:Anything by Osamu Tezuka
. He's the undisputed God of Manga for good reason. His art-storytelling is light years beyond even other manga artists and his plots and characters are absolutely top notch. Pick up some Astroboy and you'll be surprised that a young kid's manga takes on tough philosophical issues (in a very fun manner). The Phoenix series is a masterpiece, particularly book 4, Karma. His individual graphic novels are roundly great.Eden by Hiroki Endo (also his short story series Tanpeshu)
. Easily one of the best "real sci-fi" comics out there. Takes place in the near future, when a deadly pandemic virus called Closure afflicts the population and sends the world into political turmoil. The story focuses on Elijah Ballard, a young boy mired in a political struggle between multiple political organizations and his father, the most powerful drug czar in South America. Come for the abundant violence and nudity, stay for the excellent story, which plays out like an extended greek tragedy.Yoshihiro Tatsumi
. Considered the pioneer of indie manga, Tatsumi did short sketches of broken lives in mid-20th century Japan. Funny and at times harrowing stuff. He's also released a supposedly excellent autobiographical work called "A Drifting Life" that maps out the birth of the manga industry.One Piece by Eichiro Oda
. Sure it's ultra popular, but One Piece is one of the greatest shonen manga ever made. Spectacular action, hilarious comedy and, shockingly, absolutely consistent throughout its run. I've yet to read a plot or story that disappointed.AnimeParanoid Agent
. It's cheating because it's Satoshi Kon, but it's a psychological mind-bender of a series about a mysterious boy with a golden bat who assaults people who feel trapped in their everyday lives.Kemonozume
. Moving along the mindfuck theme are two series by Masaaki Yuasa (who did equally awesome movies Mind Game and Cat Soup). Kemonozume is about a secretive sword school which hunts down flesh eating monsters, and how the heir to the sword school has fallen in love with one of the monsters. Kaiba is about a man with no memories who wakes up in a world where people's memories can be transferred into digital media. Both series are amazing, surreal works.