Confession: I judge books by their covers all the time. Probably not the best habit for a librarian, but the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? One area where this habit does come in handy: manga. Eye-catching covers are commonplace in the manga landscape but good looks with no substance does not a pleasant reading experience make. Hence this manga must-read list: the books featured above, Death Note, Genshiken, and Pluto are highly acclaimed manga series with enough character development, intricate plot twists, conflict, and appealing artwork to lure just about anyone into the manga universe.
Death Note is a popular series following Light, a brilliant young man who stumbles across a notebook with extraordinary power. If your name is written in the notebook, you're dead. Light begins writing names of murderers and other criminals but soon draws the attention of Interpol and reclusive detective L, who is determined to catch Light at all costs.
Genshiken is about Japan's hardcore manga, anime, gaming, and cosplay fans, known as otaku. The series focuses on a group of college students' love of visual culture and the bonds of friendship that form from shared interests. Genshiken's naturalistic artwork is a highlight of the series.
Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka follows robot detective Gesicht as he solves a series of robot and human murders. Pluto is loosely based on a classic Astro Boy story, "The Greatest Robot on Earth." Film noir elements and excellent character development make Pluto a standout series and who doesn't love a good robot murder mystery?
Submitted by Nobuta @ Milwaukee Public Library