I have been reading manga since I was a wee child, and I have always gravitated towards the serializations based in the fantasy genre. So naturally, I had to create a list of series for readers to go and check out. For those who might not be familiar, manga is a term used to refer to Japanese comics or visual novels. It has gradually gained in popularity in America, and now there are massive conventions where individuals can dress as their favorite characters and interact with fellow fans.
Here are five fantasy mangas that will most definitely pique your interest.
1. “The ancient magus’ bride”
image via amazon
Kore Yamazaki‘s series The Ancient Magus’ Bride follows the young protagonist Chise. From a young age, Chise has been able to see spirits and creatures that no one else has. After her father’s abandonment and her mother’s death, Chise is moved from relative to relative until she ultimately decides to put herself up for auction. She is purchased by Elias, a mage who is centuries years old and definitely not human. He takes her on as his apprentice, and in doing so, Chise begins to come into contact with other mythical beings straight out of folklore based in the British Isles. She meets a Leanan Sidhe, the faerie king and queen, and even the cat king–to name but a few. She grows as a mage and an individual, and while Elias acts as her magic teacher, she acts as the teacher who gives him an idea of why humans act the way they do. Please be aware that the reason that this series is called The Ancient Magus Bride is because mages and their apprentices, due to their lifespans, will often get married, and this implication is attached to Elias’s and Chise’s relationship. While I do enjoy this series for the plot and the magical lore, I won’t dismiss that the implications can make others uncomfortable.
2. “The Girl from the other side: Siúil A Rún”
image via amazon
The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil A Rún, by Nagabe, follows a young girl and her guardian in a world populated by monsters. The young girl is one of the only surviving beings who hasn’t been infected by a curse, whereas her guardian suffers from said curse. This curse is spread via touch, which makes it extremely hard for the child’s guardian to protect her from the beings who have gone insane due to the curse. All the same, the child’s guardian is intent on keeping her safe and trying to reunite her with her family who, hopefully, have not been cursed as well.
3. “yona of the dawn”
image via pinterest
Written by Mizuho Kasanagi, Yona of the Dawn, also known as Akatsuki no Yona, follows the young princess Yona. After her father, the emperor, was brutally murdered in a coup, Yona and her guardian Hak flee the royal palace. They discover that Yona is the reincarnation of a king who once had four dragon warriors in his service. These same dragon warriors have also reincarnated in order to protect the king in the king’s following life. Each warrior possesses a physical attribute that is meant to match that of their dragon predecessor. For example, one warrior has the eyes of a dragon, and another has the physical strength of one, so his hand looks like a dragon’s claw. Yona begins to gather these warriors together in order to reclaim her father’s throne, and as she does so, she learns how to fight and hold her own in battle as well. Yet this same series provides an interesting nuance: due to her father’s pacifism, his people have suffered throughout the years. Under the guidance of the new emperor (the one who murdered Yona’s father), the land begins to flourish. So this then begs the question: how will Yona handle this knowledge? Will she fight for the throne, or will she relinquish her claim to it?
4. “Black clover”
image via black clover wiki
Black Clover, by Yûki Tabata, is a current serialization that has gained some serious popularity. This series follows Asta, a young man who wants to become the next wizard king… the only problem is that he doesn’t actually have any magical ability. Unlike his brother figure Yuno, who is a verified magical prodigy, Asta cannot even perform the most basic magical spells. In a world where magic is the norm, Asta is an enigma, and he isn’t in a position where he can even expect to pursue his dream. However, Asta comes into possession of a grimoire that possesses powerful anti-magical abilities. So in a world where magic is the norm, Asta now has the power to basically counteract the abilities of his peers, giving him a leg up and also putting him on equal footing with Yuno, his rival and the possessor of the first wizard king’s grimoire.
image via goodreads
Mushishi, by Yuki Urushibara, follows Ginko, a man who pursues rumors about beings known as Mushi appearing. The mushi, as described within the series itself, are creatures that can take on various forms: such as plants, fungus, and even more. They simply wish to exist. This series is largely episodic, with Ginko traveling from place to place and interacting with people and mushi alike. Given that the mushi can take on essentially any form, each adventure and story is unique and ingenious in its own way.
Featured image via mocah.org
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