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2015 GGNT: Manga Spotlight

As snow buried the Northeast, librarians from around the country converged in Chicago for five days of meetings and expositions at the annual American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. One of those meetings was of YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association, which presented its annual list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens. You can read a write-up of it here.

The GGNT list includes manga, and this year, eight manga titles in a wide range of genres, including sci-fi, fantasy, romance, comedy, and drama, made the list. One title, Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki, from publisher Yen Press, also made it onto the YALSA Top Ten, a sort of best-of-the-best list.

All You Need Is Kill is an adaptation of a Japanese novel by the same name, with art by Takeshi Obata, best know as the artist of Death Note and Bakuman. It was also the basis for the Tom Cruise movie Edge of Tomorrow. The story is about a soldier fighting in a war against an alien race who starts reliving the same day over and over. It’s like Groundhog Day, but with more fighting. It is published by Viz Media.

My Little Monster is a teen romance series that follows Mizutani and Yoshida, two teens who for one reason or another haven’t been able to make friends in high school until they find each other. But building a relationship, even just a friendship, when you’ve never done it before, isn’t that easy. The first three volumes made the list. It is published by Kodansha Comics.

My Love Story is romantic comedy about the not-so-good-looking Takeo Gouda, who is friends with the very-good-looking Makoto Sunakawa. As a result, he gets overlooked by girls a lot, until he rescues Rinko Yamato from a molester on the train. She thanks him with homemade sweets, and thus starts Takeo’s first love story. Volume 1 made the list. It is published by Viz Media.

Seraph of the End is a dark fantasy that is serialized in the digital magazine Weekly Shonen Jump. In the near future, the human race has been decimated by a plague, that killed nearly all the adults but left the kids untouched. At the same time, Vampires emerge from underground and sweep over the Earth, taking it over. 12-year-old Yuichiro was taken underground to be a “blood donor” to the Vampire overlords, but plots to escape with this friend Mikaela. The escape doesn’t go as planned, with only Yuichiro making it to the surface and being found by the Japanese Imperial Demon Army, where he trains to kill vampires. The first two volumes made the list. It is published by Viz Media.

Summer Wars Part 1-2 is the manga adaptation of an animated movie of the same name. It is about high school junior Kenji Koiso, a math genius who is invited to fellow high school student Natsuki Shinohara’s Grandmother’s 90th birthday. He gets an email with a code that he breaks, which is then used to hack the virtual world OZ through his account, framing him for the hack. He must work to correct it with the help of Natsuki and her relatives to clear his name and stop the artificial intelligence known as Love Machine from taking over OZ and starting a war in the real world. Think War Games if it were to happen today. It is a two volume series and is published by Vertical Comics.

Voice Over: Seiyu Academy is another rom-com that follows Hime, a girl who wants to be a voice actor just like her idol Sakura Aoyama and to one day work on her favorite show, Pretty Warrior Lovely Blazers. It turns out her voice isn’t suited for voice work and she gets both the nickname “Gorilla Princess” and the scorn of Senri Kodou, her classmate and son of Aoyama. But her voice holds a secret that may allow her to follow her dream, just not in the way she intended. Volumes 1-5 of this series made it on the list. It is published by Viz Media.

Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki is another manga adaptation of an animated movie. It is about Hana, a young woman who falls in love with a werewolf and has two children with him, a girl, Yuki, and a boy, Ame. Their father dies soon after Ame is born, and Hana must struggle to raise her half-werewolf children and hide them from the world. It is a single volume of 528 pages bound as a hardback. It is published by Yen Press.

World Trigger is a sci-fi action series that is also serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump. The Earth has been invaded by “Neighbors,” invincible monsters from another world that open gates into our world and kidnap people. Border is a new organization created to fend off these attacks. Osamu Mikudo is an agent of Border who meets and befriends Yuma, a humanoid Neighbor. Together, they fight against the deadly invaders while trying to protect Yuma’s identity. The first two volumes of this series made the list. It is published by Viz Media.


Lori Henderson About Lori Henderson

Lori Henderson is a mother of two teenage daughters and an avid reader. She blogs about manga at her personal blog Manga Xanadu as well as contributing and editing for Manga Village. She blogs about all things fandom (mainly Doctor Who) at her other personal blog Fangirl Xanadu. She's been at it so for over 5 years now and counting!

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