You can find this list on MAL, if you don’t care about why these manga are on my list. You’ve probably heard of at least 3 on this list… the other two maybe not so much.
Shokugeki no Souma
Don’t deny it. I know you know what this manga is. It’s literal food porn and it taste amazing. Why is this on my top 5 list? Because it has the underestimated perceivably weak main character. No, Souma is not actually weak, but most of the people in the series don’t think he has any real skills, and he constantly proves them wrong. He’s another good example of overpowered characters done right. He has a reasonable explanation as to why he’s so good at cooking and why it’s hard to replicate what he does: he got it from his father. If you haven’t read or watched this yet, stop reading this list now and go freaking read it!
Kimi wa Pet
I don’t think a lot of people know this one. If not… that’s okay, it might not be your thing. This is definitely geared toward women. It appeases to a fantasy of working women who want a hot young college boy to hanging out in their apartment. I’m not selling it very well here, but trust me it’s good. I started reading this because I liked to see how the characters handled the issues that came up. I also enjoyed the dynamics in the relationship. It was realistic and while being unrealistic at the same time. To better explain what I mean, the chances that an relatively attractive woman would find a hot homeless 20 year old (who’s not on drugs) is extremely slim, but since it’s a slice of life they have realistic internal and external stuggles. I’m a sucker for certain types of romance and this is one of them.
This one recently got an anime and live-action adaptation somehow. I watched the anime and it was perfect, but not as good as the manga, of course. This is my personal favorite when it comes to classic ecchi humor. Some people might think this manga is too much but it’s just the right amount of stupid, gross and ridiculous to me. I also love the art, and the artist has a very diversified range in the manga they do art and/or story for. I’ll talk about this author in another post.
Nana to Kaoru
For those of you who hate ecchi stuff and borderline hentai, I believe you should stay far far away from this one. This has to do with BDSM and it’s not grazing the surface with it, either. You will get full on lessons and philosophy topics about this sub-culture from this manga. It’s a great How-To with a plot. I have a slight interest in this stuff anyway, so it has that going for it, but I also like the “will they, won’t they” dynamic between the characters. For those of you who don’t know what the “will they, won’t they” is, it’s basically setup between two characters who obviously like each other but never get together although they get really close to being in a relationship on some occasions. It keeps it interesting. You want to know if they actually get together in the end. I’m also a fan of the art in this one and read a bunch of other manga with the same artist.
This includes Tokyo Ghoul RE: and others that I have yet to read because I’m a slacker. I’m not fully caught up, so if any of you put spoilers in the comments I will track you down. Why is this my number one out of all the millions of great manga out there? It’s the character transformation. I love plots where the character is as weak as tissue and then goes through something traumatic to become a badass. Bonus points if they become a loner on top of that, because it makes them even cooler. I don’t know why I’m pulled in by these types of stories. I think I like seeing everyone that thought less of them now respect and fear them. Not only does this manga have that sort of character arc going for it but it’s also horror. The manga itself isn’t really that scary but I get the dark themes and horror-like art.
As different manga comes out, this list is bound to change… It kind of changes every few years anyway, but I’m almost positive that my number one will be on this list for a long while.