The manga and anime community is now so large that a lot of mangas become so cliche, you feel like you’re just reading the same thing over and over again. They have the same plot and the characters’ personalities are all pretty much the same too.
However, there are some mangas out there that are unique and original, but they are not known by a lot of people. Here are 7 of them.
1. Odette by Hiate Haru
Genres: Romance, Shoujo, Slice of Life
Summary: A clumsy, but cheerful girl and her boyfriend (a cat?!) (Source : MU)
Comments: Odette is a peculiar romance 4-koma manga. Tae is a clumsy, happy-go-lucky, expressive kind of girl and her boyfriend who doesn’t talk much is… a cat?! Once you get pass the cat boyfriend thing, this manga warms up your heart and is perfect for a lazy day where all you feel like doing is cuddling up in your bed. It sort of reminds me of “Socks Goblin”, a Korean manghwa which gives off the same vibe as Odette.
2. Magi no okurimono by Yoshizuki Kumichi
Genres: Drama, Romance, Seinen, Supernatural
Summary: The story revolves around Daichi, a 24-year-old man whose girlfriend has died, and Akari, his girlfriend who is now in heaven. Akari wants Daichi to forget her, but Daichi doesn’t want to forget. (Source : ANN)
Comments: Also known as The Gift of Magi, this manga is a highly, highly, highly underrated manga. My heart was stabbed so many times reading this. It’s a bittersweet manga that has a sprinkle of humour. The plot is simple, straight-forward and really something I have never read it before. The whole manga is only around 6 chapters but TRUST ME, it is enough to make your heart explode in the middle of the night with emotions.
3. Shinya Shoukudou by Yaro Abe
Genres: Romance, Seinen, Slice of Life, Mature
Summary: A manga that revolves around an old-fashioned all-night food stall, the various dishes that the stall owner prepares to suit the tastes of different customers, and the joys, griefs, trials and tribulations of his faithful patrons. (Source: MU)
Comments: Shinya Shoukudou (Midnight Diner in English) has won the 55th Shogakukan Manga Award for general manga and was nominated for the 2nd Manga Taishō. It also has been adapted into a Japanese Live Action series (3 seasons to date), a Korean live action series, and was spun in to 2 movies.
However, despite all those adaptions, the manga is not well-known internationally at all. The Japanese live action series, I would say, sticks quite closely to the manga and is a good representation of it. Each chapter of the manga tells a different story that carries a different lesson. It reminds me of reading my thick book of Brother Grimm’s fairy tales but with more adult tones to it. I would say that you have to be a bit grown-up to understand the stories and the true meaning each chapter carries.
All in all, I feel that this manga is one of the most realistic manga I have ever read (excluding the fact that such a great diner like this exists.)
4. Kekkon shitemo Koishiteru by Shin5 & Shirako
Genres: Drama, Slice of Life
Summary: “Even if we’re married, I want to know more about you. I love you.”A semi-autobiographical story about the daily life of a married couple and their three children. (Source : MU)
Comments: Reading this manga always manages to grab my heartstrings while calming me down at the same time. It is much like Odette, Shiny Shoukudou and Magi no Okurimono mixed into one single manga. It’s the epitone of what a happy family is like, or rather what a happy family should be like. This manga also proves that family is still family regardless of whether you are blood-related.
5. Shinyaku Marchen by Sound Horizon
Genres: Drama, Mystery , Seinen, Supernatural, Fantasy
Summary: Based on the fantasy band Sound Horizon’s Prologue Maxi Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido and 7th Story CD Märchen. Fairy tale of light and darkness. Connecting and spinning everything will be linked. (Source: MU)
Comments: If you are a fan of Sound Horizon, you probably have read this manga. I think it is quite unique to come up with a manga based on the songs that they have released, and since they are indeed a fantasy musical band whose music mainly involves historical events and fairy tales, the stories told using their music is quite special and interesting.
Personally, I like this series out of all the other related series they have released because it is based on the Seven Sins. If you are a fan of Vocaloid, and have heard the Story of Evil Series by MOTHY / Akuno-P, the manga is somewhat similar to that. Note that it is not very wise to read this if you are scared easily by anything gore or horror. With that said, GORE and HORROR alert.
6. Utsoki Boyfriend by Kirishima Sou
Genres: Romance, Shoujo, School
Summary: This is the story of Sakaki Yuuto, a 17-year-old high schooler who ends up with an unusual job: breaking up relationships by making girls fall in love with him. Unfortunately, in spite of his good looks, he is useless when it comes to women. While his younger brother chases the males and his older brother guides them from behind the scenes, will he be able to successfully play his part and charm the target? And most importantly, will he be able to obey the number one rule of the ‘Breakup House,’ to never fall in love with the target?(Source : Moonflowers)
Comments: Okay, this isn’t the best romance shoujo, school-themed manga I have ever read, but it is fairly decent nevertheless. There are so many romance shoujo mangas out there that are full of cliches and somehow they end up being so darn popular. Why?!! >o<
Utsoki Boyfriend’s plot is more complicated than I would like, but that did not deter me from reading it. In fact, I have never quite seen a manga with the same or similar plot to this, which is why I was so drawn to it. I mean, a manga about breaking up relationships using a pretty awkwardly shy boy and his somewhat gay brother? I’m definetely going to read that.
7. Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue
Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life
Summary: Mystery writer Mikazuki Subaru, who isn’t good at dealing with people, finds them to be a disturbance when it comes to building his imaginary world. One day, he chances upon a stray cat and feels inspiration strike, so he brings the cat home as his muse. Can watching the inexplicable behaviors of a cat form material for a novel?
Comments: This manga is absolutely adorable. It reminds me of Nukoduke but without humanoid talking kitties. Also, I feel like it depicts how a pet owner actually is. We are all a little crazy and overly concerned about our pets. I really love how they draw the cat’s point of view. Simply… JUST… ADORBS!