After looking back over my favourite new manga releases of 2020 last week, it’s time to look ahead to the new year. There’s a lot of exciting new titles that are scheduled to be released in North America during 2021 and I had a hard time narrowing this list down to just 10, but I managed it, somehow!
Here are My Top 10 Most Anticipated Manga of 2021, in no particular order.
10. Beast Complex
A precursor to her fantastic shounen series, Beastars, Paru Itagaki’s Beast Complex is a collection of short stories, set in the same world as Beastars, that explore carnivores and herbivores learning to overcome their prejudices about each other. As a fan of Beastars, I’m really looking forward to going beyond the halls of Cherryton Academy and seeing more of this world of anthropomorphized animals, especially since I always enjoy the side-stories in Beastars that focus on the background characters and on world-building.
9. The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess
Shojo manga where the main character is reincarnated as the villainess in a fantasy setting are kind of my jam. I love My Next Life as a Villainess and Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter and The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess looks like a fun series in a similar vein. The twist in this manga is that the main character has been reincarnated into the world of a novel that she herself is the author of. The concept of a writer being tormented by a setup that she wrote herself, tickles my funny bone and I can’t wait to see how the story plays out.
8. Golden Japanesque
Golden Japanesque: A Splendid Yokohama Romance is a historical romance manga, set in Meiji-era Japan, that centers on a girl who’s struggling with being the target of discrimination due to her mixed-race heritage. The story sounds interesting and moving and, if the cover is any indication, the art should be lovely. On top of that, I generally like historical dramas and I’m looking forward to admiring all of beautiful period outfits.
7. Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Travel Guide
Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Travel Guide is a boys love / travel log manga that follows an odd-couple-like duo as they travel the world before their wedding. The two lead characters learn a lot about other places and cultures on their journey, as well as about themselves and each other. I’m expecting this to be partially educational and partially a sweet romance story and I think it sounds really cute and interesting.
6. Love of Kill
The story of Love of Kill begins when a bounty hunter fails to defeat her target and, instead of killing her, the criminal she was chasing asks for her contact information. That’s a pretty unusual sounding premise for a shojo series and I’m already very intrigued. Love of Kill promises action, mystery, drama and a thrilling cat-and-mouse style dynamic between the two leads. That all sounds exciting and fun and I wish I could read it right now!
5. The King’s Beast
I’ve quite enjoyed Rei Toma’s other manga series and I’m pumped to return to the world of Dawn of the Arcana in her latest title, The King’s Beast. Rei Toma has always nailed angsty character-drama and the premise of this manga, where a half-beast girl disguises herself as a boy in order to enter the palace as a servant so that she can get revenge for her brother’s death, is rife with tension and dramatic potential. Should be a good time!
4. Sex Education 120%
I’m not often that interested in ecchi manga, but I think the premise of Sex Education 120% sounds really funny! A female gym teacher is discouraged by the status of sex education in Japan and is determined to try and teach her students everything that they’ll need to know, but she has her work cut out for her with the clueless teens in her class. From what I’ve read, two of the girls in the sex ed class are dating each other and I’m glad that this won’t be a completely hetero-normative take on the subject matter. I’m hoping that this will be a humorous and light-hearted series and I look forward to giving it a try.
3. Superwomen in Love!
Superwomen in Love! Honey Trap and Rapid Rabbit is a yuri manga series about a super villain who falls in love with her nemesis, gets kicked out of her evil organization and winds up joining forces with the hero to fight evil. I love superheroes and this action/romance story just sounds like a ton of fun!
2. I Think Our Son is Gay
This slice-of-life, family-comedy manga about a supportive mother who suspects that her teenage son might be gay, sounds heart-warming and super cute. I Think Our Son is Gay is by the same author as That Blue Sky Feeling (but not the same artist, which is why the art style looks so different) and, since I really enjoyed that series, I’m eager to check out a more comedic manga by this creator.
- Kageki Shojo!!
Kageki Shojo!! is a continuation of Kageki Shojo!! The Curtain Rises, which was one of my favourite new manga series that I read during 2020 and I am hyped to continue the story! Set in an academy where teenage girls are training for careers in a all-female theatre troupe, the prequel to Kageki Shojo!! was an emotional ride that featured compelling characters and a focus on female friendship that I found to be charming. I’m expecting more of the same from the sequel and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Well those are the manga series that I’m currently most looking forward to in 2021, but what are you excited to read in the coming year? Let me know in the comments!
I’ll be linking to my reviews of these titles as they come out and I get a chance to read them, so please check those out and see if these manga series wound up living up to my expectations:
- The Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess Vol 1 Review
- The King’s Beast Vol 1 Review
- Beast Complex Review
- Golden Japanesque: A Splendid Yokohama Romance Vol 1 Review
- Love of Kill Vol 1 Review
- Superwomen in Love! Honey Trap & Rapid Rabbit Vol 1 Review
- I Think Our Son is Gay Vol 1 Review
- Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Travel Guide Vol 1 Review
- Sex Ed 120% Vol 1 Review
- Kageki Shojo!! Vol 1 Review
Happy New Year, everyone! And stay safe out there!
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