Bookstores Recommend (Read This Manga 2023)


Bookstores Recommend (Read This Manga 2023)

Bookstores Recommend (Read This Manga 2023)

Published: Mar 29, 2023

Updated: Mar 29, 2023


Here is a selection of additional titles nominated by international bookstore employees as part of the You Should Read This Manga 2023 event.

Grab a few extra recommendations by checking out these manga titles from the staff at Manga Planet/futekiya, Animate and Kinokuniya.

※Please note that not all titles’ preview and purchase links may be available due to region restrictions.

Manga Planet/futekiya

  • Pink Heart Jam by Shikke

    Pink Heart Jam

    Country boy Haiga has many questions he wants to learn the answers to when he moves to the bustling capital for his university life – and one of them happens to be, “do I like guys, too?” When his upperclassmen dare him to check out a box spa behind Shinjuku’s Nichoume District, Haiga uses this opportunity to find out the answer to his question – and runs into his senior Kanae, who has one simple solution for him – clothes, off!

    Pink Heart Jam is perfect both for those new to the BL genre and seasoned BL readers. Author Shikke's art style is detailed and captivating: the earnest and friendly Haiga is adorably baby-faced, while the cool and composed Kanae is a beauty. The masterfully paced storytelling and characterization will easily have readers emotionally invested in the progression of Haiga and Kanae's relationship and personal growth, as they learn to become more upfront with themselves and each other.

    In terms of tone, the manga is overall feel-good, but for those looking for some spice, it also has its share of steamy sex scenes. Also, its nuanced depiction of the struggle to figure out one's sexuality, as well as the way it respectfully portrays sex workers instead of rehashing tired stereotypes about them, will appeal to modern readers' sensibilities. Give Pink Heart Jam a read, and you'll understand why this series is a popular favorite among BL fans!

    Comment by Marketing Staff at Manga Planet/futekiya


  • Genkai Chitai by Itou, Junji

    Genkai Chitai

    What destiny awaits them after the screaming?

    After abruptly departing from a train in a small town, a couple encounters a "weeping woman"—a professional mourner—sobbing inconsolably at a funeral. Mako changes afterward—she can't stop crying! In another tale, having decided to die together, a couple enters Aokigahara, the infamous suicide forest. What is the shocking otherworldly torrent that they discover there?

    One of horror's greatest talents, Junji Ito beckons readers to join him in an experience of ultimate terror with four transcendently terrifying tales.

    (Source: VIZ Media)

    Recommended by Staff, Animate

  • Koori Zokusei Danshi to Cool na Douryou Joshi by Tonogaya, Miyuki

    GKoori Zokusei Danshi to Cool na Douryou Joshi

    Himuro is an office worker who belongs to a race of supernatural beings with strange powers. Whenever he is deep in concentration, he subconsciously plunges his poor coworkers into a close rendition of the Arctic. Even so, contrary to his icy powers, Himuro is a warm and kind person. He likes flowers and cats, but alas, he cannot get too close to either.

    Himuro has a soft spot for his colleague Fuyutsuki, a calm woman who has a knack for providing simple solutions to his unconventional problems. Whenever Fuyutsuki does something for him, a snowstorm of emotions builds inside Himuro's heart, and he fails to notice the raging snowstorm he causes on the office floor.

    Thanks to his snowy tantrums, Himuro's feelings are apparent to everyone but Fuyutsuki. However, fueled by immense adoration and desire, Himuro is prepared to do whatever it takes to capture her heart.

    [Written by MAL Rewrite]

    I think light romance stories are good for beginners so I’d like to recommend this title.
    It’s cute even if the story progresses slowly.

    Comment by Staff, Animate

  • Onna no Sono no Hoshi by Wayama, Yama

    Onna no Sono no Hoshi

    Hoshi-sensei, a Japanese language teacher at an all-girls school, is at the mercy of his students and colleagues. Students challenge him to their shiritori word games illustrated in their daily notes, convince him to bring a dog into the classroom, and seek his advice on becoming a manga artist, while colleagues drag him along on their rounds to the pub. Matter-of-fact interactions between a cast of unique characters make for an offbeat comedy.

    (Source: Japan Media Arts Festival, edited)

    A manga with interesting and delicate character settings that will make you look forward to what’s coming next. It reminds you of your school days.
    Students and teachers all over the world can relate.

    Comment by Staff, Animate

  • Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru by Fukuda, Shinichi

    Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru

    Engrossed in the family business of traditional doll making, Wakana Gojou is a reserved high school freshman without friends. Harboring painful memories of a childhood friend's disdain toward his interest, Gojou cannot relate to his classmates and their pastimes, eventually isolating himself.

    Gojou has yet to perfect his crafting of dolls' faces, but is exceptionally skilled at making their clothes. His finesse with the sewing machine is soon discovered by his beautiful classmate Marin Kitagawa, whose boldness and honesty Gojou both admires and envies. Instantly, she shares with Gojou her own hobby: she likes to cosplay as characters from erotic video games.

    However, Kitagawa cannot sew her own costumes, leading her to seek Gojou's expertise. Now, as he is dragged along to the charming girl's endless cosplay-related affairs, Kitagawa becomes his first friend who fully accepts him. Thus, although polar opposites, their relationship slowly blossoms through their aptitude in helping each other in the intricate world of cosplay.

    [Written by MAL Rewrite]

    The main characters, Marin and Wakana, may have very different personalities, but they both share the common goal of pursuing their dreams. They are unwavering in their passions and completely dedicated, just like characters in a sports anime. The work also contains a wealth of knowledge about cosplay. For those who are not familiar with cosplay, they can learn about it through the series and see it from Wakana's perspective. It is a manga that is not only suitable for beginners but also for cosplay beginners.

    Comment by Staff, Animate

  • Tokyo Aliens by NAOE

    Tokyo Aliens

    Akira Gunji has just started high school, and on the way home, he has a surprise encounter with an old lady who has tentacles spring from her back. It turns out she is a certain type of alien. Amidst the confusion, he meets his classmate Shou Tenkuubashi, who has come to catch her. A tale of extraterrestrial life set in Tokyo!

    (Source: Square Enix, translated)

    The artwork and the direction of the action scenes is amazing. The art is really beautiful, so it’s worth giving it a try just for that.

    Comment by Staff, Animate

  • Tougen Anki by Urushibara, Yura

    Tougen Anki

    Individuals with Momotarou and Oni blood coursing through their veins maintain a longstanding rivalry. The Oni are careless, rash, and disorderly, while the Momotarou protect the human world from the uncontrollable Oni. Shiki Ichinose is a reckless and irresponsible teenager, aware of his defiance and even proud of his expulsion from school. Despite Shiki's rebellious attitude, his foster father, Tsuyoshi, cares about him deeply.

    Tsuyoshi's selfless love is soon shown in an explosive incident when a Momotarou barges in looking for Shiki. As a Momotarou himself, Tsuyoshi has been hiding Shiki for years and keeping his Oni origins a secret even from him. As he gives up his life to save Shiki and confesses everything in his dying breath, Shiki's Oni blood awakens for the first time, transforming him into an unruly monster overflowing with rage and a thirst for revenge.

    Shiki's momentary outburst attracts the attention of Naito Mudano, an Oni teacher at the Rakshasa Academy—an institution for young Oni in need of understanding and perfecting their powers. Before Shiki can avenge his father, he must learn to control his headstrong and impulsive nature and, above all, fight against his own demonic blood.

    [Written by MAL Rewrite]

    Recommended by Staff, Animate


  • Blue Lock by Kaneshiro, Muneyuki (Story), Nomura, Yuusuke (Art)

    Blue Lock

    After reflecting on the current state of Japanese soccer, the Japanese Football Association decides to hire the enigmatic and eccentric coach Jinpachi Ego to achieve their dream of winning the World Cup. Believing that Japan has lacked an egoistic striker hungry for goals, Jinpachi initiates the Blue Lock—a prison-like facility where three hundred talented strikers from high schools all over Japan are isolated and pitted against each other. The sole survivor of Blue Lock will earn the right to become the national team's striker, and those who are defeated shall be banned from joining the team forever.

    Selected to join this risky project is Yoichi Isagi, a striker who failed to bring his high school soccer team to the national tournament. After choosing to pass to a teammate who missed instead of scoring on his own, he could not help but wonder if the results would have been different had he been more selfish. Using this golden opportunity given by the Blue Lock Project, Yoichi aims to clear his doubts and chase his ultimate desire—to become the greatest striker in the world and lead Japan to World Cup glory.

    [Written by MAL Rewrite]

    The story line and characters are amazing.The thrill when the characters become stronger will keep you going.

    Comment by Byul31, Kinokuniya Abu Dhabi

  • Haisha-san, Atattemasu! by Yamazaki, Shou

    Haisha-san, Atattemasu!

    A human drama between a villany-faced yakuza and a dominant dentist! Give it a read and maybe your "wall" will be broken down...?!

    (Source: MANGA Plus)

    I literally think this is one of the best comedy manga.
    The charaters in this manga is super funny espacially the mian character.
    The story is not complicated but is interesting.

    Comment by SAK WEI FEI, Kinokuniya Bookstore Malaysia

  • Kouishou Radio by Nakayama, Masaaki

    Kouishou Radio

    A collection of horror stories.

    The main motif in PTSD Radio, a collection of short interlinking horror stories involving Ogushi-sama , The God of Hair, is using human hair as a curse mechanism. Once the curse is placed, various kinds of intricate body art made with human hair appears around the victim, usually in a normal recurring environment such as the floor of a subway train, a reflection in the window or the shadow casted by lighter's flame.

    Viscerally disturbing, readers will be left disturbed and unnerved. A piece of notable trivia: in his autobiography, author Nakayama details his personal horror experiences while writing this manga, leading him to believe he was cursed and is thus currently on hiatus.

    Comment by Yi Ping, Books Kinokuniya Singapore, Ngee Ann City

  • Makki Gan demo Genki desu: 38-sai Eromangaka, Daichou Gan ni Naru by Hilnama

    Makki Gan demo Genki desu: 38-sai Eromangaka, Daichou Gan ni Naru

    The last thing that 38-year-old erotic manga artist Hilnama expects is to be diagnosed with terminal stage IV colon cancer. Although her health seemed fine at first, a bad bout of what seems like period cramps convinces her to visit the hospital, where the doctors discover a mass obstructing her colon. With almost no time to process the news, Hilnama undergoes surgery and subsequently begins chemotherapy. Despite facing such adversity, she never loses hope and manages to maintain a cool head in the face of her grim diagnosis.

    [Written by MAL Rewrite]

    Blending a concoction of autobiography, humor and art, Hilnama documents her colon cancer process, offering readers an insightful outlook on perseverance, family and compassion. From her initial shocking diagnosis to her struggles with treatments and expenses, before gradually coming to terms with her terminal condition, she maintains a positive outlook on life.

    An inspiring read for cancer patients, or anyone who knows someone undergoing a cancer journey.

    Comment by Yi Ping, Books Kinokuniya Singapore, Ngee Ann City

  • My Home Hero by Asaki, Masashi (Art), Yamakawa, Naoki (Story)

    My Home Hero

    Tetsuo Tosu, an ordinary salaryman, discovers his daughter, Reika, has been physically abused by her boyfriend, Nobuto Matori. Trying to learn more about him, Tetsuo uncovers Matori's scheme to extort money from Reika's wealthy grandparents and finds out that he is a member of a crime syndicate, with a history of murdering his former girlfriends.

    Filled with rage and fear at the thought of Reika being in danger, Tetsuo ends up killing Nobuto, and with the help of his wife, Kasen, successfully disposes of the body. Now, as the members of the syndicate begin to question Nobuto's sudden disappearance, Tetsuo and Kasen must work together to ensure the safety of their daughter and prevent her from getting involved in the predicament any further.

    [Written by MAL Rewrite]

    Do not mess with this family, a father can do anything for his family.

    The story is amazing, this is really difference with others thriller comic.

    It make you feel tension in every chapter, you can't predict what will happen in next chapter.

    Comment by SAK WEI FEI, Kinokuniya Bookstore Malaysia

  • Suki na Ko ga Megane wo Wasureta by Fujichika, Koume

    Suki na Ko ga Megane wo Wasureta

    As the deskmate of Ai Mie, Kaede Komura always has his attention fixed on her. Attracted by her cute charms, all he wishes for is that she would look at him with those beautiful eyes beneath her glasses. But just a few days after making her acquaintance, Kaede notices something different about Ai: her eyes are squinting and her glasses are missing. Nonetheless, he still finds her adorable!

    Unexpectedly, Ai has a tendency to forget her glasses. Having terrible vision, she has difficulty going through her day at school. Thankfully, Kaede is more than willing to help her. As Ai starts relying on him, Kaede's feelings for her grow even more. Likewise, despite her short-sightedness, Kaede slowly becomes the person Ai always hopes to see.

    [Written by MAL Rewrite]

    This series is my favorite since it started and this is my favorite along all the manga.

    Sweet, heart warming. This is the best romance comic ever. Every chapter is amazing, the author doing a very good job for the characters, story and the artworks.

    I can say, this is the best romance manga ever.

    This manga also got the anime adaptation in this year.

    Comment by SAK WEI FEI, Kinokuniya Bookstore Malaysia

  • The Fable by Minami, Katsuhisa

    The Fable

    Fable is a legendary hitman who has completed numerous jobs for a variety of clients. After concluding his latest assignment, the number of people he has recently killed becomes too high, and Fable is ordered by his boss to lay low for a year. He is suggested that having to adapt to life as an ordinary citizen might prove a valuable experience for his future work.

    Fable is to be accompanied by the woman who acts as his driver, and the two will assume new identities as siblings. However, their boss warns them that they will both face a deadly punishment if Fable kills anyone during his time off. Thus begins Akira and Youko Satou's joint one-year sabbatical from the underworld.

    [Written by MAL Rewrite]

    This is also a manga should make it to animation.

    It has a live action movie before and is really good. Story is great, and sometimes also comes with comedy.

    Comment by SAK WEI FEI, Kinokuniya Bookstore Malaysia

  • Undead Unluck by Tozuka, Yoshifumi

    Undead Unluck

    After reading the conclusion of her favorite manga series, Fuuko Izumo finally feels ready to end her existence. For the past 10 years, Fuuko has been afflicted by a condition that brings extreme misfortune to anyone who touches her. This has had a drastic effect on her surroundings, even inadvertently resulting in the deaths of those around her—including her parents.

    As she stands on a bridge above train tracks, Fuuko is touched by a strange man, causing the footing underneath him to break and dropping him in front of an oncoming train. However, when Fuuko finds the man's corpse, she discovers that his body is regenerating and that he is coming back to life.

    The man, whom Fuuko names Andy, is immortal—and like her, he also wishes for death. Initially dismissive, Fuuko eventually decides to team up with Andy to give him the best death possible; but a mysterious organization lurks in the shadows, hoping to take advantage of the duo's bizarre abilities.

    [Written by MAL Rewrite]

    Undead Unluck and Underrated!

    Unique story with creative power system. Exhilarating battle scene, interesting characters it make you easily get into this manga.

    Comment by SAK WEI FEI, Kinokuniya Bookstore Malaysia

  • Yofukashi no Uta by Kotoyama

    Yofukashi no Uta

    Kou Yamori seems like a typical middle school student on the surface. Relatively good at studies and amiable with his classmates, he puts a lot of effort into maintaining this facade. One day, however, he decides to stop pretending and quits school, developing insomnia as a result of having no daytime outlet for his energy. When taking walks alone at night, he feels marginally better, though he is aware that his inability to sleep should be considered a serious problem.

    On one such walk, Kou meets a weird girl, Nazuna Nanakusa, who diagnoses the cause of his sleeplessness: despite making changes in his life, he is still holding himself back from experiencing true freedom. She says that he won't be able to sleep unless he is satisfied with how he spends his waking hours. When it appears that she has resolved his current worries, Nazuna invites him back to her apartment to share her futon. After a while, unaware that he is only feigning unconsciousness, she leans over him—and bites his neck!

    [Written by MAL Rewrite]

    What starts of as a typical typical shounen manga where the protagonist, Kou, just wants to go against societal norms by staying out at night instead of going to school as a kid his age normally should. After he meets a mysterious girl Nanakusa Nazuna, his life is turned upside down after he finds out she is a vampire.

    Author Kotoyama does a totally different take on the typical vampire trope, with their new weaknesses and peculiar perks providing a unique spin on the usual vampire rom-com.

    Moreover, Kotoyama's artstyle and his unique style of storytelling pulls you into the story, with mature themes that seem at odds with its setting. The fast changes in direction work to dramatic affect, spurring you on to continue reading as it is hard to predict what will happen next.

    Comment by Melvin, Books Kinokuniya Singapore, Ngee Ann City