Aah, manga. Such a big part of me growing up. I will be forever grateful for it cause my childhood was so awesome thanks to anime and manga. Looking back, perhaps I would never have an interest in learning Japanese or Japan itself if it’s not because of liking manga and anime back then.
And of course, I have my favorite manga authors too. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I wasn’t exposed to a variety of mangas back then and I was (still am) pretty conservative too – so I didn’t have a long list to share. Anyway, without further ado, here is my list!
I guess they are on (almost) everyone’s list, cause come on, we are talking about CLAMP here. Magic Knight Rayearth, X, Tokyo Babylon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles – and the list goes on. Anyone who knows CLAMP’s work will instantly recognize their style and the way they tell the story in their pieces. I especially love the subtle message that can be found in most of their creations. Cardcaptor Sakura will forever remain my favorite anime – and even in it, we can find CLAMP’s subtle messages toward shonen-ai and shoujo-ai.
The other way to look at CLAMP’s creation is kinda… messed up. I mean, in what world a primary schooler is in love with her teacher AND the teacher reciprocates her feeling?
CLAMP is also famous for being super secretive even with showing their faces. They have very little interviews where they literally sit down while their pictures were being taken. But I guess this applies to most mangaka artists – the reason could be because they want people to focus on their works instead of their faces.
Recommended works: Cardcaptor Sakura, X, Tokyo Babylon
Weirdly enough, I don’t really like Kanata Kara – her most famous work up to date. But! I really like her mini series instead. Her drawings are quite simple for the girls’ characters, but his boys’ characters are off the charts. The lead guy is always pictured as tall, small eyes (even close to squinted eyes), with a very pointed jawline. The girl, on the other side, more often than not, is clumsy but adorable.
What I like the most from her works is actually the simple storyline. There’s nothing fancy going on and mostly it’s about girl and boy meeting each other and somehow attracted to each other despite being in different leagues. It’s really your classic love story – one that you can easily found in any romantic manga. But Hikawa-sensei has a different way to incorporate subtle messages into her simple story (you might notice now that I am such a fan of hidden messages) and that makes her stories even more memorable.
And although her characters are quite predictable, her drawings are clean. She positioned everything in her manga appropriately – not too crowded and leaves plenty of white spaces so our eyes as the readers are not too tired. And that’s another skill!
Recommended works: Girls, Mr.Friday, Chizumi & Fujiomi series
This might be an unusual choice considering Tachikawa Megumi’s work is not that known and not that many either (at least the ones that are translated in Indonesia) – but the ones that I know are good and just exactly my taste – sweet with not overly saccharine (is that even a word?)
Recommended works: Kaitou Saint Tail, Dream Saga
Fujiko F Fujio
It would be a sin to not include Fujiko F Fujio in this list. My generation grew up with Doraemon and friends – so him being in the list is a no-brainer. What’s great about his creations is that it’s just so pure (well, perhaps some are not *cough*Esper Mami*cough*) and it’s kinda out of there. When we were still in the 19th century, Fujiko F Fujio had traveled way beyond it. Thanks to Doraemon, perhaps there are kids that were inspired to be scientist or inventors.
As for me, Doraemon was such a big part of me growing up. My first manga was Doraemon vol 6. I didn’t know what manga was back then – all I knew was that I love Doraemon – he’s the most adorable cat mutant in the whole world.
Recommended works: Too many to list!
Sometimes I wonder how on earth Ueda Masashi never seems to run out of the ideas for both Kobo-chan and Kariage-kun. Both are 4-strips comic and have so many volumes! I have stopped reading Kobo-chan and Kariage-kun years ago – but I have a very fond memory of both series. It’s light with a touch of silliness (I still don’t know if Kariage is just plain naive or just a prankster).
Recommended works: Kobo-chan, Kariage-kun
If there’s any poll for the
Recommended works: Meitantei Conan (Case Closed)
Recommended works: Q.E.D, C.M.B