Classic: Azumanga Daioh
Azumanga Daioh shows the brief but impactful moments in the lives of six high schoolers and two of their teachers. The story itself covers the three years of Japanese high schooling—from exams to sports to vacations through graduation—and looking towards the future. Although the series is generally serious and realistic, the manga itself does sometimes make a silly turn, which you will have to read to find out! Follow along with all of the characters and see the depth of friendship between this close knit clique!
Up and Coming: Kiniro Mosaic
Shinobu is a girl in high school who in the past was part of an exchange program in England. Her friend from that time, Alice, finds out that she is coming to Japan to stay with Shinobu. Alice finds herself dealing with the difficulties of acclimating to a new culture and Shinobu’s friend group. This doesn’t get any easier when Alice’s friend from England, Karen, decides to show up as well. Shinobu’s friends from Japan also have to contend with curiosity of her English friends while wanting to make sure she doesn’t stray too far from them!
Both of these series tackle the unique challenge of banding together with a group of friends during one of the most difficult times of early life: high school. These series show how having a diverse group of friends brings joys and some challenges with differences in personality. Each series is also rather easy to follow, showing small moments in the days and weeks of these endearing characters.
Azumanga Daioh can be found in its own special Omnibus volume and Kiniro Mosaic has two volumes currently in the system with more on the way!