Top Best New Manga to Read in 2023

Feb 24, 2023
These are the top new manga to read in 2023!
Top Best New Manga to Read in 2023

There are a lot of exciting new manga series releasing in 2023 and more are sure to be on the way.

This post only includes series that are being released in English for the first time with an English translation. I’ve also only included manga that will be released in print in 2023, so digital releases aren’t included. I only included confirmed series, so these are all series that will be released this year. That all being said, here are the new manga you need to be reading in 2023!

 

Takopi’s Original Sin by Taizan 5

Takopi’s Original Sin is a drama, sci-fi manga by Taizan 5 that has skyrocketed in popularity over these past few months. I couldn’t be happier that it has because it is one of my favorite new manga series to release within quite some time.

I thought Goodnight Punpun by Inio Asano was a difficult read, and it certainly is, but there’s something about the compactness of Takopi’s Original Sin and the topics it explores that make it just as difficult, if not more so. While Goodnight Punpun is a multi-volume story, Takopi’s Original Sin hits you hard from the start and continues to do so throughout its two volumes.

These two have a lot in common. Both are extremely difficult to read, but they contain some of the most incredible stories I’ve ever read. Takopi’s Original Sin, on the other hand, is a science fiction story about Takopi, an alien from Happy Planet, a utopia where everyone is kind and happy, who meets a girl named Shizuka. Through his interactions with her, he discovers that sadness and anger are natural human emotions.Through his experiences on Earth and his time with Shizuka, Takopi learns to cope with new emotions he’s never experienced before, the consequences that come with your actions, and how to be compassionate towards others, all while trying to get home.

The series’ serious tone contrasts with the main character Takopi, an octopus-like alien who is really cute. This story tackles complex, dark topics, but in ways that are interesting and original, and it’s a harrowing read you won’t soon forget. Keep an eye out for its first volume, which is expected to release on November 21, 2023 from Viz!

 

Oshi no Ko by Aka Akasaka and Mengo Yokoyari

Yen Press is releasing Oshi no Ko in 2023 and it is from the creators of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War and Scum’s Wish. An Oshi no Ko anime is on the way in 2023 as well, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for its release in the future.

Oshi no Ko is out there, but in the best way possible, and it’s one of the most unexpected and unique reincarnation titles I’ve ever read. I was also looking forward to this one because it was written by two authors whose previous work I had enjoyed. If you’re looking for a series about an idol, the MC is one, but if you think this is going to be your typical idol story, you’re mistaken. It casts a unique light on what it means to be famous and the difficulties that come with it, such as being constantly in the public eye and having to fake emotions for the camera, but it’s also a supernatural story.

In this story, idol Ai Hoshino becomes pregnant and travels to a rural hospital to have her twins secretly. Gorou, the doctor there, happens to be a fan of hers. One thing leads to another, and he is killed by an unknown figure. He awakens to discover that he has been reborn as Ai’s newborn son, Aquamarine. This one has a lot of mystery to it, which makes it an interesting read, but the art is also stunning.

 

Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun by Osamu Nishi

Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun has been released since 2017 in Japan and it is finally getting an English print release thanks to Kodansha in 2023. You may have already watched the anime, which is incredible as well, but the manga is even better, in my opinion.

It has a great sense of humor and lighthearted comedic moments, fun and lovable characters, and the fantasy demon world and world-building in this one make it a true joy to read. It’s an isekai story with a very unique setup and plot.

When his parents sign a contract with Sullivan, a high-ranking demon, our MC, Iruma, is transported to another world. He’ll have to keep his human identity hidden and convince everyone that he’s a demon, which will become increasingly difficult as he attends demon school. Of course, there’s more to this story than we first thought.

A lot of the humor in the series comes from Iruma’s interactions with the students and his teachers, but it’s also through them that he learns a lot about himself, grows as an individual, and forms strong bonds with others. The characters are lovable too. It’s just a fun and amazing read. I highly recommend checking Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun out if you haven’t already when it begins releasing in Spring 2023!

 

Helck by Nanaki Nanao

Helck is an amazing action fantasy coming from Viz in 2023, and it is releasing under their Sig imprint. It’s one of my most anticipated of the year and it’s a hidden gem. In Helck, the Demon Empire holds a tournament to choose the next Demon King. The favorite contestant to win is Helck, a kind-hearted human who says the reason he wants to become the Demon King is to defeat his own race, or does he have an ulterior motive?

Dark forces are at work, and Red Vamirio, one of the Four Heavenly Kings who rule the empire, must figure out why Helck has such a strong following among some of the demons and what he’s up to.

While it appears to have a simple premise, it is a fantasy story that flips the script in various ways. Not only is the winner of the Demon King Tournament a human, but he also despises humans, making for an intriguing and unexpected story. It also has a great deal of depth. The series begins as a lighthearted, heartwarming read, but as it progresses, it becomes more serious, causing you to experience a wide range of emotions while reading it.

Like many of the series I enjoy, it’s entertaining and will make you laugh, but it also knows how to tug at your heartstrings. It also features some of my favorite manga characters, including the main characters Helck and Vamirio, who have a fantastic dynamic. It has fantastic world-building as well as a fantastic cast of characters.

 

Insomniacs After School by Makoto Ojiro

Insomniacs After School is a manga that has such a refreshing vibe to it and it’s quite a healing and relaxing read. There’s something oddly melancholic, but ultimately beautiful to it and the humor as well as the dynamic between its characters remind me a lot of the characters in Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction by Inio Asano, which is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi series.

Also, if you enjoy series like Call of the Night, you’ll want to check this one out. While it isn’t supernatural like Call of the Night is, the tone of the series and the main characters and their stories are similar.

Insomniacs After School follows two insomniac students who find solace in the school’s abandoned observatory. This secret hideout serves as a safe haven for them to rest. They form an unexpected bond and find solace in one another. It’s comforting to know that someone not only knows, but understands what you’re going through, and their connection is beautiful to witness.

Slice-of-life shows, in my opinion, are defined by their characters as well as the topics and themes they address. Insomniacs After School has an interesting premise as well as relatable and likeable characters. It’s a nice, calming read that feels very fresh, and you’ll want to keep an eye out for it when it’s released by Viz in March 2023!

 

March Comes In like a Lion by Chica Umino

March Comes In like a Lion is released from DENPA starting in March. It follows Rei Kiriyama, who is a young prodigy and lives alone. He’s on the verge of becoming a professional shogi player, but he doesn’t have a home life or much of a life outside of the game until he meets his lifelong friends. He is given a second chance with their assistance, and we watch him grow and develop throughout the series.

It’s an iyashikei (slice-of-life manga that heals the reader) as well as seinen manga, so this one is full of heartfelt as well as tough moments and it focuses on realism too. It delves deeply into the meaning of life, what it means to be human, and so on, and it’s a highly relatable series made even more so by the fact that it mirrors reality. The characters, their personalities, and their lives are all believable, and it’s easy to root for them. Their stories really spoke to me.

All and all, it’s one that connected with me deeply emotionally and personally. It reminds me a lot of Your Lie in April in ways, but Barakamon too, so if you enjoy either, I highly recommend getting into this one when it releases this year!

 

Dark Gathering by Kenichi Kondō

Dark Gathering is an exciting supernatural horror series released from Viz in 2023. The story follows Keitaro Gentoga, a college freshman who has been haunted by his ability to attract spirits and the collateral damage it’s caused in the past. In an attempt to blend into society, he becomes a private tutor — but supernatural danger returns when his first student, Yayoi Hozuki, enlists him in her quest to find the spirit that took her mother away.

It’s really good, with a distinct art style, intriguing premise, and cool designs, and it’s showing a lot of promise thus far. For these and other reasons, it’s one I highly recommend keeping an eye on because it’s going to take off in the coming years.

Dark, supernatural fantasies, like Kemono Jihen, Shadows House, and Mieruko-chan are series I enjoy, and Dark Gathering is very much in the same vein as these types of series. It contains topics and themes, like the occult, that are interesting too. This one is pretty dark and horror-filled, more so than many other shonen I’ve seen, so if you are a fan of horror, you’ll be surprised to see the panels that show up in this series.

 

Soloist in a Cage by Shiro Moriya

Soloist in a Cage is one you may have already read on Manga Plus, but it’s getting a print release in May 2023 from Seven Seas. It’s dystopian, and it’s set in a city that’s more like a walled-off and heavily guarded prison cut off from the rest of the world, so those who live there are very much trapped. Those who dare to try to escape must not only overcome a difficult climb, but also do so quietly so as not to raise alarm and awaken the guard robots that guard it.

In this city, lives Chloe, our MC, and her baby brother. She dreams of a better life for him, and will do anything to protect them, even if that must mean escaping this place forever, no matter the cost. It is an emotional read, in addition to having beautiful artwork that draws you into this bleak and snowy world. It’s a three-volume series, but despite its length, it doesn’t feel rushed and has a lasting impact.

 

Hikaru ga Shinda Natsu (The Summer Hikaru Died) by Mokumokuren

The Summer Hikaru Died (Hikaru ga Shinda Natsu) is one of the best horror manga series I’ve read in a while. It follows two boys, Yoshiki and Hikaru, who grew up together in a small village. Yoshiki notices something strange about Hikaru one day and discovers that an imposter has taken control of his body. Yoshiki struggles to let go of the real Hikaru, who has left him in spirit but not in body, and decides that he’d rather be with whatever it is than lose Hikaru forever.

It’s a story about grief and loss, and how we struggle to let those who have passed go. This is a true part of human nature and one that is often explored in horror, but few explore it as well as in The Summer Hikaru Died.

Since it’s set in a village where strange incidents begin occurring, it reminds me a lot of Higurashi in regard to its setting and atmosphere. There’s something that’s just not quite right about this village. The people are secretive and dark whispers move around the town, the animals are uneasy, and there’s an ominous terror lurking in the shadows as well as the trees of the mountains.

As you are introduced to the village, you get the distinct impression that it is rapidly devolving into lunacy. Overall, with all of the unexpected and unexplained events, it is a disturbing read. It’s also a very emotional read, as you watch Yoshiki come to terms with his new reality. This one contains a lot of mystery that will keep you guessing, but each volume is like a new piece of the puzzle.

The story and emotions of the characters are expressed well, the art is beautiful, and it’s the best new horror manga I’ve read to date. If you love mystery as well as supernatural manga too, you’ll want to give this one a shot. Yen Press announced that they are releasing The Summer Hikaru Died in 2023 with an English translation, so it will be available to collect soon! The first volume is expected to release on July 18, 2023.

 

Soara and the House of Monsters by Hidenori Yamaji

Soara and the House of Monsters is a new manga by the creator of Marry Grave that has beautifully drawn settings and architecture and uniquely designed characters. It’s releasing from Seven Seas in 2023. To put it simply, it follows the travels of a monster architect, who’s conscientious about his clients’ very specific and unique needs.

A knight, who battled these monsters before a time of peace, stumbles across him and his band one day on her search for a new home. Unexpectedly, after meeting him and seeing his work, she decides to work with him and they embark on a new journey together.

What initially captured me about this series was its art. It’s so intricate and it has a unique style. The architecture and settings actually remind me a lot of some of my favorite action-adventure games and so does the world-building.

It’s an enjoyable and fun action, adventure, fantasy series with a touching story that looks at what it means to have a home, a place where you feel comforted, a place where you can rest and recharge at the end of the day, feel safe and make memories, and how everyone, from monsters to heroes, deserves to have a place they call their own. We see our MC looking for a place of her own, so there’s some depth to this one as well.

 

The Horizon by JH

The Horizon is a manhwa by JH and it is one of the most harrowing stories I’ve ever read. And despite it only being 21 chapters, it was still as impactful, if not more impactful, than some stories I’ve read that have 100 chapters if not more. It didn’t quite make me cry as much or take as much of a toll on me as Goodnight Punpun by Inio Asano did, but it came close and for a series that’s this compact, this is a huge feat. The Horizon is releasing from Ize Press in June 2023 and it was confirmed at Anime NYC 2022.

I want to mention JH’s other series, The Boxer, real quick, because he’s written not just one, but two, series that hooked me. If you enjoy JH’s works or you love stories about boxing, it’s one you’ll want to check out. One thing I really enjoy about all of JH’s works though, including The Horizon, is their commentary on life.

JH takes these stories, one that’s about two kids living in the aftermath of a cataclysmic war and another that’s about a boxer, and tells them in a way that feels poetic, so the story-telling element is a strong suit of these for sure, but his stories also feel very real and his characters are very relatable.

The Horizon is one of the most profound and dark series I’ve ever read. It’s similar to The Road, and to this day, that movie still haunts me. Much in the same way, The Horizon still haunts me to this day, but even more so, because there’s no parent or parents helping these children in this story.

Instead, the plot revolves around a young boy who is trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world after the death of his mother. One day, he meets a young girl who is also trying to do the same thing, and they accompany each other. Despite the frightening moments and obstacles they face, they press on in search of a safe haven and light and hope in this dark world. Of course, that light can be felt in their interactions with one another at times. However, it is clear from the images in this story that the loneliness these two feel, despite having each other, persists.

They meet other survivors along the way, adults who have lost their way, and most notably have lost their humanity in their endeavor to survive, no matter the cost. Some have lost all morals, some have resorted to terrible acts.

It’s a really harrowing tale that, while it has little dialogue, has so much to say. The atmosphere and emotion that the author conveys through the art is unbelievable as well. You really grasp the grave nature of the situation, and the way the story unfolds is just so expertly done. It’s one that absolutely broke me, but I’m glad I experienced it nonetheless because it’s one of my favorites of all time. Keep an eye out for the first volume, which is releasing from Ize Press in June 2023!

 

Origin by Boichi

Sci-fi, seinen, and Boichi fans are in for a big treat in 2023 with the release of Origin, which is coming in Fall 2023 from Kodansha. Boichi is well-known as the artist behind Dr. Stone, but he has also brought us amazing series like Sun-Ken Rock and Origin.

I’m a huge fan of his works, he is one of the most incredible artists I’ve ever seen and he’s one of the best of our time. Origin was first released in Japan in 2016 and finished releasing in 2019 with 10 volumes. It has been released in a number of different languages, but this is the first time it will be printed in English! I really hope this means that Sun-Ken Rock is coming soon too.

Origin is set in the future in the capital city of Tokyo, which is now connected to Eurasia by a transcontinental railroad. Criminals and terrorists live in its metropolitan darkness, as well as mysterious creatures who prey on humans. Only one stands against them…Origin.

Boichi’s series are action-packed and feature incredibly detailed and stunning art. They always have a great sense of humor as well as emotional moments that connect you further into their stories. In this story, advanced AI robots exist, but the real draw is that our main character is an android who wants to learn more about himself and what it means to be alive. There are plenty of emotional and beautiful moments, but there’s also some badass action and comedy.

We have some deeper exploration here, not quite as deep as series like Pluto by Naoki Urasawa, but it still gets into the whole “what does it mean to be human,” and robots with feelings narratives, self-reflection, etc, but it also has the action and unique, detailed artwork you’d see in series like Inuyashiki by Hiroya Oku, so if you are a fan of either, definitely give this one a shot. It’s quite fun and entertaining to read but has depth to it as well.

 

Innocent by Shinichi Sakamoto

When Dark Horse announced that they would be releasing 3-in-1 omnibuses of Innocent at Anime NYC 2022, I couldn’t believe it. Definitely up there with the announcement of Homunculus, which I’m going to talk about later, as news of the year! I would honestly have been happy with any of Shinichi Sakamoto’s works being printed, whether it be The Climber, one of my top seinen manga of all-time, or DRCL midnight children, but Innocent is an incredible first step, and I’m really hoping this means that all of his works will be on the way in the future too.

Innocent is set before the French Revolution and its story is told from the perspective of Charles-Henri Sanson, who comes from a family of executioners. He takes on this role even though he doesn’t want to, in order to change the system from within.

One thing about Shinichi Sakamoto’s works that always captivates me is not only the fact that he emphasizes reality and this is something you can see through his hyper-realistic artwork, but I also really love the fact that you can hear what’s happening on the page. You don’t just see the events that are unfolding before you… you feel them, hear them, etc. as if you are in the very scene. I remember seeing an interview with him where he said he was experimenting with not using onomatopoeia in his panels. He wants to make you imagine those sounds rather than tell you they are there, and he excels at doing so.

He even goes so far as to describe how something would sound in his works to the reader. For instance, in Kokou no Hito (The Climber), he mentioned that the sound of a glacier collapsing is not something that we come across every day, but we see and hear buildings collapsing in the film all the time, so he drew a panel of a building collapsing before to give the reader an idea of what it would sound like.

Shinichi Sakamoto’s expression and sense of perspective are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He is truly one of the best artists of our time, and the amount of detail and work he puts into making Innocent and all of its characters accurate to the time period in which it is set is incredible. The details of their clothing, hair, where they live, and the settings they participate in are simply outstanding, and it is a true masterpiece through and through.

Innocent is one of my top series by Shinichi Sakamoto, but also one of my top series of all time. It has stunning artwork that is detailed and intricate and full of emotion and symbolism. He showcases our character’s emotions in abstract ways. He doesn’t tell you a lot of the time but instead shows you, and this is part of the reason I love his work so much. It’s one of the best historical series I’ve ever read, and it is full of drama. It is quite over the top, in the best way possible, too.

The first omnibus is scheduled to be released on November 22, 2023, so keep an eye out for it!

 

Homunculus by Hideo Yamamoto

Homunculus by Hideo Yamamoto, the mind that also brought us Ichi the Killer, is one of the best thrillers and psychological horror manga. Seven Seas recently announced that they will be releasing Homunculus with English translation in an oversized omnibus format. It was announced in 2022. Definitely the biggest and most exciting manga news of the year for me!

The story follows Susumu Nakoshi. He's in a luxurious hotel one day and living in his car the next. He is approached by the mysterious Manabu Ito, a 22-year-old medical student, who says he’s a perfect candidate for his experiment. He initially rejects his offer, but later accepts it when his car is towed and he is in need of cash. In exchange for 700,000 yen, Nakoshi lets Ito drill a hole into his skull via a method called trepanation. At first, everything seems normal for Nakoshi following this experimental surgery, but this all changes when the effects kick in and he begins seeing the homunculus in every person.

Watching Nakoshi go through this experimental surgery is terrifying in and of itself, but it’s the aftereffects of the surgery and the distorted humans that Nakoshi now sees that are the most disturbing. It’s difficult to tell what’s real or not as you read, so there’s an element of mystery to the series as you try to figure out what’s going on with Nakoshi, who is also trying to figure out what’s going on. As a result, you really feel like you’re in this story with Nakoshi.

 

 

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