Ask Tangognat – Manga for an 11 year old girl

I really like doing manga reader’s advisory! If you want suggestions for what to read, go ahead and ask through my contact form.

Here’s a request for suggestions from Lisa, who writes:

Hello Tangognat! Can you recommend a manga for my daughter? She (we) have never read one before but would like to try. She is 11 and I´d like to surprise her with one. She loves love stories and (what can I do?) Hannah Montana and Tokyo Hotel. I´d appreciate any leads you´d be willing to give.

Well, one of the first titles that came in mind when I read your question was Sugar Princess: Skating to win. The content in it would be appropriate for an 11 year old, and for someone who hasn’t read any manga before, a short two volume series like this might be a great one to try. There’s a definite attraction between Maya and her older partner Shun, but it isn’t a full-blown love story. Here’s a preview of the manga.

I haven’t read this series, but if your daughter likes music another possibility is the series Full Moon by Arina Tanemura:

Full Moon is about a 12 year old girl who is putting off an operation on her vocal chords because she wants to sing. She’s visited by guardian spirits who help her transform into a 16 year old idol singer and starts to break into show business. I think there’s romance involved too, so this might cover the love + pop music aspect of your daughter’s interests.

An oldie but goodie is the fantasy series by CLAMP called Magic Knight Rayearth.

Three girls from modern Tokyo are summoned to a magical realm where they must team up in order to save a lost princess. There isn’t as much of a love story here, although there is a hint of romance.

Ultra Maniac is a cute series about a girl named Ayu who tries to be cool at school, only to find her reputation under attack when she befriends a teen witch named Nina. Nina decides to help Ayu with her crush, but magic makes matchmaking very unpredictable.

Continuing with the witchy theme, Sugar Sugar Rune tells the story of two witches named Chocolate and Vanilla who are sent to earth to engage in a competition – whoever can capture the most hearts will become the queen of their world. Here’s a preview of the manga.

If you have more suggestions for Lisa and her daughter, please add your comments!