Romance and horror take center stage in this season’s manga, alongside edgy action series, inspiring sports stories, LGBTQ narratives, and challenging indie titles.

Top 10

Captain Momo’s Secret Base

Kenji Tsuruta, trans. by Dana Lewis. Dark Horse, May 14 ($14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5067-4058-4)

The eccentric Captain Momo lives on an interstellar cargo ship with only her cat for company and seldom bothers to wear clothing.

Her Frankenstein

Kawashima Norikazu, trans. by Ryan Holmberg. Smudge, May 7 ($19.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-961581-91-3)

This psychological horror story follows a boy who becomes a monster for the girl he loves.

Just Like Mona Lisa

Tsumuji Yoshimura. Square Enix, July 16 ($14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64609-277-2)

In a world where people are genderless until adolescence, late bloomer Hinase is torn between identities when both a boy and a girl confess their love for them.


Tsurumaikada, trans. by Kevin Gifford. Kodansha, Mar. 5 ($13.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-88-88771-85-3)

Inori’s figure-skating dreams seem impossible, until a washed-up coach takes her under his wing.

My Name Is Shingo: The Perfect Edition

Kazuo Umezz, trans. by Jocelyne Allen. Viz, Feb. 27 ($35, ISBN 978-1-974742-72-1)

An industrial robot acquires consciousness and searches for the young couple it considers its parents in this gonzo SF classic.

Search and Destroy

Atsushi Kaneko and Osamu Tezuka. Fantagraphics, Feb. 13 ($14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68396-932-7)

Kaneko (Bambi and Her Pink Gun) reenvisions Osamu Tezuka’s Dororo as a dystopian SF action epic.

Second Hand Love

Yamada Murasaki, trans. by Ryan Holmberg. Drawn & Quarterly, July 16 ($24.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77046-718-7)

Women deal with the complicated realities of love and fidelity in a pair of stories from the creator of Talk to My Back.

Since I Could Die Tomorrow

Sumako Kari, trans. by David Bove. Tokyopop, Feb. 7 ($13.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4278-7527-3)

When a 40-something woman enters early menopause, she’s reminded of the brevity of life and resolves to make the most of her time.

Taking Care of God

Liu Cixin and Jun Yokoyama, trans. by Giuseppe Di Martino. Yen, Feb. 20 ($15 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-975392-37-6)

Life on Earth is upended by the arrival of otherworldly elders seeking humanity’s care in this adaptation of a story by the author of The Three-Body Problem.

Throw Away the Suit Together

Keyyang, trans. by Faye Cozy. Seven Seas, July 16 ($13.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-8-88843-829-9)

Two college girls try to escape the looming responsibilities of adulthood by running away to a small island town in this LGBTQ romance.

Manga Longlist


Shakespeare Manga Theater by Osamu Tezuka (Mar. 12, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68497-186-2). The “God of Manga” puts his personal twist on stories from Shakespeare, including Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, and a robot Romeo and Juliet.

Tomorrow the Birds by Osamu Tezuka, trans. by Iyasu Nagata (Apr. 23, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68497-238-8) collects linked stories in which birds evolve at an accelerated rate, developing such powers as the ability to harness fire, and rise up against humanity.


The Mimosa Confessions by Mei Hachimoku and Kukka, trans. by Evan Ward (June 4, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-8-88843-778-0). A teenage boy is torn between the girl he’s just fallen for and the estranged childhood friend who unexpectedly reenters his life in this light novel with LGBTQ themes.

True Love Fades Away When the Contract Ends by Kosuzu Kobato and Fumi Takamura, trans. by Julie Goniwich (June 11, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-8-88843-759-9). In this period romance light novel, a noblewoman and a nobleman pretend to be in love to avoid their arranged marriages.


The Innkeeper Chronicles: Clean Sweep the Graphic Novel by Ilona Andrews and Shinju Ageha (Mar. 5, $18.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5248-8868-8) adapts Andrews’s fantasy novel about Dina DeMille, an innkeeper with a magical broom who provides lodging to otherworldly visitors.


H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu by Gou Tanabe, trans. by Zack Davison (July 30, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5067-4140-6). The latest Lovecraft adaptation visualizes the horror writer’s most famous creation, a squid-faced cosmic entity worshipped by an ancient cult.


Fish Society by Panpanya, trans. by Ko Ransom (Apr. 30, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-63442-840-8). In the title story of this whimsical yet incisive collection, fish climb out of the sea and go to work in the Japanese fishing industry.

Holiday Junction by Shinzo Keigo, trans. by Ko Ransom (July 16, $13.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63442-870-5), brings together emotionally challenging slice-of-life stories by one of the rising stars of manga.


Oba Electroplating Factory by Yoshiharu Tsuge, trans. by Ryan Holmberg (June 18, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-679-1). The fourth volume of short stories by Tsuge (Nejishiki) includes painfully honest autofiction as well as the alt-manga legend’s efforts at more mainstream-friendly material.


Butterfly Tears by Fang Yili (Feb. 13, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-960171-07-8) is a collection of three fantasy-tinged love stories inspired by Chinese myths and legends.


My Love Story with Yamada-Kun at Lv999 by Mashiro, trans. by Mangamo (Apr. 2, $12.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-984862-69-3). A college girl gets into online gaming and falls for a pro gamer who has trouble expressing his emotions in this romantic comedy that was originally serialized online.


Unholy Blood by Leena Lim (Feb. 20, $20 trade paper, ISBN 979-84-00-90112-6). A vampire woman teams up with a human police captain to fight powerful, dangerous “half-bloods.”


Bless by Yukino Sonoyama (Apr. 2, $13.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-88-88771-79-2). Aia is handsome enough to pick up modeling gigs but would rather be a makeup artist, while shy Jun is insecure about her looks—but together they could form a runway power couple.

The Fragrant Flower Blooms with Dignity by Saka Mikami, trans. by Fabian Kraft (June 4, $13.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-88-88771-38-9). In this opposites-attract romance, a boys’ school for juvenile delinquents and a girls’ school for elite young ladies are thrown for a loop when two of their students fall in love.

Ninja vs. Gokudo by Shinsuke Kondo, trans. by Florin Evanko and Lindsey Clifford (May 14, $13.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-88-88771-64-8), follows the battles of two deadly rivals in a war between ninja and yakuza that’s threatened civilization throughout history.

Sketchy by Makihirochi, trans. by Alethea and Athena Nibley (Apr. 9, $12.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-88-88770-14-6). A young woman gets a new lease on life through skateboarding, in this streetwise drama from the creator of the cult-hit web manga Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live?


May Tomorrow Bring Rainbows by Noriko Kihara (Apr. 16, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63442-456-1) is an LGBTQ romance about a nonbinary drag bar owner who falls for a mysterious person they meet online.


Apple Black Origins: The Spectrum and the Spectre by Odunze Oguguo and Stephanie Williams (June 11, $13.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-7603-9002-3). In this light novel prequel to the Apple Black series, a young Black sorceress’s vitiligo holds the key to finding the legendary Golden Wands.


The Essential Manga Guide: 50 Series Every Manga Fan Should Know by Briana Lawrence (June 11, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-7624-8178-1). Crunchyroll senior editor Lawrence introduces readers to popular, influential, and critically acclaimed manga series.


BL First Crush Anthology: Five Seconds Before We Fall in Love by Kaori Tsurutani et al., trans. by Jocelyne Allen (May 14, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-8-88843-752-0), brings together boys’ love stories by some of the most popular artists in the field, including the creators of BL Metamorphosis and Manly Appetites.

Monster Cats by Pandania, trans. by Minna Lin (May 7, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-8-88843-495-6). The creator of Yokai Cats and The Evil Secret Society of Cats is back with another collection of comic strips about fantastic felines, including cats with the powers of banshees, yetis, and gorgons.

Mysterious Disappearances by Nujima, trans. by Deniz Amasya (May 21, $13.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-8-88843-755-1). Two bookstore clerks with an interest in the unexplained investigate supernatural urban legends in this sexy occult mystery series.

The Tree of Death: Yomotsuhegui by Masasumi Kakizaki, trans. by Deniz Amasya (Feb. 6, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-8-88843-327-0), delves into the world of a former police officer who becomes an immortal monster in his quest to avenge the murder of his family.


UFO Mushroom Invasion by Marina Shirakawa, trans. by Ryan Holmberg (July 16, $19.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-961581-01-2). A flying saucer crashes to Earth, releasing bizarre fungal spores, in this underground horror classic.


Smoking Behind the Supermarket With You by Jinushi (Feb. 20, $12.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64609-286-4). An overworked salaryman shares smoke breaks with a sardonic supermarket cashier, not realizing he already knows her, in this unconventional romance.

Victoria’s Electric Coffin by Ikuno Tajima (Apr. 2, $12 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64609-291-8). In 1920s New York City, girl genius Victoria Frankenstein offers a condemned prisoner a second chance as the subject of her experiments in reviving the dead.


Before You Discard Me, I Shall Have My Way with You by Takako Midori and Seren (Mar. 26, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-8-88843-620-2). In this period romance, a noblewoman is heartbroken when the prince to whom she was betrothed breaks off their engagement—but she isn’t too devastated to plot revenge.

I Want You to Make Me Beautiful! The Complete Manga Collection by Cocoa (Apr. 16, $23.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-8-88843-623-3). After an office lady’s boyfriend insults her looks while breaking up with her, she enlists an androgynously handsome acquaintance to give her a makeover and a lesson in love.


Candy Color Paradox Assorted Pack by Isaku Natsume (Mar. 12, $12.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-974743-82-7). Sparks fly between a reporter and a photographer during their stakeouts together in this compilation of side and bonus stories from the boys’ love romance.

Engage by Yuu Minaduki (Apr. 9, $12.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-974743-85-8). During the Tanabata Festival, which honors a pair of star-crossed lovers, a chef confesses his feelings to the mysterious older man who visits his family’s restaurant once a year.


Speed Grapher by Tomozo, trans by Jonathan Clements and Motoko Tamamuro (Apr. 23, $12.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78774-250-5). After encountering a girl whose touch bestows strange powers, a photojournalist finds that everyone he photographs dies in this adaptation of a Studio Gonzo anime.

Three Exorcism Siblings by Shinta Harekawa, trans. by Jonathan Clements and Motoko Tamamuro (Mar. 19, $12.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78774-137-9) finds the young priest of a mountain temple fighting tengu, fierce birdlike beings from Japanese folklore, to protect his two younger brothers.


A Smart and Courageous Child by Miki Yamamoto (June 18, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4278-7719-2). An expectant mother has second thoughts about bringing a child into the world as she follows news reports about the attempted assassination of Malala Yousafzai.

Stitch! The Manga Collection by Yumi Tsukirino, trans. by Jason Muell (July 30, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4278-7596-9) sees the eponymous Disney character teaming up with a girl named Yuna for a series of adorable sci-fi adventures.


Miyamoto Musashi’s Book of Five Rings: The Manga Edition: Japan’s Legendary Book on Samurai Military Strategy by Miyamoto Musashi and Koji Kondo, trans. by Makiko (Apr. 30, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-4-8053-1783-9). The classic book of samurai strategy and philosophy gets adapted into manga for modern readers.

Osamu Dazai’s The Setting Sun: The Manga Edition by Osamu Dazai (Mar. 12, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-4-8053-1761-7) adapts a wrenching psychological novel set in postwar Japan by the acclaimed author of No Longer Human.

Soseki Natsume’s Kokoro: The Manga Edition: The Heart of Things by Soseki Natsume, trans. by Makiko Itoh (Apr. 23, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-4-8053-1774-7) is an adaptation of a novel by one of Japan’s most beloved writers, about the relationship between a student and an older man with a troubled past.


Ottoman: Henshin Hero Husband by Shinnosuke Kanazawa (June 30, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-77294-309-2). A businessman has only one thing to live for—his beloved wife—before a symbiotic relationship with an alien gives him unexpected superpowers.


Kaina of the Great Snow Sea by Tsutomu Nihei and Itoe Takemoto (June 25, $13.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64729-347-5). Two young people join forces to reveal the secrets of their world, divided between the upper Canopy and the lower Great Snow Sea, in this adaptation of an anime series.

Mermaid Prince by Kaori Ozaki (June 25, $13.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64729-361-1) collects three magical short stories from the creator of The Gods Lie and The Golden Sheep.

Nude Model: Tsubasa Yamaguchi Short Stories by Tsubasa Yamaguchi (Feb. 27, $12.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64729-336-9) brings together three provocative short stories aimed at women by the award-winning creator of Blue Period.


In the Name of the Mermaid Princess by Yoshino Fumikaw and Miya Tashiro, trans. by Junko Goda (Feb. 6, $11.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-974742-73-8), chronicles the efforts of a mermaid born to a human royal family to change her kingdom’s prejudices against magical beings.

Magilumiere Magical Girls Inc. by Sekka Iwata and Yu Aoki, trans. by Camellia Nieh (Mar. 19, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-974743-55-1). In a world where being a Sailor Moon–style magical girl is just another job, college grad Kana lands a position at a startup assisting up-and-coming superheroine Koshigaya.

One Piece: Shokugeki No Sanji by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki, trans. by Adrienne Beck (Mar. 12, $11.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-974743-75-9). The creators of Food Wars! cook up a foodie one-shot featuring Sanji, the ship’s cook in the manga juggernaut One Piece, and the dishes he creates to feed the Straw Hat Pirates.

Stitches by Hirokatsu Kihara and Junji Ito, trans. by Jocelyne Allen (Mar. 26, $18, ISBN 978-1-974736-56-0). Horror writer Kihara traveled across Japan collecting spooky tales for this collection of prose stories illustrated by superstar horror artist Ito.


Ako and Bambi by Hero, trans. by Jan Cash (Feb. 20, $15 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-975377-83-0). An aspiring horror writer moves into an apartment haunted by a ghostly entity who isn’t sure what she is in this slice-of-life dramedy with a supernatural twist.

Beastrings by Shikaku Yamamoto, trans. by Tomoko Kimura (Feb. 20, $20 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-975367-79-4) is an upbeat urban fantasy set in a city where the mayor is a retired questing hero, an elf flirts with her wolfman butler, and a bard and a dragon-man make music together.

Whoever Steals This Book by Nowaki Fukamidori, trans. by Emma Schumacker (Feb. 20, $13 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-975371-35-7). Mifuyu hates living in a town full of books, but when the theft of a magical tome causes reality to merge with fiction, she has to venture into the land of stories to set things right.


NCT-127: Limitless by NCT-127 and Reiko Scott (Apr. 23, $21.99, ISBN 979-8-88656-034-3). The members of the K-pop group NCT-127 star in a reality-bending mystery that takes them through the realm of dreams.

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