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This year I read quite a bit of manga, but it wasn’t as much as last year, simply because I didn’t read any long series at all, compared to the juggernaut that was reading 500+ chapters of Kingdom in a matter of weeks.
Sadly, Anilist, which I use to keep track of the manga I read, doesn’t have any sort of yearly recap, so I had to do gather the data by hand and just choose what I liked the most.
This is manga that I completed this year, I will select my favorite 5 ones and call it a day.
This is a classic that I found by randomly scrolling on a MyAnimeList stacks about the survival genre and such, I found this one there. At first the simple name and the kinda ugly cover gave didn’t catch my attention that much, but the reviews were praising it a lot and I gave it a chance, and I am so glad I did. The story follows a boy who finds himself alone in a Japan (and a world) ridden by catastrophe and disaster. 90% of land is now underseas and resources are scarse. The kid has to find a way to survive against the odds, but despite the challenges, the enemies and the people he finds along the way, his hope to reunite with his family keeps him going. Be aware that this one is more about enjoying the journey, rather than the destination though. That’s all I will say. Still, go check it out! This is a longer one, around 119 chapters plus an extra volume.
This is actually a manhwa (Korean comic) that I started at some point in May and that recently finished, its about a weak but smart guy who decides to fight back against the bullies that control high school. The story is honestly quite good, the action is kinda too much sometimes, however, the characters are all really different and relatable, both the protagonists and the villains are quite well developed and they all have reasons to be there. If you enjoy action, great art, a good plot and relatable characters, you should give it a go. It has 268 chapters, but they will fly away in no time.
Korean artists really outdid themselves, this is the second one of those. The Horizon comes from the same artist as The Boxer, and it is a short but deep story about the horrors of war and the hope that remains despite it all. You follow a couple of kids who lost everything and don’t have anywhere to go, but forward. I don’t want to say much more. discretion is advised. Just read it. It doesn’t go for more than 21 chapters.
Located in the United States after the Civil War, this follows the story of two brothers, a broken young man who was trained to kill, and a kid who still has hope in Humanity and moving forward. The times are rough and the streets are always dangerous. The past comes back to haunt this family and quite a journey develops from there. This manga is also quite gruesome at times, so discretion is advised. Despite it all, the story wraps up beautifully, and despite the terrible things that happen, these brothers are willing to face it. Great art and story and quite a short one too. 49 chapters long.
Most of the manga mentioned in this list is quite dark, post-apocalyptic and such, so I picked this one to balance it out, since it has a bunch of wholesome moments. Its all about a guy who goes unnoticed on his daily school life, until one girl greets him and starts to pick on him (in a good way), making him come out of his comfort zone and having fun moments with her and his classmates, who become friends soon enough. He still helplessly fades into the background in front of their eyes somehow, but at least now they look for him. It got around 158 chapters of pure charm.
In case you are wondering, here is the rest of the manga I finished this year:
I think this is my favorite discovery of the year. A story following an elf mage whose lifespan will go beyond the rest of his party after saving the world. Decades later, after the heroes are now history, she embarks on an journey of discovery, and we get to read her adventures. If you were to read one manga from everything mentioned here I believe this would be my pick, it has elements of all kinds, a fun slice of life, with some melancholy mixed there, it can get dark and gritty, it will have really wholesome moments, beautiful artwork, fantastic action moments and just a refreshing take on the fantasy genre, which doesn’t have a lot of stuff outside the isekais or super serious dark stuff.
This is my second pick, this manga is beautiful, the coziest of the bunch. A great slice of life about a robot lady named Alpha who owns a cafe and lives her life in a world that already went through the calamities of climate change. The population is low and the buildings and infrastructure of old is crumbling, but she remains living a quiet existence along everybody else, cherising the small moments of life. I haven’t finished this simply because it is too beautiful to end. I only read a chapter every once in a while, and I just find joy in them every time.
This is a bit of a funny rom-com manga where the protagonist just skip the dating and go straight to marriage. It starts out in a really weird way, leaving us with a lot of questions, and it takes its time. It will break the fourth wall, throw random references to other mangas and even talk about itself in this fun but eerie manner. This manga takes its time to acknowledge serious things hidden behind the jokes and funsies. Don’t get me wrong, the mystery is not really that big of a deal, but I appreciate the uniqueness it brings to the table. Just give it a read honestly. Its super fun and wholesome and its nice to not deal with the annoying tropes of couples that take 200 chapters to kiss.
Speaking of couples that take 200 chapters to kiss… I’m joking, but they do take their time. This is a manhua (Chinese comic) featuring a guy who ends up finding a girl from one thousand years ago. He decides to help her and teach her how to live in the 21st century. When I started reading this I was immediately hooked by how funny it is, as well as the great colored art that these webtoons bring. This is a fairly modern series that’s still running too, so it will have references and such that I can understand, and some others that are just part of chinese culture, which I don’t get but I still appreciate. Honestly, this is just a fun rom-com, but I am mad because they still don’t get married, because she doesn’t have a chinese id, but that’s part of the plot too!
None of the currently reading mangas I’ve mentioned have the mystery and uniqueness of Heavenly Delusion. This manga recently got an anime adaptation, but I still haven’t checked it out. It features multiple characters in different locations, each with a different purpose and drive, but somehow interconnected. There are monsters, there are powerful sci-fi guns, there’s a classroom full of kids with weird features in a seemingly perfect environment, there’s a post-apocalyptic world where nobody remembers what it used to be. Mystery upon mystery and the questions just keep coming, and somehow, it doesn’t get tiresome or boring at all. Discretion is advised on this one.
Here’s some other manga that I’m reading but I’ve already talked too much about them or they simply didn’t impact me that much this year:
This is day 87 of #100DaysToOffload
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