Top 10 New Manga of 2023…So Far – First Quarter
With manga becoming increasingly popular in the west. It may seem daunting to some to start on a series that’s already 10 Volumes deep. So, we decided to create a list of 10 new manga released this year in the west. These manga volumes launched their Volume 1 debut in the west, and we think they are definitely worth your attention.
Helck Vol. 1
This classic manga series is getting a few updates in the form of colored pages and new covers, but it’s also officially coming west with a fresh translation from VIZ Media. Helck might be a meathead, but he’s our meathead. This lovable hero is hated amongst the demon world’s elite, but the citizen of the underworld sure do love him. The comedy hijinx is on high, and sometimes you can’t help but smile through the cringiness of it all, but it’s a charming and fun read with some beautifully illustrated pages and narrative beats.
Oshi no Ko Vol. 1
I don’t think any summary could prepare you for Oshi no Ko. We meet Gorou, a gynecologist in a remote hospital who is asked to deliver the twin babies of an idol. However, before the procedure, he’s killed and ends up reincarnated as one of her kids. Now named, Aquamarine, he and his twin sister Ruby must learn about the life of being an idol. Still, there is still that murder mystery thing that needs to be addressed, and it does in this well-paced and memorable first step into the world.
Shy Vol. 1
In a world full of confident heroes, Shy stands out in the group as Japan’s leading lady to help citizens during a crisis. However, she often struggles with confidence and must face her fears head-on. That’s ultimately the tone in this first volume as we are introduced to Shy in her hero and non-hero form to learn more about what drives her to want to push forward. Further, we get an insight into the trials that she’ll face in later chapters as she confronts a truly evil protagonist.
Rise of the Outlaw Tamer and His S-Rank Cat Girl Vol. 1
When it comes to fanservice manga, quality is ultimately what readers want. However, Rise of the Outlaw Tamer and His S-Rank Cat Girl gives a fun and energetic story about a D-rank beast-tamer named Link who ends up meeting a sexy catgirl named Birena, who begs him to tame her. Her goal is to become stronger, but Link may be in over his head on this one. The illustration from Joji Manabe is exceptionally detailed through each panel, and the character writing retains its charm even in its most mature moments.
Pandora Seven Vol. 1
This is a story about finding your own path. Even when it might not be directly in front of you. Ria Frontier lives amongst dragons who act as her adopted family. However, she wants to set out on her own in search of other humans. One day, chaos strikes her village, and she is forced into an adventure that she may not be prepared for, but she will take on to help her family. There are a few standout antagonists in the story that make Ria’s quest much more difficult.
Your Forma Vol. 1
Adapted from the light novel series, Your Forma (manga) is a great adaptation of the story with excellent illustrations by Yoshinori Kisaragi. The entire narrative has a futuristic tone as threads are installed into people’s brains to record their emotions. Our protagonist, Investigator Echika Hieda, must Dive into these records in search of clues as she investigates crimes. After fumbling at her job a few too many times, much to her chagrin, she is paired with an android named Harold Lucraft to help her out.
March Comes in Like a Lion Vol. 1
It sure has taken March Comes in Like a Lion a long time to release in the west. However, volume 1 is finally on the way, and with it comes all the melodrama and coming-of-age interactions that the series is known for. Honestly, this manga makes shogi look exciting as the protagonist Rei Kiriyama moves up the ranks at the age of 17. However, Rei is dealing with heartache after suffering the tremendous real-life loss of people close to him, creating a disconnect between him and those who care about him. Still, it’s a story of overcoming those trials and persevering.
Ayashimon Vol. 1
Who doesn’t dream of being the hero of a manga? In Ayashimon, Maruo Kaido trains extensively to become stronger. While some might scoff that he bases his training on workouts that he’s learned from manga, he becomes incredibly strong as a result. One day he witnesses a gang picking a fight with a girl. After easily taking them down, she tells him her name is Urara, a yokai who wants him to be the first member of her Yazuka gang. Now Maruo gets to be the main protagonist of his own adventure.
Call the Name of the Night Vol. 1
There’s something so captivating about reading a manga and being absolutely blown away by its narrative pacing and characters. Call the Name of the Night is truly a stand-out release of this year with its amazing illustrations and characters that interact in the most charming of ways. The entire story encourages imagination and opening up to your own feelings about anxiety and loneliness. This is definitely one of those magical stories that will be better experienced than spoiled.
I Didn’t Mean to Fall in Love
While it’s in no way bad to be a virgin, Yoshiro is almost 30 and still has yet to fall in love. In a last-ditch effort before his age milestone, he goes to a gay bar and meets Rou. This is where his life changes as Rou seemingly has everything that Yoshiro lacks in terms of character traits. This attraction fuels Yoshiro’s lust for Rou, but it doesn’t seem to be the love story that he expected. This high-drama and mature manga has some well-written scenarios that will keep your eyes glued to the pages if only to see what happens next, but you can expect a dash of toxicity sprinkled throughout.
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