Looking at upcoming manga releases from January 2023 and beyond that I find interesting, and maybe you will too!
My to-be-read (TBR) list keeps growing with every new license announcement. We still have a lot more releases to look forward to in 2023. Publishers won't stop announcing new titles for 2023 until July so consider this list a "first look" at what's coming up for the year. There will be no Seven Seas series on this list. I had so many interesting Seven Seas releases that I had to create a separate post about them. If you're interested in what Seven Seas has in store for us in 2023, click here. Seven Seas aside, here are a few more upcoming releases to look forward to in 2023. But first...
Ongoing/Still Releasing Series in my Collection
Okay, before I tell you what's in store for us in 2023, let me tell you what's in store for me right now. I'm currently reading and actively collecting way too many series that are ongoing and/or still releasing, but my top faves at the moment are:
Birds of Shangri-La by Ranmaru Zariya
Coyote by Ranmaru Zariya
Guilty by Ai Okaue (digital-only release as of this post)
Lost Lad London by Shima Shinya
Love & Heart by Chitose Kaido
Love of Kill by Fe
Nina the Starry Bride by Rikachi
Something's Wrong With Us by Natsumi Ando
Usotoki Rhetoric by Ritsu Miyako
Yakuza Lover by Nozomi Mino
In short, I'm really loving these series right now, and I anticipate adding more volumes in the coming year(s). Something's Wrong With Us, Usotoki Rhetoric, Love of Kill, Yakuza Lover, Love & Heart, Lost Lad London, and Guilty are either already completed or will soon be completed in Japan. We're really close to finishing several series in English so I'm looking forward to picking up the final volumes in 2023 and early 2024. I don't know when the rest, Birds of Shangri-La, Coyote, and Nina the Starry Bride, will be completed, but I'm enjoying the ride thus far and eagerly look forward to the next volumes.
Not all of the manga above may be to your taste, but they sure are suited to mine! With that said, there are at least two series that I'd love for EVERYONE to check out.
Serialized in Be Love magazine since 2019, Nina the Starry Bride is a fantasy romance series following a spunky girl named Nina who's been betrayed and sold by her family to royalty. The monarchy lost Princess Alisha in an assassination plot and must replace her with a look-alike, and Nina is that look-alike. Nina must marry the prince of another kingdom to avoid war, but before heading off to that other country, she must train and learn the ways of the monarchy to sell the lie. Just as Nina was getting comfortable and developing feelings for the monarchy's Prince Azure, she was shipped off to the enemy country where she meets the cruel Prince Sett. Action, political drama, and romance ensue. All of this is set in a fictional Middle Eastern ambient world.
Kodansha has been releasing the series as an e-book since April 2021, and there are 7 volumes available now. However, if you prefer to read physical books, rejoice! Kodansha announced that they will publish the manga in print at Anime NYC 2022. Now there should be 0 excuses for you to check out this series. I think I'll just stick to digital, seeing as I am current with the series and I generally don't do both digital and print books; it's either one or the other, but I'm happy that everyone else will discover this gem of a series. If you enjoy other fantasy and action/adventure romance series like Snow White with the Red Apple Hair, Dawn of the Arcana, The King's Beast, and Yona of the Dawn, you should check out this series. You can read the first chapter for free via Kodansha's site.
Besides Nina the Starry Bride, I would love it if everyone checked out Usotoki Rhetoric. Recently released in English by One Peace Books, Usotoki Rhetoric by Ritsu Miyako is a 10-volume historical mystery manga series. The story: a young girl, who hears lies, becomes an assistant to a smart but poor detective. The manga is set in a small town in 1926. The mysteries are light. No blood or gore. It's not a very violent manga thus far. I love the first volume, and I think you will too! If you're looking for a cute and chill mystery series to read, then look no further. You can check out the series via One Peace Books' website here.
Of course, there are manga that I couldn't get to in 2022 like I Want to Be a Wall, Run Away with Me, Girl!, and Yakuza Fiancé, but there's always next year. So in addition to checking out the manga I missed in 2022, I have a growing list of new manga (and not manga) that's releasing in 2023 to check out too. Now, let's get to the new stuff.
Upcoming 2023 Releases - My Top 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!
King in Limbo by Ai Tanaka
Sci-Fi Mystery Drama (6 volumes/complete)
Considering that Ai Tanaka's other work Apple Children of Aeon is digital-only via Kodansha (as of this post), it's a small wonder that King in Limbo gets a wide print release right off the bat. Serialized in Itan magazine between 2016-2019, King in Limbo is plugged as a "gripping thriller" that's "a must for fans of complex, suspense manga like Monster and The Promised Neverland."
Kodansha describes the story:
It's been eight years since the pandemic in which a deadly sleeping sickness claimed millions of lives. After a serious injury cost him a leg (and nearly, his life), Petty Officer Adam Garfield retires from active service in the U.S. Navy. But his plan to focus on his family and physical therapy is shattered when he receives secret word that the sleeping sickness has returned, and it's his job to bring back the mysterious man who helped cure it by diving into people's memories—a man known by the codename "King."
I know with the COVID pandemic still raging on (WEAR A MASK!) that reading about global sicknesses and conspiracies may be "too soon" for folks, but I'm willing to give it a shot. I'm starved for mystery stories that sound perfect for me, and a short buddy cop mystery drama sounds like a fine way to pass the time under self-quarantine. Kodansha will release the series in fall 2023.
Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sand by Yoko Komori
Slice-Of-Life Mystery Drama (2 volumes/complete)
Alright, cheating a bit. VIZ announced Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sand on Valentine's Day in 2022, and it was slated to come out in December 2022 but was quietly pushed back to February 2023. Serialized in You magazine in 2013, Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sand is a coming-of-age drama about mermaids/merpeople.
VIZ describes the story:
When Tokiko’s parents break up, she and her father move from the bustling city to a sleepy coastal town to live with her grandmother. Starting sixth grade in a new school where everyone has known each other their whole lives isn’t easy. Things start to look up when local boy Yosuke, another outsider, wants to be friends.
But then strange memories start to surface.
Swimming in the ocean…
Getting saved by…
Yosuke denies the presence of merfolk, yet the townspeople hold a festival to honor them every year. Can Tokiko solve the mystery of what is real and what is fantasy...?
So, the art looks cool, and VIZ is giving this release the "Signature" treatment. I love mysteries and mermaids so I'm looking forward to this release. Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sands will be released as an all-in-one omnibus in February 2023. You can check it out here.
Star Clock Liddell by Uchida Yoshimi
Historical Mystery Drama (3 volumes/complete)
So, here's another series that was slated for 2022 but was pushed back to 2023. However, this one's a bit unique. Star Clock Liddell is an 80s mystery shoujo by a mangaka whose works have never been translated into English until now. Browsing online, I'm getting some Alice in Wonderland vibes from this one.
Glacier Bay Books describes the story:
Young American socialite Hugh is haunted by recurring dreams of a silent house shadowed in mystery. Slowly becoming overcome by a premonition of living on the "other side", he turns to his close friends for advice. And then one day, a girl appears in his dream asking for help...
Glacier Bay Books will be releasing all three volumes as singles and only in print as confirmed on Twitter, and they will release the first volume sometime in 2023. If you're a manga collector "snob," who yearns for quality prints of everything, then you'll want to get acquainted with Glacier Bay Books. They are an indie publisher, but they print everything in high quality, which gets reflected in the price tag. They also have cool pre-order bonuses/incentives if you order directly from them.
Finally and most importantly, Glacier Bay Books has small print runs. You do not want to "wait and see." If you really want something from Glacier Bay Books, get it as close to the release date as possible. Yeah, this is one of those be-there-by-day-one releases, and this is made even harder by the fact that Glacier Bay Books' stuff isn't distributed everywhere. (More info about where to get their books here.) If you live in the U.S., like me, then I suggest just buying directly from Glacier Bay Books' website. (It's easy and painless.)
Glacier Bay Books updated us about their progress in October 2022, and they shared more pages. I can't wait. The art is *chef's kiss* perfect. Follow Glacier Bay Books on socials to stay up-to-date. Star Clock Liddell is my #2 most anticipated release of 2023. (#1 goes to The Villainess and the Demon Knight. 🙈)
Virgin Love by Tina Yamashina
Slice-of-Life Romance (3 volumes/ongoing)
So, Kodansha announced this title at Anime NYC 2022 for both print and digital. I'm surprised this series is getting a print release right off the bat.
Touted as "a new josei series kinda like Terrace House and Princess Jellyfish," Kodansha describes the story:
"Looking for love, but afraid you'll never find it?" Come Live at the Love House! 6 strangers, 1 house, 1 shared goal: love. What could go wrong?
Now, anything Princess Jellyfish-related gets an "instant buy" from me. I can't belabor the fact that I love Akiko Higashimura and her works, especially Tokyo Tarareba Girls and Princess Jellyfish, so I'm now super interested in this series. I also enjoy messy cohabitation stories like Kakafukaka and Maison Ikkoku, and I'm getting those sorts of vibes from Virgin Love. Terrace House is a reality TV show in Japan that shares similarities to Big Brother. I'm not big on reality TV, but I'm taking that to mean Virgin Love will definitely be fun and messy. (At least it sounds like it!) Kodansha will release this series in fall 2023.
And there you have it! Those are the series I'm most looking forward to reading in 2023, 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?
A Complicated Omega's Second Love by Kichi Uekawa
Fantasy Romance (1 volume/complete; mature-rated)
Looks like the new Tokyopop is starting to appear on my shelf now. I love BL, and...I love omegaverse stories. 🙈 I'm happy that we're getting more omegaverse manga physically!
Tokyopop describes the story:
Tasuku Sakura is handsome and has always worked hard to be the best at everything he does: sports, schoolwork, and now at his office job. The only issue is that no one knows he’s an Omega.
In a world where Alphas are admired and Omegas are judged harshly, Tasuku just wants to live as an Alpha like his perfect coworker, Narushige. But things get a little complicated when Tasuku wakes up one day in bed… mated with Narushige?!
It's only a single-volume release, and it's coming out in print in May 2023. (If you prefer digital, you can read it earlier than that.)
Associate Professor Akira Takatsuki's Conjecture by Mikage Sawamura
Supernatural Mystery Drama (8 volumes/ongoing; Novel)
Announced at Anime NYC 2022, Associate Professor Akira Takatsuki's Conjecture is a supernatural mystery novel series that has been adapted to manga, and it's simply about a folklore professor and his assistant who can detect lies...Huh. This sounds familiar.
Yen Press describes the story:
Naoya Fukamachi is a university student whose ability to infallibly detect lies has left him friendless and isolated. But when he writes a paper about a strange festival he wandered into as a child, he catches the fancy of his folklore studies professor Akira Takatsuki, a handsome and eccentric man with a passion for all things mysterious. Soon, Naoya finds himself working as Akira's assistant, helping him to interpret an array of unexplainable phenomena, from haunted objects and cursed effigies to urban legends. As this odd couple continues their investigations, however, Naoya realizes that his professor has had a few bizarre childhood experiences of his own...
So, this is definitely for supernatural mystery fans and fans of Usotoki Rhetoric. Keep in mind that this is the novel version of the story. I guess 2023 will be the year I start reading Japanese novels and light novels. At any rate, I'm hoping that Yen or someone will announce the manga license soon! The first volume hits store shelves in May 2023.
Call the Name of the Night by Tama Mitsuboshi
Fantasy (3 vols/ongoing)
So, here's another fantasy title courtesy of Yen Press. I'm not gonna lie. The art caught my attention. Also, this manga runs in the same magazine as Go With the Clouds North by Northwest, a series I really enjoy; so, all of that is enough to garner an, "Alright, let's check this out."
Yen Press describes the manga:
Deep in the forest, a curious pair resides: a young girl Mira, whose affliction leads her to call forth darkness whenever she’s in distress, and her physician Rei, determined to seek a cure. Each day, she works to remember the light and bring back the person she used to be. But a sudden visit from Rei’s friend, who harbors an interest in Mira’s illness, may be the end of their peaceful days…
Yen Press will release the first volume of Call the Name of the Night in March 2023.
Magical Girl Incident by Zero Akabane
Fantasy Comedy (2 volumes/ongoing)
So, Yen Press announced Magical Girl Incident at Anime NYC 2022, and while magical girls aren't really "my thing," I do love comedies, and I hope this manga nails it, especially given the gender-bending premise. Also, some people have pointed out that the art style is reminiscent of Clamp's artwork, and yeah, I agree with that assessment. The guy on the cover looks like Fai D. Flourite from Tsubasa Chronicles in a suit. I wouldn't complain if there are homages to Clamp's work as I enjoy their work, and the group definitely has helped make the magical girl genre what it is today.
Anyway, Yen Press describes the story:
As a little boy, Sakura Hiromi once dreamed he could be a hero. Now...he's simply your everyday office worker, toiling away for his company. Though he longs for his childhood dream, it seems so far out of reach—until he decides to step up and save a child one fateful day. Suddenly, fantasies become reality as Hiromi finds himself transformed into...a magical girl?!
The first volume is set to hit store shelves in May 2023. I wouldn't be surprised if this gets an anime adaptation. I'd watch it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Manner of Death by Yukari Umemoto (story) and Sammon (art)
Mystery Romance (2 volumes/ongoing; mature-rated)
So, here's another manga Yen Press dropped at Anime NYC. This time it's a BL manga. Manner of Death is a Thai mystery romance novel series that received a TV adaptation in 2020 and a Japanese manga adaptation in 2021. Serialized in B's-LOVEY, Manner of Death is a BL story between a coroner and a lecturer trying to solve a murder (while falling in love of course).
Yen describes the story:
When the skilled coroner Dr. Bunnakit is called to examine the body of his childhood friend after her “suicide,” he soon determines that she was actually murdered. That night, a mysterious stranger threatens him, telling him to rule her death a suicide—and after he confides in his prosecutor friend about this incident, that friend suddenly goes missing. But all hope is not lost, as a young lecturer named Tan offers to help him get to the bottom of all this, which would be more reassuring if Tan weren't the prime suspect...
So, based on the description alone, there may be a yandere, or...it could be a misunderstanding. Not sure which way it will go, but I'll find out in May 2023.
Me and My Beast Boss by Shiroinu
Slice-of-Life Fantasy Romance (2 volumes/ongoing)
So, whoever is suggesting these titles over at Yen Press deserves a raise. Here's another interesting license from Yen's Press' panel at Anime NYC 2022.
Yen Press describes the story:
In a world where beastfolk are thought to be superior to humans, human office worker Saki Oki struggles to remain afloat in a company where she is belittled and tormented by her beastfolk colleagues and superiors. And so, when she is called into the CEO's office, she's prepared for the worst—but instead of firing Saki, he acknowledges her hard work and makes her his private secretary! She's delighted by his praise...but could that really be the only reason her heart is racing so fast?
A typical office romance made fresh by a relationship between a human and beast? Sign me up. The first volume will be released in May 2023.
Megumi & Tsugumi by Mitsuru Si
Comedy Romance (4 volumes/ongoing; mature-rated)
This next entry is unique for two reasons. Firstly, Megumi & Tsugumi is a BL series that has been licensed twice. Renta! is localizing and releasing Megumi & Tsugumi digitally as full-length e-books rather than their standard chapter-by-chapter release. If you wish to read it digitally right now or get a sneak peek by reading a few preview pages, you can check out the first 3 volumes here. However, if you wish to read the manga physically, you'll have to wait for SuBLime's version, which brings me to the second point of interest.
Megumi and Tsugumi will be the second omegaverse title released by SuBLime in print (and digital). The first title was the 2-volume drama Scattering His Virgin Bloom by Aya Sakyo.
SuBLime describes the story:
A tough-guy omega who believes he can control his heats through sheer willpower meets his match when he faces off with an alpha unlike any he’s ever encountered before!
Tsugumi is a delinquent who hates all alphas for how they treat omegas like him, so when some alphas from an elite school attack another omega, Tsugumi beats ’em to a pulp! Megumi, the son of the elite school’s chairman, takes it upon himself to avenge his pummeled friends, but when the time comes, all he finds is a fired-up Tsugumi reeking of pheromones and insisting he can control his heat through sheer willpower! Faced with a different kind of battle, Megumi goes from attacker to savior, whisking Tsugumi to safety and leaving the cranky omega reconsidering everything he’s ever thought about alphas.
The first volume will be released Valentine's Day 2023.
SOTUS by BitterSweet (story) and Kei (art)
Romance (3 volumes/ongoing)
Last Yen Press title on the list, scout's honor. SOTUS is a Thai BL novel turned live-action TV series turned manga. Serialized in Ciel magazine since 2021, Yen Press describes the story:
SOTUS is an educational system in which upperclassmen impose “trials” upon underclassmen. Arthit, leader of the engineering seniors, plans to put his new juniors through a harsh training regimen to earn the symbol of their major—the gear. However, a first-year named Kongpob causes new headaches for Arthit when he declares he’ll snatch the gear from him: “I’ll make you my wife!”
I'm not familiar with the TV series or the novel, but the story sounds cute. The first volume goes on sale in February 2023.
The Dragon's Betrothed by Meguru Hinohara
Fantasy Romance (2 volumes/ongoing; mature-rated)
I really love Meguru Hinohara's other yaoi stories xxxSecret, Therapy Game, and Therapy Game Restart. So, of course, I'm going to be all over this series when it hits store shelves in March! SuBLime describes the story:
Rin, the water dragon god to whom Chiharu has been betrothed, can be disarmingly friendly and charming, but inside lurks an animalistic ferocity. Knowing that he can’t escape Rin’s protective embrace, can Chiharu make himself fall in love with the god instead?
You can pre-order the manga here.
The Other Side of the Clouds by Yoruno Hitsujigumo
Mystery Slice-Of-Life (2 volumes/complete)
Here's another release that was announced and slated to be released in 2022 but has since been pushed back. Serialized on the manga app Comic Fuzz from 2020-2022, The Other Side of the Clouds is a slice-of-life mystery about a young girl who moves to a seaside town. It's a mystery manga so I feel obligated to check it out. Plus, the art looks amazing.
Glacier Bay Books describes the story:
A young girl moves to the seaside town of Kumogaura. Wandering under dazzling sun and ever-changing stars, she searches for meaning in an item from her past. CLOUDS is a record of those hazy, dream-like days in the mysterious little town by the sea.
As of this post, there is no solid release date. However, Glacier Bay Books posted an update about the manga in October 2022. Follow Glacier Bay Books on socials to stay in the know.
The Yakuza's Bias by Teki Yatsuda
Slice-of-Life Comedy (2 volumes/ongoing)
If the name Teki Yatsuda sounds familiar to you, perhaps you have read the one-shot BL A Home Far Away, published in English by KUMA. Yep, same mangaka. While The Yakuza's Bias is not a BL, the premise sets off some fujin and otaku bells. The story per Kodansha:
A yakuza enforcer becomes the gang world’s biggest K-pop stan in this cult comedy manga that went from webcomic to sleeper hit in Japan! Perfect for fans of Way of the Househusband, Phantom of the Idol, or Spy x Family.
As if that's not enough, the manga is serialized in Comic Pool, which is the same magazine as Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan by Gaku Kuze, My Sempai is Annoying by Shiromanta, and the smash hit Wotakoi by Fujita. That's right. This manga is a shoujo/josei title. If you're looking for a slice-of-life comedy featuring an adult protagonist and a yakuza boss, add this to your list. It's definitely on mine! Kodansha will release this manga in Spring 2023.
Tista by Tatsuya Endo
Psychological Action Drama (2 volumes/complete)
Let's talk about an old series by Spy x Family's creator. Tista was serialized in Jump SQ back in 2007, and the series is complete at 2 volumes. VIZ describes the story:
Tista leads a dual life as an assassin and a university student. What price will she pay to save the people she loves?
Tista, a.k.a. Sister Militia, the Grim Reaper of New York City, leads a dual life as a university student studying to be a teacher. With extraordinary eyesight allowing her to make shots at exceedingly long range, she has come to be feared by the criminal underground. Tista knows she is doomed, but can her feelings for a young man she just met bring her back from the abyss? And what will she do if he finds out who she really is?
The first volume goes on sale in April 2023.
We Can't Do Just Plain Love: She's Got a Fetish, Her Boss Has Low Self-Esteem by Mafuyu Fukita
Romance (2 volumes/ongoing; mature-rated)
Here's another title so good that it has been licensed twice. We Can't Do Just Plain Love is a smut romance manga that's available digitally right now via Renta. If you want a sneak peek or prefer digital manga, check it out over there. However, if you prefer to buy the manga physically, I'd suggest waiting for Tokyopop's release.
Tokyopop describes the story:
Sakura Yuino is beautiful, cool-headed, and good at her job, and when she's transferred to handsome, polite, but shy Itsuki Kiritani's department at her office she's determined to do a good job.
Unfortunately for her, Kiritani is so nervous around women he can't help getting "excited" around her. And Yuino finds her personal fetish triggered around her new boss, whose smell is intoxicating to her. After a post-work drunken tryst, they realize that perhaps this arrangement isn't so bad after all...
The first volume will hit store shelves in May 2023.
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.)