Turning Japanese: Manga Recommendation (To Love-Ru)

Everyone’s probably at least heard of it, the To Love-Ru-series. The anime’s of course ridiculously famous (sex sells) and the manga’s well-received. Now that sounds as if it’s got a manga adaption but of course the manga’s the original source. You could say “Darkness” is the “second season” of it, and the original season (the first one, if you will) is my manga recommendation for Japanese beginners. It’s not like “Darkness” is much harder to read, but because it makes more sense to start reading something from the beginning.

Everything’s got furigana (usually hiragana next to a kanji which indicates how it’s read, that makes looking it up incredibly easy) next to it, the vocabulary is very basic, it’s got lots of ecchi (for better or worse, that’s always a selling point), hardly any plot, cute girls, and even if you get less than half what’s said, the pictures will explain the rest.


And what makes it even better no matter if you already read the scanlation or bought the officially translated one: there’s a full color edition (digital only). An example page (from a “Darkness” volume, though) can be found on the right.

There might be a few terms that beginners have to look up, but thanks to the furigana it’ll be easy, and as basically everyone interested in manga/anime knows the series, you can guess what’s going on. And while you’re doing that, you can enjoy the glorious full-color art and uncensored images! I hope there’ll be more digital full color releases in the future. Nisekoi‘d be great. But it really doesn’t get much easier than To Love-Ru. Alas, all the literature-ish things we like aren’t made for foreigners but natives. That won’t change. And considering that’s the case, this one’s really easy to understand. The afore-mentioned Nisekoi, for instance, isn’t suited for beginners at all. Lots of gangster talk, kansai, and stuff you need more experience for in general.

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