New year, new manga! 2019 has gotten off to a great start thus far manga-wise, but there’s still more to come. From brand new series to classics getting official English translations for the first time, there’s a lot to be excited about. We asked our manga section writers to tell us what titles they’re most excited about. Here’s what they came up with.
Every six months we’ve been given a healthy dose of To Your Eternity and I can’t wait for the ninth installment. This series is so strongly written and genuine it makes me emotional. The narrative appears to be moving even further into the future with the main character encountering full-on societies and organized religion.
Another long-running series I’m anticipating is Vinland Saga which seems to put out their latest volume every summer. Volume 11 will be out this year and continue to tell a tale of Thorfinn, a man who has refused to kill again living in a world where killing is required to stay alive. Makoto Yukimura’s exploration of avoiding combat is compelling and unique and this series has always been incredibly well-researched if you’re interested in the era of Vikings. I’ve been reading this series for going on two years now and I can’t even fathom it ever ending.
I’m also looking forward to My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! from Seven Seas Entertainment. It’s about a girl who realizes she’s in an RPG-like game but she’s playing as the villain. She knows how it’ll end for her so must do whatever it takes not to die. This one comes out July 30th.
One of the new titles coming to the states this year that I’m most excited for is My Hero Academia Smash!! It’s a comedy spin-off to the main title that I’ve been seeing screenshots of on Twitter for ages. It looks like a lot of fun and I’m always eager for more MHA content, so I’m looking forward to finally reading it.
Of the new titles coming out that aren’t takeoffs on existing franchises, I’m most eagerly anticipating Nagabe’s The Wize Wize Beasts of the Wizarding Wizdoms. It’s a boys’ love series starring beastmen at a magical school deep in the forest. The art looks adorable and it’s always great to see genre fiction starring queer characters, so it’ll be interesting to see how this series is.
As far as ongoing series go, I’m most excited to keep reading Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu’s The Promised Neverland this year. It’s one of the most unique Shonen Jump comics I’ve ever read, and possibly the best as well. It’s already gotten off to a great start this year with some major character returns and new information about the nature and history of the series’ demons. Demizu has been killing it on art as well; her work’s shading, textures, page compositions, and sense of energy are all top-notch. This is a manga that’s kept me guessing from its onset, and I still can’t predict the trajectory it’ll take from here. I’m very excited to find out though.
2019 is, by royal decree, the year of Urusei Yatsura. The first serialized work by Eisner Award Hall of Famer Rumiko Takahashi, Urusei Yatsura is the story of Ataru Moroboshi, the world’s unluckiest human, and the gorgeous, bikini-clad alien princess Lum who declares him her fiancée. Viz tried publishing this classic manga once before due to the popularity of Ranma ½ and Maison Ikkoku in America, but it failed to find an audience at the time. Now Viz is bringing the entire series to us in English for the first time. The first two-in-one volume releases on February 19th, with further volumes to follow every three months afterwards.
If you haven’t been reading Kenji Inoue and Kimitake Yoshioka’s Grand Blue Dreaming, the funniest manga about diving ever written, you’ll have untilVolume 5 releases on March 26th to catch up. All Iori Kitahara wants is a peaceful college life in a sleepy seaside town and maybe to meet a nice a girl. What he gets is a love of diving, along with a diving club that constantly tortures him with overdone drinking games and, on top of all of that, none of the girls he meets are very nice.
You also won’t want to be caught sleeping on Tomo-Chan Is a Girl when Volume 3 hits the shelves March 12th. This daily 4-koma web comic by Fumita Yanagida is the story of how tomboyish martial arts prodigy Tomo-Chan tries to win the heart of her oblivious childhood friend Juunichirou who sees her as a rival and a friend but not as a girl. Further complicating their relationship is the fact that Tomo’s best friend is Jun’s ex, the terrifying Misuzu Gundou.
One of the upcoming volumes that I’m excited to read is the continuation of Radiant. This manga has easily become one of my favorites and I cannot wait to read further. The tale includes magic, wizards and a boy with horns. I know that is a weird combination, but its blends all of that content well. The chemistry that the characters have with each other and the humor scenes are worth waiting for. I believe its originality pulls in readers from different categories and I hope more readers join in on the fun.
Another manga I’m excited for is Black Torch. I recently received the third volume and it seems promising. I had only read Volume 1 and skimmed over 2, but the content includes a lot of action. Honestly action is a big must for me with manga (the more punches the better!), and I hope Black Torch includes that. This manga also has a weird mash-up of talking animals and martial arts, but I learned from Radiant to give it a shot. I have very high expectations for this manga and feel excited to see where the story might lead us.
Apart from those two manga I cannot wait where Tokyo Ghoul: re takes us. This last volume included so much and I hope this next one is not a letdown. There is still a long way for closure in this manga and the build-up of it has been to the T. It is has become my top read this year and I’m pretty excited for what is to come. This story has so many plot twists it’s a given as to why the manga has become a hit. I wouldn’t be surprised if the anime also has a continuation to the manga. I know that many fans were upset with where the anime went (same) but I was very happy that I continued with the story instead of the anime. Tokyo Ghoul: re future volumes here we come! I haven’t really kept up with newer titles but I’m open to check new content. I’ll try my best to put down Tokyo Ghoul: re once in a while to check out new stuff.
The wait between each volume of Golden Kamuy is torturous. Even with a volume coming out this month, the next one isn’t scheduled to release until April! I never thought I’d be the type for historical fiction, but Noda Satoru’s series about Russo-Japanese war veterans hunting for gold alongside a young Ainu woman has completely swept me off my feet. Save one or two, every character is compelling, if not likable, and I love all the research about Ainu culture and hunting that Noda weaves into the series.
My other most anticipated release this year is the localization of Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-san. Yen Press is bringing over the manga for one of my favorite anime series about a skeleton retail employer who works at a bookstore alongside people who wear such accoutrements on their heads as a jack-o-lantern or motorcycle helmet. As a retail employee, the series exhibits the very real pains of customer service in a way that feels fun with the slightly surreal aesthetic. Learning about how bookstores operate in Japan specifically has also been a treat, especially when it comes to the series’ portrayal of foreign customers.
While I look forward to finally seeing the return of Gangsta. after several years of being off due to the creator’s health, I am most anticipating the release of Snow White with the Red Hair by Sorata Akizuki. I really know nothing about the manga at all, but I’m familiar with the fact that there was an anime adaptation of this series a few years ago. There was a lot of high praise for it and my friends just absolutely adored it from my understanding. It really made me curious and I want to see what makes this manga so spectacular.
I’m also looking forward to eventual release of the next volume of Cells At Work and maybe, if we’re so lucky, for the spin-off manga to be officially translated. It’s been over a year since the last volume of the main series came out and the sixth release has been constantly pushed back and back. Will this be the year it finally comes out? I would love for it to be, so fingers crossed.