Best Manga About School Life
Although many people cherish watching anime, they often forget that most anime serve as adaptations of the original source material. While there are some instances where the anime is better than the manga, those instances are few and far between. With the amount of manga released on a daily basis, it could be hard to cut through all those books to find the “Best of” for any chosen topic.
Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest, and unforgettable manga through the years. For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best manga, our attention this time turns to those with a strong focus on school life. From humorous harems to heartwarming friendships, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Komi Can’t Communicate – Tomohito Oda
Komi Can’t Communicate has received genuine buzz after its anime adaptation was released. It revolves around Tadano, a boy who thirsts for a normal high school experience. His desires reach a halt when he sits next to Komi, the most popular girl in school. Although she’s insanely popular, Komi’s extremely anxious and suffers from a communication disorder.
No one knows about her hidden quirks. That changes when she informs Tadano of her issues by writing on a chalkboard. She also tells Tadano that she wants to make over 100 genuine friends. Seeing this, Tadano vows to help Komi complete her goal. Tomohito Oda does an excellent job at developing our cast and putting them in scenarios that will help them strengthen their connection.
Komi is an excellent character and her journey to improve herself will inspire many who suffer from issues like hers. The romantic tension between Komi and Tadano is handled well throughout the story. For those worried about there being any sexual imagery, don’t fret. This story remains cheerful and sweet. With dashes of comedy put in to make people giggle, Komi Can’t Communicate is a great manga to read that will bring you back to the days of attending classes with friends.
Horimiya – HERO
Horimiya is a cheery, impressive, and easy-going romantic comedy manga. Like the previous entry, everything from its cast, setting, and story feels therapeutic. Our story follows two unlikely companions named Hori and Miyamura who meet up and share their secrets with each other. Hori likes completing tons of work despite being a popular girl.
Miyamura likes causing mischief despite people assuming he’s weak-willed. Their differences collide and a new, wholesome bond is formed between Hori and Miyamura. Both characters receive excellent development as individuals and as partners. The side characters receive some engaging qualities, but Hori and Miyamura steal the manga and will be the more interesting pair to follow.
This manga offers some nice romantic tension between the two that never strays into overly sexual territory. It’s healthy, adorable, and down-to-earth. If you’re looking for a character-driven romantic comedy series to read with a beautiful school setting, Horimiya is worth your time.
Blue Period – Tsubasa Yamaguchi
Blue Period contains excellent characters, alluring themes, and superb drama. We follow Yatora, a high schooler who lives a decent life. He has companions and completes tasks on time. However, Yatora’s starting to grow old with his usual routine. Eventually, he notices a person’s stellar painting and gets inspired to pursue a career in the art field.
Unfortunately, he’ll have to overcome multiple obstacles to become an artist. He must win over his skeptical family, improve his craftsmanship, and dedicate an insane amount of time to studying art. This manga offers a solid stance on how art affects people’s lives and how it can lead them down brighter and more fulfilling paths.
Many characters receive as much attention as Yatora, making them feel as memorable and significant as him. This series touches upon themes like hard work, courage, and perseverance. These are three aspects of life many people can get behind, regardless if they’re pursuing a similar career as Yatora or not. Give this a read if you’re after an entertaining and impactful manga.
Great Teacher Onizuka – Tohru Fujisawa
Great Teacher Onizuka is a hilarious manga about education and the relationship between a teacher and his students. In it, we follow a 22-year-old pervert and gang leader named Eikichi. He takes on a teaching job to score a potential date with a lovely lady. Although that’s his goal, Eikichi will walk away with a relationship that’s more genuine and impactful than he expected.
Eikichi comes off as a flamboyant instructor. He has a unique way of teaching his delinquent students about life and academics. He’ll establish strong bonds with the students in and outside the classroom. There will be times when he takes it a step further and protects his students from getting harmed by cruel outside forces.
The students he teaches have excellent personalities, despite Eikichi being the focus of the story. You’ll adore seeing him interact with his students and witnessing how they pull him into immature and hilarious scenarios. If you’re looking for a school-themed manga with fun action segments and outstanding humor variety, Great Teacher Onizuka is worth checking out.
Kimi No Todoke: From Me To You – Karuho Shiina
Kimi No Todoke: From Me To You offers likable characters who embark on a mission of self-discovery, love, and friendship. It follows Sawako, a girl ridiculed for her spooky looks and demeanor. Eventually, she meets Shouta, a boy whose brave and considerate. You’ll examine the tight bond that forms between these unlikely companions and will witness how it transforms into a wholesome romance.
Shouta isn’t the only character who’ll help Sawako become a stronger human being. She’ll meet other characters who will lead her toward a brighter and more courageous path. These characters have fun personalities and goals. The manga maintains a pleasant atmosphere throughout, but Karuho Shiina isn’t afraid to include some drama to spice things up. For those looking for a memorable shoujo manga to read with a heartwarming romance and emphasis on school life, check this out.
ReLife – Sou Yayoi
To receive the opportunity to restart one’s life sounds like a blessing. However, ReLife’s male lead, Arata, may have to argue against that claim. He gets a shot to relive his teen years. Despite harboring knowledge of his past mistakes, you’d think it’d be easy for him. Unfortunately, Arata will fail tests, look out of shape, and have to meet new expectations.
This will lead Arata to harbor insecure feelings about himself, even though he was given a second chance to correct some things in his past life. This series will make many readers reflect on their past blunders. It will encourage its audience to pursue better opportunities in the present than dwell on what they could’ve resolved in the past.
The characters receive great development, especially Arata. Despite the many hurdles he’ll have to relive and triumph over, he’ll attain new friendships that will assist him in leaving behind his past failures. The artwork fits the narrative’s themes but doesn’t offer anything too extravagant. Give this a read if you want to be inspired.
Assassination Classroom – Yuusei Matsui
Assassination Classroom is an emotional and action-packed shonen manga. It features a large ensemble cast of failures who are given the chance to redeem themselves. The principal allows the government to grant these kids the task of murdering their new alien teacher Koro-sensei before the semester concludes. Otherwise, he’ll destroy the planet.
Koro-sensei won’t be an easy target for the kids to assassinate. He has vast assassin knowledge and travels at incredible speeds. However, he’s not one to enjoy unfair battles. Koro-sensei will bond with these kids and teach them proper assassination techniques despite being their target. Furthermore, he’ll assist them with their academic studies to prove their principal wrong.
These students receive great development throughout the story. Readers won’t enjoy or remember every character in the story, but those who receive the most attention will be the ones they resonate with the most. With some funny humor and well-drawn action segments, Assassination Classroom is a gem worth reading in Shonen Jump’s ever-growing catalog.
Nisekoi – Naoshi Komi
Imagine turning Romeo and Juliet into a mafia-themed romantic comedy manga. Nisekoi is one story you’d get from that concoction. This manga offers some great tension, twists, comedy, and characters. It follows Raku, a boy born into a mafia family. He must maintain a proper relationship with a rival group leader’s daughter named Chitoge to maintain peace between the factions.
Raku’s task won’t be a cakewalk as he meets other delightful women who’ll catch his eye. One of them happens to be his childhood crush, so it’s up to Raku to hold back his romantic feelings for these girls and focus more on developing a tighter connection with Chitoge. Instead of gun wars, readers can expect multiple entertaining relationship wars to unfold in this work.
The story runs into some clichés and some couples don’t exhibit genuine feelings toward each other. Nonetheless, the manga’s jokes are entertaining enough to keep you hooked on the story. For fans of romantic comedies set around school life, Nisekoi is worth checking out.
Toradora – Yuyuko Takemiya
Toradora is a popular romantic comedy manga with great characters and humor. We examine the life of a hard-working high school student named Ryuuji that many argue is a delinquent due to his evoking an intimidating aura. Eventually, he runs into Taiga, an adorable yet rambunctious girl who likes wielding swords and beating people up if they disrespect her.
The two reveal that they have a crush on each other’s best friend. Therefore, the audience will follow Taiga and Ryuuji on their quest to steal each other’s best friend’s heart. This manga is hilarious and explores the joys of finding love at a young age. Taiga and Ryuuji get roped into various funny scenarios that are laughable and pure.
Their bond strengthens over time and leads to a rewarding outcome that will touch fans’ heartstrings. With its entertaining jokes and lovable cast, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Ouran Highschool Host Club – Bisco Hatori
Ouran High School Host Club depicts students’ daily activities in a club. It offers an episodic structure, a likable cast, and a slew of comedic gags and jokes that will make you laugh. The manga can delve into sad outcomes occasionally, especially when Bisco Hatori examines her cast’s backstories. These are coupled with touching character moments and interactions that will leave you depressed.
Sadness aside, the story includes many cheery moments and fun-filled shenanigans that’ll lighten the mood after its heavy segments. The narrative centers itself around Haruhi, a female student who stumbles upon an unused music room. Suddenly, the Host Club jumps out and spooks her. This club consists of boys who like to amuse female students in their school.
Haruhi knocks over an expensive vase and joins the club as a host to repay the boys. Now a boy, Haruhi must participate in the club’s activities which will lead her down paths she didn’t expect. While its storytelling is absurd, you’re bound to enjoy this manga more for its wacky characters and the interactions they have with each other.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best manga through the years about school life!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!