I could go on and on about that topic long enough to make a whole other post about it, so I wont, but instead I’ll get ahead of myself and say that, when used in the context of anime and manga, it’s the dramatic (Sometimes overly and hilariously so) and harsh stories set in the real, everyday world that deserve the tag.
I have my problems with this definition, but it will do for now.
I think that, when asked about realisticdramaticharshfeels-induced manga, there are two names you are almost guaranteed to hear; Momochi Reiko and Keiko Suenobu.
While the former is most popular for her manga that got released in the West, (Confidential Confessions, out of print, licensed by Tokyopop) and the latter is most talked about over her “controversial” title LIFE (out of print, licensed by Tokypop only up to volume 9 due to heavy content) One could not be faulted to call these two the ringleaders of their genre.
And because of this, I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t liked many other manga in this genre that aren’t by these two admirable ladies. Enter me and my recommendations. In case you haven’t heard of the two mangaka or incase you only know the works that earned them their fame, I am here to introduce you to a few manga of interest that might have fallen under the radar;
Midorima is a sweet girl who unfortunately has to move from Tokyo to the city of her childhood; Sendai.
Staying optimistic, she goes into her new highschool and re-encounter her now-bullied childhood friend Aa-chan. But Aa-chan ignores her! Midorima can’t stand to watch her friend in that state and defends her for the bullying…just to take the fall for her!
After months of becoming the new target, Midorima takes her own life in desesperation; But what happens when she gets a second chance in life, and what changes would she make?
This manga is amazing in it’s concept; And it’s excecution is just as dramatic as you’d expect a Momochi Reiko manga to be. I recommend you read it, I’m sure it’ll get you thinking.
As a child, Sawako dreamed of becoming a manga artist; But as she grew up, she became a person who did as was asked; Become a doctor for her parents and have sex whenever her boyfriend wanted.
Caught in a hot situtation on the teacher’s table; Rumors start to spread and her boyfriend is not there to help; As her bullying gets worse and worse, Sawako refuses to go to school and considers suicide… just in time to find her Vitamin to live on… her manga.
Let me tell as of right now that 80% of the brilliance in this manga is due to it’s amazing ending.
Unfortunately, Vitamin presents a story that way too many people can relate to (abandoning your dreams to comply to your parents demands, doing everything your boyfriend asks in fear of loosing him, keeping up with people you dont neccesarily like just to avoid being alone, etc) but the ending is just that one glim of hope everyone in a similar situation needs.
As expected of the Keiko Suenobu, Vitamin is a must-read that shouldn’t be ignored. And guess what? It’s only one volume long.
Yoshida wants friends; And after telling the only girl talking to her that her sister works in a cosmetic company (except that she doesn’t), she thought she found them.
Little does she know that her new “friends” are just using her to get free cosmetics. But Yoshida’s pockets aren’t made of gold, and in order to avoid displeasing her new friends; She shoplifts. And here begins her downwards spiral, as she accidentally ends up getting herself mixed up in a bad crowd, but who knew that the bad crowd could end up being the only real friends she has ever had?
The story is just as unrealistic and silly as it sounds; But don’t let it fool you: Kokoro could very well be my favourite manga out of this list just for the relationship Yoshida builds with the shoplifting gang.
It’s kind of touching, to be honest. It’s unfinished but I still recommend you read it; You wont regret it.
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So that’s that for my favourite “realistic” manga. I could have arguably added Onani Master Kurosawa; But it felt a little too different to the shoujo-esque manga above.
Anyway and anyhow; I hope you found something to read. Have a good night day :)