Western Books for Anime/Manga Lovers

Is English your main language? Or is your English stronger than your Japanese?

I love the creativity of stories in Japanese manga and anime. A lot has made me laugh my ass off or cry my heart out. And for a long time, I wished that I didn’t have to wait for the manga to be translated or for the anime to get an English sub for me to enjoy.

With the advent of the YA and NA (young adult and new adult) genres in western books, I think we have something Anime and Manga fans can enjoy

Here are some of them

1. Nice Dragons FInish Last by Rachel Aaron

Status: On-going

Julius is the runt of the Heartstriker clan, a dragon clan based in North America. Unwilling to employ draconian ruthlessness (ie assholishness) to get ahead, his mother Bethesda decides to kick him out and lock him in human form. He has one final chance to prove himself a dragon. If not, she’ll eat him (literally).

But not all is lost, he’ll have help along the way. There’s Marcy, a young mage on the run from the Mob and in need of funds. There’s Bob, Julius’ crazy older borther and the family seer, to give him “advice.” There’s Justin, Julius’ other brother, who’s answer for everything involves killing or at the very least maiming people.  And there’s older sister Chelsea…who was kind enough to give him a final warning of “don’t fuck it up or I’ll kill you.”

Did I mention he’s currently stuck in a city that would hunt dragons if found?

A very humorous book that’s perfect for readers who want to take a break from sad/depressing/frightening stories.

If you liked this book, better check the rest of the series:

 

2. Super Powereds: Year 1 by Drew Hayes

Status: On-Going

Supers are humans born with extraordinary powers. Powereds, however, are born with powers but are unable to control them. Needless to say. While Supers usually grow up to become licensed Superheroes, the Powereds grow up knowing they can be a danger to others and themselves.

At the start of the book, 5 Powereds are given an experimental treatment to control their abilities. To better monitor the effectivity of the treatment, they are enrolled to the prestigious Heroes Certification Program, a program so competitive that only less than 20 Super students manage to graduate into Certified Superheroes.

Other than getting used to the college environment, all 5 Powereds also have to deal with keeping their previous Powered status a secret from classmates, all Supers who have the usual view of Powereds

For anyone who likes school settings and one on one battles and action-packed challenges/tests, do give this book a try

If you liked this book, you might want to give the rest of the series a go

 

3. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Status: Finished

One of the few western books I’ve read starring a half-Japanese character.

Allison Sekemoto lives in a vampire dystopia that came about due to a virus. Refusing to register as a blood donor, she has to resort to thievery to survive. An ill-timed run for food leaves her attacked by the infected. And the only thing that “saves” her is a vampire passing through. Kanin turns her and teaches her what she needs to survive as a vampire. Unfortunately, Kanin turns out to be the vampire responsible for the worsening of aforementioned virus. And all vampires actively hunt him and want him dead.

The vamps happen to find their hiding place. And Kanin forces Allison to leave the city to save her from the hunt…

That’s simply the beginning of Julie Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series.

A story with a kick-ass female poc character with romance and action and surprising vampire family connections. It is definitely one of the best vampire YA series out there

If you liked this book, please finish the series

 

4. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Status: Finished

Grisha have special abilities making them all at once an object of wonder and scorn. Unlike the X-men or other magically inclined characters from other series, men and women who are Grisha get stronger the more they use their abilities. But on the flip side, not using their powers will weaken them. Something that is pretty inconvenient when hiding one’s Grisha status.

While Alina lives in a land that reveres Grisha, she managed to fool the Grisha examiners that would have sent her to be schooled at the palace had her status been known. But due to her reluctance to leave childhood friend Mal, she unknowingly suppressed her powers. Powers that only manifested years later to save her same friend Mal from death.

Thus begins Alina’s schooling as a Grisha. A special one that does not fit the classification of normal Grisha. On par with the reigning Grisha leader. A man known only as the Darkling, who promised her that they would do great things together

If you are into darker coming of age stories, you might want to give this a try. The setting Ravka is a Russian-inspired kingdom. So it would be a fresh change of scenery

If you liked this book, please finish the series:

 

5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Status: On-Going

A Beauty and the Beast Retelling full of action and romance written by an author who admitted growing up with Sailor Moon and Magic Knight Rayearth. Truth be told, this book started out as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but halfway through, Feyre would have to undergo a lot of challenges to save Tamlin (the beast of this story? Or is he the beauty? damn subversion of orthodox fairy tales)

Perfect for fans who love action and romance. But please note that this book is definitely not for kids as it depicts graphic sex. I also want to say that this book has violence in it (Feyre’s trials include a broken bone or ten…) but I feel that anime/manga fans are already desensitized to it

If you liked this book, please take a look at the rest of the series:

 

6. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Status: On-going

College friends turned enemies due to an experiment involving super powers and near-death experiences. After accidentally killing Eli’s girlfriend, Victor ended up in jail with the power to manipulate pain. Eli is scot-free with the power to heal himself and never age.

Years later, Victor wants revenge on Eli, who as we found out spent the years hunting and killing other people with special abilities.

I think this would be more for Seinen manga fans. But you never know.

This was a standalone. But I hear that the author is writing a sequel. I just don’t know when it will be out

 

7. Angelfall by Susan Ee

Status: On-going

Penryn Young lives in an angel-driven apocalypse. The angels are the enemy here. Unfortunately, her younger sister is kidnapped by angels and she needs to find her. Good thing she rescued (or held hostage) an angel. The Angel Raffe has a pretty good idea where her sister might have been taken. And so begins their journey

This book feels very much like a shoujo manga. With Penryn very similar to shoujo heroines (the ones that know how to fight and survive, that is)

If you liked this book, take a look at the rest of the series

 

8. Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Status: Finished

Far into the future, class is segregated into colors with the Golds as the ruling class. The main character Darrow is a red who spent his whole life mining on Mars. With his wife hanged for singing a forbidden song (and due to Mars gravity not being equal to earth’s, he had to pull her feet down to end her suffering), Darrow wants revenge.

He joins the rebel group Sons of Ares. His assignment is to infiltrate the Gold’s military academy posing as a Gold himself

This book is pretty epic. Lots of actions and military strategy and lethal war games.

If you like this book, finish the series:

Please let us know what you think. Comments and feedback will be much appreciated

 

Leave a Reply