As the new year begins, manga fans are attempting to compile a comprehensive reading list. There is a lot of fantastic new manga coming out in 2023, but there is also a lot of older series that slipped through the cracks in previous years and deserve just as much attention.
There will be no shortage of great manga for fans to delve into throughout 2023, with famous mangakas returning to the industry with new fan-favorite hits and classic series being reprinted. Some of these series are slated for anime adaptations in the near future, so there’s never been a better time to pick up a copy of their manga.
10. The Elusive Samurai By Yusei Matsui Showcases A Young King
The Elusive Samurai by Yusei Matsui takes place in feudal Japan and follows Hojo Tokiyuki, a young samurai who wants to reclaim the throne. However, he doesn’t wish to do so violently and prefers a pacifist approach. He’s only eight years old, but he wants to prove himself a worthy leader.
Yusei Matsui also created the shonen classic, Assassination Classroom. The Elusive Samurai first appeared in Weekly Shonen Jump in 2021, but it’s never too late to start reading this future hit.
9. Choujin X By Sui Ishida Is Scary Good
Choujin X is Sui Ishida’s most recent work. Fans will recognize Sui Ishida as the brilliant mangaka behind Tokyo Ghoul. Readers who already love Tokyo Ghoul won’t be disappointed by the horrific brilliance of Choujin X.
Choujin is a human who possesses destructive supernatural abilities. The series’ protagonists, Tokio and Azuma, encounter a choujin and are forced to become one of these supernatural monsters. Tokio and Azuma are also self-proclaimed heroes who, despite their bleak circumstances, retain their youth. Choujin X, set in the late 1990s, is a brilliant blend of superhero action dynamics and Sui Ishida’s horror flair.
8. Undead Unluck By Yoshifumi Tozuka Has An Anime In The Works
Undead Unluck is receiving its own anime from David Production soon, so now is the perfect time to pick the manga up and get a headstart on the series. Fuuko and Andy star in Undead Unluck. Fuuko is a typical unlucky young woman, while Andy is an undead man who simply wants to be put to rest.
Undead Unluck’s serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump began in 2020; as of 2022, it has 14 volumes. Yoshifumi Totsuka’s distinct art style and brilliant comedic storytelling will keep readers enthralled throughout, making the manga difficult to put down.
7. Highway Star (Otomo The Complete Works) By Katsuhiro Otomo Is A Rare Find
Katsuhiro Otomo, the author of Akira, compiled a collection of 12 short manga stories called Highway Star. In the order of publication, each short story was written between 1976 and 1977. Some of the short stories are only available in this collection because they are no longer in print.
Reading this collection of 12 short stories by one of the greatest mangakas of all time will increase readers’ appreciation for the medium. Furthermore, the book has been reprinted only four times.6. Nights With A Cat By Kyuryu Z Is Perfect For Cat Lovers
Nights With A Cat by Kyuryu Z is a unique manga about a boy and his sister’s cat. Fuuta’s normally exhausted by the time he gets home, and nothing makes him happier than hanging out with his sister’s beloved cat, Kyuruga.
Fuuta observes Kyuruga, noting all of his habits and mannerisms in a direct but comedic manner. It’s written in a way that any cat owner can understand. The manga’s distinct art style and short chapters keep everything short, sweet, and to the point without feeling rushed.
5. Readers Should Pick Up Kaiju №8 By Naoya Matsumoto Before Its Anime Is Released
Naoya Matsumoto’s Kaiju №8 will be receiving an anime adaptation in 2024, so now’s the perfect time to jump into this series by picking up the manga. Fast-paced and action-packed, Kaiju №8 feels similar to other man-versus-monster series like Attack On Titan or Tokyo Ghoul.
There will be no shortage of great manga for fans to delve into throughout 2023, with famous mangakas returning to the industry with new fan-favorite hits and classic series being reprinted. Some of these series are even slated for anime adaptations in the near future, so there’s never been a better time to pick up a copy of their manga.
4. Sakamoto Days By Yuto Suzuki Already Has A Strong Fanbase
Sakamoto Days by Yuto Suzuki is all the rage among Shonen Jump enthusiasts at the moment. Sakamoto days follows a former yakuza member who put his former life of crime on the back burner to marry his wife. He doesn’t exactly look like a hardened criminal these days, but he still has the gruff attitude of a yakuza hitman.
Despite his weight gain, Sakamoto is still physically capable of protecting his new life. Furthermore, he has the ability to shed excess fat during stressful situations, which increases his strength. The premise of Sakamoto Days is ridiculous, but it’s extremely well-written, and Yuto Suzuki’s distinct art style solidifies the series as a modern classic.
3. Is Love The Answer? By Isaki Uta Represents An Overlooked Demographic
Isaki Uta’s Is Love The Answer? follows Chika, a high school girl who feels like an outsider among her peers because she’s not obsessed with romance. She’s never fallen in love with anyone, much less had a crush on a classmate. She also doesn’t find physical intimacy very appealing.
Chika realizes she is an aromantic asexual by the time she reaches college and begins her journey to self-acceptance. Chika realizes she is not an alien because she does not conform to heteronormative expectations of human companionship. Is Love The Answer?, by the same mangaka as Mine-Kun is Asexual, represents an underrepresented identity in the most relatable and realistic way possible.
2. Yona Of The Dawn By Mizuho Kusanagi Picks Up From Where It Left Off
Lots of classic shojo series have been getting reprinted recently, and Yona Of The Dawn by Mizuho Kusanagi is just one. The anime only has one season and left fans on quite a cliffhanger, so picking up the manga is always a great choice in that situation.
Yona Of The Dawn is about the titular Yona, a princess who has grown accustomed to a life of luxury as royalty. However, Yona’s life was turned upside down when the kingdom was overthrown on her sixteenth birthday. Yona flees with her bodyguard, Hak, and learns to fend for herself.
1. Look Back By Tatsuki Fujimoto Shows Fujimoto’s Versatility
Chainsaw Man may be Tatsuki Fujimoto’s most popular manga, but he has plenty of underrated work that fans shouldn’t miss out on. Look Back, for example, is a one-shot about the harsh realities of being an artist. Fujino and Kyomoto, the manga’s protagonists, are polar opposites. However, their passion for creating manga brings them together.
This heartwarming story comes as a surprise from the same mangaka who created Chainsaw Man, but it’s a welcome change of pace that readers will quickly lose track of time reading. Look Back is a must-read for readers who appreciate beautiful art and an emotional story.