My onii-chan asked me to blog a little about manga. Easy enough, since I have so much. I figured I'd start with my favorite- From Far Away (彼方から).
This series is categorized as fantasy shojo (for girls), but I would have to disagree. Usually when you read shojo you get weird sappy stories taking place in a high school starring a teenager who has some quirk like a person on their hand (Midori Days) or a gender change (Ranma 1/2). From Far Away certainly falls into the fantasy genre, but I believe has elements that would appeal to guys as well. True, there is an underlying theme of romance, but there is also much about war, battles and culture.
To set the scene, our heroine Noriko is transported from Japan to a magical world as 'The Awakening'. The Awakening can be used to control the Sky Demon (an evil and powerful force) and therefore every kingdom and evil dude is searching for her. A young warrior named Izark, who just so happens to be the human reincarnation of the Sky Demon, saves her from danger, unaware of her identity. The series develops these characters in an interesting way, showing their relationship change as Noriko learns the foreign language and customs.
If you find yourself interested in science fiction and are looking to read a series that focuses on war tactics in addition to character development, you will enjoy From Far Away.