Sales of manga—Japanese comics and graphic novels—have skyrocketed in the U.S. over the last five years, with a record-setting 160% growth between 2020 and 2021. Part of the appeal of manga is the format’s wide range of genres, but this can also make it difficult to decide where to start. If you’re looking to dip your toes into manga, here are some series to try based on your favorite genre.
If you like romance, try:
Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku by Fujita (Kodansha)
This irresistible series isn’t afraid of a trope: Friends-to-lovers, relationship of convenience and workplace romance appear in the first volume alone! The sixth and final volume published this year.
If you like horror, try:
Uzumaki by Junji Ito
A triple Eisner Award winner, Ito is one of Japan’s most beloved and acclaimed contemporary horror writers, and this three-volume series is especially popular. It’s about a creepy Japanese coastal town that is haunted by “the hypnotic secret shape of the world.” (Listen, don’t pick up Japanese horror if you’re not ready to get weird.)
If you like science fiction, try:
Dinosaur Sanctuary by Itaru Kinoshita
In this series, “dinosaur reserves” exist thanks to the 1946 discovery of a remote island where the beasts still roamed. But now dinosaurs are endangered again, and newbie zookeeper Suma Suzume wants to change that. If you’re looking for a cuter, kinder version of Jurassic Park, this could be it.
If you like mystery, try:
Moriarty the Patriot by Ryosuke Takeuchi
Class conflict meets Arthur Conan Doyle in this riff on the backstory of Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis, Moriarty, who teams up with his two adopted brothers to get justice for the proletariat. Ten volumes are currently available, with at least two more to come.