Being stuck at home all day with nothing to do can be mind-numbingly boring, which is why various companies have come out to offer their content and services for free, be it cartoons, TV shows, audiobooks, or games.
Another content alternative you might want to consider as a way to pass the time and keep yourself from going bonkers at home is the occasional manga series. There are hundreds, if not thousands of manga for you to read and while we can’t list all of them, here is a quick list of mangas we highly recommend you check out while stuck at home. Regardless of whether you’re looking for a series with tons of action, horror, or something with a side of romance, this list has got your covered.
On the other hand, if you ever get bored of reading and crave some human interaction, you can check out our list of online board games you can play with your friends.
1. Demon Slayer
Anyone familiar with anime will have definitely heard of this series somewhere or other, especially considering since it won Crunchyroll’s Anime of the Year award, amongst several others. It also has a mobile game and PlayStation game currently in development.
With so much going for it, you might be wondering what exactly is the series about.
Demon Slayer, or Kimetsu no Yaiba as it is referred to in Japan, centres around young Kamado Tanjiro who goes home one day only to find his family slaughtered by demons, with only one of his younger sister still barely alive. He saves her but soon finds out that she has turned into demon. The pair are then found by a fellow demon slayer, Tomioka Giyuu, who Tanjiro begs not to kill his sister. Touched by Tanjiro’s persistence to save his sister, Giyuu brings the pair of siblings to his master to train them in becoming fellow demon slayers, and hence Tanjiro’s long and arduous journey to rid ancient Japan of demons and turn his sister back into a human began.
The series is filled with as much heart as there is action, with chapters dedicated to specially telling us the sad and tragic back story of each demon which you often find yourself sympathising with at the end. Any series that not only has likeable main characters but also villains should always be recommended in our books.
A series by the master of horror manga Junji Ito himself, Tomie centres around its titular character, the enigmatic and charismatic Tomie. She’s easily identifiable by her sleek long hair and beauty mark under her left eye.
A succubus of sorts, Tomie possesses the ability to make any men fall in love with her. She then manipulates them to commit acts of incredible violence out of jealous rage, both at other people or even Tomie herself. Women are also not safe from her as many have been driven to insanity.
Tomie’s true horror lies in the fact that she can never die. Many have killed her time and time again, only Tomie is capable of regenerating to continue spreading her curse to other victims. Much like a starfish, Tomie can regenerate from pretty much anything, be it strands of hair, a severed head, or even spilt blood. Not only is she capable of regenerating, her cells can also take over her victims to turn them into new Tomies.
Critically praised by fans and critics since its release, Tomie has also nabbed Junji Ito the 1989 Kazuo Umezu Prize. If you are a fan of horror then Tomie is a series you should definitely not miss. Once you are done, you can perhaps check out other works by Junji Ito such as The Enigma of Amigara Falls and Uzumaki.
Like reading about teenagers playing various games to fight for their lives? Then the psychological thriller Friendship Game will definitely be right up your alley. In Friendship Game, we follow Katagiri Yuuichi who has a close circle of friends he personally feels very close to. He even takes pride in being able to save up enough money to go on a school trip with them, despite being dead broke.
Only his life takes an unexpected turn when Yuuichi and his friends get kidnapped, and they are told that the class funds for the trip has been stolen and the debt has now been split amongst them. To help pay off the debt, Yuuichi and his friends will not have to take part in the Friendship Game: a game where absolute trust in your friends will ensure your victory. Only as the game goes on, cracks begin to show and Yuuichi realises that there actually is a traitor in their group.
Here is another manga revolving around games only this time it revolves around an intricate gaming system where the rich and influential students of Hyakkaou Private Academy freely bet their fortunes, and sometimes their futures, against one another in class.
In comes second year transfer student Yumeko Jabami who might seem like any bright, beautiful, and intelligent high school student but in fact she’s actually a compulsive gambler (hence the title) who ends up gamling in the Academy not for fame or money but purely because she loves to gamble. Her actions quickly result in the toppling of the school’s hierarchy, drawing the attention of the student council who are determined to stop her.
Isekais (which roughly translates to “different worlds”) is an increasingly popular genre, which series such as Sword Art Online, Log Horizon, and The Rising of the Shield Hero gaining immense popularity.
One such series is The Day I Got Reincarnated As A Slime which follows Mikami Satoru who ends up being transported into a different world after he got stabbed while out for a meal with his acquaintances. After regaining consciousness, Mikami quickly realises that he’s not on Earth, and even more surprising is the fact that he’s not even in a human body, he’s now a blob of blue slime. Thankfully, his slimy body comes with a number of new skills, which ultimately helps him befriend the dragon Veldora, who bestows the name Rimuru Tempest onto him for divine protection.
We then follow Rimuru as he journeys through this strange new world in his new slime body.
6. Dr. Stone
A post-apocalyptic story, Dr. Stone tells a tale of what humanity will be like if we all (quite literally) revert back to the Stone Ages.
One day, a mysterious beam falls onto Earth, petrifying the entire human population. Fast forward to 3,700 years later and we see that nature has completely taken over the entire planet. Teenage genius Ishigami Senku revives himself, and through his genius intellect realises the secret to his revival, using it to revive a few of his classmates. Together they set out to rebuild civilization once again from scratch through the power of science. Of course this is not without opposition from those who wish to instead create a new world, one free from the previous generation’s corruption.
Though it might seem to be a fairly simple narrative, this gives the author more spaces to explore both the plot and the characters. If you have always liked reading up and learning more about science than this shounen manga will definitely be for you.
First released in August 2016, The Promised Neverland (Yakusoku no Neverland) tells the tale of orphans Emma, Ray, and Norman.
The three live happily in an orphanage managed by their benevolent “mama” Isabelle. Aside from a litany of daily tests they have to take, the orphans living in the orphanage are allowed an incredible amount of freedom to do whatever they want. That is, except venturing outside of the orphanage’s compounds.
Every child in the orphanage is guaranteed to be sent to a foster family, sooner or later, but definitely before they hit the tender age of twelve. Emma, being eleven and the top-ranked in her class from all the tests she’s taken, knows that she’ll be next to leave. However, after secretly sneaking out of the orphanage in hopes of sending a friend off, Emma witnesses something she should not have and finally understand the kind of “foster family” the kids were raised to be sent to.
A horror mystery series, the story follows the three orphans as they plot to leave the orphanage and survive in the outside world.
Described by many as a “darker” Zootopia, Beastars take place in a modern, civilised alternate universe where anthropomorphic animals walk the earth, and it is clear from the first few chapters that a huge divide lies between the herbivores and carnivores. Herbivores instinctually fear the carnivores and often struggle to look strong, while the carnivores fear losing control to their base instincts and are often held down by laws and society pressures.
The series starts with Tem, a herbivore, found mauled in Cherryton Academy, with the prime suspect being the tall hulking grey wolf Legosi, a good friend of Tem, and actually a wolf with a genuine heart of gold. Legosi embarks on a mission to prove himself innocent and find Tem’s killer, and on the way has a fateful encounter with the dwarf rabbit Haru, which he ends up developing romantic feelings for.
The series delves deep into several poignant themes which includes but isn’t limited to human nature, namely what actually makes a human ‘human’? As well as the themes of multiculturalism, which greatly mirrors our highly globalised world.
For something a lot more light-hearted, we have Kaguya Sama: Love is War which we also recommended in our list of 2019 winter anime to watch. We are often told that the first person to fall in love with the other is often the first one to lose, be it in future heartbreak or just metaphorically. School council president Shirogane Miyuki and Vice-President Shinomiya Kaguya seemed to have taken these words to heart as they adamantly refuse to admit they have a crush on the other, instead coming up with elaborate schemes to trick the other into asking them out on a date or getting them to confess.
The series takes joy in coming up with numerous harebrained schemes by both of these incredibly smart individuals (remember they are the president and vice-president of the student council) who seems to become an adorable fool in the name of love.
Love is war and Shirogane and Shinomiya are determined to emerge victorious.
Perhaps no other sports series has a title as literal as Haikyuu!!, which directly translates to volleyball in Japanese, and that is precisely what the series is about.
We follow young energetic Hinata Shouyo who gained a sudden interest in the sport after seeing a match on television, which featured a star player nicknamed “The Little Giant”. Spurred on by the goal of becoming a volleyball ace like The Little Giant, Hinata forms a ragtag team of players, some with absolutely no experience in volleyball. Alas, they end up losing miserably in their first match to “The King of the Court” Kageyama Tobio and his team of champions.
Following the crushing defeat, Hinata enrolls into Karasuno High School determined to become good enough to defeat Kageyama, only to realise that Kageyama is also enrolled in the school and the two are now teammates. What follows is the Karasuno volleyball teams’ journey to enter the nationals and Hinata slowly but surely reaching his goal of becoming a volleyball ace.
And that’s our list of mangas you should check out during this quarantine period. We hope this list will be a good stepping stone in helping you find other great manga titles to read. A number of the titles here also have anime and live-action adaptations so you can definitely check those out too once you are done reading.
Germaine is a fun-sized introvert who loves nothing better than sleeping in on rainy days. She can be found reading fanfiction and manga while still waiting for her Hogwarts acceptance letter. It’ll come eventually.