while delving into heavy topics with the mature sensibilities they deserve. It never puts a foot wrong and will keep you turning the pages right until the end to find out what happens to this cast."

19 Pandora Hearts

Pandora Hearts

Recommended by:  Zed

Why Zed recommends this:  "Pandora Hearts follows Oz Bezarius, a young boy who, on his 15th birthday, was banished into the perilous world of the Abyss, a place where dangerous monsters called 'Chains' dwell, Oz then meets an Alice, a Chain who appeared just before he was thrown into the Abyss and who helps him return to the real world, together with her, he will search for the answers to what is the Abyss, why was he thrown in it, and how does it relate to the 'Tragedy of Sablier', the catastrophic event that occurred over a hundred years ago. Pandora Hearts is a compelling mixture of many different concepts, it has a plot filled with intrigue and a great sense of mystery that makes you want to find out more about the characters and the setting, it builds up a great atmosphere that makes the experience that immersive, and has many interesting plot twists to keep you on the edge of your seat wanting to see more."

20 Re:Monster


Recommended by:  ReAerith

Why ReAerith recommends this:  "A great RPG-like isekai story where another main protagonist gets reborn as a monster, this time a goblin, and breaks the system because of his previous knowledge, this manga has a fully fledged out evolution system and a diverse cast of characters."

21 Seven Days

Seven Days

Recommended by:  Helbaworshipper

Why Helba recommends this:  "It's often hard to choose a Yaoi that keeps me wanting to read it as soon as I see it. Seven days is the story of a person who gives off the wrong impression in archery, yet wants to be with someone. He, as if by fate, meets a person who needs to be freed from an obsession that seems to come in the strangest and most dramatic of forms. In a week, the two could be together forever or never be together again."

22 Record of Ragnarok

Record of Ragnarok

Recommended by:  ReAerith

Why ReAerith recommends this:  "Great story with amazing and unpredictable fight scenes with one of the most beautiful art styles in fighting mangas, also teaches people a lot about the Greek and Norse mythology as well as some historical figures"

23 Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle

Recommended by:  Grizz

Why Grizz recommends this:  "The adorable princess's quest for sleep in the demon king's castle will leave you in stitches and amaze you in her creativity in getting a good night's sleep."

24 Sunny (Taiyo MATSUMOTO)

Sunny (Taiyo MATSUMOTO)

Recommended by:  Claptrap

Why Claptrap recommends this:  "Sunny is cinematic in its paneling. The manga has such clear direction in its scenes, pausing at the right moments to let the audience take things in, silent panels where needed, beautiful composition. At its center, the manga is one that acknowledges the complicated world of children, which is a subject Taiyo Matsumoto excels at in general. Within this small series he captures the lives and different, troubled families of many children living in stasis at an orphanage, all for a host of different reasons."

25 Tegami Bachi

Tegami Bachi

Recommended by:  naveniel

Why naveniel recommends this:  "I'm not one for crybabies. Unless their name is Lag Seeing and we get to discover the world with him. In which case, I'll take a bullet for them. Letter Bee is a wonderful mix between a dystopian deserted world and an eerie night. Give it a try, and I wish you to enjoy Lag's growing-up journey while keeping in mind that he is but a child."

26 The Gods Lie

The Gods Lie

Recommended by:  Demelza

Why Demelza recommends this:  "Single volume series often feel like they ended too soon or one a one-shot dragged out, but that isn’t the case for The Gods Lie. This manga is captivating, heart-wrenching, and thrilling all at the same time. The artwork is detailed but clean and brilliant at conveying emotion through small actions. This is a must-read title and easily accessible given its short length."

27 The Record of a Fallen Vampire

The Record of a Fallen Vampire

Recommended by:  Helbaworshipper

Why Helba recommends this:  "A simple story of vampires and vampire hunters turns into a deadly and uncertain future. This story really kept me in suspense. Each revelation leading to what the story truly was showed to an ending even I was really expecting. It may be a romance, but the romance itself is only the beginning."

28 To Love Ru Darkness

To Love Ru Darkness

Recommended by:  Grizz

Why Grizz recommends this:  "Shouldn't be read without checking out its prequel To Love Ru. To Love Ru Darkness expands upon the comedy harem building story of the first manga with Princess Momo at the helm pushing for Yuuki Rito's grand harem. However, Darkness builds on the previous in all aspects: improved lewdness, more drama, more romance, and 200% more Rito falling into girls. This is a must-read for anyone who likes ecchi romantic harem comedies."

29 What Did You Eat Yesterday?

What Did You Eat Yesterday?

Recommended by:  Helbaworshipper

Why Helba recommends this:  "The ongoing story of a couple working through their troubles and living together. The cooking is always a plus and the characters are always colorful. A cheerful read with hints of drama when the story asks for it. Along with a fresh cooked meal and recipe to heal the soul."

30 Whispered Words

Whispered Words

Recommended by:  ChalamiuS

Why ChalamiuS recommends this:  "A shoujo-ai story with a reasonable mix of slice of life and drama in it. Well-paced and the drama doesn't feel over the top. It features a somewhat mismatched couple; Sumika who is in love with her very cute friend Ushio that only likes cute girls. But Sumika isn't very cute... I wonder where this story will go."  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

31 Wondercat Kyuu-chan

Wondercat Kyuu-chan

Recommended by:  Sloth

Why Sloth recommends this:  "Cute characters that can brighten your mood no matter what time it is."

32 Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

Recommended by:  Demelza

Why Demelza recommends this:  "Wotakoi is a comedy at heart, one filled to the brim with geek culture references presented in a way that will bring a smile to anyone’s face. On top of that, it also presents a realistic and heartwarming romance that many will be able to relate to. With a quirky cast of characters and detailed artwork crammed with references and fun, this is a series everyone should be reading if you’re looking for something a bit more relaxed and fun"


You must be logged in to leave comments. or

There are no comments - leave one to be the first!