Looking at upcoming manga releases from June 2023 to December 2023 that I find interesting, and maybe you will too!
Since publishing my upcoming Seven Seas and other publishers' list, I have found more manga (and not manga) to be excited about in 2023. This is my final look at the manga (and not manga) heading our way in 2023. So, without further preamble, let's just get right down to it.
Table of Contents
These manga series may not get my full attention upon release, but they may deserve your attention.
Messiah -CODE EDGE- By Akira Minazuki, Madoka Takadono & Messiah Project
Recently announced for a digital-only release via Kodansha, Messiah -CODE EDGE- is sci-fi drama that debuted in Pixiv's "Palcy" manga app and was published under the ARIA brand/label. The third volume was released in Japan in May 2019. Kodansha describes the story:
Mysterious, handsome young men working as spy-pairs for a secret agency, the Church, are forbidden to love anyone but their partners. If they’re to survive-not only war, but the ghosts of their tragic pasts-they must rely on one another to be there…because each other is all they have. Follow Eiri, Haku, Soma, and Shusuke as they battle their inner demons with the help of their partners in this peek into the Messiah Project universe.
I wonder if an anime or something is in the works because there's not a lot of information about Messiah - CODE EDGE- in English. I have no clue if it's completed or not either, but I am down for more spy espionage manga. The first volume will be released in late June 2023. Read the first chapter for free here.
Lord Hades's Ruthless Marriage by Yuho Ueji
Yen Press just announced this title at MCM Comic Con in London on May 27. I generally enjoy new takes on mythology, folklore, legends, and fairytales so another Persephone x Hades story seems par for the course. Lord Hades's Ruthless Marriage is presently serialized in Asuka magazine, and Yen Press describes the story:
Hades refuses to give up his life as a single god, unconvinced that love and marriage are worth the hassle. But when Eros shoots him with an arrow of love, will he be able to avoid falling for the next person he sees?
Per the press release, the first volume is slated to be released in November 2023. Check out Yen Press's website to learn more.
The Essence of Being a Muse by Aya Fumino
The Essence of Being a Muse is a slice-of-life drama, and by the sounds of it, I expect this to be a heavy drama. There's a mother vs daughter thing going on, and it's not the fun kind. However, The Essence of Being a Muse is a short title, only 3 volumes. Serialized in Comic Beam, Yen Press describes The Essence of Being a Muse as:
Somebody fill my emptiness.
The day I was rejected from art school, everything that was “special” about me died. That’s why I have no choice. Since I’m back to being “ordinary,” I’ll go to the job my mom decided on while wearing the clothes my mom picked for me so that I can find what my mom calls “happiness” alongside somebody my mom can boast about, trapped in a never-ending cycle of “What if?” and “Too bad” all the while.
The first volume hits store shelves in June 2023, so very soon! Check out the manga via Yen Press's website here.
Upcoming 2023 Releases - My Top 3 Picks
The following series are the ones I really, really want to read, and hopefully, you can add a title or two to your list too!
1. Associate Professor Akira Takatsuki's Conjecture by Mikage Sawamura and Touji Aio
Supernatural Mystery Drama (5 volumes/ongoing; Manga)
Last time, I talked about the novel (out now!), but since then, the manga has also been licensed by Yen Press. Presently serialized in Monthly Comic Gene, Yen Press describes the story:
Naoya Fukamachi is a university student whose ability to infallibly detect lies has left him friendless and isolated. When a paper of his piques the interest of his folklore studies professor Akira Takatsuki, a handsome and eccentric man, he soon finds himself dragged into Akira’s research. Now, as the assistant in charge of common sense, he must help his professor interpret an array of unexplainable phenomena…
2. Revenge: Mrs. Wrong by Sayo Momota
Romance Drama (4 volumes/complete)
I could easily fill this list with nothing but Seven Seas Steamship titles. Seven Seas Steamship brand is "dedicated to sexy romance for women." In other words, it's smut and basically Ghost Ship for women, and it's something that I've been looking forward to having IN PRINT for a long, long time. I have been enjoying all of the Steamship releases thus far, and I have made it my mission to continue to read and collect them until I come across a series that I absolutely cannot stand. So far, so good. Anyway, this series.
Serialized in Cheese! magazine and on Manga Oukoku, Revenge Mrs. Wrong is a 4-volume scandalous romance drama following a pair of twisted sisters. Seven Seas describes the story:
Beautiful, charismatic Mitsuki has it all. She’s got so much, in fact, that she sends her more timid sister Tsukiko on dates disguised as her so Mitsuki doesn’t miss out on other things. But one such body swap backfires after Mitsuki gets engaged: Mitsuki asks Tsukiko to stand in for her at a wedding planning meeting, and Tsukiko ends up falling into bed with Mitsuki’s groom-to-be! Tired of playing second fiddle to her beautiful sister, Tsukiko decides to take something for herself for a change. In this startling tale of intrigue and romance, revenge is a dish best served steaming hot!
Simply put, this is my type of drama. I'll be looking forward to reading the first volume when it hits store shelves in November 2023. Check it out here.
3. Glitch by Shima Shinya
Mystery Drama (3+ volumes/serialization is complete; ??? final number of volumes)
By the same mangaka of Lost Lad London comes another short mystery. This time, the mystery involves a nonbinary protagonist and their little sister. Serialized in Comic Beam, Yen Press describes the story:
Minato notices something strange about their new town on their very first day of school, when they witness an eerie shadow. Together with their little sister, Akira, and their new friends, they set out to investigate what’s behind the bizarre visions plaguing them.
The series just finished its serialization this year. So, I'm surprised and happy that we got another Shima Shinya work so soon! I still have to finish Lost Lad London, but once I complete that series I'll dive into this one. The first volume hits store shelves in September 2023. Check it out here.
Alright, those are my top picks for the rest of the year, but wait, there's more!
Upcoming 2023 Releases - It's on the TBR
So, these are the books that I have an interest in reading. However, I'm not sure when I'll get to these, but hey, recs never expire! Are you looking forward to any of these series too?
Witch of Thistle Castle by John Tarachine
Supernatural Fantasy (4 volumes/complete)
Thanks to Titan Publishing, Witch of Thistle Castle is no longer exclusive to the digital storefront and subscription platform MangaPlaza. Serialized in Comic Tatan from 2019 to 2020 and completed in four volumes, Titan Publishing describes the story:
Spirits and magic are everywhere in the streets of Edinburgh – if only you dare to see it! Dive into this heartfelt manga about a witch and her apprentice as they try to find their place in a world that hates their very existence.
The last in a long line of Witches of the Black Wood, Marie Blackwood lives a quiet life in Edinburgh – away from the scrutiny of the Church. But when the Church thrusts 13-year-old Theo into her hands for safekeeping, Marie suddenly gains the responsibility not just of taking care of a teenager – but protecting the world, and Theo himself, from the amazing power that lives inside of him.
There are two reasons I'm interested in checking this out. One, the art. It's gorgeous and reminds me of Ran and the Gray World. Two, I honestly would prefer to read Tarachine's other award-winning work Umi ga Hashiru End Roll. Presently serialized in Mystery Bonita, Umi ga Hashiru End Roll is about a 65-year-old widow who becomes inspired to pursue filmmaking. The manga makes numerous references to pop and classic films, and I like movies. Hopefully, we'll experience this story and Tarachine's other works in English (and in print) soon!
I Can’t Refuse S by Ai Hibiki
Romance Drama Smut (6 volumes/complete; mature-rated)
Anything Steamship-related will just get put on the shortlist. I can't stress enough how long I've waited to find some semblance of decent smut in English and IN PRINT. It won't be long until I give up on the "Gotta Collect Everything Steamship" initiative, but I doubt this story will be the one that breaks my stride. Serialized in Mobafura (Mobile Flower) from 2017-2019, Seven Seas describes the story:
Miku is in a bind: her father has taken on too much debt, subjecting her family to so much work and stress that now her mother has fallen ill. Miku is willing to do what it takes to help her family, so she offers to become a wealthy benefactor’s mistress to raise the cash they need! Unfortunately, that alone isn’t enough—the wealthy man has a preference for women who are experienced in bed, and Miku is anything but. That’s when the man’s butler, Kamishiro, steps in. The gorgeous but sharp-tongued Kamishiro is blunt: he says he’s been sent to train Miku in the sexual arts. Under his hot and heavy tutelage, can Miku become experienced enough to inflame the desire of any man…including her teacher?
I have a thing for butlers, and it sounds sexy and fun. The first volume will hit store shelves in September 2023. Check it out here.
Neighborhood Story by Ai Yazawa
Romance Drama School Life (4 volumes/complete; omnibus)
Neighborhood Story is the prequel to Paradise Kiss (published in English by Kodansha/Vertical). Paradise Kiss is the final story of a three-part series, and Neighborhood Story is the second part, and given how long it took to get this license, it's anyone's guess as to whether we'll get the first series Tenshi Nanka ja Nai. It's also anyone's guess as to whether we'll get the anime license of Neighborhood Story for the first time in English. (Sounds like a job for Discotek.) Viz's sudden renewed interest in anything Ai Yazawa can be attributed to Nana's recent and surging popularity courtesy of Tik Tok. Serialized in Ribon from 1995-1998, Viz describes Neighborhood Story:
Mikako aims to take the world of fashion by storm but stumbles when love comes into season in this coming-of-age tale from the creator of Nana!
Peppy and creative teenager Mikako wants nothing more than to make it as a fashion designer. But when she enters art school alongside her lifelong friend Tsutomu, she finds herself distracted by his sudden popularity and subsequent love life. Despite her feelings, Mikako forms a club with Tsutomu and her friends to sell their creations at local flea markets. What begins as an exciting day quickly turns sour when discord arises between members in the group.
Two things to note. One, if you're familiar with Paradise Kiss, you'll recognize Mikako as Miwako's older sister. Two, you do not have to read Paradise Kiss to understand Neighborhood Story. Both are standalone stories. However, I highly recommend reading Paradise Kiss in the meantime. As a fan of Paradise Kiss, I'm glad that I get to read more stories from this world. I'm also glad that the story will be published as an omnibus and can sit right next to my all-in-one version of Paradise Kiss. The first volume of Neighborhood Story hits store shelves in December 2023. Check it out here.
Tokyo Babylon by Clamp
Supernatural Mystery Drama (7 volumes/complete; premium edition)
Guess who's back? Back again?
Alright in all seriousness, if there's one license I never have to fear going completely oop...forever, it's Clamp. It's one of the few mangakas that travel from one publishing company to another. Starting October 2023, Tokyo Babylon will be published in English for the third (and maybe final?) time. Tokyopop published all 7 single volumes between 2004 and 2005, and Dark Horse published the series as a 2-volume omnibus in 2013. Now, Yen Press will publish the premium edition of the series. Yen Press describes the story:
Subaru Sumeragi is the thirteenth head of his clan and a powerful onmyouji. With the help of his twin sister, Hokuto, and the veterinarian Seishiro, he solves supernatural troubles in Tokyo and helps whomever he can. However, not all onmyouji are so kind; there are some who use their power to kill, and unbeknownst to Subaru, he has a history with one such assassin...
Confession time. I've never had the pleasure of reading this series in its entirety, same with X (published by Viz), which is the sequel to this series. 😬 So, the third time's the charm. Time to binge-read some Clamp! Check out Tokyo Babylon here.
Tamon's B-Side by Yuki Shiwasu
Romance Comedy Music (5 volumes/ongoing)
Another entry for Viz's Shojo Beat imprint! By the same creator of Takane & Hana, comes a new gap-age-free work about meeting your idol. Viz describes the story:
When a shiny idol is a sad mess in real life, can his number one fan help him stay upbeat?
High schooler Utage Kinoshita works part-time as a housekeeper so that she can afford her fangirl obsession with Tamon Fukuhara, her favorite member of boy band F/ACE. When work serendipitously sends her to the home of her idol, she discovers that the real Tamon couldn’t be more different from his wild and sexy onstage persona!
Tamon is an insecure mess in real life, and what’s worse, he’s threatening to quit! Utage refuses to let anyone stand in Tamon’s way - least of all himself. What’s a fangirl to do but roll up her sleeves and support her favorite singer with everything she’s got?
I enjoyed Takane & Hana so I'm looking forward to another hysterical work. The series is presently serialized in Hana to Yume magazine, and there are 5 volumes out in Japan thus far. The first volume will hit store shelves stateside and elsewhere in October 2023. Check it out via Viz's website here.
Spy x Family: The Official Guide - Eyes Only by Tatsuya Endo
Action Comedy (1 volume; Artbook)
By the creator of the smash hit Spy x Family comes an art book perfect for any fan of the series. Viz describes the book:
The intimate secrets of the Forger family are revealed in this ultimate behind-the-scenes guide! Packed with character details, never-before-seen illustrations, in-depth interviews with creator Tatsuya Endo, and much more, this is a must-have for fans and collectors alike.
Includes behind-the-scenes details covering the first nine volumes of the hit manga, as well as tribute illustrations from sixteen artists, including Hajime Isayama (Attack on Titan), Yuji Kaku (Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku), and Kazue Kato (Blue Exorcist)!
Okay, I don't collect too many art books. As of right now, I only have Mirror by Rihito Takarai, but I can be persuaded. I really am enjoying the Spy x Family manga and anime thus far so I'm looking forward to adding this book to my collection. This book will be on sale in October 2023. Check out the series here.
Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast by Sumire Saiga and Saya Shirosaki
Historical Romance Smut (1 volume; Light Novel)
Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast is a steamy forbidden romance and the first light novel under the Steamship brand. Seven Seas describes the story:
One day out of the blue, noblewoman Giselle is summoned to serve as the king’s prized concubine. Alas, her heart belongs to another man: Wallace, a former slave and the soldier who saved her brother’s life. Wallace worships the ground Giselle walks on and attends to her every need as her manservant. Much as Giselle mourns the line drawn between them, her days with Wallace are filled with bliss. Yet the king’s word is absolute, so Giselle decides to give up on her paramour. Then, late one night, Wallace steals into her room in the palace. His gaze is desperate and hungry as he watches her. She knows it’s a crime to spend the night with him…but can she help herself?
I'm not much of a light novel reader, but I can be persuaded. I believe this series is one volume. The only thing that'd make this perfect is if there was an audiobook version. (Seven Seas get on that!) The book will hit store shelves in December 2023. Check it out here.
Blade of the Moon Princess by Tatsuya Endo
Sci-Fi Action Adventure (5 volumes/complete)
By the creator of the smash hit Spy x Family comes an earlier work. Viz describes the story:
Defiant and vulgar, Princess Kaguya Takenouchi is not the heir to the moon’s Silver Court that her mother’s retainers had hoped for. But when the empress falls ill during a wave of terrorist attacks, Kaguya resolves to do right by her people and rise to the occasion.
Unfortunately, Kaguya’s enemies are a step ahead of her, and she ends up ejected from the moon and stranded on the primitive Tainted World below. Can she find her way back to the moon and reclaim the throne that is rightfully hers from the usurpers?
I enjoyed Spy x Family, and I have an interest in exploring Endo's other works so I'll keep my eyes open for this one. The series was serialized in Jump SQ back in 2010 and was published in five volumes. The first volume will hit store shelves in September 2023. Learn more via Viz's website here.
For now, anyway. Enough about me. Let's talk about you. What do you think? Are you excited about any of the manga that I listed? What manga are you looking forward to reading in 2023? Let me know via Twitter @ThatMangaHunter or comment below!
(NOTE: release dates are subject to change due to the still ongoing global pandemic and book industry issues. As of this post, the release dates are accurate.)