Despite blogging about anime for more than 10 years, I've only rarely discussed manga, and I don't recall ever recommending any titles—perhaps Nausicaä and Love Hina in the very early days of this blog, back when it was still hosted on Geocities. I've quietly lamented that there are far fewer manga blogs than anime blogs, but never made the effort to redress that shortage myself. Then again, when the anime blogs I follow offer manga recommendations, I've usually disagreed with the bloggers' assessments and lost interest after a few chapters.
Despite the risk of inspiring similar lackluster responses, I'd like to recommend Velvet Kiss by Harumi Chihiro as a currently ongoing adult title that has far exceeded my expectations. I say "adult title" because although genitals are never shown (or censored out), there is regular nudity and sex appears in literally every single chapter.
On its face, Velvet Kiss is a wish-fulfillment manga about a young salaryman who is blackmailed into being a petty rich girl's "friend" (read: gopher and sex slave). It works, though, because Nitta is a reasonably successful and self-assured adult who had an active sex life prior to becoming Kanoko's whipping boy. That is, he's not another school-aged Potato-kun who somehow stumbled into the sweet shit. In fact, Nitta quite openly despises servicing Kanoko. There's a lot angry sex in Velvet Kiss. If forced to describe Velvet Kiss in simple clichés, I would say it's a tsundere sex drama with the lead male taking the rare role as the tsundere.
Simple clichés don't quite do Velvet Kiss justice, as its real triumph is its ability to get the reader to care about the characters. It's a triumph because none of the characters are particularly sympathetic. There is a lot of selfish behavior, treachery, manipulation, and disloyalty in Velvet Kiss, which would normally incite hostility from its readers (excepting those with soft spots for poor little rich girls), but I care enough about Kano and Nitta that I eagerly anticipate each new chapter.
As of this post, Soba-Scans has translated all 30 chapters currently published. Additionally, Digital Manga has licensed the first two volumes. Assuming they mean to actually print volumes and not just trowel it into iPad molds, I hope to someday have a full rack of Velvet Kiss books on my manga shelves, although if I alphabetize they would be uncomfortably close to my Yotsuba&! volumes. Oh well, it can't be helped.