Soliciting Multiversity: Top 15 Manga for August 2022

By | May 30th, 2022
Posted in Columns | % Comments

Welcome back, manga fans! The Previews were absolutely off the rails this time. I think Kodansha had 70 books alone. I had, like, 50 books I wanted to highlight and had to make the tough choice to cut anything solicited past August; for the record, I don’t normally look at the release dates given. This time I knew I had to and it was the right move, cutting a good 15-20 – like my precious “Eizoken” and “Girl From the Other Side.”

So if you’re a regular Previews reader and wondering why I skipped a ton of stuff I normally would’ve been chomping at the bit to highlight, there you go. What did I end up picking however? For that, you’ll just have to read on. OH and did you hear the Seven Seas staff are unionizing? Or, they hopefully will after a vote since management won’t voluntarily recognize them. Let’s hope it goes through! Especially since I end up highlighting so many of their titles.

15.5. War. War Never Changes. And It’s Tragic.

It didn’t feel right to have this knock out another pick as it’s a reprint but Mizuki’s “Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths” is a work that deserves sharing every time. It’s powerful, funny, raw, and difficult, for many reasons. It is a historical object and as topical as ever. There’s a reason it was the first of Mizuki’s works to make it here to the US.

Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths
Written and Illustrated by Shigeru Mizuki
Published by Drawn & Quarterly

Kokopo, 1943. A platoon of soldiers is ordered into battle. The objective is death. The alternative is certain execution as a consequence of survival. Inspired by Eisner Award-winning author Shigeru Mizuki’s own mandatory tour of duty as an active combatant in the Imperial Japanese Army, Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths portrays a flailing infantry unit on its last legs near the end of the Second World War.

15. X-Rated Urusei Yatsura

Another month, another opportunity to highlight the amazing descriptions of Ghost Ship’s titles. This one gets the spot for two reasons. One is this line: “Unfortunately, Lune’s alien physiology leads to an unexpected difficulty that even the world’s horniest man may be unable to overcome.” The other is the tonal dissonance between the cover and the description. Volume 6’s cover, which was also solicited, is more what I was expecting but volume 5 makes me think this is also a sci-fi thriller? I need to know and so, apparently, does the “World’s horniest man.”

Sundome Milky Way, Vol. 5
Written and Illustrated by Kazuki Funatsu
Published by Ghost Ship

Yoshitake, your average company drone, is out for a drive one night when he spots a UFO and crashes his car. When he next opens his eyes, he’s in his apartment, and next to him is a stunningly beautiful alien girl named Lune! She has come to Earth to save her species from extinction by claiming human seed-and sex-crazed Yoshitake is the perfect mate. Unfortunately, Lune’s alien physiology leads to an unexpected difficulty that even the world’s horniest man may be unable to overcome.

14. 2-for-2

Another title that made the list on the sheer nonsense of its premise. A rooster that is humanity’s greatest defender. It’s the manga equivalent of Poyo from “Chew” and I wonder if it’s played as 100% serious as the cover makes it seem or if it’s more tongue-and-cheek. I really, REALLY hope it’s the former.

Rooster Fighter, Vol. 1
Written and Illustrated by Syu Sakuratani
Published by Viz LLC

The neighborhood cock of the walk is more than just an ordinary rooster-he’s humanity’s greatest defender! His opponents may be ten stories tall, but nothing is bigger than his stout heart and his fearsome, earth-shattering cry-cock-a-doodle-do!

13. We Sure They’re Just Fun Dip Sticks?

I don’t really know what to make of this one. I’ve never read “Coppelion,” so I dunno what to expect, and the concept of neo-noir with an 11-year old assassin has me very wary, but I’m intrigued. An ex-cop who becomes the side-kick to a fixer for the government.. An art-style that’s clean and has a real sense of place and definition. It’s got the bones of a good story. Hopefully it does it with tact.

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Candy & Cigarettes, Vol. 1
Written and Illustrated by Tomonori Inoue
Published by Seven Seas Entertainment

An action-packed, neo-noir revenge thriller from the creator of Coppelion! When retired cop Hiraga Raizou gets a lucrative gig working for a shadowy government organization, he is in for a rude awakening. The first day on his new job, he comes across a grisly murder and a lone little girl who’s far from innocent. She’s Suzukaze Miharu, an 11-year-old master assassin-and his new partner! The arrangement is simple: she kills, he cleans up and hides any evidence. Sure, the pay is great, but how much blood is Raizou willing to get on his hands?

12. Downton Cafe

The exploration of gender identity and sexuality is what got this rom-com onto the list above the many, many others. It strikes me as a multi-layered piece that’s not going to be super serious but will be earnest in the way the characters grow and change and come together. Plus I love a good nerd x delinquent pairing.

Crossplay Love Otaku X Punk, Vol. 1
Written and Illustrated by Tooru
Published by Seven Seas Entertainment

In this LGBT+ high school romantic comedy, a nerd and a delinquent find themselves attracted to each other, but only when they’re crossdressing at a maid cafe! Shuumei has a problem. He’s in love with a girl who works at a maid cafe, but he’s too cool to go into a place like that without being embarrassed. But girls can go to maid cafes without seeming creepy, right? When he dresses in feminine clothes and transforms himself into “Mei,” he can finally walk into the place to meet the girl of his dreams: the lovely blonde Hana. Meanwhile, Hanae is an introverted otaku who’s uncomfortable talking to people… unless he’s dressed in feminine clothes himself. While decked out in his best dresses, he works at a maid cafe, and finds himself crushing on a young woman who regularly comes to visit him: a cool beauty named Mei! In this delightful LGBT+ romcom, two young people in love are about to find out a lot about each other and themselves.

11. Gotta Have At Least One Oldie

I gotta have at least one classic on my list every time. This month I picked the second half of “The Poe Clan” by Moto Hagio, a book that really doesn’t fit well into any genre. Hagio is hit or miss for me but there’s no denying the influence and artistry of her works. Are you into vampire series? Are you looking for something WEIRD? Well, look no further.

The Poe Clan, Vol. 2
Written and Illustrated by Moto Hagio
Published by Fantagraphics Books

This groundbreaking young adult vampire series was created by a pioneer of the shojo/shonen-ai manga genres and one of the world’s most influential cartoonists. In our concluding second volume, an amnesia-stricken Edgar is found alone on a snowy night in England. Separated from his “vampirnella” clan, who feed on the energy of the living and while away the centuries in a village of roses, he struggles to remember his own name. Will Edgar regain his memory and be reunited with them? In stories like “Piccadilly, Seven O’Clock,” “Edith,” and “The Last Will and Testament of Oswald Owens,” there are murders, mysteries, seances, and obsessions – and generations of humans whose lives are profoundly affected by a boy who does not age, Edgar, and his embraced companions: his little sister, Marybelle, and Alan Twilight, a 14-year-old from the 1800s. Fantagraphics is proud to present the second and concluding volume of this best-selling manga, which has been adapted into various media, and is published here in English for the first time.

10. Aro/Ace Represent

I’m so glad we’re getting a greater variety of coming-of-age manga and especially ones that feature aro/ace characters. I’m also glad we’re getting more of these one-volume works. Short, sweet and to the point, “Is Love the Answer” has an answer, but it may not be what you’re expecting.

Is Love the Answer?
Written and Illustrated by Uta Isaki
Published by Kodansha Comics

A poignant coming-of-age story about a young woman coming into her own as she discovers her identity as aromantic asexual. When it comes to love, high schooler Chika wonders if she might be an alien. She’s never fallen for or even had a crush on anyone, and she has no desire for physical intimacy. Her friends tell her that she just “hasn’t met the one yet,” but Chika has doubts… It’s only when Chika enters college and meets peers like herself that she realizes there’s a word for what she feels inside-asexual-and she’s not the only one. After years of wondering if love was the answer, Chika realizes that the answer she long sought may not exist at all and that that’s perfectly normal.

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9. So They Dispose of YouTube Comments?

If the first line were dropped off this blurb, I would assume this was a fun entry into the long history of dystopian sci-fi manga extrapolating on modern fears – in this case biological weapons. Even if it were absolutely bog-standard, I would give it a read, in part because we need more yuri series that are outside the high-school or cozy adult slice-of-life genres. But then you tease them fighting supernatural horrors? This better be good or I will be so pissed.

SHWD, Vol. 1
Written and Illustrated by sono.N
Published by Seven Seas Entertainment

A slick and action-packed yuri tale about two special agent women fighting supernatural horrors! The year is 20XX. Tough but idealistic Koga has just joined the Tokyo branch of SHWD, the Special Hazardous Waste Disposal unit responsible for eradicating mysterious biological weapons that were left behind after the great war. Her mentor is Sawada, a woman with a powerful psyche who complements Koga’s physical prowess. Something is sizzling between the two of them, and it’s more than just a shared mission. Together, these two badass women must team up to confront horrors beyond their wildest nightmares.

8. More Vampires! Less Weird?

We’re seeing a resurgence of vampire manga it seems. From “Call of the Night” to the “The Case Files of Vanitas” to the adaptation of “Mars Red,” vampires are back in the public consciousness, albeit a couple years later than in Japan due to, you know, licensing times. “Momo” is another one but unlike the others, the plot itself is right up my alley and the only cover reinforces that. I am chomping at the bit to see if it lives up to my expectations. August can’t come soon enough.

Momo, the Blood Taker, Vol. 1
Written and Illustrated by Akira Sugito
Published by Seven Seas Entertainment

A hardboiled and supernatural murder mystery from the creator of Boku Girl! Washed-up Tokyo detective Mikogami Keiji is investigating a series of murders where the victims have been torn apart and drained of all blood. Could these grisly new killings be related to the decade-old unsolved murder of the woman he loved? As he renews his vow to find the creature that killed her, he has no idea he’s being stalked by a silver-haired girl with secrets of her own. Quicker than you can say “vampire,” Mikogami finds himself embroiled in a frightening conspiracy with actual monsters he’ll do whatever it takes in his quest for revenge.

7. Going up 1-0

I haven’t read volume one of this yet but I figured I should take this opportunity to highlight the title before the anime adaptation comes out. It seems like it’s extreme soccer? People have been describing it as the next “Haikyuu!!!” but I dunno, it seems a little too far afield to be a true-blue sports manga. But hey, what do I know? It seems like fun.

Blue Lock, Vol. 2
Written by Muneyuki Kaneshiro
Illustrated by Yusuke Nomura
Published by Kodansha Comics

A mad young coach gathers soccer players from across the country to compete in a series of bizarre challenges in a high-tech colosseum he calls Blue Lock. Despite his harsh criticism of Japan’s citizens and media, the genius midfielder Sae Itoshi has set his gaze on Blue Lock, where the training is about to begin. To survive the first round robin tournament in the training center, Isagi’s Team Z will need to find a way to use their own unique “weapons” while struggling through a clash of egos. What does it take to be the best in the world?

6. I Don’t Think You Know What That Word Means

Maybe this is just my own preconceptions but “No Longer Heroine” does not strike me as an uproarious comedy. The cover is melancholic, the title is a reference to Osamu Dazai’s “No Longer Human” – which was a distressing realization – and the blurb talks about “the agony of a heartbroken young maiden.” I’m willing to be wrong. Maybe that’s the genius of “No Longer Heroine.” It’s gotten me to engage with it, after all.

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No Longer Heroine, Vol. 1
Written and Illustrated by Momoko Koda
Published by Yen Press

Every girl dreams of starring in her own love story. Hatori also firmly believed that one day she would marry her childhood friend, Rita but things are never that simple! The agony of a heartbroken young maiden is laid bare in this uproarious comedy!

5. Living Up to the Hype

It’s been nearly two years since “The Witch and the Beast” debued in previews and I am here to report that it is, in fact, very, very good. I’m about two volumes behind but am just as hyped as ever for volume 9. I think it’s the start of a new arc. If you are a dark fantasy fan, or a fan of Kamome Shirahama’s art, then do yourself a favor and read “Witch and the Beast.”

The Witch and the Beast, Vol. 9
Written and Illustrated by Kousuke Satake
Published by Kodansha Comics

Ashaf: a soft-spoken man with delicate features, a coffin strapped to his back, and an entourage of black crows. Guideau: a feral, violent girl with long fangs and the eyes of a beast. This ominous pair appear one day in a town in thrall to a witch – a ruler with magic coursing through her tattooed body, who has convinced the townsfolk she’s their hero. But Ashaf and Guideau know better. They live by one creed: “Wherever a witch goes, only curses and disasters follow.” They have scores to settle, and they won’t hesitate to remove anyone in their way, be it angry mob or army garrison.

4. Manga, Actually

That cover! I don’t need anything else to sell me on “Imaginary.” It’s got the promise of a large colorful cast, hijinks and drama, and a slow-burn story exploring romance, adulthood, and the intersection of past and present. Throw in a promise of beautiful art and you have me locked in.

Imaginary, Vol. 1
Written and Illustrated by Niiro Ikuhana
Published by Seven Seas Entertainment

A gorgeously illustrated tale about childhood friends, unrequited love, and the power of imagination! Back when Tasuku was a kid, he harbored a secret: he was in love with his friend Maika. But Maika moved away for school before he could gather his courage and confess. Now, as adults, they’ve reconnected as friends, and being together brings memories of their shared past rushing back. It was so easy to fantasize about wild things when they were children, but as adults, what are their fantasies now? This inventive and beautifully illustrated romantic drama explores the fantastical moments hiding in the everyday, and how a rich inner life can be a guide to a different future.

3. Equivalent Exchange

Well. Here we are. The final re-release volume of “Fullmetal Alchemist.” Not much more to say beyond that. It’s sad to see them go again but wonderful to finally reach the end again in such a lovely format. See you Elric Brothers. May we meet again in re-reads.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Edition, Vol. 18
Written and Illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa
Published by Viz LLC

In an alchemical ritual gone wrong, Edward Elric lost his arm and his leg, and his brother Alphonse became nothing but a soul in a suit of armor. Read the thrilling conclusion to Fullmetal Alchemist in this final volume!


Dreamin’! 100 volumes.
Dreamin! That’s a milestone worth celebrating.

But why’s this milestone not #1? Simple. Most everyone who is going to be reading volume 100 of “One Piece” is already reading “One Piece.” It isn’t likely to be picking up new readers until there is definitive news of it reaching a conclusion, so I’d rather leave the endorsement of #1 to something else.

Still, 100 volumes and still going strong. Ya-yo, ya-yo. Set sail for One Piece.

One Piece, Vol. 100
Written and Illustrated by Eiichiro Oda
Published by Viz LLC

The big powers converge as Luffy, Law and Kid face off against Kaido and Big Mom. Is there any hope of victory against this ultimate alliance?! Onigashima quakes with power as some of the fiercest pirates in the world go head-to-head!!

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1. Beastars But Gay

“Monotone Blue” has a lot going for it. The detailed penciled look of Nagabe’s art. Gay romance drama. Fun character designs. But most of all, it’s Nagabe’s storytelling prowess. I have full faith that they’ll nail the yearning and tenderness between the two and that I’ll be fully sucked into this short tale.

Monotone Blue
Written and Illustrated by Nagabe
Published by Seven Seas Entertainment

The critically acclaimed creator of The Girl From the Other Side and The Wize Wize Beasts of the Wizarding Wizdoms returns with this gorgeous Boys’ Love/BL tale about animal boys falling in love! Hachi the cat finds most things monotonous, but at the top of his list is high school and all that comes with it. But when Aoi the lizard-a quiet, high-achieving transfer student-arrives, Hachi catches a glimpse of a brighter, more colorful life. If Hachi can help Aoi open up, unlocking new feelings in the process, maybe his life won’t be so bland, after all.

Anything I missed? What are YOU looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!

//TAGS | Soliciting Multiversity

Elias Rosner

Elias is a lover of stories who, when he isn't writing reviews for Mulitversity, is hiding in the stacks of his library. Co-host of Make Mine Multiversity, a Marvel podcast, after winning the no-prize from the former hosts, co-editor of The Webcomics Weekly, and writer of the Worthy column, he can be found on Twitter (for mostly comics stuff) here and has finally updated his profile photo again.


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