So You Want to Read… is a monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂
New year, new edition of”So You Want to Read…”! Actually, this post was supposed to go live last month but with the migration and the issues that arose from that, this post got bumped to this year 😛 I decided to shake things up for this round of the feature and focus instead on another medium, manga, with the manga artists known as CLAMP. Of all the manga artists out there, they are the ones I’ve read the most series from save for some of the earlier ones that I’m sure would’ve made this list in some form had I read them. I hadn’t, but nonetheless I have read enough I think to put together a list by them. Suffice to say I love CLAMP’s work (then moreso than now, for reasons not mentioned here) because of their art, the scope of their stories, the magic
- Cardcaptor Sakura — If you follow anime and manga, this is definitely a title that should’ve cropped up at one point or another. I had watched the anime first before reading the manga, and suffice to say it is a solid outing from CLAMP with a story tightly told in 12 volumes about a girl that needs to collect a series of magical cards back into a book she accidentally opened (that’s a poor explanation, sorry!) and wrapped up quite nicely that doesn’t leave any massive story threads open like they’ve been doing in later series. The art is also lovely, light and dreamy (no heavy lines) that sort of reminds me of Naoko Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon.
- Wish — As some of you may know, I don’t cry that easily whilst reading. Lots of things I read make me sad, but the eyes do not suddenly become clouded or anything with water. This manga is one of the few titles that have left me with tears springing in my eyes. I won’t say why, but suffice to say, yeah, it was affecting enough that I had to stop reading for a while to recover. But it’s a wonderful manga! (And short too, at 4 volumes) Definitely up there as one of my favourites 🙂
- Magic Knights Rayearth — Another one of their early titles, and definitely a classic! It’s about three girls who travel to another world where they have mecha suits and they fight bad guys in that world (it’s been a long time since I’ve read this, I forgot who the big bad was here). It’s absolutely kick ass, and like the first two series that I’ve mentioned the storytelling was pretty cohesive, tight, and fast-paced.
- Kobato — I hesitate to recommend this manga just because it ties in to some of their larger works Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles and xxxHolic but I don’t think you need to have read those two series to enjoy this series. The premise is whimsical and wonderful: to have her wish granted, Kobato has to do a series of good deeds, which each good deed adding a star to her wish bottle. But like any CLAMP manga it has its fair share of ;_; moments. My only quibble about this series is that I wished it was a volume longer so that they could properly wrap it up! (the final volume felt a little rushed) Nonetheless it’s a fantastic series.
- X/1999 — Like Kobato, I hesitate to recommend this manga because it was never completed! (I think I read the manga artist in charge of this series got sick and couldn’t finish it) However, I do want to recommend it because it’s totally different not only from the other manga titles I listed here but also from other manga titles that the artists have created: it’s darker and grittier, with the end of the world upon them and families and factions fighting each other and starcrossed lovers thrown in there. The tragedy is ripe in this series, and yet story-wise it was quite the read, you are really rooting for everyone to just survive through this ordeal! The feels are real here, which is why I was absolutely crushed that they didn’t go ahead and finish this series…
I hope this list helps if you’re interested in reading something by CLAMP for the first time! If you’ve read their manga, which one is your favourite? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which books have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂