It took a little bit of thinking on this one. Rather than manga that everybody has heard of, or ones that already has an anime adaptation, I figured I’d go for the “quietly popular”.
If you’ve read the series, you’d know it’s Medaka Box I’m talking about. The story of an overpowered student council president and her desire to reform ALL individuals.
Written by Nisio Isin (whose name is better known combined into a long string), of whom I’ve been a fan of since reading the Zaregoto novels. He’s better known for Bakemonogatari (or at least the anime series), and his liking for the supernatural also carries over to Medaka Box.
The manga is named after the heroine, Medaka, and her request box, of which students are encouraged to use to approach her with any problems – no matter how absurd nor difficult. Now into its 11th volume, there’s quite a lot of material to go through – and largely good I may add.
Different arcs are easily distinguishable between chapters/volumes, some longer than others. It starts off normal enough – resolving bullying, hooliganism and mischief – but gradually goes into the realm of over-the-top ridiculousness with the introduction of groups of individuals with special abilities, given names such as abnormals and minus.
The process and resolution of each of those arcs is the draw of the manga. The battles are well played out, and how students with extremely varied personalities eventually accepts Medaka and changes also gives the reader a thinly veiled moral of the story.
Seeing that a manga is easier to pick up than an anime series, if you do have some excess time on your hands, do give this a try. It’ll be unlikely to disappoint you. 🙂