Christmas: 10 essential books to dive into the world of manga

As a consequence of successive confinements or the Netflix effect (which continues to affirm its attraction for this universe), the manga is more popular than ever in France. With 29 million books sold, 2021 has clearly been the year of Japanese comics and titles such as One Piece Where Jujutsu Kaisen are now aimed at a larger community. This year, more than ever, the manga will undoubtedly be found under many trees and this, the editors have understood. As a result, they offer a wide choice of books dedicated to fans, whether they are novices or experts in the field.

1 Manga Drawing – A Complete Guide to Learn All Techniques

Who has never dreamed of mastering the artistic codes of manga and being able to draw them? This book by Sonia Leong is a progressive learning method for drawing manga, from sketching to rendering, by working on various essential aspects such as shadows, colors, the choice of techniques, anatomy or even the setting. . Those who want to persevere will find advice and 28 instructional videos accessible on the Internet and via QR codes.


Manga drawing, Sonia Leong, Vicot, 26 €.

2 Dragon Ball The Super Book

We have known the universe of Goku, Vegeta and company, for more than 30 years, but nothing seems to be able to fight against Dragon Ball. Anime, films (the next one is expected in 2022) or video games: the universe imagined by Akira Toriyama still attracts young and old, and allows Dragon Ball to remain a cult work. For those who want to know everything about the manga, Dragon Ball The Super Book is the work not to be missed at the end of the year. A true 364-page bible, this collection edited by Glénat looks back on the creation of characters or on the different ethnic groups that we come across in the volumes. It’s simple : Dragon Ball The Super Book is the book that fans were missing. The icing on the cake, there are pieces of interviews with Akira Toriyama, whose speeches are rare.

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© Glénat

Dragon Ball, The Super Book Tome 1, Glénat, € 32.

3 tomorrow the birds Prestige edition

Considered a manga legend, Osamu Tezuka is known for his humanistic tales that denounce human vanity. For several years, his classics such as MW, Ayako Where The Story of the 3 Adolfs are available from Delcourt / Tonkam editions in new editions. The end of the year 2021 is no exception to the rule with the reissue of Tomorrow the birds. In this 1971 series, the birds became intelligent thanks to a substance spread on Earth by an extraterrestrial civilization. Tired of being oppressed by this inferior breed that we call men, they decide to revolt. Mankind is soon reduced to just a few thousand individuals returned to the Stone Age and enslaved by birds.

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© Delcourt / Tonkam

Tomorrow the birds Prestige edition, Osamu Tezuka, Delcourt / Tonkam, 19,99 €.

4 One Piece Box East Blue

Almost 25 years after its creation, the manga with 490 million copies sold worldwide (including 26 in France) still seduces as much. In 2020, the first volume of the adventures of pirate Luffy (who found his interpreter for the live-action version of Netflix) sold in France more than 78,000 copies and the work alone represents 8.3 % of the manga market. A few hours before the release of volume 100 of One Piece, this end of the year is the perfect time to (re) discover the work of Eiichirō Oda. Glénat has just published a box set bringing together the first twelve volumes of this classic. It includes the entire narrative arc East Blue, who sees Luffy discover his powers and meet his allies Zoro and Nami for the first time.

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© Glénat

One Piece – Coffret East Blue (Volumes 1 to 12), Eiichirō Oda, Glénat, € 82.80.

5 The Detective Conan Enigma, a matter of styles

Another cult manga, like One Piece Where Dragon Ball, Detective Conan continues to be a hit more than 20 years after the publication of the first volume. In addition to the recent release of number 100, fans will be able to check out next year The Bride of Halloween, the 25the animated film derived from the manga. Cornerstone of the detective manga, the universe of the famous detective is deciphered by the academic Pierre-William Fregonese in the book The Detective Conan Enigma, a matter of styles. In this book, the specialist goes back in detail on the genesis and the conception of this manga. What to understand that Detective Conan is much more than a simple tribute to the work of Agatha Christie.

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©Pix’n Love Editions

The Detective Conan Enigma, a matter of styles, Pierre William Fregonese, Pix’n Love Editions, € 24.90.

6 Mononoke

Considered one of the greatest mangakas in history, Shigeru Mizuki is often presented as the father of youkai. Mononoke is a superb artbook dedicated to his art and which honors these supernatural creatures of Japanese folklore that the author brought up to date in the 1960s. In this book, we find more than 200 unpublished illustrations of youkai. For those who want to know more about the author and his work, a major retrospective dedicated to Mizuki will take place next January at the Angoulême comic book festival.

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Mononoke, Shigeru Mizuki, Cornélius, 38,50 €.

7 YuYu HakushThe Star Edition

Before Hunter x Hunter, Yoshihiro Togashi has made a name for himself in manga circles with YuYu Hakusho, a work still considered today as cult and precursor. Back in a new edition comprising two volumes, YuYu Hakusho follows the adventures of Yusuke Urameshi, a rebellious teenager who became a Spirit World detective after attempting to save a child from death. Laying the foundations of modern shōnen, with a darker tone, Yoshihiro Togashi’s work has been a huge source of inspiration for another cult manga, Jujutsu Kaisen.

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YuYu Hakusho, Tome 1, Yoshihiro Togashi, Kana, 8,75 €.

8 Qin Opera

By adapting a novel by Jia Pingwa, Li Zhiwu offers a gripping tale that takes us to Shaanxi province in northwest China. The story takes place at the beginning of the 1990s, when the country’s economic changes put the rural way of life of the inhabitants at risk. Much more than a new version, the author has above all returned to the millenary tradition of roller painting. A true work of art, this comic was made in ink and brush which, thanks to the magic of folding, unfolds on a twenty-meter ribbon.

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© Vertical

Qin Opera, Li Zhiwu, Patayo, 35 €.

9 Anime Architecture – Imaginary worlds and endless megalopolises

We tend to forget it, but architecture is an essential aspect in many cult manga. The depiction of cities is at the heart of most anime Japanese futurists. OfAkira at Bitter Concrete, Passing by Patlabor Where Evangelion, Stefan Riekeles has compiled several foundational images of these masterpieces. Sketches, preparatory drawings… There is something for everyone. Anime Architecture represents the fruit of more than ten years of research, with no less than 400 original illustrations and visuals. Designed in direct collaboration with the studios behind these masterpieces, Anime Architecture is a celebration of memorable settings and, at the same time, an invitation behind the scenes of iconic scenes.

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©Mana Books

Anime Architecture, Stefan Riekeles, Laurent Laget, Mana Books, 35 €.


Espionage, superpowers and family life form the astonishing cocktail of this saga signed Tatsuya Endō. In this work, we follow the adventures of Twilight, the world’s greatest spy. For his new mission, the latter must create an artificial family in order to be able to enter the most prestigious school of the aristocracy. Problem: The world’s greatest spy doesn’t really have a sense of family, let alone experience. But to carry out this mission, he will adopt a little girl ignoring that she is a telepath and join forces with a shy young woman, who is in reality a formidable hired killer.

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© Kurokawa

SPY x FAMILY, Tome 1, Tatsuya Endō, Kurokawa, 6,90 €.