While some might accuse anime lovers of spouting cliches, it is unquestionably true that for an anime fan, a favourite pastime in this gloomy weather has to be slurping some warm, soupy ramen while turning pages of their favourite Manga. While Japanese culture is quickly gaining popularity worldwide, with their cuisine paving the way; the Gen Z audience is hooked on to other aspects as well – whether it is through anime, manga, video games, J-Pop, or J-Dramas. For someone who isn’t familiar with the term, “manga”, this medium is often lumped together as “Japanese comic books,” a disservice to what is practically a cultural phenomenon. Manga has an embellished history that dates all the way back to the 12th century.
And in this digital era, Manga has made a special space on the book shelves of Gen Z. Manga’s burgeoning popularity can be attributed to the sheer diversity it offers – there are so many sub-genres to choose from, from rom-coms to fantasy or mythological adventures to autobiographies to historical fiction.
For a new reader, looking at the range manga offers can at once be delightful and overwhelming. Sure you could zip over to your closest library on your Vespa to browse through the selection, but we can lighten your search bar troubles. We have compiled a list of some of the most trending manga on the Gen Z charts. Take a look:
1. My Hero Academia
Since its debut on Weekly Shonen Jump in 2014, My Hero Academia has become a well-known title among action manga lovers, for both Japanese and foreign readers. Kohei Horikoshi’s creation has crossed more than 30 volumes in the market. The plot revolves around protagonist Izuku Midoriya, a high school shooter with green hair, who receives the quirk One For All from the legendary hero All Might, a huge respite because he was going through a hard time as a kid since he lacked a quirk. Throughout the narrative, there are several compelling fight sequences between savage villains and handsome protagonists so the feel good factor is great with this one.
2. Demon Slayer
One of the most well-known contemporary series with over 3 million copies sold globally, Demon Slayer, written by Koyoharu Gotouge, stands out from some of its contemporaries because of its distinctive graphic style, endearing characters, and masterfully choreographed action scenes. The story follows Tanjiro Kamado, who one day returns home to find that all of his family members have been slaughtered by a demon and he dedices to save his sister Nezuko. Tanjiro sets off on a quest to join the Demon Slayer Corps in an effort to locate Nezuko’s cure and avenge his family’s death.
3. SPY X Family
Written by Tatsuya Endo, the story follows a spy, Loid Forger, who has to build a fake family to execute a secret mission, not realising that the girl, Anaya, he adopts as his daughter is a telepath and the woman, Yor, he agrees to be in a marriage with, is a skilled assassin. The fun begins when Loid struggles to get Anaya to study for her exams, but the little girl isn’t a big fan of numbers and sums. What ensues is funny and heart-warming.
4. Case Closed (Detective Conan)
One of the cult classics and a persistently popular manga, Case Closed, is helmed by Detective Conan. Since Gosho Aoyama began serialising the mystery manga story in Weekly Shonen Sunday in 1994, both kids and adults have adored it. While an anime series has been produced since 1996 and anime films are published every season, the legendary manga is approaching its 100th volume. In Case Closed, a brilliant high school investigator named Jimmy Kudo (Shinichi Kudo in Japanese) gets poisoned and changes into a small boy named Conan Edogawa, who is the subject of several occurrences.
5. Blue Flag
The traditional complicated love triangle and the usual romance between two individuals both exist, but the love quadrangle turns into a perilous emotional maze. Blue Flag is set in the spring at a high school, which is a stressful period for students, particularly those in their senior year. The plot twist in this story is unexpected since same-sex desire and old childhood connections are at the root of some of the unfulfilled feelings. Although the plot of Blue Flag is about teens, it tackles mature subjects like the distinction between love and friendship and how things aren’t always as they appear.