Aside from gaming I also enjoy reading quite a bit, and one of my favorite things to read for years were the monthly issues of Shonen Jump. Even though I didn’t start really start gaming until years later I look back at those old copies of Shonen Jump and I can’t help noticing how many of them were related to the things I’ve grown to love. Maybe you have a friend or a younger relative who loves anime? If that’s the case than one of these might be the perfect way to introduce them to your hobby in a way that will be fun for them too.
Yu-Gi-Oh Monster World
Most people are probably familiar with the anime series Yu-Gi-Oh as a series about strategy card game that spawned a real life game that became a global sensation. However the manga featured many other games and adventures that never made their way into the anime. Without a doubt my all time favorite storyline from the Yu-Gi-Oh manga featured their foray into role playing games in a place known as Monster World. When their friend Bakura invites them over to play they’re delighted by the detailed model setting he’s constructed and the lifelike lead miniatures he’d painstakingly made in their likenesses.
Bakura acts as the game master and later joins the party as a white mage, Yugi plays a half-elf beeast tamer, Honda plays a human magic gunman, Anzu plays an elf wizard, Jonouchi plays a human warrior. There are some great explanations of some of the basic tabletop rpg terminology, an explanation of how combat works, examples of traps, and almost everything a young player might need to try running a game of their own.
Hikaru No Go
While searching through his grandfather’s attic middle school student Hikaru uncovers a very Go board. Wen he takes a closer look he notices that the board is stained with blood, but no one else is able to see it. Shonen Jump always published tips on how to play the game and examples of play along with issues of the manga so they makd a helpful tool for anyone trying to learn how to play. When Hikaru hears a strange voice that no one else does he faints and everyone just assumes he must have been hallucinating. However when a spirit named Sai from the Heian Era starts talking him he quickly realizes that what he had seen and heard hadn’t been any sort of hallucination. Sai had once been a Go instructor to the Emperor of Japan, but another Go instructor had accused him of cheating during a match to determine who would hold a position in the Emperor’s court.
The series follows Hikaru’s progress in learning to play Go and the story of the people he meets as a result of his curiosity. Initially he only plays Go because Sai is so insistent, but he quickly finds himself drawn to the game. Hikaru No Go is probably one of my favorite manga series of all time and any fans of the game are sure to love it as well.